Cool Runnings: Barefoot in winter: what can minimal shoes do on cold days?

"Barefoot or patent leather shoes, all or nothing?" asked the legendary and unforgettable Harald Juhnke more than three decades ago in one of his songs.

Cool Runnings: Barefoot in winter: what can minimal shoes do on cold days?

"Barefoot or patent leather shoes, all or nothing?" asked the legendary and unforgettable Harald Juhnke more than three decades ago in one of his songs. Juhnke, the older ones among us will remember, was anything but a gentleman. But this is another story. So-called barefoot or minimal shoes have written a real success story in recent years. The idea behind the minimalist kicks is as simple as it is ingenious. Because everyone is born barefoot, barefoot walking is the most natural (and healthiest) of all modes of transportation. And it was precisely this simple idea that the developers of barefoot shoes used. The decisive feature and the most important difference to ordinary sneakers, patent-leather shoes or hiking shoes: the flexible sole. And if you're getting cold feet, both literally and mentally, you should read on. Because both are unfounded.

Leguano is one of the pioneers among the manufacturers of minimal shoes. It goes without saying that special models for cold days are also made in the manufactory in Buchholz, Rhineland-Palatinate. The winter version from the active range comes in four color combinations. The usual flexible and non-slip Lifolit sole should ensure a perfect barefoot feeling. The active winter is lined with 100 percent wool. Cold feet are therefore almost impossible. The mesh upper makes these sporty barefoot lace-up slippers a chic everyday companion. This shoe is also suitable for moderately profiled hikes. No matter where it is used, the wearers train and strengthen their foot muscles and prevent back problems. Here's the Iguano Active Winter.

Tip: Wear light Merino wool socks in your shoes on very cold days.

The key data

At first glance, you could easily think that the Gobi II by Vivobarefoot is an ordinary half-height lace-up shoe made of leather. It comes across as slim and elegant. If you take a closer look at the sole, it quickly becomes clear that this must also be a barefoot shoe. The nubbed casual sole is just three millimeters thick. The leather (according to the manufacturer from wild animals living in Africa) and a cork sole that is also three millimeters thick and removable ensure warm feet and a pleasant climate in the shoe. The shoe goes with casual jeans as well as with a suit or another business look. The Vivobarefoot Gobi II is available here.

The key data

Let's get to the only real toe shoe in this little overview. Above all, trekking fans should have come across Vibram more often. And that literally. Because Vibram is one of the leading sole manufacturers specializing in trekking, climbing and outdoor sports in general. To be more precise, on the shoes that are worn. And even more precisely on what should provide grip under the shoes. Vibram produces rubber soles. In addition to the core business, the Italians also took on the topic of barefoot shoes a few years ago. The models from the FiveFingers series, which, strictly speaking, should be called the FiveToes series, are particularly popular. In contrast to many other barefoot shoes, each toe gets its own box, which makes the barefoot feeling even more tangible and realistic. Visually, the Vibram FiveFingers Trek Ascent may take some getting used to, but it is a real challenge for the often neglected tendons, muscles and ligaments in the foot. Anyone who wears the shoes regularly has a good chance of permanently correcting misalignments and thus the posture of the entire body.

Tip: If you tend to have cold feet, it is better to slip into barefoot shoes with socks, especially on cooler days. Important: Of course they have to be toe socks.

The key data

Barefoot shoes are a bit like car tires. There are the perfect slippers for the summer. From October to Easter put on a set of winter tires. If you don't feel like it, you can get all-season tires straight away. Kind of a hybrid. Which brings us to the Sole Runner Transition Vario 3. Because these barefoot shoes should accompany their wearers safely and healthily through all four seasons. For this purpose, it was equipped with a removable thermal fleece (viscose and polyester). Depending on how cold you feel, the individual elements can be placed in a small pocket in the shaft and removed again. The mesh is supposed to be water-repellent (not waterproof), which also makes the shoe attractive for winter hikes. Nevertheless, the manufacturer recommends waterproof socks, such as this model from Sealskinz, for longer tours in wet or snowy conditions.

The key data

Children's and adolescent feet take a long time to develop. This only works if you give your small (and later larger) feet space and freedom. This is the only way bone structure, tendons and nerve endings can be perfectly coordinated and harmonized. 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 tendons, muscles and ligaments need to be brought into harmony. A real challenge. Children's barefoot shoes are very generous, especially in the toe area. Only in this way can the little toes be moved freely when walking and running. And because puddles magically attract even the very youngest, barefoot shoes for children should definitely be waterproof or at least water-repellent. The Froddo Barefoot ankle boots have a high shaft, which ensures that children are even more stable and secure in their shoes. The little ones should feel the structure of the ground through the thin and flexible rubber sole.

The key data

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