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 Help with Plantar Fasciitis

Vibram Five Fingers Help with Plantar Fasciitis
John running in a local Turkey Trot and trail running in the Coronado Mtns, AZ.

John sent us the following story about how Vibram Five Fingers have helped him solve his plantar fasciitis problems:

Listen up kiddos. I have major feet problems, plantar fasciitis and the Army gave me inserts, which gave me stress fractures. Told me I was limited to 1/2 mile runs. You never know how much you miss running till you can't do it any longer.

A good friend and workout buddy had some Sprints on, and yeah I made fun of him. He told me to check them out, so I went on the web and hit up this site along with reading the pros and cons of barefoot running techniques. Started with the Classics, broke my feet in slowly, worked my way up to a pair of Treks, did some trail running in them out in AZ up in the mountains (Coronado), and felt like a kid again. Had to not really teach myself how to run, but to remind my body and feet to do forefoot strikes. Came back home and went crazy and bought the Bikilas and Sports.

I was having to do a walking PT test, and it sucked. Now that I am running again, I freakin' crushed the other guys in my unit out of no where on our last test. I do 8 miles about once a week and then do regular short runs of 3 miles about 3 days a week, and try to do a 5K every weekend. Get this, I've actually been placing in the top 3 sometimes and always the top 10 in my age group (40). This time last year I wasn't going more then 1 mile without pain. These shoes have made such a difference in my physical condition it's crazy.

John's hints for newbies:

  • read reviews
  • get one pair to work into and get your feet use to them slowly
  • get your second pair and rotate them out daily, I never wear regular shoes any longer except my work boots
  • get some foot powder/spray and powder your feet daily and spray the shoes
  • throw them in the washer every so often otherwise they will get funky, but don't machine dry them, hang them out
  • be prepared for questions from people you don't even know. If we all work together, this might just change the world!

I'm doing 5K races like crazy, starting to do 10Ks this month, and I feel like a teenager running from 5-10k in the Vibrams.

Much Love and Happiness

Thanks for the testimonial John! Sounds like you've had great results eliminating your plantar fasciitis pain and are running some really fast times.

New Balance NB Minimus Trail Review

The NB Minimus Trail running shoe in orange.  This is a wear test pair provided by New Balance to test out and share with readers!
The NB Minimus Trail running shoe in orange. This is a wear test pair provided by New Balance to test out and share with readers!

If you haven't yet heard (and you're comfy as can be living under a rock somewhere!), New Balance is releasing a new line of minimalist footwear in Spring 2011 under the brand NB Minimus. The NB Minimus line includes a road running shoe, a trail running shoe, and a "wellness" shoe for everyday or general fitness wear. The fine folks at New Balance are providing us with a sneak peak at these minimalist shoes by way of wear test pairs — last week Britt posted his initial review of the NB Minimus Road running shoe, and today, below, is an initial review of the New Balance NB Minimus Trail.

More after the jump!

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New Balance NB Minimus Road Review

New Balance NB Minimus Road
New Balance NB Minimus Road

Recently, New Balance sent me a pre-release version of their upcoming New Balance NB Minimus Road. Months ago, when I first saw pictures of the Minimus Road, I thought they had retro look. This was not what I expected a minimalist running shoe to look like, so I was curious to see how they would perform. The pair I received are dark graphite with florescent red accents and different from the colors I had previously seen. After receiving them, I wore them for a couple of days and took them out for a 4.5 mile road run. I have been very pleasantly surprised by their great look, feel and minimalist features that I have detailed in the following initial review.

Read my initial review, see a video overview and lots of pics after the jump.

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