Doing the Ultimate Hike in FiveFingers - Help Alejandra Out!

Doing the Ultimate Hike in FiveFingers - Help Alejandra Out!

The following is a guest post by Alejandra Aldana

On May 4, 2013, I will be participating in Ultimate Hike, a 28.3 mile hike benefiting CureSearch for Children's Cancer. My goal is to not only complete this very long hike in one day, but also help raise awareness and $2500 in funds for CureSearch.

CureSearch for Children's Cancer, a National Childhood Cancer Foundation, funds and supports targeted and innovative children's cancer research with measurable results, and is the authoritative source of information and resources for all those affected by children's cancer. CureSearch funds both local and national research, ensuring that a cure will be found as quickly as possible.

I have decided to take this challenge for a number of reasons. I want the opportunity to help give back to those affected by cancer as well as improve my life and fitness. Part of what I hope to accomplish other than raising funds for children in need is becoming part of a community and pushing my boundaries.

I plan on completing the 28.3 miles completely in my Vibram Five Fingers and while many people are advising me against it, I just don't see myself doing it without them. It is going to take a lot of building my feet up, but I am more than confident I will be able to do so. If you are able to donate to my fundraising that would be great. If not that will be fine, too. What I would love to get out of this, is the opportunity to share my journey with others. There is nothing more powerful and exhilarating than a sense of community for a great cause. If you are interested in joining me on my minimalist journey please let me know as soon as possible (we have already started our first training session). If you would like to help follow and share me and my cause you can do so at 10littlepiggies.tumblr.com.

You can also donate directly by following this link.

Thanks again for your support and encouragement!

Unshoes Wokova Minimalist Sandals Initial Review

Presenting Unshoes Minimal Footwear - the Wokova Minimalist Sandal
Presenting Unshoes Minimal Footwear - the Wokova Minimalist Sandal

Minimalist Sandals Like Huaraches, But Simpler to Put On (That Remind Me of Minimalist Chacos)

I recently learned of (another) new minimalist footwear company that is making a splash on the "barefoot shoes" (or sandals in this case!) scene: Unshoes Minimal Footwear. Founded by Terral Fox about a year ago, "Unshoes" take Vibram soles, climbing spec webbing (the nylon/spectra straps) and a huaraches-inspired strapping mechanism to make a sandal that is at once reminiscent of Chacos but incredibly lighter, less rigid, and more comfortable. Oh and you can run in them if you like. Just in time for the summer heat, I'm happy to strap into a new pair of custom-cut-soled Unshoes Wokova minimalist sandals thanks to Unshoes USA.

Photos, thoughts on design, and review after the jump.

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Army Says No to Toe Shoes

Army Says No to Toe Shoes

The U.S. Army has officially, unequivocally banned the use of toe shoes. Read the relevant part of the ALARACT and weep: "Only those shoes that accomodate all five toes in one compartment are authorized for wear. Those shoes that feature five separate, individual compartments for the toes, detract from a professional military image and are prohibited for wear with the IPFU [Improved Physical Fitness Uniform] or when conducting physical training in military formation."

We had posted before about the Army banning Vibram FiveFingers but there was some debate (nearly 100 comments on that post) about the veracity of our report. Hard to argue with this release as it makes the Army's thoughts on minimalist running shoes pretty clear — there can be only one compartment to rule them all*.

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Breaking In a Pair of Vibram FiveFingers Classics

Breaking In a Pair of Vibram FiveFingers Classics

New Vibram fan Katie wrote in the following about her recent discovery of FiveFingers Classics:

While still deciding whether or not to buy some VFFs, I browsed the web extensively, finding mostly running and hiking stories. I was looking for an example of Vibrams being great shoes for every day use, since I myself am not a runner, hiker, jogger, etc. I found enough on birthdayshoes.com to convince myself that a pair of Vibrams would be perfectly fine to have for mostly casual use. I bought my Classics (and my husband a pair of KSOs) in late May 2011, and I haven’t worn any other shoes since! I wear them to family cook outs, work, the grocery store, the mall, church—you get the picture. I have tried running in them, and I must say running is a much more enjoyable experience in Vibrams.

