Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Meet MiniMan! This post is the introduction to "Where's MiniMan Now?" which is going to be somewhat of a fun little side project. I will be taking this little dude with me as I travel to various places, and taking his picture to post them here so everyone can take part and enjoy his travels! Stay tuned, you never know where he will pop up next!

Monday, March 15, 2010


Today I thought I would talk about foot protection for the outdoors. Quite some time ago, I came across Vibram FiveFingers, now these are an interesting 'shoe'. Pictured to the left is the VFF Classic. Having owned a pair of these and put them through the paces now for over a year, I must say, I am impressed. It takes a bit of both time and effort to get acustomed to the pseudo-barefoot motions, but once there, they are unbelievably comfortable. I will not get into spouting facts or studies about the health benefits of bare-footing here, enough other people have done that, all I will say, is if you are at all curious about them, check them out, you will not be dissappointed. They truly do give you the feel of walking/running barefoot, yet they still protect your feet from most hazards found on the ground. I have used them on varying terrain, everything from paved roads to loose gravel, sand and mud. The comfort level stays the same on most terrain, but with the loose gravel, I find it necessary to avoid gravel consisting of stones over an inch in diameter as it gets increasingly uncomfortable with each step. however, the comfort level returns when you hit stones greater than two inches in diameter. Overall, I find these to be great footwear, as they do seem to ease the stress on the body, help promote a more natural stance and rhythm, and help to improve one's 'feel' of the earth.

Not all situations are ideal for the FiveFinger design, so generally when heading outdoors for an extended period, I also bring along a pair of hiking or trail running shoes. Currently, my choice is the New Balance MT571GO (pictured here to the left). I haven't yet had the opportunity to put these shoes through any trials, but initial indiciations are positive. They have a very comfortable yet snug fit, and have just enough cushioning and support. I find most athletic style shoes tend to have too much support built into them, but these have avoided that pitfall. I will be sure to give a more detailed review once I have had a chance to really test them.