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    Xero Shoes - Barefoot Running Sandals

Review: Sockwa X8

Review: Sockwa X8

Sockwa is known for their ultra-minimalist approach to barefoot shoes. Sockwa, not surprisingly, takes a "sock-like" approach to their designs—their shoes take a sock-like design and add a simple, thin, flexible sole for durability.

Sockwa sent over a pair of the Sockwa X8 to review. How'd they turn out? Read on!

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Could BirthdayShoes Get a Reboot? Watch This Space

It is 2019, and 2019 marks the 10th year of BirthdayShoes' existence. Hard to believe, I know. Where does the time go?

Long-time readers may have lamented BirthdayShoes isn't as fresh as it used to be (Perhaps never was! I'm no designer.). The site could use an update in look and a steady(ier) supply of reviews, content, news, and more.

I'm interested in making that happen. And some of the above is already in progress: a new design has been created and in short order, we'll be moving the platform from the very-outdated, old school blogging platform it's on (called b2evolution, which has been great, really, it's just ancient), reloading the site in Wordpress, and with that, beginning a new era for BirthdayShoes.

That's the hope, anyway.

Bear with me as we work through this.

Do you want to help?

I've come to accept that with my dayjob, three kids, and so many other obligations, I just can't do this alone. Thankfully, I've had the amazing help of many of you over the years. Take, for example, the wonderfully talented Jarvis Chen, who has been a godsend, helping with countless reviews.

We could make BirthdayShoes much better together. If you'd like to get involved, I'd be eager to hear about it. I can't promise much in the way of compensation outside of the likelihood of free shoes and great experience, but maybe that's enough. If you like to write, if you can take a decent photo, if you're interested in trying your hand at content and social media for a site like BirthdayShoes, reach out: justin (at) birthdayshoes.

And otherwise, stay tuned!

4 Holiday Sales for Your Minimalist Shoe Enthusiast

4 Holiday Sales for Your Minimalist Shoe Enthusiast

Update 12/12/18 — added a sale!

We're only two weeks out from Christmas, so if you're still looking to get a gift for someone else — or for yourself — now's the time to act.

On that front, below are three sales. All are time-sensitive, so move quickly if you're interested.

3 Sales to Shop

Softstar Clearance Sale! | Check it out!

Softstar's shoes are all handmade. As a result, they end up accumulating pairs with minor defects or other reasons that require them to sell them at a steep discount. They have a large inventory as of mid-day on December 11. Just note that all sales are final. I love my Roos and Rogues and am testing a pair of the (yes, ugly!) Phoenix. Softstars are incredibly comfortable and foot friendly.

Lems 15% off and free shipping! | Check it out!

I'm a huge fan of Lems Boulder boot, Nine2Five (dressy-ish) shoes, and Mariners. Primal 2s are also worth checking out. I'm not a huge fan of the Trailhead but they do look sharp.

VivoBarefoot 10% off! | Check it out!

Coupon ends today, Dec. 11! BirthdayShoes exclusive! VivoBarefoot is hooking up BirthdayShoes readers with 10% off—use BIRTHDAYSHOES10.

Carets $50 Off! | Check it out!

Use their $50 off code on any pair of shoes: CRAFTMAS or $140 off 2 pairs or more with CRAFTUP.


If other opportunities arise, I'll do my best to share them. What are you hoping to see under your Christmas tree this year?

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!