So I was at TJ Maxx with my sister, and I remembered an earlier post where someone mentioned VBs at Marshalls, so I headed to the shoe sectuon at my local TJM.... lo and behold, they had Merrell Barefoot Lithe Glove in Cosmo Pink (Pink/Orange) & Castle Rock (Tealy Blue) on sale for $59.99! They also had Pace Gloves, but I didn't get a pair - I was pissed that they had Blue and Red clearance for $25.00 and they either had a 7.5 (a hair too small for me to be comfy) or 9s...and I am an 8.
So, ladies... keep your eyes out at the discount places for last-season colors for awesome prices!!
When it rains, it pours... I got OTZ Mocs yesterday, and today I unexpectedly I find Merrell Lithes... I may now be broke, but well-shoed!
BearFooted - you got me totally hooked on OTZ ever since you first mentioned them here. If they are in the process of producing a more minimal footbed, i would be all for it! I have noticed that they make their shoes WITH the corkbed in mind, since when I removed it to see what they were like without it, the shoe was WAY too roomy (I am not sure if ordering a size down would even "fix" that). But the corkbed really is QUITE comfy, since it does mould to your feet and they get more comfortable with each use.
I own two - the Madlib Canvas in green and the Shaggy Sand Moc (which I expect in a few weeks from TheClymb). If finances are in my favor, I plan on getting the Troop Shearling boot this winter. Like you, I wouldn't mind one of each pair one day (I also say that about VFFs lol).
BTW, those Super Slicks are... well... slick!! I like them a lot!
I have to say, it has been a while since I got a paid of VFFs or minimalist shoes, save for a pair of OTZ Madlib Canvas for my birthday back in February (my $ has been going to my ongoing half-sleeve tattoo on my left arm, but I digress..). The Madlib has become my favorite go-to shoe, even outside of work! (I usually exclusively wear VFFs when not at work, and the minimalist sneaks at work).
I admit, even though the cork insole (SUPER comfy!) has an arch for support, it's minimal and after a day of wearing it, I take not notice, even after going from, say, my Stems one day and the Madlibs the next. It's thanks to BearFooted that I know about these shoes.. and I should prolly hunt him down for making fall in love with shoes even more expensive than VFFs! But, honestly? TOTALLY worth it!! Another benefit of the cork insoles? These are my only minimalist shoes that don't stink! (I don't wear socks). Great quality in the shoe, and a great company IMO.
I think it's a ridiculous name. First of all, it's spelled wrong...it's lemming. When I first saw the new name I thought it was perhaps a French take on something - you know, le ming. I'm sure that's complete gibberish (I don't speak French), but it's the first thing that popped into my head.
Also, my experience with calling someone a lemming is in reference to a person who can't think for themselves and just goes along with the crowd even when the behavior doesn't make sense. Not exactly the impression they're going for. Oh well, as long as they keep making a quality product I'll keep buying it, even it the name is stupid.
From their website, called their CORE PRINCIPLES: LEVEL EXTRA WIDE TOEBOX MINIMAL SOLE
Also, I am with BearFooted - having years of Graphic Design experience, I noted immediately how much their colors are off on the shoes - MUCH warmer than it should be. If I were them, I would depict how they should look, even if you have to mess with the color adjustments - will make it easier for people on the web to see, instead of thinking "they all look like varying shades of brown"
I find most of the sizing reviews of the VB to be inaccurate. LeftLane Sports had a VB sale a few weeks ago, and I picked up a pair of the new Neo Trails in Purple/Black for an amazing price (something like $55 shipped). The site said the Trails ran a size smaller than it's sister Neos (in which I wear a 39) so I ordered a 40. BIG mistake. They were too big. I even told the rep on the phone that this was inaccurate, and she seemed a little shocked that it was that off. I shipped them back for a return/exchange, and I am due for my 39s any day now (btw, the customer service at LLS is AMAZING - VERY friendly and helpful, I recommend them hands down). Other than the Brooklyn's mis-sizing (I have it in a 40), from what I can so far tell, VBs basically run true to size, at least on the Neo family of shoes.
This makes 3 pairs of VB I own. I only wear them for work and casual shoes - not for running. But I only wear minimalist shoes - at work, casually, running or otherwise (I can't even wear my good ol' Nike Air Rifts more than a few casual hours before my feet start to hurt, and I used to LIVE in nothing but them! They aren't minimalist per-say, but they aren't fully cushioned either). I think I am good on VBs now - unless there is a good sale on the Lucy, I am set for quite a while on VBs!
I have the Originals ninja, but don't wear them often. I HATE the feeling of walking on the back seam where the shoe meets the sole. I think all the Zems are currently like that. From what I saw, they have a new 2012 model where the back has the sole coming up the heel of the foot. I'm holding out for that. Other then the heel/seam issue, these would IDEAL minimalist shoes.
Oddly enough, I find my NB Minimus Trails and Merrell Pace Gloves quite comfy with plenty of space (I seem to be one of the few to feel this way, tho). I just got my running partner fitted, and he has strangely wide feet (they don't look it, tho), and of all the shoes he has tried on so far, the Merrell Trail Glove was the roomiest for him (he just bought the NB Minimus Trail Multisport and found them quite comfy as well). I think the issue is, while the toebox is nice, the mid-section narrows a little too much. Even I noticed this, but with a few wearings, I do not feel it at all, as the shoes will stretch and comform to your feet.
As was stated before, I highly recommend the reviews that Justin, Tim, Robert & Co write - you get a great idea of how the shoe fits, how it performs, etc. The shoes I bought were because of these wonderful reviews. Vivobarefoot just came out with the Neo Trail, so that might be something to look into if the NB Trails or Merrells are too narrow for you.
But if possible, try on as many minimalist shoes as you can so see what ones fit the best - you will be surprised. If that is difficult to do (it may be hard to find stores that carry some of the more "rare" minimalist shoes, ie, non-Nike Frees and the like), then find some online - most online retailers have good return/exchange procedures.
I never have liked my feet exposed - at home I wear slippers (mostly to keep my feet clean from the floor), I used to wear socks with my sport sandals as well. So having minimalist footwear - no matter HOW minimal - has been wonderful. Especially for work! Can't exactly wear slippers or go barefoot at Home Depot.
Also, I am VERY wary of going barefoot in public - sidewalks have shards of glass, pebbles, cigarette butts, etc - things I do not want to step on barefoot. Nothing is worse than walking/jogging along and steeping on something with your full body weight - makes me trip up trying to recover and I am scared I would injure myself further!
Hence why KSO and my other covered VFFs are preferred to run in. Even my Classics or Sprints work, tho depending on how "pebbley" the road, sometimes little bits of rock and dirt get into the shoe and I have to stop and get it out. Then again, I live in Florida - there is ALWAYS construction on roads and sidewalks, and the dirt is very sandy with some bits of seashells thrown in for good measure.
So I like minimal minimalist footwear, personally! I love the bold colors, but I will admit, even I do like the more muted, understated colors on a lot of the models.