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    Xero Shoes - Barefoot Running Sandals

Barefoot Running Shoes

Nike Zoom Streak XC 2 with Bare Foot Superimposed
Nike Zoom Streak XC 2 with Bare Foot Superimposed

Barefoot running shoes have become all the rage as the advantages of barefoot running have become widely known, but what the heck is a barefoot running shoe? While we might immediately think "barefoot" and "shoe" couldn't possibly coexist together, internet searches for this oxymoronic combination of words have taken off in the last year:

What are these "barefoot running shoes" that everyone is searching for? Sifting through the search results I see a lot of Vibram related links, but also links to Huaraches and Nike Frees. I thought it would be interesting to see where all of these different shoes fall on a "barefoot running shoe" continuum.

What continuum you ask? Read on!

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Hiking the Garden of the Gods in Vibram Five Fingers

Andy and  Kaitlyn at the Garden of the Gods

Pictured above in their Bikilas and KSOs, Andy and Kaitlyn visited the The Garden of the Gods on their recent trip to Colorado. Andy gives us the details below:

Hey! My name is Andy and recently my girlfriend Kaitlyn and I went to Colorado to visit her parents. Coming from Texas, the cool temperatures were a nice change from the humid Texas heat. While we were there, we went to The Garden of the Gods near Manitou Springs. It was a great place to hike and there were many professional rock climbers there.

Last spring I took up running as a way to stay active and found out about Vibram Five Fingers through a friend. Wearing Five Fingers immediately made running much more enjoyable and I could feel my feet and calves getting stronger the more I ran. WOW! I definitely felt my calves in the beginning! I ran my first 5k in June with a 26 minute time. Since we were going to be in Colorado, I figured, why not sign up for a race while we were there? So I signed up for the Heart and Soul Half Marathon in Boulder Colorado. It was pretty rough for me since I was not adjusted to the high altitude. I chose to run in my Nike Frees since I was unsure how my ankles and feet would hold up in Vibrams for 13 miles.

Next year my plan is to run the same race in Vibrams!

Girlfriend, met the parents, going back next year...hmm...keep putting your best foot forward Andy! Thanks for the story and pics!

26 miles and 385 yards in Five Fingers Bikilas

Blair Crosses the Finish Line
Blair crosses the finish line with his kids at Marathon by the Sea as an onlooker checks out his Bikilas.

Blair has been logging serious miles in his KSOs and Bikilas while accumulating a nice collection of Vibram Five Fingers. Here is what he had to say:

Hi guys,

Just wanted to send along a pic of my second marathon is my Vibrams. First one was in my KSOs. This one was in my Bikilas, along with a pair of Injinji socks - ran a personal best. Tried the socks out one day cause it was pouring rain on a long run - really liked them. Still have yet to see another pair of Vibrams in a race here in Atlantic Canada. The Bikilas are much more suited for road racing - even though the KSOs feel like a much better fit for kicking around and breathe better as well. Slated for a trail half marathon in September then another marathon in October. Made sure I bought a pair of Treks for the trail - hard to believe how well that leather breathes. I can see how this can be addicting. I have my eye on both the new KSO Trek Sports for my October race and the Smartwool Classics to get me through the winter. Real excited about the new models you previewed for 2011. Maybe next year the kids will be wearing them across the finish line as well. :)


PS - looking forward to buying a bday shoes T-shirt - hopefully a tech T :) Great idea.

Blair, congratulations on your PR in the Marathon by the Sea and glad you like the t-shirt!

Five Fingers KSOs in the Klondike

Phillip on Chilkoot Trail
Phillip looks back into a valley and some rocky terrain on Chilkoot Trail.

Phillip, a Vibram Five Fingers fan, and his girlfriend recently hiked the Chilkoot Trail in Alaska and British Columbia. This trail was used by prospectors during the Klondike Gold Rush to reach the Yukon goldfields. It is a 33 mile trail that can takes 3 to 5 days to hike and Phillip did it all in his Vibram Five Fingers KSOs. After the jump, Phillip shares his experience and amazing photos from the hike:

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Gardening in Vibram Five Fingers KSOs

Jason Gardening in KSOs
Jason Gardening in his KSOs

Jason sent us the following message about his search for the perfect gardening shoe:

I've finally found the perfect gardening shoe! I am an avid gardener and have spent years trying to find a shoe that was able to meet the demands of gardening. I tried tennis shoes but they are just too hot and cumbersome. My flip flops are freeing but my toes get all dirty and they cut into my feet when squatting. I've experimented with Crocs, which had worked the best, but once they are wet they start squeaking and squawking and your foot starts slipping and sliding and are just no fun. Especially gardening where you are bound to get your feet wet more times than none. Then I discovered Vibram Five Fingers and it was a match made in heaven. I decided on the KSOs because I am gardening after all and keeping stuff out is important. They keep my feet clean and don't mind getting wet. I have even found that I'm not accidentally breaking plants when I'm walking in my garden beds because I can FEEL where I'm placing my feet. My Vibrams are invigorating and have actually enhanced my gardening experience. Vibram Five Fingers don't have to be just for running and hiking. They are a good fit for any activity.

Jason in Louisiana

Glad to see you have found a match with your black KSOs and thanks for the sending us your story.