Questions & Answers

New and still searching for the perfect shoe

Came across the barefoot thingy while researching ultra-light travelling. Can't decide which shoe would be best suited... still looking for the perfect shoe, suitable for running, bushwalks, beach, Indian holiday and European winter. A rather narrow foot, too... Any suggestions?


Answers and Replies


Hello Cewin, do you want only one type of minimalist shoes? European winter and a holiday in India in one shoe. That's going to be difficult. Can you be more precise about temperatures, weather etc? And in which part of Europe do you live?


Thanks for your reply! I thought it would be rather difficult! I read and article (forgotten where) - that one really only needs 'one' - I guess part of me wanted to challenge that. Temperatures in India would be around 30degrees, Germany possibly below zero (I may have to borrow some fur-lined boots from my cousin). Weather range can be anything...desert to snowstorm. I know, not very helpful. And I live in a small rural New Zealand townn, which means that I can't try on any shoes and have to mail order mostly from USA. So they just will have to fit first time.

Maybe I should forget about the travelling, which still is about 10months off, and concentrate on New Zealand: Temperatures around 10-25 degrees C, often very muddy and uneven/steep bush tracks with lots of river crossings. Sandy and rocky beaches.


I would advise trailrunners. Like the New Balance Minimus or the Merrel Trail glove. If you want to cross rivers the shoes should dry fast. The Merrel Trail gloves do not really dry that fast actually, though they are great shoes. I don't know this about the NB Minimus. You could also try the Vibram Fivefingers. The KSO model could be nice. And on beaches... ...of coarse barefoot.

I don't think there is only one type of shoe that you should need. Maybe for people who live in an area where the climate doesn't change during the year.


Thanks, Huib. Yes, they are both nice and available here. The crazy thing is, that it seems companies who are represented in NZ don't allow you to buy overseas. This means that New Balance and Merrells cost me NZ220.- and NZ200.- respectively = US 160.- to 180.- if bought here. I've never bought shoes that expensive!

On the other hand, if I ordered the Stem, with coupon, it would only be $120 NZ (99.- US), including postage.

But thanks for the advice, I'll be looking out for those models on TradeMe. I may get lucky! (There is a fivefingers going, too, but I am worried that I won't get my teeny weeny toes in!)


Thanks, Damien - but mine are a women's, US size 7 usually, length about 23.5cm (9 1/4inch) - I would have room to rent!


Sandals are actually the most versatile. When it is cold, you add wool socks. When it is hot you wear them barefoot. If they fit well, you can hike on mountain trails or walk in cities and be comfortable. If you really want minimalist ones, the Lunas with the fancy cordovan leather will probably last and look the best. If you don't care whether they are minimalist, something like Chacos last forever or there are some sandal-makers out there that make high-quality leather sandals that don't have that sport sandal appearance.

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