Muddy Paintball in FiveFingers

Muddy Paintball in FiveFingers

This is the muddiest photo of FiveFingers I think I've ever seen.

What's the story? Enter Michael, who picked up his pair of TrekSports as an all-purpose pair of toe shoes though he specifically planned to use them for paintball:

I've been trying to paintball regularly for a year or so now, something more active then my usual regime of computer games and TV. I'd scoffed at Vibrams the first time I saw them, but the more and more I spotted people wearing them the more I wanted to at least try them on.

Once I started paintball I figured I'd finally had a real excuse to have wear them passed the novelty so I was on a mission to eventually own my own pair. A few months ago I was able to venture to my local Hikers Haven and try on as many pairs as would fit, finally deciding that a pair of KSO Treksport would be the best for the job (as well as seemed to be the only pair that would fit my APPARENTLY abnormally tall dorsal area of my feet). Unfortunately they were lacking on my perfect size and I was lacking in actual funds.

Skip ahead a few months and a new job gave me the opportunity I needed to snag me a pair. They instantly turned into the comfiest and most expensive pair of slippers I'd ever owned.

Eventually I got the chance to head back out for paintball. I generally try to go on dry days, as I hate getting mucky (a bit of an oxymoron when paintballing), but of course that morning was a downpour, leaving the field a minefield of puddles and mud. Within the first 15 minutes of arriving, we had to walk about 50 meters through a river of inch deep mud. At that point I tossed my inhibitions to the wind and had a great time being a mudder. It was of course still winter and the puddles were cold, but the pair of Injinji socks I was wearing were able to keep me warm enough.

I'm convinced that I was more agile, less tired, and much more happy wearing the Five Fingers than I would have been wearing my usual clunky Merrell sneakers, which would have been impossible to clean.

I'll be bringing my Vibrams with me to every paintball day, and hopefully will start doing more things to wear them more often.

Michael T. - Toronto

Glad you've found some use for them!

All that talk about mud reminds me of Stuart running his 255km jungle marathon in Spyridons.

Thanks for sharing, Michael!

Dentists, Harleys and Vibram Five Fingers

Joy at the Hi-Tec Dental Rally.
Joy at the Hi-Tec Dental Rally.

Joy wore her Vibram Five Fingers to a rather unique Dental Convention and sent us her story:

Recently, our dental laboratory, Dental South, traveled to Knoxville, TN for the 3rd annual Hi-Tec Dental Rally that takes place at Smokey Mountain Harley Davidson. This story is a bit different than your normal VFF story considering I was surrounded by mostly bikers, I was able to walk around both in my Classics and my Bikilas with no problems - all of my fellow bikers thought they were the coolest things they had ever seen! I went to concerts, and trekked all across the 8 acre Harley Davidson shop with lots of stares and inquiries, then hopped on for a ride! Several folks were eager to try them before we packed up and came home... and it was great being known as "the girl with the toe shoes"!

Thanks, Joy! Cool conference. We can always hope for steel toed Five Fingers!

Backpacking with Vibram Five Fingers Flow Treks

Richard Relaxing

Guest post by Richard Mandelbaum

I recently used my Vibram Five Fingers for an overnight backpacking trip and thought I would write up a little review of my experience for those of you who might be considering using your VFFs that way. There have been several hiking reviews recently on this site, all of which I read and appreciate, and hope to add to that with some detail of what worked for me, some limitations, and some of my thoughts.

Read Richard's review after the jump!

Read the rest of this post »

Transatlantic Cruising Five Fingers Style

Bill jogging
Bill jogging on the Promenade deck.

