RunBARE with STEM Interview Video

Posted by on 2/23/2011

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Salt Lake City, UT- Michael Sandler, author of Barefoot Running Book, interviews the creator of STEM Footwear.
The video was taken at the Outdoor Retailer Tradeshow Jan. 22, 2011.
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Sneak Peek by Tina on Living Barefoot Radio

Posted by on 2/16/2011

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Tina Dubois, a writer for the Living Barefoot Radio Show got the opportunity to try out STEM's and gave her opinion on their site www.Livingbarefoot.info.  Here are some of her words.  To read the full article click Sneak Peek:

"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!"

"I was told to expect this shoe to be ‘light’ but after handling it, I was blown away. The shoe, in a men’s size 9.5 weighs 5 ¾ ounces on my scale (the company reports them at 6.3 ounces but I weigh all received review shoes on this scale so it’s an acceptable comparison for me). Usually I weigh shoes that are much smaller than this at a comparable weight, so I can’t wait to see what the shoe in my size weighs, that being women’s size 8."
"The sole is absolutely the most flexible of the full-uppered minimalist shoes to date. It easily folds in every direction, even upside down and twisted around, with very little effort. Although it is 6 mm thick, it feels much thinner because of its extreme malleability. It also feels uniform in height across the length."
"The upper is simply amazing. It is so soft against skin this shoe could easily be worn without socks. The vamp is made with breathable mesh so there should be no worry about overly sweaty feet. The upper is made with no stiff construction and yet reforms to its original shape after twisting the shoe in every direction conceivable. This shoe is so comfortable it feels a lot more like a slipper than it does a lifestyle shoe."  quotes by Tina Dubois

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
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STEM Booth at OR Show

Posted by Andrew Rademacher on 2/13/2011

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Wow.  Our first OR Show was an incredible trip and overwhelming success we will never forget.  The booth was so busy we had to wait until after show hours to be able to take a picture.  Over the fours days and  36 hours of showtime the Booth looked more like the picture below this one.
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We shared our story with everyone we could: clients, consumers and even competitors.  Our philosophy is to educate people about living an more natural and healthy lifestyle by starting with the understanding "it all STEM's from the ground up" and so we did not exclude anyone from hearing our story.  We had such great conversations about shoes, bare feet, our evolution, foot pain, and so many others topics and that's what made it such a touching experience for us.

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We had all types of people try on STEM's: people that wear Fivefingers, people that never would, people that sometimes like to go barefoot, and people that their doctors told them never to go without shoes.  Everyone was first shocked how lightweight they are (6.3oz.) and then how comfy they felt.  One guy was so excited that he offered to pay as much as he had to, in order to get a pair.  It was the first pair of shoes that he EVER put on that didn't hurt his bunion joint.  We cut a deal with him so he walked out with the first pair of STEM's ever sold.

Another guy tried on STEM's and said it was the first pair of shoes that he wanted that were made by "someone other than himself."  He is a professional shoe tailor and has made all his own shoes for 40 years.  He stopped by the booth all four days of the Show asking if he could buy a pair yet.
Our old friends, Micheal and Jessica Sandler, authors of Barefoot Running and RunBARE, paid us a visit.  Also in the picture is Mike (world's greatest salesperson) and David getting their 15 minutes of fame next to the stars.  We are so thankful to have had the chance to work along side David, or should I say Dr. Lesher, he takes Natural and Ancestral Health to new heights in his lifestyle and just like Michael and Jessica inspires us.  Check out his blog
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I had to show this, check out Jessica's TOES.  She's gained back the dexterity so much that she can pick up a baseball with her feet, like it's her hand.  Absolutely incredible.
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To wrap up the end of the Show, it was such a hit that none of us could have ever prepared for it.  Now we look forward to continuing the conversation, changing people's lives and spreading STEM seeds everywhere.  Look for some taking root in your area.  That's me in the center, my fiance and our Marketing VP, Allie, and my father John.  Thanks to everyone who worked to make the Show happen from our booth builder to our print designer, sales team and logistics planners.

written by Andrew
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Review by MinimalistRunningShoes.org

Posted by on 2/12/2011

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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.
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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.
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The 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.
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The shoe weighed in at 6.2 ounces on my digital scales. But it sure feels lighter than that.
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The 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
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The 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.
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The 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.
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There 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

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.

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Some closeups on the attention to details in the heel and uppers.
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Here’s a video giving you a better view of the shoe than flat photographs. I took it while un-boxing the shoes.
STEM 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?

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.
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Get back to your roots and feel the ground again with STEM Origins.

http://www.stemfootwear.com

*Product provided by STEM Footwear (MSRP $85).

If you have a product you’d like reviewed, contact me at info@minimalistrunningshoes.org
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Fan Mail

Posted by on 2/10/2011

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Hi Andrew,

"My name is Chris Mello and when I found out you were a pole vaulter I just had to write to you. I love what you're doing with Stem Footwear. I was a pole vaulter in high school for two seasons and for a year and a half in college. I haven't vaulted very high. my PR was 14 feet in high school and I never bettered it in college. Like you, I suffered from a host of injuries; heel bursitis, plantar fasciitis, posterior tibilias tendonitis, patella tendonitis, and the worst of all for me: compartment syndrome. I saw a number of orthopedists and other doctors and none of them had answers (some suggested it was in my head!). Needless to say, I was very frustrated. In college, I finally quit athletics all together because I grew to hate running so much as it was very painful. Well, after that I started hiking a lot more and found out that I could run on the trails without pain. Without knowing, it was because I shortened my stride and started landing more towards the midfoot. This year I started out running completely barefoot, and it has been wonderful so far. I wanted to do to much to soon, so I've had to back off a bit. I don't know why I didn't realize this earlier, but when I was younger and through high school I was always as fast as the fastest kids when I was barefoot, but throw on a pair of sneakers and it slowed me down."

regards,
chris
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"Great Toe" positioning

Posted by on 2/4/2011

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The Great Toe, otherwise know as the Big Toe, is the centerpiece in so many foot functions.  Simply correcting the positioning of the Great Toe and giving the other toes space to splay can cure pain from plantar fasciitis to bunions, and neuropathology (numbness).  There is a great product designed by a podiatrist at NW Foot & Ankle, Dr. Ray McClanahan.  His product called Correct Toes can be worn barefoot or with shoes with a wide toebox such as STEMs.  Correct Toes will undo and un-deform what years of wearing poorly designed shoes has done to our toes.  It's truly miraculous.

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