Barefoot Shoes

Quick Review—Magical Shoes Receptor Explorer

I’m going to venture a guess—you’ve never heard of Magical Shoes—I certainly hadn’t. The company is based out of Poland and reached out to tell me about their products. Intrigued by their website, I requested they send me a pair of their “Receptor…

I’m going to venture a guess—you’ve never heard of Magical Shoes—I certainly hadn’t. The company is based out of Poland and reached out to tell me about their products. Intrigued by their website, I requested they send me a pair of their “Receptor Explorer” to give it a try. They did just that and I’m happy to report good news: these shoes are an exciting entry into the minimalist shoe world. Read on for more photos and a quick review!


First, take a look at what you get with the Receptor Explorer in the “Hot Sun:” For me, the Receptors immediately made me think of classic Adidas shoes. The combination of suede and mesh uppers with the design over the toe box—maybe it’s just me? That said, what you notice on picking up the Receptors is that they are super lightweight and flimsy. The soles are very thin and the shoes are clearly a zero-drop design with no arch support whatsoever. I was able to perform the classic “roll them up” move one-handed, tucking the front of the shoe into the back cowl:
While I haven’t measured the total stack height between the sole and the insole, it’s so little as to be one of the most minimalist mono-toe box shoes I’ve ever reviewed. Yeah, really. As you’d expect with that comment, ground feel is topnotch. While the toe box looked slightly narrow to me on first blush, I’m happy to report it’s been just fine—mind I don’t have particularly wide feet. Also, I think the overall flexibility of the Receptors makes them particularly forgiving in this regard. Wearing them around for the last month and a half, I’ve been impressed with their comfort and aesthetics. The Receptors go great with jeans or khakis or shorts. In short, I really like these shoes.
That said, it’s not all roses and sunshine. There are a couple things that I’d like to see improved. For one, the insole in the Receptors is the same mesh material as the upper. That mesh is just a little bit too much texture for my foot. It’s not that it rubs you wrong, it just doesn’t rub you right, and so I find I typically wear socks with the Receptors. Were these insoles smooth, they would be perfect. Secondly, where the sole comes up at the front of the shoes has separated slightly on my left shoe. This bugs me when I think about it and for a shoe that’s still pretty new, that’s not good. I’ve not tried to glue it back down because it’s actually so slight in appearance that I can’t even see it unless I pick the shoes up and look closely. Still, this shouldn’t happen in a new-ish pair of shoes. Finally, these shoes run $115 off of the Magical Shoes website—and that’s before shipping from Poland. If you’re local, then this isn’t a problem, but if you’re in the U.S., you’re going to be out a pretty penny for these sneakers. Even still, these are really cool shoes. I hope Magical Shoes runs with this concept and puts out some more products going forward! And perhaps with enough interest, they’ll distribute directly here in the U.S.

By Justin

Justin Owings is a deadlifting dad of three, working from Atlanta. When he's not chasing his three kids around, you'll find him trying to understand systems, risk, and human behavior.

7 replies on “Quick Review—Magical Shoes Receptor Explorer”

I like the style of this shoe. It’s looks to me as a great summer shoe.

But how are they in comparison with Vivobarefoot?
I have bought recently the Vivobarefoot Primus Trek as my first minimalist shoe. A good hiking shoe.

But this Magical Shoe Receptor Explorer looks to me as a very minimal shoe, maybe to minimal?

@Lars they are more minimal than Vivos. But they also don’t seem to hold up to wear and tear—particularly the soles and how well they adhere to the upper. I’ve had some slow separation on the front, which isn’t enough to make me not want to wear them. I still really like these.

I have my next Dr. appointment in a couple of weeks and with the help of my new shoes I am hoping I wont have to get shot’s in both of my heels again for Plantar Fasciitis. I also haven’t had to wear my boot as long in the evenings. The only thing I wish is that they had a few cuter styles in boots. I love both pairs of orthofeets that I bought.

Does the toe spring these have lay down when you step on the front? I have tried a few different barefoot shoes and if they have a stiff toe spring I get blisters from my toes trying to do their thing. Thanks.

Yeah there is no toe-spring, really. These things are flimsy as can be (not a bad thing). The biggest draw back to them is that they probably won’t survive much abuse.

This review cannot be more accurate as I bought these myself in May as my first minimalist shoes.

I am a runner and from my experience one of the most important things when transitioning to minimalist footware is that you wear minimalist footware as much as you can when not running. That being said, the shoes are stylish – I would go so far as saying beautiful. They go really nicely with a pair jeans.

I so far put 200 km on these and they are holding up ok – but just ok. The toe is coming off on the right shoe as described above and and there’s a small tear developing on the same. For comparison, I usually put about 600 km before I start looking for a new pair of running shoes, but I usually don’t wear my running shoes outside of running. These went through daily abuse since May as I was transitioning away from my Brooks. Had I used them 100% for running I think I would have probably got my usual 600 km running out of them.

So all things considered, durability could be better but they aren’t bad enough to prevent me from getting a new pair when these wear out – probably in 6 weeks or so.

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