FiveFingers in the Jungle Marathon Amazon

October 29, 2013 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Foot Care, Footwear, Sports 

This blog post is a summary of Stefanie Bacon’s experience with Vibram FiveFinger Lontra’s in the Jungle Marathon Amazon. The first image shows Stefanie in one of the water crossings. She did the four-day 122km race and was the second place female. When I noticed she was running in FiveFingers, I asked if she could write a short review of the shoes. Here’s her report followed by information on the Lontras.

Stefanie in the Jungle Marathon Amazon

Stefanie in the Jungle Marathon Amazon

I have been running in my Vibram FiveFingers for over 2 years now. I am very careful choosing which ones to run in, depending of the terrain. When I decided to run the Jungle Marathon Amazon, I decided to research which ones would be best as I knew I was going to encounter water crossings, soft sandy beaches, mud swamps, forests, creepy crawlies on my ankles etc. So I knew they had to be somewhat more resistant then the ones I use to run on normal roads and sand tracks. I went for the Lontra, which have the thickest sole, and extra protection over the toes, and are higher on the ankles (to avoid sand coming into them so easily).

Stefanie's FiveFinger Lontras

Stefanie’s FiveFinger Lontras

The second photo shows Stefaine’s Lontras.

For a race like Jungle Marathon I really found my FiveFingers Lontra’s to be an advantage, especially at water crossings and soft sand. It was way easier because you can swim in them without feeling any kind of weight on your feet, and when running in soft sand, no sand came into them and my feet felt really light. Like with any other shoes you need to really be careful with cut off trees, to not step on one of them, but I must say the Lontra’s made me feel confident, as they are way more resistant then any other Five Fingers. One thing I did realize, is when I did the water crossings, as the fabric they are made of is meant to be water resistant the water didn’t escape the shoe so quickly like other Vibrams I have which are made of neoprene, but this didn’t make my feet suffer in any way.

Stefanie's Taped Toes

Stefanie’s Taped Toes

The only problem I had (which I only realized on the third day what was causing that problem) were my big toe nail and my pinky toe nail, I felt some pressure on them and couldn’t understand why, after a lot of thinking I realized that it was my socks, when using five fingers you need to make sure that your toes fit perfectly into the sock (I highly recommend to use Injinji, I was wearing the Nike ones and those where not good for my toes). The image here shows her toes taped with StrengthTape Kinesio tape.

I don’t recommend anyone who is starting to use Vibram FiveFingers to do a race like this in them; it is essential to have a lot of experience, and test different styles on different terrains. 

Vibram FiveFinger Lontras

Here are the links to Vibram’s website for the Lontra shoes: Vibram’s FiveFinger Lontras and Women’s Vibram Lontra.

Vibram FiveFinger Lontras

Vibram FiveFinger Lontras

Vibram Men’s Lontras are shown in the next photos. You can see in the first image how high they ride up the ankle and the strapping system. The next photo shows the more aggressive than normal tread.

Here’s Vibram’s website description: The all-new Lontra makes cold weather running in minimalist footwear a breeze. A multi-layer laminate upper with fully taped seams provides insulation and water resistance. The micro-pile fleece liner is soft against the skin while helping wick perspiration away from the foot. Other features include a neoprene heel cuff to keep out snow and debris, and a reinforced hook-and-loop closure for a snug and secure fit. Run safely at night with reflective surfaces for enhanced visibility. The 4mm EVA midsole provides insulation from frozen surfaces, and the TC-1 Dura outsole provides traction, durability and superior plating protection.

The Agressive Lontra Outersole

The Agressive Lontra Outersole

Stefanie made a good choice in the Lontra’s for her Jungle Marathon Amazon race. The shoes hardly showed any wear after her race. I could see these shoes working for similar events and trail runs. Considering the other shoes I saw runner’s wearing at the Jungle marathon, the Lontras performed well, did not fall apart, and did not become waterlogged. For an event where water, sand and mud, and streams or swamps are on the route, these shoes are worth a look.

For the record, the Jungle Marathon Amazon also had a marathon one-day race and the main event, a seven day 254km race.

