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!

Vibram FiveFingers KSO vs. Bikila - Concerns, Nuances, and Quality Control {mailbag}

I get a lot of questions emailed my way about Vibram Five Fingers. Which model to get, this model or that model, sizing nuances, and any number of other random queries come my way. So in the interest of answering some of the more common questions, I'll be posting some emails I receive as well as my responses in the hope that others might benefit from the exchange. Finally, if anyone has anything to add to my response, or wants to take me to task for my response, please do so in the comments!

Hi Justin, Awesome site, love all the info. I am researching the Vibram's as I am new to running but love being bare foot. I am kinda leaning toward the KSO's to get me started, but have read a lot about seams tears, straps breaking and soles wearing out in about six months. So I thought I would ask the expert straight up! How long has your KSOs lasted, I would want to use them for everyday use as well as running/walking. Have you had any quality issues with them or any other Vibram five finger products. What is your take on the Bikila's are the they a better shoe all around? Sorry for so many questions, I just want to make the right choice for the money being spent. Again way awesome website! Cheers, Aaron

Read the rest of this post »

Freedom’s Run Gets Kids Moving In the Right Direction

The Freedom’s Run Race Director, Mark Cucuzzella MD, asked us to pass along a press release about a fun run for kids sponsored by Terra Plana products, Vivo Barefoot footwear (See our posts on the Vivo Barefoot Oak, Vivo Barefoot Aqua, and Vivo Barefoot Evo running shoe). It looks like a really cool, fun event and there are even free shoes being given out. If you are in the Shepherdstown, WV area October 2, 2010, don't miss this one!!

Click "Read the rest" to see the press release.

Read the rest of this post »

Review: Nike Air Zoom Streak XC 2

Review: Nike Air Zoom Streak XC 2

Vibram Five Fingers got me back into running after I had pretty much given up on it because of back and knee pain. Forefoot strike running in Five Fingers solved those problems and I was on my way. Running in Five Fingers is a blast. The ground feel and freedom is unmatched. However, as I logged more miles and did longer runs I began to develop nagging achilles tendonitis. This led me to search for other "barefoot running shoes" that would allow me to maintain my forefoot strike and perhaps be easier on my achilles. I first tried the Saucony Grid Type A4s and found that running in them really lessens the stress on my achilles. Also, I am able to consistently land on my forefoot and get good ground feel with the A4s. Then, after Edward Edmonds mentioned the Nike Air Zoom Streak XC 2 in his Q&A on marathon training, I wanted to see how they suited my needs. So, after running in them a few times, here are my thoughts.

The Streak XC 2 is a very minimal racing flat with a low heel-to-toe drop and a whisper of an upper. Advanced Nike technology cushions and protects the foot with a firm but springy sole. Bottomline, I love the upper, which feels like it is not there! However, for me, the sole is just a little too thick, especially at midfoot, to maintain my forefoot strike.

My detailed review is after the jump.

Read the rest of this post »

New Balance NB Minimus - Evolution of a Barefoot Running Shoe [BREAKING]

New Balance NB Minimus - Evolution of a Barefoot Running Shoe [BREAKING]

New Balance just released an interview with ultramarathon runner Tony Krupicka and New Balance shoe designer Chris Wawrousek that talks about the iterative design process behind the NB Minimus Trail shoe. The post includes the leaked video of Anton Krupicka and the New Balance NB Minimus Trail and it looks like New Balance has also released a few more close-up photos of the Minimus (see our old photo-mash-up of the Minimus Trail here).

Here is a link to the interview over at NewBalance.com and you can see the updated gallery of ultra-close-up macro photos of the orange NB Minimus Trail on flickr here

We'll dive into this latest installment of the New Balance NB Minimus 2011 release after the jump.

Read the rest of this post »