It's been a bit since the last post, but I wanted to jot down a few updates!
1. My winter minimalist boots.  Unfortunately, there is no winter this year, so I haven't had a chance to really test the waterproof Timberland hiking boots I've refurbished into minimalist boots.  My wife and I did travel to northern Vermont at New Years, and there was barely any snow in the mountains there.  A trip to Bolton Valley found the XC ski conditions terrible, so I walked around a bit in what snow there was in the boots.  Despite not being fully finished, I found the boots to be great! The sole thickness seems just a bit more than the Stems, and I was really suprised at the traction the vibram soles gave me.  I ordered the vibram cherry rubber through invisible shoes.com, and despite having relatively unassuming tread, it was brilliant in the snow.  The snow was very wet, and no leaks were noted through the sole-upper interface.  Now, they're not the most aesthetically pleasing shoes you've seen--but I am a functionalist, and with my large ears and buck teeth, not a pretty man by any means, so why should my shoes be? Shoes need to be practical to allow the natural form and function of the foot, like my large ears allow me to hear the patter of a fruitfly's wings.  Though, I must say, Stem and Vivobarefoot make some very pretty shoes, so if you don't want to look like an idiot, check them out.  I've recently learned that Stem has waterproof boots in the works as well!!
2. Continued research showing the benefits of a forefoot strike for runners.  I've gotten a chance to look at some new articles from the Dan Lieberman camp.  The first, "The Effects of Footwear and Strike Type on Running Economy," concludes that minimalist shoe runners have a significantly better running economy than those with more traditional shoes. They theorize that this may be due to the elastic recoil that comes naturally with using minimal shoes.  This use of your natural lower extremity recoil has been the focus of Newton Shoe company for years now.  The second paper, "Foot Strike and Injury Rates in Endurance Runners: A Retrospective Study," showed that rearfoot strikers have higher rates of repetitive stress injury.  Further critical analysis of these papers to come...
3.  Natural Foot Health and Wellness:  The Next Generation.  My first child, Dennis Daniel Claire, is due in a few short weeks.  I am looking forward to watching his foot development without the influence of restrictive shoes.  He'll defo have some crocs when he's a youngun--to the desperate lament of all you croc-haters. Though, with more and more minimalist shoe development and production, he and the rest of us will have more choices of shoes that promote natural foot health.  But no matter what, he'll  be cooler than his father.