Toe Salad, A Social and Review Site For Minimal Running!

It’s no secret that some of us at Gear Diary are big fans of shoes like Vibram Five Fingers. But VFFs are far from the only minimalist shoes available! These days it seems like every major running company has a minimal shoe in their lineup, and there’s dozens of small shoe makers all trying to carve out a place in this new niche. Unfortunately, unless you’re lucky enough to live near a major city or a very progressive running store, you need to turn to the internet to figure out what shoe might work for your minimal running adventures. It used to be a haphazard experience, googling away for any reviews you could find…until now.

Toe Salad is a site devoted entirely to minimalist footwear reviews, forums, etc. It’s a spinoff/brainchild of the site Adventure In Progress, where you can read Damien’s ridiculously detailed and educational series on minimalist footwear (an excellent starting point if you’re new to the concept). The best part is that Toe Salad is user-driven, so you can read what other people are using, check out what’s worked and hasn’t, and look for tips on picking out the right footwear for you. And it doesn’t have to be just about running shoes, or just about hiking shoes. From Adventure In Progress, where Toe Salad was first announced:

  • I love testing shoes. I will never get to test every pair of minimalist shoes on the market. As much as I would like to, it is just not possible, or practical. I want to be a good resource and I would like to make it easier for people to find the information and reviews they need.
  • I don’t want to get caught-up in the hype of always having to be the first one to review a new product. While there is a certain value in being able to do that, it is very fleeting. I would like whatever my contributions are to the minimalist footwear realm to be of lasting value to people.
  • While I do consider myself a shoe geek, I am certainly not the only one. There are many people (believe it or not, some even smarter than me!) who have good things to say on the topic of minimalist footwear. I would like to make their voices heard.
  • I get questions all the time about what shoes I think would be best for a specific activity. I don’t always have the answer, but I would like to make it easier for people to find it.
  • Runners are fanatical about their shoes and could talk about them for hours. As a result, there are a lot of running-related blogs out there dedicated to minimalist shoes. There needs to be a resource available to people that encompasses more than just running. ADVENTUREinPROGRESS is primarily about the outdoors, so that isn’t the right place either.
  • After rattling these thoughts around in my head for far too long, I finally decided to do something about it. The end result isĀ Toe Salad.

The best part: Toe Salad has a number of shoes to give away, and all you need to do to enter is sign up for the site and start participating! So head over, check it out, and help kickstart a great new resource online!

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2 replies

  1. RT @GearDiarySite: Toe Salad, A Social and Review Site For Minimal Running!

  2. I am also a running shoe nerd, and particularly love testing out minimalist products. I’m a former collegiate xc and track athlete for a division 1 NCAA program, and continue to train and compete at a high level, so I’m constantly trying out everything from the Nike free to the Saucony Kinvara to Invisible Shoes. I personally love my Invisible Shoes ( and consider them a great training aid as well as great for just walking around town. These are the reasons I love my Invisible Shoes, in comparison to the Frees, Kinvaras, and other shoes that I also like.
    1) They never get smelly– my kinvaras, while great and fun for tempo runs and track intervals, wreak something awful after a run in the rain or snow in them.
    2) Portability- always room in my gym bag for my Invisible Shoes
    3) Light Weight (3.5 ounces)- you feel like you’re flying when you run in them, and it’s a true barefoot feel when you walk around in them and run in them because there’s a 0mm differential (no difference between toe rise and heel rise)
    4) They are like my own wearable art project… I have bright pink laces because I also coach a bunch of female triathletes where HOTT PINK is our team color, and so they match a lot of my coaching outfits too!
    5) They’re customized to my own foot shape and individual foot size, even though my right foot is slightly larger than my left foot, so I don’t feel like one of my feet is being forced into a shoe that doesn’t really work with it, because my 2 feet aren’t the exact same shape and size!
    6) In collegiate running, I got injured a lot more frequently than I ever do now, even though I still run 40-55 miles a week and train hard– at altitude now versus at sea level before, so an even higher intensity variable with more hill work living in a mountain state… and I think strengthening my feet and improving my form due to my Invisible Shoes is a direct corrolation.

    Thoughts anyone else on various minimalist products?