I hate wearing dress shoes, but I work for a fairly formal organization which has a strict "business casual" dress code policy.
Anybody try to pass your Vibrams off as "business casual"?
Or, has anybody tried to get a note from a doctor saying that you are required to wear Vibrams because formal dress shoes ruin your feet?
What's the best dress-shoe alternative to Vibrams?
Looks like the new Fall line of Vibrams includes some leather variations that look more "business casual" acceptable. Can't wait!
I wear Sanuk Boardrooms at work. They aren't as minimalist as VFFs, of course, but they are near-zero drop and comfy as hell. Plus, they look like dress shoes which is important. I highly recommend them.
I would speak to your HR person or manager - show them the shoes and see what they think. I took a look at the new line up and some of them look as though they may be more 'passable' in a work environment.
Try the Vivo barefoot line of shoes. Great construction and they give the same benefits as VFF's while maintaining a more conventional look. I am a barefooter and they are my go-to shoe when I need to wear shoes,
I wear either the KSO or the Treks to work everyday and have so for over a year. The safety commission had an issue with them in the science labs but I pointed out that they are safer then most of the shoes the women wear.
I wore KSO's at work for a while, but I work in a Creative depeartment so I got a pass. Then I tried RunAmocs, but could not find a size that fit me well enough. They looked like clown shoes with the big flat toe box.
I currently wear THESE around the office. They let me walk as barefoot as possible, but they look "normal" and are comfortable as heck, plus only 35 bucks. In fact, I plan on experimenting by glueing Vibram sole material onto the bottoms of a new pair so I can wear them outside. I have everything I need on order.
One of these days when I have nothing to do I want to design and make my own minimalist shoes.
I did some Googling and came across several forums where the general recommendation was to go with minimalist driver style shoes.
I also found a review for Flexible Footwear Shoes. They're a bit pricey ($400), but custom fitted/custom made, and have neutral heels. They also actually look like dress shoes. There was some concern expressed about how well padded the soles were, but the description sounded a lot like my Crocs- and I can tell you that after a few weeks that thick feeling is gone as the sole shapes to your foot. Crocs start out at about an inch thick, and become closer to a quarter inch thick after you've worn them long enough. This shoe sounds thinner to start with.
There were also numerous suggestions to take your existing business shoes to a cobbler and have the heels removed and the soles replaced with something more flexible. If you can find a cobbler in your area, that might be your best option. At least until they come out with formal VFFs. :-)
I bought and wear the Merrell Barefoot Tough Gloves at work and purchased them for this sole reason. They look like a pair of Diesels with the added benefit of a Vibrams sole. Since I've completely converted to a standing desk, I also purchased an Air Step Anti-Fatigue mat to ease the burden on my feet from standing on that hard work floor all day. Good luck with your decision!