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“Improv’ing” your health with Kilts, and Five Comedians in Vibram Five Fingers

Five improvisers/comics from New York City have a Vibram Five Fingers meet-up. They naturally take a great photo! Rocco talks about barefoot shoese and having no foot pain or back pain!

In the mailbag (I have two more photo updates lined up, by the way!) comes this note from Rocco Privetera:

Hi – my name is Rocco Privetera, and I’m a comic/improviser/tech from NYC. I originally bought a pair of vibrams (standard black) due to some bad foot and lower back pain – a doctor suggested ‘spending some time barefoot’ each week – in Manhattan?? Thus the Vibrams. Now, between my three pair (bought two additional kso’s – black and brown) and some Soft Star sorta-moccasins [*](check them out as well – awesome barefoot shoes), I’m pretty much barefoot all the time. Results? No foot pain, no back pain, callus gone, etc. The place where I work is very hip and has no problem with me wearing them, although I get a lot questions on the subway and ‘gorilla feet’ comments). I find the KSO’s in a matching pant color works fine for business wear.

One pic is me before going out to an improv show in my kilt plus black KSO’s – I wear toe socks as they match the kilt better then just the shoes – and then my improv group, who all decided to wear their Vibrams for one show. By coincidence, we had 5 different shoes!


Thanks Rocco**! It’s great to hear not only about eliminating your foot and back pain problems, but also that your doctor made such a sensible suggestion to go barefoot more often.

These photos make for a couple of five fingers firsts. For one, this is the first time I’ve seen the combination of fivefingers and a kilt. Black KSOs with black socks matched to a black kilt works quite well!

Two, I think this is the first time I’ve seen five sets of five fingers in one place. Thanks for sending the improv group shot!

* If you’re curious about the Soft Star “sorta-moccasins” (as I was), you can check them out here.

** Rocco’s blog, which features some of his improv videos, is at

By Justin

Justin Owings is a deadlifting dad of three, working from Atlanta. When he's not chasing his three kids around, you'll find him trying to understand systems, risk, and human behavior.

One reply on ““Improv’ing” your health with Kilts, and Five Comedians in Vibram Five Fingers”

Howdy, Justin!

I discovered VFF through Mark Sisson’s Mark’s Daily Apple website (conveniently enough, and said, almost immediately, “Oh yes, we must, we must.”

The only thing separating me from this post is I’m not funny, at least, not intentionally.

VFF? Check. Kilts? Check. Let me tell you about kilts . . . I started off with a Utilikilt, then dipped my toes (ahem) into the water with a poly-viscose kilt from USA Kilts (also, conveniently, at, and then . . . . Well, as Wyatt Earp is reported to have said about the dustup at the OK Corral, “And then the fight became general.”

The “traditional kilt” as we know it today is about nine yards of wool, and is based on Queen Victoria’s Scottish fantasies and sympathies for Sir Walter Scott. With one yard in the over apron and one yard in the under apron, that leaves seven yards of wool hanging off your butt. This is not balanced.

Back in the day, the kilt was NOT court garb, and was meant to “hide one’s shortcomings” in a working environment. Whether box pleated, knife pleated, or Kingussie pleated, the old style kilt gave you three layers of worsted wool and ran more towards three to four yards, with a equal distribution between fore-and-aft.

While I’ve only had my “monkey shoes” for about a year, I’ve worn kilts for about five years, sometimes exclusively.

Hey, it’s a way to set yourself apart from the crowd, and easily reversible. The first time I wore a kilt out, I was nervous, but ran into some troubled youth, in plaid and autistically ripped jeans, with piercings and tats, smoking clove cigarettes . . . and I just laughed to myself, and immediately felt at one with the universe.

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