A Great Vibram FiveFingers Review

November 25, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: blister care, Foot Care, Footwear, Sports, Travel 

Last week I read a report over at BirthdayShoes.com about a guy who completed the Jungle Marathon in the Amazon in Vibram FiveFingers. I was fascinated by what I read and contacted the race director who made the connection. Stuart Crispin sent me the article he submitted to Vibram.

“I recently completed the 2012 Jungle Marathon in Brazil, and in doing became the first person ever to take part in and finish this grueling event wearing a pair of Vibram FiveFingers (VFFs). With the help of a pair of VFF Spyridons men’s 43 I even managed to finish the worlds toughest endurance race, as listed by CNN, in 5th place overall. I did not wear toe socks at any time during the race. [Stuart’s overall time was 47 hours, 43 minutes.]

Stuart Crispin at the Jungle Marathon

Stuart Crispin at the Jungle Marathon

 The race is a six-stage, seven-day self-supported foot race. Runners have to carry all of their food, clothing, hammock, sleeping bag/liner, medical kit and other mandatory kit, as well as 2.5 litres of water (picked up at every checkpoint). My rucksack at the start of day one weighed about 12.5kg. The longest stage on day five is a non-stop 108.5 km ultramarathon. The total seven-day distance covered was over 255km across swamps, dense jungle, mangroves, sandy beach, creeks, rivers and dirt roads. (Details at junglemarathon.com).

Before flying out to take part, I wrote to the race director who advised me not to wear VFFs suggesting they might not offer enough support for such a long distance race. I also emailed a previous competitor, who is also a physiotherapist for her advice on wearing VFF. Her response was ‘… FiveFingers will be a disaster… they will not offer your feet the support they need… they are not designed for such long distance running… and they won’t have enough grip to help you stay upright on the seriously wet and muddy terrain, particularly on the severe ascents and descents.’

Despite this advice I opted to go with my Spyridons. Thanks to the clever Kevlar lining in the sole I had every confidence they would give my feet enough support to avoid injury to the sole of my foot while running through the dense jungle, where the floor was covered in sharp spiky objects as well as spiky stinging insects like scorpions. I felt no impact at all underfoot and the Spyridons’ grip was more than adequate to cope with the muddy terrain. A week before going to Brazil for the race I wore my Spyridons to hike up Snowdon, the UK’s third highest mountain. They were great for that too, although while walking across large, wet slightly tilted rocks and boulders I could feel my feet slip slightly, but I think that may have happened in walking boots also. The hike up to the summit left me in no doubt that my Spyridons were the right choice for the Jungle Marathon.

The tough material used for the upper is still in exactly the same condition it was before the 255km race. There are no tears or cuts at all to the upper of both shoes, and the soles too are also damage free. The only minor sign of wear and tear is a very small section of the material on the outside of one of the big toe pockets, where it has very slightly come away from the sole. But in order to see it you have to look closely and after such a long way in some seriously aggressive and tough terrain, including deep bogs and swamps I think that is extremely impressive and shows how robust the Spyridons are.

I did have a concern about using the Velcro strap version as I wondered how it would hold up in the swamps and bogs. Some of the bogs were up to 1km long and over knee deep with mud. My concern was whether the strap would stay secure and tight when pulling my leg up out of the mud, as I did not fancy losing a shoe. However, the VFFs are designed to fit snugly to the foot so although on a couple of occasions the strap came undone the shoe remained firmly in place on my feet. But this did not happen during every swamp or bog, and there were many.

Every single day of the race I had several other competitors asking me about my choice of footwear, often questioning whether I would be able to finish the race. My reply was the same every day, that they were extremely comfortable and I felt no pain or any objects under foot at all. They looked amazed but also looked very impressed. Many of them said they were going to try using VFFs after the event. Perhaps even more impressive than the toughness of the shoe, is the comfortableness of the Spyridons for running and hiking. After running 255km I did not have a single blister on either of my feet, and that is dispite starting and finishing every day with wet soggy feet. The only sores I had on my feet were between a couple of my toes caused by sand getting between them during the 108.5km long stage. I had already run several miles on sand during the previous four stages without any problems with the sand at all. During the long stage I think it only happened due to having had wet feet since 4.30am at the very start of the stage when we started with a river crossing, and by the time I ran on sand I had been running with wet feet in 35 degree heat in almost 100% humidity for over 12 hours. Perhaps if I had put on a pair of toe socks I may have been able to prevent the sores at all but as they were only minor I opted to just carry on to the finish.

