The Inaugural Asheville Marathon at the Biltmore - in Luna Sandals (Venado/original)

The Inaugural Asheville Marathon at the Biltmore - in Luna Sandals (Venado/original)

You're out on a run. Your nose is getting stuffy, so you lean to the side for a quick farmer's blow. It's cold out, but you didn't realize how cold until you go to wipe your nose with the back of your glove to clear off any additional moisture -- only to find that it's already frozen around the edge of your nostril in mere seconds.

Welcome to the inaugural Asheville Marathon, held on the grounds of the beautiful Biltmore estate. "Well," I thought dramatically at around mile 20, "At least I'll die somewhere majestic."

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Splish Splashin' in the Creek with Vibram Five Fingers Classics!

Mary at the nature preserve.
Mary says, "I absolutely love when I step in water in my Vibrams, because when I walk away they leave little footprints!"

Vibram Five Fingers fan, Mary, likes getting back to nature in her Classics. They provide sure footing and it's ok if they get wet! She told us why VFFs work for her:

A friend and I spent the morning at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, which is located in west Plano, Tx. It is a beautiful park with trails and a playground and a creek, among other things. When we got there, we went straight to the creek, I was so excited to run around in my Vibrams! I recently bought some, and I love them to death. I never want to wear any other shoes again. It was so cool to feel all the rocks and all the textures on the creek bed without being poked or prodded. I really did feel more one with nature. At one point I was walking along the bank and started to slip in the mud, and I grabbed onto a vine with my toes and kept from slipping. Yay for Vibrams! I was sad to leave and hope to be able to go back out there soon, but I truly think that my Classics helped make the morning more enjoyable!

Thanks Mary!

The Vibram Five Fingers Bikila is Out!

The Vibram Five Fingers Bikila in Blue and Yellow
The Vibram Five Fingers Bikila in Blue and Yellow

I'm happy to announce that we have a winner to the Vibram Five Fingers Bikila giveaway contest. There were almost 3,000 entries in the contest, and I will be emailing the winner here shortly!

Of course, having a winner means just one thing: it seems the long wait has finally come to an end -- the Vibram Five Fingers Bikila is out, which is to say it is making its way out, albeit slowly and piecemeal, to retailers both online and offline alike. Specifically, CitySports will have for sale about 180 pairs available online this afternoon for purchase in the blue and yellow mens version (photoed above) at this link (inventory will go live at approximately 3pm!). As I alluded to above, the Bikila's distribution is happening a bit piecemeal, which is why I'm sad to say that the women's version isn't yet available for online purchase! When this changes, I will send out another email about it.

I've no idea how long this short batch of Bikilas will last, but if I had to guess, I think they will go quickly, so if you're looking to buy the Vibram Five Fingers Bikila, I'd not delay! As far as other details are concerned, the Five Fingers Bikila sizes (in theory) the same as the Vibram Five Fingers KSO (though the fit feels a bit different due to different strap technology: the Bikila has a wider top opening, a more forward top strap, and no heel strap) and is priced at $99.95. Note that the BIRTHDAY coupon code should get you free shipping at CitySports (let me know if it doesn't!).

Again, here's a link to buy the blue/yellow Vibram Bikila — note that this page will update to have inventory for purchase just as soon as CitySports flips the switch this afternoon!

And if you hadn't already seen it, I posted a ton of pictures (and detailed description) of the Vibram Five Fingers Bikila in the silver/grey/red over at BirthdayShoes the other week. In short, I think the Bikila is an awesome product and I both look forward to putting it through the ropes and hearing how VFF fans at large like these new "barefoot running shoes."

Justin / Chief Editor, BirthdayShoes.com

An interview with TJ, President of The Barefoot Runners Society

Check out the bling!
Taken after the 2009 Omaha Marathon, from left to right are Benny, TJ, Barefoot Rick, and Aaron. Omaha was the first event in the US to have a Barefoot Runners Division.

We recently interviewed Tamara a.k.a. TJ, the President of The Barefoot Runners Society and the force behind the foundation of the RunnersWorld barefoot running forum. We asked TJ to talk about her switch to barefoot running as well as the Barefoot Runners Society. BirthdayShoes' own Justin recently participated in a trail run organized by The Barefoot Runners Society in BDS (and BRS!) headquarters here in Atlanta, Georgia.

When did you first get into barefoot running?

I’ve been running barefoot for 19 months now.

How did you find out about it?

I was out on a longer than usual run with my hubby who was pushing our two boys in the double jogger when I started having horrible pain in the toes on my left foot. The pain was so intense; I thought I had fractured them. I sat down, took my shoes off, started rubbing my toes, and the pain went away. I decided to leave my shoes off and finish my run without them. I thought how incredibly simple and comfortable it was to run barefoot. I felt I had truly hit upon something, something that would change how I felt about running forever.

Turns out I have Morton’s Neuroma, a condition where the metatarsal bones of the feet compress the nerves causing them to grow. I cannot wear most types of shoes, and I cannot wear shoes when I run. I’ve known that I had a problem for years, even predating my running life; I just didn’t know what the problem was.

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Tyre changing in Vibram Five Finger Blue Camo Sprints

Lionel gettin' it done!
Lionel changes a friend's flat tire with amazing enthusiasm.

Wikipedia - Tyre (wheel), the outer part of a wheel in British English (equivalent to tire in American English).

Ever have a flat tire and just can't get those tightened lug nuts to budge? Well, Australian Vibram Five Fingers fan, Lionel, knows how to use just the right amount of leverage, strength and Five Fingers awesomeness to get them loose. Here's what Lionel had to say about his chivalrous pursuits:

I recently got my first pair of VFFs and I got the blue camo sprints, after I was introduced to them by a friend of mine. Both of us went in search of VFFs here in Melbourne, but they are so expensive here. We actually almost bought a pair of ebay, but after stumbling upon your amazing site I found out that the ones me and my mate were going to get were knock offs!!! Thank god for Birthdayshoes.com!!!

I've been wearing my VFFs over the weekend walking around Melbourne CBD, so that I can get used to 'em and they feel great.

My story today, is that I've used the VFFs, in I reckon the most unique way anyone has used them before...

I CHANGED A TYRE in EM!!!

My girlfriend's housemate's car had a flat tyre, and I was up to the task of changing the tyre in my VFFs. Both my girlfriend and her housemate said that I should be really careful in my VFFs, because they think it is too thin.

BUT GUESS WHAT?!

TADA!!! I changed the tyre without even breaking a sweat, in a multi storey carpark in Melbourne's CBD. I did it without any problems and it was easy as 1,2,3!

Hooray for Vibram Five Fingers!

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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.