When it comes to minimalist footwear, there are many options available, all of which work very well in warm conditions. When it comes to cold, wet, snowy conditions however, I have yet to discover what I would consider a workable solution. Sure, there are options that might get you through a few inches of snow if you are out running for a couple of hours, but nothing for real adventuring: spending multiple days hiking or snowshoeing in the cold, wet, and deep.
I was pleasantly surprised this week to find out that Feelmax has a product in the works to be released in the USA this fall that may get things much closer. It is called the Kuuva, and Feelmax were kind enough to send me a couple of photos to get excited about:
Here is what I am looking forward to:
- It is a boot, it comes above the ankle. This will be great for keeping out snow, and will make it possible to put on gaiters. It also looks like it will be possible to wear strap-on crampons as well, which is an absolute necessity when hiking in icy conditions.
- The uppers are constructed out of a very durable, water-resistant, breathable, synthetic fabric. Synthetics handle water much better than leather, and breathable is really important, especially when trying to dry them out. For waterproofness, I would probably try pairing these with a Gore-tex sock.
- There is no cushioning or support, which is what I like to see in my footwear. It is constructed using a flexible 2.5mm waterproof outsole. For colder conditions and more insulation under foot, I would probably try adding a pair of Aerogel insoles.
- I am not sure how much (if any) insulation it has, but it looks like I will be able to experiment with a variety of sock combinations to get the warmth needed. In addition to that, one could also add overboots. Some experimentation will be reqired in this area.
This looks very promising for people who want to go minimal all year, I am looking forward to trying them out to see how they handle a Maine winter.