I'm Darryl Edwards, a movement therapist, paleo nutritionist, blogger and published author of "Paleo Fitness" based in London, England.  This blog documents my experiences with a primal lifestyle that has made me fitter and healthier in my forties than ever before.  I am a contributor to Paleo Magazine and presenter at various symposiums such as Paleo:f(x), PrimalCon, AHS (Ancestral Health Symposium) and other events globally.

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Reading List
  • Paleo Fitness - A Primal Training and Nutrition Program to Get Lean, Strong and Healthy
    Paleo Fitness - A Primal Training and Nutrition Program to Get Lean, Strong and Healthy
    by Darryl Edwards, Brett Stewart, Jason Warner
  • The Paleo Solution
    The Paleo Solution
    by Robb Wolf

    Paleo for weight loss, performance and disease prevention. Read my full review here.

  • Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers
    Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers
    by Robert M. Sapolsky

    The impact of too much stress in our lives - impotence, obesity, heart disease and much more...

  • The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram Your Genes for Effortless Weight Loss, Vibrant Health, and Boundless Energy
    The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram Your Genes for Effortless Weight Loss, Vibrant Health, and Boundless Energy
    by Mark Sisson

    Usually we have to go back to basics to progress, this is a great place to start!

  • Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things
    Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things
    by Rick Smith, Bruce Lourie, Sarah Dopp

    "Think about the toxic chemicals you put onto your body, and are exposed to on a daily basis.  Frankly, quite worrying..."

  • Protein Power
    Protein Power
    by Michael R. Eades, Mary Dan Eades, Mary Deans

    First published in the mid 1990s.  Amongst other things, disputes the 'fat intake causes obesity' argument and reasons why the high carb/low-fat diet doesn't work.

  • Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
    Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
    by Christopher McDougall

    An inspirational read, whether you are a 'runner' or not.  This book also investigates why expensive 'cushioned' running shoes increases the likelihood of injury.

  • In Defence of Food: The Myth of Nutrition and the Pleasures of Eating: An Eater's Manifesto
    In Defence of Food: The Myth of Nutrition and the Pleasures of Eating: An Eater's Manifesto
    by Michael Pollan

    An insight into real, simple and nutritious food.  Insightful.

  • Food Rules: An Eater's Manual
    Food Rules: An Eater's Manual
    by Michael Pollan

    An excellent, non-scientific common sense quick reference to the often confusing question : "What should I eat?"

  • The Paleo Diet for Athletes
    The Paleo Diet for Athletes
    by L. Cordain

    An alternative to Cordain's first book "The Paleo Diet" if who want to consider the impact of Paleo on athletic performance.  It is geared towards endurance athletes but an interesting read nonetheless.

  • Vegetarian Myth, The
    Vegetarian Myth, The
    by Lierre Keith

    I'm an omnivore.  I believe it is healthy to eat naturally-reared meat, non-farmed fish as well as a wide variety of fresh vegetables.  This book is an interesting read and has a lot to say about why becoming a vegetarian isn't necessarily the best option for humans.  However read this, do your own research and make up your own mind.

  • The Second Brain
    The Second Brain
    by Michael D. Gershon

    A discussion about the complex nervous system working in the gut, which produces neurotransmitters such as serotonin.  In fact much more serotonin is produced in the gut than the brain!

  • The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine
    The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine
    by James Le Fanu
  • Swindled: From Poison Sweets to Counterfeit Coffee - The Dark History of the Food Cheats
    Swindled: From Poison Sweets to Counterfeit Coffee - The Dark History of the Food Cheats
    by Bee Wilson
  • Cancer: The Evolutionary Legacy
    Cancer: The Evolutionary Legacy
    by M.F. Greaves
  • The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat
    The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat
    by Loren Cordain

    This provides extraordinary insight into the reasons behind adopting a paleolithic diet.  Some aspects are controversial and many may feel it is too dogmatic.  I have often gone back to this book and re-read it for clarification as Dr Loren Cordain is often mis-quoted.  There is now a revised edition (2010 edition) to counter some of its earlier criticisms, this is an excellent resource and a must-read for any one serious about paleo nutrition.

  • Lore of Running
    Lore of Running
    by Tim Noakes

    This book offers a comprehensive insight into the science, coaching and discipline of running.  Energy systems, coaching and training.  Often quoted as the bible of running.

Wednesday
Sep152010

How to clean Vibram Five Fingers

How to clean your Vibram Five Fingers 

Vibram Five Fingers

I am a big fan of the Vibram Five Fingers and wear them during my training - indoors and out.  One thing is for sure the only complaint I have (and that I hear from Vibram users most often) is about the smell.  They can really stink.

There are 3 things you can do: 

  • wear them very infrequently;
  • wear them with toe socks;
  • or wash them frequently AND use an effective cleaner. 

I wear my Five Fingers for all my regular training, driving and walking around town (where appropriate). For me the last option is the only feasible choice.  

I followed the instructions on the main Vibram Five Finger site which suggests regular machine washing and detergent alone is sufficient.

"Vibram FiveFingers are machine washable. Use gentle, warm water cycle with liquid or powdered detergent. Hang to air dry."

This does keep them clean, however if you wear them regularly or for lengthy periods (which I do) the odour still remains even after repeated washing. If you find you have the same problem, then try the following:

A simple and natural way to deodorise the Vibrams.

Things you'll need: 

  • A bowl of hand hot (not boiling) water
  • 1/2 tablespoon of Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tablespoon of Baking Powder
  • 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3 drops of Lemon Oil* 
  • 5 drops of Peppermint Oil* 

*Aromatherapy oils will do.

Instructions: 

  1. Soak the Vibrams for an hour or two in the solution above (preferably overnight);
  2. If heavily soiled use an old toothbrush to clean inside the toe pockets;
  3. Fasten any loose velcro attachments;
  4. Machine or hand wash in warm water;
  5. Hang them up to dry (for obvious reasons do not tumble dry).

Additional Notes:

The Vibrams will not lose shape after repeated washing.  The solution is a natural disinfectant/deodoriser, cheap and safe to use (it also avoids the use of toxic chemicals/cleaners too).

I have experimented with the quantities above and have found this to be the ideal ratio to clean and freshen up my five fingers, but feel free to experiment. 

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Reader Comments (9)

I have the same issue so I look forward to trying this out, thanks for a great post!

September 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJack Minter

This is a great way to clean your Vibrams, tried this a couple of times now. Like the fact it's all natural ingredients. Great Work!

September 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJane Manton

It works!!!

September 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelinda

Interesting using the oils. Are they to dissuade the vinegar smell?

I've used the vinegar solution in the past, though not as precisely as you mention here, and find that it works great. The vinegar can be smelt if you put the shoes to your nose, but it's not nearly as strong the odor it eliminates.

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJay K.

The bicarbonate of soda, baking powder will neutralise the smell to an extent. The lemon oil will disinfect, the mint is purely for fragrance.

September 30, 2010 | Registered CommenterDarryl Edwards

I don't use Vibram's but I do put baby powder in all my training and social/work shoes each time before I use them and it keeps them smelling nicer for longer!

September 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGareth Martin

Your website came up in my search and think this is a great way to clean the Vibrams.Thank you for sharing with us!

October 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMIB

Thanks for the info - I will be receiving my first pair tomorrow!!! I have been going barefoot, but the weather is becoming a little too chilly for the toes to touch the cement.

October 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNSchay

@NSchay - Let me know how you found them. The Flows are the best in cold weather due to thermal protection layer. Enjoy!

October 20, 2010 | Registered CommenterDarryl Edwards

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