“After trail running and dayhiking in a half-dozen different barefoot slippers, the Spyridon is my favorite,” says our editor-in-chief. He’s logged several hundred miles in various brands over the last two years, slowly tuning his feet and stride to the demands of ultraminimalist shoes. “The glove-like fit, the elastic, low-volume upper, and the narrow heel cup form to my foot like a second skin,” he reports.
The quick-cinch lacing lets you ratchet the shoe even tighter, eliminating the sloshing around (and hot spot-producing friction) that you get with boxier lasts. Snugness is key with barefoot shoes, especially on steep and off-camber trails where a loose fit compromises traction and stability. “I felt rocks poke through occasionally, but the just-a-tread bottoms let a key benefit of barefoot runners shine through—a more tactile feel for the trail’s micro-topography that enhances surefootedness,” he says. Bonus: They’re good camp shoes in summer. $120; 13.6 oz. (44); 40-47; vibramfivefingers.com