Posted by on 2/12/2011 to Reviews
The following is a review written by Nicholas, author of minimalistrunningshoes.org
I first ran across STEM Footwear
last year after I read the “The World is Flat… if You Are a Foot” by Dr. Mark Cucuzzella of Two Rivers Treads
and Andrew Rademacher
of STEM. I had been in touch with Andrew since then and they finally
delivered their first Origins samples at the Winter Outdoor Retailer
Show last month. And I’m very fortunate to receive a STEM Primal Origins
in my shoe size to wear test last week.
The first impression I have is: the shoe is so light, soft, and super-flexible! I have never worn a pair of shoes like this ever.
It feels like a hybrid of a glove, slipper (as in ballet), and martial
arts shoe, with the best of each rolled into one. And it became an
instant recovery and wellness shoe for me.
shoe is completely collapsible so I had to test it out. I rolled the
shoe up from toe to heel in addition to twisting it left and right
along the heel-to-toe axis – amazing flexibility. And it unrolled back to it normal shape flawlessly – no visible wrinkles or permanent folds remained.
The shoe weighed in at 6.2 ounces on my digital scales. But it sure feels lighter than that.
outsole is a thin 6mm and allows even better ground feel than my VFF
KSO! The air injection rubber used replicates skin elasticity
(replicates the physical properties of human skin) and this technology
is new and unique – I’m sure Andrew is patenting it
uppers is made of a breathable air mesh and the shoe is designed to be
worn without socks. No worries about sweaty feet. Worried about the
toe box? The soft uppers and wide toe box accommodated my 2E wide feet
with compression recovery socks – it has room to spare! The natural
foot shape fit with a wide toe box makes the shoe complete.
lacing system is comprised of a quick-release draw chord so you can
put on or take off your shoes quickly and easily. This is actually
better the easy slip-on like those on the New Balance Minimus Wellness
or Zoot Ultra Speed because with the chord, you can get a better midfoot
wrap and support. Tighten or loosen the laces depending on the
activity you are performing.
are no inserts and the stitching is seamless for barefoot wear. After
walking for over 10 miles in the first two in these shoes, they do feel
like an extension of your feet! I’ve since put in a lot more miles
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.
Some closeups on the attention to details in the heel and uppers.
Here’s a video giving you a better view of the shoe than flat photographs. I took it while un-boxing the shoes.
shoes also proudly incorporate the 3 R’s (Reduce, Recycle, Reuse) when
it comes to being green and eco-conscious. And they started
decreasing their eco-footprint with reducing –
less wasted material, less excess scrap, and elimination of
unnecessary material altogether. They don’t use any leather (go vegan!)
but only natural grown fibers.
Who are these shoes for?
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.