November 21, 2010

First Completely Barefoot Run of the Season

I decided to run indoors on the track today as -20C (not including the wind chill) is a tad chilly for me to run in (I've done it but it's not the most enjoyable experience). And if I run on the track, it's always completely barefoot.

Some observations I noticed while running today:

• There is a huge difference in the temperature of the floor between the walls beside windows and those that are not
• Random dirt on the track (it must have needed sweeping) did not stick to my feet this year
• I needed a few walking breaks to give my foot muscles a break (I ended up doing 3 X 10 and 1s). They are obviously not as strong as at the end of last winter
• Thirty minutes was enough for my first time running barefoot this year
• My form could use some improvement as I ended up with a hotspot on one big toe and another small one on the outside edge of the ball of the same foot (it’s probably my form and not being careful enough rounding the corners, which were all in the same direction)
• You really can’t push off at all with no shoes (which I was observing everybody else doing in their shoes)
• Running really fast barefoot (or as fast as I can go) is more like flying than running because your feet are in the air much more than they are on the ground (as opposed to my usual plod-along but comfortable pace)
• I can’t wait to do it again :)

November 18, 2010

Winter Wonderland in Brooklyn Boots

Snow! Glorious Snow! (This is a good attitude to have when you live in Canada and the white stuff is around for a good six months of the year and can fall in any month of the year :) ).

We've had almost a foot of snow where I live and my new Vivo Barefoot Brooklyn boots could not have arrived at a better time. I wore them outside for the first time yesterday in approximately 6 inches of snow and today in about a foot. They are fabulous! If you need a warm winter boot that grips well on snow and ice, still lets you feel the ground contours, and has absolutely no positive heel, then these will work out well for you!

My previous minimalist winter boot options, the Vivo Barefoot Dundan boots and Feelmax Kuuva boots, both have the same problem: their soles are too thin to prevent the frozen ground coldness from coming through to the inside of the boot, which results in frozen feet. This is NOT a problem with the Brooklyn Vivo Barefoot Off-road sole, which has an outsole thickness of 5 mm (2.5 mm sole base and 2.5 mm grip depth). Standing on ice and frozen ground was not a problem for me with only a thin pair of socks. I have left the removable insole in for now but I'll be testing the boots without it as well. Today it was -17C and my feet were toasty warm the whole time.

The boots are almost knee-high and the shaft of the boot has a faux shearling lining for warmth. My calves weren't cold at all in today's frigid temperatures (and there's no need to worry about wind chill).

If you're thinking of buying a pair, the Terra Plana website says that the Brooklyn is running TWO full sizes short and they are NOT exaggerating. I generally wear size US 8/EU 38, most of my Vivo Barefoot shoes are US 9/EU 39, and the Brooklyns are US 10/EU 40 and they fit well at that size.

I will be writing a long review of the Brooklyn boots for Living Barefoot, but until then, here are some pics of me in the snow with the boots.

November 15, 2010

First Run in Evo IIs

There's nothing more motivational (for me at least) than that first run in a new pair of minimalist shoes. My new Evo IIs arrived on Saturday and today I got to go for my first run in them. I adore the Evo I and have been looking forward to the warmer version of them, the Evo II, for months now.

It was just as I imagined it would be: perfect. The Evo IIs fit almost exactly the same as the Evo I. They are a tiny bit more snug so I loosened the laces on them a little bit. They are MUCH warmer. Even when I wear socks, I can feel a draft with the Evo I. There is no such draft with the Evo II with the addition of the microfiber liner. The ground feel is phenomenal, the grip is great, and the fit is fantastic.

I can't wait to try them out in the coming snow (this week's forecast for my area is snow every day for the next five days). I'll write about running in them in snow as soon I get out in it.

Until the long review is posted on the Living Barefoot site (in about a month), here's a sneak peak at some pictures.

November 12, 2010

Long Review - Luna Sandals

My latest long review has been posted on the Living Barefoot website: Barefoot Ted's Luna Sandal.

Here's the link:

I think they are stellar running sandals. If you want the absolutely minimalist shoe for running, these are definitely for you!

November 4, 2010

Long Reviews - VFF Performa Janes, Women's Trek, and Flow

I've written a bunch of minimalist shoe reviews lately and they've been steadily going online at the Living Barefoot Website.

For the long review of the Vibram FiveFingers (VFF) Performa Janes, here's the link:

For the long review of the VFF Women's Trek, here's the link:

And for the long review of the VFF Flow, here's the link:
(This review was written more as a long-term review because my Flows are over a year old. They've proved to be extremely durable.)