Kigo Footwear – Initial Review

image Kigo Footwear – Initial ReviewKigo who?

I don’t remem­ber exactly how I first heard of Kigo. I think it was on twit­ter. What caught my atten­tion was their talk about bare­foot run­ning and the virtues of a min­i­mal­ist shoe. image thumb1 Kigo Footwear – Initial ReviewThe fact that I hadn’t heard of them made me even more curi­ous. I con­tacted Kigo and heard back from one of the company’s co-founders, Rachelle Kuramoto, ask­ing me if I’d like to test a pair. As you may know, I only accept prod­uct offer­ings that match with my val­ues – qual­ity prod­uct from a com­pany that val­ues sus­tain­abil­ity. After talk­ing via email with Rachelle and fur­ther study­ing the com­pany online I heartily agreed to test a pair and write a review (note: Kigo sent me a pair for free, but with no stip­u­la­tion other than giv­ing them a try and writ­ing about my expe­ri­ence on Run­ning Quest).

Specs of Tested Pair

Brand: Kigo Footwear
Type: Edge
Size: 12.5 (they run small!)
Color: Grey on grey
Weight: 6 ounces each

First Impres­sions

Using the online siz­ing chart on Kigo’s web­site I got the biggest size they made (not some­thing I usu­ally have to do), size 12.5. This is usu­ally the size shoe I get. When I received them in the mail I eagerly tried them on. They were too small. Rachelle said there are plans in the works to cre­ate more sizes, but that they didn’t have any­thing larger right now. I was bummed. My guess is that the largest pair they have in men’s would fit a size US11.5 foot. The rest of us are just out of luck for now.

Given that the shoes don’t fit me prop­erly, and I’ll have to wait at least a few months before there are any that do fit me, this is only a par­tial review, at best. I do want to talk about the look and ini­tial feel of the shoes, and the company’s phi­los­o­phy, though.


The shoes arrived in a recy­cled card­board box with the Cyclepet logo on it. Inside the box, the shoes were wrapped in brown paper and sealed with a clear label that read: Thank you for accept­ing sec­onds as sam­ples. This is one way Kigo Footwear works toward zero waste. I plan on either return­ing the shoes after this review is fin­ished or hand­ing them on to a friend who will fit in them, in the spirit of zero waste.

Kigo appears to be quite focused on sus­tain­abil­ity. The shoes are made with recy­cled PET (what most plas­tic bot­tles are made of). Here’s a visual descrip­tion of what CyclePET is all about.

image thumb2 Kigo Footwear – Initial Review

Kigo explains their sus­tain­abil­ity phi­los­o­phy of Avoid, Reuse, and Reduce on their web­site. In addi­tion to using recy­cled mate­ri­als, Kigo endorses work­ing from home as a way to reduce our footprints.

Fit and Feel

The Kigo Edge I received look like water shoes, with a more sub­stan­tial sole. I took image thumb3 Kigo Footwear – Initial Reviewout the insole, know­ing I don’t like to wear them, and slipped the shoes on. They were fairly easy to get on, but as I men­tioned above, they were too small. My toes ended up crunched at the front. Given this, any­thing I share about the fit and feel of the shoe has to be taken with grain of salt. They felt nice and smooth on my skin. I walked around the house in them for a bit. I noticed that my fore­foot felt a lit­tle tight. This could have been due to wear­ing a size too small, but it could also be more per­va­sive an issue, as the shoes did look a lit­tle nar­row up front. I like to have enough room for my whole fore­foot to stretch out comfortably.


The way the shoes look is not a high point. While the col­ors are nice – grey com­bined with pas­tels (or another grey in my case) – they are pretty basic. I think the sim­ple look of the shoes is actu­ally a good match for a min­i­mal shoe such as the Kigo Edge. But some folks who are used to brighter col­ors of tra­di­tional run­ning shoes might find the design of the Kigo Edge too plain.

image4 thumb Kigo Footwear – Initial Review

Bot­tom Line

With­out wear­ing a pair that fit my feet, it’s hard to say whether Kigo Footwear is a viable option for run­ning. I imag­ing they would be ok, but whether they’re great or not, well, I’ll have to wait for larger sizes to be pro­duced. I do think that the shoes will pro­vide enough punc­ture pro­tec­tion with plenty of flex­i­bil­ity to be a viable option for many activ­i­ties. And weigh­ing in at 6 ounces each, the Kigo Edge cer­tainly won’t weigh you down. The fact that the com­pany has built goals of sus­tain­able prac­tices into the design of their shoes and man­u­fac­tur­ing process is an added incen­tive to give them a try.

What do you think?

Have you worn Kigo shoes? If so, what did you think?

Would you be more likely to pur­chase from a com­pany focused on sus­tain­abil­ity in their practices?

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  • Rachelle (@kigofootwear)

    RT @RunningQuest: #Kigo­Footwear – Ini­tial Review Thanks Clyn­ton! Big­ger, wider (brighter) shoes on the way! (buzz buzz)

  • stew

    Inter­est­ing, but I’d be wor­ried about the fore­foot width (as I am with all shoes), so I prob­a­bly wouldn’t risk order­ing with­out try­ing on first.

    What’s the dif­fer­ence between the edge & the shel? The web­site has the same pic­ture for both products.

    • Clyn­ton

      Thanks for the com­ment. I’ve since heard from Kigo that wider fore­foot shoes are on the way. Could be really good. Also, that’s a good ques­tion about the dif­fer­ence between the Edge and Shel. I don’t know. Let me see if I can get you an answer.

    • Clyn­ton

      From Rachelle, co-founder of Kigo Footwear:

      The edge is an updated ver­sion of the shel. It has the same light­weight eco-friendly con­struc­tion, but is dif­fer­ent in the fol­low­ing ways:

      * Hook­less toe cap
      * Web­bing on the heel is stitched in a loop for easy on-off (shel has web­bing strip attached via Vel­cro)
      * Deeper foot hole for less chance of rub­bing dur­ing running/hiking
      * More stretch in the foot hole
      * More vol­ume in the vamp area of the upper (the top of the foot)
      * Antimi­cro­bial insoles

  • Clyn­ton Tay­lor (@runningquest)

    Ear­lier: Kigo Footwear – Ini­tial Review

  • Rachelle (@kigofootwear)

    RT @runningquest: Ear­lier: Kigo Footwear – Ini­tial Review

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