• minimalist sandals!

    Xero Shoes - Barefoot Running Sandals

Meet Tune Footwear: Barefoot-Friendly Dress Shoes

Meet Tune Footwear: Barefoot-Friendly Dress Shoes

Foot health is so hugely dependent on wearing shoes that allow feet to function naturally (more on this here), yet most of us spend at least eight hours a day working in office environments where shoes that look like feet just don't fit the office culture. And really, of the minimalist shoes available even as the category has grown, there haven't been a ton of options for dress shoes that cater to bare feet.

That's changing. While you may be aware of Primal Professionals (Dressy oxfords set to be released soon, hopefully), I doubt you've heard of Tune Footwear — until now.

A few months back BirthdayShoes became aware of Tune Footwear. They are a nascent minimalist shoe manufacturer focused solely on bringing to market men's footwear that could fit in in the office environment — in the form of the age-old men's style, the loafer.

Intrigued? Want to learn more about Tune's mission? Read on for more photos and a survey that will directly impact the future of Tune Footwear!

Read the rest of this post »

Review Vivo Barefoot Aqua Lite Shoes

Review Vivo Barefoot Aqua Lite Shoes

My first pair of Vivo Barefoots were the blue-suede Vivo Barefoot Aquas (reviewed over two years ago). Back then, there really weren't a ton of casual, barefoot-minded shoes available that featured thin soles, a wide toe box, didn't have five toe pockets, and actually looked fashionable. Fast forward to today and there are tons of minimalist shoes out there. That said, while original Aqua was a great "barefoot shoe," it could stand to be improved. The proof? Meet the Vivo Barefoot Aqua Lite!

The Aqua Lites are lighter, more flexible, more stylish/refined, and easier to put on than the original Aquas. In short, Vivo Barefoot took an already solid shoe and made it a great shoe. It's so good, in fact, that Vivo Barefoot's running guru and barefoot running certifier-in-Chief Lee Saxby has blessed the Aqua Lites as his "go-to, on road, running shoe."

And while I can see how running in the Aqua Lites would serve you well, given their mild-mannered (or hip colored) aesthetic, I've always seen them more as a casual shoes that keeps me close to being barefoot without toe pockets, crazy sole and lace configurations, or slipper-like looks.

Does something like that pique your interest? Read on for a detailed review including over 50 photos of the shoes, how they pair with jeans and pants, how they contrast to the Aquas of old, and even a set of the Aqua Lites in the updated blue-upper, white-soled colorway! Read on!

Read the rest of this post »

Are Flip-Flops Dangerous?

Broken flip-flops
Photo by asteegabo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/untilblack/

Flip-flops may be hazardous to your health.

At least, that's the headline conclusion of a couple CNN.com articles on wearing thong sandals — one of the most basic and ubiquitous forms of footwear worn (and enjoyed) worldwide by virtually everyone regardless of your culture or socio-economic status.

But really, are flip-flops dangerous? Read on!

Read the rest of this post »

Take 20% Off All FiveFingers!

Take 20% Off All FiveFingers!
*Note: excludes the laceless Spyridon.

Update August 4, 2012: This promotion has ended!

If you want to stay on top of great deals on FiveFingers and other minimalist shoes in the future, be sure to subscribe by email.

The original post

CitySports is giving BirthdayShoes readers an exclusive coupon code to take 20% off ALL Vibram FiveFingers! UPDATE: Unfortunately, the code won't work on the laceless Sypridons any longer!

The coupon code for 20% off is VFFPR2. It can be applied to all full-price and sale-price Vibrams! That means that with the code you can get the just released laceless Spyridons for 20% off their MSRP of $110.

Alternatively, if you're hankering for some of the original Bikila FiveFingers, they've been marked down to $60 already, so with the additional 20% off, you can grab them for $48!

The nitty-gritty: CitySports.com offers free shipping on Vibram FiveFingers. This is a limited time offer and it's online only.

Kids Huaraches Review (And How to Make Kids Minimalist Sandals)

Kids Huaraches Review (And How to Make Kids Minimalist Sandals)

Finding healthy shoes and sandals for kids is incredibly frustrating.

Sure, those floppy leather-soled kid's moccasins are easy enough to pick up for your tiny-footed toddler — you know, like Robeez or, of course, Soft Star Shoes (BirthdayShoes' favorite for both kids and adults). But past the age of 18 to 24 months, foot-minded options for children seem to disappear.

As a parent of two little girls — an almost 3 year-old and a 7 month-old — my reckoning of children's footwear is that healthy shoe options for growing feet are (quite literally) hard to come by. Seems most shoe manufacturers simply take their thickly cushioned, heavy, foot-constricting sneaker designs (those made for adults who've been wearing clunky shoes for decades) and shrink them into miniature versions for toddlers and young children.

Any parent will tell you that a child's foot is both flexible and wide, with toes that seem to have minds of their own as they splay, grasp, and stretch all over the place. A child's foot hasn't been subjected to years of confinement in small-toe-boxed shoes. Thus, it's perplexing that so many shoe manufacturers put out footwear for kids that restricts the foot to a narrow toe-box and a narrow range of motion — not to mention the added weight of an overbuilt shoe.

What's a parent to do? Well, I'm happy to say that I've found one option that is a real winner — at least so long as you've got decently warm weather. That option is Xero Shoes huaraches sandals — built custom by you — with the help of your favorite little helper, of course—in fact, you couldn't do it without them!

What follows is a review of Xero Shoes huaraches from a parent's perspective but also a little video review by the one with the most important opinion (so she thinks) — my cute little minion daughter. And I'll also explain how I made the huaraches with her help. Read on!

Read the rest of this post »

Is KEEN going barefoot?

Is Keen releasing a "barefoot" or minimalist shoe?  One thing is sure, the upcoming KEEN CNX will be a more diminutive version of prior KEEN shoes.
Is Keen releasing a "barefoot" or minimalist shoe? One thing is sure, the upcoming KEEN CNX will be a more diminutive version of prior KEEN shoes.

When I switched completely to barefoot shoes about 4 years ago, there weren’t too many options on the market (pretty much just Vivobarefoot and Vibram). After Merrell went barefoot, I felt like KEEN was the next brand perfectly suited to add a barefoot model to their lineup. I watched season after season as other footwear brands jumped into the minimal/barefoot shoe market, but continued to wonder why one of my former favorite outdoor brands stayed away. I waited, but it never happened. Now they have finally announced the KEEN.Connect (CNX) Spring 2013 collection, but what exactly is CNX? Is it barefoot? Is it minimal? Read on to find out.

Read the rest of this post »