However, the first few days of wearing them were discouraging. My big toes were cramped and in pain, and the back of the heel (on the Classics) hurt me with every step I took. I would find myself not even moving in them and having to take them off because of the discomfort (I might have just gotten a size too small). I was so excited about them that I just couldn’t not wear them. I’m glad that I didn’t give up, because, as the clerk at the shoe store told me, they do loosen up with wear. It’s gotten much easier to move my toes around while wearing them, and now I can but them on as quickly as any other slip-on shoes. My heels rarely give me trouble anymore, and my left big toe only occasionally feels strange (remember, I haven’t been wearing these long). I feel very comfortable in them now, and plan on taking them to the beach and maybe walking the cobble stone streets of St. Augustine Florida this summer!

~Katie

P.S.: My husband loves his KSOs. They never gave him a bit of trouble.

Glad you stuck it out! I think Classics do seem to break in a bit after a few days of wear. One trick to speeding up the process is to invert the heel.

I hope you keep enjoying your new toe shoes, Katie! Certainly a good time to have a pair of open-topped Classics with the summer heating up!

Vivo Barefoot Achilles Review (Minimalist Sandals)

The Vivo Barefoot Achilles — a modern interpretation of huaraches minimalist running sandals.
The Vivo Barefoot Achilles — a modern interpretation of huaraches minimalist running sandals.

I have been running in homemade 4mm-thick soled huaraches for eight months now and enjoying them very much, but I'm always on the lookout for something even better (For example, check out my recent review of the Teva Zilch Minimalist Sandals). I was intrigued when I learned Vivo Barefoot would be releasing a modern interpretation of the huarache sandal. Can modern technology improve upon a time-tested classic, or will technology only hurt as it has in millions of other modern running shoes?

Read on to find out!

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FiveFingers for Dancing the Night Away at Senior Prom

Spencer and Jana show off their choice of Senior Prom footwear--toe shoes!
Spencer and Jana show off their choice of Senior Prom footwear--toe shoes!

Spencer writes in about his recent senior prom experience in Vibram FiveFingers!

Me and my Girlfriend's family all love FiveFingers! I have two pairs, Black KSO VFF's and Gray/green Bikila's. We wear them everyday!

This year for my senior prom at Grants Pass High School in Grants Pass Oregon. My Girlfriend and I decided to wear our VFF's (KSO's and Treksports)! We had a blast, answering people questions and dancing the night away in out Vibram's. Most people already know me at school as the "Toe Shoe guy". We are a walking commercial.

Everywhere I go (as you know) I get questions from A-Z about my shoes. Now I know of 5 people that have got them at our school after they saw mine! I have had nothing but good experiences in them! I run in them, hike in them, jet boat in them, and have even played my trumpet for thousands of people in them! Anyway I thought this was a cool unique way of showing our VFF support and wanted to share our story!

Way to both support your love of toe shoes and have comfortable feet in lieu of ramming those toes in patent leather shoes! Looking good you two — thanks for sharing!

Teva Zilch Barefoot/Minimalist Sandals

Teva Zilch Barefoot Minimalist Sandals - The design is cool, futuristic even
Teva Zilch Barefoot Minimalist Sandals - The design is cool, futuristic even

Before switching completely to minimalist footwear nearly a year ago and running daily in homemade 4mm-thick huaraches, I was a fan of Teva sandals. Now just the thought of stomping around in those thickly soled sandals makes my feet ache. Fortunately, Teva is coming around and meeting me somewhere in the middle with their release of the Teva Zilch sandals. While I love my huaraches, I'm still willing to experiment so I purchased a pair of Zilch sandals to see how they perform as running sandals.

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