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!

The World's First Ever Five Fingers 5k race

Five Fingers 5k Starting Line
Runners line-up for the start of the first annual Five Fingers 5k.

The World's First Ever Five Fingers 5k, sponsored by Mahoney's was held this past weekend in Johnson City, TN. It was open to all runners, regardless of footwear. However, the winner was wearing fivefingers and finished the race in 17:33. Vibram Five Fingers fan, Nestor, ran in the race and shared this excellent report with us:

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Weekend Link Love 6/20/10

BirthdayShoes Week in Review

Happy Father's Day all dads out there! This past week on Birthday Shoes we asked the community to sound off about their favorite Tips and Tricks on Barefoot or Vibram Five Fingers Running. We gave away stickers to the first ten commenters. If you missed it, stay tuned for more sticker, shoe, and t-shirt* giveaways. Birthday Shoes community members Adam and Taylor submitted pics of their escape from Vegas to Red Rock Canyon. Volcanologist, James, said good bye to Iceland and shared these parting shots of his Vibram KSOs. Also, Aaron sent us a cool pic in his KSO Treks that he wears to work in a machine shop—metal shavings and all. After the jump, see links and videos related to barefoot running and, of course, Vibram Five Fingers!

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Tips and Tricks on Barefoot or Vibram Five Fingers Running [Sound off!]

Many Vibram Five Fingers owners bought their Vibrams specifically for running. Others are incorporating straight-up barefoot running into their training. There are even a few of you who are running in other minimalist footwear like the Vivo Barefoot Evo.

Given the paradigm-shift required to go from running in thickly cushioned shoes with elevated heels, many runners turn to forums (like our minimalist or barefoot running forum here), books, or intro guides to natural running styles. There's a lot of information out there!

That said, what hasn't happened is directly asking you what simple tips and tricks have helped you transition to Vibram Five Fingers, minimalist, or barefoot running! So here's the deal. For all you runners out there, please answer the following question:

What tips and tricks have you found to be most helpful to make the transition smooth, get your form down, minimize injury, or otherwise dial-in barefoot or minimalist (Vibram or otherwise) running?

No need to write an essay — in fact, do your best to only sound off on the running tips and tricks that you found helped you out the most. If your favorite barefoot running guru had a particular tidbit of advice that you thought was great, echo that advice (just be sure to say who the guru is!). First ten Vibram Five Fingers (or barefoot) running tips submitted below (one per comment, one per commenter) will get a BirthdayShoes 5-foot logo sticker! (And if you're already won a sticker in the past, please wait patiently!).

What tips and tricks have you found most useful for Vibram Five Fingers, minimalist, or barefoot running?

Sound off below!

Real Men Wear Vibram Five Fingers

Aaron's KSO Treks
Aaron's KSO Treks

Aaron sent us this cool pic of him in the machine shop with his Vibram Five Fingers KSO Treks surrounded by metal shavings and had this to say about it:

Don't tell OSHA! I've been wearing my Vibram Five Fingers in the machine shop for over 2 weeks now, and I don't miss my steel toed work boots even a little bit. This is my fourth pair of VFF's!! My second pair of Treks in 3 weeks!! :) Not because I wore them out, it's just that I love them so much! VFF's are the best thing I've done for my body and spirit in 32 years!

While Vibram KSO Treks may not meet OSHA standards, it is the only Five Fingers model made with Kangaroo Leather and a rugged 4mm cleated sole. Thanks for the pic, Aaron, and we promise not to tell.