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!

Saucony Hattori Review

Saucony Hattori Review
Saucony Hattori minimalist running shoe.

Saucony Hattori

The Saucony Hattori is a very minimalist running shoe released in mid-May 2011 (Available for purchase now — see, for example, Road Runner Sports) expected to be available from Saucony on May 15th. Other retailers may have them as soon as May 1st. Saucony sent us a pre-release pair of the Hattoris to test, so I did a 4 mile run in the them, then spent a full day knocking around in them.

See more pics, my observations and impressions about the fit of the shoes, ground feel, etc., and a preview video after the jump!

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Reebok RealFlex Natural Running? A "Barefoot" Running Shoe?

A collage of the Reebok Realflex marketing blast.
A collage of the Reebok Realflex marketing blast. Note the runners running on natural surfaces in a shoe that is supposed to protect against man-made surfaces. Makes sense, no?

Update 5.15.2011 (see below)

Reebok has officially joined the bandwagon of barefoot running "or natural running." That may be understating the significance of this event—Reebok has not just created a "natural running" shoe. No, no, they have perfected natural movement.

The Reebok Realflex is a new* shoe design intended to allow a foot to flex naturally but with ... wait for it ... protection! Apologies for my sarcastic tone, it's just a bit mind-numbing to read how the company that brought us the EasyTone can lay claim to perfecting nature. Perfection and protection — enter the Reebok Realflex.

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Chris McDougall's Naked Book Tour (Born to Run)

Chris McDougall's Naked Book Tour (Born to Run)

Author Christopher McDougall is beginning a cross-country "Naked Tour" to coincide with the paperback release of his blockbuster book Born to Run.

The "Naked Tour" will include barefoot runs, demos and "cabarets". These part seminar/part show cabarets will feature an impressive group of luminaries from the barefoot running community and of course give folks an opportunity to pick up copies of the best-selling book Born to Run. Dr. Daniel Lieberman, Scott Jurek, Lee Saxby and Luis “El Coyote” Escobar are just a few of the folks participating.

We're huge fans of Chris McDougall and if you're not already plugged into his blog, you should check it out. If you're lucky enough to be within shouting distance of one of his naked tour events, definitely plug in and check it out!

Naked Tour Schedule

(Click for details at each location.)

Check out the Naked Tour page for new events and additional info.

And the Winner Is!

Congratulations to Chargrill for tweeting this post before the deadline. He is the winner of a signed copy of Born to Run, a Naked Tour t-shirt and stick on tattoo all compliments of "El Oso".

A Vibram FiveFingers and Barefoot Wedding

Gidds and her husband
Gidds and her husband at their wedding.

Gidds sent us the following story about going barefoot at her wedding with the groom wearing Vibram Five Fingersblack KSOs, of course.

I started wearing VFFs last year around Memorial Day because I have a lot of foot problems but I strive to have an active outdoor lifestyle. My husband and I live on the Florida Panhandle and enjoy many outdoor activities from hiking to kayaking and SCUBA diving. I have an aqua pair of KSOs and I bought him a black pair of KSOs as a surprise last summer. He wasn't sure he wanted them at first but now he wears them constantly when he isn't working. He wore his because we don't take anything too seriously and like to have fun and be outdoors, so it was fitting for our wedding day. Plus they matched his suit. I chose to go barefoot for part of our wedding, which was on the edge of one of Florida's many freshwater springs, because aqua KSOs just didn't go with my dress. I did wear them for most of the honeymoon though.

Ha! Pretty cool. Thanks Gidds!