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

Inov-8 Road-x 155 Review

Inov-8 Road-x 155 Review

When Gina over at Inov-8 told me she was sending me something totally new, I was very excited, but I’m not going to lie; when I opened the box and saw canary yellow, I was immediately thinking Gina was playing a joke on me. After the initial shock though, I ended up actually loving the color. It’s eye-catching, and all my students and coworkers surprisingly love it. My second impression was this shoe seemed to be everything that the NB Minimus Road SHOULD have been. It seemed like this shoe took everything that was great about the Minimus Trail, and applied it to a road shoe. Time would tell if this impression was true. Follow me after the jump to find out.

Read the rest of this post »

NB Minimus Zero, first Zero-Drop Shoe from New Balance

2012 New Balance NB Minimus Zero Trail (my guess) teaser, close-up shots just leaked.  This is the first zero-dropped New Balance for their minimalist footwear/barefoot shoes line and a departure from their original 2010 installation, which featured a 4mm
2012 New Balance NB Minimus Zero Trail (my guess) teaser, close-up shots just leaked. This is the first zero-dropped New Balance for their minimalist footwear/barefoot shoes line and a departure from their original 2010 installation, which featured a 4mm heel-to-toe drop.

The folks over at New Balance have started leaking out information about their next entry into the minimalist footwear/barefoot shoes category — the New Balance NB Minimus Zero,or the NB Minimus Zero for short. The NB Minimus Zero line will, as the name suggests, bring a zero-drop heel to toe option to the NB Minimus line (We've previously reviewed the NB Minimus Road, NB Minimus Trail [more photos and video | user review], and NB Minimus Life). As you might recall, the previous installations in the NB Minimus line all featured a 4mm heel-to-toe drop, much to the chagrin of the minimalist footwear community. Sure, while 4mm is ... minimal, it was a cognitive disconnect from the characteristics "barefoot running shoes" should have.

Echoing New Balance's approach from 2010, they are only leaking out a tiny bit of information about the NB Minimus Zero, giving us only a glimpse of the product via some super close-up photos and some tantalizingly ambiguous commentary via the New Balance" SBU Manager for Performance Running and Outdoor," Katherine Petrecca. More specifically, New Balance will be releasing "9 Things You Should Know" about the NB Minimus Zero by Katherine Petrecca at 4pm Eastern.

New Balance gave me early access to the Petrecca piece so I could whet your appetite and fulfill my duty to bring the BirthdayShoes community all the barefoot shoes news fit to print.

So read on after the jump!

Read the rest of this post »

2012 Vibram FiveFingers Spotted! New Toe Shoes for Casual Wear, Running, and Trails!

Photo of some of the 2012 Vibram FiveFingers new models.
Photo of some of the 2012 Vibram FiveFingers upcoming models. Names rumored to be from top to bottom the Sorrento, Rimini LR, and Grado FiveFingers. Taken from the 2011 Friedrichshafen Outdoor Trade show (July 14-17) in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Photo by Linda of nujo.lv. Used with permission.

Who wants more toe shoes? How about a sneak peak at some upcoming 2012 Vibram FiveFingers for casual wear, ultra-light running, running trails?

It's time to nerd out on some minimalist footwear that will be hitting the scene next year because as you can see from the teaser above, we've gotten our hands on some images of upcoming "barefoot shoes" from Vibram!

More photos and wild speculation after the jump!

Read the rest of this post »

Women's KomodoSport LS FiveFingers Review

Leah Sakellarides holds up a pair of the Fall 2011 women's Vibram FiveFingers KomodoSport LS toe shoes.
Leah Sakellarides holds up a pair of the Fall 2011 women's Vibram FiveFingers KomodoSport LS toe shoes.

My experience with Vibram FiveFingers

It was about three years ago when I purchased my first pair of VFFs. It wasn’t love at first step (or sight) with my Sprints, but the more I wore them, the more I fell in love. After conditioning my legs and body to run in them, I found myself running faster and I felt more agile than I ever did in my old clunky running shoes. It was like removing the weights from my feet and I felt connected with the ground for the first time. On average, I usually run about 20 miles a week in my Sprints. I wore them trekking the Andes in Peru, do Crossfit in them, and even wear them in the water when I standup paddle surf. After all this time they are finally falling apart at the seams so I was so stoked to try out these new Vibram FiveFingers "KomodoSport LS" lace-ups!

What follows is my review of the KomodoSport LS, complete with thoughts on aeshetics, construction/materials, fit, and performance in a variety of activities.

Read my review of the women's KomodoSport LS after the jump!

Read the rest of this post »

Trek LS Vibram FiveFingers Review

The Fall 2011 Vibram FiveFingers Trek LS, all-leather Vibram toe shoes for everyday wear (though you could certainly do an impromptu sprint, dead lift, or tree climb in them if need presents itself!).
The Fall 2011 Vibram FiveFingers Trek LS, all-leather Vibram toe shoes for everyday wear (though you could certainly do an impromptu sprint, dead lift, or tree climb in them if need presents itself!).

For Fall 2011 comes the all leather Vibram FiveFingers Trek LS, a five toed shoe for men that pushes footwear trends to new levels of insanity: toe shoes for everyday wear? Wearing FiveFingers in a business casual setting? Five toed shoes as fashion-forward footwear? Toe shoes for the modern man?

What is the world coming to? Has Vibram gone mad?

**ALERT August 18, 2011** The Fivefingers Trek LS is now Available for Purchase!

Before I dive in, here is the typically perfunctory, official word on the Trek LS from Vibram's Fall 2011 catalog:

By popular demand, Vibram introduces it's first casual/comfort shoe for men with a distressed kangaroo leather upper and a casual tie lacing system. The Trek LS features the popular 4mm, lightly cleated, Trek outsole and a 4mm EVA midsole for additional comfort.

Illuminating, no? Allow me to elaborate on this description. I've been testing the Trek LS FiveFingers now for a few months and what follows are my thoughts — as well as a slew of photos — all after the jump!

Read the rest of this post »