Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Stem Natural Origins Re-Review

Alright, it has been almost two months since I received my Stems and they have easily transformed from the shoes I wear on occasion, to the shoes I wear whenever I go out. Before about a month ago I used to wear my Vibrams at every chance I had. Regardless of weather or acceptability of social views. While vibrams may be good at marketing my blog or minimalism, because lets face it, toe shoes are a little odd looking, they are not quite a good lifestyle/casual shoe.

These shoes have easily jumped from least worn to my most worn pair. They are comfortable as all get out, better weather protection than any other minimalist shoe I have had the pleasure of owning, and they easily look better with a dress shirt and jeans than Vibrams do. So unless I am testing out a pair of shoes for another company, right now my Stems are the shoes I choose. Maybe one day another pair of shoes will take that prized spot for most worn.

A few additional grievances I have encountered since my last message about these shoes.

  • Stack height is a bit to much for me.
I would love to see a slightly thinner sole. Preferably around 5.5mm or so, which it currently comes in at 7.5mm. With the air infused rubber it's a bit more of a cushy ride, and when in a hurry I have noticed myself heel striking.

I completely negate that statement. There are times especially now that I do not want to feel everything and I want a little more of a cushioned ride. After a 13 mile run the stems felt sooo good on my feet. I didn't feel every bump it was relaxing to my feet. They make a great casual and recovery shoe. I also believe that the heel striking was caused by having 15+ pounds on my back due to running to the bus stop with my full backpack.
  • A different material for the toe cover.
Through the recent weeks of constant wear, the toe cap has become dimpled, not to the point they are unwearable, just noticeably.

After wearing them more they look better this way in my opinion. It adds a bit of character and adds to that handmade feel!
  • And still, my grievance from prior. A heel tab
Which, soon after my initial review was posted Andrew from Stem Footwear told me that heel tabs would be included on their shoes in the shipments beginning in March!

Overall, I am EXTREMELY impressed with this shoe. Even with a few miniscule knocks in the term of preference, it still will not keep me from wearing these great causal shoes!