1

votes

Barefoot shoes without those silly toes exposed?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 17, 2013 at 2:39 PM

I got an email solicitation from The Walking Company about their new line which "enables your foot to function as if you were barefoot.":

http://www.thewalkingcompany.com/ecco-biom-trainer-dark-shadow/27790

Are these just marketing wiggle words or are these a step (no pun intended) in the right direction?

I'm not willing to look like a paleo hippy with my toes exposed, but if these are better than conventional sneakers or walking shoes, I'd be willing to give them a try.

Thoughts?

Thanks, Mike

C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

(3225)

on April 17, 2013
at 05:42 PM

I got a pair of NB Minimus at DSW in the clearance section for $45. Hot pink, but that appeals to my subversive girliness.

26ac3e0c758ab5bd8748f2009791deb3

(85)

on April 17, 2013
at 05:00 PM

Was planning on getting a pair glad to hear that people like them.

6864d23c49952605b2a97d6256af804d

(726)

on April 17, 2013
at 04:49 PM

You can also get the minimus with leather uppers, which look less like athletic shoes.

7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on April 17, 2013
at 03:57 PM

I have two pairs of Merrell Road Gloves, and they are really comfortable.

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7 Answers

best answer

4
Baa413654789b57f3579474ca7fa43d7

(2349)

on April 17, 2013
at 02:54 PM

The first bullet point says: "Mesh uppers with reinforced support cage provides excellent foot support combined with superb sock-like fit."

I think the whole point of barefoot or minimalist footware is that there is minimal to no support. Looks like a company trying to jump on a bandwagon.

If you are interested in minimalist shoes without going with the five toed shoes, just google minimalist shoes and you will find a variety of different types. Just look for shoes that have little to no heel drop, a thin sole and a wide toe box that allow your toes to splay.

2
Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on April 17, 2013
at 03:15 PM

Have a look at Merrell Trail Gloves. Closed toe, "barefoot" shoes. Love mine, and will be buying another pair just for casual wear when my current shoes give in.

http://www.merrell.com/UK/en/Barefoot

7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on April 17, 2013
at 03:57 PM

I have two pairs of Merrell Road Gloves, and they are really comfortable.

26ac3e0c758ab5bd8748f2009791deb3

(85)

on April 17, 2013
at 05:00 PM

Was planning on getting a pair glad to hear that people like them.

0
34f00c7b4e5738cf04ead1a012a14ed1

(996)

on April 17, 2013
at 04:37 PM

I've worn Vibram 5 Fingers, New Balance Minimus Zeros, and about 2 months ago I picked up some Vivo Barefoot Trail shoes.

I love my 5 fingers more than anything, but since you don't want that look, I think the New Balance were just as good - to a certain extent. They're mostly just mesh, so they're not an option for cold weather or wet conditions. Regardless, the sole is so thin and flexible I can completely roll the shoe up into itself. Pretty cool. I have wide feet, and the wide width option had a TON of toe space. I loved them. They were also extremely lightweight and I mostly just didn't feel like I was wearing shoes. The downsides were that since I wore them everyday, they wore out really fast (started getting holes in the uppers) and they're too expensive at $110 to purchase every few months.

I got the Vivo Barefoot on sale for half what I paid for the Minimus, but it definitely just feels more "shoe-y". It's zero drop, but the sole is still pretty thick and doesn't offer much in the way of ground feel. The toe box is less roomy than the Minimus, but they didn't have a wide width option, so I had to go up a full size to compensate. They're comfortable, but I just feel like I'm wearing clunky running shoes. They get the job done, and if you can get them on sale then I think they're definitely worth it. They also look pretty much like normal athletic shoes, if that's a selling point for you.

6864d23c49952605b2a97d6256af804d

(726)

on April 17, 2013
at 04:49 PM

You can also get the minimus with leather uppers, which look less like athletic shoes.

C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

(3225)

on April 17, 2013
at 05:42 PM

I got a pair of NB Minimus at DSW in the clearance section for $45. Hot pink, but that appeals to my subversive girliness.

0
6864d23c49952605b2a97d6256af804d

(726)

on April 17, 2013
at 03:42 PM

The Walking Company also sells MBT shoes, which make a similar claim as the Ecco's. My MBT's were helpful for a while during some injury rehab. For normal wear, I agree with the suggestions here, except that I prefer leather soles. I certainly prefer minimalist-style synthetic soles to normal 'supportive' soles, but the leather soles feel much more like going barefoot. Currently I'm wearing solid brown Dash RunAmocs from soft star shoes, and I like their feel a lot. However, I may switch to some Itasca Leitners or Quoddy Dawsons for my next pair, as they look a little more professional.

0
2fd63e83ce85f5746bd0cafa424e361c

on April 17, 2013
at 03:33 PM

I'm not a huge fan of the barefoot shoes with the individual toe slots, but still wanted an effective barefoot/minimalist style shoe. I ended up settling on a pair of Inov-8 F-Lite 230's. Inov-8 specializes in lightweight/minimal fitness shoes. Most specifically the F-Lite and Bare series.

These are 100% the best fitness shoes I have ever owned.. Super light, super flexible, and very breathable (they even recommend not wearing socks with them).

www.inov-8.com

0
2006ccb2b60f9cc5ba5e8eff8a7abc46

on April 17, 2013
at 02:48 PM

looks like some impressive marketing. they look like they have a thicker sole then most barefoot shoes. but they do look like they have good flex in the sole. you wont be able to tell until they are in your hands and you can see if they fold up real easily heal to toe. if so they might be a good intermediate shoe to try if you have been stuck in stiff soled, thick healed shoes for a while. I think a better place to look is at barefoot and lightweight. flexible trail running trainers, lemming brand shoes are also a good option.

0
De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c

on April 17, 2013
at 02:47 PM

i use vivobarefoots & am slowly changing all my shoes to their shoes as they are great, those trainers do not look like true barefoot shoes as the heel is higher than the toe

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