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Earth Runners Circadian

Published by RunningPoint on Friday, 26 Sep 2014 10:56 EDT

Earth Runners Circadian

I have a confession to make. I hate shoes and have for the majority of my years on this planet. Until about 4 years ago, I drank the Kool-Aid that life outside of my home or casual situations required some sort of formal foot covering. This even intruded into my inner-sanctum of me time, the gym and running. I spent my life at home barefoot, and my casual life in a mixture of discount store flip flops, Teva, Chaco, or Birkensock sandals and for the life of me couldn't figure out why. I did some online research (OK I really just Googled “cheap minimal footwear”) and found the magically blossoming world of huaraches. I ditched the gym when they wouldn't allow me in the door without a shoe, and I trashed the running shoes to embark on the much hyped and tirelessly discussed transition to “barefoot” running and never looked back.

Xero Shoes Amuri Venture

Published by RunningPoint on Tuesday, 25 Mar 2014 08:24 EDT

I have been a long time fan, supporter, and promoter of Xero Shoes (originally Invisible Shoes). My first pair of truly minimal shoes was the 4mm Vibram Cherry DIY kit, which I still run in on occasion, and the 4mm Connect & 6mm Contact have become my “go to” road (4mm) and trail (6mm) shoe. I have logged easily 95% of all my running mileage (literally thousands of miles) wearing a Xero Shoes product over the last 4 years, taking breaks from them only to test and review other products. Why go on and on and on about the past? Because you, the reader, need to understand that I know this product, I LOVE this product, I live this product. When there is a fundamental shift in design of such a simple, effective product, it is a big deal to those of us who have a history of not only using the product, but also reviewing and promoting it. Now with that out of the way, let's get to the fun stuff.

Initial Impression of Unshoes Wokova Feather

Published by RunningPoint on Monday, 13 Feb 2012 16:47 EST

My first and greatest passion in minimal footwear is a good pair of huaraches. I fell in love with the idea of returning to one of the oldest and most basic forms of footwear as I was first researching minimal shoe options, and when I ordered and constructed my first kit I was sold. Back then, there was only two major choices: Invisible Shoe or Barefoot Ted's Luna sandals.

I was excited to see that there was a newcomer on the sandal scene called Unshoes who was offering a lightweight custom made pair of huaraches at a very reasonable price called the Wokova Feather. I was even more excited when I browsed their website and realized that they were also pushing the limits of modernizing a design based on traditional huaraches, most notably updating the lacing system.

The lacing system has always been the biggest complaint that I have seen from people who don't fall in love with their huaraches right away. A traditional style lace is made of a material such as leather, hemp, or a synthetic cord. What's the common issue with all of these materials? They are not at all elastic. There is no “give” in them which can be uncomfortable if they are not tied just right. There have been attempts by other companies to make a more elastic lace, but Unshoes has taken a unique approach to the problem by using a rigid strap with a flexible loop in it.

Invisible Shoes Impressions by a skeptic

Published by Ronald on Thursday, 04 Aug 2011 10:16 EDT

InvisibleShoe huaraches

InvisibleShoe has been kind enough to give both Derek and I a pair of their new 4mm Connect and 6mm Contact huaraches to test and review. This is extra fun because we have never owned the same footwear and this is the first time we can compare our opinions. Derek is interested because he already owns the 4mm Vibram Cherry Invisible Shoes huaraches and has absolutely fallen in love with them. I don't think I have caught Derek saying anything negative about them, but I am not sold on huaraches yet. It will be interesting to see how our views differ from each other and how differently we approach running in the huaraches. 

Derek lives in the mountains in the eastern United States, and I live in a colder and mostly rainy country (The Netherlands). Sandals are worn here on vacation when you go camping in a country like France or Italy. They are worn when the sun is shining all day and the lovely warm sand is slightly too hot and you have a cold beer in your hand enjoying the sunset. That is when I am accustomed to people wearing sandals/flip flops/huaraches/thongs. So yes, I am a little bit skeptical of the huaraches, but Invisible Shoes has offered me these to test so I will attempt to do so with an open mind.

I will be testing both models from my point of view alone which is very different from Derek’s point of view. He already loves the huaraches and he will post his impressions later. Below is a collection of my observations and ramblings about these sandals and really just my experiences figuring out if they are any good. I have been testing both models for about five days straight, walking in them during the day and doing a short run each evening.

"Barefoot" March

Published by RunningPoint on Friday, 01 Apr 2011 13:51 EDT

March 2011 was my first month of the year completely back to "barefoot" running. I completed a total of 20 miles (INJURY FREE!!!) for the month wearing a mixture of super cheap grocery store Aquasox, Invisible Shoes Huaraches, and my Merrell Trail Gloves. Each shoe has it's strengths and weaknesses and I thought I would take a minute to highlight a few for each different form of footwear.

Epic Article on Minimal Shoes

Published by RunningPoint on Tuesday, 22 Mar 2011 09:29 EDT

Justin over at Birthday Shoes has written an epic article about minimal shoes and the pros and cons of different designs with a focus on why the toe shoes, best example being Vibram FiveFingers, exist and are a superior design. After reading, I am a bit more intrigued by the validity of design choice to make shoes with toe pockets and would probably even consider trying a pair on now.

Review of Invisible Shoes Huaraches Part 2

Published by RunningPoint on Tuesday, 08 Mar 2011 16:00 EST

In case you haven't read Part 1 of my Invisible Shoes huaraches review, here's a bit of recap. Huaraches are one of the most basic forms of footwear and consist only of a material that protects the bottom of the foot and a lace to secure them. They have been used specifically by the Tarahumara Indians and have been popularized by Chris McDougall's book Born to Run. Steven Sashen of Invisible Shoes decided to modernize the huaraches and offers a DIY kit on his website or he will custom make you a pair.

Part 1 of this review chronicled the process of me measuring, cutting, and assembling my DIY kit. Part 2 is my review of running in the huaraches.

Appearance

huaraches side viewWhen you are dealing with a shoe that is designed for this extreme level minimalism, I'm not sure that appearance is even a factor. I personally like the way the huaraches look. When the laces are tied in the slip on method (which I use), they retain a bit of shape and look like a very stripped down version of any sport sandal from manufacturers like Teva or Chaco.

The only area to add a splash of personality to these shoes is in your choice of laces. There are quite a few choices for lace color with the DIY kit and I chose the black laces. I am glad I did so since I have adopted the huaraches as daily wear around the office and out in public. huaraches at workThe black laces help to not make my footwear a focal point, especially around the office. I am proud to wear them anywhere and have gotten nothing but overwhelmingly positive comments about them. There are no second thoughts involved with wearing the huaraches out in public like there would be with FiveFingers.

Review of Invisible Shoes Huaraches Part 1

Published by RunningPoint on Wednesday, 23 Feb 2011 13:54 EST

For those who don't know what huaraches are, they are simply one of the most basic forms of footwear. The huaraches consist only of a material that protects the bottom of the foot and a lace to secure them. They have been used specifically by the Tarahumara Indians and have been popularized by Chris McDougall's book Born to Run.

Steven Sashen of Invisible Shoes decided to modernize the huaraches by using a high quality Vibram (yes that Vibram) Cherry sole material which is 4mm thick and has a smooth side for your foot to ride on and a tread side to provide traction. Here's the catch, there are only two ways to get these shoes: a DIY kit or have Steven custom make you a pair. I am a complete and total cheapskate and quite handy so I opted for the DIY kit and will now chronicle the creation of my huaraches from start to finish as part 1 of the review.

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