May 7, 2015 | 11 comments »
If you're reading this, there's a good chance you've taken a keen interest in what might be called "homegrown" minimalist shoes. By "homegrown," I mean the types of minimalist shoes or sandals mostly being created by start-up shoe manufacturers like Luna Sandals, Unshoes, Shamma Sandals, etc. Many of these shoes and sandals have been reviewed on this site!
These sandals and shoes frequently are built using Vibram rubber soles. And as it turns out, Vibram has made a number of different types of rubber soling materials, each having its own specific qualities and characteristics.
This can be a bit confusing for newcomers and in an effort to help clarify some of the differences, below is a "definitive guide" to the soles. It's ultimately subjective, but should help you get a good feel for how things work in the Vibram sole world.
Generally speaking, more dense rubber soles are heavier. Each provides its own flavor of ground feel. More on the "barefootedness" question at the end.