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!

Inov-8 Bare-Grip 200 Review

Inov-8 Bare-Grip 200 Review

Guest review by Dan C.

When I first started moving in the direction of minimal footwear, the one aspect of life I struggled with was outdoor sports like football. I play flag football regularly, yet I just can't stand cleats. Let's be honest...for the most part, they are terrible. However, most of my minimal shoes, even "trail" shoes, just wouldn't cut it. Football is obviously a game that involves sprinting and quick changes in direction, and it's played on varying surfaces due to weather.

So I wanted something with good grip, but also something that wasn't as stiff and restrictive as the cleats I'd been wearing all my life. I started a journey to find a pair of minimal shoes that could replace football cleats. I searched high and low for user opinions on "minimal cleats" or "minimalist football shoes". Needless to say, there wasn't much out there to help me in this search. So after looking at endless websites and fighting with my indecisive self, I finally settled on a pair that looked to be up to the challenge. What I ended up with was a pair of Inov-8 Bare-Grip 200's.

How did they fare? Read on!

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Topo Athletic's Two-Toed Tabi Sneaker

Topo Athletic's Two-Toed Tabi Sneaker

This is Topo Athletic's vision:

Better is not an accident.
Stronger is not a gift.
Faster is not a coincidence.

It's a choice.

Tony Post's ("Topo") new footwear shoe company?Topo Athletic?wants to create footwear that does nothing for the athlete and everything with them. My own take: shoes that let feet be feet. Sounds good, right?

Today, we get a more tangible glimpse of just what Post is bringing to market come Summer 2013. And namely, what you can expect are advanced versions of some of the original toe-minded shoes a.k.a. the Jika-tabi (often referred to as just "Tabi" or "tabi boots"). The split-toe Tabi design is probably why FiveFingers got the moniker of being "ninja shoes." Meanwhile, they've been reviewed by at least one barefoot runner ? RunBare's Michael Sandler ? as far back as November 2009 (video). Believe it or not, the 1951 Boston Marathon winner (shigeki Tanaka) crossed the finish line in Tabi shoes.

A modern Tabi-inspired shoe, one with an anatomical last, a thin sole, and an empowered big toe, could have a lot to offer. Indeed, there have been a few Tabi-inspired shoes released over the last few years. Probably the first was Nike's Air Rift and then you have the less-well-known offerings by Zem, many of which have been adopted by the minimalist/"barefoot shoes" community.

Most recently, running coach Eric Orton founded Born 2 Run releasing their road performance shoe in 2012.

You might argue that in light of these other offerings, Topo Athletic is late to the game. However, a closer look at the three designs being put out by Topo shows that Post has really taken the concept and adapted it to specific uses. In Topo's first release, they're bringing to market an everyday running/training model called the RT; a fitness training/crossfit model called the RX; and the fast running/racing model called the RR.

More on these after the jump!

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Concept FiveFingers Break from Barefoot

Concept FiveFingers Break from Barefoot

Word has made it my way that Vibram Italy recently showcased some concept Vibram FiveFingers ? pre-production models ? that feature a new sole. And if you're a fan of "barefoot shoes," loosely defined as shoes that let your feet function as they would barefoot (better defined here), you're not going to like what I'm about to show you.

Where to begin? Well, like a band-aid, it's probably best to rip this one off and show you what we're working with ... after the jump.

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Running In Off Road Crocs?

Running In Off Road Crocs?

Background

I?ve been a Crocs? owner for many years; they?ve been my go to post race footwear of choice. There is just something about the ample toe room and massaging, beaded, foot bed that is just so relaxing. While some disparage the looks of the clog, writing them off as gardening shoes, I for one actually like the relatively simple design. I?ll admit that while I loved wearing my Crocs leisurely after a race or around the house I never once thought seriously about hiking or running in them.

The first I?d ever heard about somebody actually running regularly in Crocs? was from an ultrarunning friend of mine. She knew of a fellow ultrarunner who, as a last resort, tried running in Crocs? because she suffered from a non-functioning Achilles tendon in her left leg. Long story short when she runs her heel slams down very hard and no shoe was capable of getting her past 10 miles. With Crocs? she?s now returned to the sport she loves and has amassed quite a respectable running resume over the past four years.

In addition I?ve personally witnessed firsthand over the last two years a marathon runner, Alexander Pachev, race the Rocket City Marathon in my home town in a pair of Crocs?. Alexander not only raced in Crocs? he raced very fast! A brief inspection of his running log shows that he?s run several marathons in the 2:35-2:45 range in Crocs?!

I became even more curious so I just did some general Google searches about people running in Crocs?. From what I learned, turns out that there are many people who do so with mixed results. So I thought what the heck? I?m in the middle of my brief ultrarunning off season so why not give running in Crocs? a try for myself?

What follows is a report on my own experiences?Read on!

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Interview with Greg Woods

Interview with Greg Woods

Greg Woods is a writer, CrossFitter, and runner based out of Durham, North Carolina.

Below is an interview with Greg that talks about running off weight, his foray into "barefoot" running shoes, his ideal minimalist shoe, and a desire to move to a place where they can be worn all the time (Costa Rica? Maybe if he can outrun the thugs!).

Read on!

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Inov-8 BareX 200 Review

Inov-8 BareX 200 Review

For any emotional, spiritual, or otherwise high-energy situation, I've found that there's always some token that stands out to remind me of the whole situation. When going to my grandma's Baptist church, it was the butterscotch lifesavers she gave me to keep quiet. In my Catholic elementary school, the uniform. When I was confirmed into the United Methodist church, a medallion. (I was a bit of a problem child and I think my family figured that SOMEBODY'S god would get me straightened out.)

At my latest church, there are many potential tokens. T-shirts from other regional churches that you may have visited. Hoodie sweatshirts, Reebok gear. I'm talking of course about the church of CrossFit. That "sport of fitness" that many people think of as a cult. One of the most persistent tokens are Inov-8 shoes. Crossfitters love these shoes, and Inov-8 loves them back. So much so that there's even a "kettlebell camoflauge" pattern on some styles.

I must admit that I've felt like somehow less of a Crossfitter for never having tried Inov-8 at all. I know, I know -- materialism at its worst. But don't pretend that you never experience such feelings no matter how intellectual and stylistically independent you consider yourself.

Anyway. I finally got ahold of some Inov-8 BareX 200s via a deal on The Clymb. I took them running and Crossfitting. Let me tell you about them, brothers and sisters.

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