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Latest Vibram Five Fingers Reviews 10/25/09

This past week's latest Vibram FiveFingers reviews:

  • Vibram Five Fingers KSO early review at Andy Oakley [KSO]:

    The idea definitely appealed but I held a few reservations: will they rub against my feet, what happens when they get wet, how will they handle rocky ground, walking on hard surfaces like concrete, smell and maintenance. I’ve been pleasantly surprised. The fit is ideal, no complaints there, even when wet. Crossing rocky ground is a little interesting, you definitely feel everything although jumping onto small rocks is probably to be avoided. That said, the hike up to Rattlesnake Ledge today was easy and the lighter weight is definitely noticable on climbs. Concrete and other surfaces are a bit less forgiving and I would probably worry about my knees over time. So far, I haven’t have enough time to comment on how the hold up over time.

See last week's Latest 5 Fingers reviews here.

Allan "Survives" a Race through Edinburgh, Scotland in VFF Classics

Allan "Survives" a Race through Edinburgh, Scotland in VFF Classics
Allan is pictured here alongside his team before the "Survival of the Fittest" 10K race through Edinburgh, Scotland.

In the mailbag this week comes an email from VFFer Allan who recently partook in a very unusual 10K race through Edinburgh, Scotland. The race was a mixture of running and running through, around, or over various obstacles. Allan completed the race in his grey and orange Classic FiveFingers.

Here is Allan's account of the wily race through Edinburgh:

Hi Justin,

First of all, I love your website! Birthdayshoes is brilliant to find out about other fivefigner wearers and what they get up to, as well as finding out about all the latest news.

Last sunday, I took part in the final challenge of a three part "survival of the fittest" running event in Edinburgh, Scotland wearing my grey fivefingers classics ... The run was 10km through the centre of Edinburgh, but this was no ordinary run, as several “challenges” tested the runners throughout.

The race began on the historic Royal Mile, which connects Edinburgh Castle & the Scottish parliment. One hundred meters down from the start line, runners had to clamber over a series of hay bail walls, before continuing down the narrow side streets & stairwells of the Old Town before reaching 'Jacob's Ladder' – three hundred narrow steep steps connecting the city's lower level with it's upper level. Soon after this came the climb up Calton Hill, a one hundred meter elevation that forms part of Edinburgh's former volcanic landscape. A combination of stepped & off-road track led the runners to their next challenge – an army assault course comprising cargo net climbs, rope swings, monkey bars & crawling under cargo nets.

Runners then received a welcome aid as the course flowed back down the hill, down 'Jacob's Ladder' & back into the Old Town, where runners met their next unique challenge – a short clamber through two wrecked cars (in the boot, out through the front window).

The next couple of kilometers offered the nearest thing to a conventional running race, although contenders still had to deal with the undulating nature of the city. After a short time, runners arrived at the centrepiece of Edinburgh's volcanic iconography, Arthur's Seat, where the runners enjoyed a brief moment of fun with a thirty foot water slide down the hillside.

The next challenges took runners through artificial spiders webs & a 'wall of water' provided courtesy of two of Edinburgh's fire engines and their hoses. A five hundred meter long sub-terrain disused railway tunnel took runners further towards their finish line, leading runners toward Edinburgh's night life centre, the Cowgate. Here, runners had to navigate a comical tribute to the city's current bain – a building site, complete with rock climbs, blockade hurdles and a trek up and down a four-storey derelict building. Runners then faced a sharp uphill climb back to the Royal Mile where the next (inflatable) assault course brought a smile to some tired faces. Heading back through the Cowgate, runners approaching the finish had to navigate a series of skilful Parkour challenges before entering the finishing straight – or so runners thought...

An unwelcome route diversion took runners one hundred meters up the side of The Mound, a volcanic throne for Edinburgh Castle, before competitors raced down to the finishing line to face an eight foot wall – get over by any means necessary. The finishing line followed to mark a memorable and challenging ten kilometer run .

I completed the race in a team of six, wearing my grey VFF classics (with socks for comfort). This was the first time I've run any significant distance in my VFFs, but i thoroughly enjoyed it (except for the sharp rocks in the building site :( ). Without any prior training for the event and with several stops to wait for some of the other fifteen hundred contenders to pass through, I finished in a reasonable time of 1 hour 15 minutes (normally a slow time for 10k, but given the circumstances I am satisfied). I will certainly be trying more events like this in my VFFs!

Thanks very much,


Sounds like it was quite a wild 10K! I'm impressed that you managed it so quickly, particularly given it was your first race in FiveFingers. It's also good to know your VFFs managed such an adventurous obstacle course with ease (sharp rocks aside)!

Thanks for sharing with us, Allan!

