So many people are using tech to track and monitor their running progress, even more so during the national lockdowns. One of the most popular running apps, that you can use on your phone or smart watch, is Strava!
If you use Strava, make sure to join our Barefoot & Minimalist running club! We are trying to bring together runners from around the world that either run barefoot, or use one of many barefoot/minimalist running shoes such as Vibram FiveFingers, Xero, Merrell, Altra and more. Even if you don’t, or haven’t taken the plunge into the minimalist shoe yet, join the club and ask the community questions, share tips and advice, or just be ultra competitive and be top of the club!
I have certainly used Strava more and more recently, and now the old bike has been dusted off, I have been using it to track my rides as well as hikes!
So, get involved! Click the link below or search ‘Feetus’ in the club search on Strava, or click the image below.
Steve Kalclash from Kalclash Fitness reviews the KSO EVO
Steve is fanatical about Vibrams, and has been a Feetus Fan for a long time. His YouTube Channel is building up a very loyal following, covering various topics from triathlon, vegan living, and of his passion for Vibrams. We just love his no-nonsense, candid approach to reviews.
We couldn’t believe that after covering more than 2,000 miles in his collection of Bikilas, he hadn’t ever tried a pair of KSO EVO – so we intervened and this is what Steve thinks of his new KSO EVOs.
We’d love to hear what you think about the KSO Evo too! How close is it to barefoot running? Are these your favourite minimalist running shoes? What do you use them for mostly? Leave a comment and let us know…
Vibram FiveFingers releasing limited no. of Bikila Evo WP early
We released a Sneak-Peak of the Bikila Evo WP earlier this year, heaping praise on Vibram for FINALLY creating something waterproof. We were critical about it all too. Vibram had planned to release the shoe AFTER winter, and had also slapped a whopping £180 price tag on the shoe. Outrageous.
Influencing for the Better
Shortly after that article, we learned that Vibram decided to put more gusto in to the production of the Bikila Evo WP in a bid to release them BEFORE winter. Coincidentally, the RRP was also reduced to £150.
Now for the Good Bit
We’ve secured a limited number of Bikila Evo WP and they’re expected to land in the UK mid-November.
Google‘s co-founder Sergey Brin was and is one of the biggest fans of Vibram FiveFingers and he is one of the early adopters too. While he gets involved in a lot of high adrenaline activities and takes care of his body like a temple, his choice seems evident. He has been seen flaunting his Vibrams since the early days when the shoes just came out a few years ago by Italian footwear company Vibram. These are meant specially for barefoot running and the world of outdoors running is seeing more adapters to these style of ‘shoes’
In all his meetings, conferences and other social engagements Sergey loves to wear his Vibram FiveFingers barefoot running shoes. This is in line with Google philosophy of “You can be serious without a suit” where it does not ask its employees to wear formal clothing and rather encourages them to workout and exercise as part of their lifestyles. So, wearing a Five finger shoe might seem the cool thing to do in Google, especially if the top boss is wearing them around constantly.
Vibram FiveFingers, not just stand out in the crowd but the shoes have been well accepted in the tech and fitness community across countries. What really helps is that it definitely aids in correcting Sergey’s posture after those long hours at office at a desk on his computer which is typical of any of us corporate busy individuals isnt it? While spine problems are rampant in the tech industry, it’s also most other professionals who seem to be more and more afflicted with back issues.
And not just spine, Sergey and many others like him who swear by Vibrams are experiencing great blood circulation in their legs as the Five Fingers stimulate the same; since the feet are closer to the ground.
Surely it’s motivating to see the Google Man- ‘Sergey Brin’ keeping an active and healthy lifestyle and also contributing in making the world a better place. If he does this while wearing those beauties, then why don’t we give them a shot?
“I want a pair of Vibram FiveFingers that can handle gravel and asphalt. What do you recommend?”
Every week we get plenty of questions from customers. So many in fact, that we have decided to dedicate a blog post every-so-often to our favourite customer questions, which we have abbreviated to ‘CQOTW’.
Vibrams for Road/Gravel
The Spyridon MR is the stand-out shoe for this kind of terrain. Although designed to tackle mud (the MR stands for Mud Runner), I find the Spyridon MR are at their best when put through their paces on asphalt, gravel, and dry trails. They’re still minimal (outsole 4mm / insole 3mm), but the tread is aggressive enough to provide traction and stability. The Spyridon sole (known as the MEGAGRIP compound) is probably the best in terms of providing grip in all directions.
Minimalist and barefoot running has seen a surge of interest recently, but barefoot running has been a strategy for champions for decades and beyond!
Natural running dates much further back and there have been ancient tribes throughout our long drawn history who have lived close to nature, in every terrain with only the soles of their bare feet doing the talking. In fact this concept of a natural running style has been recently popularised by Christopher McDougall’s book- ‘Born To Run’ based on the Native American tribe The Tarahumara Indians – known for their amazing ability to run barefoot for miles and miles is not some deep ancient hidden secret.
Daniel Lieberman, professor of human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University says:
“Our Feet were made for running. Humans have engaged in endurance running for millions of years, but the modern running shoe was not invented until the 1960s. For most of human history, runners have been barefoot or wore minimal footwear such as sandals or moccasins with smaller heels and little cushioning.”
