February 26, 2010

The Living Barefoot Podcast Show - Episode 10 Released

The latest episode of the Living Barefoot Podcast Show went online last night. It's a stellar show with an excellent interview with Alan Thwaits of Mississauga, Ontario. He was a lot of fun to interview and did a phenomenal job.

To check out the show, click on the following link: http://www.livingbarefoot.info/2010/02/the-living-barefoot-show-episode-10-released/

To read more about Alan's adventures, check out his blog: http://thwaits.wordpress.com/

February 25, 2010

Comfortable Kigo Stars

Back to the shoe situation in Mexico. I mentioned earlier that I developed some nasty blisters from walking around in my VFF KSOs in Mexico, mostly because my feet had been so swollen. My salvation on that vacation were Kigo Stars.

I brought them along on the trip because I will be writing a full-length review for the Living Barefoot website and I had to wear them in order to do that. It's too cold here in Alberta in the winter to wear a Mary-Jane-style shoe outside (and I don't walk around too much indoors other than in my house). So I brought the Kigo Stars to Mexico. And I'm so glad that I did.

The blisters on my feet were so bad that barefoot, which had been the plan for the vacation, was not an option. The evening after I developed the blisters, I had reservations at one of the restaurants at the resort where sandals were not acceptable. I tried on my Kigo Stars for the first time since arriving. They were fantastic!

The Kigo Stars are immensely comfortable. There is plenty of wiggle room for the toes and feet. The removable insole is slightly padded along the toes and the arch without providing any specific arch support. The padding happened to be in just the right place to allow me to walk almost normally with my painful blisters.

I like the style of them, too. The hook on the front and the velcro-attached strap at the back, which allow for the shoes to be folded in half and clipped together for easy portability and small storage, takes a little getting used to. I think the contrast stitching is a fantastic addition to the minimal shoe look.

The grip on these shoes is phenomenal. I walked on wet, slippery, perfectly smooth marble and had complete confidence in the grip of these shoes.

The barefoot feel isn't really comparable to the VFFs or the Vivo Barefoot shoes but it's not bad. There is a slight rise in the heel of maybe 1-2 mm that my sensitive back did not notice while walking.

In summary, I think the Kigos are great minimalist footwear. They are easily packed in a bag or purse if you're the kind of barefooter who carries your shoes in case bare feet are not appropriate for all the places you go in a day. In addition, they are so comfortable, they can be worn all day with no issues, and eventually, I even forgot I had them on. I ended up wearing them almost all the time for the rest of the week-long trip.

The full-length shoe review will be online on the Living Barefoot website in the next few weeks. But until then, here are some pictures of the comfortable Kigo Stars.

For more information on the Kigo Stars, check out the Kigo Footwear website.

February 24, 2010

The Open-mouthed Gape

The other day, I went for a run on the indoor track in town. It was slightly busier than normal for early afternoon. There were a couple of older gentlemen, probably in their early 70s, who were also using the track. They walked around the track side by side. After a while, one of them stopped to sit beside the track. As I ran by him, I smiled at him but he didn't notice. All he noticed was my bare feet. He was staring, open-mouthed, totally slack-jawed at my bare feet as I ran by. I must admit, I was quite amused and found myself grinning at his expression. In addition, not only did he gape at my bare feet the first time he saw them, but also the second and the third. I kept waiting for him to ask me, "Why the bare feet?" but he never asked. It was a fun run that day. :)

February 15, 2010

VFF KSO Woes in Mexico

I'm an Alberta girl, or more accurately, a high-altitude, cold and dry weather dwelling girl. Apparently, the heat, humidity and sea-level of where I was in Mexico did not agree with my feet (or hands for that matter): they swelled. A lot. The feet swelling was made painfully obvious to me when, on my first full day in Mexico, I went on a shopping trip (to find the purple dress in the picture from the last post) in my VFF KSOs. I don't remember a time when my feet hurt so much, ever.

To explain more fully, my KSOs looked like a balloon had been overinflated in them. It wasn't a problem for the first hour of walking around but became more and more of a problem within the second hour of shopping. I noticed the beginnings of several blisters on the bottoms of both feet. The heat of the sidewalks became a problem too, it felt like the bottoms of my feet were burning in my shoes because of the heat (although it could have been a symptom of the swollen feet and constant friction, too). Eventually, every step was agony and it hurt to move my foot at all inside my shoe.

When I finally took off my shoes, I had one blood blister beneath the toes of my left foot (all of them) and a normal edematous blister beneath the toes of my right foot. Thankfully, my heels were not blistered, they just had felt that way.

Sadly, I did not wear my KSOs the rest of the trip. I had been so excited to wear them, too, because it's been too cold in my native Alberta to do so.

My point to this little whine-fest is this: if you're not used to the heat and humidity of the tropics, you might want to bring a pair of shoes with ample room to accommodate foot swelling. (Now that I've written this down, hopefully I'll remember the same thing the next I travel to the tropics.)

Thankfully, I had brought a pair of shoes that I could wear for the rest of the trip because barefoot was, sadly, out of the question after the shopping trip. More on THOSE shoes to come...

February 14, 2010

VFF Performas = Perfect Dancing Shoes

So I don't really dance. I'm not really good at it and I try to avoid it. However, at my brother's wedding, I actually danced. A lot. I didn't really know what compelled me to dance at this wedding when I really try to avoid it at other weddings. But, there I was, on the dance floor for almost every song. Thinking back, I think it was the shoes. I was wearing my purple VFF Performas. They are the PERFECT dancing shoe. They feel barely there so your feet are free to move as much as they want while protecting your feet from the unknown stickiness of the dance floor. My feet felt so good dancing, never cramped, and with sufficient grip all the time.

Here's a picture of me in my purple Performas:

(In case you're wondering, I bought the dress to match the shoes, not the other way around. ;) )

February 13, 2010

Barefoot Jewellery

I recently returned from Cancun, Mexico, where I spent a week for my brother's wedding. Late last year, I asked my mother if she would make me some barefoot jewellery for the occasion and she kindly agreed. I found some designs I liked by searching online for 'barefoot jewellery'.

Here's a picture of what she made for me:

They are very comfortable to wear and look fantastic. In fact, I like them so much, my mom is making me another pair in blue. They were a big hit at the wedding, too. My family was very interested in where I got them and also thought they were very cool. One of my aunts even wants a pair for herself.

Not that I'm affiliated with them in any way, but the designs I liked the most were found at Ladybead.com. Although I feel I should warn you, if you wear a pair, prepare yourself for many questions and comments. :)

February 9, 2010

Terra Plana Photo Competition

Terra Plana has posted the pictures submitted for their Photo Competition. There are some wonderful pictures in there and many pages (over 100 submissions).

Mine is called 'Love Story' and here's the picture (click on it to view it larger):

If you have time and want to see some funny/interesting/creative pictures of Terra Plana products (my personal favourite being the Vivo Barefoot models, of course), check it out at: http://www.terraplana.com/terraplana_photo-competition.php

And if you like it, you could vote for mine. :) The pictures change positions periodically so they're not always on the same page.