Not Flip-Flops!

[In no way is this an advertisment or an endorsement!]

“Travelling Light” for me involves more than just backpacks, but to clothes as well. Once I start thinking about packing for my world tour, I’ll muse on what I’m going to take, but for the moment we’re still in the preliminaries.

When I travel, I generally wear (walking) sandals. This is partly because in general I’m a cold-weather creature who doens’t feel chilly until long after everyone else is wearing woollen tops, plus my feet get relatively warm, even just from sitting at my desk at work, so I like to be able to let the air flow around them, but also because I tend to go travelling in places warmer than home. (Having said which, being British means that there aren’t many places I could realistically explore which are considerably colder than the UK, on average.) I normally wear proper walking sandals, but my friend Bea pointed me in the direction of something known as Xero Shoes. They were considerably cheaper than what I’d normally get, so I thought I’d give them a whirl.

They’re very minimalist, but I knew that anyway – by ‘minimalist’ I mean they consist of a very thin sole and several nylon cords holding it in place. They fix on through a combination of a knotted cord over the top of the foot, and a rubber strap behind the achilles, which is easily adjustable … but only when you’re not wearing it, which means if it’s too loose while you walk it’s a bit of a faff to get it tightened accurately. I’m also having to get used to the plastic between the toes; I usually wear sandals with a strap that goes over the top of them, rather than attached by something between them, and it’s causing a little discomfort, but the more I wear them the more comfortable it gets.

Would I take them with me? Absolutely – they’re very light and will take up virtually no room in the backpack.
Would I use them as my only sandals? Hmmm, jury’s still out on that one …

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4 Comments

  1. Kat

    Interesting. They are similar to the concept of “huaraches” that I came across when reading about barefoot running. It’s possible this site is the same one linked, not sure. I know that site did have a “DIY” kit like this one did, though it seems that somewhere there was a site simply on making your own version, period, if you could get ahold of some of the Vibram material for the sole.

    1. barefoot-backpacker barefoot-backpacker

      Yes, that site originally only did ‘DIY’ kits – what I have is the first time they’ve ‘made’ a ready-to-wear shoe, so it’s almost certainly the same site.

      Interestingly, many of the reviews were by people who do indeed run in them. While I’m now much more used to them than I was, I’m not convinced I’d find them comfortable at all for running in. But maybe that’s just me!

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