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CONCORD, Mass. — VibramÂ®, the worldwide leader in high performance soles based in Concord, Mass., who sponsored Barefoot Ted today in the marathon announced his finishing time of 3:20:16. Ted MacDonald a.k.a. Barefoot Ted, a six-time barefoot marathoner, wore Vibram’s FiveFingersâ„¢, unique glove-styled shoes that offer the health benefits of going barefoot with the grip and protection of a Vibram sole.
â€œWe are thrilled with Barefoot Ted’s performance today. He exceeded our expectations,â€ explains Tony Post, president of Vibram USA. â€œVibram sponsored Ted to illustrate the many health benefits of going barefoot and to introduce FiveFingers.â€ Although we didn’t design FiveFingers with running in mind, we can’t think of a more extreme and illustrious event to introduce the product.â€
Barefoot Ted, an avid proponent of running barefoot chose to switch to â€œalmost barefootâ€ to take advantage of the protection of a Vibram sole.
Athletes, athletic trainers, health professionals, and footwear manufacturers are all beginning to embrace the many health and performance advantages to running barefoot or almost barefoot. Running barefoot or almost barefoot in FiveFingers allows runners to build up unused foot and lower leg muscles, improving balance, agility and strength. The natural sensory feedback also allows runners to run in good form and make immediate corrections if they start to run improperly.
FiveFingers was originally designed by Marco Bramani, grandson of the Vibram founder Vitale Bramani. Bramani loved the balance and control of sailing barefoot but wanted better slip resistance and protection from dangerous rigging. The product was intended for sailing and coastal approach, but is being lauded by many barefoot runners. As a result, a running model is under consideration.
The shoes can also aid in after-sports recovery. Since unconditioned musculature of the foot can lead to injury, using FiveFingers after athletic activity can reduce potential injuries by strengthening foot muscles while improving range of motion. The shoes also help promote a natural walking motion that can improve posture and breathing and reduce back pain.
FiveFingers â„¢ features a proprietary Vibram sole designed to follow the contours and flex points of the foot and toes. It promotes a natural bare foot sensation by allowing each toe to move independently, yet protects the foot from hot sand, rocks and sharp coral. The sole is razor siped, for additional grip on a boat deck or in wet slippery conditions.
Available now, FiveFingers â„¢ can be purchased online at www.vibramfivefingers.com. FiveFingers is also available in the US at a limited number of premium outdoor retailer shops at a suggested retail of $70. FiveFingers was originally developed as part of the limited and exclusive â€œJust For Meâ€ shoe collection. The shoe was launched through a small premium distribution network in Italy in late spring 2005, where it sold out almost immediately.