Hi All! I had contacted Kigo about a question on the Edge and I was told that these are the replacement for another model they have called the Shel. Here is a link to the site that shows the Shel model (for men & women). This model is on sale now since it's being replaced by the Edge. The Edge is currently priced @ $69.99. The Shel is sale price $39.99. There are 6 color options to choose from. The gray with orange stitch and gray/green combo have the most sizes still available. Grab them while they last...
Note: This review was originally published in barefootcanada.ca on October 20, 2010.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to try out a pair of Edge minimalist shoes by Kigo. Since I’m predominantly a barefooter, I haven’t really worn them for extended periods, other than a couple of times at the office, when I kept them on all day to purposely get a good feel for them. After this trial period, here are my impressions…
At first glance, the Kigo Edge shoes remind me of a stylized pair of aqua socks. However, they translate into a nice looking pair of casual sneakers if worn with jeans or other casual pants or shorts. Being slip-ons, they are easy to put on and take off; which I found convenient, as I often tend to use minimalist shoes as a “backup”, instead of flip-flops, to carry around and to use when I need to get into places where I simply can’t enter while barefooted. I got the grey with white stitching model, however, they are available in a few other colour combinations including grey/green and grey/orange combinations.
The Kigo Edge are Manufactured from recycled and eco-friendly materials, including rubber soles, EVA insoles, and uppers made of post-consumer recycled materials. I would say that they look average in quality: they don’t look or feel like a luxury item, but they are definitely a few steps above the economy/basic product quality.
They are also easy to clean and maintain, as they are machine or hand washable and they dry within a couple of hours in a well ventilated area or even faster in the sun.
Cost and Availability
At a suggested retail price of US$69.99, they are better priced than most minimalist footwear options I’ve seen out there. Nevertheless, I still think they are a bit pricy for what they are. I believe, a more appropriate price point would be in the range of US$30 – 40.
I’m however, pleased to tell you that they are available in Canada via the manufacturer’s online store (kigofootwear.com), or at Fast Trax Run & Ski Shop (fasttraxskishop.com).
I must say, I’m impressed with the texture of the material used for the uppers and the insoles. The soft and supple finishes feel almost like smooth socks against the skin. The Kigo Edge shoes are lightweight – each shoe is about 5 oz (4 oz if the insoles are removed). They feature flexible rubber soles with non-slip treading – the fingerprint pattern on the soles got me some good comments from my co-workers at the office.
Due to their flexibility, the Edge flatten and fold easily, making them a good choice as backup footwear because they fit nicely into a small bag or even a cargo pocket in a pair of shorts or pants.
The Edge shoes seem to be designed to fit snugly, therefore I find the style somewhat narrow. This can pose some challenges for people with wider feet. I don’t have particularly wide feet, but my instep is a slightly high, so I found my toes were held together against each other in a slightly uncomfortable position.
They also seem to be built in a slightly smaller scale than most other shoes. For instance, I usually wear shoes size 11.5 or 12 US (44 – 45 EUR). My pair of Edge is a 12.5 and I found them to be a bit too tight overall when I first put them on. Being made of flexible material, they felt better as the day progressed. I think they will eventually stretch to give my toes more room but I’m not sure how long it will take in my case, since I don’t wear them regularly.
In my particular case, because I’m completely barefoot most of the time, and having such tactile feet, that simply love the feel of the actual ground underfoot, give me a slightly different perspective when it comes to assessing minimalist footwear than the one from someone who is used to having footwear on most of the time: I’m way too aware of having something on my feet whenever I wear anything on them – especially snugly fitted items. My feet get claustrophobic very quickly. All this being said, here is what I think (as objectively as possible) of the Kigo Edge:
What became very apparent from the beginning was the Edge’s poor breathability. Wearing them at work, I recall my feet feeling too warm a lot of the time – even when sitting perfectly still at my desk for long periods at my desk , when my feet often tend to get too cold from lack of movement. Especially, during and after a cardio workout, I found that both my feet and the shoes were quite damp and clammy from my perspiration. This cannot be any farther from an actual barefooting experience where feet stay dry most of the time at all times due to natural perspiration evaporation. However, the shoes seemed to dry within a reasonable time (maybe an hour or so), once they were off my feet and in a ventilated area.
Again, they seem to be designed too tight for my taste. I would like to see a version of these shoes with a wider toe box, which would allow my toes for a more natural range of motion.
Although the rubber soles feature good flexibility, and a thickness of 1.5 mm at the thinnest part (near the ball of the foot) and 3.5 mm at the thickest part (in the heel area), they still feel too thick for me to be considered “minimalist” shoes – they muffle too much the ground feel under the soles, so there is not enough “biofeedback.
Both the tightness and the feel underfoot can be improved slightly by removing the insoles.
For a barefooter like myself, I would consider the Kigo Edge shoes to be a good option to have as backup footwear for those situations where bare feet are simply not an option, and one needs something that is light, easy to carry and to put on and/or take off relatively quickly. I can also see myself wearing these shoes in areas with extra rough terrain, where I’d need some extra protection under my soles (e.g. gravel/stony paths). However, I would not recommend these shoes to be worn for extended periods due to their narrow design, as well as their poor breathability.
I definitely like them. I might say they could be the perfect minimalist barefoot-like shoes except one thing : there isn't enough space for the toes in the front. Too bad because the sole is perfect : flexible, no thickness, the shoe stays in place while running, the materials used are comfortable.
Freelance writer for JOGGING INTERNATIONAL magazine
Freelance writer for http://runners.fr
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