Bill decided to get a little marathon training in wearing his Vibram Five Fingers KSOs while cruising the Atlantic. Here's what he shared with us:

I thought I would share some pictures my wife took of me in my KSOs on our cruise on the Norwegian Sun from Dover, England to Port Canaveral, Florida from 10/4 -10/16/2010. The pictures were taken on 10/9, which would have been near the Canary Islands. I am a 69 year old runner from Folsom, California training for this year's California International Marathon. I bought my KSOs about three months ago and more recently got a pair of Bikilas. I am gradually increasing my mileage up to five miles, but I still do my long runs in Nike Free 5.0 and Free Run Plus. The pictures were taken on the Promenade Deck, which wraps around the ship and has designated walking and jogging lanes. Over the years I have gradually transitioned from Nike Air Pegasus (which are really strange now) to lighter shoes with less support, Nike Free and now Five Fingers. The biggest change for me is fewer niggling injuries. Two years ago, an MRI showed I had a torn meniscus cartilage on my left knee and I was scheduled for surgery. By the time of the surgery, I felt my knee had healed and cancelled. The problem reoccurred a year ago and once again I cancelled surgery the day before. Best decision I ever made and I have been injury free and able to step up to marathon training for the past 6 months. I believe it all has to do with going to less supportive shoes, more upper leg and calf strength training, and my Yoga practice. Perhaps, next year I will be running my first marathon in the 70 - 75 age group in Five Fingers.

Bill

Thanks for sharing your story Bill! Good luck on staying injury free. Hopefully, the minimal running shoes will help.

Philippines Vibram Five Fingers Fan Club

Philippines Vibram Five Fingers Fan Club
Philippines Vibram Five Fingers Fan Club

JB, from the Minila, sent us an update on the Philippines Five Fingers running club that has grown quickly over the last year as Vibrams have become more readily available there. Here is what he shared with us:

Hi I'm JB! I'm from Manila, Philippines. I've been following this site ever since I started using Vibram Five Fingers last year. I have about 6 pairs now. I just bought the Sport Treks and I'm eagerly waiting for the 2011 VFFs to arrive!

I wrote so I could share the local Vibram Five Fingers scene here in my country. Last September 5, some 30+ VFFers from here came together at one of the favorite running spots in the city to have a get-together morning run and to mingle and share experiences and stories about our VFFs. Just last year Five Fingers were a very rare thing around here, with one or two other people I found having them; and we had to buy them over there in the US. Early this year as we found one another, we started runs together. Last April 2010 there were only 3 of us on our first run, the second one in July we were about 10 runners, and this September there were more than 30 of us! A local store that carries Vibram Five Fingers opened this year which helped tremendously to spread the word on the shoes. :) With our growth in numbers, it's pretty evident that a lot of people are learning about the benefits of running in Five Fingers, or even just wearing them casually.

A shout out from Pinoy VFFers! We'll chime back soon :)

Thanks, JB, that is a cool pic! Please keep us up to date on the group.

Orlando Area Barefoot Run to Benefit Cancer Center

Orlando Area Barefoot Run to Benefit Cancer Center

Top Online Retailer of Vibram Five Fingers, TravelCountry.com, will be sponsoring the first annual TravelCountry.com Barefoot Fun Run in Altamonte Springs, FL. It will take place on Saturday, November 13, 2010, at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, FL. The proceeds from the event will be going to the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Orlando, Florida.

You can sign up for the race at www.barefootfunrun.com.

Click here (PDF) to read the press release about the event.

Clean Sweep for the 30 Somethings in Bikilas

Clean Sweep for the 30 Somethings in Bikilas
Andy, his brothers and friend at the Walla Walla Crush 5K

Andy and company recently ran in the Walla Walla Crush 5K in their recently acquired Vibram Five Fingers Bikilas. Here is what Andy had to say about their effort:

Several weeks ago I purchased a pair of Bikilas and have enjoyed doing recreational running in them. During the last couple months both of my brothers and one of my friends have also been focused on transitioning over to minimalist running in VFFs. None of us had run in an organized event in our VFFs until this past weekend when all four of us decided to run in the Walla Walla Crush 5K in our Bikilas. I was pleased to place first in my age bracket, winning a bottle of wine from one of the wineries that helped sponsor the race. Finishing right behind me were my friend and one of my brothers, placing second and third in our age bracket. Not a bad performance for a group of novice Five Fingers runners during their first organized race in Bikilas! Included are photos of the four of us in our Bikilas after the race and of me with my prize bottle of wine. Next weekend I am running a 10K in my Bikilas...

Andy

Great performance, congratulations on all of your successes in making the transition to Five Fingers and doing so well in the race!