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!

Pregnant Runner Loves Her Vibram Five Fingers KSOs

Josephine in her KSOs
Josephine out for a spin in her Vibram Five Fingers KSOs.

As you can see from the picture above, there aren't many things that keep Josephine from going out on her daily run in Vibram Five Fingers KSOs. Pregnancy and snow didn't stop her. Here is Josephine's amazing story:

I'm almost 5 months pregnant with twin boys and run daily in my KSO's in Providence, RI. I have had them for over a year and have run in them in every season and in every weather condition that hits the East coast from blizzards, to rain storms, to oppressive heat. I am madly in love with them! I also can't say enough good things about them for running while pregnant. I have had no injuries or problems with them and don't have the "leaden feet" feeling that I remember sometimes having when I ran during my first pregnancy. I also ran daily during that pregnancy up until the day I went into labor and I don't remember feeling as light on my feet as I do now in my VFF KSO's- even with twins. They are awesome! I was a die-hard fan before I got pregnant this time and now am even more so. I definitely did not have an easy go of early pregnancy with lots of all day nausea (and puking!) due to the double dose of hormones you get with twins (which BTW, were a complete surprise and not at all what this runner, or her husband, had "planned"!!!), and running is the one thing that has kept me sane and gotten me through these initial months- running in my KSO's that is! I recommend them to all pregnant women out there and to all runners, pregnant or not!

Thanks so much!

Josephine

Thank you Josephine! Congratulations on the twins! We wish you all the best and hope to see some barefoot baby pics.

We are not advocating that pregnant women can all run while pregnant. Please check with your doctor to see what makes sense for you.

Black Vibram FiveFingers Komodo Sport Out!

Black Vibram FiveFingers Komodo Sport Out!

Short and sweet. Given the poplarity of Vibram FiveFingers when they come in black (see the Black KSO, the most popular KSO FiveFingers in existence as documented here), and just liking the black with grey highlights we're getting with the black/grey men's Komodo Sport FiveFingers, I'm happy to share that you can get black KomodoSport VFFs for men now over at CitySports!

The KomodoSports just went live on the site. They'll set you back a C-note ($100). Get'em while they last with free ground shipping (automatically applied). KomodoSports size similarly to KSOs (in theory!). And if you'd prefer the hot yellow KomodoSports for men, you can shop those here at CS; or if you're a woman looking for the blue/yellow KomodoSports they are at CS, too.

If you've never shopped at CitySports, read store reviews on them here — they're a great outfit based out of Boston, Massachusetts (with stores across the nation) — not far from the Vibram USA mothership.

Buy the Vibram Five Fingers Komodo Sport

Review Merrell Barefoot Trail Glove

Review Merrell Barefoot Trail Glove

Overview

As announced recently, the Merrell Barefoot shoe line has officially launched. Prior to the official launch of Merrell Barefoot, I was fortunate enough to receive an advance pair of the men's Merrell Barefoot Trail Gloves ("MBTG," "Trail Gloves," or just "Merrell Barefoots," for short). Below I'll talk in detail about my experiences thus far with the Merrell Barefoot Trail Gloves, as well as share a lot of up close and personal photos. But before I do, here's the review in short: Merrell Barefoot Trail Gloves are presently my overall favorite mono-toed minimalist shoes. They are solid, "foot friendly" barefoot running trail shoes. They can be worn barefoot or with socks, provide reasonably good ground feel, are neutral from heel to toe, have an upsized toe box for toe splaying (pic), and actually look pretty good if you're up for wearing them for more everyday purposes.

That's the gist, anyway; more after the jump!

Read the rest of this post »

Surviving a 7 hour Fitness Camp in Vibram Five Fingers KSOs

7 Hour
Coach Jake, Lindsay (second closest) and others enjoy "7 hours of non stop fun".

Jake Morrison, of PA Fitcamp, introduced his client Lindsay to Vibram Five Fingers as a way to help her get fit. Lindsay shared her fitness journey with us in the following testimonial:

My VFF Story
Lindsay

I had chronic knee problems since I was 11 years old. I played sports through middle and high school, all while fighting the pain and weakness in my knees. When I was in my early twenties, I was diagnosed with Patella-Femoral Syndrome. I did physical therapy for about a year and started implementing yoga into my everyday life. None of this would completely take my pain away.

