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    Xero Shoes - Barefoot Running Sandals

Review: Vibram FiveFingers V-Aqua

Review: Vibram FiveFingers V-Aqua

The Vibram FiveFingers V-Aqua is the company’s flagship product for water sports and water activities. Utilizing the same base sole from the V-Alpha, the V-Aqua adds drainage holes to clear out the interior of the shoe to maintain a smoother experience as you leave the water. Using a familiar velcro strap design that many legacy Vibram fans will immediately recognize, the V-Aqua aims to keep you dry and flexible for all your water activities!

Recently, Vibram sent me a pair of V-Aqua to review so over the summer I put them to the test. Click through to read my review of the Vibram V-Aqua!

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Review: Vivo Barefoot Tracker FG Minimalist Hiking Boots

Review: Vivo Barefoot Tracker FG Minimalist Hiking Boots

What's the deal with minimalist, barefoot-minded hiking boots? Is a "barefoot hiking boot" even possible?

If you're like me, when you think about hiking boots, you probably think of those stiff-soled shoes you can pick up at REI—like these. Traditional hiking boots—disclaimer: I've never owned any—always struck me as clunky and uncomfortable. On the positive side, they looked bombproof, ready for adventure, and offered important protection against the unpredictable, ground-level stuff you're sure to encounter on long adventures in the woods. You know, rocks, brush, errant roots and sticks, water hazards and mud, the cold—even wildlife.

So wouldn't it be great to have all the protection-against-the-elements of a traditional hiking boot but with a minimalist sole—one that didn't sacrifice all connection to the ground?

The designers at Vivo Barefoot think so. Their recent update to their "barefoot" hiking boot—the Vivo Barefoot Tracker FG—is an attempt to balance hiking boot protection and minimalist-shoe requirements.

Do they get it right? Read on for my full review!

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MyMayu Waterproof Minimalist Boots Kickstarter

MyMayu Waterproof Minimalist Boots Kickstarter

A BirthdayShoes reader named Justin recently reached out about a Kickstarter campaign for MyMayu waterproof, minimalist boots. Justin shared:

I was wondering if you've noticed the MyMayu (www.mymayu.com) kickstarter for their adult-sized, waterproof, minimalist boots. Good minimalist boots are a pretty rare breed, and a minimalist waterproof "mud boot" is one of my holy grails of footwear I've been looking for. These might fit the bill, and I was wondering if you'd want to give their kickstarter a look or feature it on your site?

I'm in no way associated with MyMayu. My 5-year-old loves their kid-sized boots, and I'd just love to help get them over their kickstarter goal so us adults can have a good minimalist waterproof mud-boot on the market, too!

I took a look at the campaign and have to admit: I'm intrigued. Have you wanted minimalist, truly waterproof galoshes? Minimalist and waterproof have only ever gone together fairly poorly. Perhaps MyMayu boots are the solution!

And in case you're wondering, they're zero drop. Interested? Go and check it out!

You Can Buy These Old School Vibram FiveFingers

You Can Buy These Old School Vibram FiveFingers

PSA: Vibram has a handful of the "OG" FiveFingers on sale on their website.

Sure, a couple of them weren't "1st gen." However, even the Seeyas are "classics" since they came out some six years ago.

Here's what they've got:

  • KSOs! — Available in 3 colorways! ($85)
  • KSO Treks — that super sweet black kangaroo leather ... ($125)
  • TrekSports — not my fave, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ($100)
  • SeeYa — black and neon yellow. Always liked the SeeYa for their upper. ($100)
  • KMD Sport — a.k.a. the old KomodoSport. I deadlifted 375 lbs in my yellow and black pair of these yesterday. ($110)

If you've been hankering for old school FiveFingers, you'll find these on Vibram's website.

That's all for now.

P.S. Got a Vibram V-Aqua review coming soon. Also the VivoBarefoot Tracker FG.

P.P.S. In the process of evaluating a way to overhaul and upgrade BirthdayShoes. If the idea of BirthdayShoes being updated excites you or you want to see more out of this site, I would love to hear your thoughts and comments below.

Lems Trailhead Shoes First Look Review

Lems Trailhead Shoes First Look Review

Are you a long-time fan of Lems and love minimalist shoes? Well, I've got some good news and bad news.

The good news: Lems has a new shoe called the Trailhead and it looks great!

The bad news: it's a fairly significant departure from Lems previous shoes and if you're a long-time Lems wearer, these might not be for you.

BirthdayShoes readers know that I've been a fan of Lems (Formerly known as Leming Shoes and before that Stem Footwear). The company founded some 7 years back has put out some of my favorite minimalist shoes that I still wear to this day. I'm talking about the Nine2Fives and the Mariners (Boulders are pretty great, too). Both the Nine2Fives and the Mariners have stayed in my regular rotation of shoes since I first reviewed them, which says a lot given how many pairs of shoes I have.

So what's up with the Trailhead? And why don't I think long-time Lems fans might struggle with these?

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Martin Berkhan's Leangains Method Book (Diet) Review - JustinOwings.com

Martin Berkhan's Leangains Method Book (Diet) Review - JustinOwings.com

For seasoned BirthdayShoes veterans, you might recall discussion about Martin Berkhan's "Leangains," the original 16:8 (16 hours fasting, 8 hours eating) diet and training protocol. For example, Hugh Jackman, who we've seen photoed deadlifting in Speed FiveFingers (GOAT!), seems to adhere to a Leangains-inspired diet.

Berkhan originated 16:8 intermittent fasting+weight lifting over a decade ago on leangains.com but now has finally published the ideas, research, and program as a book: The Leangains Method. I got an early look at The Method back in April as I've been helping Martin (he's become a friend over the years) as best I can for the launch. As it turned out, in preparation for this book and having "bulked" for the prior 8 months, I took the prescribed system in The Leangains Method and used it to lean out and then review the book. Since the book launch is today, August 16th (a.k.a. 8/16), my review just got published over on my personal site.

You can read it here. I cover what's in the book as well as my own forays and misadventures in diet and fitness over the last decade—which is a little embarrassing in review—though going through it got me to where I am today.

BirthdayShoes readers tend to be ahead of the curve, so I thought many of you all might interested in this new release. If you've ever stalled on a diet, wanted to get that six pack, or just want to understand nutrition better, reading The Leangains Method will be time well spent. And it might save you from lots of misadventures.

Find my review of Martin Berkhan's The Leangains Method at JustinOwings.com.