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!

Hiking Mount Marcy in black KSO Five Fingers

Hiking Mount Marcy in black KSO Five Fingers
Hiking Mount Marcy in black KSO Five Fingers
Hiking Mount Marcy in black KSO Five Fingers
Hiking Mount Marcy in black KSO Five Fingers

Received the above photos taken of Axel (Axel is wearing the backpack) on a hike up Mount Marcy in New York (The top of which is the highest point in the state!).

Mount Marcy (5,343 feet), Essex county, NY

My friend goes literally everywhere barefoot though sometimes he wear shoes (yeah getting kicked out of places for being barefoot is not fun). He had never heard of vibram so I got him hooked into it and at the same time I decided to buy a pair. A week later after getting our shoes we went out to Mount Marcy for a 20 mile hike. I know that everywhere says one should start easy on them to get your feet used to it, the way I see it "life is too short" so up we went and to be honest I have no regrets. At times through the hike I thought I would have to amputate my feet the next day, I figure between the swelling and the pain I would be miserable but to my surprise it was totally the opposite. Yes there was some soreness but that is normal in a 20 mile hike. I have also started running in them, which does require some time to get used to, specially if running on trails where loose or sharp rocks are the main course. Totally recommend the vibram shoes to anyone who is not afraid of getting dirty and feeling the ground beneath you.

@xel

A 20 mile hike two weeks in! Adventurous! Glad to hear that the aftermath was so surprisingly "okay." And Axel is right, life is too short — so everyone close your browser windows and get out and enjoy living!

Thanks for sharing, Axel!

Vibram FiveFingers Moc - Unboxing and First Look [Video and Photos]

Vibram FiveFingers Moc - Unboxing and First Look [Video and Photos]

I finally got my hands on a pair of the new Vibram fivefingers Moc (in blue!). The Moc, a men's style VFF whose sister counterpart is the Performa, is a new, kangaroo-leather-clad, indoor-only, minimalized, and extremely flexible foot glove — in fact, we originally thought the Moc was going to be called the Glove.

Before I jump into my written first impressions of the fivefingers Moc, here's a video unboxing and first look. Check it out:

Read the rest of this post »

Pedal Play: Lou Rocks and Drives in his KSO fivefingers

Pedal Play: Lou Rocks and Drives in his KSO fivefingers
Pedal Play: Lou Rocks and Drives in his KSO fivefingers
Pedal Play: Lou Rocks and Drives in his KSO fivefingers

Lou sent in a few photos (above) in which he's putting his KSOs to good use in two different-yet-similar ways — driving and jamming on his electric guitar.

Many VFFers have discussed on the forums how much they like driving their cars while wearing fivefingers. The lack of padding and sole in fivefingers plus the smooth surface of the sole makes them easy to maneuver around the pedals, providing the driver with a strong sense of force and control.

Less discussed but similarly applied is using your fivefingers to control effects pedals — the kind you see pictured above and used in conjunction with an electric guitar and an amplifier. Very cool!

Bonus points to anyone who can correctly guess what kind of car Lou is driving!

Stef Dune Bashing and Sand Boarding in Dubai in KSOs

Stef Dune Bashing and Sand Boarding in Dubai in KSOs

Stef in Dubai passed on the above photo and had this to say about her black KSO VFFs:

The best shoes for a day of dune bashing and sand boarding. The locals seem to love them as well. :)

Stef

Hopefully, the KSOs are doing their job and keeping sand out!

Note: I have no idea what dune bashing is!

Dr. Jawa teaches in black KSO VFFs

Dr. Jawa teaches in black KSO VFFs

Dr. Jawa, a professor of mechanical engineering, has been teaching students — in his black fivefinger KSOs! The above photo, in which Dr. Jawa is demonstrating what I like to call the "see my fivefingers stance*," was taken at his home in Diamond Bar, California before heading off to class.

No doubt his students find his footwear fascinating, perhaps worth discussing from the standpoint of bio-mechanical engineering!

* For another example, see Ryan here.

Jason Cruises "the Med" in FiveFinger Classics (Italy, France, Spain)

Received this annotated account from Jason ("Ardent" on the forums) of his recently finished cruise around "the Med:" he explored Italy, France, and Spain. Here's Jason on the sights (with accompanying photos):

Recently back from a cruise around the Med. Have attached some pics and a little commentry if you are interested.

1, B4 the off. Just a shot to show my home for the past week and that my trusty vffs had come along for the ride.

2, Palermo - Sicily, Italy. Busy place. [You] need eyes in the back of your head when crossing the roads. Came across this cross roads and on each corner was a fountain and multiple statues. Only thing that caught more people's attention were the classics.

3, On the rails. After busy day exploring as much as you can in the time you have, nice just to put your feet up and watch the world go by.

4, Toulon - France. Very nice place the Cote d'zur.

5, Barcelona. What a place! Will be going back there. You could happily spend a day just taking in the Gaudi's work. Guell park is a must.

6, Guell park again and the famous salamanda water feature. Only today out done by the classics, as can be seen in the face of the lady on the left.

No pics but the classics went down a storm in Olbia Sardinia.
Clearly they had never seen any before. Stopped off for an ice cream. Shop keeper straight round to the front of the counter absolutley blown away. Communication was all done via gesture no English spoken. Wrote Vibram Five Fingers on a piece of paper and he promptly went to the rear of shop still in view. Straight on to the net and a big thumbs up came way. Made both our days.

Jason

Leave it to Vibram fivefingers to spur an unexpected cultural exchange! VFFs: not only are they good for feet, they're good for making new friends around the world!