• minimalist sandals!

    Xero Shoes - Barefoot Running Sandals

Vibram Five Fingers Sprint Montage by Aaron

Vibram Five Fingers Sprint Montage by Aaron

Aaron emailed in the above Vibram Five Fingers Sprint "Montage" of photos taken around the UCLA campus. Aaron noted:

I just bought a pair of Vibram five fingers Sprint. I love them! I attached a montage of pics taken during my walkabout campus yesterday.

That photo in the top right of the montage is, indeed, a men's bathroom urinal from a public restroom, illustrating that Vibram Five Fingers can be used to get you anywhere*.

* Has anyone else experienced a bit of minor hesitation prior to entering a public restroom while wearing your VFFs?

Sarah's Starry Toe Socks with Black Vibram Five Fingers Classics

Sarah's Starry Toe Socks with Black Vibram Five Fingers Classics

In the mailbag from Sarah:

Hey when I saw Nathan Owings shoes I had to get some. We are in the same gaming community and he told me about your site. I was at my house lounging on the hammock rocking out in my black classic vibram fivefingers. I think the star toe socks make the picture. ^_^

I think Sarah's combination of starry toe socks and black 5-finger classics works fantastically*, so I asked her where she got them for anyone else who might want to know:

I just got the socks at a store called rue 21. I remember when toe socks were really popular when I was in highschool. Now they seem pretty hard to find, after finding these shoes I hope toe socks come back in style. ^_^ It was nice at first since my feet weren't used to the shoes, but now that they are, they are comfortable without the socks as well.

Thanks for sharing and glad you're enjoying your fivefingers!

* Though I'm pretty sure I couldn't pull off starry socks, maybe I could do plaid ... perhaps while wearing a kilt?

Vibram FiveFingers & Z Health: Moving and Feeling Even Better.

Written by guest author mc of begin2dig.com

If you're at birthdayshoes.com it's likely because you've either caught the vibram five fingers bug and are happy to go about in foot gloves, or you're thinking about diving in and getting a pair. Or perhaps you've heard some of the great things about "freeing your feet" and want to learn about how to get as close to bare as you can, er, bare. Excellent!

In this article, birthdayshoes.com's author Justin Owings has kindly invited me to talk a little bit about how to enhance some of the benefits of freeing your feet in VFF's with a neuromuscular training approach called Z-Heatlth developed by Dr. Eric Cobb, DC.

I'll overview some of the Z-Health concepts below, but the take away message is that complementing the foot freedom afforded by VFF's with just some Z-Health practice enables you to have better movement, improved reflexes, more energy and likely fewer aches and pains.

That sounds like a tall promise. But really, our bodies are pretty well designed for movement already. It's our lifestyles that aren't. So the more we can help our bodies remember and perform what we're designed to do — which is where the Z-Health neuralmuscular training comes in — the better we function overall.

Read the rest of this post »

Two New Vibram Five Fingers Models, the Glove/Moc/Performa and KSO Trek, listed on voycontigo.de!

Be sure and check out the Vibram Five Fingers KSO Trek review!

The review covers the KSO Trek's design (sole attributes and thickness), aesthetic, performance, fit, and more. You can read it by going here.

Note: the "Glove" is actually called the Five Fingers Moc, which is for men (or the Five Fingers Performa which is for women).

Robert ("allawayr" on the forums) made a fortuitous discovery yesterday: two new models of Vibram Five Fingers are slated for production, and reservations are being taken for them by at least one fivefingers seller, voycontigo.de, a German retailer. The two new models are the Glove and the Trek.

The Vibram Five Fingers Glove:

The Glove per voycontigo.deAs translated per Google and re-worded/edited by me to make a bit more sense:

Product Description

The toe shoe: Leather Glove

The model "Glove" is made of high quality Kangaroo leather that is like a second skin that adapts to your foot. The still thinner Vibram sole makes the Fivefingers "Glove" the easiest toe shoe of all time. For those who want to have an even greater barefoot feeling, this model will serve you best. It is particularly well suited for indoor activities like yoga, fitness [?], Pilates or simply barefoot training on a normal surface. The "Glove" is offered in black, blue, violet and red.

