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kigo leon

ome of you may not have heard of kigo before, probably because they aren't too big in Europe yet despite having been around for a few years. I had heard of them, but it's my business to know that kind of stuff and it's how I make my living – so of all people I should know! For those of you who are familiar with them, you will probably know of their older “drive” or “flit” models. Visually a little un-inspiring but both good minimalist shoes with a firm grounding in ecologically sound manufacturing processes and using recycled plastic milk cartons. Admirable.


about the styling of the design because Marco is actually a shoe designer from Mexico. He became utterly passionate about minimalist shoes and how they affect our feet, the strength in them and the way we move. He would run in minimalist shoes, then take them off and put on his structured and confining shoes for work and other day to day activities. Much the same as how many of our stories started out – mine for sure. In the beginning I was working in an office and wore heels every day to work, then I'd get out, take my shoes off and run. It didn't then - and it doesn't now make any sense, yet still it is the situation most of us are in, or have been in at one time or another.

Right, now that we have put my addictions (to shoes) and insecurities (about writing) to one side, I can get on with the review. Or at least try, without getting too distracted. I'm going to go back a little to talk

I guess because we all start off as runners so, for a runner, kit is important (just a little). Then, for one reason or another, we discover barefoot or minimalist running – great! The shoes, or lack thereof,

Barefoot Running Magazine

Autumn/W inter 2014

Page 137

Not so minimal review

Well, last Christmas they were bought out and so a breath of fresh air blew through the belly of the company. Kristin and Marco took the company and in nine short months have transformed it into a different kind of animal. Maintaining the importance of the ecologically sound manufacturing, they have gone in the direction of casual/smart day to day footwear. They also moved the manufacturing from China to Mexico. And so here we have it, my first ever review of a casual shoe. For me this is quite a challenge because at first, all I could think of was pairing the shoes with different outfits to show how well they could be worn with different styles of clothing. Clearly something some of us girls would have an interest in but would it really peak the interest of my male readers? Humm, it might hold their interest for all of 0.2 of a nanosecond – IF I'm lucky. So it's really made me have to think about this. Normally I can talk about the pros and cons of performance on varying terrain and what other activities you could use them for. Do they have good grip in the mud, how well do they cope with water, yadda, yadda, yadda. Although I was given a choice of any of their shoes to review I chose the one which I felt

was best suited to both men and women: The “leon”. But I did also, for the record, purchase a pair of the “bali” (now I know that's just greedy but I am a gal and gals love shoes!). Also, before I get accused of having the ability of a four year old with my writing, I'd just like to state for the record that the company kigo does not use capital letters. It's something which goes back to the founder of the company being a lover of the English language and word play (crikey, I'm not insecure. Just had to make sure you were all aware of that one!).

Barefoot Running Magazine - Issue 13 (Autumn/Winter 2014)