• minimalist sandals!

    Xero Shoes - Barefoot Running Sandals

Free your Feet for the Fourth!

For those U.S. VFFers* out there who are making holiday plans — watching fireworks, grilling out, and/or throwing back a beer or three — in remembrance of Independence Day (July the Fourth), I'd like to throw out a request: enjoy a bit of foot freedom.

After all, what's more freeing than emancipating your toes from the confines of restrictive, controlling shoes? And since it's my contention that the fundamental mode for human beings is to be independent, free individuals, being shoe-less in a shoe-filled world is a tiny celebration of what it means to be human.

So here's your task: Either wear your fivefingers while you're out and about on the 4th or go full-foot-freedom and be barefoot!

Then, if you're feeling frisky and have a digital camera handy (With camera phones being the rule these days and not the exception, who doesn't?), snap a "birthday shoes" shot of your freed feet and email it to me!

On Sunday, I'll compile these photos and post them here.

Free your Feet for the Fourth!


* For all the VFFers out there who aren't in the U.S., it goes without saying that you have every reason to free your feet at any time. And if you do just that this weekend, please send in a photo!

The ground beneath your V5F feet

Perhaps one of the most common Vibram fivefingers photos out there is the overhead photo of your VFFing feet. A good number of the five finger photos on this site have been taken from that angle.

However, rarely has the focus of these pictures been anything other than the shoes themselves (Exceptions V5Fs at Fenway, Rafting). Enter in Elise McIntosh's photoset on flickr titled "Crystal City Beneath Five Fingers:"

Mental_floss blogged about the set:

So my friend Elise McIntosh was on a business trip in Crystal City (near Washington, DC), and decided to take a walk. She wears these crazy shoes called Vibram Five Fingers — which I refer to as “the gorilla feet.” Anyway, she looked down at one point and noticed that on a short walk, she was walking over all kinds of interesting-looking patterns. So she started taking pictures and posting them on Flickr, in a set called Crystal City Beneath Five Fingers.

It's a neat twist to the standard VFF self-taken photo. If anyone else decides to do this, send me a link and I can add it to this post!

Vibram Five Fingers Cortina Seen?

Vibram Five Fingers Cortina Seen?

Click the image above for a larger version

Or is this some sort of "Big Foot" version of FiveFingers?

Update: Word is that the Cortina, little more than a prototype in the above photo, will likely not see the light of day. Maybe that is good thing! Either way, we'll never know!

Update 2: At least a few pairs made it into production (and by a few, I mean probably less than a 100 but that's a guess) and one fan reviewed the Cortina Vibram FiveFingers for BirthdayShoes!

Original post:

A fan of the official fivefingers facebook page posted the above picture with the accompanying caption:

mis nuevas fivefingers de invierno :)

Which, translated from Spanish to English means, "my new winter fivefingers." As the post was made by "Amanda," I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that this is the new Vibram FiveFingers Cortina, described previously as:

For women, a midcut, fully [lined] winter boot

Based on a little process of elimination as well as trying to marry together disparate bits of intell, my best guess is that this is the Cortina and not some new fivefingers "Big Foot" model.

Bringing all the existing intelligence on the newest additions to the fivefingers family together and making some unconfirmed educated guesses, here is what we've got:

As for the "Moc" and "Performa," both of which were mentioned in the FN blurb, my hunch is that the "Moc" was renamed the "Glove." That leaves the Performa as a lingering unknown.

Here's one wild guess, just as the Glove is like a kangaroo-leather, "pod"-soled version of the Classic, perhaps the Performa is similarly similar to the KSO. In other words, the Performa may be a kangaroo-leather, fully-covered VFF, not unlike the Trek, but without the extra padding and insulated suede.

Hopefully, we'll know more soon. If you hear anything (or see anything), please let me know!

Other posts regarding new Vibram FiveFingers models:

Patrick goes rafting on the Ocoee River in KSO Vibram Five Fingers

Patrick goes rafting on the Ocoee River in KSO Vibram Five Fingers

Got a couple great Five Fingers photos in from Vibram Five Fingers KSO fan Patrick. The pics were taken while rafting the Ocoee River. Here's what Patrick had to say about whitewater rafting wearing Vibram Five Fingers:

Just got my brown KSO's this past Friday in time to go camping Friday night and rafting on the Ocoee on Saturday. Attached are two pics (one mine from a waterproof disposable, one taken by the outfitter's pro photog on shore ...) featuring the shoes. I wasn't the only one; one of the guides and one of the other rafters were also wearing VFFs in our group of boats.

I took my shot in Bush Gardens just after the put-in for the Upper. The pro shot was taken at Humongous in the Olympic Section.

So far, the shoes are great. Keep up the good work keeping us informed with the blog!

Glad to do it! Thanks for sending in the photos!