Even in competitive sports history, the first to race an Olympic marathon barefoot was a Tswana tribesman Len Tau representing South Africa in 1904 and then came Abebe Bikila an Ethiopian whose bare feet scorched the streets of Rome to give him the Olympic gold medal in a world record time and making it the most famous barefoot victory in modern history. More recent still, Zola Budd set several World Records in the 1980’s and make a big impact on the running world by training and racing in bare feet.
Benefits of Barefoot/Minimalist Running
Running barefoot forces you to land on your forefoot and midfoot instead of your heel, as you do in the longer strides you take in constructed footwear. The result is more efficient transfer of energy; reduced impact on the joints in your feet, ankles, and knees; and strengthening of the muscles in your feet.
And the one major benefit is the experience of it that stays with you and develops a ‘feel good’ factor, which is incomparable. Running barefoot or minimalist style is hugely liberating as having next to nothing on one’s feet brings you closer to mother earth in every possible way. You are also able to feel the real difference in running between grass, pavement, dirt tracks and every possible terrain. Also the idea that less weight on your feet helps you go faster is not rocket science, nor an ancient secret preserved over thousands of years by lost tribes.
Get Started with Barefoot Running
Whilst minimalist running is the strategy for champions, for most of us the transition from regular shoes to minimalist/barefoot running shoes must be gradual, else it comes with its own set of health warnings. If you have spent most of your adult life in highly constructed trainers then switching suddenly to barefoot shoes requires a certain amount of ‘breaking in’. Your body needs to adjust.
Take your time to first wear them indoors for a few hours each day; go for walks with them and, as you grow more comfortable with the fit and the feel, that’s when you start to begin your ‘minimalist training’ journey. Take it slowly and easily, speed and endurance will gradually follow.
Don’t forget, in nature, even evolution and adaption is a gradual thing. Only fools rush in, as they say
So get started folks and in the next blog – we shall talk about the different types of barefoot shoes.
In the meantime feel free to mail us and ask questions on any thing running related or about the shoes we have on offer. Contact Us.
…So we’re giving the ladies 10% off this week! Use code: LADIESONLY at the checkout
The last two weeks have seen us ship out LOADS of orders around the country. Much more than normal, in fact. And we’re so grateful to all of our amazing customers who are helping us to continue to grow. We’re certainly becoming the go-to online store for Vibram FiveFingers.
However, during this time, 9 out of 10 orders have been for men!!
This has had us scratching our heads. Do women decide not to run in winter? Do ladies hibernate? Do they choose to visit the gym only during the months March to October? Surely not!
That’s why, for the rest of this week only, we’ve decided to a LADIES ONLY discount (sorry gentlemen). Prove to us you still need your Vibram FiveFingers during the cold weather by ordering a pair today AND GET AN EXTRA 10% OFF by entering code: LADIESONLY at the checkout.
Yesterday we shared with you Xero Shoes’ new kid on the block; the Sensori Venture. A barefoot huarache-style sandal with a 5.5mm sole, a revolutionary (patent-pending) lacing style, and an attractive design that will certainly prove popular in the coming year.
But Xero Shoes have another card up their sleeve. And this card is a little different.
Introducing the Xero Shoes +One Line
Xero Shoes are about to launch some tabi-style booties for use with their huarache-style sandals, and can also be used on their own for indoor activities such as yoga and pilates. They look as though they could also be used as a winter ‘sock’ inside regular shoes too.
The +One Trail
The +One Trail is designed for warmer weather. Both lightweight and protective, the +One Trail is designed to prevent cuts and scratches when you’re out running on the trails. If you’ve ever hit the trails in your Xero Shoes, you’ll know that this can sometimes be an issue (especially getting bits of gravel sneaking between your foot and the sandal).
Xero Shoes won’t be winning any awards for their choice of product name for this one – but the +One-ty could be a big hit for those of you looking to continue wearing your Xero Shoes in to the winter months. The construction consists of a 2mm water resistant polyester mesh with bamboo fleece liner. The bottom features multi-directional chevron grips made from silicon for extra traction.
I’m not going to pretend they look pretty, because they don’t. They may look better in the flesh – BUT – the big question is ‘How will they perform?’. Xero Shoes have been very clever and recognised two gaps in the market. The first being that some people do not like the idea of a DIY sandal, so they released the cool-looking Sensori Venture. The second is that running sandals are not the best option for running in colder climes – and that’s where the +One range fit in.
I think it is great to see some innovation from Xero Shoes and these will definitely appeal to those looking to keep running all year round in their Xero Shoes.
Breathability is another factor. How breathable will the +One’s be? Having not tested them yet, I cannot say – but I am concerned that they may be a little sweaty (like Sockwas). The last thing we want is a sweaty, sliding ride.
Losing the ‘Barefoot Feel’
The addition of a +One with your Xero Shoes is going to really remove much of the ‘ground feel’ from your running. Will this put barefoot-purists off?
…Only time will tell. But we look forward to seeing how you like them once we get them at Feetus.co.uk.
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