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Shoe Review: Kalso Earth “Negative Heel” Tests Our Tadasana

in YD News

Shoes. Those things we put on when we’re not spreading our toes on the mat. Frequent readers know we don’t do many product reviews here besides the occasional yoga book, but we decided to dip our utthita toes briefly into the pool with this one.

Here’s a question: have you ever tried tadasana in high heels? Or even in sneakers? (gym shoes for you mid-westerners.) There’s a reason we’re barefoot in yoga practice. Some of you may have heard of this newfangled “negative heel” design found in Kalso Earth shoes. Ok, so it’s been around since the 70s and was actually created by a Danish yoga teacher Anne Kalso. You can maybe see where we’re going with this.

As part of an anniversary of sorts (the shoes first launched on the first real “Earth Day” decades ago) peoples at planetshoes.com asked us to provide our opinion of the enrapture sandal. Here’s our review.

We decided to rate this shoe in levels of fashion, functionality and performance. Ha! Just kidding. We’re all about: are they cute? and are they comfortable?

Pros: Curious about the comfort of a negative heel, especially stomping the streets of NYC, we were pleasantly surprised. Our toes did not feel squooshed and the heel allowed for much better mountain posing and poise on a crowded, moving subway. Also, they are indeed cute and for being a “special” shoe, thankfully do not remind us of our great aunt’s orthopedics.

Cons: They’re slip-on sandals, which is totally ace in our book, but the elastic securing the heel was a bit on the too loose side causing some not so welcomed slippage. Also a bummer, these shoes do not come in a vegan version (footbed is leather) which is something we would expect from a consciously postured and yoga-influenced company. Manufacturing in China is also a concern, though they promise that factory relationships have been ongoing for over 10 years and CEOs make multiple regular visits annually.

Tadasana Index: On a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the most tadasana friendly we give this shoe a 4.

YD Verdict: Negative heel? We kinda dig. As New Yorkers and active human beings writing yoga blogs we spend enough time on our toes. Comfort and cuteness are a plus, we just wish there was a a bigger dash of consciousness in production.

(full disclosure: YD received no money or insider trading tips in exchange for this review. We did get a pair of shoes to try out though. )

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3 comments… add one

  • Love Earth shoes! Wear them at work. High heels are not my thing and never have been. But then, I’m a child of the 60′s.

  • caroline

    I had some Kalso shoes and it only took 5 years of daily wear to fully destroy the soles. What I don’t get is how people can wear sandals in NYC, without feeling filthy from toe to ankle.

  • Digging the Tadasana Index scale. Never heard of Kalso Earth – I see they have men’s shoes as well, which is nice; “dress” shoe fashion as well. I like their concept. May have to give them a try. Thanks for the info :-)

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