Sterling Purdy shows off his VFF Sprints

Name: Sterling Purdy
Birthday: February 28
Age: 38
Regular shoe size: 10
VFF shoe size: M41
Feet are: Bueno!

What prompted you to get Vibram Five Fingers?

I first heard about Vibram Five Fingers from Mark Sisson on his website After reading about their utility and their barefoot mimetic quality I decided to investigate their usefulness and safety; I could not find one negative thing about VFFs anywhere on the internet. In fact, I found multiple articles on the benefits of ‘barefooting’ and of course VFFs mimic going barefoot (I like to call them barefoot mimetics – a sterlingpurdyism). John Sifferman also had a great write-up on barefooting and referenced several sites that supported VFFs as running shoes, hiking shoes, etc. VFFs takes the pressure and work off of the knees and hips and shifts the work to your calves (the way it should be). If you are a virgin VFF user, then be prepared to have some very tender calves after your first running or sprinting encounter. Good stuff!

What type and color Five Fingers do you have and how long have you had them?

I chose the gray VFF Sprints because of the strap that velcros across the top of the foot. This has allowed me to use them in the water without fear of watching 80 bucks float down river. I’ve had my VFFs for 5 months.

What do you do most while wearing your Five Fingers?

Sprint, bike, jog, hike, repel, zip-line, plyometrics, lift weights, procreate (just kiddin’…or am I?)

Any unusual experiences while wearing them?

Lots of looks of bewilderment and amazement from locals in Puerto Vallarta.

How do Five Fingers fit in with who you are as a person?

They are totally me. I’ve always been an out-of-the-box person and I consider VFFs not the norm. I’m a different breed: I know it and embrace it. Wearing my VFFs to the movies supports that premise. As a father of 5, you learn to adapt and roll with it and my VFFs help me roll with it in a unique, fun, and healthier way. My kids love them and they all want a pair. My 15-year old is the only one big enough to fit into a pair, but he’ll have to earn and pay for his own 🙂

You were featured on Mark Sisson’s blog after transforming your lifestyle to be more in keeping with our hunter-gatherer biological/genetic roots (See below for “More on Sterling’s transformation”). Could you briefly talk about how you’ve changed over the past few years, and what you tell people when they react to your improved health and physique?

Wow, a loaded question! As you’ll read in Mark’s post about my transformation [See teaser and link below!], I was a big ole boy – 225lbs @ 5’8″; a change had to be made. I changed my life – not a diet, not a 90-day plan, not a get-ready-for-summer plan — none of those. I changed everything I did. I began exercising — everyday. I began eating right — everyday. I began thinking differently about everything — everyday. It was not a fast process. It was a battle for my life. Now that might sound dramatic. But it sounds that way because it was dramatic; I made dramatic changes and had dramatic success and results. I credit 4 people for my success: my wife Donna who is the consummate encourager, Tony Horton, Mark Sisson, and Tom Venuto — google them all (except my wife of course) and you’ll find a wealth of information about health & fitness.

Regarding people’s reactions? People have freaked out! You have to remember that I went from a size 40-42ish waist to a 28-29ish and a bodyfat of ‘really fat’ to about 9% at present, so naturally people are going to freak out. It’s funny though because when they ask me what I’ve done to make those changes, it’s not the typical answer (and I’ve sustained my results). Most don’t want to hear that I work my butt off through weight training and eat the right things — lots of protein, lots of fat, limited carbohydrate intake, very few grains. Their response is usually a ‘well, I really want to get into shape like you are now, BUT…’ I could go on on all day about health and fitness…

Anyone looking for insights of VFFs, nutrition, fat loss, weight & resistance training questions feel free to contact me through twitter @sterlingpurdy. I’d be glad to help.

Thanks Justin for the opportunity to share.

Thank you, Sterling!

Below are a few action shots of Sterling climbing in his Vibram fivefingers Sprints. Click any image for a larger version!


* Birthday Shoes readers are encouraged to go check out Sterling’s transformation. For just a snippet of the post at MDA, check out Sterling’s “Before and After” shots:

More on Sterling’s transformation:


Here’s a teaser that gives you a glimpse of just how drastic the improvement was in Sterling’s life:

Within the next 3 months, not only did my weight get down to 170 lbs, and my waist shrink to 31.5”, but my life had changed forever. Remember the litany list of medications I mentioned before? Depression medication: Gone. Blood pressure medication: Gone. Testosterone: Gone. And for the first time in 30 years…let me say that again…for the FIRST time in 30 YEARS. Asthma medications: Gone. Done. Finished. Wow! What a concept. Proper nutrition and exercise – the best medicine available to mankind. Big Pharma and FDA beware! We are coming after your business.

How did this happen? I started to live more like Grok. I cut way back on whole grains and legumes. I was eating lots more plants and animals, whole lean proteins, fruit, and tons of veggies. I lifted heavy things often. I got 8+ hours of sleep every day and napped when I could; even if only 30 or 40 minutes.

You’ll have to read the full entry at Marks Daily Apple for the rest!

Sterling’s story is a fantastic example of how your life can be transformed by changing your lifestyle for the better. In addition to to the above “after” shots, check this photo of Sterling at the beach. Hello six pack!