Have you ever wanted to be as close to barefoot as you could get but still have a little bit of cut-resistance for sole of your feet? The solution to that problem is the Swiss Protection Sock or Sockette (SPS), depending on the height of the sock you prefer. The SPS is a Kevlar-knit sock with a welded polyester bobble sole, for added grip suitable for most outdoor terrains. They feel as close to barefooting as you can get, because you’re not wearing a shoe, with just a bit of protection from sharp edges. They’re pretty much perfect for people who wish they could go barefoot but are afraid of getting cut or are working on toughening their tender soles.
The VIVOBAREFOOT Legacy is an excellent all-purpose leather shoe with fantastic minimalist qualities and great grip. They are an exceptionally high-quality product that will last a long time. For a narrow or average width foot, they are just about perfect. For an extra wide foot, they may be a bit restrictive in the toe box. The Legacy is stylish enough for office wear while comfortable enough for urban adventures and equally suited for running on the road or light trails. The high-quality leather softens with minimal wear making them even more comfortable the more you use them.
Comfort is a primary feature of shoes for me; if it’s not comfortable and functional, I’m not going to wear them. The Outdoor 10 is not a shoe I consider comfortable and I don’t intend on wearing them again. If the shoe were wider from top to bottom and there wasn’t a constricting band across the top length-wise and width-wise, I think this shoe would be much more comfortable. If you have a narrow foot and you find the shoe comfortable, this might be a footwear option if you’re looking for a water-resistant transition shoe for light trail or road running. The Outdoor 10 was built on the same foundation as the Minimus Trail, and as a first foray into minimalist shoes, it could have used some improvement. Thankfully, New Balance listened to consumer feedback and made significant improvements in their Minimus Zero line of shoes. For more information about this and other models, take a look at the New Balance website.
The Minimus Road Zero is far superior to its predecessor the Minimus Road but there is still some room for improvement in the width department. I would love to see this model offered in different widths as many New Balance models are and, if this becomes available in the future, I think this would be a very different review. If you have a narrow foot and are looking for a zero drop running shoe with a small amount of cushioning, compared to a conventional shoe, for those longer runs this may be the shoe for you. I don’t recommend them for those with wide feet.
Although not a true minimalist shoe, the NB 110 is a good transition trail running shoe, which can be used for those occasions where you might not want to feel all the rockiness of a rugged trail. They have a 4 mm heel rise for those not quite ready for a completely flat shoe. They are a little too inflexible and narrow in the midfoot for my liking but I can see how someone with a narrower foot needing a shoe for trail running might appreciate the design of the 110. They are definitely more stylish than your average running shoe and definitely built to last
Every once in a while, the minimalist shoe bar is raised by a new product model; the Lucy Lite is one of those shoes. They excel in both fashion and function. They are one of the most comfortable minimalist shoes, with or without socks, I have ever had the pleasure of reviewing. They are wonderfully wide but with a lacing system that could easily accommodate an average width foot. Their flexibility and barefoot feel are incredible. Their casual styling works well for running errands or running a road race. Their only downside is that the upper is not that breathable so may not work well in warmer temperatures for people whose feet are generally hot. This is a plus for me, though, as my feet are generally cold. The Lucy Lites truly surpassed all my minimalist footwear expectations.
The new VIVOBAREFOOT Lucy Lite has arrived and we wanted to share our first impressions with you. Here’s a shoe that looks and works great for both urban adventures and road running. The 3 mm sole transmits excellent ground feel while providing VIVOBAREFOOT’s safety inspiring puncture-resistant protection. And they [...]
VIVOBAREFOOT has introduced some truly stellar minimalist products this year and the Boxing Boot is another to add to the list. They are a versatile, comfortable, stylish, all-weather boot suitable for any casual wear or adventure. They have the added quality of being great for winter conditions as well, a niche that is poorly represented at this point in the minimalist market. I’m impressed yet again at VIVOBAREFOOT’s understanding of the minimalist market and not only listen to customer’s desires but also develop products that fulfill their needs.
The holidays have come early at Living Barefoot! New Balance has sent a collection of shoes from their upcoming Minimus line for review and we are happy to report that the company listened to feedback provided by their customers and worked hard to make improvements to their existing Minimus models—and it paid off! Here is a sneak peek of our first impressions of the new models.
