Vibram FiveFingers Bikila EVO Review

Vibram FiveFingers Bikila EVO Review

The original Vibram FiveFingers Bikila model was released in the Spring of 2010 in conjunction with the Boston Marathon, and has long been the workhorse of Vibram?s running stable. The Bikila LS was introduced a year later and was among the first models to include a speed lacing system that is now popular on many Vibram FiveFinger (VFF) models.

For 2014, Vibram has completely revamped the trusty Bikila and has named it the Bikila EVO, which I assume stands for Evolution. The Bikila EVO now "out" for sale and is running $120 MSRP (See all 2014 Vibrams for sale here).

So how does it perform as a running shoe, and how does it compare to the original Bikila? Read on to find out.

Read the rest of this post »

2 Parents and 3 Kids Going 2,200 Miles in 6 Months ... In Barefoot Shoes.

2 Parents and 3 Kids Going 2,200 Miles in 6 Months ... In Barefoot Shoes.

If you've been around the minimalist shoe/barefoot shoe community for awhile, you're surely familiar with Damien Tougas, a long-standing minimalist shoe enthusiast/reviewer who also founded ToeSalad.com.

Well, Damien is kickstarting hiking the Appalachian Trail--all 2,200 miles of it--with his wife and three kids, all of whom will be wearing minimalist footwear!

This is awesome, bold, and ambitious! I can't imagine hiking more than a few miles with my wife and kids in tow (maybe one day!). Damien and family will be sharing their adventure with the world via a series of web-based episodes--a feel-good "reality show" of sorts. There will typically be about three 10-15 minute episodes per month (produced by the Tougas family) and you can get access to these shows via sponsoring the Kickstarter campaign!

As of today, Damien has 14 more days to reach his Kickstarter goal of $16,000 CAD. He's shy by about $3K CAD.

Want to see this happen? Well, you know what to do ... go and pledge!

Vibram FiveFingers KSO EVO/EL-X LS Review

Vibram FiveFingers KSO EVO/EL-X LS Review
Above is the (available-in-youth-sizes) FiveFingers EL-X LS. What you may not realize is that the upcoming KSO EVO (for adults) is the same pair of toe shoes!

Earlier this week, I received a pair of Vibram EL-X LS and I wanted to share my thoughts on this highly-anticipated shoe. Why is it highly anticipated? Because the "EL-X LS" that's available in youth sizes right now is what will be available in all sizes come 2014 as the KSO EVO.

If you recall for the post about them earlier this year, the KSO EVO replaces Vibram's most popular shoe, the very versatile KSO. It features a speed lace system that is similar to the Bikila, Spyridon, and KMD LS, which allows for easy entry and a snug fit and the KSO EVO's thin sole provides excellent flexibility and ground feel.

Like I said, the "KSO EVO" is scheduled to be released in Spring 2014 and isn't officially available yet.However, if you fall within a narrow range of sizes, you can pick up a pair right now! That's because a model called the "FiveFingers EL-X LS" was released in youth sizes earlier this year. Indeed, the EL-X LS is available to buy online (See: Zappos, which actually has them on sale). Since some youth sizes overlap with adult sizes (up to a men's 42) and I fit these sizes, I was able to pick up a pair even though the adult-version EL-X LS or "KSO EVO" won't be available until 2014.

The FiveFingers KSO EVO is officially "out" and for sale as of mid-February 2014!

Save for differences in color and available sizes, the EL-X LS is the same exact shoe as the upcoming KSO EVO!

For the purpose of this review and since I'm no youth, I'll be referring to the EL-X LS as the "KSO EVO" for the rest of the review. Again, they are the same shoe just different sizes. Full review and photos after the jump!

Read the rest of this post »

The GW81 Barefoot: "The one true barefoot experience"

The GW81 Barefoot: "The one true barefoot experience"

I have redefined procrastination when it comes to internet footwear reviews. This write-up is 32 years in the making. It's not strictly a matter of laziness, though. Part of the issue is that I've only just recently gotten the hang of these and made use of them in the correct fashion. Thus only now am I able to give a true and fair review.

So ladies and gentlemen, I present the GW81 Barefoot!

Read the rest of this post »

What a Natural Human Foot Looks Like If You Never Wear Shoes

What a Natural Human Foot Looks Like If You Never Wear Shoes

Do Your Feet Look Like This?

The above photo (source) was taken by Brazil's Indian Affairs Department of a tribe of Indians who live in Brazil near the Peruvian border (Map of Brazil). The people standing around above are from a tribe of humans endangered by encroaching illegal loggers on the Peru side of the border. These folks need our help.

In a way, these Indians are time travelers from humanity's past. And while that's a discussion in and of itself, the reason I'm sharing it here on BirthdayShoes should be obvious.

Just look at those feet.

What a Natural Human Foot Looks Like If You Never Wear Shoes
I'm not sure these feet would even fit in some of the most generously-sized "barefoot shoe" toe boxes.

Discuss!

Vivo Barefoot Scott Minimalist Boot Review--Ready for Winter

Vivo Barefoot Scott Minimalist Boot Review--Ready for Winter

It's been getting colder these last few weeks here in Atlanta--point of fact, the lows for at least a couple days this past week have been in the 20s! That's unseasonably chilly for the South (It's called "Hotlanta" for a reason!), and by extension, I've been shifting away from the ultra-minimalist shoes (Sorry Sensori!) in my closet to footwear that provides a little more protection from the elements.

Thankfully, these days there are a decent number of options available to keep my feet biomechanically happy and temperature-comfortable. The cold need not be the arch-nemesis of healthy feet! Point of fact, we've reviewed a handful of "minimalist/barefoot boots" — everything from the Lems Boulder, to the Vivo Barefoot Gobi (Note: you can get the Gobi for 45% off right now — ~$80), or the Vivo Barefoot Offroad Hi (if you need some aggressive tread).

And today, I'll be talking about a new minimalist boot for winter 2013/2014: the Vivo Barefoot Scott. The Scott is a winter-ready boot that Vivo Barefoot sent my way to test and review, which is exactly what follows ... after the jump!

Read the rest of this post »