Barefoot Shoes

Sockwas – a Minimalist Shoe Mini-Review

I was inspired to become a barefoot runner after reading Born to Run, and started looking for “barefoot” shoes. My first pair of minimalist/barefoot shoes were Vibram Sprints.

I liked the FiveFingers Sprints but …


Guest post by James I was inspired to become a barefoot runner after reading Born to Run, and started looking for “barefoot” shoes. My first pair of minimalist/barefoot shoes were Vibram Sprints. I liked the FiveFingers Sprints but …
  1. They were uncomfortable due to inside stitching and the toe things not fitting well
  2. They became REALLY stinky REALLY fast, even if it wasn’t hot outside
  3. They had no treads at all, and I would slip in them all the time, on terrain that I had better grip on while barefoot
So I bought a pair of New Balance Minimus Trails. These shoes solved all of the abovementioned problems I had with the Sprints, but created new ones …
  1. The 4mm heel to toe ratio was a big problem, messing up my barefoot stride big time. Who knew 4 millimeters could be so evil?
  2. The extra weight was a problem too. Again, who knew just 7.1 oz could be so heavy on your feet?
And NOW we get to the point of the whole shindig: the Sockwa G2. These shoe/sock things solved all of my problems with the Vibram Sprints and the Minimus trails. They are the most comfortable shoe I have ever worn, hands down. They feel like your wearing a sock. They have the best grip in the water I have ever seen due to their plastic sole (more on that later). They are zero drop, with the sole being just 1.2 millimeters thick everywhere. Not 12, 1.2! And they are the lightest shoe I have ever seen or worn, my size 11’s weighing only 3.5 ounces. Perhaps the most interesting feature about these little slippers is the sole, which is not made of rubber but a plastic called TPU. TPU has better grip on wet surfaces, and is more durable than rubber. I can personally vouch for the durability; I have run 520 miles In them and I still have all the treads, even though the entire shoe stack height is only 1.2 mm thick. They are $50 bucks at, which may sound steep, but I’m getting as much use out of them as I would with normal shoes. When buying remember to buy a full to half size larger than your typical shoe size, but the size isn’t a big deal because they fit just like a sock.

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19 replies on “Sockwas – a Minimalist Shoe Mini-Review”

What about toe spread? I’m always wary of shoes described as ‘like a sock’. I want my toes to be able to spread without any restriction!

How are they holding up to wear and tear? In one picture, it looks like the right foot’s rubber sole is coming off the sock portion where the toes are.

Otherwise, they actually look pretty cool.

The only thing that I hate about these shoes is the giant logo on the side. I hate feeling like I am a freaking bill board advertising my shoes. And I especially hate doing this when I pay premium for the shoes.

Another reviewer found these to be too tight. Obviously, you like the fit. What is the upper material like?

Thanks for the review.

thought I would check them out, they looked like they would be pretty good on the website, but apparently you have to be a leprechaun to be able to wear these. I checked their website, biggest size available was an 11, which in normal sizes would be more like a 10. Considering the most common shoe size in the US is an 11, you would think they would at least go up to size 12.

Ok I’m probably not doing this right, but let’s see if I can answer everyones questions in one giant post:

1. Smell…well, not quite as bad as the vibrams, but now that it’s warming up here (SC) they are a little ripe. You can wash them though.

2.Your toes can spread great-this coming from someone who prefers to run with no shoes. The material (I think it’s neoprene) hugs your foot all over but it’s really stretchy, so no toe splay ruination going on.

3. They are holding up quite well considering 1. They now have almost 800 miles on them and look about the same as in these photos and 2. I accidentley put them in the dryer with the heat on, which your not supposed to do and which I suppose weakened the glue holding the sole on.

4. And that is why I chose black. :). It’s not nearly as bad as other colors, and hey, we can walk in “frog shoes” without any qualms, right?

5. Do I win a prize for the longest post EVER!?!?

I love reading reviews of our product, in this case, specifically the G2.

Regarding the toes splaying and whether it’s important or not? YES it is important, and yes, your toes can splay out in our G2. We use a super, uber thin TPU sole and a stretchy upper that allows the toes and the feet to remain the shape they are and instead make the shoe the shape of YOUR foot.

You can tell by the picture of James feet above that the Sock with Attitude, Sockwa, conforms to your feet. The result is a barefoot feel. So expect to feel pebbles and temperature change. Just avoid the huge acorns and watch where you walk.

