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!

Latest Vibram Five Fingers Reviews 7/05/09

Attention! If you haven't sent in your "Free Feet for the Fourth Photos" yet, please do so (email them to pics at birthdayshoes dot com)! I'm going to keep accepting them throughout today with a full blog post on Monday!

And this week's latest reviews of Vibram Five Fingers:

  • Vibram Five Fingers Sprint Review at Nic Myers:

    I have flat feet and I’ve been known to drag my feet and wear out the back of my shoes. I also have problems with my posture and my back being sore. While they are not a miracle fix for the issues, since I have been wearing the shoes my posture and back have noticeably improved. I also don’t have the problem of dragging my feet anymore. The fact that your feet are getting stronger while wearing them is a huge perk for me. I’ve never felt like my feet have been in better condition.

  • Vibram Five Fingers shoes at falaris.com:

    I cannot recommend VFFs highly enough. They are a little more expensive than normal shoes, or sometimes right on par with shoes, depending on what brands you buy ... And the fact that it took the pain in my ankle away and helped my back pain is priceless. These shoes are one of the best investments I’ve made in my life.

  • Gear Review: Vibram’s FiveFingers KSO (Keep Stuff Out) at SouthernHiker.com:

    In the first three weeks of having these shoes, they have been worn in the snow of Yellowstone, the desert in Arches, in the swimming pool in Georgia, during a soccer game I was playing/coaching in, at the grocery store, the beach in Florida, and along creek beds in the Georgia Mountains. With the exception of the grocery store and in the snow, these shoes have not only been comfortable, they have been exceptionally functional in all of those situations.

  • Vibram Five Fingers – Barefoot at junglegirl:

    And when you just can’t go barefoot, try these shoes: Vibram’s Five Fingers. They do not assist grounding but they will re-align your posture and correct the alignment of your toes in the same way walking barefoot all day will. ( See the many YouTube videos and Google for blog posts that explain further the many benefits and body mechanics of wearing Five Fingers.)

  • Reebok Taikan IB vs Vibram Five Fingers at Clinton Lake Ultra:

    These are perfect companions for POSE or ChiRunning. I encourage you to try these shoes. Why not give your toes some freedom on this Independence Day? Remember the sizing is a bit odd...I wear a size 13 shoe and ended up with size 46 in the Vibrams. They have a chart on their web site to guide you through the sizing process. I give this shoe a 5-star rating!

  • Natural Walking and a Vibram Five Fingers Experiment at Hozaku — showing that VFFs aren't for everyone:

    I got the Five Fingers out of the trunk to give it another go. This time I gave it a full three weeks. I started out at a mile and experienced the same hot-spot and blister problem as before. I gritted my teeth. If they worked for Tim they'd work for me. Three days a week, slowly tying to extend back up to my normal 2 miles. The result?

    I'm back in my wrestling shoes.

    My feet did get tougher, but despite thick ridges of callous building up in the areas indicated on the image above, the Five Fingers were just too uncomfortable. A few times I found myself far enough out and, not wanting to endure the Five Fingers any more, pulling them off and finishing my run barefoot.

Remember, if I missed any, be sure to let me know so I can add them to the list!

Free your Feet for the Fourth!

For those U.S. VFFers* out there who are making holiday plans — watching fireworks, grilling out, and/or throwing back a beer or three — in remembrance of Independence Day (July the Fourth), I'd like to throw out a request: enjoy a bit of foot freedom.

After all, what's more freeing than emancipating your toes from the confines of restrictive, controlling shoes? And since it's my contention that the fundamental mode for human beings is to be independent, free individuals, being shoe-less in a shoe-filled world is a tiny celebration of what it means to be human.

So here's your task: Either wear your fivefingers while you're out and about on the 4th or go full-foot-freedom and be barefoot!

Then, if you're feeling frisky and have a digital camera handy (With camera phones being the rule these days and not the exception, who doesn't?), snap a "birthday shoes" shot of your freed feet and email it to me!

On Sunday, I'll compile these photos and post them here.

Free your Feet for the Fourth!


* For all the VFFers out there who aren't in the U.S., it goes without saying that you have every reason to free your feet at any time. And if you do just that this weekend, please send in a photo!

The ground beneath your V5F feet

Perhaps one of the most common Vibram fivefingers photos out there is the overhead photo of your VFFing feet. A good number of the five finger photos on this site have been taken from that angle.

However, rarely has the focus of these pictures been anything other than the shoes themselves (Exceptions V5Fs at Fenway, Rafting). Enter in Elise McIntosh's photoset on flickr titled "Crystal City Beneath Five Fingers:"

Mental_floss blogged about the set:

So my friend Elise McIntosh was on a business trip in Crystal City (near Washington, DC), and decided to take a walk. She wears these crazy shoes called Vibram Five Fingers — which I refer to as “the gorilla feet.” Anyway, she looked down at one point and noticed that on a short walk, she was walking over all kinds of interesting-looking patterns. So she started taking pictures and posting them on Flickr, in a set called Crystal City Beneath Five Fingers.

It's a neat twist to the standard VFF self-taken photo. If anyone else decides to do this, send me a link and I can add it to this post!

Vibram Five Fingers Cortina Seen?

Vibram Five Fingers Cortina Seen?

Click the image above for a larger version

Or is this some sort of "Big Foot" version of FiveFingers?

Update: Word is that the Cortina, little more than a prototype in the above photo, will likely not see the light of day. Maybe that is good thing! Either way, we'll never know!

Update 2: At least a few pairs made it into production (and by a few, I mean probably less than a 100 but that's a guess) and one fan reviewed the Cortina Vibram FiveFingers for BirthdayShoes!