The race director, who advised against wearing VFF, saw me on day four at the first checkpoint and said she couldn’t believe I was still going wearing them, and going so well. She said every day she expected me to pull out with trashed feet and after the race told me how seriously impressed she was with me for finishing in 5th place and wearing VFFs for the entire race.

I had reservations myself about wearing VFFs and I don’t think my Bikilas, KSO’s or Classics FiveFingers would have been up to the task. But thanks to the Spyridons trail running qualities I was able to wear them. In my opinion the Spyridons are the most comfortable running shoe I have ever worn. I have run over 20 marathons on both road and off road, and several ultramarathons including multi-day events in the Sahara, the Atacama in Chile, the Himalayas and Scottish highlands, as well as 100km and 100 mile non-stop races. I have worn several different brands of running shoes, some of which have left me with horrendous blisters. Some have been ok when it comes to blisters, but even if I finished blister free I always felt ‘hot spots’ which is the start of a blister. I have never worn a running shoe that has left me with zero blisters and zero hotspots.

I would have no hesitation at all in recommending VFF to other runners and for trail/off road running at the moment in my mind there is no better option than the Spyridons.

I will definitely be using Spyridons for my future off road running and will continue to recommend them to other runners who always approach me at races and while I’m out training, asking about them and how they feel.

I would be happy for you to use this review if you wish, as I would like other people to know about my experience of using VFFs. I searched the web before the race looking for other reviews or advice on using VFFs in such extreme environments but the information out there was limited. No one has ever worn Fivefingers in such an event and I would be happy to share my experiences with others. I am also a qualified personal trainer, as well as a London based firefighter, and will recommend the sensible and safe use of VFFs to some of my clients where suitable.

Stuart Crispin
London

I asked Stuart a few questions and here is what he wrote back, “The Jungle Marathon was my first multi-day race wearing Vibrams. Before that I ran the London Marathon in VFF Bakilas but since I hadn’t run further than 12 miles in them before the marathon the jump in distance was rather silly and I did get some minor pain in my left foot. But I didn’t get a single blister or hot spot and like in the jungle I ran with no socks. My longest run before the Jungle was 14 miles off road and I ran with wet feet and again had no blisters. I have run several multi-stage ultras and marathons and only the VFFs left me with no blisters. I know they probably won’t work for everyone but I won’t run in trainers ever again. Before wearing VFFs I used Injinji toe socks and they definitely helped reduce the amount and severity of blisters I got from running than when I wore normal socks (including two socks).”

Thank you Stuart for this great report and congratulations on your finish.

If you are interested in learning more about the Jungle Marathons, the links are below. Shirley Thompson, the race director, puts on challenging races, well run with a great safety record, and a professional staff. It is my hope to be at both these events next year.

The Jungle Marathon – Amazon (2013 October)
The Jungle Marathon – Vietnam (2013 June)

In October 2010 I wrote a blog post about a runner at the six-day ThanksRockies who wore FiveFingers for the 115 mile race. If you want to check out the link, here’s the post: Vibram FiveFingers at the Gore-Tex TransRockies.

 

Is Less Shoe More?

February 23, 2012 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Footwear, Footwear Products 

Taken from an article, Less shoe for the money, more bang for your buck? by David Kumagai

From Monday’s Globe and Mail – Published Sunday, Feb. 05, 2012

For runners, the trend away from tricked-out, uber-supportive shoes and toward minimal footwear has taken off in the past few years, turning a fringe product into a roughly $2-billion annual cash cow. The New Balance Minimus, Nike Free, Reebok RealFlex and Vibram FiveFingers are among the slew of stripped-down shoes – flexible enough to be rolled, scrunched and squeezed at will – praised for triggering small, neglected foot muscles.

