Fila Skele-toes mine are a little less gaudy in black and grey

We went to Modell’s yesterday to get Crispy some new shorts in anticipation of the warm weather today, and while we were there I spotted these: Fila Skele-toes shoes.

my Skele-toes and some yellow flowers

I have read of the supposed advantages of barefoot running, and there have been some similar running shoes around for a while that are meant to be very good, but are quite expensive (Vibram Five Fingers). These however were just $50 and as they are advertised as being good for all surfaces and are described more as a utility shoe than a running shoe, and as I needed a new pair of light-weight hikers for walking the dog in the warmer weather, I thought I’d give them a try. Why? you may ask- well as another website puts it: shoes that allow your feet to function naturally—as they would barefoot—when you do things like run, walk, work out, or play—are healthy.”

muddy paws- and boy I need a tan!

They are a bit weird when you first put them on as you wear them without socks and your first 3 toes each have their own “finger” while your 2 smallest toes share one (this is supposed to make them easier to put on, and it does, but I wonder if they just want them to be different from Vibrams). The soles are quite flexible, I’ve read some other reviews that say they’re too thick and they don’t give you the full “barefoot” experience, but for the stoney and rocky trails in Saxon Woods I’d say they’re just about perfect. I did the 3 mile loop this afternoon with Holly and I found them very comfortable and the thickness of the soles to be enough to protect my feet from the sharper stones, but still allow me to feel what was underfoot. And the experience of almost spreading out your toes and gripping as you climb the steeper sections is quite novel and feels very natural once you get used to it.

So, after just one day out I like them a lot! They are very comfortable, light, and seem to breath well, and as they seem to be made of something very similar to neoprene I assume they’ll be fine in puddles and streams and will dry quickly. My only worry about them is for the durability of the thin nylon material that makes up the “fingers” between your toes- it is pretty thin and it will be interesting to see how well it holds up. I’ll just have to be extra vigilant about trimming my toe-nails.

I’ll add a follow up in a few weeks, once I’ve put some real miles on them 🙂

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