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!

Making the Transition to Minimalist Marathon Running in Vibram Five Fingers

Sam running in the Rotterdam Marathon
Sam running relaxed and on his forefoot in his VFFs, while others trudge along on their heels.

Sam, a marathon runner living in London, has made the transition to minimalist running over the last 8 months. After trying to transition too quickly, he stepped back and made a more gradual transition and recently completed the Rotterdam Marathon wearing his Vibram Five Fingers KSOs. His story is compelling and there is much to be learned from his experiences. This is a must read for serious runners transitioning to VFFs.

Sam's Story

Finding Five Fingers

I got on to Five Fingers around mid 2009 after a pretty bad knee injury I could not shake. I was able to finish my third marathon in a PB of 3h04m46s, but I fell over the line and I could hardly walk for a week. My left knee was shot. After weeks and months of searching on why, I came across the Five Fingers and minimalist running. Something about them just made sense... I get the feeling many others who wear them felt the same when they first laid eyes on them.

Transitioning Too Quickly

Well, I started out with a few small runs after my knee was feeling better, a few km's at a time and they felt GREAT! I could instantly feel the change it had made to my gait. I was running far more upright, with shorter steps and of course I was landing on my forefoot first. I had the obligatory calf pain, but as I had read this was "something we all had to go through!" As I had just finished my marathon and was planning the next, all I wanted to do was hit the trails on the weekends for my long run in my Five Fingers. I had the fitness, I was strong, so why couldn't I handle a 25km in the five fingers after only a few weeks running in them?

Well, that was a big mistake! A few days later, my left foot ceased up (I later found out related to an extremely stiff calf!) and I was back to square one. Or was I? Was it due to the FF's? Was it my poor form? I was at a loss.

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Vibram Five Fingers KSOs Give Grand Canyon Hiker a Foot Massage and Impress Park Rangers

Nick at the Grand Canyon
Nick sits precariously close to the edge of the Grand Canyon. Hold on tightly Nick! It is over a mile to the bottom.

Vibram Five Fingers fan, Nick, comments on hiking the Grand Canyon in his KSOs:

I've been running in my KSOs for a few months now, but haven't had much opportunity to take them out into nature and get them dusty. I recently went to the Grand Canyon and figured this was a great opportunity to introduce them to the outside.

My buddy and I hiked the South Kaibab trail down to Bright Angel Creek and back - over seven miles each way, and about 4000 feet elevation change. Even with a ten pound pack on my back, the KSOs held up. They gave me enough traction on the dusty trails, and my feet were comfortable the whole way. Walking over the small pebbles on the trail felt like I was getting a constant foot rub. And nearly everyone on the trail stopped me to ask what those "funny-looking shoes" were!

The best part? We were staying down in Bright Angel with some friends who work in the park as rangers and EMTs, and even they were impressed and curious about my KSOs. The first question was usually how my feet felt (great!), and the second question was "You hiked all the way down here in those?!?" After confirming that, yes, I did hike all the way down in them, they all said that they were definitely going to look into getting a pair. I ended up impressing some park rangers - who are all professional gear-heads - and had an amazing hike. I can't wait to continue my KSO National Park tour.

Thanks for telling us about your adventure Nick!

Denim Classics in the Vibram Five Fingers 2010 European Line-up

Denim Classics
Dirk's Vibram Five Fingers Denim Classics

The denim Classics, released only in Europe, are a stylish alternative for Vibram Five Fingers wearers. European Five Fingers fan, Dirk, gives his take on this new model:

It might be considered the Rolls Royce of the Classic family, at least price-wise, but perhaps also because of the very nice look. I've only recently started wearing it, somehow it did not feel right for me to wear this color in the winter. I'm noticing people generally are impressed by the look of this shoe, more so than when I'm wearing 'regular' colors. Somehow, the jeans look adds to the exclusiveness, and they're more open to the concept of VFF's.

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An Interview with Barefoot Michael, Founder of the Primalfoot Alliance

Barefoot Michael
Barefoot Michael, Founder of the Primalfoot Alliance

BirthdayShoes recently interviewed the Founder of the Primalfoot Alliance, Barefoot Michael (We've previously seen Michael on BirthdayShoes in his Sprint Vibram Five Fingers here, Michael blogs at Barefoot and Grounded). The Primalfoot Alliance was founded to advocate on behalf of feet — and for those who would prefer to engage the world "primalfoot." Without further ado, here's our interview with Barefoot Michael on the Primalfoot Alliance:

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Vibram Five Fingers provide sure footing in the jungles of Belize and Guatemala

Vibram Five Fingers provide sure footing in the jungles of Belize and Guatemala

Travelers, Jeff and his wife, found that their Vibram Five Fingers classics and KSOs were perfect for scaling ruins and exploring caves in the jungles of Belize and Guatemala.

Jeff commented on their trip:

My wife and I each have the VFF Classics and KSOs, which worked perfectly for our recent trip to the jungles of Belize and Guatemala. At the Mayan ruins at Tikal in Guatemala, the Vibrams were perfect for gripping ruins that often had difficult surfaces. After visiting the ruins, they proved equally helpful on a zipline tour. The water picture shows us cave tubing on a river in Belize, with me in the KSOs and my wife in the Classics. Unfortunately, we have no pictures in our KSOs on the day spelunking at Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) where the shoes were indispensable. We were often up to our chests in water where secure footing was often difficult to come by. Our fellow cavers in traditional shoes (and even those in Chaco-type sandals) were slipping and sliding, The "toe-by-toe" feedback of the KSOs let us know just how much stability we could expect, and their grip on the wet limestone never failed us. Now if only they'd artificially light the cave so that we could have taken some pictures of us in there...

Thanks Jeff!

Vibram Five Fingers Fan Blazes a Trail in the Warrior Dash

Jawa leaping the fire pit
Clad in his Vibram Five Fingers KSOs, Jawa takes a flying leap over the fire pit!

Recently, Jawa, who you might recall from his Jamaican Vibram vacation or his Las Vegas Half Marathon, ran in a Warrior Dash wearing his Vibram Five Fingers KSOs.

Jawa commented on the race:

The course was 3.08 miles long with 12 obstacles. Over 5,300 warriors raced on that day and I placed in the top 9%. Obstacles included leaping over fire, trudging through water over logs, and scrambling under barbed wire. I didn’t see anyone else at the race wearing Vibram Five Fingers.

More photos after the jump ...

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