There is no other shoe in the minimalist footwear industry as truly minimalist as the huarache. It just doesn’t get simpler than a piece of sole material cut to the size of your foot and a lace to tie it on. The Invisible Shoe huarache running sandals were great when all there was was a do-it-yourself kit. The new 4 mm Connect and 6 mm Contact blow all other huarache running sandals out of the water. Their attention to detail, comfort, durability, and especially price, are second to none. They are as close to being barefoot as you can possibly get with a shoe with only the slightest width of rubber protection on the soles of your feet. The choice between 4 mm and 6 mm allows you to customize your ground feel as well. Your feet are free to move in the most natural way with no fabric upper to impede or constrict foot movement in any way. Invisible Shoes has clearly done their homework in the development of these two new fantastic products and it shows!
Sometimes, a good deal is just too good to pass up. The Deep See Beachwalker is one of those deals if you’re looking for a cheap yet comfortable, flexible, warm, water resistant, lightweight minimalist shoe with no heel rise and excellent ground feel. Again, what more could you ask for in a shoe that costs $20? They are more than durable enough to outlast some of their competition that costs 4–5 times as much. And I have no doubt that the company did not intend these shoes to be used as minimalist footwear, they just happen to fit the bill, and quite nicely at that. Deep See has a number of aqua shoes to choose from as well, which you can see from their catalogue. You can find the Beachwalker at Atmosphere, online, or probably at any diving shop near you.
Jambu is one of those shoe companies with great ideas, and even the occasional great execution, but the Birmingham Barefoot is not one of them. This shoe is not comfortable, not wide enough in the forefoot and too wide in the heel seat to accommodate most feet, doesn’t hold your foot in place, doesn’t have good ground feel, and has a slight heel rise in the outsole. They look great but, sadly, don’t feel as great as one would hope compared to their looks. I would recommend trying them on in a store before buying them and determining if the fit is one that you can live with. Jambu has several types of shoes in the Bare Feet Designs line, and although I liked the Barefoot Vegan, I do not like the Birmingham Barefoot. I still think that if you’re interested in Jambu products, they’re worth trying on and seeing if they work for you.
The Jaya is another excellent product by Vibram FiveFingers. Although this particular model doesn’t have the outstanding ground feel of some of the original VFF models, they are considerably more stylish than some with well-thought out details in colours and accents. They are incredibly lightweight and comfortable against the skin. They have some distracting qualities in the design of the sole, which are probably sacrificed due to increased durability and grip with the use of the TC1 rubber pads. If you like the toe pocket design of VFFs, you’ll probably like the improved esthetics and casual look of the Jaya.
Merrell’s Pace Glove shortcomings were not improved in the release of the Lithe Glove. As a minimalist shoe, the Lithe Gloves are too narrow to allow the foot to function naturally and the sole has a myriad of issues that make them uncomfortable to walk or run in. The upper isn’t even comfortable as the heel seat digs painfully in the back of my heel. The only things going for this shoe are its added warmth for cooler temperatures and excellent grip.
There’s a fine line between minimalism and adequate cold protection when it comes to footwear. Often you sacrifice great ground feel for sufficient insulation from the cold ground, not to mention style. In the Oetzi Troop Leather, you get the best of all these features in a comfortable, warm, water resistant, and stylish package. I love these boots and look forward to many winter walks with warm feet
Since given the opportunity to review the Injinji Performance Series Lightweight Toesock, I’ve come to love Injinjis and bought a whole bunch of different models. I very rarely wear conventional socks now (sounds a lot like what happened when I first tried on a pair of minimalist shoes…) I recently wrote a blog post about [...]
The first time I tried on a pair of Paperfeet, I decided not to review them on the grounds that my safety was more important than a properly wear-tested review; they were so slippery on every surface I tried them on, I was fearful of falling. Thankfully, Al reviewed a pair of the original Paperfeet (found here), and my somewhat guilty conscious was assuaged because I felt that our readers deserved a review of the product. Paperfeet has since come out with a ‘Grippy’ version with recycled rubber on the wear points for added grip. I now feel like they are safe enough for me to wear. But do I want to? Read on…
The Neo Trail is another phenomenal product by VIVOBAREFOOT. They are extremely comfortable (with or without socks), have fantastic ground feel, and incredible traction on all wet or dry trail conditions including mud, roots, dirt, and gravel. It’s obvious to me that extra thought went into the design of these shoes in the angles of the lugs, the choice of materials, and the added protection for the arch and toes. The hydrophobic properties of the upper are really going to be handy in wet, snowy winter conditions. They are durably made and comparably priced. If you’ve been craving a truly minimalist trail shoe with excellent grip, the Neo Trail delivers.
The VIVOBAREFOOT Coaching Program with Lee Saxby is open for registration! There are currently four dates available: three in the UK and 1 in the U.S. For dates and details, check out Lee’s Coaching Schedule at the VIVOBAREFOOT Training Clinic site. The Coaching Program is a week-long intensive course with an intense syllabus covering the [...]
