Monthly Archives: May 2013

New Balance Minimus 10v2 Trail Review

A Great All-Purpose Transition Shoe
I usually have a hard time reviewing transition shoes and, I must admit, the New Balance (NB) Minimus 10v2 Trail is the first one I’ve really liked. Despite the 4 mm drop, I find wearing the shoe incredibly comfortable and I’ve often forgot that this is a transition rather than a full minimalist shoe. NB improved some features from their original Minimus 10 Trail to create an enjoyable ride and a nearly minimalist feel.

Quick Details
Price: $110 USD
Width: Narrow to Average in B Width, also offered in a D width
Sole Thickness: 8.5 mm Forefoot, 12.5 mm Heel
Drop: 4 mm
Weight: 5 3/8 ounces or 152 grams
Insole: None included
Sizing: 5–12 for women; 7–14 for men; Half sizes available; Fits true to size
Category: Transition Road/Light Trail Running Shoe

Comfort & Fit
I was pleasantly surprised to discover how comfortable the 10v2 Trail is. The upper lining is made mostly of a synthetic mesh that is soft against the skin. There are also no obtrusive seams or edges. There is considerable padding in the heel area that I found distracting at first but has form fitted to the shape of my heel and is quite comfortable now. These can be worn with or without socks comfortably.

The most significant, and extremely welcome, update the 10v2 Trail received is in the material making the band across the forefoot. The previous 10 Trail had a rubber forefoot band that I found most constricting but the new synthetic material is thinner and much more flexible, although it is definitely not stretchy. It does, however, provide room enough for my wide feet to feel comfortable while walking and only mildly constrained while running. The review pair is a B width but this model is offered in a D width for those with wider feet, which is a fantastic option.

There is no insole included in the shoe but the footbed is soft and flat across the length of the shoe.

Barefoot Feel & Function
Compared to a true minimal shoe, the 10v2 Trail is not that flexible and therefore does not have a lot of ground feel, but they do have minimal cushioning. Compared to a full traditional running shoe, the 10v2 Trail does bend around gross ground contours in the forefoot area but less so in the heel. This is not the shoe to try if you are hoping to feel the ground, however, if your running takes you to areas with roughterrains and you don’t want to feel the sharp edges, these may be a good choice for you.

With their 4 mm drop, they do not allow your ankles and feet to function as they would barefoot. They do not have an arch support included but the midfoot is quite narrow so you may feel the rise of the medial side of the shoe under your arch if you have a wide, flat foot. If this is the case, again, you have the option of choosing the D width shoe. They do have a pleasantly uniform grip depth across their outsole resulting in a smooth transfer of weight throughout the gait.

The 10v2 Trail is one of the lightest trail shoes I’ve reviewed and they feel amazingly light out on the trail.

Upper Qualities
The upper is made of a lightweight mesh with flexible but not stretchy overlays across the forefoot and wrapping the heel. Where it is just mesh, the upper breathes quite well, but does allow water to pass through easily. There is no break-in period for this shoe but the upper does get softer with wear and the padding in the heel cup will likely form fit to the shape of your heel with time as well.

As the upper is mostly mesh, dirt will collect in the upper of the shoe. When they need some cleaning, a machine wash and air dry should remove that trail dirt.

Sole Qualities
The sole is made of a Vibram outsole and an Acteva midsole for cushioning. The sole thickness, or stack height, is 8.5 mm at the forefoot and 12.5 mm at the heel with a total heel drop of 4.0 mm. It is the most flexible in the forefoot area but there is still some flex in the midfoot and heel areas. There is no arch support designed into the shoe but if you have a considerably wide foot, you may feel the lip of the medial outsole against your arch. If this is the case, you may consider trying the D width option.

Overall Quality
The quality of the materials and manufacturing are both excellent. There are no flaws in the review pair. There are quite a number of seams but they appear perfectly stitched. These shoes will likely last a long time with their durable materials and construction.

Style
The 10v2 Trail shoes look like rugged, low profile, runners with some logo flair. New Balance provides their customers with the choice of quiet minimalism to conversation piece footwear in the 10v2 colourways, offering three styles for both men and women ranging from subdued to extra loud. Other than the colour selection, there are not a lot of extras to these shoes in terms of looks, minimizing their fashion over function, which is exactly how I like my shoes.

