Ok, so we have managed to kick-start a new community resource here. I would love to know what you guys would like to see to make this the BEST resource, and community for barefoot/minimalist footwear enthusiasts. Anyone have suggestions?
Have you considered adding a section for members to discuss equipment and electronics? Creating a forum where members can review and discuss products from Garmin, Timex, Nike, etc. could be a useful addition to the site.
There are three things I would find useful:
1) science based analysis for minimalist approach: articles or links to things like http://www.barefootrunning.fas.harvard.edu/
2) articles on technique... how to transition to minimalist foot wear, how to evaluate and improve the efficiency of your stride, etc
3) Reviews which compare / contract products. This could be high level market survey (like what backpackinglight.com periodically does), or just "bake-off" comparisons. These sort of comparisons really help me know how to interpret a reviewers comments when they are comparing something I don't know, to something I do know.
A small thing perhaps: I think something that would be useful would be a way to thumbs up or favorite or thank a post/post's author. If there was such, I'd thumbs up verber's post above. I wouldn't like to see any thumbs down option though.
I also like BB forums' ability to give star ratings to threads. That does need to be monitored though, to discourage spamming.
I'd like us to have a resources page, which would include useful links, of which I have a few; and I'm sure many of the other members of this site have many more.
I've seen some good youtube videos too. If we started a Facebook page for Toe Salad, the videos could be embedded there. I've done a "barefoot" search at Facebook and looked at the results, and there's definitely room for a minimalist-footwear-cum-barefoot page.
Woops - I've discovered that there already is a Toe Salad Facebook page. I'm now its 4th Like :-)
Damien, let me know if/when you'd like to contact Tim Brennan, creator of the Vivo Barefoot technology, for interview, comments, article(s) etc, since he's a friend of mine. He's a designer, but he also did a lot of research into foot biomechanics before he completed the design.
This is his blog:
I think it would be great if you would allow a location on the site for minimalist advocacy. A place for the activists among us to organize:
1) Product design wish-lists for manufacturers.
I don't care if Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Reebok, etc. decide to make minimalist shoes. But if they are going to, I would rather they make their designs based on input from the minimalist community. For example, the minimal community seems to strongly advocate for a very large toe box, straigt last, and real-foot-shaped shoe. Sadly the big companies are currently viewing minimalist as refering only to the sole (thickness, heel rise). Maybe the biggies won't care (mostly because they think a truly minimal shoe will look "goofy" and thus not sell). But let's make sure they know what we want, and that we will pay more to buy shoes from boutique companies that give us what we want, and will not buy half-measures from them.
2) Petitions to government agencies, businesses, restaurants, stores, gyms, schools, etc. to allow their patrons/customers/students/employess to be barefoot in their buildings/establishments. We need to start lobbying for barefoot access now. It will likely take many years to get much cooperation. So, if we start politely asking now, we can move toward rewarding barefoot tolerant establishments. Voting with our consumer dollars is the best pressure, but we can only do this if we make it known that barefoot access is a VERY IMPORTANT factor in our decision where to spend our money.