Swiss Protection Socks by Swiss Barefoot

You don’t often see folk outside wearing socks without shoes, do you?

Swiss Protection Socks from Swiss Barefoot have created a sock for outdoor use. Similar to the likes of Injinji and ToeToe in the sense that the sock has individual pockets for your toes, the Swiss Protection Socks are designed to give you that barefoot feel, whilst giving you complete protection from gnarly bits and pieces that could potentially harm your precious feet.

Swiss Protection Socks: Barefoot Alternative Minimalist Natural Running Shoes Feetus.co.uk

“Please take your socks off before you come in”

Of the socks, SB claim these are “the first firm socks for the ultimate barefoot feeling without the risk of injury from sharp objects”. Having researched these further, not only do Swiss Barefoot recommend them for walking an running, but for a whole host of activities: rock climbing and water sports!

Swiss Protection Socks: Barefoot Alternative Minimalist Natural Running Shoes Feetus.co.uk

“What a pair”

The socks are made from 50% Kevlar (the cut-resistant stuff used in ropes and bullet-proof jackets), 32% polyester, 10% cotton, and 8% Spandex, with eco-friendly PVC laminated in to the sole

Swiss Swiss Protection Socks: Barefoot Alternative Minimalist Natural Running Shoes Feetus.co.uk

“Will anyone cotton on to this craze?”

Price Tag

At 55 Euros (£48, $75) for the ‘sockette’ and 59 Euros (£51, £81) for the full protection sock – they are certainly not cheap. Are they worth it? Would you pay that?

If you’re interested, or would like to see more photos of the socks in situ, check out the SB website: http://www.barefootcompany.ch/

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The Freeheel Running Pad – Doing Things by Half

Not sure about barefoot running? If only there was a way of going half-barefoot to see if you like it…

Drum roll please. Enter: The Freeheel Running Pad.

Winner of the ISPO Award 2012, the Running Pad is designed and manufactured by Starringer in beautiful Bavaria, Germany. Starringer claim the Running Pad is of minimal weight, protecting the foot only where it is needed, and is a great alternative for long-distance and high temperature runs.

FreeHeel Running Pad Barefoot Minimalist Natural Heel Toe Feetus.co.uk

The Freeheel Running Pad

The barefoot revolution has certainly brought us some of the most peculiar-looking shoes over the last four years (think Vibram FiveFingers, One Moment, ZEMgear), but the Freewheel Running Pad is certainly the most bizarre. It is genuinely innovative. It’s neither a shoe, nor a sandal. It’s not a glove, nor a hoof.

From the top, you could easily mistake the Running Pad for a sandal. Very similar to a Birkenstock. I particularly like the use of the straps – very trendy. But then we look at the side profile. The sandal has no sole under the heel, nor does it have anything to wrap around the back of your foot.

FreeHeel Running Pad Barefoot Minimalist Natural Heel Toe Feetus.co.uk

Would you dip your toe?

The Archer

Now I haven’t tested this ‘shoe’, and the jury is out on how they would perform, but I really fancy having a go at these. To me, they look like something you’d see on a half-horse/half man. As a Sagittarius, my Zodiac symbol is the archer – maybe that’s why I am attracted to them…

FreeHeel Running Pad Barefoot Minimalist Natural Heel Toe Feetus.co.uk

“I’ll have two pairs, please”

A little more:

  • Improves muscle strength/coordination lower extremities
  • Higher running efficiency as compared to heel striking
  • Optimal foot climate compared to other “barefoot shoes”.
  • Back to the roots – like in telemarking “free heel” & snow shoe “free-heel”
  • No need to squeeze your toes in little pockets
  • Water & gravel in & out!
  • no length adjustment needed – select from small/medium/large depending on the width of your fore/midfoot.
  • Backup-Protection for barefoot runners

Check out their website for more information: http://www.runningpad.de/ 

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Barefoot Shoes Inspired by Amazonian Tribes: One Moment and Iguaneye

Welcome to a quick blog post to present two relatively new, relatively similar barefoot shoes that are worth sharing.

Iguaneye

I have just stumbled across a new brand of barefoot / minimal shoes ‘Iguaneye’, based in Lyon, France. They have developed am ultra-minimalist shoe inspired by Amazonian tribes.

Here is a little more about the shoe:

“The shape of the Iguaneye has been created to perfectly conform to the contours of your feet. The anatomic form has been custom-made by Dulster Design and provides a supportive, secure and extremely comfortable fit. Unlike flip-flops, the piece that parts the toes is placed 1 cm ahead. Just like a second-skin, Iguaneyes perfectly fit all your movements and do not cause irritation.”

The advanced elastomer used for the main part is neutral, hypoallergenic, soft and very flexible. It is also 100% recyclable.”

