Luna Premium Mono Huaraches Sandals Review

Luna Premium Mono Huaraches Sandals Review

Back in May of this year Luna Sandals, the huaraches-making company founded by "Barefoot" Ted McDonald launched a "premium" huaraches sandal offering in two American Bison leather-laced and soled colorways—dark and milk chocolate, respectively. As someone who has been looking to round out my summer-barefoot-wear options with a Birkenstock-like minimalist sandal, the Premium Mono Lunas immediately caught my eye.

Mind, at $125/pair, the Mono Premium is hardly a misnomer. These bad boys aren't cheap, but I bought a pair (believe it or not) to wear and review here on BirthdayShoes.

Did the Mono Premiums deliver? You'll have to read on to find out.

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Lems Boulder Boot — Now in Black!

Lems Boulder Boot — Now in Black!

About a year ago Lems Footwear debuted their Boulder boot, which we reviewed in detail here.

Well, it's over a year later now (boy does time fly!) and I'm happy to share a few photos (Thanks to Lems sending me a pair!) of the all-BLACK, 100% Nylon (and 100% Vegan if that's your thing!) Boulder Boot. Check it out:

As I've already gone into exhaustive detail about the Boulder elsewhere, I'm primarily interested in just sharing the aesthetic of these boots. Being all nylon and black, they have a certain military-esque feel to them (to my eye). At the same time, the black Boulders remind me of Seattle grunge (e.g. Google image search).

If you're after a black minimalist boot, the Boulders are worth a look. They run about $115 and I size into a 45, which is a surprising insomuch as my VFF size is typically a 43 and my VivoBarefoot size a 44 (usually). Lems' handy-dandy sizing print-out (here, PDF) should eliminate sizing issues though.

If you've got any questions about them, happy to answer! And if I had to pick between the brown Boulders or the black Boulders, I'd go black! They're just sorta edgy and distinctive. But then again, both will work just fine with a flannel shirt (wink!).

Lems Boulder Boot — Now in Black!

Vibram FiveFingers Golf Shoe V-Classic LR

Vibram FiveFingers Golf Shoe V-Classic LR

Last fall we found out about a new Vibram FiveFingers style designed specifically for golfing. The "V-Classic" (Non-leather, new golf sole) and "V-Classic LR" (leather, golf sole) finally arrived for Spring 2014, and Vibram was kind enough to send me a pair of the LR to test out.

I have to say I was really excited to wear these, since Vibram discontinued their entire previous kangaroo leather lineup (the original Trek was one of my all time favorites). I wasn't sure what to expect as I'd almost stopped golfing in Vibrams with the variety of other "barefoot" golf options available. However, having tested these for awhile now, I can honestly say that they're more comfortable than any other FiveFingers I own and I haven't once hesitated to grab them when I head out for the course.

Read on for more pictures and to find out how they've worked out on the course!

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Upcoming Vibram Furoshiki a Minimalist Shoe Inspired by Japanese Knotting

Upcoming Vibram Furoshiki a Minimalist Shoe Inspired by Japanese Knotting

Now this is new.

Vibram has cooked up a new form of minimalist shoe they are calling the "Furoshiki" that is inspired by by the Japanese tradition of wrapping cloth to transport goods. As fans know, Vibram is Italy-based and as such, they are showcasing the Furoshiki at Pitti Uomo in Florence, Italy this week. Check it out via these photos from a Vibram Press Release (PDF) (text on down the page) and Deluxu.it:

The design could be described as a Vibram rubber sole on a cut piece of fabric that crisscrosses over your instep and attaches at the heel. And while Furoshiki doesn't seem to be used for wrapping your feet, the Vibram's use of the word here seems to make sense (to someone who knows very little about Japanese culture).

Wikipedia has a page on Furoshiki that defines it as:

Furoshiki (風呂敷) are a type of traditional Japanese wrapping cloth traditionally used to transport clothes, gifts, or other goods. Furoshiki began to be used in the mid-Nara Era, in traditional Japanese baths. To prevent a mix up of the bathers' clothes, the removed clothing was tied up in Furoshiki. Later the system of folding spread and was used by traders to protect their goods or gifts.

While I can't quite tell if this is a womens-only design, per Vibram's press release, the Furoshiki are being marketed as a minimalist shoe for everyday wear that be carried around comfortably. I imagine they are pretty lightweight and I bet you could do some interesting knotting when you aren't wearing them for ease of transport.

Looks like a fun shoe. Anyone else want to try it?

Press release below:


At Pitti Uomo Vibram tells a new story of design and technology

Vibram launches Furoshiki, the new outsole that envelops your foot in total safety and comfort

Tradition and innovation. The Furoshiki shoes will be introduced by Vibram to the fashion system during the 86th edition of Pitti Uomo in Florence, from Tuesday 17th to Friday 20th June. Vibram will offer the fair the wide tradition of research, quality and design that has always distinguished the company from the yellow octagon, global leader in the production and marketing of high-performance rubber soles.

In the Japanese culture, the term Furoshiki refers to the custom of wrapping, holding and carrying the most varied objects, bending and knotting a cloth that is transformed into a bag. Inspired by this Asiatic habit, Vibram has created the first wraparound outsole that fits comfortably on the foot thanks to special ergonomic bands that adhere to the ankle, ensuring maximum comfort and freedom of movement. The easy fit — guaranteed by the absence of strings — and the flexibility of this shoe, make it an extremely versatile footwear.

Light, sophisticated and colorful, the new Furoshiki by Vibram are comfortable to carry around and they adapt easily to any surface thanks to the innovative design of the sole, which guarantees comfort and durability.

Perfect for your free time, the Furoshiki shoes by Vibram represent a new turning point in the footwear sector: minimalist shoes for everyday use, with a unique and original look, provided with Vibram technology that has been the synonym of quality for more than seventy-five years.

Lems Nine2Fives in Black (and Updated Leather)

Lems Nine2Fives in Black (and Updated Leather)

In November 2013 I reviewed the Lems Nine2Five in "Coffee and Cream" brown leather but noted that the black Nine2Fives wouldn't be available until 2014. Six months later, here we are, and not only do we have more Lem Nine2Fives in black, but both the black and the brown 925s feature an upgraded leather. I'd heard the new 9to5s might be coming and reached out to Lems to see if they'd send me pairs to share with BirthdayShoes. They kindly obliged.

What do I mean? In short, both the leather colorways got an upgrade as far as materials, and now the Nine2Fives have leveled up. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I've got about 34,000 for you after the jump!

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Shamma Sandals Jerusalem Cruisers and Warriors Review

Shamma Sandals Jerusalem Cruisers and Warriors Review

For the past three weeks, I have been lucky enough to enjoy two of the latest models from Shamma Sandals: Jerusalem Cruisers and Warriors. Shamma Sandals are a huarache company based in Santa Cruz, California. All of their products are hand-crafted and made in the USA. They are a small operation and some of the nicest guys I have ever had the pleasure of chatting with about running.

Shamma Sandals has put a lot of time, love, sweat, and energy into the design and manufacturing of every sandal they make. Their latest models, the Jerusalem Cruiser and Warriors are a culmination of years of huarache-making experience and thoughtful design.

This is an exclusive first review of the Jerusalem Cruisers and Warriors for BirthdayShoes--read on!

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