A February day in the mid-70s?!?! YES! That means the shoes get to stay in the closet! Except for a flip-flop-attired trip to Lowes, I spent the whole day barefoot. Who knows the next time we'll have such a warm winter day - you've got to seize every opportunity.
Hey! I wrote Rainbow again after reading this and did finally get a response. It was the same as your response - $110 for a pair of custom premium leather flipflops without arch support. A bit rich for my blood!
West Swan, Rainbow said they would actually make a custom pair of flips without arch support??? That would be awesome - except for the $110 price. I've written the company twice to suggest they have a no-arch support version of their sandals but it seems to have been ignored.
If you're looking for the most barely-there kind of "shoe," I'd suggest the Xero Connect. It's just a basic, 4mm piece of rubber held on by the simplest strapping system. I have several pairs of VFF's and like them okay but the Xero shoes are wide open on top so lots of airflow! And who can argue with their $25 price compared to VFF's.
I did Warrior Dash last year in my KSO's. Slipped in a couple of muddy spots but never wiped out or anything. I'm not a runner and just did WD on a whim so my final time was not a concern. There were a couple peope running barefoot last year and I am thinking about giving that a try next weekend when Warrior Dash returns to Maryland.
Cool - I was born and raised in Columbia! I live in Maryland now but in all the times I've visited friends and family in Columbia I have never, ever seen anyone wearing VFF's. Good to see that they ARE out there though!
This past weekend a neighbor and I did two days of circuit hikes in Shenandoah National Park. All together it was about 15 miles of hiking - some along the AT and some on side trails. He wore traditional hiking shoes with a thick sole while I sported my KSO's! My hope was to hike some of the trail barefoot but it was too rough in spots to keep the pace we wanted to make.
I backpack and routinely wear VFF's or go barefoot depending on the terrain. I use KSO's and they have always worked well for me but I will say that they have proven slippery in a couple of muddy conditions. My pack weight is usually around 30 pounds which has never been an adverse factor for me when it comes to shoe/foot performance but you may want a VFF with a little more tread to handle the slippery conditions. If I had to recommend another style it would be the KSO Trek, otherwise stay as minimal as possible.
Nice blog! I'm not an avid blog reader but wanted to check yours out since you're about two (bare) steps ahead of me on the same path. You write very well and I appreciate your mix of technical and personal insights. The photos are beautiful too - you must live in a very scenic area or have an eye for photography. Keep it up!
My 80 year-old mother recently visited from out of state to attend our son's high school graduation; she hasn't been here since before we bought our first pair of Vibrams. Mom likes to stay busy and insisted upon sweeping. When she got to the corner of the room where my daughter and I tend to throw our VFF's, she paused and then scrunched her face into a perplexed look. Though she didn't say a word I could just tell what was going on in her head... She poked at them with her broom, shook her head, and moved on. She didn't ask and I didn't tell (she would never understand)!