Archive for March 2010

New official word on availability of Bikilas

March 29, 2010

According to a posting today on Facebook from Vibram USA CEO, Tony Post, says the Bikila’s will start hitting the stores in late April. He also discusses product availability issues explaining that in Q1 they are shipping 6X last year’s volume of VFFs and that in Q2 the plan is 10X last Q2!

He goes on to say, specifically about Bikilas:

When will the new Bikila arrive? Some of you have been running in Vibram FiveFingers since 2006 – in fact, since March of 2006 it’s the only shoe I’ve used for running. And despite all the progress we have made since our launch, we never really had a FiveFingers product designed SPECIFICALLY FOR running — until now. As Vibram’s #1 running product tester, I can tell you that I love this new Bikila platform – especially for longer runs. It offers a little more protection to the metatarsal heads, without compromising that barefoot sensation; the fit is secure and comfortable, and the shoe just feels FAST.

Look for the new Bikila to start hitting the first stores in late April. We are flying in the first 25K pair, but I doubt we will be able to keep up with the initial demand. We ask for your patience, as we will work diligently to bring you this new product.

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When they look at you funny in San Francisco, you know you are out there

March 28, 2010

I had a terrific run along the Marina Green in San Francisco yesterday morning at about 7:00. As jogged down Filmore Street towards the water, a twenty something kid with a large paper clip thing in his cheek asked, “Are you running barefoot on purpose?” This is in the city in which while waiting for a table last night, we saw a woman dressed like a big redhead Marie Antoinette walking with a guy in a Dick Tracy hat and a vest over a Chi Guevara Tshirt. And no, I’m pretty sure they weren’t going to a costume party; it was just Haight Street.

I think the kid was being nice and in the city, particularly this one, I could have been someone in trouble to whom he was offering help. Still, it surprised me that here, in the land of people doing their own thing, that I would have stood out. He went on to ask the glass question, and I explained that I avoid it.

Even fairly early on a Saturday morning, there are lots of people running along the water towards he bridge and I started passing many on the way by back. Several offered up some very supportive atta boys. One attractive woman in a group called out, “Barefoot running” with the same intonation as Saturday Night Live’s Rob Schneider ‘s,”Makin’ copies.” She meant it nicely. Another one said, “Barefoot…good job!”

But of the several hundred runners I saw, in this city known for freedom of expression, cutting edge ideas and mild climate, I saw nary a bare toe, not even any minimalist shoes. It gave me perspective; we are still a pretty small bunch. It will be interesting to see what I find staying in Malibu later in the week.

Metro Boston Barefoot Runners workshop…works!

March 24, 2010

About twenty people gathered at the First Congregational Church in Harvard Square on the first day of Spring…and a steller one it was, so ultimately we migrated over to the Cambridge Green.  These workshops are a great start for new runners and the group seems a fun cohort for experienced runners.

I’m not shy about being barefoot and not a church guy, but I have to confess it felt a little funny walking into a church without shoes. That went away quickly as I was greeted by Jim, one of the organizers, into a group of ten others in a large gym-like room. It was (more…)

Meet-up with Dr. Dan Lieberman, ever-practical barefoot rockstar

March 21, 2010

Despite the difficulty of parking in Cambridge on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, I enjoyed yesterday’s clinic put on by the Metro Boston Barefoot Runners. Particularly interesting and useful was chatting with Dr. Daniel Lieberman whose recent study, Foot strike patterns and collision forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners, represents some of the most extensive research in the field to date.

Photo courtesy of Ken Skier http://runwithKen.com

After running 16 miles training for the London Marathon, Dan Lieberman joined about twenty of us yesterday afternoon first in the rec room of a church and then on the Cambridge Green. Dan is not an M.D., he’s an Evolutionary Biologist and runs the Skeletal Biology Lab at Harvard. One of his primary areas of research is “the biology and evolution of endurance running.” Thus, he’s thought a lot more about how people run and how feet work than most podiatrists. To say that his perspective is an informed one is an understatement.

I’ve not seen the lab (maybe sometime) but (more…)

A shot of Bikila

March 18, 2010

The much anticipated Vibram Five Fingers Bikila seems to have been cloaked in mystery. Maybe this is just the way Vibram operates, but they’ve been almost Apple-like in keeping closed lips about launch date and final design of the minimalist shoe. It’s kind of a surprise, I guess, to those in the barefoot running community to learn that Vibram never really designed their footwear or running. So, it’s very exciting to see what they come up with when they put their mind to it…Bikila!

Birthday Shoes posts three new stories on the Bikila. None are a lot more illuminating than past info, but they do confirm (sorta) that April is the release month, and more importantly, one of the stories tells you how you can enter a contest for a free pair.

Go for it!!! And let me know if you hear anything.

Let’s get physical

March 12, 2010

There has been a preponderance of press in the wake of the Lieberman study, and most of the articles read the same. So, I was surprised to see an piece a few weeks ago that actually didn’t mention Lieberman! More importantly, however, it’s a very good survey of barefoot running from the perspective of physical therapists. In my experience, PTs are often more practical than docs and generally provide very useful, pragmatic advice. In my estimation, this article from TodayinPT.com is no exception. It’s mostly directed at those new to barefoot running, but even experienced runners can benefit from reminders and new perspectives now an then.

Who is behind the “Barefoot Running is Bad” site?

March 9, 2010

I suppose I should just ignore and not contribute to the traffic, but runningbarefoootisbad.com really bugs me. The smug, arrogant attitude seems somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Fine. Clearly he’s (or she’s, though I think there’s a lower incidence of jerkism amongst women) trying to be provocative with statements like, “Members of the barefoot running community are not particularly bright people.” Fine. But I’ve got a real pet peeve with blogs, particularly provocative ones, that don’t accept comments or provide any mechanism for feedback of any sort.

There is an email address provided (more…)