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!

Trek LS FiveFingers Out!

Trek LS FiveFingers Out!

The Vibram FiveFingers Trek LS (Men's) Vibram FiveFingers are available for sale!

The all-leather, laced up and retro-casually styled Vibram FiveFingers Trek LS is now available for purchase at CitySports!

Additionally, this means that we have a Trek LS giveaway contest winner (I will be contacting the winner directly by email. I'll also be contacting the 10 randomly selected sticker winners by email, too!).

More about the Trek LS (like sizing) after the jump!).

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Minimalist Shoes from Skechers? Or is the GoRun Yet Another Nike Free or Reebok RealFlex?

Christian Burke, an ultrarunner from California, has been tapped by Skechers to promote their upcoming entry into the (wannabe?) barefoot shoes/minimalist footwear category, the Skechers GoRun.
Christian Burke, an ultrarunner from California, has been tapped by Skechers to promote their upcoming entry into the (wannabe?) barefoot shoes/minimalist footwear category, the Skechers GoRun.

In what will come as no surprise to anyone (Who's paying attention) is a new "minimalistic" shoe from Skechers — the Skechers GoRun.

UPDATE with a quote from "Design Guy" in comments — Design Guy is apparently from Skechers, and spent 15 months designing (and testing) the GoRun. See below.

That Skechers would introduce a new shoe that rides the coattails of the barefoot/natural running movement was likely a foregone conclusion given the popularity of the Nike Free line and the recently released Reebok RealFlex, which you'll recall "perfected" natural running.

And we all know that Skechers is ever the innovative shoe manufacturer. Just take the Skechers Shape-ups, for example. Here, Skechers basically copied imitated the oddly not-barefoot-yet-marketed-that-way, super-soled rocker shoes from MBT, marketed them to the masses*, and encouraged countless individuals to buy into the notion that footwear can magically make you fit. Mind, Skechers is being sued by one woman who claims the Shape-Ups "catastrophically" injured her.

All snarkiness aside, what is the Skechers GoRun? Is it a minimalist shoe? What's the deal with bald guys and barefoot shoes? Speculate on the answers to these questionad and more with a bit of marketing magic after the jump!

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Spring 2012 Vibram FiveFingers

Spring 2012 Vibram FiveFingers

Thanks to some sleuthing FiveFingers fans — big hat tip to forum members Dirk, MCvet, and mikez and a few others who tipped me off to this information — I've gotten my hands on some "stock" imagery of the Spring 2012 Vibram FiveFingers line-up as well as details on what the new models are bringing to the FiveFingers line. What follows is a breakdown of all the new models as well as a round-up of other new color combinations on tap (more FiveFingers for kids!).

Important disclaimer! Like anything grounded in the future, plans change and no one has a crystal ball, so while what we've found below may be in the pipeline, it's all subject to change. To that end, if you hear of anything that has changed or if anything below is being reported in error, please let us know!

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Bormio Vibram FiveFingers Review

Clean lines and premium materials make the men's Bormio boot a great fall casual. Built on a traditional FiveFingers Trek platform, the men's Bormio boot features a fully lined kangaroo upper and rugged EVA and performance rubber sole. Side-zip closures c
The FiveFingers Bormio is the first ankle high toe shoe boots from Vibram. The Bormio is dressed in full kangaroo leather for business (?) or casual wear. They feature double zippers on either side of the ankle and are fully lined for a bit of added warmth. They come in either black or brown and have the Vibram Trek rubber sole.

Toe Shoes Boots?

BREAKING FASHION TREND ALERT: Five toed boots for Fall 2011!

UPDATE August 26, 2011: The Bormio FiveFingers are now out for sale!

Possible? Let me ask you this: would you have ever suspected five toed shoes to challenge the prevailing paradigm that footwear must be motion-controlled, heavily padded, and high-heeled in order for us to move around safely outside of our houses or the beach?

Vibram is introducing a new casual model of toe shoes boots this Fall. It's called the Vibram FiveFingers Bormio and it's dressed completely in kangaroo leather — "crazy horse" kangaroo leather, actually; it rises past the ankle in a fashion similar to the wooly mammoth FiveFingers Cortina (Which never made it to mass production); and it will be available in either flat matte black or brown.

That's the Bormio at 1,000 feet. I've been fortunate enough to have two pairs (Both colors of the "crazy horse" brown and black leather) of the Bormio FiveFingers for the past few months to test and review, which is what I'll be doing today. Let's get zipping!

Full review including 40+ photos after the jump.

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Navy Says YES to Toe Shoes (and Barefoot-like Footwear)

The Navy has said "yes" to toe shoes like Vibram FiveFingers, as well as other minimalist or barefoot-like shoes for wear with various physical training!  Thumbs up, Navy!
The Navy has said "yes" to toe shoes like Vibram FiveFingers, as well as other minimalist or barefoot-like shoes for wear with various physical training! Thumbs up, Navy!
BREAKING NEWS!

In what has become an ongoing saga, the Navy has officially given the "thumbs up" (toes up?) to "Minimalist or barefoot-like footwear (current types such as the Vibram Five Fingers, Nike Free Shoes, Vivo Barefoot Shoes, Inov-8 Shoe, and Feelmax)."

More specifically, NAVADMIN has authorized the wearing of these shoes "with the Navy Physical Training Uniform (PTU) during command/unit directed physical training (PT), individual PT, and activities to include the semi-annual physical readiness test (PRT)."

As you'll recall, the Army took a not-so-friendly stance to toe shoes back in late June, much to the chagrin of many FiveFingers fans.

You can read the official unclassified release after the jump — apologies for all caps, that's just how these types of communications ship (apparently).

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VivoBarefoot Neo, Aqua, Miles, Jazz, Venus On Sale!

Pictured above from left to right: the men's VivoBarefoot Miles in brown "pull up" leather; the men's or women's VivoBarefoot Neo (for running) in white/red/grey; the men's VivoBarefoot Aqua in brown suede; the women's VivoBarefoot Venus in beige (top); t
Pictured above from left to right: the men's VivoBarefoot Miles in brown "pull up" leather; the men's or women's VivoBarefoot Neo (for running) in white/red/grey; the men's VivoBarefoot Aqua in brown suede (NOT AVAILABLE VIA SALE); the women's VivoBarefoot Venus in beige (top); the women's VivoBarefoot Jazz in black (bottom).

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

Head over to The Clymb today and you can get select VivoBarefoot shoes at 50%+ off! Given VivoBarefoots are probably the most expensive "barefoot shoes" you can buy (short of dropping hundreds of bucks on custom Russell Moccasins), this kind of deal makes picking up a pair much, much easier on the pocketbook.

NOTE: You will need to use my invite if you're not already a member!

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