It’s also worth adding that Iguaneye achieved their funding through Kickstarter – an online funding platform for start-ups. Well done! Here is Olivier talking us through the shoe: http://vimeo.com/54534013

Iguaneye Freshoe J-1 Barefoot Minimalist Biodegradable Running Shoes Feetus.co.uk

Iguaneye’s Ultra-Minimal Shoe

One Moment (O1M)

How many of you have heard of One Moment?

Based in Valencia, Spain – They manufacture an extremely minimal shoe that is 100% biodegradable. This shoe comes in all sorts of colours, lipstick red, lime green – very ‘Euro’. I’ve tested these out, and while they are not ideal for running in – they ARE great for general use: walking, at work, lounging… These shoes were also created from the ancient practice of latex-clad tribal feet.

One Moment O1M Barefoot Minimalist Biodegradable Running Shoes Feetus.co.uk

I Can See A Rainbow:
The One Moment Range

Iguaneye vs One Moment – Make up your own mind

  • They are both biodegrable / recyclable
  • Both inspired by Amazonian foot-dippers
  • Iguaneye costs 49 Euros (£42, $67)
  • O1M cost 10 Euros (£8, $13)
  • Iguaneye look more ‘acceptable’
  • O1M have a wider range of colours
  • Feetus will be stocking a range of O1M shoes!

I’m keen to learn what others think of the Iguaneye and One Moment shoes. Is there a place for these in the market? Would you buy them? Are Iguaneye entering the market at a too-high price point? What do you like / dislike about these shoes?

Keep up to date with us on Facebook and Twitter.

You may also want to check out:

One Moment website

Iguaneye website

A Warm Welcome for Skora’s New Range: The Phase and Core

Skora Running are releasing some fantastic new minimalist running shoes this year. Having seem them a while back in 2012, they were brought to wider attention at the recent Outdoor Retailer show.

Welcome Skora Phase and Shora Core

The Phase-X made Gear Junkie’s Best in Show list and was regarded by RunningShoes.com as ‘Best Shoe in Show’. Impressive.

The two shoes have an outsole constructed out of IBR (injected Blown Rubber), which is lighter and more flexible than regular rubber. The cushioning from IBR also means that an EVA midsole is not required. Although IBR is less resistant to wear, Skora have strategically placed rubber on the outsole to reduce the effects of wear.

Skora Phase

  • 7.2oz Men’s / 5.8oz Women’s
  • minimal, single-layer mesh upper
  • asymmetric lacing system
  • unique unibody IBR outsole
  • Zero-drop, 8mm forefoot/heel stack height
  • $110 MSRP (£69.99)
Skora Phase Barefoot Natural Minimal Minimalist Running Shoes 2013 at Feetus.co.uk

The Magnificent Skora Phase

Skora Core

  • 8.1oz Men’s / 6.7oz Women’s
  • perforated Pittards® Armor-Tan® Goatskin leather upper
  • combination lining with WR100X® leather and antibacterial Agion mesh
  • asymmetric lacing system
  • unibody IBR outsole
  • Zero-drop, 8mm forefoot/heel stack height
  • $155 MSRP (£99.99)
Skora Core Barefoot Natural Minimal Minimalist Running Shoes 2013 at Feetus.co.uk

The Wonderful Skora Core in grey

Skora Core Barefoot Natural Minimal Minimalist Running Shoes 2013 at Feetus.co.uk

“Rapid”. The Core in white / blue

 When Can We Expect to See Them?

These shoes are yet to be released in the US, but rumour has it that they should hit the shelves in March. Having spoken with Skora recently, they are adamant that they will have a UK distributor wrapped up within a matter of weeks. Whether this means the UK will have access to the full range or just the Base and Form shoes, it remains to be seen.

Regardless, I am 100% sure Skora will make a massive impact over here in the UK!

For more information, AnotherRunner has an impressive write-up.

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The Saucony Natural Range

Au Revoir, Hattori

I heard from Saucony earlier this month that they are discontinuing the Hattori. This came as a massive shock to me, as I am a massive Hattori fan – often using this super-lightweight minimal firecracker for my 5K’s. Having raved on about it to many friends and colleagues in the past, many others also use this shoe as their weapon of choice.

Saucony Hattori Natural Barefoot Running Range from Feetus.co.uk

Farewell Hattori

Today, I met with Matt from Saucony, who brought with him two huge luggage bags full of shoes. Jaw-dropping stuff.

The Saucony Virrata

I am pleased to say that, although we’re sadly going to see the last of the Hattori and the laced-up Hattori LC, the shoe that will replace this is right on par. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the Virrata.

