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!

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, 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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Newlyweds Run Marathon in Toe Shoes on Icelandic Honeymoon

Icelandic Honeymoon
Click to enlarge.

Patrick and Sarah recently honeymooned in Iceland. While there, they ran the Reykjavik Marathon in their Vibram Five Fingers. Here is what Patrick shared with us about their trip:

Thought I'd pass a note along to say how great the Five Fingers were on my honeymoon in Iceland last month. My wife and I each brought two pairs -- Bikilas and Trek Sports -- and we wore little else on our two week trip around the island. We wore them hiking, riding horses, bathing in thermal spas, and just touring the cities. Sarah, my wife, had to answer daily questions about her pink toe-shoes and even model for a picture from some fellow tourists.

I've been training in VFFs since January and anticipated running my first marathon in my Bikilas in Chicago this October. But after booking our honeymoon I discovered the Reykjavik marathon was on the second day of our trip! I couldn't pass up the opportunity -- and it proved a great way to see a city for the first time, even if I could hardly walk for three days after.

I encounter people who think it's not possible to run long distances in 'caveman' shoes, but we found them perfect for our races (Sarah ran the 10k), and they worked brilliantly for hiking up trails to see waterfalls too. I felt very in control over all sorts of territory (volcanic rock, trails, moss, snow). My wife owns two pairs but wasn't a total convert to the VFFs until we passed other hikers with their cumbersome and heavy hiking boots -- they were so unnecessarily big!

Now that's a memorable honeymoon. Thanks for sharing it with us!