It is my sad duty to report the death of my trusted running shoes. They were my first pair of Vibram five fingers and they served me above and beyond the call of duty. My relationship with this particular pair of shoes started inauspiciously. I got them as a Father’s Day gift from Erica and Isabel, tried them on, and then didn’t wear them for ten months. That was back in 2010. They sat on my closet floor, waiting patiently to prove themselves.
The following May I ran a half marathon in traditional running shoes and developed a giant blister under my toenail, which promptly popped off and hurt like hell. I didn’t want to stop running while my toe healed, so I slipped on the Vibrams one day and went for a one-mile walk. Even after that walk, it was not yet obvious that those shoes would become the loves of my life. I slowly upped my mileage and before too long I was running 13.1 miles in my five fingers. They were light and snug and made me want to be a better runner.
Over the past two years I have run over 1700 miles in these shoes, including five half marathons and two Reach the Beach 200 mile relays. It was during the second of these Reach the Beaches that it became painfully obvious that this particular pair of Vibrams was on its last legs. During my second leg of the relay I developed a blister on the bottom of my right foot because some fabric had ripped and collected in a lump. I took the shoes off, thanked them silently for their service, and put them in the back of the van. I wore some old traditional shoes for my final leg.
This pair of shoes was simply too good to allow them to pass without recognition. If you want to mark the passing of these kind soles, you can. Instead of cards or flowers, send cash to the “Get Chris a New Pair of Five Fingers Fund” in memory of Lefty and Righty.