Comment from: A C C [Visitor]
A C C

I just don't see why you would buy these now that it doesn't have the split toe aspect...

Altra , New Balance Minimus in 2E/4E, Merrell Bare access , etc. already fill that niche

11/19/13 @ 19:05
Comment from: Nyah [Visitor]
Nyah

Hey look, conventional running shoes on BirthdayShoes.com.

Snore.

Not that the split-toe Topoes were really even minimalist either.

If Topo is truly interested in minimalist shoes, they should offer something comparable to Altra's no-longer-available Adam shoe.

11/20/13 @ 11:09
Comment from: admin [Member]  

@Nyah,

Topo *isn't* "truly interested in minimalist shoes" -- they aren't holding their shoes out as minimalist (not now and haven't before).

That said, they are putting out shoes that aren't "conventional" in the sense that zero-drop running shoes are still very much in the minority.

11/20/13 @ 14:31
Comment from: Jonathanp26 [Visitor]
Jonathanp26

I specifically went looking for a split toe shoe after several years in VFFs, for ease in fitting and putting on, while retaining most of the value of mobilizing the forefoot of the 5 toe and huarache approach. I tried on the Topos, but was put off by the stack height and overly constructed soles. These are indeed not minimal, nor I suppose do they pretend to be. That's fine, but I'm not sure why split toe Topos or the new ones really merit attention on "birthdayshoes".com. (I ended up with a pair of Ninja toe Zems , which I love and which I do think are somewhat less odd and conspicuous than the VFFs.)

11/20/13 @ 15:37
Comment from: admin [Member]  

@Jonathanp26

I think they merit attention mostly because at least a few folks on this site want to know about them -- even if they aren't minimalist.

If anything, some might think Topo are minimalist, so it's helpful to have posts like this to say, "nope, they aren't."

11/20/13 @ 16:43
Comment from: philip [Member]  

I was extremely excited about getting a pair of the originals when they came out, thinking Post truly had taken what he learned at Vibram into his new line of shoes. I'm sure they fit many people's feet just fine, but I had major issues that many people with flatter feet will be disappointed to find. And, I'm glad Justin pointed out that they aren't technically marketed as minimal.

Upon trying on the shoes, I immediately noticed what felt like a massive arch in the shoe and there's no way I could even consider buying them. Coming from wearing only truly flat shoes like Vibrams and Vivobarefoots, this was a huge shock. I was immediately uncomfortable just standing in them. I also noticed they were a bit narrow and snug around my foot. I was initially worried when I saw the cutout in the sole between the heel and midfoot. You can only get away with cutouts like that in thicker soled shoes (look at the gaps in traditional running shoes). It may have a wide shaped toe box, but it's not as wide as other brands and it just feels like it's taken a step back in shoe making (like it was designed by the same old 'traditional' running shoe designers trying to change their ways with a new minimal shoe design).

I know they supposedly aren't targeting minimalists with the shoes, but they should be more clear telling people that (and I'm glad Justin is telling everyone that). I'm still looking for the perfect slightly thicker running shoe with all the flatness and wideness I want in a barefoot or minimal shoe. Thought these would be good at 13-15mm, but they aren't even close. Here's hoping they figure it out on round two, but looking at the soles I highly doubt it.

The hype around Tony Post got my hopes up, but it was a trap. Maybe I need to revisit these, because as of now I just don't think they belong anywhere near this category.

11/21/13 @ 14:36
Comment from: Mark [Visitor]
Mark

Well I was going to leave a comment about the lack of
"minimalist" in this "minimalist" shoe , but Justin pointing out that it's not marketed as minimal cleans that up. But then why is this shoe featured on a BAREFOOT/MINIMALIST shoe website?! I understand that it's zero drop and it come from the former CEO of Vibram, and......? Sorry to be opinionated on this topic. I really love the news and reviews of minimalist and barefoot shoes that you do. So thank you for that.

11/21/13 @ 18:58
Comment from: Tony Post [Visitor]
Tony Post

First off, thanks to Justin for posting information about our new MT and ST shoes. I understand that they may not appeal to everyone, but we really appreciate all of the comments. Good or bad, we always like the feedback. And I hope some of you will try the shoes and give us your comments after wearing.

