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!

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.

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Nautica Malibu Triathlon After Just 6 weeks in Five Fingers

Rafael at the Nautica Malibu Triathlon
Rafael swimming, cycling, running and finishing the Nautica Malibu Triathlon.

Though we suggest all runners transitioning to Vibram Five Fingers take their time and make a very gradual transition, Rafael ran in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon after just six weeks in Vibram Five Fingers.

My name is Rafael from Sacramento, CA. I was convinced by my sister to do the Nautica Malibu Triathlon. It consists of a 1/2 mile swim, 18 mile bike ride, and a 4 mile run. I started my training 6 months ago. I stepped into my first pair of Five Fingers 6 weeks before the race. I fell in love with the shoes and I set my goal to do the race in them. I had to keep a slow pace for the run because I'm still transitioning into the shoes. I did the run in my Trek Sports and they performed excellent. With me swimming in the cold ocean without a swimsuit and running in the Five Fingers, I got many looks, questions and comments. I can't wait until next year when I can run much stronger. I've only had Five Fingers for 6 weeks and I already own 3 pairs. KSO, Trek Sports and Smartwool Classics. I wear my Five Fingers exclusively now!

Wow, Rafael, that was a pretty quick transition. Your prior training must have helped. Congrats on finishing the race. It sounds like you have really embraced the Five Fingers lifestyle!

Vibram Five Fingers Sprints Take On the Sierre-Zinal

Stéphane Running the Sierre-Zinal
Stéphane running the Sierre-Zinal through the Swiss Alps and finishing with his daughter.

Stéphane, a Vibram Five Fingers fan, wore his Sprints to run in the 31K Sierre-Zinal mountain race in Switzerland. Stéphane shares his story below:

I like to read other people's stories on the BirthdayShoes website and I thought I could also share my recent Five Fingers experience with you. I started to run in them in April of this year after seeing someone run with these in the NY Marathon. I knew they were something special worth trying.

Since I was a little bit bored with running at the time and also suffered from a knee tendinitis after my New York trip, I was looking for something different. And my Vribrams were the answer. I enjoyed the barefoot feeling right away, it gave me wings and sore calves at first though, but I got used to them in four months.

So, for me there was no doubt I could run with them anywhere. Since I’ve been running Sierre-Zinal every year since 2003, I couldn’t miss that opportunity. It was August this year, on 31km through the rocky Swiss mountains. I must admit that I got sore feet at the end because I wasn’t used to runnning on small stones this long, but it is just a matter of getting used to it I think. It took me 5 hours and a half and I usually run it in 4 hours and a half. Despite a few people laughing at me and making me feel like I was some crazy guy to run with these shoes over there, I enjoyed most of the race. What amazed me is how fast my muscles recovered, I usually get really stiff for a couple of days and this time the day right after the race I was feeling fine, except for a few bruises on my feet, but not crippled at all.

I definitely have to try them in my next New York Marathon, I am sure I won’t hurt myself like I did last year. Thanks for all your posts and stories by the way, and keep on running!

Way to go Stéphane! Running the Sierre-Zinal through the rocky terrain of the Swiss Alps in Sprints is quite an amazing feat. Congratulations!

UK Rat Racer Wears Vibram Five Fingers KSOs

Dave at the UK Rat Race
Dave walking the plank and sliding to the finish at the Rat Race.

Extreme races are the rage these days and Vibram Five Fingers fan Dave recently ran in a UK event called the Rat Race Urban Adventure. He donned his KSOs and went for it! Here is what Dave had to say:

A couple pics of me from this last weekends River Rat Race urban adventure here in the UK. It's a 10K+ course made up of various wet and dry activities spread around the course and concludes with a steep baby oil covered ramp to make the finish line. Photos are of me walking the plank and going down the water slide in my KSOs. I did the whole event in them without socks and they worked brilliantly, draining and drying quickly. I saw several others in various different vibrams; a mix of KSOs, Flows Treks and Sprints.

Sounds like a blast! How was it walking the plank and were there any sword yielding pirates there to coax you off? Five Fingers seem well suited to these type of events and we appreciate you sharing your experience with us.

Traveling with Toe Shoes to Tulum

Lindsay in her Bikilas
Lindsay explores the ruins at Tulum in her Vibram Five Fingers Bikilas

Much to the chagrin of her husband, Lindsay found her Vibram Five Fingers Bikilas to be great for hiking the ruins of Tulum and cooling off in the sands of the Mexico beaches. Here is what she had to say:

My name is Lindsay and I'm from Dallas, TX. My husband and I recently took a trip to Puerto Aventuras, Mexico. While there we visited the Mayan city of Tulum. I knew it was going to be a long day with lots of walking and the possibility of wanting to get my feet wet in the ocean to cool off. So naturally, I wanted to wear my Bikilas. I got dressed in the hotel room and slipped on my Five Fingers. As we were walking out the door, my husband turned around and noticed my non-shoes for the first time. He laughed, "you are really going to wear those in public," he exclaimed. He was so embarrassed, as he said, "for me". I did wear my bikilas that day and they worked perfectly! My feet didn't hurt and they were great for walking over rocks and the beach.

I normally wear my Bikilas strictly for running or working out (P90X). I am slowly building up my mileage in my Five Fingers as I transition from regular running shoes. I hope to run a half or full marathon in them at some point! I love running in my Bikilas and hate strapping on my old running shoes for my long runs! My two favorite parts of wearing Five Fingers are no socks and running in the rain. Both are so freeing!

Lindsay

Lindsay, thanks for letting us know about the versatility of your Bikilas! When your husband is ready for a pair, please don't forget our store.

"Barefoot Paul" Competes at the World Mountain Running Championships in KSO Treks

Paul at the World Championships
Paul running and finishing at the World Mountain Running Championships in Kamnik, Slovenia.

In 2010, "Barefoot Paul" Peterson excelled at mountain running qualifying for the Men's US Mountain Running Junior Team and competing at the World Championships in Slovenia. His success running in Vibram Five Fingers is truly amazing! Read Paul's recap of his season and why he prefers Five Fingers after the jump.

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