I'm very excited by the fact that shoe manufacturers are starting to respond to the demand by runners for more minimalist running shoes. In many cases, however, it has been new players to the running footwear market that have driven innovation in this area. One of the newest contributions to the lineup of minimalist running shoe options is the Terra Plana EVO:
Terra Plana, founded by Galahad Clark of the Clark's shoe family, is a company that prides itself on making ethical and eco-friendly shoes. The EVO, which is Terra Plana's foray into the running market, boasts their Vivo Barefoot TM Technology. According to Terra Plana, Vivo Barefoot is a:
"...revolutionary, back-to-basics design based on the simple principle that being barefoot is the healthiest way for you and your feet to be. An ultra thin puncture resistant sole allows your feet to be as millions of years of evolutionary design intended - Barefoot!"
And their description of the EVO goes as follows:
"The Evo is designed to be the best barefoot running shoe we could create. TPU cage on breathable mesh, slimline anatomic last with sucked out arch area for maximum barefoot performance response, lightweight micro fibre reinforcements, multi-density footbed for ultimate transition and density options on different terrains. The Evo is like running barefoot."
Below is a video provided on the Terra Plana website about the EVO:
The EVO has generated some buzz in the minimalist running community, and while I have yet to see this shoe in person myself, some positive reviews have already started to come in. For starters here are some excellent and very comprehensive takes on the EVO:
1. Terra Plana EVO review from Donald at the Running and Rambling Blog
2. Terra Plana EVO review from Jason at Barefoot Chronicles
3. Terra Plana EVO review from Harry at Birthdayshoes
4. Terra Plana EVO review from Geek Dad Jonathan at Wired.com
So, will I be rushing out to buy a pair of Terra Plana EVO's to try out myself? Well, these shoes are getting some great reviews from minimalist running bloggers whose opinions I respect greatly, so they seem like they have a lot of potential. The fact that they look more like regular shoes also carries with it some appeal when compared to my Vibram Fivefingers KSO's, which I tend not to wear much when I'm not running. However, the current price tag of $160.00 for a pair of EVO's is nearly double what I paid for my KSO's, and is a major impediment to me being willing to purchase these shoes. Several of the reviewers listed above suggest that they are very well made, and are worth the price if you want an ideal minimalist shoe, but it's too much for me to justify at the moment (my wallet is suffering from the arrival of a newborn baby an a home renovation!). I'd love to give them a test run, but until that price comes down, I'll have to leave it to others to report on their performance.
If you're interested in purchasing the Terra Plana EVO, they're apparently pretty hard to find right now. They are available at Amazon.com (see link above and to the left), they're listed as shipping in late May on Eastbay.com (and you can click the banner below to get free shipping), so you can try there, or check out the EVO in the Terra Plana on-line shop.
Below are a few of the many additional coloring options for the EVO:
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