Uses
As a transition shoe with a 4 mm drop, these are probably not the best choice for committed natural runners or walkers. However, if you are transitioning from a more cushioned runner to something more minimal, these may be the shoe for you. They have more than sufficient traction for dry or wet road running and enough of a grip depth for light trail use in both dry and wet conditions as well. I would not recommend them for extreme or excessively muddy trails because of their lack of lugs. Their diminished ground feel make them a good choice for sharp trails as well for those of us who don’t necessarily want to feel every rock edge while we run. They are comfortable enough to be a good all-purpose shoe option if you’re trying to step down from conventional to more minimal footwear.

Value
At $110 USD, the 10v2 Trail is priced competitively in the trail shoe category. Due to their rugged construction and predicted longevity, I think they are worth this price.

Summary
The Minimus 10v2 Trail received minor updates from their original predecessor shoe but these updates considerably improve their functionality as a minimalist running shoe, despite the 4 mm drop that classifies them as a transition shoe by my definition. The much more flexible forefoot band greatly improves the shoe’s overall comfort. The reduced rubber in the outsole makes them even lighter than the original as well. The whole shoe is comfortable and gets more so with wear with the form-fitting heel padding. Although they do not have the greatest ground feel, sometimes there are runs where you just don’t want to feel all the sharp edges, and for those, these are a great option.

For more information about the New Balance Minimus 10v2 Trail or any of their other models, you can check out their website at NewBalance.com.

New Balance Minimus 10v2 Road Review

A Revolution in design for the NB Minimus 10v2 Road Transition Shoe
New Balance (NB) is definitely one of those companies that asks for feedback from their customers and delivers on change when needed. This year’s NB Minimus 10v2 Road is a complete redesign from the previous version with a new upper and outsole. Although not a minimal shoe by my definition, it is a transition shoe for those runners wishing to step down from a conventional running shoe to something lighter and with less cushioning.

Quick Details
Price: $110 USD
Width: Narrow to Average in B Width, also offered in a D width
Sole Thickness: ~15 mm Forefoot, ~19 mm Heel
Drop: 4 mm
Weight: 5 3/8 ounces or 152 grams
Insole: None included
Sizing: 5–12 for women; 7–14 for men; Half sizes available; Fits true to size
Category: Transition Road/Light Trail Running

Comfort & Fit
As a minimalist shoe expert, the Minimus 10v2 Road is just not comfortable for me. I can feel the heel rise in my posture and I can definitely feel the arch support of the medial outsole design. More than that though, although the shoe is wide enough to wear, with every step the inside of my midfoot feels the constraint of the upper right below my big toe joint where the dark blue band extends from above the laces to the inside of the shoe. It may be because there’s a seam on the inside of the shoe at this point or it may be due to a lack of stretch in the dark blue band but either way, I find it uncomfortable. So uncomfortable, in fact, that I have only wear tested these shoes in and around my house. Every time I thought I would wear test them for a walk with the dogs (always my first real test of a review shoe), I’ve reconsidered because my feet are just so unhappy wearing them.

Although the shoe design doesn’t feel that comfortable for me, the upper itself is quite soft, especially around the collar. The mono-tongue design is pleasantly padded and a welcome feature imported from the Minimus Road Zero (reviewed here).

The review pair is a B width and it fits wide enough to walk around in but would not be wide enough for my extra wide feet to splay properly for running. They are, however, available in a D width, which is a great feature, although I don’t know how much wider they would be than the B as I haven’t seen the wider pair.

There is no insole included with the 10v2 Road and the footbed material is quite soft to the bottom of the feet. I have noticed in both shoes of the review pair that the footbed interface at the top of the shoes does not lay flat and I’m not sure if it’s a flaw in this pair or in the design of the interface between outsole and upper at the top of the shoe. Either way, it is not uncomfortable either and I can feel the bumps underfoot even with socks on.

Barefoot Feel & Function
There is practically no ground feel with this shoe. Only the middle of the forefoot area of the outsole is the least bit flexible and I couldn’t even feel gravel underfoot. They are incredibly lightweight so if you are wanting a somewhat more conventional feel in the proprioceptive department but want a shoe that’s light, this may be the shoe for you. They have more than sufficient grip for wet or dry road running and dry light trails.

Upper Qualities
The upper is fully synthetic with a mix of lightweight mesh on the outside, a pod-designed padding in the middle, and a soft close-weave material on the inside next to the skin. The sandwich construction upper is somewhat breathable but your feet won’t exactly be feeling the breeze. They are not water resistant as water easily passes through the mesh outside right through to the skin.

