VIBRAM FUROSHIKI SHOES
TEST SERIES BY NANCY GRIFFITH
January 31, 2019
Northern California, USA
5' 6" (1.68 m)
126 lb (57.20 kg)
8.5M Ws US (EU 40)
My outdoor experience began in high school with a co-ed scout group which made a 10-day canoe voyage through the Quebec wilds. I've been backpacking since college in Pennsylvania. I have hiked 1/4 of the Appalachian Trail and 2/3 of the Pacific Crest Trail. My typical trip is in the Sierra Nevada from a few days to a few weeks long. My base weight is lightweight at 15 lb (6.8 kg) while still using a tent, stove and quilt. Longer mileage summer trips are now stoveless.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Vibram Corporation
Year of Manufacture: 2018
Manufacturer's Website: http://us.vibram.com
MSRP: $110 US
Listed Weight: Not Listed
Measured Weight: 10.5 oz (298 g) per pair
Size Tested: EU 40
Sizes Available: EU 36 to 42 (Unisex Sizes)
Color Tested: Black
Other Colors Available: Olive, Dark Jeans, Beet Red, Desert Script, China Jeans
Made in China
The Vibram Furoshiki Shoes are a uniquely-designed pair of minimalist footwear. The upper is 28% Elastane (Stretch Rubber / Lycra) and 72% PA (polyamide & nylon). The fabric wraps around from each side near the toe to the opposite side and attaches with hook-and-loop closure. Between the stretch of the fabric and the adjustment in the attachment point, there is quite a bit of flexibility in fit.
The sole is a rugged but lightweight low-density Vibram outsole. The outsole wraps up the sides and around the front of the toe creating an integrated type of foot protection. The sole has a good grip and is flexible enough to fold in half.
The Furoshiki came in their own storage drawstring pouch which requires the shoes to be folded in half to fit inside. Attached to the drawstring is a Vibram rubber logo (like on their outsoles) which is a key chain. Cool.
INITIAL IMPRESSIONS & TRYING THEM OUT
My initial impression was surprise to find inside the shipping box a small square box which was about 1/4 the size of a shoe box. Huh? Inside the small box I found a nylon carry bag with two shoes inside which were folded in half. Ok, these were already the most unique shoes I'd ever seen even before I took them out the bag.
To try them on, I unfastened the hook-and-loop from both sides which opens up two wrapping wings. Underneath is what looks sort of like a ballet slipper with a nylon cover at the toe and a fairly substantial back. I slipped my toe under the toe box and wrapped the sides to what seemed like a comfortable snug fit. I tried them with the thin athletic socks that I was wearing and found the fit to be a little large. I was able to wrap the wings tightly around my foot though so that there wasn't movement.
The wrap and hook-and-loop closure system allow for quite a range of adjustment. I also tried wearing the Furoshiki barefoot and found them to be too large. I was considering exchanging them for a smaller size but I don't really like to wear shoes barefoot. The feel of the materials against my feet just isn't comfortable to me and these shoes are no different. So, then I tried them on with my typical lightweight hiking socks and they fit nicely. This is most likely what I'll be wearing on the trail when I'm in camp and want to wear the Furoshiki. So, in the end I decided to keep the size I have.
The shoes are very light and flexible making for a comfortable slipper-like experience. I can immediately feel little support and little cushion which is typical of a minimalist shoe. They feel more like being barefoot but with nice sole protection and top coverage.
WASHING INSTRUCTIONS & WARRANTY
Washing instructions say to wash in cold water and drip dry. Additional details on the website say to hand wash or machine wash on gentle cycle in cold water with detergent and air dry. Simple enough. They also have a warning that hot wash water or machine dryers will likely ruin the shoes so be careful.
The warranty on Furoshiki shoes is a 100% satisfaction guarantee if the shoes are purchased at full price and returned within 6 weeks of purchase. No questions asked. Defective material is warranted for 90 days after purchase.
The Vibram Furoshiki Shoes are a unique pair of lightweight shoes that wrap the foot with nylon and have a rugged but flexible outsole.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.
Too little protection in camp?
This concludes my Initial Report. Please check back in two months to see how these shoes are performing in the field. Thanks to Vibram and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test out these unique shoes.
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