Muddy Paintball in FiveFingers

Muddy Paintball in FiveFingers

This is the muddiest photo of FiveFingers I think I've ever seen.

What's the story? Enter Michael, who picked up his pair of TrekSports as an all-purpose pair of toe shoes though he specifically planned to use them for paintball:

I've been trying to paintball regularly for a year or so now, something more active then my usual regime of computer games and TV. I'd scoffed at Vibrams the first time I saw them, but the more and more I spotted people wearing them the more I wanted to at least try them on.

Once I started paintball I figured I'd finally had a real excuse to have wear them passed the novelty so I was on a mission to eventually own my own pair. A few months ago I was able to venture to my local Hikers Haven and try on as many pairs as would fit, finally deciding that a pair of KSO Treksport would be the best for the job (as well as seemed to be the only pair that would fit my APPARENTLY abnormally tall dorsal area of my feet). Unfortunately they were lacking on my perfect size and I was lacking in actual funds.

Skip ahead a few months and a new job gave me the opportunity I needed to snag me a pair. They instantly turned into the comfiest and most expensive pair of slippers I'd ever owned.

Eventually I got the chance to head back out for paintball. I generally try to go on dry days, as I hate getting mucky (a bit of an oxymoron when paintballing), but of course that morning was a downpour, leaving the field a minefield of puddles and mud. Within the first 15 minutes of arriving, we had to walk about 50 meters through a river of inch deep mud. At that point I tossed my inhibitions to the wind and had a great time being a mudder. It was of course still winter and the puddles were cold, but the pair of Injinji socks I was wearing were able to keep me warm enough.

I'm convinced that I was more agile, less tired, and much more happy wearing the Five Fingers than I would have been wearing my usual clunky Merrell sneakers, which would have been impossible to clean.

I'll be bringing my Vibrams with me to every paintball day, and hopefully will start doing more things to wear them more often.

Michael T. - Toronto

Glad you've found some use for them!

All that talk about mud reminds me of Stuart running his 255km jungle marathon in Spyridons.

Thanks for sharing, Michael!

Getting Married in the Dunes. In Vibram Five Fingers!

Getting Married in the Dunes. In Vibram Five Fingers!
Getting Married in the Dunes. In Vibram Five Fingers!
Getting Married in the Dunes. In Vibram Five Fingers!

click any image above for a larger version!
The above photos were recently taken at the wedding of Jason and Suzi. These two lovebirds got married in the Great Sand Dunes Park and Preserve in Colorado. The wedding was simultaneously immense in scenery and intimately serene (As you can see from the pictures). And since high-heels and cap-toe shoes just don't work well in sand dunes (and hey, these two are both big VFF fans), Suzi and Jason wore their Vibram fivefinger Sprints and KSOs, respectively.

Maybe one day Vibram will come out with some patent leather VFFs for gents in need of five-toed dress shoes and sequin and/or rhinestone-covered VFFs for the ladies. If they ever do, I'm sure we'll cover it here.

I asked both Jason and Suzi to share with us about the experience, here is what Suzi had to say:

Earlier this month, Jason and I got married at the Great Sand Dunes Park and Preserve in southern Colorado, wearing our FiveFingers. It was a beautiful, small ceremony; we were married by our close friend, who was ordained specifically for our joyous occasion. Two other great friends also helped us celebrate. (We surprised the rest of our family and friends, to say the least...) It was a wonderful day, and we are very happy to be married!

As to our choice of footwear...

I wear my FiveFingers everyday, everywhere. I can't stand any other shoes anymore. So when it came time to pick out shoes to wear for the wedding, and nothing in any of the stores, magazines, and catalogs came close to being comfortable and practical, we decided FiveFingers would be fine. A good choice? I wouldn't say that. The sand was VERY hot, and I thought several times that my FiveFingers had indeed melted into the soles of my feet. (I can't imagine Jason's pain, his KSO's being black). Even still, it was great feeling the sand between my Vibram'd toes.

We appreciate all the support we have found online, from you and the good folks over at marksdailyapple.com. (Quite a few relatives and friends have been critical of our "shoe" choice). Thanks!

Suzi

Suzi donning her grey VFF Sprints in the sand dunes after her wedding to Jason

Jason and Suzi, I think I can speak for the rest of us here when I say, "Congratulations on a beautiful wedding!" No doubt the relatives will come around to your wise and ahead-of-your-time-thinking with regards to your footwear. And as for the location, no wedding decorator could have done a better job!

Thank you both for sharing! Best wishes!