Sole Qualities
The outsole is a Vibram Road Lite compound which should last a long time on abrasive road surfaces. There is also a RevLite cushioning foam which dampens proprioception and offers some bounce underfoot. At ~16 mm at the heel with a 4 mm drop, there is next to no ground feel. Only the middle of the forefoot area is flexible and other than gross bending, the arch and heel do not flex at all. The midfoot is designed so narrowly that the lip of the outsole at the arch feels every bit like an arch support.

Overall Quality
I have no doubt that the outsole durability is excellent and will last a long time even on abrasive road surfaces. The upper materials appear of good quality and will likely last quite a while as well, although I suspect that the upper will fail first with extended wear. As mentioned above, I’m not sure if the uneven footbed at the top of the shoe is a manufacturing or design flaw but either way, the 10v2 loses quality points for this issue.

Style
New Balance does know how to make a cool-looking shoe. Despite the loud colour scheme of the review pair, I like the palette and design details in the logo and the heel area. The 10v2s are available in three somewhat loud colourways for both men and women.

Uses
The only use I can think of for this model is for a runner who is looking to step down from a full conventional shoe with a little less cushioning, heel rise, and arch support but isn’t quite ready to try a fully minimal shoe, which is basically the definition of a transition shoe. Because this model is offered in both B and D widths, it is probably suitable for anyone with a narrow or wide foot.

Value
At $110 USD, the 10v2 is priced at the upper end of the mid-range of minimalist and conventional running shoes. If it fits you well and you find it comfortable, its long-lasting durable outsole makes this shoe worth the price.

Summary
I have a difficult time reviewing transition shoes but I do see their value as an option for runners looking for that in-between shoe that is less than conventional but more than minimal. The Minimus 10v2 is a transition shoe suitable for road or light trail running and will likely fit a wide range of foot widths due to its B and D width options. Although I don’t find it comfortable, those more used to a conventional shoe will likely not notice the fit issues that bother me as a minimalist shoe expert. I am concerned, however, about the footbed quality issues aside from the fit issues.

For more information on the Minimus 10v2 Road for either men or women, you can check out the New Balance website at NewBalance.com.

Sockwa G3 Review

Ultra-thin, lightweight, packable, versatile minimalist footwear “for people who’d rather go barefoot”
Sockwa’s marketing is spot on with their tag line above. The G3 is absolutely one of the most minimal shoes I’ve reviewed to date and they are perfect for people who would rather not wear shoes at all but need something light and easy to pack for occasions when you need to slip something on your feet. Their stretchy upper conforms to the shape of your feet and the ultra-thin outsole provides plenty of proprioception. This shoe is pretty close to perfect for those who want maximum ground feel when they are forced to wear some kind of shoe.

Quick Details
Price: $49
Width: Narrow to Extra Wide
Sole Thickness: 1.2 mm
Drop: 0 mm
Weight: 2 5/8 ounces or 76 grams
Insole: None Included
Sizing: 5–13; Full sizes only; Fits true to size by foot length
Category: Beach Shoe or Casual

Comfort & Fit
These shoes are so comfortable they feel more like socks than they do shoes. The upper is soft and stretchy, and conforms to the shape of your foot. The seams are flat and not at all noticeable to the skin. The anatomical foot shape design gives plenty of room for wide feet while still hugging a narrower width foot. The elastic collar keeps the shoe in place well without any binding.

The Sockwa website has a handy Size Chart based on foot length so you can be assured of the correct size. If you have any questions, their friendly customer service is also available to answer sizing questions, which I had and can report an excellent and helpful experience.

Barefoot Feel & Function
The 1.2 mm outsole provides phenomenal ground feel. The G3 seriously has one of the best barefoot feel of any footwear I have tried (which is ranging well above 50 at this point). Sockwa has managed this amazing ground feel while continuing to provide more than sufficient traction for man-made and dry natural surfaces without feeling any bumps underfoot. The rubber outsole envelops the foot so there are no edges underfoot either. The stretchy upper and flexible outsole also allows the foot to move naturally within the shoe.

In terms of weight, the G3 weighs little more than a sock. At just over 2 ounces, it is one of the lightest shoes I’ve reviewed to date and I easily forget I’m wearing them.

Upper Qualities
Although I am unable to find online what materials that the G3 are made of, the upper is fully synthetic and stretchy. The sides and collar are made of thicker material that unfortunately does not breathe. This is my only complaint of the whole shoe design. My feet do get quite sweaty wearing them. The tongue material of the G3 is thinner and breathable but does not allow enough air to keep my feet from feeling soaked after a short time.