Now shoe companies are targeting the gym, hoping the success of minimalist running shoes, Footwear readers’ 2011 trend of the year, will translate to the workout crowd.

But as the buzz builds and the industry pitches the shoes as a muscle-building fix for many foot and ankle injuries, there is some debate as to whether it’s a biomechanical paradigm shift in shoe design or a cleverly engineered cash grab.

Proponents of the footwear often compare ultra-supportive shoes with wearing a cast that prohibits muscle growth, while skeptics say there hasn’t been enough research.

Mark Verstegen, who trains some of the world’s top athletes as the president of Phoenix-based Athletes’ Performance, helped design Adidas’s Adipure Trainer, billed as the first minimalist shoe designed for working out. It’s the latest entry into the booming market for footwear with a less-is-more kick. “The shoe offers an almost sock-like environment that gives great mobility so you can turn on all the muscles and joints in the legs,” he said.

Mr. Verstegen holds a master’s degree in sport sciences and said he’s long believed in barefoot workouts. He credits the 2009 book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall for pushing the barefoot-minimalist movement into the mainstream.

The research has been playing catch-up ever since.

Scott Landry, an assistant professor of kinesiology at Acadia University in Nova Scotia who has studied minimalist footwear, has published articles that generally laud the shoes’ ability to strengthen smaller foot muscles.

Shoes with a lot of stability were first designed in the 1970s to reduce injury, but the belief is that injuries haven’t decreased, Dr. Landry said.

He wears minimalist shoes in the gym and explained how students in his anatomy and biomechanics class constantly ask him about the new footwear. “I always caution them, don’t make the sudden jump, introduce exercise gradually, “Dr. Landry said. “… If you’ve got a deformity in the foot, you might need an orthotic.”

Dr. Landry, Mr. Verstegen and Brad Gibbs, president of the Pedorthic Association of Canada, all stressed the need to take it slow.

“My immediate concern would be the lack of stability if you’re doing lateral or side-to-side motion – I think that’s where a minimalist shoe could be a danger,” Mr. Gibbs said. He suggested testing the shoes for “10 to 20 per cent” of your workouts initially.

“If you are starting to develop a small discomfort … go back to your old or conventional footwear.” he said, adding, “Don’t try to work through an injury.”

Mr. Verstegen adamantly opposes a full-throttle switch. “You wouldn’t do any other aspect of your life that way – you need the progressions.”

But even a measured approach has its doubters. Michael Mesic, a doctor of podiatric medicine at the Canadian Foot Clinic & Orthotic Centre in St. Catharines, Ont., is skeptical of the shift away from supportive footwear.

“Most of the hype is generated by shoe companies – they’re creating a new market,” Dr. Mesic said. “… There is that subset of the population with great mechanics who don’t need that extra support, but the average person needs support.”

And yet John Shier, a 36-year-old software engineer from Burlington, Ont., said that after years of suffering from plantar fasciitis, shin splints and knee pain, and throwing hundreds of dollars at orthotics, he hasn’t had “a single physical problem” since buying Vibram FiveFingers four years ago.

When he works out, whether doing squats or dead-lifts, Mr. Shier dons the shoes or opts to go unshod. “I found that wearing cross-trainers, with the amount of cushioning and height off the ground, I didn’t feel that stable.”

There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that echoes Mr. Shier’s experience, Dr. Landry said.

What’s your anecdotal story?

 

Birthday Shoes – Check it Out!

March 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Footwear, Footwear Products, Sports 
BirthdayShoes.com

BirthdayShoes.com

If you are into Vibram FiveFingers or any of the new minimalist shoes, you owe it to yourself to check out the website BirthdayShoes.com.

I consider BirthdayShoes to be the best informational website on the subject. It is very up-to-date as new shoes are released. In the month of March alone, they reviewed the:

  • Nike Zoom Waffle Racer IV
  • Merrell BarefootTrail Glove
  • Vibram FiveFingers TrekSport
  • New Balance NB Minimus
  • Fila Skele-Toes Four Toed Shoes

While the main focus is on FiveFingers, they are fair in their reviews. The “Guides” section offers a wealth of information on resources, reviews, how to’s, frequently asked questions, and modifications and repairs.

