Meet Lems Boulder, the "Barefoot Shoe" Boot

Meet Lems Boulder, the "Barefoot Shoe" Boot

I got good news from Andrew Rademacher, founder of upstart minimalist/barefoot shoe manufacturer Lems Shoes* ("Light. Easy. Minimal.") — the first batch of the much-anticipated Lems Shoes Boulder Boot are now available for order! I say "first batch" because it's only the first few hundred pairs of production (more to come, of course, within a few weeks).

The release of the Boulder boot marks the first of a new line of Lems hitting the market in 2013! What's so exciting about the Boulder? Aside from it being a "barefoot shoe boot" that is super lightweight, zero drop, minimally and flexibly soled, and a boot, well, what else is there to say? If you've had a pair of Andrew's barefoot shoes, you're expectations are likely through the roof for these boots. We've reviewed the first offering from Lems that hit back in 2011 — the Primal (see reviews here and here) and had nothing but good things to say.

Andrew has a pair of Boulders coming my way, so I hope to share more about it soon, but if you're eager to snatch up a pair without further adieu and want to know the scoop, read on!

UPDATE: I got the boots! If you want to jump straight to my full review of the Lems Boulder boot, go here!


The official Boulder Boot specs from Lems!

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New Balance NB Minimus Trail Review

The NB Minimus Trail running shoe in orange.  This is a wear test pair provided by New Balance to test out and share with BirthdayShoes.com readers!
The NB Minimus Trail running shoe in orange. This is a wear test pair provided by New Balance to test out and share with BirthdayShoes.com readers!

If you haven't yet heard (and you're comfy as can be living under a rock somewhere!), New Balance is releasing a new line of minimalist footwear in Spring 2011 under the brand NB Minimus. The NB Minimus line includes a road running shoe, a trail running shoe, and a "wellness" shoe for everyday or general fitness wear. The fine folks at New Balance are providing us with a sneak peak at these minimalist shoes by way of wear test pairs — last week Britt posted his initial review of the NB Minimus Road running shoe, and today, below, is an initial review of the New Balance NB Minimus Trail.

More after the jump!

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New Balance NB Minimus Road Review

New Balance NB Minimus Road
New Balance NB Minimus Road

Recently, New Balance sent me a pre-release version of their upcoming New Balance NB Minimus Road. Months ago, when I first saw pictures of the Minimus Road, I thought they had retro look. This was not what I expected a minimalist running shoe to look like, so I was curious to see how they would perform. The pair I received are dark graphite with florescent red accents and different from the colors I had previously seen. After receiving them, I wore them for a couple of days and took them out for a 4.5 mile road run. I have been very pleasantly surprised by their great look, feel and minimalist features that I have detailed in the following initial review.

Read my initial review, see a video overview and lots of pics after the jump.

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Running in Huaraches at the TravelCountry.Com Barefoot Fun Run

Running in Huaraches at the TravelCountry.Com Barefoot Fun Run

Last Saturday, online retailer of Vibram Five Fingers, TravelCountry.com sponsored their first annual Barefoot Fun Run in Altamonte Springs, FL. The proceeds from the event went to the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Orlando, Florida.

James, who runs in huaraches, attended and sent us this report and the pictures above.

I had a wonderful time at the Barefoot Fun Run today at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Florida. The event was kicked off with an informative barefoot running clinic by Michael Sander, author of Barefoot Running. It was a pleasure to run alongside Michael for the first half-mile while he gave me some excellent advice on form.

What a treat it was to see so many (over a hundred) in minimalist shoes or no shoes at all. I ran in my Xero Shoes in my first ever 5k organized run, and I look forward to next year with my wife Tonya joining me -- she is just beginning her barefoot transition.

Thanks for passing this along James. Sounds like it was a fun event. Nice tying on the huaraches!

First Marathon in Vibram Five Fingers KSOs

Chris in his KSOs
Chris at the 22.5 mile mark and after he finished.

After doing no marathon training, Chris recently ran his first marathon in Vibram Five Fingers KSOs and finished with a darn good time. You may remember Chris from when he ran the Baltimore Half Marathon with Bien. Here's what he sent us about running the marathon:

Recently, I ran and completed my first marathon. I only signed up a few weeks before the race in a moment of insanity, but it actually went pretty well. I've done two half marathons and a 10-mile race in the past few years, but I have not done any running specific training in 12 months and I've been doing Crossfit Strength Bias (CFSB) since December 2009. I did a few 5-6 mile runs to prepare for my 10 miler last April, but since then I have only done two 3 mile runs and one 4 mile run, in addition to occasional 400m, 800m, or short sprint work in keeping with the CFSB metcon standards.

Clearly, I had not done any specific training for the marathon whatsoever. I finished in 4:26 which isn't setting any records, but is great for my level of prep. I ran in my VFFs and only took in water and my own coconut water based iskiate recipe on course, as well as two Larabars and some salt packets. Pre and post race food was all paleo as well, except for one scoop of whey in my pre-race shake.

One week later I was pretty much fully recovered. My left hip flexor was quite sore for the first 24 hours, but it's back to normal now. Feet had a couple blisters, but did not hurt after the first couple hours. The only remaining issue is some soreness at the bottom of my left Achilles where it attaches to my heel. I felt that start to get aggravated during some of the final hills but it's almost totally better now. I can tell that my strength is not back 100%, but I was back in the weight room by the following week.

If anyone would like more details on my nutrition strategy or race details please just let me know.

What a great showing! While we certainly warn against anyone trying this, it is an amazing feat. Congratulations, Chris!

Smartwool Classic Vibram FiveFingers Review

Smartwool Classic Vibram FiveFingers Review

A couple months back Birthday Shoes sponsor Travel Country sent me a pair of Vibram FiveFingers Smartwool Classics to test and review. As I've previously blogged, Classic FiveFingers are my favorite everyday toe shoes as they are the most minimal VFFs you can get, and if you remove the bungee strap on the Classic Vibrams the comfort factor goes up exponentially. Indeed, my first pair of Five Fingers (oh so many moons ago!) were generation one Classics (no Vibram logo on top), and my review of them has been read over 233,000 times!

Below I'll talk about where Smartwool FiveFingers Classics stand amongst other models, how they fit, what the deal is with Smartwool, how they perform, detailed photos of what they look like,and whether or not "Smartwool Classics" are right for you.

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