Questions & Answers

Hello from a shoe buyer

I have been on this forum for a while now but I had not introduced myself so far. I am a runner, hiker and kayaker from The Netherlands. My first interest in barefoot walking started years ago when I accidently passed a website about it ( ). I started to read some more about it and ordered the book 'The Barefoot Hiker' from Richard K. Frazine. This was problably the very first book on walking barefoot. It is still available but it can also be downloaded from the internet ( ).

I actually didn't came to read the book until a few years later when barefoot running became more populair. I followed some classes from a Dutch barefoot running coach and bought my first minimal shoes: Feelmax Panka leather.

My Feelmax shoes started to wear out and since spring last year I bought a lot of shoes because I wanted lightweight minimal shoes not only for running but also for hiking and daily use. I started with Inov-8 Terroc 330's (lightweight but not minimal) for my summer holiday in the French Alps. I actually used my Ecco boots during this trip. Not much later I bought VFF Speeds for running. I think they are my best running shoes so far, but not very good in wet weather.<br> In the fall I bought Terra Plana Aqueous waterproof minimal shoes for hiking and I think thes are great shoes as long as it isn't freezing. For my winterhike in the German Eifel I bought for half of the price a pair of waterproof Inov-8 Roclite 390 because my Ecco's are not waterproof anymore. The 390's are not minimal but they performed well in the snow. For running in the wet season I bought a pair of TP Evo II. They are heavier and stiffer than my VFF's but they fit well on my feet and I think these shoes are quit strong and durable. Meanwhile I was also interested in the Golite Timberlites because of its zero drop sole and its guaranteed waterproofness. I had to order them from the US so I hesitated. Finally I bought them. They fit well on my feet but are not waterproof... The material maybe waterproof but the stitching is not. And Golite calls this 'guaranteed waterproof'. I think these shoes are still very good for dry freezing weather. Where I live we have this kind of weather a lot in winter, more than snow. Finally I bought the Merrel Trail Glove and Tough Glove recently. Now I run in my Trail Gloves but they are actually purchased for hiking and leisure in spring and summer. The Tough Gloves are for daily use. So that's a lot of shoes. And I also think the new Teva Zilch could be interesting for me and the TP Ultra for kayaking... And maybe some other shoes for daily use. I am afraid the Inov-8 Terroc's will not see much use anymore so this was a waste of money. I just see it as a part of my transition from heavy hiking boots in the past to ultralight minimal shoes now.

Real barefoot is still the best I think, especially in nature. But I don't see myself running or hiking barefoot. The only place I like to run barefoot is on a big sandy dune in a forest near my home.


Answers and Replies


Welcome Huib. Sounds like you are a shoe geek (or maybe connoisseur is a better word ;-) I am too. I think part of the reason for me (other than the fact that I review shoes) is that this whole section of the market is just in it's infancy and I am still trying to find out what works and what doesn't.

I look forward to seeing what you think of the shoes you have tried. Please leave some reviews, your experience will be invaluable to others who are just starting out.


I am starting to think this forum might be a cover for shoeaholics LOL When I was married she called me Imelda.

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