Dave from Illinois sent in the following commentary about his experience running in his Vibram Five Fingers KSOs:

I’ve been training in KSOs since Oct 09 but this was my first race. I had done several hundred miles of training in them but only about 50 on asphalt prior to the race (the rest had been indoors for the winter) so I wasn’t sure about how they would play out – especially because this is the hilliest sanctioned course in Illinois (which perhaps isn’t saying much but we’ll just call it a flatlander’s Everest). It went great, I beat my half-marathon PR by 5 minutes and I found myself flying up the hills. Think it was a combo of better form, stronger calves, and lighter shoes than everybody else. I received a lot of comments from other runners about how strong I was on the hills.

I found one other runner on the course in a pair of KSO treks and gave a shout out to him. Lots of runners were aware of VFFs but hadn’t tried them yet and had a lot of questions. I’m a fairly introverted guy but I found out this is a subject that really gets me out of my shell and I had a lot of great conversations about running and minimalist running. I’m very much a believer in letting everyone find their own way so I’d only rave about what they’ve done for me and that their mileage may vary but I had no regrets. My favorite was two ladies who didn’t actually talk to me but I could just barely hear them talking about how I wasn’t heal striking and then spent the next mile complaining about their attempts at various shoes and stores.

Fans often tire of the constant looks and questions from strangers, but having a conversation piece on your feet is a great way to meet new people — and spread the good word about freeing your feet a la Vibram Five Fingers.

Also, for anyone who thinks black KSOs are somehow more incognito than other colors, seems to me Dave has demonstrated the opposite! I will say if you’re gonna rock the black KSO Vibrams, an all black ninja get-up is the way to go!

Thanks for sharing your story Dave.