Vibram FiveFingers Bikila EVO

Vibram FiveFingers Bikila EVO

Coming Spring 2014Subscribe to stay up-to-date on the release (And catch more upcoming minimalist shoes for 2014)!

Vibram is evolving their flagship running shoe. The Vibram FiveFingers "Bikila," named after Abebe Bikila and introduced by Vibram in April 2010 (a long-term review of the Bikila here), is getting a reboot as the Bikila EVO come Spring 2014.

What's most interesting about the new Bikila VFFs is that they have a relatively "thick" (compared to other Vibrams) sole with a "max sole thickness" of 8.5mm. Mind, the rubber component of that sole is only 2.5mm and relegated to key wear spots.

But I'm jumping ahead, let's take a look at the info we have on the upcoming Bikila EVO after the jump!

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Women's Merrell Vapor Glove Barefoot Shoes Review

Women's Merrell Vapor Glove Barefoot Shoes Review

Hi everyone! I'm Erin, and I'm new to the BirthdayShoes community and excited to join you! I'm a CrossFitter and coach, as well as a trail runner, hiker, yogini, and sundry other things when I get the chance. My interest in minimal shoes came about primarily through a long-term desire not to ruin my feet, hamstrings, and posture as a result of my daily life and physical pursuits. More immediately, I wanted to find a shoe that would function well across as many domains as possible--sprinting, trail running, leaping, deadlifting, squatting, and so on. This is my holy grail!

Recently, Merrell sent me a pair of Vapor Gloves for me to put through the ropes. What follows is my review of them ... after the jump!

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Hugh Jackman (a.k.a. The Wolverine): Lean, Ripped, and Deadlifting 350+ in Toe Shoes

Hugh Jackman (a.k.a. The Wolverine): Lean, Ripped, and Deadlifting 350+ in Toe Shoes
Jackman has now played as Marvel's Wolverine in three X-Men movies, two Wolverine movies, and is also in an upcoming new X-men movie. Meanwhile, as evidenced by his prowess at the deadlift, he's a beast in the gym, shredded, and wears Speed FiveFingers. Tack on the fact that all accounts of Jackman are that he's an incredibly nice, upstanding person and, well, you got a celebrity hero!

I propose we elect Hugh Jackman as the unofficial mascot of BirthdayShoes.

Why? Because he wears my favorite FiveFingers (Vibram FiveFingers Speeds!), for one. We first saw that Hugh Jackman is a fan of toe shoes a few weeks back via a handful of paparazzi photos that were making the rounds on the 'net.

More recently, Jackman a.k.a. Marvel's The Wolverine, tweeted a photo taken of him deadlifting 350+ pounds, the olympic bar flexing under the weight, with the caption "If the bar ain't bendin, then you're just pretendin #xmen #daysoffuturepast" — hashtagging a reference to the upcoming fifth X-Men movie Days of Future Past and sixth movie in which Jackman plays the adamantium clawed superhero Wolverine. As for the "bar bendin' reference," well that happens when you are pulling a few hundred pounds on the deadlift.

Here's Jackman's photo (slightly edited for impact):

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Review-Speed XC Lite FiveFingers from Vibram

Review-Speed XC Lite FiveFingers from Vibram

The FiveFingers Speed XC Lite is one of the new Vibram toe shoe models released for the end of Summer/Fall 2013. The Speed XC Lite (or "XC Lite") is a riff on the water-resistant Speed XC FiveFingers that released earlier this year. Both these new Speed XC-based models feature a sneaker-esque upper (reminiscent of the original Speed FiveFingers—one of my favorite VFF models of all-time!) and a Vibram Trek sole.

Vibram shot me a pair of both the screamingly loud blue and the more subdued (yet orange-accented) XC Lite's to test and review, which is what follows?as well as a slew of photos.

Take the jump!

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Lems Mariner Boat Barefoot Shoes Review

Lems Mariner is a new "barefoot casual shoe" that favors the "boat shoe" design ported to a minimalist/barefoot style and function—zero drop, huge toe box, low stack height sole, and no arch support.  On the left above you can see a the Mariner in the cam
Lems Mariner is a new "barefoot casual shoe" that favors the "boat shoe" design ported to a minimalist/barefoot style and function—zero drop, huge toe box, low stack height sole, and no arch support. On the left above you can see a the Mariner in the camel colorway; on the right you see the Mariner in sand. Note the colors are a bit saturated/stylized in this photo.

Lems Shoes continues to churn out new styles (or reboots)—the Lems Boulder boot came a few months back as well as the Primal 2. Most recently, Lems released their "boat shoe" (Boat shoes are also known as "deck shoes" or topsiders per wikipedia), which Lems aptly named the Mariner.

The Lems Mariner features the most classic "boat shoe" style—the ridge that runs the upper at the toe box really giving it that topsider look. They are also almost entirely clad in leather and meant to be worn sockless.

Andrew shot me over a couple pairs of the Mariner—one, each, in the darker brown "camel" colorway and the lighter/khaki "sand" colorway—to review. As a huge fan of the Vivo Barefoot Oak (The Oak is fashioned after the similar-to-boat-shoes wallaby shoe style), I was eager to get the Mariners on my feet.

And while I was optimistic the Mariners were going to be a great offering from Lems, it turns out that I'm liking them so much they may end up being one of the rare minimalist shoes that earn a full-time place in my closet.

In other words, I really like them. Why? Read on for my full review!

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Running the Zion 100 Mile Ultramarathon — My First 100 Miler

Running the Zion 100 Mile Ultramarathon — My First 100 Miler

Why would you want to run that?

The first step to any adventure is even knowing that the adventure exists. I first intersected this world of endurance running while I was hiking Handies Peak in July 2007 with my parents and fiancé. There were little flags along the trail that said Hardrock 100. I probably thought it was a bike race, but then we met a grey hair and his son as they came "running" up the other side of the summit. The man explained that he would be running Hardrock, that his son was pacing him, and he would be on the trail for about 48 hours. At the time, even the concept of adults running for enjoyment was foreign to me. That encounter planted a seed, but it wasn't until moving to Huntsville that the idea began to grow.

The runners of Huntsville opened a whole new world of potential adventures. I saw that real people (Ex: Rob Youngren) participate in amazing events, all kinds of people. You don't have to be fast, eat the perfect diet, or live in the mountains. You just have to want it. It doesn't matter why you want it, just that you want it so much that success is the only option.

After unexpectedly gaining entrance from the wait list and having a great run at the Lookout Mountain 50 Mile race in December 2012, I decided it was time to commit to the Zion 100. When I finished Lookout Mountain, my feet were shredded, my quads were dead, and I was on the verge of crying tears of exhaustion. A week after that, I committed to running the Zion 100.

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