Saucony Virrata Natural Barefoot Running Range from Feetus.co.uk

Introducing the Saucony Virrata

Now I know this isn’t groundbreaking news – but this was my first in-person view of the Virrata. Slightly similar to the popular Kinvara 3, the Virrata weighs less (184g for a men’s size 9). If I had only looked at the sole I would have bet my money that it was the sole of a Hattori – same colour, material, and very similar tread pattern (a triangular lug design). Very flexible too…

The Virrata offers a good deal of room in the toe box, which is essential for good, natural running form. There is zero drop (0mm) from heel to toe making it a good option for barefoot and minimal running shoe lovers. The upper is also very breathable, with its mono mesh, and looks the part too with its reflective details.

In Rainbows

Saucony’s full range of shoes could almost be classed as psychedelic. There are barely any sensible colour options (black/black). Triathletes will love this colour-pumped ‘look-at-me’ range (as do I), but I do wonder if the distinct lack of ‘sensible’ colour schemes may put a number of people off. Time will tell.

The Kinvara TR2

For me, the star of the show was the Kinvara TR2: Very easy on the eye, looks geared for maximum performance on the trails, and features a minimal 4mm offset from heel to toe. Can’t wait to get my hands on a pair in my size!!

Saucony Kinvara TR2 Natural Barefoot Running Range from Feetus.co.uk

Running Porn: The Saucony Kinvara TR2

Another One To Watch: The Saucony Unleash SD

This is not one I have seen in the flesh – but the Saucony Unleash SD looks realy nice. Although it is a shoe designed for shot put, discus and hammer throwers, I think this shoe looks really cool, similar in style to the Hattori. I wonder if it’s suitable for running? What do you think?

Saucony Unleash SD Shot Put Hammer Discus Natural Barefoot Running Range from Feetus.co.uk

The Saucony Unleash SD – Can you run in these?

I’ll post some post-run reviews of these beauties in the near future. In the meantime, stay tuned: Facebook and Twitter

Gordon Pirie’s ‘Running Fast and Injury Free’ – A Must-Read for Aspiring Runners

Gordon Pirie’s ‘Running Fast and Injury Free’ – A Must-Read for Aspiring Runners

I first read this book back in 2009 whilst nursing a knee injury and trying to find a solution. Much of the content mirrors what Christopher McDougall covered in his bestseller Born to Run, and other subsequent running publications related to running performance.

Go Barefoot or Go Minimalist

He points out that no professional athletes compete in “overstuffed, wedge-heeled orthopaedic boots that most joggers wear”, and that “the difference between running in bare feet and in the typical jogging shoe can be up to 30 seconds a mile.” As such, Pirie always advised his trainees to wear the lightest shoe they could find. “These shoes” Pirie continues “should have the same amount of padding at the front under the toes as at the rear, with no wedged or flared heels.”

Technique

In Running Fast and Injury Free, Pirie’s advocated technique is not too dissimilar to the POSE Technique, or what is commonly regarded as the natural / barefoot style. He advises taking shorter steps (3-5 steps per second) as opposed to striding and heel-striking, which wastes energy on vertical movement of the body (Joggers ‘bobbing’ up and down). He also describes his collaboration with Adidas-founder Adolf ‘Adi’ Dassler on designing running shoes.

Performance Gains

Pirie was a controversial character, and he doesn’t shy away from the odd controversial statement in this book. It is at times contradictory (“walking damages running”, then later adding he would add 4-hour walking sessions to his training. Yet ‘Running Fast and Injury Free’ is still an enjoyable read with some fantastic advice, and by taking heed of some of Pirie words you will probably cover more ground faster.

Running Barefoot Minimalist Fast and Injury Free Gordon Pirie Feetus.co.uk

Zapotek, Mimoun, and Gordon Pirie lead the way in the 1952 10,000m Final
(Also notice Sando (84) missing his left shoe!)

You can both read the book for free online, or download the PDF here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/13695/Gordon-Piries-Running-Fast-and-Injury-Fre

Gordon Pirie’s Laws of Running:

  1. Running with correct technique (even in prepared bare feet), on any surface, is injury free.
  2. Running equals springing through the air, landing elastically on the forefoot with a flexed knee (thus producing quiet feet). On landing, the foot should be directly below the body. (Walking is landing on the heels with a straight leg).
  3. Any and all additions to the body damage running skill.
  4. Quality beats quantity; the speed at which you practice the most will be your best speed.
  5. Walking damages running.
  6. The correct running tempo for human beings is between three and five steps per second.
  7. Arm power is directly proportional to leg power.
  8. Good posture is critical to running. (Don’t lean forwards!).
  9. Speed kills endurance; endurance kills speed.
  10. Each individual can only execute one “Program” at any one time; an individual can be identified by his or her idiosyncrasies (i.e. “Program”). An individual can change his or her “Program” only by a determined, educational effort; each individual’s Program” degenerates unless it is controlled constantly.
  11. Static stretching exercises cause injuries!
  12. Running equals being out of breath, so breathing through the mouth is obligatory (hence the nickname “Puff Puff Pirie”).

Thanks for reading. Feel free to share your thoughts and comment on this post.

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