Thursday, August 19, 2010

Vibram Footwear Review and a Story About My Jungle Excursion.

So, I went for a three Mile walk in the KSO Treks last night. I really liked them. No trouble at all except for one stone that hit my arch and hurt a teeny bit. Not enough to lame me, just made me say ouch.

I'm walking over some big rocks too. Now I may have a leg up over the average person trying out *Barefoot* footwear  (now that's an oxymoron) for the first time in that I already spend the majority of my life either in Crocs or barefoot and my feet have spread over the years into a fairly natural configuration as opposed to someone who's worn narrow toed shoes for the majority of their life.

But the terrain I'm walking on daily (for exercise) isn't exactly smooth:

The KSOs I used. (LOOK! That's Fred's hoofprint from the morning ride)

MAN! Fred has some HONKING big feet. I'm a size 8 which means my feet are 9.5" long from heel to toe)

Anyhow, yesterday's walking adventure:

I am supposed to get out on the road no later than 4:45 pm to be able to complete the full 6 miles before dark. Juan was fuzting about with this and that and after waiting for him until 5:05 pm I (rather annoyedly) set out alone with the Brown Dog Club.

When Juan isn't along to keep me gaspingly hopping to keep up to his ground eating walk(that's what growing up in the mountains of Western Honduras will do to you) I tend to meander a little more than I should, stopping to look at Ooooh! a Pygmy Kingfisher, what's that random blurry black spot in the road ahead of me? (Grackle) LOOK peccary tracks!

...I digress.

It took me an hour to reach the Bridge. (just short of three miles) and in accordance with my aloneness I sat down on the bridge to watch the water flow and listen to the sounds of dusk falling in the tropics.

Yes. Sitting down to reflect in the gloaming 3 miles from home alone without a phone or gun (or BUG SPRAY) is ALWAYS a good idea. *smacks self*

@6:15 I decided I really NEEDED to get up and head back through the creepy silence of the Cacao groves before I ended up sleeping on the bridge for the night. I might wake up drained of blood by the vampire sized mosquitoes we have here. (Not to mention the VAMPIRE bats) I raised one leg and looked up...there was Juan cresting the riverbank and coming down the hill.

I got up and breathed a quiet sigh of relief that my chickenshit self wouldn't have to brave the Cacao alone. He met me 1/2 way up the hill and mentioned that he should probably cancel the rescue truck already on the way.(He had called Angel as he was certain I wouldn't have come all this way on my own and was getting worried that he hadn't encountered me)

I have to say, I found the thought of an Angel riding to the rescue in a Dodge Ram 250 mildly amusing.  What? are the wings broken?  (at least the truck is white?)

Anyhow....all this getting fit shit flew out the window at the thought of being able to ride in a nice comfy truck for the three miles home so I said

 We therefore had some time to kill. Juan points at the 20' tall coconut tree growing on the river bank and asks if I'm thirsty.

Does a jaguar shit in the woods?  HELL yeah.

But you don't have a knife to open the coconut or a stick to get it down...

He laughs.

and I'm jealous because I can't do that.


The Coconut Water was VERY refreshing.

Angel arrived just in time to drain the dregs from my coconut.(Juan having drank all of his own)

and then I went home and slept the sleep of the innocent all night.

This morning I got up, got dressed and put on my Treks. Then proceeded to amuse a large portion of Belize City by wearing them out and about all day long through shopping and Dr's visits. It was an amusing day.

I'm still wearing them and they're still comfortable.

Vibram on Amazon


The difference between the two models I have:

The KSO Treks are slightly more shoelike with a thicker sole and the Kangaroo leather is SOFT and cool but I can feel the fabric sock liner around the heel a little more.(still worn for three miles and all day shopping with no blisters)

The Bikilas are more like a skinfit. The fit is tighter to get on but once on they're like a second skin. There is no shifting at ALL. They just flex with your foot wherever your foot goes.

Both really do feel very close to walking barefoot and I can see/feel my feet flexing with every stride.

The only soreness I have as yet experienced was as I went to sleep last night? My big toes felt slightly fatigued. LOL Yes. Just the big toes.

IOW...I'm loving them so far. If I happen upon any big issues with them I'll be sure to speak up.


Shai said...

Juan is awesome...just saying. You might have to walk to the bridge another million times before trying to flit up a tree like that, though.


p.s. glad the not-shoes are working out well.

Wolfie said...

Juan is one handy guy to have around!! Love the pictures of your surroundings....and the wildlife you have is so exotic. I am sure those shoes turned a few heads. As I read your review on them it sort of reminds me of the difference of a barefoot horse and one with shoes....weird, I know! :-) Have a good weekend!

Funder said...

Very cool! I'm so glad to hear they actually work in the jungle and on the rocks. What a fun adventure too.

I am with you on the comfy shoes. I have wide feet and I'm a glutton for comfortable shoes. I always went with lots of padding, though - properly fitted tennis shoes and hiking boots. I'm definitely interested in going with thinner soled shoes soon. (Too much horse/house shit to buy first!)

apocalypsepony said...

Now I want some of those shoes even more. I foresee a trip to REI in my future. At least there is a retailer within sort of reasonable driving distance.