Posted by Andrew Rademacher on 10/8/2012
Posted by Administrator on 1/12/2012
Posted by Andrew Rademacher on 1/4/2012
Posted by on 6/3/2011
I had never heard of these shoes, nor had I heard of the company “Stem” before. However, as I started to research them, everything I could find I liked and decided to give it a shot. My assumption was that I would review a concept shoe and provide feedback for a ton of tweaks and that maybe in a year or 2, after several revisions, they might be someone putting out a decent shoe, who knows. I was wrong. Dead wrong.
The look fantastic, like a really nice pair of casual dock shoes that you would buy at any nice retailer. Then you pick them up and they weigh virtually nothing (6 oz) and feel like they have no solid substance at all. Here’s a summary of what I found and my conclusions at the end of testing.
- As stated, the shoes look great – best looking (obviously opinion based here) minimalist shoe I’ve seen.
- Very light weight (coming in at a stated 6 oz)
- The lace system is wide and non-binding and ends in a zip cord type “cinch” (like on a rucksack) instead of tying. This was actually one thing I wasn’t a big fan of (preference) and I actually cut the cinch off and just converted them into a traditional tie lace. To me it hung down too far (dangled) but I would imagine that part of that was from the shoes being so big on me.
- The shoes are cool (temperature wise), vented well, and didn’t cause undue sweat. I did not get them wet, now that I think about it, so can’t emphatically comment on that but the fact that the upper is vented and there is no insole tells me they would be at home pretty well with water.
- Flexibility, flexibility, flexibility. The flexibility was honestly second to none. Though the sole feels solid and showed no sign of wear during my testing, it moves like a sock – not a single spot of solidity to be found
- Great toebox: the shoes are wide throughout with great room in the toebox for toe splay (completely rounded front end – no point).
- These shoes had a ground feel that, for me, was second to none in a shoe. Let’s face it, all of the above is great, but ground feel is what sells me and most minimalist minded shoe patrons. The ground feel is simply superb, by the far the best I’ve had in a shoe.
So I tried these shoes expecting nothing from them, the sock-liner was baby pink (“lavender” as the box said), and they were a size to a size and ½ too big for me, and yet they are a “best of” in this review series already, hands down. My shoes, er hat, off to the guys at Stem… this sample that they sent me, not even a production shoe yet, is absolutely superb. Well done, A+
Author of "Second Wind: the running coach you never had but always needed"
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Posted by on 5/17/2011
Posted by on 2/16/2011
"STEM Footwear, a new company on the minimalist footwear block, was extremely generous with us by providing two pairs of their pre-production samples of the STEM Primal Origins line: one women’s and one men’s. My first impression was undoubtedly WOW!"
Check out The Living Barefoot Show and listen to one of their interviews of the some of the intriguing players in the Barefoot and Minimalist Movement. www.livingbarefoot.info
Posted by on 2/12/2011
There is no noticeable toe spring visible and if there is, the shoe is so soft and flexible that your toes have nothing to fight against. Your toes will splay and flex without restrictions.
Who are these shoes for?
It’s for everyone who wants to get back to their roots and feel the ground again. We have weakened our feet over time with traditional shoes and thus losing touch with one of our vital senses – proprioception, the outsole-to-insole-to brain sensory feedback system. STEM believes that by strengthening the muscles in your feet, you are inadvertently strengthening your entire body.
If you need a casual or recovery shoe and you’re ready to feel the ground, then the STEM Origins line of shoes is for you. Ground feel is much better in my Primal Origins than in my VFF KSO. And walking with VFF KSO is not comfortable at all for long distances especially hilly asphalt and concrete – it’s more of a joyful feeling when I walk with my Primal Origins. For those who are not used to walking barefoot, you will feel the ground more than you will ever feel. By increasing sensation to all 200,000 nerve endings in your feet, you enhance sensory perception and improve circulation.
The STEM Origins has definitely proven itself to be an ultra-minimalist shoe. STEM Origins line has 5 colorways models planned for Fall 2011 with a August 1 delivery date. For Women’s (sizes EU36-41), the Primal Origins in Frost Grey, and Survival Origins in Earth Brown and Lavender. For Men’s (size EU41-47), the Primal Origins in Slate Grey, Survival Origins in Earth Brown and Khaki, and Natural Origins in Moss Green. They are already taking pre-orders so you might get your order in early!
You can also find STEM Origins in a store in the future – it will be displayed with other sandals and casual shoes in a hook on an end cap or on a wall.
For those with super-wide feet or those with toes that are linear (many toes line up horizontally), you might want to size up by a half size. Notice the tip of the shoe curves in a little.
*Product provided by STEM Footwear (MSRP $85).
If you have a product you’d like reviewed, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org