The Moc3s have been one of those pleasantly surprising new discoveries and fun to wear and test footwear products. I’m blown away at the comfort and barefoot feel of these shoes. Not only are they a great option for casual outings but an incredible road or not-too-rough natural surface running shoe. I don’t know how it’s done but they have phenomenal breathability and yet your feet stay dry in wet conditions. They are not the best choice for heavy wet conditions or stream crossings but through wet grass, they keep feet dry. They have a competitive price for a running shoe and are a great value in the hand-made moccasin department. Soft Star has exceeded all my expectations with the new Moc3 design. For more information, take a look at the Soft Star Shoes website.
If you love toe socks, you’ll love this giveaway from Toe Salad! They are giving away 10 pairs of Injinjis this week. For all the details, check out the site: http://www.toesalad.com/injinji-socks-giveaway. And good luck winning!
The VIVOBAREFOOT Training Clinic site has launched and it is THE place to learn how to ‘Master the Skill of Barefoot Running’. The site is full of information about proprioception and its importance in human locomotion, it explains the skills of running, and includes instructions and training videos of exercises to improve your barefoot running [...]
Kigo has made significant changes to the Flit design and continues to improve the product in terms of minimalist footwear function and fit. The new zero drop, thinner outsole, improved barefoot feel, wider toe box design, and improved strapping system make this shoe a superior product to their previous models and a superior product in the minimalist industry. My only suggestion for improvement for this shoe would be a different thread choice for the zig zag pattern along the edge to improve their comfort against the skin.
The Jambu Barefoot Vegan is an exciting new arrival to the casual women’s minimalist shoe market. It has incredibly unique styling with the criss-cross lacing and contrast stitching. When you remove the unnecessary and non-minimalistically designed insole, it has a slight positive heel but probably no more than 3 mm. It should fit a narrow or average width foot well but may be snug on a wide foot. They are tremendously breathable and perfectly suited for hot spring or summer urban adventures.
Injinji Performance Lightweight Toesock Review By Tina Dubois Review of the Injinji Performance Lighweight Toesocks – The softest, thinnest second skin yet! Some time ago, Living Barefoot released a comparison Toe Sock Review including some from the Performance series from Injinji, which proved to be the best quality of toe socks that were tested. [...]
Inov-8 Bare-Grip 200 Review By Tina Dubois Review of the inov-8 Bare-Grip 200 – A Light-weight, Grip-galore, Minimal Off Trail Shoe This is the first Living Barefoot footwear review for the UK-based shoe company inov-8. The Bare-Grip 200 is designed as an off trail shoe, meaning across hills and [...]
Review of the VIVOBAREFOOT Ultra A Comfortable, Light-weight Amphibious Running Shoe By Tina Dubois The Ultra is truly the first of its kind in the minimalist shoe market: it’s an incredibly light-weight running shoe made to go in and out of water easily and can be worn in three different ways. You can wear the [...]
Review of the Merrell Women’s Barefoot Pace Glove By Tina Dubois Merrell has been a maker of high performance footwear since 1981. The company recently developed a barefoot line of shoes to satisfy the needs of the consumer-driven minimalist footwear market. The Barefoot Pace Glove is Merrell’s natural adventure shoe specifically designed for women. Although [...]
Review of the VIVOBAREFOOT Jazz—A Comfortable, Casual Lace up for Any Woman VIVOBAREFOOT has truly outdone themselves with this year’s spring/summer collection. This season’s offerings fill desperately needed niches in the minimalist market. The Jazz is one of those shoes. This is a high quality, comfortable, casual, every day, truly minimalist shoe for women with [...]
Book Review: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall In honour of the paperback release of Christopher McDougall’s inspirational Born to Run A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World has Never Seen and launch of the current Naked Tour promoting the book and sharing Christopher’s love of [...]
The Best Barefoot Treadmill Performance Living Barefoot recently released the results of a three-month project to reveal the best treadmill for barefoot running. We shared these findings in the Special Review: Treadmills for Barefoot Running, A Review of 20 Popular Treadmill Models. We determined three specific factors important to keep in mind when [...]
In addition to the Coaching link in the top-right link corner, we have added a few new pages for easier navigation. We have remade the Reviews page with an organized layout of all the Living Barefoot reviews and will be updating it as we progress. We have also added a Getting Started page for easy [...]
Announcing Living Barefoot Coaching With Tina Dubois We are proud to announce the creation of Living Barefoot Coaching! Our Show co-host and writer, Tina Dubois, has decided to share her passions for pain-free running and healthy feet by coaching clinics designed to introduce people to the joys of natural running [...]
