May 15, 2009 | 2 comments »
You might have noticed it was fairly quiet around here over the past week. That's because I was in Jamaica. My wife and I were celebrating our "babymoon:" this is the last ditch pre-first-child vacation for expecting parents. Yes, I think "babymoon" is a goofy sounding name for a vacation. Some people think it sounds "cute."
The only footwear I brought along for the trip were my Classics, KSOs, and Chacos. I wear my Chacos less and less these days as they just feel increasingly heavy and clumsy. I wonder why. I normally would have brought along some flip-flops, but I couldn't find mine.
Beach Impressions: My Classics served as my all-purpose footwear and I wore them throughout the resort with the exception of dinnertime when I needed to wear more acceptable footwear. As it went, the 5 finger Classics worked exceedingly well for time by the pool, gallivanting about the resort, and for brief walks across the beach (Normally, I took them off for beach-time!).
I was surprised to find that the gaping open-topped Classics allowed very little sand into the shoe. My hunch is that, unlike "flip"-flops, the integrated foot/sole design of VFFs reduces the flipping of sand particles into the air (and thereby into the footbed). Don't hear this as saying you won't get any sand in your fivefingers at the beach, and furthermore, you shouldn't be wearing your fivefingers on most beaches, anyway (excepting cases of overly shelly beaches or in times of beach sprints): beach time should be 100% barefoot time! Take advantage!
Other notes from the trip: virtually no one remarked on my fivefingers. This was a break from the gawking norm, and I can only assume it was due to the prevalence of traditional water shoes (Most people likely just assumed I had eccentric taste in water shoes).
I also got busted by the resort fitness director for being in the gym in my Classics, which weren't "proper footwear." I attempted to explain to him that I lift in my VFFs all the time, and that sneakers aren't going to protect your feet much from the crushing force of falling iron. It didn't work (And I had just finished my brief 50 pull-up workout, so I didn't press the issue) and I went to the pool.
Shortly thereafter, he sought me out and we had a very long conversation about fitness and I learned about his five year stint as a Jamaican cage fighter. And he acceded my point and said I could still workout in them. CYA is the same in Jamaica as anywhere else, I suppose.
More TSA experiences with birthday
shoes socks! Egged on by a new fivefingers friend, "MC" over at begin2dig.com, who has yet to be asked to remove his VFFs (Flows, I believe) while proceeding through airport security, and wanting to see if I got a repeat performance of TSA stink eye, I wore mine through all security checkpoints on the return to the states. As you might expect, there was "No problem, mon!" in Jamaica — not even a pause from their security. After proceeding through U.S. customs at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson, you're required to go through TSA security. I did, and here's what transpired:
TSA Lady: [Waves me to proceed through metal detector]
[With a chuckle ...] "I have never seen anything like that!"
[Holds up her hand to halt anyone from following me through]
Me: [Unsure if she's also wanting me to stop] "They're called five fingers"
TSA Lady: "No, they're called socks!"
And that was that. She loved my birthday shoes ... er ... socks!
Stay tuned! I got to test out my KSOs on Jamaica's Dunn's River Falls (Wiki), which is a large waterfall that flows into the ocean. Visitors get to climb up the falls directly in the water, on the rocks. I wore my KSOs and my wife, who opted to pass on the experience, took a few shots. So I'll be blogging a review of the wet ware use of KSOs soon!
May 11, 2009 | Leave a comment »
Ryan from Arizona (You might remember him from this post) has sent in some updated shots showing off his Vibram Five Fingers Classics as well as his dog. Ryan writes about the photos and his favorite Vibrams, the Classics:
As promised here are some takes while kickin' it in the Classics with the dog and family. These are my favorite out of all models. I hit the trails this morning on the mountain behind my house in the KSOs and then live the day in these. It seems they are gaining in popularity which usually equates to social acceptance. I never like being mainstream, but seriously, I get tired of the looks and having to give the five minute pitch Tim Ferris speaks about. I'm to the point that I "smile and wave boys." I dig 'em and enjoy wearing them everywhere. I like the simplicity of the Classics and the ease of use.
Life is good.
I've had the chance to correspond a good bit with Ryan over the past week. Among other things, I've further realized how Vibram Five Fingers wearers seem to share many common traits -- strongly individualistic, intelligent, driven, into living healthy lifestyles, etc. It is strange to observe a piece of footwear bringing similar types of people together, but yet it is happening with fivefingers.
I'd also like to note that I have the same color-combo of VFFs, but mine are (I think) first generation as they lack the "Vibram" stitching on the top of the left shoe (see here).
May 7, 2009 | Leave a comment »
This just in the mailbag from Vibram Five Fingers KSO fan Jason:
Love this shot as it just seems so human (in a fundamentally natural kind of way)! And yeah, real feet and Vibrams are great! Would you ever consider doing something like this while wearing conventional footwear? Full-fledged barefootedness for those with soles of steel or pseudo-barefootedness (as with fivefingers) is a confidence inpsiring thing, and it provokes outlandishly fun behavior like hanging from trees as Jason demonstrates here.
Thanks for stopping by, Jason!
May 5, 2009 | Leave a comment »
Mark Sisson — athlete, primal blueprint architect, health expert, and awesomely fit at 50-something blogger at MarksDailyApple.com — has informed countless numbers of people about how to have a healthier, happier lifestyle. He's also informed more people about Vibram FiveFingers than virtually anyone via his informative video on beach sprints and "indigenous people squats:"
It goes without saying that Mark is on the short list of people I'd like to complete the birthday shoes interview. And if you're looking for other barefoot alternatives (other than VFFs, that is), be sure to check out Mark's most recent post on that subject.
May 5, 2009 | 3 comments »
This morning I got a photo from Shawn who is showing off his Vibram Five Fingers Classics shoes while playing shuffleboard on a cruise ship. Shawn writes:
The black Vibram Five Fingers KSO/suit combo is one to add to the list of things to try! Shawn has also joined the facebook birthday shoes group.
Remember, if you have photos of you in your VFFs, send them in!
May 3, 2009 | Leave a comment »
Received this weekend in the photos mailbox, comes this note from Ryan:
Outstanding site buddy! I'm thrilled something like this exists. Here are a few shots and I just added the classics to my closet too. Here in Arizona, I often do the KSOs with socks on the trails because of all the sand. I use my classics for yoga, weights (just getting into crossfit), running on the road and more. I love the KSOs for AZ mountain trails in the pine trees and sandy wash trails around Phoenix. I just took the classics to Cali and ran beaches and wore them everywhere. I'm a huge fan.
Thanks for taking the time to create a hub for those of us that love our birthday shoes. Thanks again and I look forward to supporting your site and sending on some shots of me in my classics.
Great to hear from you Ryan and thanks for sending in the birthday shoes shots: you have quite the VFF collection! I look forward to hearing more about your fivefinger exploits (and see more shots!) going forward!