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!

Patrick heads to Parks and Libraries in Five Finger KSOs

Patrick heads to Parks and Libraries in Five Finger KSOs
Patrick heads to Parks and Libraries in Five Finger KSOs
Patrick heads to Parks and Libraries in Five Finger KSOs

Patrick (linuxracr on the forums) from Dallas posted the above photos taken at various places including the Napa Valley, Enchanted Rock State Natural Area (outside Fredricksburg, Texas), and at the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Patrick has also used his VFFs for martial arts noting that, "I myself am a martial artist (Shito Ryu, Goju Ryu), and have used my Vibram FF KSO for this. They work great! Just make sure your surface will not give you TOO much grip."

Welcome to birthday shoes, Patrick!

Tripp Tests out his Classic Vibram Five Fingers on a Trail

Tripp Tests out his Classic Vibram Five Fingers on a Trail

Tripp, a new VFFer out in Austin, Texas, wrote in about his first week walking about on a trail in his Classic Vibram Five Fingers:


I just got my VFF Classics on Monday after lots of research from sites like yours. (Thanks!) After a couple of dry runs in "civilization" (ie the streets of LA), I thought I should take them out for a real workout on Mt. Laguna in the Cleveland National Forest outside San Diego.

Rocky terrain mixed with loose, sandy soil on the trail were no problem. (The big red ants, though, had me re-thinking the decision to not to get the KSOs!) But the shoes (and my feet) felt great all day.

Next up, some short runs on the golf course back home, more POSE training, and eventually a 5K.

Stay tuned.

Tripp from Austin

Keep us posted, Tripp!

Cody Climbs at Clayton beach off Chuckanut drive (in Five Finger Sprints)

Cody Climbs at Clayton beach off Chuckanut drive (in Five Finger Sprints)
Cody Climbs at Clayton beach off Chuckanut drive (in Five Finger Sprints)

Got a couple photos in the mailbag from Cody. Cody was climbing at Clayton Beach, Washington. Sorry if I got a little carried away on the title of this post, but it's not often I get to employ that much alliteration, to say nothing of a street named Chuckanut Drive.

Anyway, here's Cody on his Vibram fivefinger Sprints:

so i recently purchased a pair of sprints at my local running store (turned out to be the only other retailer in washington state). my purchase was on a whim, but im glad i did it, they are amazing. in fact i am going hiking to a place called oyster dome shortly after posting this. ...

here are some pics of me climbing some rocks while hiking to a beach, these were taken at clayton beach off of chuckanut drive in washington.

One fun part of fivefingers is that they are great impromptu climbing shoes — trees, rock walls, a bit of bouldering — that kinda thing.

Thanks for sharing Cody and have fun on your hike!

Vibram FiveFingers Sighted in NYC

Vibram FiveFingers Sighted in NYC

Kevin (koffekev on the forums) was recently gallivanting around New York City with his niece when he happened upon a fellow VFFer named Richard (pictured above). Kevin wrote about the experience:

Hi Justin.

I met Richard on Mott St. as I was walking out of Gimme Coffee. I just said "hey, do you mind if I take a pic of your five fingers?" Before he realized I was wearing the same KSO's he asked if I liked his prosthetic feet? When he noticed I was wearing the same thing he mentioned that they were far less expensive here than in his native Australia. I invited him to check out B-day shoes so hopefully he will introduce himself. ...

In the Times Square area I noticed a group of tourists pointing and giggling. I asked if they liked them and a young woman said "yes, very much" in very broken english.

Waiting at a busy cross walk a man crouched down to try to read the Vibram stitched on my foot. I had a quick conversation with him. He seemed interested when I told him it felt as if I were barefoot but when I suggested he google five fingers he replied curtly and condescendingly that he would. I just laughed and waved him off.

Thanks, Kevin!

Inspired by Kevin's experience meeting people in the Big Apple, I'd like to offer up the following definition for Vibram fivefingers:

Vibram fivefingers [noun] — a rubber-toed foot in the door for sparking conversations with complete strangers (and making new friends).

Am I right?

If any of you have a "VFF sighting" or chance-meeting with another VFFer, tell us about it! We even have a forum topic about fivefingers sightings in the wild.

Hiking Eastern Newfoundland in Vibram Five Fingers Sprints

Hiking Eastern Newfoundland in Vibram Five Fingers Sprints

I received the above photo of Alain, which was taken on a hike in Easter Newfoundland, Canada. I asked Alain about his experiences with hiking and his Vibram fivefinger Sprints, wondering in particular how well the open-topped Sprint functioned in grittier environments. Here's what Alain had to say:

I’ve done quite a few hikes in my fivefingers and so far have not experienced many problems. This particular hike in Newfoundland was totally problem-free as I was hiking on giant rocks and large pebbles the whole time. I’ve done some portaging on canoe trips in my home province of Manitoba. As these were mostly on sandy trails, I got a bunch of little rocks inside my FF. In these situations, I’d have prefered the KSO’s I think.

I’ve been running in them for a few months now, on dirt trails, rocky trails, sidewalks and paved roads and have had no problems whatsoever.

Thanks for sharing, Alain!