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    Xero Shoes - Barefoot Running Sandals

Mizuno Wave Universe 3 Racing Flats Initial Review

Wave Universe 3
Mizuno Wave Universe 3 racing flat.

Guest Post by Lindsey

Racing Flats as a Minimalist Alternative

I'm no marathoner (far from it!), but lately I've been looking for the best alternative to Vibram Five Fingers. I've been running in VFFs for several months now and throw in a little barefoot running as well.

Since I have to wear a conventional looking shoe for my upcoming military training, I needed to find something that would suit my needs. I wanted a shoe that was light, flexible, and as minimalistic as possible. I had long considered the Mizuno Wave Universe 3 flat, but its price tag made me consider other options first. So instead, I decided that perhaps cross country (XC) flats would be a good substitute as I could find them cheaper than the Mizunos. I tried the Saucony Shay XC 2 first as it met all the basic requirements. Unfortunately, I had to send them back twice for the proper size (they run small), and once I did get the proper size, I disliked the molded sole around the arch, and the general narrow fit of the shoe. I can imagine the Saucony Shay XC 2 as a great trail shoe, one that excels in its purpose, but the aggressive tread and fit of the shoe made it inappropriate for my needs.

I also purchased a pair of Saucony Kinvara on a whim. Unfortunately, these are more like reduced running shoes than actual minimalist shoes. They do promote more of a midfoot strike as advertised, but I didn't really enjoy running in them. I think they might be a decent transition shoe (akin to the Nike Free, perhaps), but they are somewhat stiff and way more shoe than I want to run in. I believe that their cushioning might be beneficial for me as a marching shoe. I found if I took the insole out, the shoe felt much flatter, more neutral, and more along the lines of what it should have been in the first place. I will be playing around with these more to see if they will fill the role of a marching/drill shoe while I am in training. Unfortunately, they just don't suit my needs as a running shoe. Nevermind the fact that that they're fluorescent pink. Yikes!

Enter the Mizuno Wave Universe 3

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"Merrell Barefoot" Shoes partner with Vibram, slated for Spring 2011

...and a special message from Vibram Five Fingers to counterfeiters!

Footwear Plus Magazine coverFirst the "select footwear" partnership with Merrell ... (or jump to the "message")

Vibram has partnered with Merrell to launch "Merrell Barefoot," a collection of "six minimalist styles for men and women" for Spring 2011 according to a July 2010 article titled Sole Mates written by Greg Dutter for Footwear Plus Magazine (Click "Current issue," page 42: also here).

According to the article, the partnership plays off of the two brands being "long-term partners in creating some of the outdoor market's top-selling shoes" with Merrell's aim being "to build on what Vibram is creating [around barefoot technology] for a Merrell audience that's potentially a little different," according to Merrell's general manager, Jim Zwiers.

That said, don't expect Merrell Barefoot to look like Vibram Five Fingers — these are slated to be mono-toed "shoes." Per the article:

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The New Fall 2010 Vibram Five Fingers Models and Colors - KSO Remix, Smartwool Classics, More!

The New Fall 2010 Vibram Five Fingers Models and Colors - KSO Remix, Smartwool Classics, More!

Major Update! City Sports just got the KSO Remix and Smartwool Classics in! Read more.

Birthday Shoes is happy to introduce The Shoe Mart as a new site sponsor and simultaneously give you a preview of the new Vibram Five Fingers 2010 Fall line-up.

The Shoe Mart is based out of Norwalk, Connecticut, and has been selling shoes since 1956. They carry the full line of Vibram Five Fingers (Depending on inventory), offer free shipping, and ship internationally and accept Paypal! As always, all stores listed on BirthdayShoes.com are checked out — you can be confident you are getting the real thing and not fake five fingers.

So without further ado here is a photo gallery of the Fall 2010 Vibram Five Fingers line-up.

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Self Defense Instructor Teaches and Trains in Vibram Five Fingers

Michael hanging loose
Michael in his Classics with instructors and students at a Detroit self-defense school.

Michael "Sifu" Banaag is quite an accomplished martial artist and self-defense instructor. He was taught by James DeMile, a student of Bruce Lee. He is also a Vibram Five Fingers fan and wears KSOs to train and teach self defense. He recently acquired a pair of Classics and removed the cord by following our Strap Removal [MOD] post. Read the rest to see what Michael says about his new modded Classics:

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New Women's Five Fingers Bikila color out!

A new color of Vibram Five Fingers Bikila for women — blue and grey!
A new color of Vibram Five Fingers Bikila for women — blue and grey!

I've just been notified that a new color of the Bikila Vibram Five Fingers running shoe has been released — for women. The above blue (teal?) and grey Vibram Five Fingers Bikila is now "out" and available for purchase from CitySports!

Though CitySports just got stocked up on this color, given the popularity of the Bikila — and the fact that this color combo looks great (In my humble opinion, of course!), I doubt these will last — at least not until more shipments go out!

The sizes available (as of right now) are 37 - 42 and the Bikila retails at just below $100. As usual, you can get free shipping on these via using the coupon code BIRTHDAY.

Pick up a pair here.