Today, is the grand opening of a website that I’ve been waiting months to tell you about. Toe Salad is a directory, forum, and community entirely devoted to minimalist footwear, and it just went live to the public earlier this morning. When I say it’s a directory, it is just that – a place where you can find information and resources on almost all of the popular minimalist footwear brands – even some you haven’t heard of before.
If you’ve seen a few reviews of Vibram FiveFingers, FeelMax, or other minimalist shoes, and want to see what else is out there, then you need to visit Toe Salad today. At Toe Salad, you’ll be able to participate in a discussion about which minimalist shoes are best for certain activities. Looking for the best minimalist running shoes, or maybe something more casual that you can wear around the office? Visit Toe Salad. Have you struggled to get that little pinky toe into the Vibram FiveFingers, or just can’t stand the notion of wearing frog feet? Visit Toe Salad.
But John, You’re always barefoot. I’ve never even seen you wearing shoes!
Good eye! I’ve long been a big proponent of going barefoot. It’s true that I run, walk, and hike barefoot whenever I can (basically whenever there isn’t a ton of snow or sub-freezing temperatures). But alas, even I must succumb to donning footwear upon my freedom-loving tootsies, and in those rare situations, I prefer the most minimalist shoes I can get that will still provide as much protection and comfort as I need.
Toe Salad is the first minimalist footwear directory to be published online (that I know of). Mark my words, this will become the definitive online resource for all things minimalist footwear. I know this because I know the founder personally, and know the vision he has for this website community. Damien Tougas is a personal friend of mine whom I’ve schemed and dreamed with over the past couple of years. I can tell you with no hesitation that Damien is a minimalist footwear expert. Few people have so much experience with such a diverse selection of minimalist shoes.
Damien has been reviewing minimalist shoes for years, and posting his reviews on his website Adventure In Progress, which has brought him quite a bit of attention in recent years. Last time I visited him at his home in Maine, he pulled out a giant Rubbermaid bin full-to-the-top with various shoe models that mainstream companies have asked him to test. Some models are prototypes that haven’t even hit the market yet. These shoes, moccasins, slippers, and sandals are always sent to Damien for free (more on that later).
You see, Damien brings his family hiking or backpacking almost every weekend, year round (yes, even in the winter), giving him the opportunity to test various types of footwear in both moderate and extreme conditions all the time. But Damien also has a day job in an office. He works as a programmer at a college, and so he’s also been testing options for more casual/formal purposes. This gives him a very unique perspective for testing a wide array of footwear.
You should also know that Damien has put his programming skills to good use at Toe Salad. He built this website from scratch because he had very specific idea of what he was looking to create. Namely, he wanted something that was greater than his own capacity, which is why he created Toe Salad with a community focus.
I think this is the website that Damien would have wanted to have as a resource when his family was first starting to research and test minimalist footwear. Well, now he’s done it. Damien has created something far bigger than himself so that the entire world can participate in the minimalist footwear discussion. As I’ve already said, this will become the definitive online resource for all things minimalist footwear, and Toe Salad is definitely starting off on the right foot with a big giveaway (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself).
Free Minimalist Footwear Giveaway
You remember how I said that Damien has a practically overflowing bin of free shoes? Well he’s not the only one who gets to enjoy them…
To celebrate the launch of Toe Salad, five major shoe manufacturers have donated several different pairs of minimalist shoes for Damien to do with as he pleases. Damien has decided to give them all away for free to 7 lucky winners. There are 5 ways you can enter, giving you up to 5 chances to win a pair. So, even though this thing is about to blow up, the odds are fairly good at the moment. These aren’t cheap either. I would guess this collection would retail over $1,000.
Take a few minutes to check out the site and look for the giveaway information on the home page:
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CST, CST-KS, NSCA-CPT