The Glove model is similar to the Five Fingers Classic. It is open and the heel is secured with an adjustable elastic band. If you are interested in this model please make a reservation with us! Shoes available around September 2009. Price 179,90 EUR (incl. 19% VAT excl.)

Two things stand out to me about the Glove. One is that the "still thinner Vibram sole" is now jointed, providing rubber protection only on the heel, the ball of the foot, and on each toe. This is particularly cool because the spaces in between (e.g. the arch of the foot, the little arches between midfoot and the ends of each toe) are where your foot flexes and bends. Having no sole between your midfoot and each toe means that the Glove will likely allow you even greater toe articulation.

The second thing that stands out is that the Glove has a "kangaroo leather" shell with mini-breathing holes — you know, like a typical glove you'd wear on your hand. It'll be interesting to see how this leather breathes.

Of course, at nearly $250+ (180 EUR to USD), I'm not sure I'm going to have the pleasure of trying out the Vibram FiveFingers Glove out any time soon!

The Vibram Five Fingers KSO Trek

The Trek per voycontigo.deAs translated per Google and edited by me:

Product Description

The toe shoe: Leather Trek

The "Trek" is made from high quality suede and finally makes the Fivefingers a year-round shoe. The sole of the Fivefingers "Trek" is designed to allow for use in difficult terrain. The quality leather processing makes use in the mountains or winter bearable: the heat insulation is significantly better in the Trek than for all other models. The Trek is available in black or brown.

The Trek model is similar to the KSO. It is closed on top and secures with an adjustable buckle. If you are interested in this model please make a reservation with us! Shoes available around September 2009. Price 184.90 EUR (incl. 19% VAT excl.)

Raise your foot if you expected Vibram to release a fivefingers model with a more complex gripping design on the sole. Yeah, me too. Vibram has been making your typical hiking boot soles for decades (Just a few Vibram sole examples per Google image search), so releasing a VFF model with a more "grippy" (In theory, anyway) sole seemed like a given, and here it is.

The suede upper of the Trek looks like it shares the same cut as the VFF Flow. Like the Glove, the Trek is another first for fivefingers in the leather department. The suede apparently has some significant insulating properties, making the Trek quite possibly the warmest VFF model yet.

But also like the Glove, the Trek has a hefty pricetag ($250+), so if anyone wants to donate a pair to birthdayshoes.com, email me!

All in all, this is great news for VFFers. Not that we didn't suspect this in the first place, but more product innovation by Vibram means that our beloved barefoot shoes are here to stay — and they're getting better (well, more options, anyway) all the time!

Update 11:54 A.M. EST: I contacted Vibram USA with a request for some official word on these two new fivefinger offerings, but in keeping with their company policy, they "usually don't pre-release any information regarding new models unless it is officially through [their] website" or via some media publication. However, I got the hint to "be on the lookout" in September. Yay!

Update 2:15 P.M. EST: Just got a comment from Barefoot Ted, who is a mainstay in the barefooting community (He's in at least a couple of the YouTube videos to the right). Ted has actually been testing the Five Fingers Trek! Here's what he had to say:

I am currently testing the Trek and am VERY impressed with this shoe as a long-distance trail shoe.

Have you ever run 100 miles through the mountains in a pair of VFFs? I have. It gets tough...especially at night when you are tired on rocky ground.

The people at Vibram are thinking deeply about what they are doing...trying to preserve the flexibility and feel that is necessary for tapping into the incredible system of movement we have inherited from our ancestors while at the same time facilitating a more comfortable ride...just like all great indigenous hunter/gathering footwear does...less is more...but enough is good...and in certain terrains, this shoe will be a great solution...and is sure to help continue the amazing footwear paradigm shift we are currently witnessing.

In the end, I want to encourage people to barefoot when and where they can...the growing popularity of the VFF continues to demonstrate...in my mind...the ultimate validity of the foot as-it-is. The biomechanics fo the foot are preserved and not hindered. Warmth and a little protection from the harshness of certain trail realities...thank you Vibram.

