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Review of Stem Survival Origins

Published by RunningPoint on Monday, 21 Nov 2011 11:46 EST

Stem Footwear is one of those companies that caught my eye while their product was in the very early phases of development. I was reading an article one day and saw them mentioned and something compelled me to click on the link and check them out. What I found was a rarity in today's market, a company who put just as much (possibly more) effort into promoting their philosophy and values as they did promoting their product. After a thorough reading, I was convinced that Stem was on track to join the list (which I hold close to my heart and take very seriously) of shoe companies where I genuinely admire both the product and the people behind the product.

I contacted them immediately, but they were so early on in the design process that there was no product to test yet. I was completely blown away when I contacted them a second time after the product had launched and they actually remembered me from many months ago and offered to send me the shoe of my choice to test and review. I chose the Survival Origins because I liked the brown color (color is the only difference between all 5 models that Stem offers). They worked closely with me to make sure that I would have a shoe that fit me perfectly, even to the extent of sending me two different sizes to ensure that I would have the best experience possible. I was excited when I got the shipment notice and I thought to myself “If the shoes are even half as good as the customer service, I am in for a treat”.

Initial Impressions of the Altra Adam

Published by RunningPoint on Thursday, 03 Nov 2011 16:23 EDT

Altra Running was the first company that I contacted when we started RunningPoint. They were also the first company to show any significant interest in what we were about and what we were trying to do with the site. I like to attribute this to that fact that RunningPoint and Altra are very similar in approach and motivation, although we produce an extremely different product. We were motivated to start a website that was written from the perspective of two normal guys who love to run in and talk about minimal shoes, much like the guys at Altra who are runners that decided they could design a better shoe because they couldn't purchase anything that made them happy. We have followed the development of the Altra line and were overjoyed when the time finally came that they could send us a sample of their shoes to test and review. I received a pair of their “barefoot” shoe, the Adam, and Ronald got a pair of Altra's road shoe, the Instinct, which he will provide an initial impression of soon.

New Details For New Balance NB Minimus Zero

Published by RunningPoint on Tuesday, 02 Aug 2011 11:15 EDT

New Balance has supplied us with some new details about their exciting NB Minimus Zero line that will be released in early 2012. I read through the information that they supplied and picked out the especially interesting parts as quoted below (There are actually 9 points of interest but I focused on the ones that intrigued me most):

Merrell Barefoot Spring 2012 Sneak Peek!

Published by RunningPoint on Tuesday, 26 Jul 2011 11:49 EDT

Thanks to Jason Robillard of Barefoot Running University, we get a sneak peek of Merrell's Spring 2012 lineup.

It looks to me like Merrell has listened yet again to the people who run in their shoes and have implemented a road specific, flat soled , zero drop shoe into the Barefoot line with the Road Glove for men (top) and the Dash Glove for women (bottom). ***All images via Barefoot Running University (if you couldn't already figure that out)***

Initial Impression of Soft Star Shoes Moc3

Published by RunningPoint on Monday, 25 Jul 2011 14:35 EDT

Soft Star Shoes was one of the first companies that I discovered when I started searching for a truly minimal shoe over a year ago. Their products always caught my interest but as a beginning barefoot runner I just couldn't commit to buying a pair of RunAmocs. They were a bit too radical in appearance, minimalism, and honestly price. Now, as a more seasoned barefoot runner I was excited to see that Soft Star was introducing two new models, the DASH RunAmoc and the Moc3. Soft Star graciously offered to provide me with my choice of either model to review and test and encouraged me to explore their website so that I could make the choice that would fit me best. I was very impressed by the Soft Star Shoes “Elves” (as they call themselves) who were nothing but gracious and helpful while I made my tough decision on which model of shoe to choose. I was finally won over by the Moc3 due to the fact that the shoe was a slip-on and that the sole was a 2mm Vibram specially cut to allow extra flexibility while running.

Review of VIVOBAREFOOT Ultra

Published by RunningPoint on Wednesday, 06 Jul 2011 15:56 EDT

I have been interested in trying out some VIVOBAREFOOT shoes for quite some time, but have been wary to blindly order shoes on the internet since there is no place close for me to try their shoes on before I purchase. When VIVOBAREFOOT offered to send me a pair of shoes to test and review I was very excited. I decided that since they were nice enough to send me a free pair of shoes, I should go for a model that I normally would not purchase. I love to run in sandals but the idea of a zero drop, fully molded foam, waterproof running shoe quite frankly piqued my interest so I jumped on the chance to get a pair of the VIVOBAREFOOT Ultra. After a great initial impression, I set out to take the Ultras through the paces of daily life with me which involves standing for 40+ hours a week at work, chasing kids after work and on the weekends, and of course running in the mountains of Western North Carolina.

VIVOBAREFOOT Ultra Initial Impressions

Published by RunningPoint on Friday, 10 Jun 2011 08:13 EDT

VIVOBAREFOOT was nice enough to send me a pair of their new Ultras "a light-weight barefoot amphibious running shoe" for me to put through the paces. I received them yesterday just before Noon and was off for a run by 12:30, I can't stand to get new running shoes and not run in them within an hour. This gives me a very quick and very early impression of how the shoes will perform without clouding my judgment by standing around in them and going about daily life for a few days before I get to run. My first impression of the Ultras? I'm pleasantly impressed, and I'll tell you why below.

Brooks Announces Minimal Shoe Line

Published by RunningPoint on Monday, 14 Mar 2011 10:18 EDT

From the official Brooks blog:

"Our core product is what you already know and hopefully love from Brooks. The core design philosophy is centered around creating the most customized fit, most dynamic stability, and most cushioned ride possible to deliver an incredible floating experience. We will not waiver here…

Our glaring opportunity is to create a new product line designed from the ground up to provide the runner with an incredible feel experience. “Less is more” has become the design philosophy of many brands in the market right now that are chasing the minimal trend. The hard part about that for us is that we don’t feel that “less is more” is a great consumer proposition. It is no doubt an uplifting life philosophy, but a product promise? Runners shouldn’t have to pay more for less technology. We want to build a better, biomechanically sound product in a lighter package that allows the runner to feel more with less.

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