The Inaugural Asheville Marathon at the Biltmore - in Luna Sandals (Venado/original)

The Inaugural Asheville Marathon at the Biltmore - in Luna Sandals (Venado/original)

You're out on a run. Your nose is getting stuffy, so you lean to the side for a quick farmer's blow. It's cold out, but you didn't realize how cold until you go to wipe your nose with the back of your glove to clear off any additional moisture -- only to find that it's already frozen around the edge of your nostril in mere seconds.

Welcome to the inaugural Asheville Marathon, held on the grounds of the beautiful Biltmore estate. "Well," I thought dramatically at around mile 20, "At least I'll die somewhere majestic."

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Hiking Bethabara Park in Vibram Five Finger KSOs

The above photos, which I assimilated into a collage (click the image for a larger version), were taken by Calvin on a recent hike through Bethabara Park in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Calvin wrote in about the experience:

Hey Justin, I went for a hike through Historic Bethabra yesterday, and I took some pictures during parts of the walk. ...

This was actaully my second hike in my KSOs, I find hiking in them to be extremely eye opening — the feelings of the cold dirt, the warm pavement, the crisp grass its all very natural, very right. I love hiking in them.

Yesterday I played paintball in them, it was an interesting experience, the field where we were playing has a small stream running through the middle but the way thw "valley" was worn it left the wall at about 75 or 85 degrees and that was easily scalable with the KSOs, the only thing I don't love is sharp rocks; I landed on a few in the beggining, after a while I got used to watching my periphery and adjusting my selected path accordingly.

Thanks for sharing the experience. "Fivefinger view" hiking photos seem to capture the experience of covering varied terrain in VFFs — you really do feel the ground and experience the hike in a new, more elaborate and sensational way through the lens of your feet.

Sidenote: I think the smidgeon of EVA material in the soon-to-be-availble Vibram KSO Trek fivefingers is intended to help reduce "stone bruising."

The primary way to minimize the potential for hurting your feet while barefoot or VFF-shod when trekking over hard, rocky, rooty, and varied surfaces (like gravel) is to relax, take more steps, feel light and nimble, and let your feet (and knees and hips) handle the shock-absorbing calculations rather than trying to brain it and think your way through the terrain*. That's my take, anyway!

Feet are powerful pieces of equipment. Our goal is not to impede them from doing their job!

* this requires having logged some hours minimally shod or barefoot on varied terrain. I say this because most of us have learned a great deal of bad habits with regard to walking, running, etc. thanks to the "foot casts" that are modern footwear. These bad habits have to be unlearned and/or we have to reteach our feet how to handle shock absorption.

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:

[video:youtube:Yxuo8tOB_ew]

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!