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      "Barefoot" Shoes: Even Kids Love 'em

      More evidence that minimalist ("barefoot") footwear is not a fringe fad: Kids' styles are a hit at REI.

      A kids' version of the popular Vibram KSO (Keep Stuff Out) multisport "toe shoe" has been such a consistent seller that REI product manager Russ Fine is adding another kids' style, the Merrell Trail Glove, later this month.

      "We've only had the Vibram kids' shoe in (selected) stores since March," Fine says, "but the response has been really good." Fine says he plans to double the number of stores that carry minimalist footwear for kids. It's already available at

      Adults have already enthusiastically embraced barefoot footwear, as an article in Monday's Los Angeles Times confirms. Fine speculates that parents who are convinced of the footwear's physiological benefits are eager to expose their children to the potential developmental advantages at an early age. Plus there's an undeniable cool factor associated with toe shoes. "When kids see them, they want a pair," Fine says. "It’s a great piece of footwear that kids find fun to wear."

      Vibram KSO toe shoesThe Vibram KSO for kids uses European sizing and is available in a range between 29 and 34—roughly from a toddler's 12 to a youth 3-3.5, suitable for children between the ages of approximately 4 and 9.

      What do you think? Have your kids expressed interest in toe shoes? Do you think they would be eager to try wearing them?


      Posted on at 7:06 PM

      Tagged: barefoot running, kids, minimalist shoes, natural motion running, running shoes and toe shoes

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