On the Minimalist Runner Google Group, Ted also noted that the Treks weigh in at a paltry 5.5 oz. He also says a bit more about the soles:

The sole is designed for trails...with a stronger material to prevent rock bruising. 5.5 ounces. Rugged. Definitely better traction for rocky, steep trails. It is kind of like my dream trail FF.

Very exciting stuff!

Other posts regarding new Vibram FiveFingers models:

Tina's Epic Vibram Five Fingers Collection

Tina's Epic Vibram Five Fingers Collection

Tina (Her blog) writes in about her enormous Vibram Five Fingers collection, which consists of two pairs of KSOs, two pairs of Classics, and a pair each of Flows and Surges (The Surges have been discontinued). No Sprints (yet!). Here's what Tina had to say about her collection:

I bought my first pair of VFFs in May of last year from Mountain Equipment Coop in Calgary. I’m fortunate to live in a place where VFFs are sold so close and easy to find to try on, which I think is really important for a good fit. I tried on the Sprints, KSOs and Flows, and ended up buying the grey/palm upper, grey bottom KSOs because they were the most comfortable for me (they’re still my favourite pair). I walked out of the store with them on and got a lot of funny looks from the staff and customers. I instantly noticed that the usual pain in my back while walking was nonexistent! Since then, I’ve been a VFF convert.

The next pair I got was the mauve/sand upper, grey bottom Classics, they were a gift during the summer. I like them for warmer weather. I find they are a little tighter on my toes than the KSOs but are a little better now that I’ve removed the elastic, which I was incredibly apprehensive to do, but glad I did because I find them more comfortable now.

I wanted a shoe that I could wear to work or school, so acquired the black KSOs next. People don’t seem to notice them as much as the grey ones and they’re just as comfortable.

When the weather turned colder in the fall, I found a pair of Surges online and was ecstatic because Vibram had stopped selling them on their site. I bought them in the same size as my KSOs thinking that they would feel similar but they are a little too tight on my toes to wear for long, however.

I wanted to compare the Flows to the Surges so I got a pair of grey upper, green camo bottom Flows. I think Vibram significantly improved the fit and comfort with the redesign/new model and I love the Flows for colder weather. I wear a pair of toe socks with the Flows usually and am comfortable to about 0C with them.

My last pair of the collection, the black Classics, was acquired late last year. I went to Edmonton (about a 3 hour drive from Calgary) to get them because there weren’t any around here. I got them to wear as more dressy shoes and I think they are perfect for that function (for women anyway).

And that’s the story of my VFF collection. I haven’t worn regular shoes for months now and dread when it becomes necessary again. Until then, I have very happy feet in my VFFs.

Chad Runs his first Marathon in his Black Five Finger KSOs

Chad Runs his first Marathon in his Black Five Finger KSOs
Chad Runs his first Marathon in his Black Five Finger KSOs

Reader Chad sent in the above two pictures taken at the finish line of the Hatfield & McCoy Marathon in Williamson, West Virginia. This was Chad's first marathon run in his Vibram Five Finger KSOs.

Chad had the following to say about his training in VFFs and the recently completed marathon:

Hi Justin,

Love your site! Always good to see what other people are doing with their Fivefingers. I've been wearing mine (one pair Classics and one pair KSOs) since January, mostly for running. I've been using them to make the transition from heel striking to midfoot striking. I started out slowly, up to three miles at a time, then upped my mileage to the point where I could run 20 miles.

This past Saturday I ran the Hatfield & McCoy Marathon in Williamson, WV in my KSOs. I was a little hesitant, as I hadn't run a race in them that far. However, my fears were allayed, as I did the entire 26.2 in them without a problem. A couple of miles were gravel/mud, which slowed me down a bit, but I'm pleased to say that my last mile was my fastest.

So, I'm hooked on my Fivefingers for running from now on. ...


Mooresville, NC

Chad also passed on that his unofficial time was 3:43:39, which was 20th overall. Great run, Chad! And thanks for sending in the photos showing off your impressive feet!