To answer some of your questions:

Our original shoes featured a split toe design. The split toe is an old idea, the Japanese have been making/wearing them for over 100 years. Shigeki Tanaka won the 1951 Boston Marathon in a pair. I always loved the concept/fit/feel, and wanted to explore that on a low profile EVA platform (not necessarily minimal). The idea behind the split toe was to allow articulation of the big toe, and connect the shoe to the body by pocketing the big toe inside a roomy toebox.

While the split toe was what drew some folks to the shoe (some like it, some don?t). We built our brand around 3 core product values:

  1. Shape: snug in the midfoot and heel, roomy in the toes. We disguise some of that in our designs, but that should be the sensation most folks feel. We want your toes to spread and splay naturally, but the fit in the waist and heel make the shoe feel like a part of your body.
  2. Platform: 2 points here:
    • We make level or near level platforms (no more than 3mm drop) because we think that encourages better posture and a mid-foot strike during running. No offense to anyone, but I was talking about this long before ALTRA was born, ;)
    • Low profile/mid-stack heights. Currently, all of our stack heights vary from 12 ? 19mm. Why? I still wear minimal shoes sometimes, but there are many days I want a little more underfoot protection. While that may not appeal to everyone, I was looking for a little more underfoot protection and comfort. I didn?t want anything close to a regular running sole, I wanted something thinner that could move and flex with my foot, with a little more protection than offered in a minimal shoe.
  3. Weight: we use lightweight materials, constructions, and design methods. Our shoes are almost always lighter than regular running or training shoes, often lighter than some minimal shoes.

We launched our new ST and MT with the same benefits above, but without a split toe. This came after many hours of direct consumer interaction in stores, gyms, and on the roads and trails. While we are still fans of the split toe, we wanted to offer folks alternatives with our same core product values. And don?t worry, for those who like the split toe (like me), we have no intention of giving up that concept. The new offering is simply available in addition to the split toe shoes we make.

Phillip, to your comment about feeling the arch ? some of our shoes are lightly posted on the media side of the heel, perhaps that?s what you felt. There is no arch support in the shoe, it?s simply an EVA midsole contoured to follow the natural shape of the foot. The light medial post may not be felt by everyone (noticed more by those with lower arches or flat feet), it doesn?t prevent you from using the muscles in your feet or arch during running or standing, in fact some find it a gentle reminder to do so.

Thanks again to everyone for your comments. Again, we appreciate the feedback, and are happy to answer any additional questions you may have.

12/02/13 @ 09:11
Comment from: philip [Member]  

Hi Tony,

Thanks for your response and insights into the shoes.

For me, it's not arch support in the traditional sense of a molded arch, but posting the medial side of the shoe (thickening the shoe under the arch) is support. Traditionally, it seems shoe manufacturers have done this as support for "overpronation." Almost every barefoot/minimalist shoe fan doesn't want this in a shoe, and personally I think it's funny to tout benefits of a wide toe box and low heel elevation when you are putting in support for overpronation. I would love to see you make a model that was completely flat across the base (that wouldn't force any arch type, flat or high, to conform). You mentioned "some" of them have posting. They all look like the same soles/lasts, so I'm curious which

I agree (and even mentioned) that non-flat foot people will probably have no problem with the posting from a pain/uncomfort standpoint. I have flat feet and the models I tried had way too much posting. To say I "noticed" it is an understatement. You say it doesn't prevent me from using my muscles, but what it does do is prevent my foot from existing how it is.

I get the idea of contouring the natural shape of the foot, and other shoes have done that. Some of the huarache rubbers are molded up along the foot shape. LEMs does that with theirs and people even complained about the pictures showing "arch support." The difference is that their sole while hugging your foot shape off the ground, did nothing to your foot shape when weight bearing. It completely flattens out under the foot because of it's thin and flexible material (same with huarache). By creating a thicker sole you've prevented that ability, so for my feet, you've basically made an arch "support." And the entire reason I went to minimal shoes was that they don't force my foot to exist a certain way (wide toes, no heel, no arch, no posting).

I get that these aren't technically minimal. And, I get that I won't be able to wear every type of shoe. I'm fine with that. It's just when it shows up on a site that promotes certain aspects of minimal/barefoot shoe types, I want flat footers out there to be aware that there's some "posting" in these. I had really hoped that you were creating a slightly thicker version of a shoe that didn't force any foot type to conform away from the way it would be naturally. Like a thicker Vivobarefoot or thinner Altra. Let the foot be itself, just on a thicker platform.

Dissapointed I can't wear the shoes, but hope everyone that can enjoys them. Good luck!

12/05/13 @ 16:27