Originally Posted by Patar
Spyridon's caught my interest too, I'm just worried about how my klutziness is going to play out in VFFs... I have an unhealthy habit of stubbing my toes on things, and sometimes it takes a turn for the worse and something gets twisted up. Is that even a legitimate concern? Even if I'll be playing ball out in the woods?
Other than the spyridon, the Vivobarefoot Neo Trail is looking like a pretty good choice too. Anyone have any experiences?
EDIT: appreciate the quick answer Deuce
Biggest thing you might want to watch for (though yes, increased feedback is GREAT) is catching your little toe on things like trees when you go by them. Never happened to me but I've heard of it...
If you want the thickest sole Vibram has the Trek LS (discontinued) and TrekSport is something like 9mm including insole.
If you want to try those Inov-8 I mentioned these are the 0 mm drop trail shoes as thin as Vibrams: Inov-8 Footwear BareGrip 200
They have zero drops with more cushion (Bare-X Lite 150) but also a barefoot flat one like the Vibrams too if you want to do some road stuff. (Bare-X 200) Inov-8 Footwear BareX 200
If you play on hard dirt as much as mud you might try the Trail Rocs I am using for the snow currently (Inov-8 Footwear Trailroc 245
) or the Terraflys (Inov-8 Footwear Terrafly 303
). Only thing that sucks is the GoreTex models have increased heel-toe differentials for no reason.
As far as "wide" feet...typically minimalist shoes are made with VERY wide toe boxes to accomodate the natural splay they will have when running mid/forefoot strike (midfoot is MUCH easier on your tendons/calves and lets the shoe do some shock absorption--met one fellow who eventually blew out his achilles cause only his toes ever touched the ground). The only people who might have trouble with some of the minimalist stuff are the ones who have trouble getting into anything but a 4E width...those of you who have collapsed arches (that are always collapsed, not just when you put weight on them).
Other brands for minimalist:
New Balance --> New Balance 1010...not as "minimal" as the Minimus, 4 mm drop. Minimus Trail might be more to your liking but less protection (but more ground-feel).
Saucony --> Hattori is flat, not ideal for slippery conditions...thin soled. Saucony Kinvara (Trail model) is 4mm drop. Saucony has, however, reduced many of their shoes to an 8mm (from the standard 10-12) drop, so you can get cushioning but make a midfoot strike easier.
Nike --> the Nike Free Run is an option, but is one of the thicker "minimalist" shoes. It flexes due to grooves...which get rocks between them. Don't recommend.
Brooks Pure(Connect, Cadence, Flow, Grit, Drift) --> PureGrit is the trail model. Fairly cushioned but from what I hear does a good job of shedding snow/mud from cleating.
That's just the top of my head, there are plenty more out there. birthdayshoes.com is a blog that discusses barefoot stuff and reviews minimalist footwear. I just read about a guy that did a 5 day race through a Brazilian rainforest in Spyridons (if I remember where correctly). Crazy.