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!

  • minimalist sandals!

    Xero Shoes - Barefoot Running Sandals

Color Me Rad in Xero Shoes

Color Me Rad in Xero Shoes

"You know, I was just thinking that you look pretty grungy," one of my friends said, "Even for you."

We were walking with the crowd towards the start of the Color Me Rad 5k in Raleigh. I was wearing an old white t-shirt like pretty much everyone else, but also 4mm Xero Shoes and the most ill-fitting athletic pants I owned. I bought the pants at a thrift store the day before without even trying them on. They fit okay at the waist, but only reached down to about the middle of my calves -- transforming them into ratty capris. My overall look was something akin to a homeless yoga instructor.

But it was okay, because I wasn't planning on wearing them for long.

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An interview with Coach Eric Orton of B2R

An interview with Coach Eric Orton of B2R

Running is a growing sport, this much is for certain. With that has also come increased interest in the details, differences, quirks, and outliers of the sport. Specifically, things like ultrarunning, minimalist footwear, and natural biomechanics. One of the factors that can certainly be said to have contributed to the growth of running as well as fostering interest in those varying details and quirks in recent years is the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.

For those few runners who haven’t read it yet, suffice to say that the book is chock full of colorful characters. Several of these individuals have gone on to establish new ventures or further enrich their already illustrious careers. Coach Eric Orton is one of these characters.

While his personal story may not get as much page time as some of the others, Orton is arguably the backbone of the narrative. One of the primary threads of the story is McDougall – a big guy with persistent running injuries – getting not just back out there on the road and trail, but getting better and staying healthy. Orton is introduced as the coach who makes it happen. Read on for more.

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Minimalist Military Combat Boot Mini-Mil from Belleville First Look

Minimalist Military Combat Boot Mini-Mil from Belleville First Look

Minimalist shoes (like Vibram FiveFingers) have become incredibly popular in the military. Everyone will remember the iconic Special Forces photo of a soldier jumping out of a Chinook helicopter in FiveFingers. But you'll also recall that the popularity of toe shoes has resulted in the U.S. Army banning them (Meanwhile, The Navy seems to think they are okay. Even more on the Army's take here.). So it is that at least one military/police boot manufacturer—a company called Belleville—has partnered up with Vibram to produce a "minimalist boot." It's called the Mini-Mil and comes in TR101 (brown), TR102 (black), and TR103 (sage).

Check out the official specs and see more photos and video after the jump!

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Hurricane Sandy vs. Lontra Vibram FiveFingers
a.k.a. Let’s Go For A Rainy Day Bike Ride!

Hurricane Sandy vs. Lontra Vibram FiveFingers <br /><small>a.k.a. Let’s Go For A Rainy Day Bike Ride!</small>

With Hurricane Sandy bearing down on the Mid-Atlantic (The streets of Arlington, Virginia) earlier this week, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to splash around in some puddles and generally enjoy acting like a little kid on Monday afternoon. So I did what any self-respecting triathlete would do in high winds, pouring rain, and 40 degree temperatures—I suited up in my race wetsuit, swim goggles, aerohelmet and went for a bike ride in my Vibram FiveFinger Lontras. I convinced my friend Mark to join me and document some of the craziness (Did I mention I rode a tricycle at one point?).

Check out the photo journey after the jump!!

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Vivo Barefoot Gobi Boot Review

Vivo Barefoot Gobi Boot Review

With the success of Vivo Barefoot's ultra-popular "Ra" comes the release of a Ra-like ankle high leather boot called the Gobi. Vivo shot me a pair of these Gobis to test out, and I'm happy to oblige ? these boots are comfortable, make my feet happy, and provide plenty of proprioceptive feedback. And they do it with a style that is simple yet fashionable and by extension, classic.

What follows is a full review of the Gobi! Read on!

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