Walking off into the dunes after getting married in VFFs

The Skinny on the FiveFingers Moc and Performa a.k.a. "Glove" for men and women

On the shoulders of the recent news about new models fivefingers Bikila (arriving in 2010) and fivefingers Speed (a European 2010 release), I have learned some information regarding the new models Vibram fivefingers Moc and Performa which should pique the interests of yoga, Pilates, and martial arts advocates (as well as all VFF fans!) who desire even greater foot and toe flexibility.

The Moc and Performa are the male and female versions, respectively, of what we have been thinking of as the fivefingers "Glove," as it was called on voycontigo.de back in June.

On the Vibram FiveFingers Moc

According to sources close to the subject, aside from merely having gender-specific names (and likely color options), the Moc has a slightly higher "vamp*" than the Performa, which lends it a slightly more masculine appearance. If you'll revisit the original picture of the Moc, you might notice the front lip (vamp) does appear a bit longer as compared to Classic fivefingers:

It's a subtle difference, but if you gauge based on the length of the big toe pocket (or the second toe) relative to the termination of the vamp and then look at a pair of Classics and make the same comparison, you can tell a small difference. As I think about it, I think this small change could make a fairly substantial difference from an aesthetic point of view. Of course, it'd be nice to see some Mocs on an actual foot!

On the FiveFingers Performa

What about the Performa? Thankfully, the folks over at KayakShed have posted a handful of photos and news taken from the recent Outdoor Retailer Trade Show that went down last week in Salt Lake City, Utah. Here's a snapshot of what KayakShed had to say:

We know many of you use your FiveFingers for yoga and pilates and Vibram clearly sees that too as there is an all new shoe specifically for indoor use. The Moc and Performa have a very lightweight, minimal sole on the bottom and very buttery leather on the top. These should make for a much more exciting holiday gift for all those folks you were thinking of getting slippers for!

What you might notice about the photo above is that the vamp doesn't go as high on the purple and orange models as in the earlier photo of the blue fivefingers Moc**.

The "buttery leather" referred to in KayakShed's description is the kangaroo leather. Since most of us aren't familiar with any leather other than the kind we get from cows, it's worth noting that Kangaroo leather is analogous to cowhide. In Australia, kangaroos free range and are used both for their meat and their hide (source Wiki). Word on the street is that kangaroo leather is known for superior breathability and is also sweat and salt resistant.

Oh and the Moc and Performa, despite using leather, are both still machine washable!

On the soles of the Moc and Performa

As you can see, the soles of both the Moc and Performa are the same. Employing an all-new pod-like sole design consisting of (as I count them) seven separate mini-soles should allow for increased flexibility between the various points of impact on the bottom of your feet. Though they are intended for indoor use only, I'm excited at the potential for increased toe and foot flexbility. Perhaps in the Moc I'll be able to easily pick things up off the floor with my toes, which though possible in existing VFF models, is still pretty difficult.

Available by mid-October for $110

The Moc and Performa are slated to be available for purchase by mid-October. But who knows, maybe we'll get lucky and they'll show up earlier.

Finally, you'll have to head over to the KayakShed blog for more information on what they saw at the trade show including a photo of a new color combo for men's KSOs, black VFF Sprints for women, and another photo of the Trek. Thanks, KayakShed!

* Refers to the front upper part of a shoe, as in that which covers the front top of your foot!

** You have to look very carefully at this photo, but in addition to the three models in the foreground, which are purple, blackish (upside down, sole up), and orange, you can barely make out two more models in the background. Once you can distinguish these two (one on the right being blue and upside down - like the topmost photo on this post), notice the vamp on the black one: that's the men's Moc!

Latest Vibram Five Fingers Reviews 7/26/09

This weeks reviews, including a video review from forum member kakez!

I've seen a huge increase in the number of spam-like sites writing about fivefingers. Tthese are sites trying to game search engine results — you know them because they'll have 10 advertisements plastered around some vague copy that marginally relates to VFFs. Needless to say, I am not going to include their reviews in the weekly write-up. Wouldn't want to encourage bad behavior!

Running a 5-mile race in Vibram 5 Fingers

Running a 5-mile race in Vibram 5 Fingers
Running a 5-mile race in Vibram 5 Fingers
Running a 5-mile race in Vibram 5 Fingers

Above pictured is Ryan (#32), his brother (#31), and friend. The photos were taken during and after they all completed a recent 5 mile race in their Vibram 5 Finger KSOs in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Here's Ryan on racing in V5Fs:

On July 18, 2009 my brother, friend and I participated in Lynchburg, VA?s local 5 mile race. We all ran in Vibram KSO Five Fingers.

