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!

Review Vivo Barefoot Hybrid Golf Shoes

Review Vivo Barefoot Hybrid Golf Shoes

Over the past year, we've seen the barefoot shoe market expand to golf. While almost any barefoot shoe can be used for golf (and I've golfed in most of mine), the nature of their minimal design means barefoot shoes are often missing several key attributes needed for comfort and performance on the course. But adding these features understandably moves the shoe further from barefoot feel and function. So just how minimal can a golf shoe actually get? Earlier this year, Vivo Barefoot set out to prove just how "barefoot" a golf shoe can be with the release of their Hybrid golf shoe. Read on for the full review.

Read the rest of this post »

Big VivoBarefoot Sales

Big VivoBarefoot Sales

ATTENTION: This sale has ended!

If you're looking for more recent sales, check the BirthdayShoes Store here for previous sales sent to bdayshoes email subscribers. Consider subscribing by email to get future updates, too (You only get about one email a week that updates on recent posts. This enters you into future giveaway contests, too.).

You can also check out past blog posts on BirthdayShoes tagged as a "sale" here (Note: while virtually all sales are sent to email subscribers while only some of them actually make it to the blog).


The sale

If you've been jonesin' for VivoBarefoots, you're in luck — three huge sales going on right now that will hook you up on the cheap!

EMS offering 20% off Vivo Barefoots to BirthdayShoes readers!

If you've been angling to pick up some of the Vivo Barefoot Aqua Lites I reviewed just last week, well, Good news! You can get them at 20% off over at EMS.com thanks to an exclusive 20% off coupon they are offering to BirthdayShoes.com readers! That means you can get the grey Aqua Lites for $92 shipped free (instead of $115 MSRP). That's a pretty solid deal for these versatile shoes (and if you want the blue/white Aqua Lites for I photoed in my review, well, read on below!).

To take 20% off, simply head over to EMS.com here and use coupon code BIRTHDAYSHOES when you check out. Note that they carry all the Vivo Barefoots you see in the photo above — so the coupon would work on black Breatho Trails ($90 $72 shipped free) or the black/white Ultra Pures ($50 $40, which is well worth it — I have this colorway and it's the best, in my opinion). There are others for sale there, too, though you should read on in this post to make sure you're getting the best deal!

Read on for two flash sales on VivoBarefoots to save you 40-50% off!

Read the rest of this post »

Spring 2013 Vibram FiveFingers

Spring 2013 Vibram FiveFingers

With water-resistant Vibram FiveFingers and the SeeYa LS on tap for Fall 2012, Vibram is already thinking ahead to Spring and Summer of 2013!

What might we expect at the bleeding edge of toe shoes technology early next year, you ask? How about some watersports-focused Vibrams? Or how about updated versions of the Classic and Sprint models? Want a FiveFingers sandal? Want to see the Europe-only FiveFingers Sorrento make it's way across the pond? If you can respond "yes" to any or all of these questions, you're in luck because all these options are on tap for early 2013 — that is, if you want them — and that's where you actually get to help drive the future of FiveFingers. How? Read on!

Read the rest of this post »

Meet Tune Footwear: Barefoot-Friendly Dress Shoes

Meet Tune Footwear: Barefoot-Friendly Dress Shoes

Foot health is so hugely dependent on wearing shoes that allow feet to function naturally (more on this here), yet most of us spend at least eight hours a day working in office environments where shoes that look like feet just don't fit the office culture. And really, of the minimalist shoes available even as the category has grown, there haven't been a ton of options for dress shoes that cater to bare feet.

That's changing. While you may be aware of Primal Professionals (Dressy oxfords set to be released soon, hopefully), I doubt you've heard of Tune Footwear — until now.

A few months back BirthdayShoes became aware of Tune Footwear. They are a nascent minimalist shoe manufacturer focused solely on bringing to market men's footwear that could fit in in the office environment — in the form of the age-old men's style, the loafer.

Intrigued? Want to learn more about Tune's mission? Read on for more photos and a survey that will directly impact the future of Tune Footwear!

Read the rest of this post »

Review Vivo Barefoot Aqua Lite Shoes

Review Vivo Barefoot Aqua Lite Shoes

My first pair of Vivo Barefoots were the blue-suede Vivo Barefoot Aquas (reviewed over two years ago). Back then, there really weren't a ton of casual, barefoot-minded shoes available that featured thin soles, a wide toe box, didn't have five toe pockets, and actually looked fashionable. Fast forward to today and there are tons of minimalist shoes out there. That said, while original Aqua was a great "barefoot shoe," it could stand to be improved. The proof? Meet the Vivo Barefoot Aqua Lite!

The Aqua Lites are lighter, more flexible, more stylish/refined, and easier to put on than the original Aquas. In short, Vivo Barefoot took an already solid shoe and made it a great shoe. It's so good, in fact, that Vivo Barefoot's running guru and barefoot running certifier-in-Chief Lee Saxby has blessed the Aqua Lites as his "go-to, on road, running shoe."

And while I can see how running in the Aqua Lites would serve you well, given their mild-mannered (or hip colored) aesthetic, I've always seen them more as a casual shoes that keeps me close to being barefoot without toe pockets, crazy sole and lace configurations, or slipper-like looks.

Does something like that pique your interest? Read on for a detailed review including over 50 photos of the shoes, how they pair with jeans and pants, how they contrast to the Aquas of old, and even a set of the Aqua Lites in the updated blue-upper, white-soled colorway! Read on!

Read the rest of this post »

Are Flip-Flops Dangerous?

Broken flip-flops
Photo by asteegabo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/untilblack/

Flip-flops may be hazardous to your health.

At least, that's the headline conclusion of a couple CNN.com articles on wearing thong sandals — one of the most basic and ubiquitous forms of footwear worn (and enjoyed) worldwide by virtually everyone regardless of your culture or socio-economic status.

But really, are flip-flops dangerous? Read on!

Read the rest of this post »