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.
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.