What kind of shoes that would be somewhat respectable in a professional environment still incorporate some of the principles of footwear which allow for a natural gait and posture?
What should I look for? Low heel? Are there soft or fairly thin souled black leather shoes?
I've been waiting for 6 months for these babies to be released: http://www.merrell.com/US/en-US/Product.mvc.aspx/22874M/50387/Mens/Mens-Barefoot-Tough-Glove
They'll have the Vibram sole.
I wear the Terra Plana Vivo Barefoot Dharma. I have pretty big feet so they look a little bit like slippers, but I wear them with slacks all the time with no problems. I have the black ones. I'd like brown, but they have a lighter sole and I'm not sure would look right. I've had mine for at least 6 mos now wearing them several times a week and they are going strong.
Terra Plana Vivo Barefoots for the win!
I have a pair of Aquas. Things I like:
Things I don't like: expensive
There are many reviews from barefoot focused sites. Search around.
p.s. I'm bare foot or in flip-flops at work unless there is a special occasion or the weather dictates the need for shoes.
I hope these are the shoes you're been searching for. We set out to create a shoe that looks indistinguishable from the most conservative Oxford. A shoe you could wear through a job interview and into a black tie affair, without compromising barefoot comfort. And in that end, I believe we've succeeded =) I'd love to hear your thoughts.
If you help us spread the word to reach our $50,000 pre-order goal, they'll be ready for you early 2012 =)
Earth Brand Negative Heel Shoes have that large flex and lots of toe space, much like the Nike Free, with no tall heel.
I like the Vanish, but they have other options and colors. http://www.earthfootwear.com/ourfootwear/tabid/222/language/en-us/c-12-casuals.aspx
Heres a picture I took of the Flex/Underside
These may not be paleo in the "negative heel, barefoot" sense, but they're amazingly ergonomic. I can't go barefoot because of some arthritis-related issues, and these things rock (literally...they rock as you stand and walk). Extra bonus is that they are considered "orthopedic" and covered by our medical insurance.
Have you looked into the Kangaroo Leather Fivefingers from Vibram? They may take some time to order if a local store doesn't have them, but fivefingers are worth every penny spent and every day waited. I have a pair of KSO's, but my work environment right now is not really professional (graduate teaching assistant at university while pursuing master's degree), but I have a buddy that wears the black leather ones with his shirts, ties and slacks at his office with no problems. Something to look into...depending on how dressy we are talking
I've been wearing Body Glove Riptide shoes to work with no problems. I did use a black Sharpie to block out the bright yellow logo. They are amazingly flexible. The sole is very soft and may wear out relatively quickly but at $15 a pair (yes, $15) I think they're a pretty good deal.
The sole is pretty well insulated, too. I wore them for several days in the snow (between 20 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit). The flexible, grippy soles also did better on lumpy ice than my stiff, lug-soled shoes. (For comparison, the bottoms of my feet were too cold in VFF KSOs at 40 degrees Fahrenheit.)
I also have Vivo Barefoot Aquas. They are fine for work but the sole is too hard which, combined with the tight cuff, messes with my proprioceptive sense of where my feet are. Hard to explain - it's weird. It feels like I'm wearing loose slippers even though they're not loose at all.
Minnetonka moccasins have some shoes that look professional but have leather stitched on soles instead of rubber. Inside is a tad of padding but not so much as to lift the heal greatly. I have strolled around for many hours on hard floors with the women's version of these mocs and found them quite comfortable and light weight. On this link, I believe all of the top row have no soles but there are other styles available if you spend some time on google: http://www.moccasinsdirect.com/products/Minnetonka-moosehide-moccasins2.htm
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