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

Soft Star RunAmoc Dash Review (Barefoot Running Shoes)

Various photos of the RunAmoc Dash, a minimalist/barefoot running shoe from Soft Star Shoes out of Oregon.
Various photos of the RunAmoc Dash, a minimalist/barefoot running shoe from Soft Star Shoes out of Oregon.
After getting 2nd place in the 35K division of the Santa Barbara Endurance Race. I’m on the left
After getting 2nd place in the 35K division of the Santa Barbara Endurance Race. I’m on the left

Since last December, I have had the privilege of helping to test the Soft Star Shoes RunAmoc Dash. I’ve run 367 miles on Dash prototypes since then. The Dash weighs only 5.6 ounces for the 2mm sole and the perforated LITE upper. With a thin 2mm Vibram sole and zero heel to toe drop, the RunAmoc Dash is far “less” of a shoe than many of the heavier transitional/minimalist shoes coming onto the market this year.

Two weeks ago, I won second place in the 35K division of the Santa Barbara Endurance Race, wearing Soft Star’s new minimalist running moccasin, the RunAmoc Dash.

Below is my review of the RunAmoc Dash from a design, aesthetics, and performance standpoint.

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Lems Shoes Barefoot Shoes - Initial Review

A new minimalist shoe is coming to town Fall 2011 from a shoe company built for bare feet - Stem Footwear.
A new minimalist shoe is coming to town Fall 2011 from a shoe company built for bare feet - Stem Footwear.

Update: on March 1, 2012, "Stem Footwear" became "Lems Shoes" and then in 2013 they shortened their name to Lems!


What's the change mean for you or for the usefulness of this review? Well, nothing — they're still the same shoes, just branded with a different name and logo!

Have you heard about Stem Lems Shoes? They are a new minimalist footwear company birthed out of a need for more foot friendly shoes — a.k.a. shoes that have a good sized toe-box, are neutral from heel to toe, and aren't so heavily cushioned that all feeling of the ground is lost. These are, at minimal, some of the main, most important criteria. Shoes that let your feet be feet.

The co-founder of Lems Footwear is Andrew Rademacher. Though I've yet to meet Andrew in person, he and I have had a number of exchanges to date and from what I can tell, he's barking up the right tree with Lems Shoes as specifically evidenced by his upcoming Primal Origins shoes. Andrew sent me a pre-production version of Lems Shoes shoes to examine and wear test to the extent that I could — the only size Andrew had was about a size too small. Note: These aren't yet available to purchase — look for Lems Shoes shoes to buy in Fall 2011: more on buying later.

Perhaps because of the super flexible nature of the Lems Shoes shoe design, or the roomy toe box, I was able to wear the one-size-too-small Leming shoes around enough to make some initial conclusions about them. In short, Lems Shoes has designed a pretty compelling "barefot shoe" for casual, everyday wear. More including photos, a video, and an interview with Andrew after the jump!

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Vibram FiveFingers Bikila and Sprint Long-Term Review

Vibram FiveFingers Bikila and Sprint Long-Term Review

1,250 miles later: VFF Sprints & Bikilas

Over the last two racing seasons, I’ve used Vibram Five Fingers Sprints and Bikilas in training and racing a number of events ranging from 5K running races and sprint triathlons to half marathons, marathons, and an Ironman. In total, I’ve put about 500 miles on the Sprints and 750 miles on the Bikilas. Most of my running is done on paved surfaces, but I’ve even done a little hiking and wear them casually quite often.

Today I'd like to review the FiveFingers Sprint and Bikila from a long-term use perspective. Let’s take a look at some pictures after the jump!

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Special Forces, Jumping out of Aircraft in FiveFingers KSOs

Special Forces, Jumping out of Aircraft in FiveFingers KSOs
A U.S. Army soldier with the 10th Special Forces Group and his military working dog jump off the ramp of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment during water training over the Gulf of Mexico. Tech Sgt. Manuel J. Martinez/defense.gov

U.S. Army Special Forces in Vibram Five Fingers

After the success of the Bin Laden mission, NPR ran a story reporting that a dog may have been part of the raid. While there has been a lot of buzz about the dog having titanium teeth, it didn't take long for the watchful eyes of Vibram Five Fingers fans to notice something else. Read the rest of this post to see a close up of the Department of Defense stock news photo NPR used in their article!

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Injinji Low Cut "No Show" Lightweight Toe Socks for Toe Shoes Review

Injinji Low Cut  "No Show" Lightweight Toe Socks for Toe Shoes Review

Injinji Toe Socks

The new No-Show Performance Lightweight Toesock from Injinji will be available starting in May. Similar socks, previously known as the “Micro Liner", came in a crew and mini-crew lengths.

The Test

Injinji sent me a pair and I decided to test them on the trails in my Vibram Five Fingers Bikilas. I haven't run that much on trails in my Bikilas because they get dirt in them and I develop hot spots around my toes after a few miles. So I was excited to see if these toe socks solved that problem.

See my review after the jump!

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