The Inaugural Asheville Marathon at the Biltmore - in Luna Sandals (Venado/original)

The Inaugural Asheville Marathon at the Biltmore - in Luna Sandals (Venado/original)

You're out on a run. Your nose is getting stuffy, so you lean to the side for a quick farmer's blow. It's cold out, but you didn't realize how cold until you go to wipe your nose with the back of your glove to clear off any additional moisture -- only to find that it's already frozen around the edge of your nostril in mere seconds.

Welcome to the inaugural Asheville Marathon, held on the grounds of the beautiful Biltmore estate. "Well," I thought dramatically at around mile 20, "At least I'll die somewhere majestic."

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Are Flip-Flops Dangerous?

Broken flip-flops
Photo by asteegabo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/untilblack/

Flip-flops may be hazardous to your health.

At least, that's the headline conclusion of a couple CNN.com articles on wearing thong sandals — one of the most basic and ubiquitous forms of footwear worn (and enjoyed) worldwide by virtually everyone regardless of your culture or socio-economic status.

But really, are flip-flops dangerous? Read on!

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Take 20% Off All FiveFingers!

Take 20% Off All FiveFingers!
*Note: excludes the laceless Spyridon.

Update August 4, 2012: This promotion has ended!

If you want to stay on top of great deals on FiveFingers and other minimalist shoes in the future, be sure to subscribe by email.

The original post

CitySports is giving BirthdayShoes readers an exclusive coupon code to take 20% off ALL Vibram FiveFingers! UPDATE: Unfortunately, the code won't work on the laceless Sypridons any longer!

The coupon code for 20% off is VFFPR2. It can be applied to all full-price and sale-price Vibrams! That means that with the code you can get the just released laceless Spyridons for 20% off their MSRP of $110.

Alternatively, if you're hankering for some of the original Bikila FiveFingers, they've been marked down to $60 already, so with the additional 20% off, you can grab them for $48!

The nitty-gritty: CitySports.com offers free shipping on Vibram FiveFingers. This is a limited time offer and it's online only.

Kids Huaraches Review (And How to Make Kids Minimalist Sandals)

Kids Huaraches Review (And How to Make Kids Minimalist Sandals)

Finding healthy shoes and sandals for kids is incredibly frustrating.

Sure, those floppy leather-soled kid's moccasins are easy enough to pick up for your tiny-footed toddler — you know, like Robeez or, of course, Soft Star Shoes (BirthdayShoes' favorite for both kids and adults). But past the age of 18 to 24 months, foot-minded options for children seem to disappear.

As a parent of two little girls — an almost 3 year-old and a 7 month-old — my reckoning of children's footwear is that healthy shoe options for growing feet are (quite literally) hard to come by. Seems most shoe manufacturers simply take their thickly cushioned, heavy, foot-constricting sneaker designs (those made for adults who've been wearing clunky shoes for decades) and shrink them into miniature versions for toddlers and young children.

Any parent will tell you that a child's foot is both flexible and wide, with toes that seem to have minds of their own as they splay, grasp, and stretch all over the place. A child's foot hasn't been subjected to years of confinement in small-toe-boxed shoes. Thus, it's perplexing that so many shoe manufacturers put out footwear for kids that restricts the foot to a narrow toe-box and a narrow range of motion — not to mention the added weight of an overbuilt shoe.

What's a parent to do? Well, I'm happy to say that I've found one option that is a real winner — at least so long as you've got decently warm weather. That option is Xero Shoes huaraches sandals — built custom by you — with the help of your favorite little helper, of course—in fact, you couldn't do it without them!

What follows is a review of Xero Shoes huaraches from a parent's perspective but also a little video review by the one with the most important opinion (so she thinks) — my cute little minion daughter. And I'll also explain how I made the huaraches with her help. Read on!

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Is KEEN going barefoot?

Is Keen releasing a "barefoot" or minimalist shoe?  One thing is sure, the upcoming KEEN CNX will be a more diminutive version of prior KEEN shoes.
Is Keen releasing a "barefoot" or minimalist shoe? One thing is sure, the upcoming KEEN CNX will be a more diminutive version of prior KEEN shoes.

When I switched completely to barefoot shoes about 4 years ago, there weren’t too many options on the market (pretty much just Vivobarefoot and Vibram). After Merrell went barefoot, I felt like KEEN was the next brand perfectly suited to add a barefoot model to their lineup. I watched season after season as other footwear brands jumped into the minimal/barefoot shoe market, but continued to wonder why one of my former favorite outdoor brands stayed away. I waited, but it never happened. Now they have finally announced the KEEN.Connect (CNX) Spring 2013 collection, but what exactly is CNX? Is it barefoot? Is it minimal? Read on to find out.

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Saucony Kinvara 2 Running Shoes Review

Saucony Kinvara 2 Running Shoes Review

We understand that the Saucony Kinvara 2™ has been out for quite a while and as of this writing the Kinvara 3™ has just recently hit the stores. Actually, due to the release of the Kinvara 3, you can pick up the Kinvara 2 on the cheap right now.

So why a Kinvara 2 review if it's old news? For one, the Kinvara 2 has been a popular shoe for minimalist-minded runners ever since it's release (and not unlike the original Kinvara), so reviewing it is a way to make sure BirthdayShoes readers are kept in the know of what's hot (or not).

Two, as this will be the first Kinvara review for BirthdayShoes, it serves the (future) purpose of comparing the Kinvara 2 to the Kinvara 3 as well as possible future shoes in the same line. Plus I’d just happened to be using the Kinvara 2 quite a bit over the past several weeks.

So allow me to jump right in ... after the jump!

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Say Yes in Vibram FiveFingers

Say Yes in Vibram FiveFingers

If you're going to pop the question and propose to your significant other, what better time and place to do it than after a beautiful hike to an incredible overlook? If she says "no," well I suppose the hike down could be a challenge, but if she says yes you've got the world before you.

Stephen decided to do just that — hike up to a beautiful overlook in Virginia called Mcafee's Knob. He did it with his now fiancé and the both of them (as well as the photographer) were sporting their FiveFingers (Sprints and Trek Sports for him and her, respectively).

I asked Stephen to share a bit about the ordeal and here's what he had to say:

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