This just in from Tynan:
I stumbled upon a company called Xero Shoes. They send you a rectangle of 4mm thick Vibram sole material, some rope, and you get to build your own shoes, called huaraches, according to the directions on the site.
So, one rainy afternoon about six months ago, I found myself huddled on the floor of my RV, using my Ryobi drill to bore holes in the rubber to feed the rope through. The resulting sandals looked ridiculous, and I somewhat timidly made the two block walk to Samovar. But, six months later, I now think they look pretty cool. I’m willing to concede that I might just be influenced by how enjoyable they are to wear, though.
The shoes basically fade away, and you feel like you’re barefoot all the time. Unlike regular sandals, they have rope around the heel, so they stay on well enough to run comfortably. I’ve put hundreds of miles on them, both walking and running, and have never wished for another shoe. I don’t really expect many people to give up all other shoes for these things, but they also make a great secondary shoe. They’re so small that you can easily stash them in your backpack. Or in your pocket, as I did when skiing last year. I’d walk to the Gondola in the sandals, then put on my socks and boots on the way up to the mountain, rather than robot walking the whole way there.
For now, these are the best barefoot shoes you can get.
(Needless to say, we agree 😉 )