I'm trying to figure out a good solution to the winter minimalist shoes dilemma. I need at least one pair of "real shoes" (not vibrams) for working outside. I need something waterproof and appropriate for muddy conditions but all typical work boots look so stiff and uncomfortable. Does anyone have any good solution they'd like to share? A favorite minimal winter shoe? I'd just buy some rubber boots but if there is anything out there with a thinner, flexible sole I'd love to hear about it. Thanks!
I have a pair of Vibrams that are made of gortex or something, I also have some zip up kayaking boots made of gortex. Both are warm as heck. I chose the kayaking boots because they don't have a thick soul and are therefore somewhat minimalist, although if you're used to being barefoot and have wide feet, your little toe will rub. If you go with kayaking boots made of gortex they will most likely be significantly cheaper than minimalist footwear ($30 or so) and warmer. Mine are black and I can wear them to work with business casual stuff and nobody notices.
My winter Vibrams are neither KSO's, Classics, or Sprints. I forget the name of the version but that probably eliminates much of their line.
If I didn't have wide feet I would just wear water shoes in the summer (approximately 7$ at Wal-Mart) and water sport boots in the winter ($30).
I've been trying my Softstar Runamocs, but the suede version (without perforated leather). They are quite comfortable, and could be worn with socks.
My Feelmax Pankas have served me well (and keep on serving me well) for 1 year now, although I have not used them for real outdoor activities during wintertime. So far, Feelmax offers the best barefoot feel (better than the Runamocs and the VFF). Their sole definitely is the thinnest of all.
For something warmer than Feiyues or VFFs, there's sheepskin slipper/shoes, like at http://www.kiwi-sheepskins.com/ . I have a pair of the Bootie Slippers and they are totally suitable for wearing out all day with no socks, and are extremely comfy. They're not cheap, but at half the price of SoftStars they're not overly pricey either.
If you want to take a step up to something suitable for really cold weather, you can try mukluks. The biggest two makers are Steger and Manitobah. I had some trouble finding Manitobah ones I liked (they're cheaper and have Vibram soles), so I went with the Ojibwa Short that Steger sells. These are not as minimalistic as true minimalist shoes, but much moreso than almost any winter boot in a store. You'll pay at least 160 + shipping, but they'll last. Make sure to ask for cheaper shipping if you order from them - you'll probably get it. Size up, and if your feet are wider than average get the Wide even if you don't normally wear wides.
These are minimal winter shoes you should have http://www.upere.com/upere-wedge-sneakers-c-1.html?page=2&sort=20a.
Hello,I think you are right with your shoes. I love the sound of this - hoping to pick up some shoes to give it a go myself this year. With my sneakers I want to wear legwear, Its great for me to protect my skin from winter. Regards!