After my second child was born, I decided to get serious about fitness again, so I hired a personal trainer. He introduced me to the idea Vibram Five Fingers, and I thought, “why not?” I acquired a pair of KSOs shortly thereafter and I was hooked! Coach Jake eased me into them and taught me how to avoid injury. After a few weeks, I noticed that my knee pain had significantly decreased. So I did what any exercise enthusiast would; I kicked it up a notch. Suddenly, I was running 5ks, 10ks, and a 12k! Mind you, I’ve never been a runner before in my life, but those darn toe shoes seemed to have liberated me! After a few months, I realized that I’ve run farther than I ever have before; I’ve accomplished more than I thought I could in this life time and it’s all due to Vibram Five Fingers!

A few weeks ago, I decided to test myself just a tad bit further. I signed up for PA Fitcamp’s first ever 7 hour boot camp. I just wanted to see if I could stay on my feet that long while basically training like a grunt for 7 hours. Not only did I finish the whole 7 hours, but I was able to do so with my KSOs! My knees were only slightly sore afterwards (and rightly so!), however it wasn’t at all significant and I was able to go for 3 mile jog the next day!

Vibram Five Fingers have changed my life for the better, and I no longer worry about my physical limitations. I have decided to do a few triathlons this year in my VFFs and I’m really looking forward to the new product line next month!

Thanks Lindsay and Coach Jake! Check out Jake in these great pics from a previous article on hiking in the Pacific Northwest.

Fitness enthusiasts have a reason to celebrate in 2011. Vibram released the Komodo, Jaya and Jaya LR models which are specifically designed for cross training and fitness. You can check the availability of these and other Vibram Five Fingers products from top online retailers in our store.

U.S. Army Outlaws Vibram Five Fingers

U.S. Army Outlaws Vibram Five Fingers

Here is the policy that our anonymous source forwarded us:

1. Situation. The popularity of Vibram Five Fingers (VFF) and other minimalist footwear for use as running footwear has reportedly skyrocketed in the past 12-18 months in both civilian and military populations due in large part to word-of-mouth promotion by advocates of barefoot/minimalist running, and effective marketing by Vibram and other footwear companies. Additionally, anecdotal information provided in various publications and/or web sites has suggested that barefoot and/or minimalist running is biometrically more sound than shod running. The sudden increase in the use of minimalist running shoes has prompted the United States Army Physical Fitness School (USAPFS ) to provide additional guidance as to the definition of “commercial running shoes” referenced in AR 670-1 paragraph 14-3, dated 03FEB2005. This interim guidance which is offered in accordance with AR 670-1, Paragraph 14-3 states that; “Commanders may authorize the wear of commercial running shoes with the PFU and IPFU. Commercial running shoes do not include mininalmist shoes, light weight track/road racing flats, racing spikes, toe shoes, or shoes that simulate barefoot running. Commanders and leaders at all levels will comply with AR 670-1, Paragraph 14-3.”

2. Mission. Effective upon receipt, all BOLC B and WOBC schools will update policy memorandums to reflect this interim guidance, and brief all students and cadre of the new change. This guidance will also be integrated into command briefs and/or policy letters for incoming students until such time as DCG IMT warrants guidance is no longer necessary.

Though we cannot attest to the accuracy of this information, we doubt it is a hoax. Here is what our tipster told us when we expressed our amazement:

You read it correctly. To further clarify though - this policy only affects TRADOC (Training & Doctrine Command) which is where all Soldiers attend basic training and officer basic courses. However, the tone of the policy indicates that an Army-wide policy is forthcoming banning ALL "minimalist" shoes.

What do you think about these new restrictions?