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 Five Fingers Fare Well at the Fair

Minnesota State Fair
Click to enlarge.

Chad decided to put his Vibram Five Fingers KSOs to the test at the Minnesota State Fair. He gave them quite a workout as he describes below:

I have had my Vibram KSOs for about 3 months now. I have been using them for running, biking, working out in the gym and lately just as my everyday shoes. But I decided they needed to do something a little different.

Every year my wife and I go to the Minnesota State Fair. It has been a family tradition going back to my Wife's grandma, who at 75 still goes there to this day! If you have never been there, its very hard to describe the obsession that can form from the Minnesota State Fair. Over 1.6 million people attend during its 12 day run. Last year in 2 days my pedometer showed I covered 23 miles. Its a large place! So large, it has 2 sky rides to carry people across the grounds.

This year I decided the Vibrams had to take the Minnesota State Fair challenge. I put them on in our Hotel at 7:30AM and they did not come off my feet until we got home at 11:30PM. In one day I covered about 10 miles walking through cement, dirt, asphalt, carpet and gravel. All while dodging "horse apples", strollers and various spilled food.

The Vibrams performed perfectly! After it was all said and done, my feet were tired, but not sore. I was definitely walking slower by the end of the day. There was one spot on the ball of my foot that I though was going to form a blister, but one never formed. The response to the VFFs were overall positive. I got plenty of strange looks and was stopped countless times by people to ask what the heck they were. As previous people have said, I wish I had business cards I could just hand out when people asked about them. I ended up repeating myself a lot that day.

Vibram Five Fingers really can do anything!

Thanks, Chad! It is always amazing to hear how well our feet can hold up when they are left to do what they are designed to do.

Chad got some black/orange KSOs from his wife for his birthday and wore them back for a second day at the fair. Chad said, "So they really are my Birthday Shoes." See all of Chad's great MN State Fair pics at Chad's "onastick" flickr site.

Barefoot Running Shoes

Nike Zoom Streak XC 2 with Bare Foot Superimposed
Nike Zoom Streak XC 2 with Bare Foot Superimposed

Barefoot running shoes have become all the rage as the advantages of barefoot running have become widely known, but what the heck is a barefoot running shoe? While we might immediately think "barefoot" and "shoe" couldn't possibly coexist together, internet searches for this oxymoronic combination of words have taken off in the last year:

What are these "barefoot running shoes" that everyone is searching for? Sifting through the search results I see a lot of Vibram related links, but also links to Huaraches and Nike Frees. I thought it would be interesting to see where all of these different shoes fall on a "barefoot running shoe" continuum.

What continuum you ask? Read on!

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Hiking the Garden of the Gods in Vibram Five Fingers

Andy and  Kaitlyn at the Garden of the Gods
Andy and Kaitlyn at the Garden of the Gods

Pictured above in their Bikilas and KSOs, Andy and Kaitlyn visited the The Garden of the Gods on their recent trip to Colorado. Andy gives us the details below:

Hey! My name is Andy and recently my girlfriend Kaitlyn and I went to Colorado to visit her parents. Coming from Texas, the cool temperatures were a nice change from the humid Texas heat. While we were there, we went to The Garden of the Gods near Manitou Springs. It was a great place to hike and there were many professional rock climbers there.

Last spring I took up running as a way to stay active and found out about Vibram Five Fingers through a friend. Wearing Five Fingers immediately made running much more enjoyable and I could feel my feet and calves getting stronger the more I ran. WOW! I definitely felt my calves in the beginning! I ran my first 5k in June with a 26 minute time. Since we were going to be in Colorado, I figured, why not sign up for a race while we were there? So I signed up for the Heart and Soul Half Marathon in Boulder Colorado. It was pretty rough for me since I was not adjusted to the high altitude. I chose to run in my Nike Frees since I was unsure how my ankles and feet would hold up in Vibrams for 13 miles.

Next year my plan is to run the same race in Vibrams!

Girlfriend, met the parents, going back next year...hmm...keep putting your best foot forward Andy! Thanks for the story and pics!

26 miles and 385 yards in Five Fingers Bikilas

Blair Crosses the Finish Line
Blair crosses the finish line with his kids at Marathon by the Sea as an onlooker checks out his Bikilas.

Blair has been logging serious miles in his KSOs and Bikilas while accumulating a nice collection of Vibram Five Fingers. Here is what he had to say:

Hi guys,

Just wanted to send along a pic of my second marathon is my Vibrams. First one was in my KSOs. This one was in my Bikilas, along with a pair of Injinji socks - ran a personal best. Tried the socks out one day cause it was pouring rain on a long run - really liked them. Still have yet to see another pair of Vibrams in a race here in Atlantic Canada. The Bikilas are much more suited for road racing - even though the KSOs feel like a much better fit for kicking around and breathe better as well. Slated for a trail half marathon in September then another marathon in October. Made sure I bought a pair of Treks for the trail - hard to believe how well that leather breathes. I can see how this can be addicting. I have my eye on both the new KSO Trek Sports for my October race and the Smartwool Classics to get me through the winter. Real excited about the new models you previewed for 2011. Maybe next year the kids will be wearing them across the finish line as well. :)

Cheers!

PS - looking forward to buying a bday shoes T-shirt - hopefully a tech T :) Great idea.

Blair, congratulations on your PR in the Marathon by the Sea and glad you like the t-shirt!

Five Fingers KSOs in the Klondike

Phillip on Chilkoot Trail
Phillip looks back into a valley and some rocky terrain on Chilkoot Trail.

Phillip, a Vibram Five Fingers fan, and his girlfriend recently hiked the Chilkoot Trail in Alaska and British Columbia. This trail was used by prospectors during the Klondike Gold Rush to reach the Yukon goldfields. It is a 33 mile trail that can takes 3 to 5 days to hike and Phillip did it all in his Vibram Five Fingers KSOs. After the jump, Phillip shares his experience and amazing photos from the hike:

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