The thick, neoprene-like upper material on the edges and around the collar is water resistant but once water covers the thin tongue material, it will go right through. Although there are no regular sand beaches around where I live, the silty, fine, sandy soil near our river did not get through the shoe and my feet stayed clean.

Sockwas are easily machine washed in cold water on a gentle cycle and can be dried on low or air dried.

Sole Qualities
The sole is 1.2 mm thick and made of very flexible, non-marking rubber. The shoe feels more like a sock so there is no arch support although the design of the outsole does hug your foot along the arch and a little under the toes.

Overall Quality
The quality of the materials seems excellent and despite several walks with the dogs on man-made and natural surfaces, the outsole still shows no wear. The upper material looks like it will last at least as long as the outsole as the high-wear areas, like above the toes, is a thick synthetic material.

The interface between the rubber sole and the synthetic upper is glued and there is some visible glue marks which you have to look very closely to see.

Style
The G3 looks like a neoprene sock with a simple, grey rubber outsole. They are extremely minimalist and low profile, which likely appeals to people who do not like flashy footwear. The logos are placed on the back, lateral sides in a similar shade but a shinier material so are not overly obtrusive. They are currently available in black, red, yellow, olive, and brown.

Uses
The Sockwa G3 is the perfect shoe for barefooters looking for something to slip on their feet for brief moments during mostly barefoot-friendly excursions. They are great for indoor or outdoor use. They are excellent travelling shoes as they are so lightweight and easily packable, able to fit in small bags easily. They are also perfect for water sports or beach use. I think they are a fantastic shoe for cyclists who may want footwear that is easy to pack when they want to walk around a bit in something other than a bike shoe.

If you are looking for a shoe with maximum ground feel for running, you can definitely use the Sockwa as it will stay on your feet, has great grip on dry surfaces However, because they do not breathe well, your feet will likely get extremely sweaty and they will not last that long with this kind of use as they are not designed for running purposes.

Value
The regular price for the G3 is listed at $49 USD (plus shipping if there is no retailer near you). Considering it is little more than a neoprene sock with a rubber outsole, this price may be hard to justify, but I do think it is one of the most comfortable, versatile, packable, and minimalist shoes on the market. With gentle use (i.e., not running), I suspect they will last at least a couple of seasons as well.

If $49 seems expensive for the G3, it is available RIGHT NOW on the Sockwa website for $29 USD. At that price, they are more than worth trying out!

Summary
The Sockwa G3 is almost the perfect, warm weather minimalist shoe. They are super comfortable, feeling more like a sock than a shoe and they have one of the best barefoot feel of any shoe I’ve reviewed to date. My only complaint is that they are not breathable and my feet get sweaty and feel soaked quite quickly in them. If you don’t have sweaty feet or you plan on wearing them in somewhat cooler temperatures, they may be the best minimalist shoe on the market for you.

Although I find the G3 not that breathable, Sockwa is producing a similar shoe marketed with improved breathability in the new X8, available this summer. If it has the same comfort, versatility, and minimalist properties as the G3, it may be the ultimate in minimalist footwear…

For more information on the G3 and Sockwa’s other products, you can check out their website at Sockwa.com.

Padraig Slippers Review

The most comfortable slippers EVER!
The most important thing to know about Padraig Slippers is that they are the most comfortable slippers both in terms of feel and temperature control I’ve ever tried. I had a trusty pair of slippers before these that I wore for 10 years that were made of cotton, leather, and a thin layer of foam but my new Padraig Slippers made of all-natural materials are far superior in every way. My feet are never too hot, cold, or sweaty with or without socks. I adore them and look forward to many years of happy, indoor foot comfort.

Quick Details
Price: $76 CAD Women’s; $84 CAD Men’s
Width: Narrow to Extra Wide
Sole Thickness: Leather and sheepskin
Drop: Zero
Weight: 5 ½ ounces or 156 grams
Insole: None
Sizing: Small–Extra Large; Sizing chart available
Category: Slippers

Comfort & Fit
I think the first paragraph sums up my feelings on how comfortable these are. They are wonderfully wide yet stay on well with the little lace of wool around the collar. I believe that any width of foot would be comfortable in these slippers. The sheepskin overlaying the leather outsole is in a word: awesome. The crocheted wool upper isn’t the least bit scratchy. The leather outsole wraps around the bottom of the foot so that the interface between it and the wool is not underfoot giving a smooth feel underfoot.

The Padraig Cottage website has a convenient sizing chart in their Store section to help with figuring out the appropriate size for you. I decided on a women’s large for my size 8 feet because I like to wear thick socks in the winter. There is plenty of room for this and yet they don’t feel too big with very thin or no socks at all.

