Contrary to popular belief, I don't always run, and I don't always wear running shoes/sandals!! I do keep several pairs of what I would call "casual" shoes, that are still minimalist... and comfortable! Those include Lems Primals, Lems Boulder boots, SOM SPL's and kigos! And of course Ms. Barefoot Inclined also enjoys her kigo's and her Ryder boots from Vivobarefoot :-).
So this week, I'm happy to provide a review of some of the latest models available from kigo. Actually, another joint review from me and Ms. Barefoot Inclined. If you haven't heard of kigo, you should check them out... Not only do they make some terrific minimalist shoes, they are also really focused on being environmentally conscious, with a focus on recycling and reusing shoes to benefit the globe.
I love this "cradle-to-cradle" graphic from kigo that shows how kigo shoes can be reused or recycled, including earning a 25% reward to those that return their worn shoes! Such a cool idea in a world where it seems there is still so much waste....
OK... so all that is fine and great... but what about the shoes??? Well, as far as minimalist casual shoes go, I think kigo is spot on. Particularly with their focus on all that makes a shoe really minimalist. 3mm sole, super light weight, roomy toe box, zero drop... and on and on...
So, I tried out the kigo pai... and yes, those are poppy red! While not necessarily my first choice in color, they are pretty cool. But, looks aside, these feel like I'm wearing nothing, which is the sign of a terrific minimalist design. These fit like feather light slippers, and provide just enough protection to get out and do just about anything you want, with a great barefoot-like feel.
Here is the kigo leon that my wife is wearing, and as you can see, there is very little to this shoe! And she absolutely LOVES these shoes... as well as her kigo curvs (no longer available) and kigo flits.
While the uppers are constructed from a 100% recycled PET (yep, plastic bottles!), the insides are lined with a 50/50 material of recycled PET and cotton... really comfortable, with or without socks.
The soles are a Gomma rubber 3mm, with a 1.5 mm eva insole for a super comfortable ride...
AND... obviously they are very flexible, passing the rolling/squishing test with flying colors!
One thing I should mention though is... you might love them too much! Remember I mentioned that Ms. Barefoot Inclined LOVES kigo's? Well.. she just loved her leon's a bit too much. A combination of a LOT of walking, and our rough chip seal roads here in CO was just a bit much. So, this is probably the only area of recommendation I would have for kigo... just a small strip of rubber on the toe, or wrapping the sole up on the front would have prevented or delayed this issue. But, aside from that, they are by far her favorite shoes and I believe she will love them to death :-). Fortunately there is life after death via the "Recycle|Reuse|Rewards" program at kigo!
So, the final word? If you love minimalist, as in true minimalist, you'll love the feel of these shoes. And the bonus is the smaller carbon footprint you will leave behind! The shoes retail for $75, which is not bad considering the work that goes into producing them, as well as the 25% off reward you get when it comes time to recycle them! However, keep tabs on kigo's webpage and Facebook page for discount deals and sales.
Have a great week and happy trails! (or roads.... I guess... ;-) )