If you wear FiveFingers, are thinking about getting a pair, or are interested in minimalist shoes, BirthdayShoes.com is a website to bookmark.

Vibram FiveFinger Injuries

October 24, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Footcare, Footwear, Health 

I received a comment on a recent blog post about runners wearing Vibram FiveFingers. Debra Martin, MSPT, CLT, sent me a link to an article on “Injury Report from the Sump Jump.”

“It was thrilling to see almost 800 people run off from the starting line at this year’s Stump Jump 50Km event. Overall the injuries were few, considering the number of people out there. But there were a few patterns that were noteworthy, so here is a summary for you to learn from in preparing for your next trail race!

We actually had a line waiting for wound care after the 11 mile race due to the scraped up knees, with a few palm and finger cuts for good measure – just a matter of going fast on a technical trail here. I was very pleased that there were few twisted ankles throughout the day! I hope that was the result of trail runners working on their balance and ankle strength over the past few months and not just plain luck.

The toe injuries I saw came from people wearing – can you guess? Vibram FiveFingers shoes during the race. One person jammed their toe against a rock, twice, and has a possible fracture at the base of his toe. The other either dislocated or fractured his little toe when it split on the other side of a bush/tree.

You can find my notes on barefoot running/wearing Vibrams on the wall of this Facebook page. Yes, wearing these shoes can build strength in your ankle and foot.  However, racing in them on technical trails… well, these injuries can happen. The bad part is that you will need to keep moving with a toe swelling up in it’s little compartment, and it will be used to help you push off and “grab” the terrain for the rest of the race. Just something to keep in mind when choosing footwear for your next race!”

Injury Report from the Sump Jump

Comments

I suspect this is a foretelling of injuries to come. Sure, runners get injured all the time. But when one changes their footwear to Vibrams, they need to be aware of the trail even more than other runners wearing shoes.

Barefoot and Minimalist Footwear Advice

Take the time to learn how to “read” the trail. Learn how to react to rocks and roots and other common obstacles. Learn how to change your stride mid-stride to avoid turning an ankle. Learn to be patient and don’t do too much too soon.

When venturing barefoot onto trails or even on pavement, you should take a few precautions. Start slowly with short barefoot excursions to give your feet time to adjust. Your feet are used to the support and cushioning of shoes, and going without will make a sudden change. Be attentive to the conditions of the path underfoot. Your feet can be cut or punctured by debris on the road or trail. If you want to run barefoot, start by walking.

Walking and running barefoot can be an excellent way to condition your feet in order to prevent blisters when you do wear boots or shoes. Your skin will be tougher and you may develop calluses. Yet, be forewarned: this is no guarantee that you will not get blisters. Remember that when it is raining, the moisture will soften the skin on your feet. That’s a good time to switch to one of the minimalist shoes.

Aside from the possibility of cutting your feet on glass or metal, if you have any cuts or open skin on your feet you run the risk of picking up an infection. Another concern is skin that calluses over. These calluses can split into fissures, or cracks in the skin. This opens the inner layers of skin to a greater risk of infection. If you step on something sharp and get a puncture wound, seek medical care. Puncture wounds typically close up and this seals any debris, germs, or contaminants inside the wound. If you choose to go barefoot it’s smart to take care of your feet. There is no point in getting an infection through carelessness.

After reading about all the possible injuries from going barefoot, you may be worried. Going barefoot may be the goal of many athletes, but in reality, wearing minimalist shoes will provide protection and enhance the “barefoot” experience. Tellman Knudson likes FiveFingers, especially for people who:

  • Don’t want to deal with the pain of running barefoot
  • Want to minimize the risk of stepping on something that could hurt them
  • Run on hot surfaces where their feet would roast without protection
  • Are in the process of transitioning from running in “normal shoes” to running barefoot

Remember that switching to barefoot running or minimalist footwear does not mean you can’t ever run in shoes again. Many athletes employ a combination of barefoot or minimalist and shoes. Running minimalist helps focus on good form, and for many, will reduce injuries. If you want or need something more substantial than FiveFingers, consider using one of the minimalist shoes such as Inov-8, Nike Free, Newton, New Balance 800, or Terra Plana. These replicate the free and natural flexible motions of your feet better than the usual running shoe.

