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!

Sprint Triathlon in Vibram Five Fingers KSOs

Sprint Triathlon in Vibram Five Fingers KSOs
Jason doing the East Fork Sprint Triathlon in his brown KSOs.

Jason, a Vibram Five Fingers fan, recently ran in the East Fork Sprint Triathlon in his brown KSOs and sent us this report:

I have enjoyed your site for a while now and love to see all the different things that people do in their Five Fingers, I have a brown pair of KSOs and wear them constantly. This past weekend I raced in them doing a Sprint distance Triathlon, it was great. This race was 1/2 mile swim, 12 mile bike, 5k run in that order. The swim was in East Fork Lake in OH and the bike and run were through the rather hilly park including one steep hill coming up from water level to the high ground. I got lots of shouts from the crowd about my shoes and other racers actually talked to me about them during the race.

I wanted so bad to swim in them but the race event people said that it wasn't allowed, so that meant barefoot swim and leaving them at the transition point. The KSOs did fine in the cycling for me I didn't use any straps on the pedals or anything like that, this was my first race so I just wanted to finish and in a decent time. I did figure out one trick on the cycling, after a few miles I would shift my foot to different positions on the pedals, i.e when I really had to pedal hard I would use either the balls of my feet or use the heel and when I was just pacing I would rest mid foot..Overall it was an awesome experience and the KSOs made it so much better. I am planning on another tri event race in Oct, where instead of swimming we canoe, and the run is a trail run, and you can bet my KSO will be getting me around on that one to, unless of course I start collecting other models.

The whole experience was amazing and doing it is KSOs just made it that much better. At the end of the race, my wife even suggested we get Classics for our upcoming anniversary gifts to each other. I think I converted her as well. If I keep with racing, I am going to have to try some Bikilas. So far my KSOs have done days at Disney, hiking trips, hunting trips, crossfit, and now a triathlon. The amazing thing is over a year in them and they look new still.

Jason, thanks for the race report. Over a year and they still look new, that's great! Perhaps you read our Definitive Guide to Cleaning Vibram Five Fingers. :)

Welcome Yahoo Readers!


We experienced a spike in traffic today that appears related to a Yahoo! Shine article entitled, Baring It All: The Barefoot Running Trend. However you have found your way to Birthday Shoes, welcome to our site!

Here is a quick list of heavy hitting content related to barefoot running and Vibram Five Fingers:

Also, check out the section labeled "about those toe shoes ..." in the column to your right for detailed information on each of the Vibram Five Fingers models.

Thanks for visiting!

Saucony Grid Type A4 Racing Flat Review

Saucony Grid Type A4
The Saucony Grid Type A4.

A Minimalist Alternative

Back in April, I started running consistently after about, uh, a 30 year layoff. I learned about barefoot running here on Birthday Shoes and I decided to give it a try. I had tried running on and off through the years, but was an old school heel striker and always gave up due to back and knee pain. These days, when I run "barefoot" in Five Fingers Bikilas I don't have these problems and running is fun again.

Starting out, I focused on taking it slow and developing a proper forefoot strike. All went well for the first couple of months and my perfectly fitting Bikilas are just great. However, due to either pushing myself too hard lately or perhaps the inherent frailty of my middle aged body, I have developed a mild case of achilles tendonitis.

So, what follows is my search for a shoe that I could alternate with my Bikilas to relieve some of the stress on my achilles tendon...

Read the rest of this post »

Relaxing in Vibram Five Fingers Bahamas Style

Relaxing in Vibram Five Fingers Bahamas Style

In the photo above, Paul and Janette enjoy some beach time in their Vibram Five Fingers while on vacation in the Bahamas. Paul sent us this message:

My wife and I, took a trip to the Bahamas this July and of course we brought our VFF's (SPRINT and KSOs). We have been wearing them almost everyday since we got them three months ago. They are great for running but we can't believe how good they are for water sports! We got so many compliments about the shoes. They all wanted to know how to get them and all I said was go to BIRTHDAYSHOES.COM.

Ah, the water sure looks nice. Maybe it is time to organize a Birthday Shoes cruise. Ha, it rhymes! Thanks for the kind words, Paul.

Merrell Barefoot 2011 Collection Sneak Peak!

Merrell Barefoot 2011 Collection Sneak Peak!

Thanks to our friends at The Shoe Mart, we've been given a sneak peak at the upcoming 2011 Merrell Barefoot line-up via some photos they've shared with us. The new Merrell Barefoot's feature a Vibram sole and will come in three varieties each for men and women (The Trail, True, and Tough Glove for men; the Power, Pace, and Pure Glove for women). We take a first look at this line-up after the jump!

» Read about the 2011 Merrell Barefoot line!

Finnish Girls Hike Alps in Toe Shoes

Finnish Girls Hike Alps in Toe Shoes

Sara and Eeva were ready to get the heck out of Finland after graduation, so it was off to the German Alps where they could hike through the snow in their Five Fingers. They sent us some pics and a summary of their trip:

We are two Finnish girls who after graduation wanted to travel somewhere and decided to go hiking, not in Finland, but in the Alps! During four days we hiked a total distance of 75 km from the village Lenggries to Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Because of the rough terrain + an additional 12 kg on our backs we mostly had to wear hiking boots but when the trails were more road-like we didn't hesitate to slip into our Fivefingers and the change was a great relief to our feet!

The day the pictures were taken we did a 10 km downhill hike, in the middle of the otherwise 12 h long stage, Eeva wearing her Classics and me in my KSOs.

We also wore Fivefingers when we were at Germany's highest mountain, Zugspitze, and the glacier Zugspitzplatt.

75K in four days! Now that is a whole lot of hiking through what looks like tough but very beautiful terrain. Thanks so much for sending us your story from Europe and congratulations on graduating.