Wednesday, April 27, 2011

TERRA PLANA FALL 2011 The Original Barefoot Shoe

Outdoor Retailer, SLC

Words/Images Judith Ecochard

Using Vivo Barefoot™ Technology

We were very psyched to meet Lee Saxby…the highly regarded running coach…who probably started getting lotsa press once that barefoot running bible (as it were) “Born To Run” and its best-selling author Chris McDougall's mantra- natural running--- became part of the vernacular ---with a certain set.

The initial meeting connected through a mutual friend in London…
“He had terrible technique,” Saxby noted…and accordingly, once “properly coached” the injured author embraced all things natural movement ---

And so, the tidal wave to get runners back to proper postured and rhythmic way of running... “a moving meditation…yet mindful.”  It always does get back to Zen. IMHO.

We must have started running out that way ---but then shifted away to a more heel strike with the overbuilt sneakers we used to buy…with cushioned soles and arch support that we didn’t need. That lasted like a few years...with the knee pain too---now largely we embraced back a midfoot strike/forward motion.

TERRA PLANA…uses (owns) VivoBarefooot™ technology in its kickers because it encourages athletes to naturally strengthen feet, calves, gluts and lower back muscles, AND ensures proper alignment --- lessening the impact on hips and knees when running.

PLUS: Vivobarefoot™ has a patented puncture resistant rubber sole…in its lightweight, flexible design.

Saxby walked us through the Terra Plana’s athletic collection----that’s made for several sporting activities actually, observing, ”human beings are about different movements and to be really fit you have to do a bunch of movements.”

Interesting for us, we started to get the distinction of Vivobarefoot™ versus other natural style kickers…

“We are all about getting sensory feedback,” Saxby explained---that includes vision (10%) inner ear (20%) and 70% from the sole of the feet. The foot itself, “a masterpiece” is loaded up with 200,000 nerve endings, 28 bones, 19 major muscles, 33 joint centers and 17 ligaments.


Terra Plana the company has a cult following that’s worldwide…as the DNA of the company Is based on that sensory feedback and an eco/sustainable design ethos too-to quote the press material “…have always been about anatomic design, shoes that are good for you and kind to the environment…”



Running shoes got our most attention…following on the heels (ha ha) of the EVO’s ginormous success.

New for Fall

---the NEO Trail---for off-road running- lightweight (8.7oz Men, 6.9oz Women) with a minimalist outsole

Saxby clued us in that with trail running shoes----there is less sensory feedback because there’s a need for more traction “a tradeoff.”

---the NEO coined a retro infused barefoot cross-trainer with EVO like benefits for multi-terrains

---the Ultra a 4oz men’s/2.7oz women’s suitable for long runs, water sports and cross training. We liked the look of the 3 layer perforated upper…and the elastic cord and lock lacing system for a quick, secure fit.

---the Achilles (6.6oz) a multi-terrain running sandal…trail, beachside and urban friendly---the split toe guard design is actually for downhill running comfort, control and protection. The anatomically neutral outsole and wide foot bed allows for “maximum proprioceptive feedback.” too.

This really caught out eye----the OFF ROAD HI

A hiking boot for off road jaunts…at 12.20z Mens/9.6oz Women’s--- with eco nylon uppers of 100% recycled PET, abrasion resistant leather toe guard, speedhook lacing, and a removable rapid dry moisture control bamboo-charcoal foam foot bed.


FYI: Terra Plana's leading lights are 6th generation shoe guys from the Clark's family.