• minimalist sandals!

    Xero Shoes - Barefoot Running Sandals

Vibram Five Fingers KSO Treks at Work with Alan

Vibram Five Fingers KSO Treks at Work with Alan
Alan sports his black KSO Trek fivefingers in the corporate environment, blazing a trail for future lovers of five-toed footwear. And who's that long-haired fellow in the background? A future VFFer, perhaps.

Alan ("shapeshifter" on the forums) posted some initial thoughts on wearing his new black KSO Trek fivefingers to work. As the KSO Treks are still so new, I asked Alan if he'd mind I share his thoughts with the blog at large.

Here's Alan:

Thursday marked the first week since I started wearing the KSO Treks in the corporate environment as a daily part of my work attire. Although having worn them to and from work since september 9th, I had previously made it a habit of switching out to a more traditional shoe while on the clock. Finding it difficult to wear monotoed footwear every day, it just became apparent to me last Friday that there should be absolutely no reason to have to go back to wearing anything that felt so uncomfortable while being so unhealthy.

Luckily for me, I have a pretty good rapport with most coworkers and find it easy to converse with those I haven't met. Most seem to be more aware of me for being a surfer/skateboarder which already sets me apart ... Quite a few have noticed the five finger shoes as the week progressed and today work literally stopped in one department while a lively discussion about footware ensued.

Not too sure which way all this will eventually lead. Hopefully acceptance so other folks actually feel comfortable enough to wear their five fingers to work. Or it could backfire and all this attention could lead to a line drawn on apparel with a slipper definition given to toed shoes (as with mens open toe sandals) as a reason to forbid them on the premises. It would be at this point that I would have no other recourse than to be subversive and wear my treks stealthily cloaked under the disguise of a traditional shoe (sans the sole). Hope upon hope that day never comes.

As one manager quipped: "Oh, those are the shoes they were talking about at the meeting today!"

The revolt against Mono-toed Footwear has begun!

Alan, thanks for being a champion for fivefingers in the workplace! Keep us posted on their acceptance (and if you pick up any converts along the way!).

Latest Vibram Five Fingers Reviews 10/11/09

This week's latest VFF reviews includes a first review of the Moc!

  • Long-term use, and "Tribute" to Classic FiveFingers here at BirthdayShoes [Classics]:

    Given that most of our time is spent doing mundane, everyday things, the kinds of things that don't require a velcro strap, given that we are creatures of convenience and comfort, and finally that we desire the freedom of being barefoot but also need to find balance in a world with cultural norms (and broken glass), Classic fivefingers are must-have VFF model for any fan of this funky footwear. I know wouldn't give up my Classics for anything (and I want more).

    If you don't yet have a pair, you don't know what you're missing.

  • Review – Vibram FiveFingers Moc from LivingBarefoot.info [Moc]:

    This is another strong product from Vibram’s FiveFinger lineup. The Mocs are incredibly comfortable, pleasantly warm, and feel luxurious. They are the most pleasant feeling FiveFingers I have tested to date. They are appropriate for most indoor activities, and offer some protection and warmth in a comfortable package. More than any other FiveFingers model, these are truly gloves for your feet.

Last week's latest reviews are here.

Juergs finishes Reading 50K in Five Finger KSO Treks

Juergs finishes Reading 50K in Five Finger KSO Treks
Juergs flashes the peace sign before running his first 50K ultra marathon in his Vibram KSO Treks.
Juergs finishes Reading 50K in Five Finger KSO Treks
Check out Juergs' rainbow injinji socks! Excellent racing combo with the VFF KSO Treks!

Juergs completed his 50K ultra last weekend in under six hours (See our last meeting with Juergs' where he talks about training with his new KSO Treks). He ran the race in the new KSO Treks.

Here is Juergs' account of the race:

31 miles 6:00hrs
The first half of race I ran 9:30m/m ...
Mile 16 I saw a nice sharp rock and thought to myself “Don’t hit ... OUCH!!!” That reduced me to a walk for a little bit.

By mile 18 I was down to 10:00m/m
Mile 20 down to 11:00m/m God this sucks… my feet hurt
Mile 26 down to 12:00m/m feet feel like hamburgers

Mile 27.4 I pick up my pacer for in the last 3.6 miles
I tell her that we are going to do a lot of walking… She tells me I
doing great and we just have a few hills and then it is down hill to
the start

The next 3 miles we clock sub 10:00m/m
0.5 mile to go and am running sub 9:00m/m
My Pacer sees me pulling away from her and yells “Get 'em!”
There are two guys in front of me, one of which I can not even see yet.

I pick off the first with ease.
I come around a bend and I see the next guy.
He is far. I think “Pain is only temporary” I push.
0.3 mile to go and am running sub 5:00m/m
I pass him ... the race is done.

Engine felt great
But where the rubber meet the road was sore.

Peace,
Juergen

Here is Juergs' GPS data from the 50K/31 mile race.

Juergs' told me that he went ahead and ran three miles the next day and had no major issues with his feet recovering. Further, he's already planning his next 50K in VFF Treks (in December or January).

