The Inaugural Asheville Marathon at the Biltmore - in Luna Sandals (Venado/original)

The Inaugural Asheville Marathon at the Biltmore - in Luna Sandals (Venado/original)

You're out on a run. Your nose is getting stuffy, so you lean to the side for a quick farmer's blow. It's cold out, but you didn't realize how cold until you go to wipe your nose with the back of your glove to clear off any additional moisture -- only to find that it's already frozen around the edge of your nostril in mere seconds.

Welcome to the inaugural Asheville Marathon, held on the grounds of the beautiful Biltmore estate. "Well," I thought dramatically at around mile 20, "At least I'll die somewhere majestic."

Read the rest of this post »

Winter Running with O'Neill Reactor Reef Boots

Minnesota in Winter
Northern Minnesota in Winter.

Photographer, filmmaker and author, Dudley Edmondson, found that barefoot running in the chilly winters of Northern Minnesota can be a real challenge. Then he discovered O'Neill Reactor Reef Boots provide a near barefoot feel while being warm and inexpensive. Here is his review:

by Dudley Edmondson — Guest Writer

Justin here at asked me to share my thoughts about a minimalist shoe alternative for winter running conditions. If you’re like me and live in a colder climate you’ve discovered the Vibram Five shoe we all love is not exactly the best in cold weather. The Vibram Five Fingers Flow is supposed to be the shoe of choice in cold weather but here in northern Minnesota where the daytime temps can hover in the double digits below zero for a week or more, you really need more protection from the cold than a five toed shoe can offer.

Read the rest of Dudley's review and see his How-to video after the jump!

Read the rest of this post »

A Five Fingers Christmas

Molly's  Christmas Tree
Molly's Christmas Tree
VFF Collection
VFF Collection

Molly sent us the pics above and the following note about their Five Fingers Christmas:

It's Christmas in our house and what better time to celebrate Vibram Five Fingers. This is our collection of VFF, mostly obtained throughout 2010. Between the two of us, we have 15 pairs (Classics not shown, sorry!). We swear by Five Fingers and have spread the joy to family and friends all year. Here's to a Barefoot 2011!

Thanks Molly! Nice collection.

We wish a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all Birthday Shoes readers out there!! Thanks for your support and have a great 2011!

Vibram Five Fingers for Winter: Review of the Cortina

Dirk in his Cortinas.
Dirk in his Cortinas.

Perhaps you have followed Dirk Verelst on the BirthdayShoes forum or read his previous blog post on Denim Classics in the Vibram Five Fingers 2010 European Line-up. Dirk is very knowledgeable about all things Vibram and quite a collector of unique Five Fingers. He recently scored an obscure pair of Vibram Five Fingers Cortinas, a funky boot-like winter shoe that never made it into production. He sent us pictures and the write-up that follows.

Guest Post by Dirk Verelst

As winter is upon us, many people find themselves being forced to return to regular shoes. Save a few exceptional people perhaps, no one's toes/feet can stand prolonged exposure to cold, snow and/or melting-water when wearing Vibram Five Fingers. Faced with this problem, I sought out an obscure, likely never produced (on any scale) pair of boot-like Vibram Five Fingers that might better be described as "bear paws" — the elusive sasquatch of toe shoes, the Vibram Five Fingers Cortina!

Read the rest of this post »

Doctor Volunteers to Help Others See

Dr. Srun in his Camo KSOs
Dr. Thomas Srun treats patients on his recent mission trip to India.

In this season of giving we are excited to share the inspiring story of Optometrist Dr. Thomas Srun. He volunteers his time to do mission work all over the world. His efforts help the blind see and help others see better. Oh, he is also a Vibram Five Fingers fan! Here is what he shared with us about one of his recent missions to India:

I work as an optometrist in DC and Maryland. I was selected to be one of the Optometrist to go on this mission trip in India to perform eye exams and to dispense glasses. We saw close to 10,000 patients in a matter of 8 clinic days. Part of our clinic was outdoors. Some days just seemed like it would never stop raining, but the clinic had to go on! Since I was in my Vibram KSOs, I always volunteered to be outdoors as it was easier for me to slush around in puddles of muddy water as I checked people's eyes. I'll definitely be bringing these on my next eye clinic in Jamaica in January and back to India in March!

Dr. Thomas Srun

What an amazing man! If you would like to help Dr. Srun support this great cause, go to his website and make a donation to the Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity of Pennsylvania (VOSH/PA) and help deliver site saving surgery around the world.

Stem Footwear Barefoot Shoes

Stem Footwear Barefoot Shoes
Stem Footwear 2011 Outdoor Retailer Show Flyer

STEM Footwear has put out preview of their new line of minimal footwear to be available Fall 2011. Here is what Andrew Rademacher, STEM Footwear Inc., President of Sales had to say about STEM's new shoes:

I'm excited to announce that STEM Footwear will be UNVEILING our 2011 Origins Shoe Line in Jan. 20-23 at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City, UT. Our shoes have secretly been under prototype development and testing for the last 6 months, now we are ready to REVEAL the final product in January. Check out our recently updated website to catch a sneak preview:

STEM Footwear uses Primitive Performance Technology using the lastest in high tech materials in a "back-to-the-basics" way. Our secret sole material allows you to naturally feel the ground as nature intended. If you'd like to find out more about our shoes, follow us on facebook and twitter. Also you can pre-order your own pair now at

Thanks to everyone who has helped us create such a great response for STEM Footwear.

Check out their website and tell us what you think!