Barefoot Feel & Function
The thick sheepskin footbed was a little more plush than I’m used to but has become a welcome texture with minimal cushion. It has compressed in the exact shape of my foot which has only made them more comfortable than when brand new. With their leather outsole, they feel like a somewhat cushioned second skin.

They have excellent grip on all indoor surfaces I’ve tested them on including carpet, linoleum, tile, laminate, and hardwood.

Upper Qualities
The upper is made of crocheted, 100% pure New Zealand wool with all its fantastic natural properties including excellent temperature control with both breathing and insulating capabilities. As already stated, my feet have never been too warm or cold through this past winter and current spring (which in Alberta, can really feel like all four seasons). The wool can stretch and shape to the contours of your feet, making them even more comfortable.

Even though I’ve worn mine every day for months, they still do not smell. If you find they do need a wash, you can machine wash them in warm water with a mild detergent and allow to air dry. Washing will return the wool to their original size and shape if it has stretched out too far.

Sole Qualities
The sole is made of high-grade sheepskin and cowhide leather. The sheepskin was approximately half an inch thick when new and has compressed in the shape of my feet with wear. The sheepskin also helps with thermoregulation and insulation from cold floors in addition to being luxuriously soft. The leather outsole is approximately 1/8” thick, extremely durable and flexible. It has become shiny in high-wear areas but retains its traction qualities on man-made surfaces.

Overall Quality
The quality of the materials and manufacturing are both excellent. I am confident that my slippers will last for years. In fact, the salesperson at the store where I bought them told me a story of another customer who just replaced hers after 10 years of daily wear!

The natural wool fibres do pill initially with wear. This is explained on the Padraig Cottage website as normal and with continued wear or after washing, the pills disappear on their own. They do make the slippers appear more aged than when new but I can attest that they do fall off on their own.

Style
These slippers look exactly like you would expect a super soft, comfortable, indoor, crocheted wool slipper would look. They are certainly not high fashion but they are high comfort. Padraig Slippers come in a myriad of colours to choose from to suit your tastes.

Uses
Padraig Slippers are not recommended for outdoor use so for long-lasting durability, should be restricted to indoor use. They come in a variety of sizes to accommodate men, women, but also newborns, babies, and children allowing the whole family to enjoy warm, comfortable, happy indoor feet.

Value
The price for Padraig Slippers is based on size. Adult sizes range in price from $76 to $84. Considering these are all hand-made and will likely last years, I am happy with the value that I paid for.

Summary
I can honestly admit that I wear these slippers more than any other footwear I have (and as a reviewer of minimalist footwear, that’s a lot). They are also the most comfortable slippers I have ever tried (and when my last pair were worn through, I tried A LOT of slippers). In fact, I even bring them with me when I travel to friends’ and family’s houses because it’s like bringing a piece of home wherever I go and I know my feet will be warm and comfortable. I love them so much, that I decided I had to share that love with other minimalist shoe addicts fans in case they ever find themselves in need of a minimalist, comfortable, indoor slipper.

The original Padraig Slippers are hand-made in North Vancouver by Padraig Cottage and sold in boutiques across Canada, the U.S., and Europe with a Store Finder on their website. If there is no retailer near you, you can buy them online from Padraig Cottage’s website with international shipping. They are also available online through Soft Star Shoes with U.S. shipping.

Feelmax Kuuva 2 Review

New and Improved Fit and Function in a truly Minimalist Boot
There are very few truly minimalist boots in the market as most footwear companies focus on casual and running models rather than boots. When Feelmax first began creating footwear, they included a boot model in their line-up, called the Kuuva, which I had the pleasure the reviewing. Feelmax has updated their original model with the Kuuva 2 and greatly improved the fit with a wider last and functionality with a more durable outsole while maintaining the same fantastic ground feel.

Quick Details
Price: $165.99 USD or 169.00 €
Width: Average to Extra Wide
Sole Thickness: 2.5 mm
Drop: Zero
Weight: 10 ¾ ounces or 306 grams
Insole: Included and glued in
Sizing: 36–46; Full sizes only; Fits true to size
Category: Minimalist Boot

Comfort & Fit
The new Kuuva 2 is extremely comfortable with the new wider last. The toe box is wide and roomy with plenty of toe wiggle room. The lacing system is designed in a way that allows you to customize the boot tightness from the metatarsals to above the ankle. With such great adjustability, the boot feels more like a glove than a boot and should fit anyone with an average to extra wide foot well. If you have a narrow foot, the boot will have to be laced quite tightly and could probably work for you because of the adjustability in the ankle but it might feel somewhat loose. The inside material is soft with no obtrusive seams and, although minimal in padding, does not bind anywhere along its length.

