Right now my go-to shoes are starting to fall apart, and I'm starting to look for a good everyday shoe to replace them with.
What I'm looking for is:
I've been wearing New Balance in the past, and they are ok, but I'd still like something that has less of a sole, and that also has a wide toe box. Any suggestions?
Edit, 5/16 at 8:00am: I just bought a pair of the Black Feiyue shoes on Amazon. I'll report back once I get them and try them on. Thank you all for the suggestions.
EDIT 5/29: I got the Feiyues, and have been walking around in them for a day and a half.
PROS: Flexible sole. Nice and wide toe box. Comfortable shoe. Low price, good quality.
CONS: Feels as though there's a thick part of the sole that runs up and down the middle of it - gives the sensation of balancing your foot on a beam or sorts. Although I think this is getting better the more I wear them.
All in all, it's a good shoe that gets the job done.
I've not seen them outside of Australia, maybe they go by other names around the world?
They are a simple canvas upper shoe, flat sole, no arch support, no cushioning, no massive heal, etc. Not unlike Nike Free's but they've been around since the 1940's and don't have the marketing hype.
They became a wee bit cool on the fringe at some point and doubled in price, but they're still less than $50 AUD.
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Converse Chuck Taylors (low tops). They are very flat, and of course socially accepted. You can run and lift weights in them very comfortably. In fact, if you look you might find many powerlifters even wearing them during workouts.
Generally around $40 and come in every color under the sun.
What about a pair of Sambas? They're like $55 (plus shipping if you order them online) and they're just classic flat-soled shoes. Of course Vibrams would be best, but if they need to look like normal shoes and be under $80, Sambas, being flat-soled and simple, will mitigate most of the damage associated with wearing running shoes or something.
I can't remember where I read this, but when I was reading about minimalist footwear someone suggested water shoes as an alternative. They can be crazy cheap and some of them look like regular shoes (there are quite a few pairs out there for less than $20). Plus, the sole is pretty thin.
I love my huaraches that I got from InvisibleShoe.com... only $15 (you put them together yourself, really easy). I've been running in them for several months... and out and about sometimes to tan my feet (though I get a lot of goofy stares and comments.
I've been holding out for a pair of Altra Adams (suppose to be available by the end of the month $99 online/ $89 in a store if near you). They have a super wide toe box, but are suppose to fit like a champ... heard nothing but positive reviews about them from reputable sources. Also has several different insole choices (that come with it), or just remove them both. http://altrarunning.com/
Cross country racing flats.
For example, my Saucony Shay XCs have lasted over a year. I expect to get a few more months out of them before they seperate (wear them everywhere including running and the gym) I wear them without socks. They feel like slippers. Are lighter than sandals and look like normal shoes for the most part. Tie them loose and you never know they are there. They are so light they will never slip off. Paid 50 for this particular model at the time.
Oh yeah. The sole is about a 1/2 inch in the rear and tapers to 3/8s at the front. Sole is pliable enough to roll up the shoe and lift up your toes and feel pebbles under-foot and so on. The upper material is very breathable. Lastly, looks like they have a new version now, hopefully it's just as great as the original.
Check out feelmax. I've only found them in the states through a website called extremeoutfitters.com. They feel like wearing socks only. I have the pankas and I wear them to work quite often and virtually no one even notices them.
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