Lee and I recently had a great little meet up with the ever-so-rad Patton Gleason of Natural Running Company. We talked of running, shoes, how babies change everything for the more interesting, etc. If you haven’t met Patton in person, we definitely suggest you reach out to him via Facebook or Twitter. He is one heck of a guy.
Anyway, Lee and I were doing yard work one weekend to discover a package from Natural Running Company by our grass seed. We opened the box and there were shoes Lee had ordered but there seemed to be a little something for me! I thought to myself “I didn’t order anything- my feet are swelling like nobody’s business-I wish I could run.” I opened a box with the name Kigo on it and to my surprise it was a casual, super lightweight, barefoot technology shoe. I put them on and they were so comfortable.
To me, they are my new flip flops. Why? Well, they cover my feet so my feet aren’t all gross at the end of the day. The design of the shoe is so much better for my feet than flip flops. They are breathable and easy to slip on and off. Did I mention they are stinkin’ cute? I wear them to work (lululemon athletica) and I get compliments daily!
Not only do I recommend the Kigos (because they are truly amazing) but I also recommend shopping at Natural Running Company. After speaking with Patton about my style and what I look for in a shoe, he was able to find me the perfect pair for my life right now. His customer service is unreal and that is so rare in the running shoe world.
Click here for a chance to win your very own pair of Kigo’s from Natural Running Company!
If you’re looking for a new pair of minimal running shoes, 2011 is looking like a good year! Realizing the surge in popularity, many shoe manufacturers are entering the minimal/barefoot market. Being a part of the running community, we are excited to see what new ideas are brought to the table. Here are some of minimal shoes we’re looking forward to seeing in 2011!
- New Balance Minibus – One line of minimal shoes that we’re interested in is the New Balance Minibus. New Balance started to tip-toe around minimal with the addition of the NB100 & NB101 in 2010, but this line should be interesting. (Lee currently rocks the NB101s and loves them) NB will have three shoes in the Minibus line: Fitness, Road, Trail. Here’s how New Balance views a minimal shoe:
In setting out to create a line of shoes that would provide the ultimate minimalist experience, we worked against a clearly-defined set of criteria:
Drop – Drop is the difference between heel height and toe height. All NB Minimus shoes have a 4mm drop which provides a more natural foot position than traditional shoes.
Width – The wider forefoot in NB Minimus allows your foot to expand naturally on impact.
Height – To minimize distance from foot to ground, NB Minimus has no insert, minimal midsoles & outsoles, and is engineered to encourage a midfoot strike.
Weight – Because NB Minimus contains only what is necessary, it’s almost 50% lighter than traditional lightweight shoes.
- Altra Running – We’re very excited to see what Altra, the new new guy, is going to bring to the market. All of Altra shoes are zero drop, which means that there is no difference between the forefoot and heel height of the shoe. Altra also boasts that their shoes will be gender specific, which means that Isis’ shoes are not just a different color. Altra will hit the market with three models in April 2011, but the website is already stating that their are two more versions coming. Right now they have The Adam – their outdoor/minimalist shoe, The Instinct – their cushioned road shoe meant for the long distance, and The Lone Peak – their mountain racer.
- Merrell – Merrell has teamed up with Vibram to introduce their barefoot series. This should be an interesting combination. Here’s what Merrell has to say on their website:
On the men’s side, we’ve got the Trail Glove, True Glove and Tough Glove, all three super lightweight and versatile shoes that can take you from the trail to walking around town. On the ladies side, we have the Pace Glove, Power Glove and Pure Glove, all which follow Merrell’s belief of Performance Made Beautiful.
- Inov-8 – If you’re a Cross-fitter or trail runner you may have heard of Inov-8. If not, you should definitely check them out. Inov-8 has made a name for themselves as light, functional shoe manufacturer. The latest news for Inov-8 is their new Evoskin. It’s basically a silicon glove for your foot…for those of you that think the Vibram fivefingers are just too much shoe.
What do you think about the minimal shoe craze? What shoes are you excited about in 2011?