Author Topic: Frugal Way to Transfer to Barefoot Walking/Shoes  (Read 1802 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Frugal Way to Transfer to Barefoot Walking/Shoes
« on: January 30, 2017, 09:31:43 PM »
The research I've done and from the advice from a Pilates/Physical Therapist who is highly regarded, I'm going to convert myself into barefoot/minimalist style shoes.

However, as a male, I've already got a wardrobe full of quality, well built shoes. I don't just want to throw them all out or sell them for pennies on the dollar.

What is the best way to go about it?

I feel if I continue to wear them and just replace with minimal style shoes when the traditional ones wear out, that could be another 2-3 years away until my traditional heeled shoes are worn out enough to throw away.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Frugal Way to Transfer to Barefoot Walking/Shoes
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2017, 12:38:13 AM »
Depending on your lifestyle, are there not times when you need more formality/style, warmth, cushioning, or sole protection than such shoes can provide? I didn't/don't mind bf wearing Vibrams while running errands, walks about town, etc but was uncomfortable with/disapproving of that choice if we were going anywhere moderately nice (eg out for a birthday). Also if we went to someone's house where he'd take his shoes off...They were tight so he never got toe socks to go inside...odors happened.

He also never went hiking in them, his own choice (people do...but depending on venue, toe/sole protection can be desirable), and I don't think I've heard of cold-weather versions ...I could be wrong there, though.

I don't see why you can't get one pair and start to accustom your feet to them slowly (from what I hear, it's a process), while continuing to wear your other shoes intermittently as you need/want...

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  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Frugal Way to Transfer to Barefoot Walking/Shoes
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2017, 04:42:57 AM »
Yeah I'd progress slowing to wearing barefoot shoes all the time. I know a few people who have injured their feet from doing too much too soon (running, or just walking about) barefoot.

Saying that, you can buy knock off vibrams from various Chinese websites. They are pretty much identical to the $100 ones.

You can also look for second hand stuff on eBay, as a lot of people try them and don't get on with them, and end up selling shoes in very good condition. Try searching for Vivo barefoot shoes, they make sports and formal footwear.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Frugal Way to Transfer to Barefoot Walking/Shoes
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2017, 07:10:21 AM »
I transitioned about 18 months ago.

I'd never worn much of a heel and didn't need any adaptation.

I had pretty raggedy shoes so I wasn't worried about the financial impact. A lot of my shoes needed replacing anyway.  Only one pair (nearly new running shoes) was really wasted.

I held onto a few pairs of dressy shoes that I wear rarely. For men, for example, if you wear black dress shoes to work 80% of the time, replace those now and keep wearing your non-minimal brown shoes on the future.

I now have very few pairs of shoes which I prefer anyway. 2 pairs sandals, one pair black flats for summer work/dress shoes, one pair black boots for winter dress shoes, one pair brown boots for hiking and causal wear, and one pair tennis shoes that rarely get worn because usually I either wear sandals or the brown hiking boots.  I could have only done 1 sandle, so that is 5 pairs total.  The flats and sandals were cheap, only 3 expensive pairs.

Removing all dress/work clothes that don't match with black makes everything easier and my closet much emptier. Minimalist shoes + minimalist wardrobe.

To the person referencing the weird tie shoes which I hate, that is not what most minimalist shoes are like. I'm sorry he likes ugly shoes ;).

Checkout vivobarefoot for examples of proper minimalist footwear. Yes it's expensive but I've seen a good lifespan from mine so far.


  • Stubble
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Re: Frugal Way to Transfer to Barefoot Walking/Shoes
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2017, 07:13:27 AM »
Sorry, but that's dumb. Human feet aren't meant to walk barefoot on modern surfaces. A million years ago on the rolling grassy plains of Africa? Sure. Today on the flat unforgiving concrete? Not so much. Never mind the fact that you might have other orthopedic issues at play.

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  • Stubble
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Re: Frugal Way to Transfer to Barefoot Walking/Shoes
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2017, 09:44:23 AM »
After transitioning to barefoot/fully attached no rise shoes, I just can't wear the ones I wore before.  My feet cannot tolerate being squished or have any sort of heel.  Just take it slow but it you continue to wear the ill fitting shoes that constrict and do not allow proper movement, you won't get the full benefits.  I don't know if you are familiar with Katy Bowman, she's the movement/barefoot guru, but her husband has hacked some of his old shoes to make them more functional.  You should check out her page and books either way.  She's amazing!


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Frugal Way to Transfer to Barefoot Walking/Shoes
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2017, 10:27:13 AM »
I've been barefoot/minimalist sandals for the past 4 years.  I would say my feet aren't
enclosed in shoes about 95% of the time.  I used to do all my workouts in the weight
room barefoot until the gym changed their policy and required shoes, possibly concerned
about liability issues.  I now wear minimalist running shoes.  Although the shoes are
minimalist, the price isn't ;-)

My preferred sandals are Bedrock Sandals because they use the Vibram material.  If
you're looking to be especially frugal, you could make yourself a pair of huarches.

Some observations:
  • Going completely barefoot is possible, but there are reasons I eventually
    preferred to stick with minimalist scandals. I've never been stopped for showing
    up at a resturant, movie theatre, or even going through the airport in bare
    feet, but I always felt a bit self-conscious. Wearing Bedrock sandals is almost
    the same as being barefoot, but without the potential stigma.
  • Even when your feet adapt to urban surfaces, you'll have to clean them often
    if you aren't wearing sandals.
  • In the hot summer, some surfaces will burn your feet if you have to walk
    over them for any distance. This occured even after my feet had adapted to
    running 2-3 miles barefoot.
  • I keep a pair of nice shoes in my office in case VIPs show up. First
    impressions and everything.
  • Neither bare feet or minimalst scandals work well for me in the rain or snow. I'm
    not saying it can't be done, but the contact between your feet and scandals gets
    slippery. Who needs to take the risk, especially if running?