About a month and a half ago I ordered a pair of Vibram Five Finger KSO shoes. Pictured here.

Vibram KSO

As you can imagine, this sort of shoe creates a lot of attention in real life settings. First, Thanks to Tim Ferriss for recommending the shoe on his blog. I ordered them, flush with anticipation, about the range of possible things I could use them for. They have not disappointed!

The story I would like to share now is a lovely tale of Jordan on the bus.

As I waited for the 44th street bus just outside of the office I noticed it was going to rain. I became anxious as I had about an hour before I would make it back home and I was afraid of getting caught in the rain as I had my laptop in my backpack. It had been a long but productive day however, so I wasn’t going to let a little rain dampen my spirits. Plus I was wearing my Vibrams!

As the bus pulled up I loaded my bike onto the front rack. The always cheery 44th st bus driver greeted me pleasantly as I stepped onto the bus. Looking across the bus I noticed the 6:38 bus is a little empty today, only two other passengers. First, a middle aged lady sitting in the front. Second, a late teens, early twenties girl sitting also very close to the front. The two were engaged in some pleasant conversation. Not wanting to be a loner, freak with weird shoes in dress clothes. I decided to opt into a seat near the front of the bus. Easily within range of conversation.

Not having anything clever to say, I sat in a cool pose as they continued their conversation. Then it happened… I should have seen it coming, since it is so common for me now. I can only call it, “The Vibram Effect”. She saw the shoes. The first look could be described as horror, which turned quickly into glee.

Her: Oh my gosh, what kind of shoes are those. They are awesome!

Quickly realizing that it was indeed the Vibram’s that had drawn her in not my wrist watch I hazarded a response.

Me: Oh, thank you *polite smile*, they are called Vibram Five Fingers.

Her: Where did you get them?

Me: I ordered them from their website.

blah blah blah pleasant conversation ensues…. she gets off at the next stop and I make a mental commitment to work late again tomorrow and ride this bus at the same time. Will probably do it for several days to test out running into her again.

I get off at the Division/44th stop and move to the corner to wait for the Division bus which will take me back downtown. I conversate with my brother on the phone and things go ok. About 20 minutes later the bus arrives. I enter, again placing my bike on the front rack.

There are about 10 people on this bus. I see a very attractive girl, probably in her early twenties, sitting in a seat alone with a paper grocery bag. She had short blonde hair, and I liked it. Me and my shoes head to the seat directly behind her. So that I can stare without it being noticeable. Well, bus seats are too high and I could only see her head/neck. But she had great hair and an awesome natural skin complexion. At this point in the story though we must divert from her to the front of the bus.

A few stops after I get on a young couple consisting of one bob marley esque white guy and one bob marley esque black girl. They both had the same rug style shirts on that when I see them the only word that comes to mind is hemp. Clearly they were together. The girl gets on first, very assertively and walk right past the payment station to a seat and sits down. The bus driver politely looks at the male getting on and asks if he was going to be paying for her. Apparently the young lady had just walked back to a seat so that she could comfortably get in her bag and get our her bus pass.

The driver’s accusation of her trying to bum a free ride apparently touched a nerve. She began berating the bus driver with lines like, “it’s called I get on the bus, you start driving, I get my pass out and swipe it.” and other nonsensical things for about a good 45 seconds. I am quite uncomfortable at this point as she is CLEARLY blowing a harmless question out of proportion. I feel that in a fight it would be close, and she would probably fight dirtier then me, so I hold my tongue.

note: I am sitting about half way back on the bus (behind a cute girl) .

After giving the bus driver a tongue lashing to rival Rosie Odonell. The girl and HER MAN begin walking to the back of the bus. Then it happened again… I didn’t know what was happening, my heart started beating fast. I clenched my fist preparing for hand to hand urban combat.

She stopped right as she got to my seat.

Looked me dead in the shoes, and then in the face. Her face lights up and she exclaims, “Those shoes are awesome! I saw one other person with a pair in Grand Rapids ever. My friend just gave me the website so I can go on and order me a pair.”

I make several polite remarks, “Hey! Yeah thanks, Vibrams, etc..”

“Alright well you have a great day!” she says in closing.

“Yeah, you as well.” I reply

They head to the back of the bus and seat themselves… It was the Vibram Effect.

Apparently if you are drunk in public the Vibram effect only last while you are in direct contact/conversation with the Vibram Guru. Because as soon as she arrived to her seat the bus driver berating continued. Clearly loud enough for him to make out what she was saying. She got off a few stops later and the 5-6 of us still on the bus audibly breathed a sigh of relief. The cute white girl in front and an older lady across the row began a conversation with the bearded gentleman a few rows up about how offensive and inappropriate the gal was. I leaned forward and cheerfully say,

“At least she liked my shoes :)”. Cute white girl does a 87 degree snap turn to make eye contact with me and quick start a conversation. The middle aged lady and man on the other side of the bus heatedly turn to their own conversation.

The beginning of our conversation went about like

Me: At least she liked my shoes.

Her: I know! When she stopped there I got all nervous like, “oh know she’s stopping by me”.

Me: I know! I was afraid she was going to hit me. What a weird mood change over some shoes.

Her: *Moving a seat over so she can look around at my shoes (I lift my foot up in the air.* Next she actually grabs the toe part of my shoe!!!* Wow what are those called!?

Me: They are called Five Fingers shoes. The company that makes them is named Vibram.

Her: They are sweet!

Me: Yeah, they get a lot of attention. I love them

Her: I bet *laugh out loud*.

Conversation trickles away.

An elderly black gentleman gets on the bus about 2 stops later and begins his trek towards the rear of the bus. As he notices my shoes hanging in the isle.

“Boy, what kinda shoes are those.”

I smile… She smiles…

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I can’t encourage you all enough to order a pair of Vibrams. I have no affiliation with the company I will not make any money if you choose to order them. If you want to read more about the science behind them check out Tim Ferriss’s blog post that is linked up at the top.

To get your pair today visit the Vibram Five Fingers website.

I hope you all enjoyed!

Jordan

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