Spoiler: it’s a pun for “barefoot shoes”
This site was created in mid-April 2009 to be a central hub for reviews, pictures, ideas, experiences, activities, and everything else relating to Vibram FiveFingers. It has since evolved into a site that covers all minmialist shoes or “barefoot shoes” including footwear from manufacturers Vivo Barefoot, Merrell Barefoot, New Balance (NB Minimus), Luna Sandals, Invisible Shoes, and more (see them all here).
What’s the big deal about FiveFingers? Simply put, they are footwear designed to accord with our biological or evolutionary engineering (the “invisible hand” of evolution or the divine hand of [your belief system]).
Vibram FiveFingers and other minimalist footwear are perhaps best understood by describing what they are not rather than what they are: Vibram Five Fingers are not thickly padded, high heeled, motion-controlled shoes that effectively prevent your feet from being feet, which in turn impacts (negatively) your natural walking/running/playing gait. Rather, by being little more than a thin rubber covering on the bottom of your foot (with practically zero arch support or cushioning), Vibram Five Fingers empower you to trod the earth unshod and free — at least, as close to it as you can imagine while still providing minimalistic protection from the concrete jungle of our modern times.
I wish more products fit as harmoniously with our core, animalistic humanity!
A quick tour of some of what you’ll find at BirthdayShoes
If you’re new here, be sure to check out:
- A visual overview of all the barefoot shoes covered at BirthdayShoes — tons of reviews of minimalist shoes!
- Vibram FiveFingers reviews — in the words and photos of real users!
- How to guides and other resources — a great list of some of best articles and resources on BirthdayShoes!
- The history behind Vibram Five Fingers — From whence these crazy shoes came and where the barefoot/minimalist footwear movement is going!
- Interested in barefoot or minimalist running? Start here.
- Ready to buy Vibram Five Fingers? Go to the store to find legit online retailers, read user feedback on retailers, and find deals like free shipping!
In short, take a look around and welcome!
Who runs this site?
BirthdayShoes is over three years old and has been visited over 5 million times by over 3 million people around the globe. It’s been cited by CNN and Inc. magazine and even been spotted on TV on occasion. It’s widely considered to be a “go to” source if not the go to source for all things minimalist- or “barefoot-” shoes related.
If you can’t tell, “bdayshoes” is a labor of love built, maintained, and furthered through the help of people like you (It’s not my day job — it’s what I do when I’m not working or parenting two girls or just having fun).
While most of the reviews here have been written by me (Justin), in no way could this site be a success but for the help of many, many others. In fact, you’ll find plenty of reviews and articles written by BirthdayShoes bloggers who have graciously lent their time and expertise to making BirthdayShoes even better. I simply couldn’t keep this site without a lot of community support. Thank you!
Finally, just to be transparent BirthdayShoes is not a retailer of shoes though it does have relationships with various online retailers through which the site generates some revenue to support ongoing operations. In the course of building this site, we’ve also made contact with various shoe manufacturers who have usually been pretty helpful and always hands off — we’ve gotten some free shoes to review out of these relationships but never been directly compensated nor would we take any such compensation from manufacturers were it offered! We want BirthdayShoes to be a legit, authentic source of useful information on the web — if you ever question our veracity, do not hesitate to email me directly at justin [at] birthdayshoes.com!
— Justin Owings, Founder