When the Furoshiki shoe first came out, I got tagged half a dozen times on Facebook. “Have you seen these shoes? Oh, wow, what do you think?” Well, I bought a pair, wore them a while, and I’m ready for my vibram minimal shoe review of the Furoshiki!
Roland and I do our absolute best to teach from honest, personal experience. Whether it’s a shoe, a pair of jeans, or my favorite merino wool workout clothes, we literally wear our opinions.
Vibram Furoshiki Minimal Shoe Review
I won’t lie, just seeing those shoes online definitely made an impression on me. They looked light and flexible, thin enough, yet not too thin to wear outside, and something about them was inviting playfulness and joy.
I’ve worn plenty of Vibram’s before, but before I could do a full and honest Vibram minimal shoe review, I would have to live in them for a bit. Naturally, when it came time to buy a new pair of footwear, a pair of Furoshiki shoes ‘mysteriously’ showed up at my work in a teeny tiny little box.
My first impression was that the shoe was even lighter and gentler to the touch than I’d imagined.
As I unfolded them from their small pouch I was liking them already. As soon as I put them on my feet, I walked back and forth on the small rocks you see in the picture. I had to see how they felt on a natural surface. I was sold.
Vibram minimal shoe review
In no particular order, here are my impressions of the Furoshiki, and my Vibram minimal shoe review!
This shoe is definitely in the ultra minimal category.
I would place it in the same group as Sockwa, Fivefingers, and Unshoes, which means if you are just working your way down from a more stiff and thick shoe, you may want to really give it time.
Titrate your exposure to this shoe. Take it slow, ease in, and keep doing all the good things we teach you to prepare your foot for a minimalist shoe party.
The shoe is comfortable and wide enough for most feet.
Width is further enabled by the unique rubber “scaffolding” on the outside, which fans out flexibly to give you the width you need. The design of the sole allows the whole foot to touch, including the big toe. The big toe is kind of a big deal.
The shoe flexes with the forefoot, allowing natural motion. The sole is neutral and has no rise– letting heel and toes to stay in the same relationship as they would without a shoe. The upper of the shoe is light, breathable and attaches really well with the Velcro (we call Velcro “American zipper” in my native Bulgarian).
I should note that while the front of the shoe feels pretty loose, the heel is made pretty sturdy.. When striking the ground with your heel, you may notice the Furoshiki feel like a regular shoe back there.
Very gentle. The arch and top of the foot experience a sensation of support, but more through proprioception (feeling the touch of the material and responding to that) than actual structural support (like what you would get with an orthotic). The shoe allows your foot to work close to how it’s meant to work without a shoe at all.
I wear a 7.5 -8.0 US female and I am comfortable with a small. If you have a narrower foot you may need a smaller size than what you see in the guide on the website.
Where to wear it
It’s really up to you. Indoors I can see them in health clubs and gyms, martial arts environments, or dance, Pilates and yoga studios where shoes are required.
I would say they are a wonderful gym shoe for the weekend warrior if you aren’t doing intense jumping or agility drills. A general whole body weight lifting session should be perfectly fine.
They make a fine urban outdoor shoe, with concrete and asphalt being cushioned by the heel design, but I wouldn’t wear them for any long treks in a city (like a sightseeing tour around a city with cobblestones).
Once you are on natural terrain (and they feel amazing on grass), you would have more freedom as far as time in the shoe is concerned.
Remember one of the purposes of a minimal shoe – to allow movement of the bones, joints, muscles, nerves, blood and lymph vessels of the foot – and nature intended this to happen with ‘vitamin texture,’ not vitamin flat and level.
Care and Smell
They are machine washable and dry fast.
All I have been doing so far is leaving them open for a few hours after each wearing to let any excess moisture dry out before I put them back on.
Due to them being treated with antibacterial technology and my own good care, I cannot answer one question – do they smell bad? Either they don’t or they don’t yet.
I would appreciate any of your own personal insight here.
I hope my Vibram minimal shoe review helped you find your next minimal shoe!
Let me know what you think of the Furoshiki shoes.
PS. Want to see even more minimal shoe options? Check out the resources page for our latest book – Minimal Shoe List.