Doing the Ultimate Hike in FiveFingers - Help Alejandra Out!

Doing the Ultimate Hike in FiveFingers - Help Alejandra Out!

The following is a guest post by Alejandra Aldana

On May 4, 2013, I will be participating in Ultimate Hike, a 28.3 mile hike benefiting CureSearch for Children's Cancer. My goal is to not only complete this very long hike in one day, but also help raise awareness and $2500 in funds for CureSearch.

CureSearch for Children's Cancer, a National Childhood Cancer Foundation, funds and supports targeted and innovative children's cancer research with measurable results, and is the authoritative source of information and resources for all those affected by children's cancer. CureSearch funds both local and national research, ensuring that a cure will be found as quickly as possible.

I have decided to take this challenge for a number of reasons. I want the opportunity to help give back to those affected by cancer as well as improve my life and fitness. Part of what I hope to accomplish other than raising funds for children in need is becoming part of a community and pushing my boundaries.

I plan on completing the 28.3 miles completely in my Vibram Five Fingers and while many people are advising me against it, I just don't see myself doing it without them. It is going to take a lot of building my feet up, but I am more than confident I will be able to do so. If you are able to donate to my fundraising that would be great. If not that will be fine, too. What I would love to get out of this, is the opportunity to share my journey with others. There is nothing more powerful and exhilarating than a sense of community for a great cause. If you are interested in joining me on my minimalist journey please let me know as soon as possible (we have already started our first training session). If you would like to help follow and share me and my cause you can do so at 10littlepiggies.tumblr.com.

You can also donate directly by following this link.

Thanks again for your support and encouragement!

Veteran Runner Makes the Switch to Vibram Five Fingers KSOs

Steve at Big Sur
Steve runs comfortably in his Vibram Five Fingers KSOs at the Big Sur Marathon.

Vibram Fiver Fingers fan, Steve, recently ran in his 15th Big Sur Marathon, and his first in VFF KSOs. Steve comments on the switch:

I saw at least 3 other runners with VFFs, including a woman in purple ones, and one barefoot runner. I got quite a few positive comments on mine and I was surprised how many had heard of VFFs and were interested in my experience with them. I was happy to oblige and emphasized the fact that they are very comfortable to run and walk in, far more so than regular running shoes with all their padding - after running in these for 6 months regular shoes seem squishy and unstable. There was a Vibram booth at the expo and I got to see the new Bikila - I can't wait to buy a pair! I've been running for over 50 years, and had no trouble transitioning to KSOs, though instead of my normal 4 month marathon training cycle I started a couple months early to ease into using them just in case I had any problems. I have no regrets about switching over, in fact I look forward to my runs more than I have in years, and as a side benefit, despite doing most of my training in the hills, for the first time in forever I have no black toenails! VFFs Rock!

Thanks Steve! Please send us some photos when you get your Bikilas.

Vibram Five Finger KSO Treks Perfom Well in an Extreme Trail Race (Fell Race)

Dig the shades!
Steve descending from the final summit in his Black Vibram Five Fingers KSOs.
(Photo courtesy of Alastair Tye)

Vibram Five Fingers fan, Steve, recently put his black KSO Treks through their paces, running the Llantysilio Fell Race in Wales. Wikipedia says that fell running dates back to 1040 in Scotland. A bit from Steve on fell racing and the Llantysilio course:

A fell race is an extreme trail race, usually taking competitors from a valley up to one or more high peaks via un-runnably steep tracks, and then returning to the valley with an almost suicidal descent. Routes are typically rocky, muddy or both, there's some limited freedom to choose one's own path, and the emphasis is on vertical gain. This video gives the general idea.

In this particular case, the short 6.2 mile (approx 10km) course featured a whopping 2100ft (approx 650m) of climbing, and an equal descent back to the start.

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Weekend Link Love 5/1/10

BirthdayShoes News!

Are you a member of the forums? We recently surpassed 1,000 members in the forums! If you have questions or want to get better connected with other Vibram Five Fingers fans, take the two minutes to create an account (it's free!) and join one of the friendliest, most helpful online communities on the net! Check out the Vibram Five Fingers fan forums!

ATTENTION email subscribers! In an attempt to reduce the number of emails you're getting in your inbox, the email subscription feed has been set to send one weekly email digest on Mondays! That said, BirthdayShoes news posts will send separately from the digest (and within 24 hours). Not an email subscriber? Subscribe already! And there's always the RSS feed, too.

Finally, got word that site sponsor Travel Country recently got a load of new stock in case you're hunting for a hard to find color or size. Not Bikilas though.

Speaking of barefoot running shoes, did you know that Soft Star Shoes just released their new barefoot running shoe/moccasin called the RunAmoc? The RunAmoc can be ordered with either a 2mm or 5mm Vibram sole in a couple different upper configurations — some of the leathers can even be mixed and matched for your own custom-made running shoes! If you're new to the Soft Star seen, I've previously reviewed (and continue to enjoy) the Soft Star Grippy Roos / Moccasins. I've got Soft Star sending me a pair of red and black RunAmocs and will report more on them soon!

After the jump, an official Vibram video from the All-Star clinic, links to barefoot running research and how-to, and a few new reviews!

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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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