"Barefoot" Michael Camps in Sprint Five Fingers

"Barefoot" Michael Camps in Sprint Five Fingers
"Barefoot" Michael goes camping in his FiveFinger Sprints.
"Barefoot" Michael Camps in Sprint Five Fingers
Ah the acorn — Fall is here at last.
"Barefoot" Michael Camps in Sprint Five Fingers
Can you manage a rocky creekbed in VFFs? If you don't mind a free foot massage, then yes!
"Barefoot" Michael Camps in Sprint Five Fingers
VFFs by the campfire make keeping your tootsies warm all the easier (Just don't melt the rubber soles)!
"Barefoot" Michael Camps in Sprint Five Fingers
Michael takes off his VFFs for some barefoot time!

"Barefoot" Michael sent in the above photos of a recent camping trip he took to Wallace State Park, Cameron, Missouri. Here's Michael on the trip:

Hey, BarefootMichael here! (@BarefootMichael on Twitter and "Barefoot and Grounded" — blog) Here's some photos from my recent camping trip.

Wallace State Park in Cameron, Missouri, is beautiful this time of year! I couldn't help but join family to go camping. Being a barefooter and VFF fan, however, I had to keep it "minimal" during the trip. I wore my FiveFinger Sprints most of the time we were there and they were AWESOME! The rocks and acorns on the ground were but a foot massage while wearing my Sprints. From dining to fishing to hiking on trails much less traveled — my nephew and I had to improvise a bit when a side trail died once — the FiveFingers held up and kept my feet as close to barefoot as I was comfortable with. They were even comfortably warm enough for low 40 degree F temps so long as I kept my feet active. I loved camping in my Vibram Fivefingers and especially enjoyed the extra "open" feel that the Sprints provided.

"Barefoot" Michael

As Michael noted, you can follow him on twitter @barefootmichael and/or check out his blog here!

Thanks for sharing — love the acorn photo!

Comic Frazz gives "Nod" to FiveFingers, and Luke Radl's Tribute to a Friend

Don't know if any of you are avid readers of the comic Frazz by Jef Mallet, but today's (October 21, 2009) comic gives a hearty nod to Vibram FiveFingers (click to see it in full resolution):


Meanwhile, in other FiveFingers-illustration-news, Luke Radl (@lukeradl | website) did a great illustration tribute to a fellow fan of FiveFingers and Batman, the late Bill Joyce:

Luke said about his friend Bill:

He was wicked adventurous and totally unstoppable at anything he wanted to do. He was a huge Batman fan (the memorial was littered with Bat symbols) and a big barefoot enthusiast. The shoes are Vibram Five Fingers and once I showed them to him he hated to wear anything else.

Sorry to hear about the loss of your friend, Luke, and what a fantastic way to pay tribute to his memory!

Be sure to check out Luke's website for some impressive illustrative work!

VFF Now! See what people are doing in their FiveFingers on twitter!

Thanks to Mike/Tetsubo as well as PayNowLiveLater, I'm pleased to announce "VFF Now!"

VFF Now! is an application that scours twitter for tweets including links to photo uploaders twitpic and yfrog that also make reference to fivefingers.

For example, let's say that you are out climbing a tree in your VFFs. You take your camera phone and snap a photo showing off your Vibrams and then post that photo to twitter with the accompanying message "I'm up in a tree in my VFFs!" VFF Now! will pick up that tweet and show it off on here at https://birthdayshoes.com/vffnow/ !

This idea was spawned awhile back via the "primal" cooking photos that @PayNowLiveLater was compiling for the paleo diet community (See that implementation here). Since people are always tweeting photos of their VFFs, it seemed like PNLL's application would be great for birthdayshoes.

So if you tweet pics of your VFFs or want to see what others are doing in their FiveFingers "right now," check out VFF Now!

Phillip's first Skydiving Trip in his KSO FiveFingers

Phillip's first Skydiving Trip in his KSO FiveFingers
Phillip just jumped out of a perfectly good plane with someone probably just met strapped to his back! Do you see his KSO fivefingers?
Phillip's first Skydiving Trip in his KSO FiveFingers
The parachute is unfurling, Phillip is just hanging out and floating foot free.

In the mailbag came the above photos from Phillip who just went skydiving for the first time (and did it wearing his KSO Five Fingers, at that!):

Hello there!

I was so excited that I just feel like I needed to share.

The first time I saw VFF's was on top of Mount Fuji. The first thing I did when I got back to the states was to order a pair. Too bad I had to wait 3 weeks for my Classics as they were restocking. Two days after that, I went and grabbed some KSOs.

My first skydiving trip was this past Saturday where some friends and I headed over to Byron, California (about 2 hours East of San Francisco). And I couldn't wait to do it in my KSO's!

Just wanted to share!


Awesome photos, Phillip, and glad you enjoyed your first experience "flying!"

I went tandem skydiving about ten years back and the guy I was strapped to was a bit overweight, frizzy long, bleached blonde hair, and just seemed sort of strung out, but he'd jumped 3,000 times so I figured, "You only live once!" And of course I'm still here.

Thanks, Phillip!