Looking for a ‘barefoot’ running shoe that can handle the trails with confidence? Look no further than the VIVOBAREFOOT Neo Trail.
It is clear to see by looking at the Neo Trail that this shoe is of very high quality. The upper is double-stitched and made up of a strong, breathable material. The inner features little but adequate padding around the ankle and the tongue giving the shoe a very comfortable feel, without being too suffocating.
As with all VIVOBAREFOOT shoes, the sole is ultra-thin to provide maximum proprioception, whilst being puncture-resistant. Barefoot runners will be pleased to know that the toe box offers generous room to allow your toes to splay and expand naturally.
The lugs on the sole provide incredible grip when hitting the trails. We recently reviewed the Vibram FiveFingers Spyridon trail shoe, and were disappointed with its performance in wet, muddy conditions. You won’t find that problem with the Neo Trail (or its little brother, the Breatho Trail – which features the same sole).
The shoes come with a removable insole. This is a nice touch, and gives you the flexibility to play with the amount of barefoot / ground feel that you want.
On trails, both in the dry and wet, the Neo Trail performs admirably. The shoes handle technical descents, dirt, slippery rocks etc with complete ease. The Neo Trail is also extremely durable, and you will find that you will be able to clock up some serious mileage before any notable signs of wear.
The VIVOBAREFOOT Evo was released many moons ago, back in Spring 2010 (about the same time as the Vibram FiveFingers Bikila!), and has gone on to be one of the most popular shoes in the VIVOBAREFOOT range…
The Evo is an amazing shoe because it leaves your feet to function how nature intended. You’ll get maximum proprioception, whilst the sole protects your feet. You won’t find any cushioning, stabilisation, support or any of that nonsense in this ‘barefoot’ shoe – The Evo simply encourages you to run with your barefoot running form.
As with all VIVOBAREFOOT models, the Evo features a wide toe box to allow your toes to splay in a natural way, to grip and to breathe. The sole is puncture-resistant, yet it so flexible that you can roll up the shoe!
Barefoot running has seen a huge surge in interest since the 2009 release of Christopher McDougall’s bestseller Born to Run.
As appetite grows for shoes that replicate the ‘feel’ of running with bare feet, have you taken the time to understand exactly why running barefoot is good for you?
Why Should I Adopt A Barefoot Running Style?
Runners in shoes typically land on their heels, using the cushioning built in to the heel of the shoe. When your foot lands in this manner, it sends a jolt of force though your ankles, knees, hips and spine. This impact is called a transient force spike.
Running barefoot promotes a different technique. Runners who run barefoot tend to land on their forefoot or midfoot. This effectively keeps the landing point closer to your centre of gravity (as opposed to in front of the body, like shoe-clad runners).
When you run, your muscles, ligaments, and tendons in and around your feet will provide you with a natural spring-like mechanism, reducing the impact (transient force) through your body.
It’s All About Technique
Running with bare feet (or with barefoot shoes) will not guarantee injury-free running. Instead, you have to ensure you learn correct technique, focusing on a forefoot/midfoot strike, a shorter gait (shorter, faster foot steps), and only increase your mileage incrementally.
If you tried to run barefoot the same way you do when you’re in running shoes, it would really hurt. You should lose the shoes to understand how to run in a way that feels light and comfortable. Once you have mastered this, start to increase your mileage by around 10% and you may find running more fun and less likely to cause injuries.
There is no science that proves running shoes are helpful. In fact, people lived for millions of years without shoes. Until the 1970’s, runners enjoyed running without padding, orthotics, pronation, arch support, and motion control shoes.
Stephen Sashen from Xero Shoes (rather splendidly) puts it this way:
The three parts of our body that have the most nerve endings are our hands, our mouths and our feet. There’s only one of those that we regularly cover and make numb to the world… does that seem right?
Put a limb in a cast and it comes out of the cast a month later atrophied and weaker. When bind your feet in shoes that don’t let your foot flex or feel the earth, isn’t that similar to putting it in a cast (or as barefoot runners like to say, a “foot coffin”)?
