I’ve got another great product review for you guys, and let me cut to the chase: these are the best barefoot sandals I’ve ever worn, and perhaps the best barefoot shoe I’ve ever had. Let me explain.
Before the barefoot craze hit us several years ago when Born to Run was released, it was almost impossible to find barefoot trainers. I’d scour the internet for hours, and the best I could come up with were some Chucks and these Feiyvue’s. Good shoes, but still not flexible and minimal enough to allow my foot to be a foot.
Then we had the golden era – the time when every company was trying to come up with a shoe to catch the barefoot trend. Vibram Fivefingers were the first ones I heard of, but soon after I found Luna Sandals, Vivobarefoot, even Merrell, Inov-8 and New Balance were jumping in the mix. I was so excited! Finally I’d have lots of great options for footwear!
Until I started trying all of them. I went through about 20 pairs of different types and styles. Almost none of them felt truly “barefoot” to me. They would either pinch my toes, create heel chord stiffness (due to overly tight straps), be MUCH stiffer in the midfoot than desired, etc. etc. My search for the perfect pair of shoes maddeningly continued.
Now, it’s 7 years later, and I’ve finally found shoes worthy of putting up on a pedestal of great barefoot trainers. And they’re not even shoes: they are the Shamma Sandals Warriors.
I did a review for Shamma Sandals for their Mountain Goats over a year ago. I liked the feel of the sandal quite a bit, but the ink bled into my feet when wet and they didn’t have as much carry over to more intense natural movement and play. They were great, but scored a 4/5 for these drawbacks. The Warriors solved these issues and more besides.
- Power Strap allows for much more vigorous movement and play while the sandal stays glued to the foot. (no more tripping over the front of the sandal!)
- Velcro straps much more comfortable than other brands I’ve tried and are easy to take on and off.
- Open toe box (AKA sandal) allows for natural toe spread and movement.
- Very comfortable through the webbing of my big toe (something that I’ve had trouble with before)
- Tan leather bottoms don’t bleed into feet (Note: I’ve seen a review where someone did have this problem. All I can say is it wasn’t nearly as bad as the black bottoms I had before :))
- Vibram soles are very grippy and do well in rain or shine.
- Great flexibility through the foot while still providing enough protection to safely explore new ground.
- So far, have held up very well under frequent and exuberant use (about 6 months so far!)
- Cost is competitive with other shoes on the market.
- Not really a drawback, just a note. These still aren’t meant to be a replacement shoe for playing basketball and other sports. Wear these for movement and exploration. Wear the appropriate sport specific wear if that’s what you want to do.
Total Score: 5/5. Get a pair! You won’t regret it 🙂
And thanks to Shamma Sandals for the review copy!