Thanks for everyone’s input.

David Zasloff

I went through the almost identical process as the author. From the book to Vibrams (no Minimus Trails) to Socwa. And have come out with same result. I have a pair overly expensive Vibrams sitting in my closet and a pair of Socwa’s on my feet each day I run the wet, rough back roads of South West Ireland.

I did have a sizing issue with my initial purchase (and was my own fault). Which was personally sorted out by David Zasolf at Socwa’s expense, without delay or complaint. Now that’s just good business, married to a good product. They (business and product) certainly have my vote. And will be buying again for my self and family.

I wanted to love these (super light, great ground feel), but I have wide feet so the sizing didn’t work.

I ordered a size 10, but the toe box was too narrow and the length was too long. I’m probably Sockwa size 11 in width and a size 9 in length.

For reference, I fit Vibram KomodoSport LS in W42 and New Balance 2E tennis shoes (although New Balance 4E hikers were too narrow for me).

Thanks for the review. These shoes look awesome, and I will definitely try a pair. I love the website, and the price point for these shoes are unbeatable.

I joined the minimalist shoe culture last summer, and my entry level show were the Vibram Bikilas. Those now feel to stiff and rigid for my tastes. I’m currently wearing Soft Star Run Amocks and Moc3 for my walking and running. The quality on Soft Star shoes is amazing, unlike the Vibrams which I found tend to wear quicker. If the Sockwa’s are anything like the Soft Star, and they seems to be so and more, then I should be a pretty happy camper.

I love the design on these and would love to buy a pair. My only problem is wide feet, which seems like it might be a hinderance. Does anyone know how the shoes are in that dimension?

@Benny I have pretty wide feet. I am currently working on a review of the Sockwa. Personally, I find them to be very narrow. I don’t recommend them if you have wide feet. They can feel very constricting along the sides of the shoe near the pinky and big toes.

Hi, thanks for the review. It’s definitely helping steer me in the direction of the Sockwas for my cold running shoes. I own a pair of original suede RunAmocs, but now that I try to do a majority of my road running barefoot even those seem clunky to me now. But alas, I still need a little something for the mornings when the pavement is chilled here in Colorado, and one of these super thin sock-style shoes seems right for me. For 520 miles, your pair still looks great. I do have a few questions, though: Do you have any concerns about the uppers? It looks like they’re starting to come apart on the right shoe/sock (but again, it’s hard to knock it when they’ve lasted more than 500 miles!). Do they get hot inside? Do your feet ever slide around in them? Thanks for any help with these questions.

I want to chime in a more recent review of these shoes from a girly perspective. I recently purchased a pair of G3 shoes on clearance and a pair of G4 shoes, both in size Women’s 8/Men’s 7 since I generally wear between an 8 and an 8.5. I have REALLY wide feet too. The G3’s were OMG perfect, the G4’s were a tiny bit short, so I’m returning those for the size up. Their customer service was wonderful and actually told me up front that the G3’s would be a bit roomier.

These shoes are the ultimate in barefoot comfort for me. I do like my VFF’s and all summer have been wearing Xeroshoes huaraches, but for cooler weather I wanted something that could blend a bit better for a work environment. I wore the olive G3’s with jeans to a picnic and nobody commented on my “weird shoes.” I have some Soft Star Runamocs that I call my “fugly” shoes because though they are super comfy, they do look really wide on my feet. These Sockwas are much more foot-skimming (like a sock!). I think in black they will sort of vanish away and hopefully not look like slippers. So if any girls are looking for something that won’t look like a sneaker, I’d say Sockwas are worth a look as well as the Soft Star line. I do love my grippy Roo suede shoes in turquoise very much for cool weather.

I just bought a pair of ‘freet’ to start off in barefoot running in the lower budget, as much as I love the look of VFF’s I just can’t bring myself to pay that much money!

Anyway, I am returning the freet because the toe box part is way too wide for my feet. So anyone thinking of needing a wider foot, they could be a worthy option and for £50 they are a pinch in comparison. I’m a size 10 and need at least 11 as the 10 1/2’s where too tight.

I’ve just ordered some huaraches instead now and hope these become my running shoe of choice from now on! The Sockwa is something I would seriously consider for the colder months here in the north! In fact I only found them because I was thinking of trying to make something just like this for myself! I’m always too late with my ideas haha!

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