Hiking Despite Osteoarthritis in Barefoot Shoes

Hiking Despite Osteoarthritis in Barefoot Shoes

I recently got the above photo from Ron. Ron is a 60+ guy who was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in one knee—after some 32 years of running.

What follows is his story about what the doc's had to say about how he should handle the news, and as you might guess, some FiveFingers came into the picture:

I call this my victory photo.

Last year, at age 60, and after 32 years of running, I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in the left knee. It hurt to walk, let alone, run. My general practitioner doctor suggested minimalist footwear as part of a program that included stretching and strengthening. [Meanwhile, both the] knee specialist and the physical therapist said to back off and use orthotics.

I took my general practitioner's advice.

Well, here I am a year later, relaxing at over 14,000 feet on the top of Mount Bierstadt in the Rocky Mountains. This was just one of several hikes I took during a 6-day vacation. I totalled nearly 35 miles of hiking and every step in my Vibram KSO Treks.

I proved to myself that I wasn't too old to make such a big change after 32 years of walking and running in the most expensive and most cushioned shoes. Of course, I still have osteoarthritis in the knee, but I am back at it, thanks to the therapeutic value stretching, strengthening, and minimalist footwear.

(I go barefoot alot, too!)

Ron A.

Fantastic to hear, Ron! And kudos for following your intuition and having success despite adverse conditions.

Hope you have many more successful hikes!

Clean Sweep for the 30 Somethings in Bikilas

Clean Sweep for the 30 Somethings in Bikilas
Andy, his brothers and friend at the Walla Walla Crush 5K

Andy and company recently ran in the Walla Walla Crush 5K in their recently acquired Vibram Five Fingers Bikilas. Here is what Andy had to say about their effort:

Several weeks ago I purchased a pair of Bikilas and have enjoyed doing recreational running in them. During the last couple months both of my brothers and one of my friends have also been focused on transitioning over to minimalist running in VFFs. None of us had run in an organized event in our VFFs until this past weekend when all four of us decided to run in the Walla Walla Crush 5K in our Bikilas. I was pleased to place first in my age bracket, winning a bottle of wine from one of the wineries that helped sponsor the race. Finishing right behind me were my friend and one of my brothers, placing second and third in our age bracket. Not a bad performance for a group of novice Five Fingers runners during their first organized race in Bikilas! Included are photos of the four of us in our Bikilas after the race and of me with my prize bottle of wine. Next weekend I am running a 10K in my Bikilas...


Great performance, congratulations on all of your successes in making the transition to Five Fingers and doing so well in the race!

Dr. Jawa Runs his First Marathon

Dr. Jawa and his wife
Dr. Jawa and his wife running the St. George Marathon.

Dr. Jawa, is a long time reader and contributor to our blog. You may remember Dr. Jawa doing headstands, teaching in black KSO VFFs, running a half marathon in Las Vegas, or on vacation in Jamaica. Dr. Jawa recently continued his adventures in Vibram Five Fingers by completing his first marathon at the St. George marathon wearing his Vibram Five Fingers Bikilas. Read about this and his other recent escapades after the jump!

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Support Bob Ewing in his D.C. Barefoot Marine Corp Marathon Run

Bob Ewing is once again running the Marine Corps Marathon this year, but unlike his previous MCM last year which he ran in Five Fingers and raised money for St. Judes, this year's marathon is being run in honor of Bob's mother, who is fighting cancer, and Bob's goal is two fold:

  • Raise $5,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
  • Encourage people to join the bone marrow registry.

As part of Bob's efforts, he tapped Chris McDougall, Dan Lieberman, Jason Robillard, Barefoot Ted, and others to help him create a video about his mission. Check it out after the jump!

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New Balance MT100 and MT101 Zeroed Out and Reviewed

Side view, 101 on top
Side view, 101 on top

What follows is best described as a minimalist running enthusiast's quest for foot-friendly "barefoot running shoes" — alternatives to Vibram Five Fingers. Anyone whose had VFFs long enough will tell you that, unfortunately, they don't always cut the mustard — such as in particularly cold weather or when you have a broken toe. Tuck, who you might remember from his custom Russell Moccasins based off the Munson Last, is now blogging regularly over at Yelling Stop. Recently, Tuck shared his attempts to improve upon the New Balance MT100 by zeroing them out back in November 2009. He talks about how they worked post-mod, how he used them, and how he ultimately switched to his custom Russell Mocs in December 2009. Fast forward to now and Tuck has taken another stab at zeroing out New Balance shoes — this time, the new New Balance MT101s.

More after the jump

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Jocelyn BQs in her First Marathon in Five Fingers Bikilas

Jocelyn BQs in her First Marathon in Five Fingers Bikilas
Jocelyn before the start of the Detroit Marathon

A little over a year ago, Jocelyn made the switch to Vibram Five Fingers after knee pain kept her from running long distances. Back then, she shared with us her story about setting a personal record in the 5K in her Vibram Five Fingers KSOs. When I mentioned that post to her, Jocelyn said, "That was a great day. I didn't think I'd be doing a marathon anytime soon when I ran that 5K. And to think someone once told me I shouldn't run anymore. Pshaw!"

That's right folks, Jocelyn ran her first marathon in Bikilas this last weekend! Just finishing a marathon is a major feat. Not only did she finish the Detroit Marathon, she ran a BQ! If you are not familiar with the acronym BQ, it stands for Boston Qualifier, which means she has qualified for the Boston Marathon. To do it in Vibrams and to do it the first time out is truly extraordinary.

Jocelyn finished in a time of 3:35:33! That is a pace of 8:13 per mile for 26.2 miles and may be the fastest marathon run by a woman in Vibram Five Fingers. Jocelyn was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about her amazing experience that you can read after the jump.

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New Balance Releases High Res Photos of Minimus

NB Minimus
NB Minimus

This past Friday, New Balance released high resolution photos of the NB Minimus Trail, NB Minimus Road, and NB Minimus Wellness — three minimalist-minded shoes to be released in Spring 2011. This is the latest in New Balance's "controlled leak" trickle of marketing information designed to build up interest in the line. Apple Computer has used this technique with much success and it seems to be working for New Balance. We've got the high-res photos as well as all the information about the upcoming 2011 New Balance NB Minimus line here. Check it out!

And just as a recap for those just now checking in on this emerging line of minimalist footwear, here's what's happened so far. Back in August, we caught an initial glimpse of an orange version of the Minimus Trail. Later in August, two videos mysteriously appeared on youtube. One featured Anton Krupicka and the Minimus Trail. Another featured Grant Robison (2004 olympics medalist 1500m) with the running version of Minimus. The last bit of information New Balance shared was an interview with Anton Krupicka. He discussed his involvement in the design of the Minimus and New Balance gave us glimpses of the Minimus Trail in various stages of the design process.

So go and see the latest photos and all of our coverage of the New Balance Minimus here! ... and then come back here and let us know what you think in the comments below.