The above advice is part of the new chapter on barefoot running in the January release of the fifth edition of Fixing Your Feet.

Vibram FiveFingers at the Gore-Tex TransRockies

October 10, 2010 by · 5 Comments
Filed under: Foot Care, Footwear 

You may recall that in August I was part of the TransRockies Race, a three day and six-day footrace through the Colorado Rockies. I was impressed with the athletes. Most were very prepared for the rigors of covering 115 miles through the demanding Rockies.

I had contact with many of the runners each day. I would see them at breakfast and dinner, and of course, when they came for foot care.

Vibram FiveFingers

Vibram FiveFingers

One of the runners impressed me every day. John Cutroneo wore Vibram FiveFingers for the full six days. I saw him on at the end of day one. He also wore Injinji toe socks. Here’s a photo of his FiveFingers. His feet stayed relatively clean.

John came into the race with a few scrapes that bothered him. One was on the top of his foot, a bit back from the big toe on his left foot. It had been rubbed raw by one of the seams or creases on the FiveFingers. I taped that several times.

After each day’s run, I asked him if he was going to run in his FiveFingers the next day. I expressed surprise that he could run the rugged and rocky course day after day. He assured me he was doing fine.

Many runners were coming in with heel and bottom of the heel blisters. Toe blisters were common. The worst problem he had was heel blisters. I treated these and he continued on the next day.

John Cutroneo's FiveFingers

John Cutroneo's FiveFingers

I saw John most mornings and he always wore his FiveFingers and Injinji socks. He told me he had been running in FiveFingers for about 10 months. While that is not a long time to build a FiveFingers base, it worked for him. Running in these takes patience and a slow build-up to longer distances.

In spite of the FiveFingers’ lack of cushioning and support, he finished all six days. The photo here was taken at the finish line. The sole of his FiveFingers look no worse for the wear.

Yesterday I worked an aid station at the Dick Collins Firetrails 50 Mile Run. I saw two runners wearing FiveFingers. If you choose to wear FiveFingers for trail runs, be sure you have put in the training miles to avoid injury.

Vibram FiveFingers Alert

August 14, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Footwear, Footwear Products, Sports 

One of my coworkers has become a FiveFingers convert. He used to run but knee and gait issues caused him to stop. FiveFingers, he realized, allowed him to run again. He is in training for a triathlon this fall.  His runs are short – two to three miles.

FiveFingers are all the rage. Many runners are buying them. Non-runners read Born to Run and decide to by a pair of Vibram FiveFingers (VFFs). Many do not understand the basic tenets of barefoot running and become injured. Others preserve and love the unique footwear.

This sudden surge in popularity has led to a host of fake FiveFinger being sold on the Internet. The only surefire way to protect yourself from fakes is to be informed.

Vibram's Warning

Vibram's Warning

Vibram has the image (shown here) on their VibramFiveFingers.com website homepage.  It opens an alert to inform readers about issues with fake FiveFingers. In part, it says, “We want to inform you about our efforts to fight the sale of counterfeit merchandise, a serious menace that has recently surfaced after the success of our authentically unique Vibram FiveFingers. Fake merchandise and trademarks appear daily in the market, often sold from unauthorized or fraudulent Vibram or FiveFingers websites.

Please refer to this website to:

◦                Find the list of authorized Vibram FiveFingers retailers and distributors:

◦                Verify our phone number, address, and contact information; many counterfeit sites won’t provide this information.

◦                Verify the stock list of colors and styles we produce.”

Vibram Protecting its Copyright

Vibram Protecting its Copyright

I love this ad that Vibram uses to enforce their brand.