Original post:

A fan of the official fivefingers facebook page posted the above picture with the accompanying caption:

mis nuevas fivefingers de invierno :)

Which, translated from Spanish to English means, "my new winter fivefingers." As the post was made by "Amanda," I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that this is the new Vibram FiveFingers Cortina, described previously as:

For women, a midcut, fully [lined] winter boot

Based on a little process of elimination as well as trying to marry together disparate bits of intell, my best guess is that this is the Cortina and not some new fivefingers "Big Foot" model.

Bringing all the existing intelligence on the newest additions to the fivefingers family together and making some unconfirmed educated guesses, here is what we've got:

As for the "Moc" and "Performa," both of which were mentioned in the FN blurb, my hunch is that the "Moc" was renamed the "Glove." That leaves the Performa as a lingering unknown.

Here's one wild guess, just as the Glove is like a kangaroo-leather, "pod"-soled version of the Classic, perhaps the Performa is similarly similar to the KSO. In other words, the Performa may be a kangaroo-leather, fully-covered VFF, not unlike the Trek, but without the extra padding and insulated suede.

Hopefully, we'll know more soon. If you hear anything (or see anything), please let me know!

Other posts regarding new Vibram FiveFingers models:

Patrick goes rafting on the Ocoee River in KSO Vibram Five Fingers

Patrick goes rafting on the Ocoee River in KSO Vibram Five Fingers

Got a couple great Five Fingers photos in from Vibram Five Fingers KSO fan Patrick. The pics were taken while rafting the Ocoee River. Here's what Patrick had to say about whitewater rafting wearing Vibram Five Fingers:

Just got my brown KSO's this past Friday in time to go camping Friday night and rafting on the Ocoee on Saturday. Attached are two pics (one mine from a waterproof disposable, one taken by the outfitter's pro photog on shore ...) featuring the shoes. I wasn't the only one; one of the guides and one of the other rafters were also wearing VFFs in our group of boats.

I took my shot in Bush Gardens just after the put-in for the Upper. The pro shot was taken at Humongous in the Olympic Section.

So far, the shoes are great. Keep up the good work keeping us informed with the blog!

Glad to do it! Thanks for sending in the photos!

Good to see that you don't need Flows to take to the river — KSO Vibram Five Fingers (Keep Stuff Out) serve the purpose fine!

Latest Vibram Five Fingers Reviews 6/28/09

Each week I will be making a list of latest VFF reviews. If you read a new review of VFFs (One published this week) that I am missing, please let me know so I can add it!

This week's reviews:

  • Barefoot Running – Vibram Five Fingers Are Worth It at Set Higher Standards dot com:

    I’ve worn the Vibram FiveFingers for about a half-dozen runs and a bunch of walks around town. Already my feet feel stronger. I’ve also worn them in the gym, and I feel much more in control and powerful when lifting – particularly squatting and lunging. I also think that running around in these shoes is helping my balance in yoga practice, so much of balance depends on foot, ankle and toe strength and control.

    If you are a casual or serious runner, I highly recommend checking out these shoes. If you are lucky to live in a place where you run around grassy fields barefoot, that is ideal. Otherwise, the Vibram FiveFingers will keep your feet safe and give you all the benefits.

  • Five Fingers Five Toes at Das Mixture:

    Since I was unable to run, I talked the wife into an early evening walk of about two miles. A splendid idea, especially since I would be able to test a suspicion I had: hot pavement. Specifically, how would these bad boys hold up. Surprisingly, the Five Fingers didn't heat up during my walk (temperature outside: 90 degrees).

    They were also easily more comfortable than a sandal or flip-flop. It didn't necessarily translate into a "barefoot" experience, but then again, if I would have walked out barefoot, it would have been a repeating series of "hot, hot, hot" and I think you know what I mean.

  • Vibram Five Fingers Classic Review at RunColo.com:

    The first few runs in the VFF were on a rainy night, it was pure bliss running through the wet grass, it reminded me of all
    the reasons that I loved to run. I've also been using the VFF to do yard work and for walks around the neighborhood, but highly doubt that I will wear them in public. I already get idiosyncratic looks when I'm out running in them, but if attention seeking appeals to you, you will definitely get it and the questions that follow by slipping on a pair of VFF.

    ...

    In conclusion, the VFF are one of the best running products that I have bought in my lifetime. Pick up a pair, strengthen your feet and remember what it's like to run "naturally" without a big bulky shoe.

  • Vibram Five Fingers Shoes For Hiking and Water Sports at rajiv.com:

    Sometimes simplicity and minimalism provide wonderful experiences. The Vibram Five Fingers shoes are excellent for outdoor activities and for working out at the gym. The natural feeling that comes with being outdoors with these shoes enables the wearer to feel one with nature. Walking while wearing these shoes is a sensory experience that allows you to notice and feel the Earth.

And one more review from way back in March that I just found:

  • 350 Miles on Vibram Five Finger KSO’s at Red Rocks Blue Sky:

    I have been pretty impressed with how these shoes handle the the rough Southern Utah desert. I can do things that I could not do in Hauraches, or Barefoot. Even when I was wearing standard trail shoes (Solomon GTX’s as of three years ago). I did start to run with injini socks, but found them to be too hot. The socks however made running on the shale like ruble more tolerable. The secret though is making sure that you are running perfect barefoot form. This is why I start and end each run barefoot on pavement so that I am constantly building the necessary muscle memory.

    Running in KSO’s is a dream as I scramble up and down steep boulder strewn sections of the trail. Even thought the the top of the shoe is not protected like my Solomon’s are, my barefoot training and the stickiness of the rubber allow me to jump and run through these sections of trail without worrying about twisting my ankle.

    Also see Red Rocks Blue Sky's follow-up posts Another 50 Miles on Fives and Repaired my Fives.

More in the weeks to come!