Hiking Despite Osteoarthritis in Barefoot Shoes

Hiking Despite Osteoarthritis in Barefoot Shoes

I recently got the above photo from Ron. Ron is a 60+ guy who was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in one knee—after some 32 years of running.

What follows is his story about what the doc's had to say about how he should handle the news, and as you might guess, some FiveFingers came into the picture:

I call this my victory photo.

Last year, at age 60, and after 32 years of running, I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in the left knee. It hurt to walk, let alone, run. My general practitioner doctor suggested minimalist footwear as part of a program that included stretching and strengthening. [Meanwhile, both the] knee specialist and the physical therapist said to back off and use orthotics.

I took my general practitioner's advice.

Well, here I am a year later, relaxing at over 14,000 feet on the top of Mount Bierstadt in the Rocky Mountains. This was just one of several hikes I took during a 6-day vacation. I totalled nearly 35 miles of hiking and every step in my Vibram KSO Treks.

I proved to myself that I wasn't too old to make such a big change after 32 years of walking and running in the most expensive and most cushioned shoes. Of course, I still have osteoarthritis in the knee, but I am back at it, thanks to the therapeutic value stretching, strengthening, and minimalist footwear.

(I go barefoot alot, too!)

Ron A.

Fantastic to hear, Ron! And kudos for following your intuition and having success despite adverse conditions.

Hope you have many more successful hikes!

Latest Vibram Five Fingers Reviews 8/16/09

Another week goes by and we get a bunch of new reviews, including a "big one" by crunchgear.com.

  • Review: Vibram Five Fingers Classic at CrunchGear [Classics]:

    However, running barefoot in Brooklyn is a bad idea. So I ordered the Five Fingers Classic for about $75 - I bought 44 for my size 11.5 foot and they fit very well - and waited. I ran. My knees were screaming. My ankles hurt. Then, a few minutes later, all the pain was gone. I was running normally and, thanks to the light weight and comfort I could run longer than I ever could. I could run without stopping, which was a big change for me. I could run for quite a while. The only limitations were the blisters I got during the first few runs. Even those went away.

  • Vibram Five Fingers Product Review at MadetoRun.com [KSO]:

    It’s thin, lightweight, offers little to no arch and heel support, and only sports a then rubber sole meant to prevent cuts and abrasion wounds and a breathable mesh top to keep out dirt and rocks. In this video I review the Vibram Five Finger running shoe and point out it’s strengths and areas of improvement. Enjoy!Video after the jump!

That's it for this week!

Kettlebells and Vibram FiveFinger Classics

Kettlebells and Vibram FiveFinger Classics
Kettlebells and Vibram FiveFinger Classics
Kettlebells and Vibram FiveFinger Classics

In the mailbag came the above photos from Bob Garon, who does a "Kettlebell Boot Camp" in Gilbert, Arizona. Bob wrote:

Great site and awesome VFF exposure! ...

I've had my Classic VFF's for almost 2 years and I also have a pair of KSO's as well. The attached mountain pic was me sitting at one of South Mountain summits in Phoenix, Arizona.

The other is when I was first Kettlebell certified by Steve Cotter at the International Kettlebell & Fitness Federation.

The last one is me teaching my Kettlebell Boot Camp in Gilbert, AZ. I never leave home without my VFF's baby! :)

I've watched a few of Steve Cotter's kettlebell training videos. The guy is a machine — a by-product of training with kettlebells, I'm sure.

The last photo was from one of Bob's boot camp classes (like here), which take place at local parks. Looks like a great way to get outside and get in shape!

Interview with Vibram USA President Tony Post [Video]

05.06.10 - The Vibram Five Fingers Bikila is out!

Raw Food World TV did an impromptu interview with Vibram USA President Tony Post on Monday, August 10. Check it out:


In the interview (about eight minutes long) Tony Post hits on:

  • the success of Vibram FiveFingers (1:14)
  • the various current models available (1:40)
  • a video glance of various VFF offerings, including what appear to be some new color options as well as the new October models, the KSO Trek, Moc, Performa (2:20)
  • a shot of the Bikila, which is slated for release in February 2010 (2:45)
  • a close up of the KSO Trek as Tony is wearing his VFF KSO Treks in the interview* (3:20).
  • how shoes "cast the foot" and VFFs enable your feet to work more naturally (5:00)

Nice to see an interview with Chief VFFer Tony Post. His office looks jam-packed with fivefingers — it's like a VFF shoe store in there! No doubt it's also fun to have an office environment where "foot gloves" are the norm rather than the exception!

* Tony notes he runs in his VFFs year-round. Back in 1990, Tony worked at Rockport and ran the Boston Marathon in Rockport DresSports.

No, Vibram Five Fingers are not for Teddy Bears!

No, Vibram Five Fingers are not for Teddy Bears!
No, Vibram Five Fingers are not for Teddy Bears!
No, Vibram Five Fingers are not for Teddy Bears!

Got the above photos of Anna, who managed to wrangle her new pair of grey/pink Vibram FiveFinger KSOs away from a certain pink teddy bear. Here's what her boyfriend Alex had to say about what went down:

I have been hooked on my vff sprints for about 3 weeks. For nearly every day of those three weeks, Anna has been talking about how much she wanted a pair for her own. Today she got a pair of VFF KSOs! She had to wrestle them away from the bear, but she likes them so much they may never leave her feet. Good bye high heels.

I don't think the teddy bear stood a chance, personally. I mean, VFFs on bear paws? That's just ridiculous!

Glad you're enjoying your new set of feet, Anna! Goodbye high heels and hello better posture!

Site administration note from Justin: Apologies to all who have submitted stories and photos or otherwise emailed me this week. I just had my first kid on Monday! It's going to take me a few days to get caught back up so please "bear" with me!

Jerry's KSO Vibram Five Fingers at "Foamhenge"

Jerry's KSO Vibram Five Fingers at "Foamhenge"

In the mailbag comes this photo and note from Vibram Five Fingers fan Jerry, who has been enjoying the comfort of KSOs at music festivals and road:

I finally snapped some pics of my VFFs in the wild. My partner and I traveled down to Floyd, VA for an excellent music festival, FloydFest. While we were there we saw about five or so others in VFFs, which was nice to see. On the way home we spent some time in Natural Bridge, VA. Aside from the bridge and all of the awesome wildlife we saw there (spider as big as my hand fishing for minnows....yikes!) we also stopped at Foamhenge, a lifesize replica of Stonehenge. It was pretty impressive...and muddy, as can be seen by my shoes in the picture. But since they are machine washable, they cleaned right up easy as could be.

Who knew? A replica of Stonehenge made out of styrofoam in Virginia.

Good to hear your fivefinger KSOs are doing their job (and keeping stuff out!).