Vibram gets ‘Naked’

A pair of buff naked athletes tattooed and drawn on. The latest in barefoot-running footwear from Vibram’s FiveFingers line. Eerie music and a minimalist web site. Those are the ingredients for, a project by Vibram to showcase its latest FiveFingers footwear in a simple, graphic way. The message — that the human body is made for running, and modern footwear is overengineered — is illustrated by the bodies and the tattoos, which are scrawled observations about natural running movement and the maladies of the running shoe industry.

Naked Athletes sporting Vibram FiveFingers

Vibram says the site illustrates the “naked truth about running by underscoring the power and natural technology of the human body.” The site, created in partnership with NAIL, a marketing and advertising firm in Providence, Rhode Island, has got the attention of the Favorite Website Awards project, where was recently named a “Site of the Day.”

Check it out. The site’s content is essentially a short film, according to Vibram, and the models breathe and move onscreen in a lifelike manner to make them seem almost real. The site’s functionality allows visitors “to explore the model’s naked bodies for supporting evidence and advice,” as Vibram touts. Indeed, you can zoom in close and pan up and down. Then again, they aren’t truly naked: Both models are standing clothes-free but in a pair of FiveFingers Bikila shoes. Scroll down to their feet. You can get a close-up look. —Stephen Regenold