Good to see that you don't need Flows to take to the river — KSO Vibram Five Fingers (Keep Stuff Out) serve the purpose fine!

Latest Vibram Five Fingers Reviews 6/28/09

Each week I will be making a list of latest VFF reviews. If you read a new review of VFFs (One published this week) that I am missing, please let me know so I can add it!

This week's reviews:

  • Barefoot Running – Vibram Five Fingers Are Worth It at Set Higher Standards dot com:

    I’ve worn the Vibram FiveFingers for about a half-dozen runs and a bunch of walks around town. Already my feet feel stronger. I’ve also worn them in the gym, and I feel much more in control and powerful when lifting – particularly squatting and lunging. I also think that running around in these shoes is helping my balance in yoga practice, so much of balance depends on foot, ankle and toe strength and control.

    If you are a casual or serious runner, I highly recommend checking out these shoes. If you are lucky to live in a place where you run around grassy fields barefoot, that is ideal. Otherwise, the Vibram FiveFingers will keep your feet safe and give you all the benefits.

  • Five Fingers Five Toes at Das Mixture:

    Since I was unable to run, I talked the wife into an early evening walk of about two miles. A splendid idea, especially since I would be able to test a suspicion I had: hot pavement. Specifically, how would these bad boys hold up. Surprisingly, the Five Fingers didn't heat up during my walk (temperature outside: 90 degrees).

    They were also easily more comfortable than a sandal or flip-flop. It didn't necessarily translate into a "barefoot" experience, but then again, if I would have walked out barefoot, it would have been a repeating series of "hot, hot, hot" and I think you know what I mean.

  • Vibram Five Fingers Classic Review at RunColo.com:

    The first few runs in the VFF were on a rainy night, it was pure bliss running through the wet grass, it reminded me of all
    the reasons that I loved to run. I've also been using the VFF to do yard work and for walks around the neighborhood, but highly doubt that I will wear them in public. I already get idiosyncratic looks when I'm out running in them, but if attention seeking appeals to you, you will definitely get it and the questions that follow by slipping on a pair of VFF.

    ...

    In conclusion, the VFF are one of the best running products that I have bought in my lifetime. Pick up a pair, strengthen your feet and remember what it's like to run "naturally" without a big bulky shoe.

  • Vibram Five Fingers Shoes For Hiking and Water Sports at rajiv.com:

    Sometimes simplicity and minimalism provide wonderful experiences. The Vibram Five Fingers shoes are excellent for outdoor activities and for working out at the gym. The natural feeling that comes with being outdoors with these shoes enables the wearer to feel one with nature. Walking while wearing these shoes is a sensory experience that allows you to notice and feel the Earth.

And one more review from way back in March that I just found:

  • 350 Miles on Vibram Five Finger KSO’s at Red Rocks Blue Sky:

    I have been pretty impressed with how these shoes handle the the rough Southern Utah desert. I can do things that I could not do in Hauraches, or Barefoot. Even when I was wearing standard trail shoes (Solomon GTX’s as of three years ago). I did start to run with injini socks, but found them to be too hot. The socks however made running on the shale like ruble more tolerable. The secret though is making sure that you are running perfect barefoot form. This is why I start and end each run barefoot on pavement so that I am constantly building the necessary muscle memory.

    Running in KSO’s is a dream as I scramble up and down steep boulder strewn sections of the trail. Even thought the the top of the shoe is not protected like my Solomon’s are, my barefoot training and the stickiness of the rubber allow me to jump and run through these sections of trail without worrying about twisting my ankle.

    Also see Red Rocks Blue Sky's follow-up posts Another 50 Miles on Fives and Repaired my Fives.

More in the weeks to come!

Jesse Sights a Blue Man in Black KSO 5 Fingers

Jesse Sights a Blue Man in Black KSO 5 Fingers

In the mailbox comes this note from Jesse:

First off...a fan blog just for VFF??? sweet

I've been wearing them for somewhere around a year now and swear by them. I've had cartilege damage in a knee and a bulging disk for decades now and these things are the only shoes I walk in...after a suitable break-in period of course!

I'm not the subject of this photo however, I was at the Fremont Solstice Parade last weekend and spotted this well dressed dude. I've already sent this shot to Vibram, didn't know about your site until today!

I've added another shot that is of me, if you can see the VFFs you're welcome to add this one to the site, it's on a hike up along the Snoqualmie River outside of Seattle.

Keep it up!

Jesse

Thanks for sending in the sighting photo, Jesse! It's not often you see someone covered in blue carrying a trident — much less with black KSOs (Too bad he didn't have the blue KSOs! to complete the look).

Here's Jesse on his hike on the Snoqualmie River sporting his black KSO 5 fingers:

If you happen to snap any photos of others in their birthday shoes*, be sure to send them in!

* Make sure they aren't going to get upset about pictures of them in their birthday shoes!