I chose to try one size larger than my other Feelmax models (the Kuusaa and Osma 2) in order to accommodate thicker socks comfortably. I wanted to be able to manage my own insulation as the Kuuva 2 does not have a lot of padding or insulation of its own. This was an excellent decision and one I am very happy with. I have worn these in temperatures as low as -10C or 14F in wet and slushy conditions with two pairs of socks and have had extremely comfortable feet both in terms of enough room to accommodate the extra material and in temperature control. They are a little long for me with a single pair of socks but with the adjustable lacing, the boot is snugly attached and my feet do not move around inside the boot. I do believe that the Kuuva 2 fits true to size, just be aware of Feelmax’s unique European to U.S. sizing conversion (where a Eur size 39 is a U.S. size 8).

A thin insole is included with the boot and is glued to the footbed. If you really wanted, you could remove it for even more ground feel and boot volume as the footbed seems suitable to go without it. Because it is glued in, the insole does not move around and lays perfectly flat inside the boot.

Barefoot Feel & Function
With their 2.5 mm rubber outsole, the Kuuva 2 has amazing ground feel and flexibility. The foot can easily move naturally inside the boot and around ground contours. The tread design is new and provides enough grip for dry, non-slippery natural surfaces. I did walk in them in about 6” of slushy snow and also had no problem with traction.

At just over 10 ounces or 300 grams, they are not light for minimal shoes but they are extremely light for minimal boots. Once laced up, I have never felt the weight of them and marvelled at how light they feel.

Upper Qualities
The boot upper is made of water resistant waterbuck leather and suede. Their water resistance goes up to the second-last hook as the tongue is attached to that height. The leather around the bottom of the boot is placed in high-wear areas for greater longevity. I did not treat them with leather protector (although you could if desired) and have walked in deep, wet, slushy snow with happily dry feet. They do not have a lot of padding or insulation for warmth, so I recommend choosing a size that allows you to manage your own foot and ankle warmth needs with socks. There was no break-in period required as the boots were immediately comfortable right out of the box. They are easily cleaned with a damp cloth.

Sole Qualities
The outsole is a 2.5 mm rubber compound with excellent flexibility and ground feel. The new outsole has significantly improved grip with the new tread design. The rubber is a little soft for continuous concrete or asphalt walking and is showing some wear in the heel area already. For longer life of these boots, natural terrains might be better than rough, man-made surfaces.

As with all Feelmax products, there is no arch support or rigid structures of any kind included in the design of the footwear.

Overall Quality
The quality of the materials and manufacturing seems excellent. There are no flaws in the review pair. Their durability will depend on their use, as mentioned above. The rubber outsole is somewhat soft for extended rough surface use. For a longer life of the upper, you can treat it with a leather protector, although it is quite water resistant right out of the box.

Style
I adore the look of the Kuuva 2; they have a simple yet elegantly functional look to them. They look great under a pair of travelling pants or over a pair of leggings. The shiny black lacing hardware is stylish and the simple red embroidered logo adds a flash of colour. I think they work well as an any-season boot with some consideration for temperature control via sock insulation. They are available on the Feelmax website in all black.

Uses
The Kuuva is truly a boot for all purposes: from hiking in the mountains to completing that casual look. They are perfect for any season because without excessive insulation, they’re not too hot for warmer weather and you can pair them with thicker socks for cooler weather.

Value
At $170, they are competitively priced for a leather boot. They are priced at the upper end for minimalist footwear in general but in the same price range as other minimalist boots, of there are so few. Considering their versatility, extreme comfort, and stylishness, I would gladly purchase these at that price.

Summary
The new Feelmax Kuuva 2 is superior to the original in the only aspects I had concerns with, width and durability, while maintaining the great ground feel and impressive water resistance. I liked the original and I love the update. Feelmax is one of those rare companies that listens to customers’ feedback and improves their products accordingly. I highly recommend the Kuuva 2 for those minimalists looking for comfortable, water resistant, zero drop footwear for winter or any season where you might want a boot for hiking, walking, or completing that casual outfit.

For more information about Feelmax and this product, check out their website at http://feelmax.fi. To purchase the Kuuva 2 in North America, you can buy them at http://www.giftsfromfinland.com.