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Vibram Five Fingers Sprints Take On the Sierre-Zinal

Stéphane Running the Sierre-Zinal
Stéphane running the Sierre-Zinal through the Swiss Alps and finishing with his daughter.

Stéphane, a Vibram Five Fingers fan, wore his Sprints to run in the 31K Sierre-Zinal mountain race in Switzerland. Stéphane shares his story below:

I like to read other people's stories on the BirthdayShoes website and I thought I could also share my recent Five Fingers experience with you. I started to run in them in April of this year after seeing someone run with these in the NY Marathon. I knew they were something special worth trying.

Since I was a little bit bored with running at the time and also suffered from a knee tendinitis after my New York trip, I was looking for something different. And my Vribrams were the answer. I enjoyed the barefoot feeling right away, it gave me wings and sore calves at first though, but I got used to them in four months.

So, for me there was no doubt I could run with them anywhere. Since I’ve been running Sierre-Zinal every year since 2003, I couldn’t miss that opportunity. It was August this year, on 31km through the rocky Swiss mountains. I must admit that I got sore feet at the end because I wasn’t used to runnning on small stones this long, but it is just a matter of getting used to it I think. It took me 5 hours and a half and I usually run it in 4 hours and a half. Despite a few people laughing at me and making me feel like I was some crazy guy to run with these shoes over there, I enjoyed most of the race. What amazed me is how fast my muscles recovered, I usually get really stiff for a couple of days and this time the day right after the race I was feeling fine, except for a few bruises on my feet, but not crippled at all.

I definitely have to try them in my next New York Marathon, I am sure I won’t hurt myself like I did last year. Thanks for all your posts and stories by the way, and keep on running!

Way to go Stéphane! Running the Sierre-Zinal through the rocky terrain of the Swiss Alps in Sprints is quite an amazing feat. Congratulations!

UK Rat Racer Wears Vibram Five Fingers KSOs

Dave at the UK Rat Race
Dave walking the plank and sliding to the finish at the Rat Race.

Extreme races are the rage these days and Vibram Five Fingers fan Dave recently ran in a UK event called the Rat Race Urban Adventure. He donned his KSOs and went for it! Here is what Dave had to say:

A couple pics of me from this last weekends River Rat Race urban adventure here in the UK. It's a 10K+ course made up of various wet and dry activities spread around the course and concludes with a steep baby oil covered ramp to make the finish line. Photos are of me walking the plank and going down the water slide in my KSOs. I did the whole event in them without socks and they worked brilliantly, draining and drying quickly. I saw several others in various different vibrams; a mix of KSOs, Flows Treks and Sprints.

Sounds like a blast! How was it walking the plank and were there any sword yielding pirates there to coax you off? Five Fingers seem well suited to these type of events and we appreciate you sharing your experience with us.

Traveling with Toe Shoes to Tulum

Lindsay in her Bikilas
Lindsay explores the ruins at Tulum in her Vibram Five Fingers Bikilas

Much to the chagrin of her husband, Lindsay found her Vibram Five Fingers Bikilas to be great for hiking the ruins of Tulum and cooling off in the sands of the Mexico beaches. Here is what she had to say:

My name is Lindsay and I'm from Dallas, TX. My husband and I recently took a trip to Puerto Aventuras, Mexico. While there we visited the Mayan city of Tulum. I knew it was going to be a long day with lots of walking and the possibility of wanting to get my feet wet in the ocean to cool off. So naturally, I wanted to wear my Bikilas. I got dressed in the hotel room and slipped on my Five Fingers. As we were walking out the door, my husband turned around and noticed my non-shoes for the first time. He laughed, "you are really going to wear those in public," he exclaimed. He was so embarrassed, as he said, "for me". I did wear my bikilas that day and they worked perfectly! My feet didn't hurt and they were great for walking over rocks and the beach.

I normally wear my Bikilas strictly for running or working out (P90X). I am slowly building up my mileage in my Five Fingers as I transition from regular running shoes. I hope to run a half or full marathon in them at some point! I love running in my Bikilas and hate strapping on my old running shoes for my long runs! My two favorite parts of wearing Five Fingers are no socks and running in the rain. Both are so freeing!