Barefoot Running Shoes
Of course, in today’s world we can scarcely discard our shoes in favour of bare feet. That’s where barefoot shoes come in. They give you the sensation of running barefoot, whilst providing protection from anything nasty you may step on. VIVOBAREFOOT shoes have puncture-resistant soles. Xero Shoes have FeelTrue rubber soles that are guaranteed for 5,000 miles. And of course, Vibram FiveFingers and Merrell running shoes are equipped with Vibram TC-1 rubber – Very flexible, yet extremely durable!
You will be pleased to know that we’re still offering a whopping 25% off EVERYTHING. This fantastic welcome offer is only valid for ONE MORE WEEK, ending midnight on 28th February 2013.
Simply enter ILOVEFEETUS25 at the checkout, and don’t forget that when you spend over £25 we will ship the goods to you absolutely free!
All Injinji toe socks now have a further 25% off, so you will be able to grab some massive bargains there!
Exciting Times: SagePay. More Stock. Site Improvements. Blog Update
Sage Pay will be introduced very soon, but for now, you can pay 100% securely with PayPal.
Over the next week you will see fantastic new products and an increased size-range added.
And although www.feetus.co.uk is already a lovely-looking, well-oiled machine, we’re still working on making it EVEN BETTER. You will benefit from better product filtering to find exactly what you’re looking for, in what size, and which colour, plus much more…
If you love the best barefoot and minimalist running shoes on the market – You will love Feetus.co.uk.
To celebrate the launch of our new online store http://www.feetus.co.uk we are giving YOU 25% off EVERYTHING (including: Vibram FiveFingers, VivoBarefoot, Merrell, Inov-8, New Balance, Xero Shoes, and much, much more!)
This offer ends midnight 28-February-2013 and is open to everyone in the UK and EU
It never ceases to amaze me how much ‘spin’ big companies use when marketing a new product. After watching Asics’ latest video pushing their hideous ‘Gel Nimbus 14’, it left me gobsmacked.
To me, the shoe looks more suited to an astronaut. Or maybe somebody imitating an astronaut, who needs a super wedge of cushioning to simulate slow-motion bouncing in the absence of moon gravity.
Rene Zandbergen, Product Manager at Asics, claims in the video that this ‘Guidance Line’ on the sole of the shoe will guide your foot whilst running. …What? …How?
He adds that the shoe “fits like a glove”. No, I think he should be referring to Vibram FiveFingers when he makes that comment.
He continues: “…the shoe helps you run more efficiently”. Bullshit.
Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOSDAXE1h1M&feature=player_embedded
With spiel like this, it’s not surprising that a staggering 80% of runners get injured each year. How many of us have suffered with ‘runners knee’, ‘shin splints’ and ‘plantar fasciitis’? How often do people have the best intentions of ‘getting in to running’, only to get injured and conclude “Running isn’t meant for me”. With the amount of money invested in technology and biomedical science, surely we can develop runningwear that can prevent running injuries?
Science > Marketing
That’s why I am a massive fan of VivoBarefoot. Rather than plough all their capital in to creating and marketing gimmicks such as a ‘guidance line’, they instead invest in research and training. They make the effort to educate the customer, teaching us the essentials about best running technique. They offer science over opinion.
Good Running Form
http://www.feetus.co.uk goes live next month, where I will be offering advice on running technique and sharing my experiences of running barefoot and with minimalist shoes. For now though, here are the five basic principles of good running technique.
Strike with your forefoot, followed by a heel plant.
Your cadence should quicken to around 180bpm, meaning you take faster, shorter steps.
Your foot should strike just below your centre of gravity, or slightly in front.
Your upper-body should remain relaxed.
Keep your head straight. Keep your eyes at horizon level.
We’ll also be selling the very best barefoot and minimalist running shoes from the likes of Vibram FiveFingers, VivoBarefoot, Saucony, Merrell, Xero Shoes, and more!
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