Luna Equus Review By Tina Dubois The Luna Equus is the second sandal model reviewed from Luna Sandals. This huarache running sandal is stylish and easy to tie with the new elasticized lace. The Shell Cordovan leather is pleasurably soft against the soles of the feet. With custom [...]
We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Barefoot TJ for an upcoming episode of The Living Barefoot Show. TJ is the founder of the Runner’s World Barefoot Running Forum as well as the President and Co-founder of the Barefoot Runners Society (BRS). The BRS is promoting the International Barefoot Running Day (IBRD) to be held [...]
Jason Robillard from the Barefoot Running University and author of The Barefoot Running Book is giving away free copies of his eBook for 24 hours only. Until 8:00 AM EST April 2, 2011, you can download the full-version second edition of his book here: Why Barefoot Running University Jason wants to redefine the way we [...]
VIVOBAREFOOT has launched a free eBook called PROPRIOCEPTION: Making Sense of Barefoot Running written by Lee Saxby with illustrations from Bryan Christie. It is a step-by-step guide explaining what proprioception is and how it is incorporated in barefoot running. Included on the website is a free downloadable PDF version, too!
Kigo has shared with Living Barefoot some details about their new fall/winter footwear lines! The DASH will be their new athletic model and the FLIT will be the new women’s everyday, athletic mary jane-styled shoe. They will both be built from anatomically designed lasts, be true to size in length, and have adjustable fit. The [...]
What is the best treadmill for barefoot running? Don’t get burned: How to pick the best treadmill for barefoot running Including a detailed review of 20 models from the barefoot perspective Download this Special Review as a PDF. Click Here. Treadmills are ubiquitous in the home and gym. [...]
Vibram FiveFingers has added Boy’s and Girl’s styles and sizes to their lineup for this spring. They are available in select stores now. The new styles are available in red/grey/black and blue/grey/black for boys, and pink/purple/black and white/pink/black for girls. Would you buy your children FiveFingers? Tell us in the comments what you think.
STEM Footwear Primal Origins Sneak Peek This is not a full review of the new STEM Footwear but a sneak peek of what’s to come. I am really excited about these new shoes. I couldn’t wait to share it with our readers. Although I haven’t had the opportunity to wear test the provided samples (they [...]
Review of the VFF TrekSport The TrekSport is a vegan version of the KSO Trek (made of kangaroo leather) with the same aggressive tread designed for trekking and trail running. It is made of a stretchy coconut active carbon fiber material with TPU toe protection. The TrekSport upper also features a number of padded areas [...]
We are very pleased to review the new Evo II running-specific shoe from Terra Plana’s VIVOBAREFOOT product line. They are essentially the same as the Evo but made with a denser nylon mesh upper for increased water resistance and a microfiber lined interior for added comfort. They are spectacular minimalist running shoes made for colder temperatures and/or wet conditions. This review will be similar to the one written for the Evo but with additions to reflect the changes in the Evo II.
Review of Terra Plana’s VIVOBAREFOOT Brooklyn Boot There are few truly minimalist footwear options currently on the market for cold, snowy, winter weather; the Brooklyn boot is definitely one of these few. The VIVOBAREFOOT Off-Road Sole, measuring 5 mm thick including 2.5 mm of grip, does a stellar job at both protecting your feet from [...]
For all of us Canadians who have been wanting to order Kigo footwear in Canada, Fast Trax Ski and Run Shop in Edmonton, AB has just become the first distributor in Canada. Fast Trax is an excellent running store with a vast selection of minimalist footwear. They also ship shoes within Canada. To check out [...]
Vivo Barefoot Evo Review By Tina Dubois Minimalist Running Shoe Series Vivo Barefoot Evo Review Buy them HERE We are very pleased to review the new Evo running-specific shoe from Terra Plana’s Vivo Barefoot product line. After wearing them every day for seven weeks, I am thoroughly impressed. They are as comfortable while walking as they [...]
The Living Barefoot Blogroll and Alternative Footwear spreadsheets have been updated. Thanks to everyone who filled out the corresponding forms for the new additions!
Vivo Barefoot Kali Review By Tina Dubois Overall impression The Kali is a brand new Mary Jane style pump for the Spring/Summer 2010 collection. It is the perfect footwear for women looking for a minimalist show in a professional environment. It is an extremely well-made shoe with an elegant and attractive design yet has a [...]
The Living Barefoot Blogroll and Alternative Footwear spreadsheets have just been updated. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions for new blogs to add! It’s great to share these wonderful websites with our readers.
Kigo Shoes has launched a new website with more information about their innovation, eco-responsibility, and company as well as new pictures of their products. Check out the new website at www.kigofootwear.com. And don’t forget, we’re still giving away a pair of Kigo Stars. For more information on the contest, click here.