If we consider the design of the FiveFingers, there are several distinct features. They don’t look like any normal shoe, first and foremost due to the sole. It is shaped like a foot and is supposed to wrap around you like a thin protective layer of rubber. Sounds good so far, considering that this is what we want when acquiring a shoe for our purpose: just a little protection that doesn’t interfere with our feet’s abilities or functions. Also, the sole is very flexible and you quickly notice the small grooves in the material. They are probably there to make the material more elastic or perhaps just for the looks, because the sole is just as flexible where there aren’t any grooves.
The upper material is glued to the sole, which makes sense. It reduces irritating joints and there is plenty of surface for affixing. The inner part is a suede-like material and it is quite pleasant. Besides the sole wrapping around your foot, an elastic band helps keeping the shoe in place and it can be loosened and tightened for better fitting. The toe slots are a very fine piece of needlework, and you wonder how long it took the designers to figure out exactly how to create pockets for the individual toes. They succeeded, though, and the product overall seems very sturdy.
The Vibram FiveFingers shoes are light, flexible and innovative shoes indeed. From the mere looks, the touch and the feel they come out as a very inviting product. So let’s see how they do in practice.