Seeking Untapered Winter Footwear

Discussion in 'Gear & Footwear' started by Angus Mudge, Nov 1, 2021.

  1. Angus Mudge

    Angus Mudge Barefooters

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2021
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    3
    Hoping someone has an idea for me. Seeking warm, waterproof winter footwear with a very wide, untapered toe box or five-finger-type toe box.

    I've been into barefoot running and hiking for over a decade, and through hard work have experienced significant healing and strengthening of my feet, and as a result, also my back, legs, and overall wellness.

    Due to a combination of conventional footwear and cold temperatures, until about five years ago i didn't even realize that toes could be in any position other than basically fused together, with the last two toes on each foot curled under themselves, numb, and immobile. Since I realized how unhealthy that was, i've been doing all kinds of stretches and exercises to regain feeling and mobility in those toes, and am happy to say that although there's more to do, i can now feel those toes, use them for balance, make meaningful contact with the ground with them, and the effects throughout my body have been profound. It's been a slow and difficult process, and it's been worth it.

    Because I don't want to lose progress, I no longer wear shoes if i don't have to. I wear open toed sandals at work, and Vibram or KK five fingers when the ground is a little too cold. Wide toe box shoes are a step in the right direction, but they still taper too soon and encourage my toes to curl back under themselves when they should be contacting the bottom of the shoe and helping me balance and move. In order to correct the damage from being crunched together for so many years, I need my toes to be able to move apart further than they might otherwise need to. I also have wide feet and long toes.

    I love being outside in the winter, but I need a better footwear solution. I ditched my old boots and got some a pair of bogs that are several sizes bigger than what i was always told my size was, which is a big improvement but the tapering of the toe box still encourages my toes into the wrong/old position. I strain against it the whole time, and because they're big that works for a little while, but I really need something that will allow, or better, encourage, my toes to splay fully while i am exercising outside in the winter.

    I've looked at many companies that make barefoot shoes for solutions. I bought a pair of Lems boulder boots which were advertised as having a very wide toe box, and it was a slight improvement but not nearly wide enough, tapered way too soon, and honestly they're not really winter boots anyway, not something you'd wear in deep snow. Xero shoes and keen advertise some boots that might be an ok compromise, but still the issue with the tapering of the toe box. I've reached out to the five finger companies suggesting they make winter boots, that would be the most ideal, but so far they do not. I've also reached out to some people who make custom boots, no match yet though.

    I'll eventually also be looking for a better pair of ski boots, but that seems like an even longer shot right now.

    Hoping some people on this site will know what i'm talking about, and maybe there's something I haven't heard of. I'd appreciate any suggestions or recommendations. Thanks for reading
     
    Barefoot TJ likes this.
  2. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
    1. Nomad

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    20,534
    Likes Received:
    6,643
    I'm surprise that Xero Shoes doesn't have a wide enough toe box for you. I'm lost at thinking about a company that makes a wide toe box winter boot at the moment. Hopefully, someone will know more to help you out.
     
  3. Angus Mudge

    Angus Mudge Barefooters

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2021
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    3
    Well, maybe zero shoes is my best bet. Lems did not feel wide enough. I do a lot of full splay stretches and using of each toe during my workouts in the summer and am looking to continue that into the winter, but something that won’t continue the damage would be good for now
     
    Barefoot TJ likes this.
  4. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
    1. Nomad

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    20,534
    Likes Received:
    6,643
    And, Welcome, BTW! :barefoot:
     
    Angus Mudge likes this.
  5. Angus Mudge

    Angus Mudge Barefooters

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2021
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    3
    Thanks TJ! This is an awesome thing you have going here. While improving my winter process is one of my foremost personal concerns at the moment (ski boots, skates, and winter boots in general have F********ed my feet up badly and I now realize it didn’t have to be that way), I also have a bunch of cool barefoot sport activities I’m excited to share with people who may appreciate them, a personal healing process that essentially starts with my bent and frostbitten toes that I wonder if anyone else relates to, and lots of things I hope to learn from others who are passionate about this stuff. Thanks for holding this space!
     
    Barefoot TJ likes this.
  6. flammee

    flammee Barefooters

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    293
    Well, softstar shoes' primal models are probably widest

    While not exactly primal, this one is quite wide and probably good for winter.
    https://www.softstarshoes.com/adult-switchback-boot.html

    Personally, I use tade evo's winter shoes - wide enough for me. For a while I wanted to wear only really wide shoes, but because at work it's quite mandatory to wear rubber boots with safety steel toe, it just can't be done.
     
    Barefoot TJ likes this.
  7. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
    1. Nomad

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    20,534
    Likes Received:
    6,643
    Have you looked into VivoBarefoot yet? www.vivobarefoot.com

    These are waterproof, have a wide toebox, are flexible, and the women's version say they are for cold temps. They have multiple choices.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Gordon

    Gordon Barefooters

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2015
    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    307
    Sandals and home made Tabi socks can be really warm. I have one pair that I made from a heavy wool ski sweater that I got at Goodwill and shrunk by washing it hot and drying it hot and hard. If it's above zero Fahrenheit, they're too warm. The biggest problem is new snow. If it gets between the sock and sandal, your foot slides around. For packed snow or ice or dry, they're great.

    Hint - cut off the sleeves at the shoulder and sew your toe pockets. Done.
     
    Barefoot TJ likes this.

Share This Page