If you have questions or concerns about suspicious websites, on-line discounted sales, or counterfeits of Vibram designs please contact Vibram at www.vibramfivefingers.com/info/contact

A great website to bookmark as a favorite is http://www.BirthdayShoes.com. This huge website does a fantastic job of informing readers of what’s new with VFFs. Their website says,

“ALERT! As many as half of the search results on Google for [Vibram Five Fingers] are fake five fingers retailers and MANY fake five fingers retailers are utilizing Google Ads to hock their counterfeit wares!

“All authentic Vibram Five Fingers are going to have the Vibram yellow octagon stamp on their sole. Additionally, any “Vibram” branding should be yellow (and not white or blue or some other color).

The site adds, “The BirthdayShoes Store lists out many (but not all) online retailers of Vibram Five Fingers. Realize that in the United States retailers are only allowed to sell Vibram Five Fingers online if they have a brick and mortar store. Ever wondered why VFFs weren’t on Zappos? It’s because of this policy. To my knowledge, there are no brick and mortar stores that exclusively sell Vibram Five Fingers! By extension, there should be no online retailers who only sell Vibram Five Fingers and no other products – except for VibramFiveFingers.com, of course!

“If you’re on a website that is selling Vibram Five Fingers to U.S. buyers, look for a physical address. If the site indicates it will be shipping you the product from some place around the world, raise an eyebrow! If said online retailer appears to be only selling Five Fingers (and no other products), this is a red flag!

“Many of these fakes are making it onto eBay. Reality is that no legitimate retailer of VFFs is allowed to sell Five Fingers on eBay! So apart from one-off eBayers trying to unload a single pair here and there, be very suspicious of eBayer resellers who are selling VFFs!”

BirthdayShoes.com even maintains a list of known fake Five Fingers retailers – and the list keeps growing.

Fake Vibram FiveFingers!

June 4, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Footwear 

The Vibram FiveFingers are so popular they I guess it had to happen. Fake ones are being sold. Here is an email I received from BarefootRunningShoes.org.

Vibram KSO FiveFingers“If you were considering buying Vibram FiveFinger shoes and haven’t yet done so we just wanted to let you know that quite a few copycat/counterfeit FiveFinger shoe manufacturer’s have popped up selling their own versions of the popular line of barefoot shoes.  While these fake versions might be cheaper often they are not made with the same materials and hence the quality is not as good (meaning they’ll probably fall apart soon after you purchase and use them).  The other risk when buying these FakeFinger shoes is that you might end up giving your credit card information to less upstanding citizens.”

Here’s the link to learn more about their recent blog post about Fake Vibram FiveFinger Shoes. On the site, I read the following, “Not only are other companies copying their trademarked style, but many of these companies (which happen to be Chinese in origin) are just outright pretending to be the Vibram! They are making their own fake versions; putting Vibram’s logos on them, using the same shoe names, and flooding the market with their Vibram FakeFinger shoes.” They even list 25 websites where the fakes are sold.

If you decide to buy a pair of shoes online, shop carefully.

BarefootRunningShoes.org offers regular emails on a variety of minimalist shoes including reviews, how to make modifications, tops, and more. Check them out.

Vibram FiveFingers

April 2, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Uncategorized 

These Vibram FiveFingers changed my life!

Vibram FiveFingersThis simple statement caught my attention last weekend while spending six days at a writers’ conference near Santa Crux, California. The lady showing me her footwear discovery was about 70 years old. She told me how as a child she injured both heels and had struggled with bad footwear and could not run – even walking hurt.

Then she found Vibram FiveFingers. Now she runs and recently finished a 5KM race. She showed me how she runs on the balls of her feet. A conferee had asked me a question about her feet and I told her she needed to talk to the lady with the FiveFingers. They talked quite a while and she came away eager to check out her running store when she got home – our Internet search shows they carry the FiveFinger.

Another convert.

I read an email from a member of a listserv. He said, “My calves and glutes hurt like hell, but that’ll pass. My gait has also changed; fore- or mid-foot strike instead of heel strike.”

While Vibram FiveFingers are not for everyone, they are working for a huge number of athletes.

Have you tried them yet?

Not sure where to find them? The Vibram FiveFingers website offers a store locator, otherwise check out Zombierunner.com.