My FiveFingers

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From Back Pain to Pain Free

by Brian Patterson » on Feb 28, 2012 4

Yesterday we featured Tommy Housworth, who got bit by a Copperhead snake which subsequently led to him discovering Vibram FiveFingers.  In that post we called for more stories from our community on how they first encountered FiveFingers.  Today we’re featuring Kathy Bogatek Zapanta, who went from being told she was “not meant for distance running” to running half marathons pain-free.  Have a story of your own to share?  Send it to

Enter Kathy… 

Kathy Bogatek Zapanta - FiveFinger Fan

My name is Kathy Bogatek Zapanta and I am a personal trainer from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. I have been wearing Vibram FiveFingers since May 2010. I have a blog in which I wrote about my experience running a half marathon at the time.

High Five -Fingers!

I started wearing Vibrams due to a running related back injury and I wouldn’t settle with the answer that I am not meant for distance running by a physiotherapist. I read Born to Run and was inspired to try the Vibrams and have been hooked on them ever since. I wore them for a half marathon in 2010, after owning them for a week, and even though it was kind of a crazy decision (I suffered a stress fracture after) it was the best and most fun run I had ever done. My feet healed and I started a program to strengthen and fix imbalances (I definitely don’t recommend just jumping into them and going for a long run) and since then, my feet have become strong and my back issues have completely disappeared.

Working out in FiveFingers

I own a LOT of Vibrams because I wear them everywhere (unless it’s too cold). I love to train in them at the gym, run outdoors, walk, do groceries and just about anywhere else I can get away with wearing them. Currently my husband (who also wears them everywhere) and I have decided to go traveling indefinitely. We sold most of our stuff and will be taking time off to travel around the world and the most important thing we are taking on our travels is our Vibrams.

Collection of FiveFingers

I currently own nine pairs (I have a shopping addiction for Vibrams haha) but my all time favorites are the Sprints. I love the way the original Vibrams fit because I like the barefoot feel. I also love my KSOs and for colder weather I like the Komodos. I am currently excited to try some of the new models being released for 2012!

Submitted Comments

  1. Sean Philips says:

    I have 7 pairs of VFF’s and it will be 9 soon when I get the Spyridon LS’s and Seeya’s I plan to order soon. I rotate them pretty regularly but my Speeds and Trek LS’s are my most common daily wear and my Komodosport LS’s are my most common exercise wear. I can’t wait until they release the winterized versions because snow days are the only days I don’t wear them. Much like her, these shoes saved my back, ankles and knees and I can’t fathom wearing anything else!

  2. Paul says:

    I have two pairs of VFF’s, soon to be four, all classics.

    I use them for everything from every day use to fishing, but besides a general love for them I love them because they help me with my severe gout.

    Walking for an hour or two in conventional raised heel shoes will cause me to be in agony the next day, and longer if it spurs on a flare up, but when wearing VFF’s I can walk with a lot more ease and any pain from walking will only last a day.

    The design of the classics means no pressure on my ankles of top of my feet.

    I’m so glad I discovered VFF’s.

  3. Paul says:


  4. Toby says:

    i have four, and soon to be five! it’s not easy to find in Jakarta, as i have to order them from the states or HK….

    BUT I LOVE THEM!!! love classics and Bikilas…and i am waiting for my Komodo

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