My brother and I (the two in the blue) have trained pretty much exclusively in the Vibrams using Crossfit.com as our workout program. My friend in the green trained in Nike Frees or the Vibram Five Fingers.

All 3 of us finished the race in around 40 minutes, which was off the pace, but we hope to improve as this was our first 5 miler. We have run a few 5Ks in the past using the Vibram Fivefingers. Post-race my brother and I were a little sore in the calves, while my friend was sore for a few days post-race in his calves.

Ryan and his brother have been doing Crossfit in their VFFs now for a year and a half. Prior to picking up his fivefingerse, Ryan had tried running a 10K in regular shoes as part of a CF workout when he ran into some knee problems:

Near the end of the 10K I couldn't bend my right knee because of my IT band and I had terrible shin splints. After that I started researching and found "barefoot running" which lead me to VFFs. Since getting the VFFs my shin splints and IT band pain are gone.

I have now done about 10 5Ks in them and the 1 5 miler. I know my word-of-mouth has lead to 2 additional purchases and every races generates a lot of interest. I even did some trail running with the local running shoe store -- they were supportive, but not fans of the VFFs.

Good to hear you're having such success in your VFFs for both the intense-style workouts of Crossfit as well as running races or trails! Thanks for telling us your story.

Robert Explores Grenada in Vibram Five Finger Sprints

Robert Explores Grenada in Vibram Five Finger Sprints
Robert Explores Grenada in Vibram Five Finger Sprints
Robert Explores Grenada in Vibram Five Finger Sprints

click any photo to see a larger version!

In the mailbag from the always-helpful Robert Allaway came his account of exploration (and relaxation!) around a resort in Grenada in his Vibram Five Finger Sprints. Here's Robert:

I went to Grenada WI last week - spent most of my time at La Source Resort. Brought both my black KSOs and blue Sprints, expecting to wear them everywhere. I actually ended up not wearing them very much, because the resort grounds were very clean and I ended up going barefoot 90% of the time! Very cool experience, and it's hard to readjust to wearing shoes to work every day... Anyway, I did wear my VFF's enough to snap a few pictures the couple times I ventured off of the resort grounds to explore the island (which I personally like better than "resort life").

I took a (long, windy) trip to Gran Etang Lake/Park - the lake is a crater of a volcano, and the surrounding area is rainforest (very rainy). From the lake I hiked to the visitors center along a very muddy but nice trail - I was surprised to find such a well maintained trail (after having driven the roads that day). Anyway, the visitors center was closed but I did see a Mona monkey (here it is just before it decided it didn't like the pineapple it was holding - it went for a piece of mango in the end) - the monkeys are very friendly! I also took a picture of my VFFs post hike, for reference.

Also, the camera I brought is waterproof, so I decided to try my Sprints out in the ocean. It was really good! The only problem was sand - the grit got inside of the shoe really easily while on the beach. I found the easiest way to remedy this is to put them on after getting in the water. Anyway, while they aren't as good as flippers for snorkeling, they're still pretty nice, and offer protection from stinging aquatic life (or urchins...)! Oh, and that last picture is one I took while snorkeling - its at an underwater sculpture park...creepy, but cool! Overall, it was a great trip and I'm glad I brought my VFFs so that I could try them out on new terrain - especially hiking as they were extremely comfortable.

Right up there with Michael's fivefinger Sprint testing in Hawaii, Robert's photos and rendition of Grenada make me want to go on vacation, but I may have to settle for the Discovery channel.

Thanks Robert!

Naree combines Vibram Five Finger Sprints with Scuba Fins

Naree combines Vibram Five Finger Sprints with Scuba Fins
Naree combines Vibram Five Finger Sprints with Scuba Fins
Naree combines Vibram Five Finger Sprints with Scuba Fins

A few days back Michael pondered snorkeling in his VFF Sprints on the forum. Lo and behold I got a few photos from Naree who has used his Five Finger Sprints to go scuba diving on trips to both the Bonaire islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Here's what Naree had to say:

I've been wearing Vibrams for a little over a year now, and recently discovered that you can even go scuba diving with them (sprints work best, because the strap provides a little cushion for the top of your foot when wearing finds). Here are some photos to prove it - the underwater one is from our trip to Turks & Caicos, the second one is the first day I tried them on with the fins (I was sitting on my NYC fire escape) and the third is from a trip to Bonaire.

Good to know that VFF Sprints work well with scuba fins! Thanks for sharing with the VFF fan community!