Lindsay, thanks for letting us know about the versatility of your Bikilas! When your husband is ready for a pair, please don't forget our store.

"Barefoot Paul" Competes at the World Mountain Running Championships in KSO Treks

Paul at the World Championships
Paul running and finishing at the World Mountain Running Championships in Kamnik, Slovenia.

In 2010, "Barefoot Paul" Peterson excelled at mountain running qualifying for the Men's US Mountain Running Junior Team and competing at the World Championships in Slovenia. His success running in Vibram Five Fingers is truly amazing! Read Paul's recap of his season and why he prefers Five Fingers after the jump.

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Newlyweds Run Marathon in Toe Shoes on Icelandic Honeymoon

Icelandic Honeymoon
Click to enlarge.

Patrick and Sarah recently honeymooned in Iceland. While there, they ran the Reykjavik Marathon in their Vibram Five Fingers. Here is what Patrick shared with us about their trip:

Thought I'd pass a note along to say how great the Five Fingers were on my honeymoon in Iceland last month. My wife and I each brought two pairs -- Bikilas and Trek Sports -- and we wore little else on our two week trip around the island. We wore them hiking, riding horses, bathing in thermal spas, and just touring the cities. Sarah, my wife, had to answer daily questions about her pink toe-shoes and even model for a picture from some fellow tourists.

I've been training in VFFs since January and anticipated running my first marathon in my Bikilas in Chicago this October. But after booking our honeymoon I discovered the Reykjavik marathon was on the second day of our trip! I couldn't pass up the opportunity -- and it proved a great way to see a city for the first time, even if I could hardly walk for three days after.

I encounter people who think it's not possible to run long distances in 'caveman' shoes, but we found them perfect for our races (Sarah ran the 10k), and they worked brilliantly for hiking up trails to see waterfalls too. I felt very in control over all sorts of territory (volcanic rock, trails, moss, snow). My wife owns two pairs but wasn't a total convert to the VFFs until we passed other hikers with their cumbersome and heavy hiking boots -- they were so unnecessarily big!

Now that's a memorable honeymoon. Thanks for sharing it with us!

Vibram Five Fingers Fare Well at the Fair

Minnesota State Fair
Click to enlarge.

Chad decided to put his Vibram Five Fingers KSOs to the test at the Minnesota State Fair. He gave them quite a workout as he describes below:

I have had my Vibram KSOs for about 3 months now. I have been using them for running, biking, working out in the gym and lately just as my everyday shoes. But I decided they needed to do something a little different.

Every year my wife and I go to the Minnesota State Fair. It has been a family tradition going back to my Wife's grandma, who at 75 still goes there to this day! If you have never been there, its very hard to describe the obsession that can form from the Minnesota State Fair. Over 1.6 million people attend during its 12 day run. Last year in 2 days my pedometer showed I covered 23 miles. Its a large place! So large, it has 2 sky rides to carry people across the grounds.

This year I decided the Vibrams had to take the Minnesota State Fair challenge. I put them on in our Hotel at 7:30AM and they did not come off my feet until we got home at 11:30PM. In one day I covered about 10 miles walking through cement, dirt, asphalt, carpet and gravel. All while dodging "horse apples", strollers and various spilled food.

The Vibrams performed perfectly! After it was all said and done, my feet were tired, but not sore. I was definitely walking slower by the end of the day. There was one spot on the ball of my foot that I though was going to form a blister, but one never formed. The response to the VFFs were overall positive. I got plenty of strange looks and was stopped countless times by people to ask what the heck they were. As previous people have said, I wish I had business cards I could just hand out when people asked about them. I ended up repeating myself a lot that day.

Vibram Five Fingers really can do anything!

Thanks, Chad! It is always amazing to hear how well our feet can hold up when they are left to do what they are designed to do.

Chad got some black/orange KSOs from his wife for his birthday and wore them back for a second day at the fair. Chad said, "So they really are my Birthday Shoes." See all of Chad's great MN State Fair pics at Chad's "onastick" flickr site.