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!

Black KSOs on Buzzards Rock Trail

Buzzard Rock Trail
The entrance to Buzzard Rock Trail in Baltimore County, Md.

Aaron recently broke away from the daily grind and got some time to himself in the Patapsco Valley State Park on Buzzards Rock Trail. It was just him and his black KSOs and here is his story:

by Aaron

My first real trail experience in VFF?s is about to begin.

I was very excited to get out on the trail for many reasons. First, I had not had a real hike in a few years. I kept wanting to, but with a wife and baby (he will be two August 23rd), I have found that a full day to tromp around in the woods is a tall order. I teach special education & work part time at an outdoor store. So between two jobs, taking care of Eli and trying to avoid housework, I have my hands pretty full.

I finally decided the time had come to get outside. I slapped on my black KSO?s, jumped in the car, put the top down*, and headed to Buzzards Rock Trail.

I was grinning ear to ear as I stepped on the cool soft dirt trail. I was connected to the environment in a very deep way. All of the sights, sounds, and smells I had been away from for so long were right there where I left them.

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New Balance Minimus "Barefoot Shoe" line slated for Spring 2011

New Balance has released some macro photos of one of their upcoming shoes for their new line called the Minimus.  The New Balance Minimus line is intended to cater to needs within the growing minimalist footwear / "Barefoot shoe" movement.
New Balance has released some macro photos of one of their upcoming shoes for their new line called the Minimus. The New Balance Minimus line is intended to cater to needs within the growing minimalist footwear / "Barefoot shoe" movement.

New Balance recently reached out to the minimalist running blogging community with news of their upcoming, Spring 2011 (March) new shoe line called the New Balance Minimus by way of sending off some macro photos of a pair of Minimus shoes. New Balance reached out to Birthday Shoes, specifically, and above, you can see a photo-stitched rendition of the three main photos NB sent to the blogosphere — but in this case they are mashed together so as to make sense of them. Also, after a bit of persistence, I was able to get them to send me two more photos (the ones at the bottom) that you won't find anywhere else. Note the orange outline is pure speculation on my part and if I had to guess, I'd say this is the Minimus Trail!

A heavy first look at what we know about the New Balance Minimus as well as a full photo gallery after the jump!

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Vibram Five Fingers Trek Sport, Blue Bikila Released for Sale!

The Black and Charcoal Vibram Five Fingers Trek Sport, the non-leather cousin of the KSO Trek, and the Vibram Five Fingers Bikila in a nice royal blue and silver/grey.
The Black and Charcoal Vibram Five Fingers Trek Sport, the non-leather cousin of the KSO Trek, and the Vibram Five Fingers Bikila in a nice royal blue and silver/grey.

It's been six long months since we first saw the Vibram Five Fingers Trek Sport — and the blue and grey Vibram Five Fingers Bikila showcased at the winter Outdoor Retailer — at last they are here. Yep, it's time to pick up "just one more" pair of VFFs*! And if you just got the KSO Remix or the Smartwool Classics (Released last week) or the Colorway Sprints for women released Monday, I've got two words for ya: Ramen Noodles**.

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Why I Chose $99 Red Bikilas over a $1,000,000 Red Ferrari to Solve my Mid Life Crisis.

Running in my Bikilas
Me running in red/grey Vibram Five Fingers Bikilas. (All photos by Kent)

The Birth of Birthday Shoes

Over a year ago, when Justin mentioned to me that he was starting a blog about Vibram Five Fingers and minimalist footwear, I thought it was interesting, but after looking at a pair of VFFs, I didn't really think they would catch on (wrong!). We ended up tossing around ideas for a domain name and I came up with BirthdayShoes.com as a play on "Birthday Suit". He liked it! Then, Justin went off to build his blog and I wasn't involved in Birthday Shoes at that point.

I occasionally peeked in at the site and a year quickly flew by. Then, a few months ago we were talking how Birthday Shoes had really taken off and how Justin was overloaded with other work duties and we agreed that I would help out with the blog. He even sent me some Classics so I could feel like part of the club. Now, after seeing how passionate folks are about their Five Fingers and wearing mine for a few months, I can see that the phenomena of VFFs is here to stay.

What follows is how I went from skeptic to regular Five Fingers runner...

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Women?s Vibram Five Fingers KSO Review

Rachel in her KSOs
Rachel wearing her KSOs on a recent trip to Spain (Picture taken by Rachel's friend, Jodi Campbell)

Guest Post by Rachel

The women's aqua Vibram Five Fingers KSOs a hit? ...
... or a case of "fit" or miss?

I never thought I would own a pair of Vibram Five Fingers KSOs. I started out with the Sprints, planned to get a pair of KSO Treks eventually, and contemplated the Classic for dressier use. The KSOs struck me as redundant and I worried about getting my feet into them. I have high arches and tall, muscular feet, and I rarely can find closed-top shoes like clogs that fit. I also don?t like bright colors on my feet; indeed most of my wardrobe overall is earthtoned with a few spots of color.

Yet here I am, happily wearing a pair of bright aqua KSO Vibram Five Fingers - with the camouflage pattern on the soles no less.

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Fantastic Father-in-law Favors Five Fingers!

Mike and his father-in-law
Mike and his father-in-law on the left in their blue Bikilas after running the San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon, and on the right, Mike runs in a pair of red and white Bikilas while his father-in-law strides along in his KSOs.

Mike is a lucky guy to have a hip father-in-law who encouraged him to try running in Vibram Five Fingers. He shared his story with us:

I started running this spring due to my Father in Law's influence and it's been a great experience. He introduced me to running and what would be my Five Finger addiction. I was surprised to learn a little shop in our little city sold VFF's, so I went down and bought my first pair of Treks. Not long after, I was running in those AND a new pair of Sprints! My FIL had a pair of KSOs and we were off running. When I heard the Bikila's finally were released in Boston, thanks to Birthday Shoes' quick reporting, I asked a forum member if he would be willing to buy me a pair and ship them off, and with the kind people who frequent your website, he did! Not long after that when City Sports had a limited release I bought a blue pair also, and one pair for my FIL.

I ran my first half marathon with him at the San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon in our Bikila's and it went great! We spotted a few more pairs of Bikila's and a few other VFF's and we both actually had conversations with other runners inquiring about our VFF's during the run. It was AWESOME! We now have lined up 5 Halfs each month from September to January '11. Thanks for putting out such a great site full of good information and members, and thanks Marty (my FIL) for the inspiration!

Thanks for telling us about your extra cool father-in-law and good luck on knocking out those next 5 half marathons in your Five Fingers.