Congratulations on your finish, Juergs!

Marsha Rows in Classic Vibram Five Fingers

Marsha shows off her black Vibram fivefinger Classics she wears for rowing.

I ran into Marsha via twitter — it seems Marsha rows in her Classic Vibram FiveFingers. As I hadn't yet had any submissions from rowers, I asked Marsha to share a bit about her experiences with VFFs rowing and here is what she had to say:

Justin,

[I got my fivefingers because] I wanted something I could walk on the dock and boatyard with when lifting and carrying boats to the dock. When we do crew rowing we have permanent shoes in the boat that we slide our feet into. Most people put socks on (stuffed into the leg of their uni) when they get onto the seat and some wear water shoes if the permanent shoes are too big (Masters rowing we share men's & women's boats, so the shoes are often too big). The socks get wet and when we dock we need to find our shoes, which means we have to take the socks off and put our shoes on before lifting the boat out of the water and carrying it up the dock to wash and store!

I am sure you can see the value of the Five Fingers—I had at least 20+ questions yesterday on my [Classic VFFs] and socks. The director and former National Teams member Stanford Coach said, "Marsha you always find the coolest things." ...

Both Yaz Farooq (Gold Medal Olympic coxswai)n and the Coach of Stanford Colliegiate Women NCAA Champions knew all about [VFFs]. She said, "They are for running," when showing another of the coaches on her team, so I told her I had never run in them—but they rocked for boat use.

Like I said, I never have to take them of—all day, in and out of the boats, up and down the dock. I [think I] will be seeing lots of them as so many people commented and loved them. I will be getting another pair, probably a colored pair.

I am going to try them next on the rowing machine (ERGOMETER). I teach a indoor rowing class, I will let you know.

Best, Marsha
BIAC/NORCAL Crews,
Redwood City, California

Sounds like your fivefingers are a real match for rowing! I actually have used mine on the "Erg" and they seem to do fine in that application with the only "hitch" being that the straps tend to be way too loose having been set for prior users wearing sneakers.

Thanks for sharing, Marsha!

The perfect pair: matching black injinji socks with black Classic VFFs.

Marc says, "Tough to beat a Classic"

Marc says, "Tough to beat a Classic"
Marc points his brown and walnut Classic Five Fingers up to a beautiful blue sky after running sprints.

Marc sent in the above photo of his brown/walnut Classics pointed skyward towards a palm tree (beautiful shot!). And just like me (See my tribute to Five Finger Classics post), Marc loves his Classic VFFs:

Hey Justin,

I’ve been enjoying your site for a while and never sent in a picture.

After a heavy sprint session in my classics this morning, put up my legs against a nice palm tree and stared at the clouds for a while. I enjoy all the new models ... but it’s tough to beat a classic, was my thought this morning ;-)

Have a good one and keep spreading the good word.

Will do, Marc! And thanks for sharing! You can follow Marc via twitter @MarcVanDam or check out his blog Feel Good Eating!

Thanks for sharing!

Christopher McDougall is making the rounds on his book tour

A lot of you read the Roving Runner piece from the NY Times this past weekend (as well as other press), which featured Born to Run author Christopher McDougall and barefoot running convert showing running through central park with Brian Fidelman — barefoot, of course.

Well, it seems Mr. McDougall passed through Atlanta on his book tour this past Friday on his book tour (and I just found out today!). I assume that's when this CNN video interview of him was shot:

e some nice photos in the video from Luis Escobar of the Tarahumara Copper Canyons Ultra that is one of the main stories in BtR. If you're paying attention, I think I saw some fivefinger Sprints on the grass there, too.

Finally, Charleston, South Carolina's Post and Courier had an article today titled Vibram hits its stride, which is a fun read about the growing success of VFFs:

Half-Moon Outfitters owner Beezer Moulton has been offering FiveFingers for more than a year and admits that his stores, and Vibram itself, can barely keep up with demand.

"It started blowing up in the Savannah store about 12 months ago. Special Ops forces came in and got two or three pair at a time before being deployed," recalls Moulton. "(FiveFingers) were originally designed for water sports, but more and more people are buying them to run or to experiment with running."

I'd like to point out that Robert Fliri, the original designer of fivefingers, had hiking in mind with the VFF design. I think it was the fact that Vibram's present head honcho was into sailing and saw a use for them as boat shoes that drove the actual production of VFFs. Ultimately, it's being proven time and time again that VFFs can be used for just about anything, which is really just to say that our feet are strong enough on their own and need next to nothing to be used to do anything!

Finally, I've not been to Half Moon Outfitters here in Atlanta—will need to check them out soon! I was recently in Abbadabba's looking for a pair of KSOs for Mrs. Birthday Shoes and one of the store employees (?) had actually been to the site!

Both strange and cool at the same time!

Be sure and check out my interview with Christopher McDougall!

In it, Chris talks about denying your nature, the sports shoe industry, getting to barefoot, cross-pollinating ideas, and more!