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Thread: Minimalist or asymmetrical toe box footwear

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    Minimalist or asymmetrical toe box footwear

    I have been interested in minimalist footwear for the past year or so. I have big wide feet so finding shoes that fit is hard enough. I got started with this when I bought some Reebok nanos which come with a toebox shape that is shaped like a fool should be. They were the most comfortable sneakers I had ever wore.

    So I started to look into other companies that make shoes like this for business and casual wear and the prices are bonkers. What I have found is Carets for business, feelgrounds and keen for casual. I splurged on some carts and they’ve been good, don’t wear them a ton, just with suits so far. There are more Companies such as Lems, vivobarefoot and divinci boots but most of those don’t look good (Lems boots are OK).

    Anyone else trying to wear shoes that are better for their feet? Any more stylish brands out there that could fit in a dappered outfit? I’m most concerned about my toes being squished together all the time. I still use my Alden Indys, Clark’s DBs and wise Reebok club 85’s even though the toes are a bit tight.

    https://carets.com/collections/baref...nt=17551736324

    https://www.feelgrounds.com/products...barefoot-shoes

    https://www.keenfootwear.com/mens-casual/

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    Seems to me like you're talking about shoes with a wide toebox, when the "minimalist shoe" is usually referring to a shoe with very little in the way of cushioning, drop between heel to toe, and ankle support. Usually used for running, though it's not as though you're going to be doing much running in dress shoes, regardless of how they're constructed.

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    Varsity Member Nandyn's Avatar
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    If you're looking for actual minimalist shoes in the shape of feet and with lots of ground feel, as @Domino mentioned above, then I highly recommend Altra Ultra, Superior, or other models of their shoes (depending on how minimalist you want to go) in addition to vivobarefoot as you mentioned above. It's what I wear when hiking/backpacking/trail running if I'm not wearing Vibram Five Fingers, another one I'd highly recommend, although foot volume/high instep can be tricky for some models of five fingers. Innov8 also makes foot shaped ones as well

    But it looks like what you're looking for isn't minimalist shoes, but just shoes that are similarly shaped to many minimalist trail runners/running shoes, but made like regular dress/business casual shoes... In which case, only thing I can think of are those dappered disapproved boxy, square toed shoes.

    How well do wide/extra wide sizes fit you? AE regularly carries many multiples of E, and I know Alden does combination lasts, so that you can get wide toebox while keeping the heel normal.
    Last edited by Nandyn; January 5th, 2020 at 10:15 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nandyn View Post
    If you're looking for actual minimalist shoes in the shape of feet and with lots of ground feel, as @Domino mentioned above, then I highly recommend Altra Ultra, Superior, or other models of their shoes (depending on how minimalist you want to go) in addition to vivobarefoot as you mentioned above. It's what I wear when hiking/backpacking/trail running if I'm not wearing Vibram Five Fingers, another one I'd highly recommend, although foot volume/high instep can be tricky for some models of five fingers. Innov8 also makes foot shaped ones as well

    But it looks like what you're looking for isn't minimalist shoes, but just shoes that are similarly shaped to many minimalist trail runners/running shoes, but made like regular dress/business casual shoes... In which case, only thing I can think of are those dappered disapproved boxy, square toed shoes.

    How well do wide/extra wide sizes fit you? AE regularly carries many multiples of E, and I know Alden does combination lasts, so that you can get wide toebox while keeping the heel normal.
    I am more concerned with the shape of the shoe, but for the most part shoes shaped that way are also minimalist in nature. I have been to the AE store and tried on everything and the people helping me couldn’t get a good fit. The Alden Indys that I mentioned I have are OK.

    For exercise, my nanos are great. Looking for options to wear casually or business/business casual.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Varsity Member evanparker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creature View Post
    I have been to the AE store and tried on everything and the people helping me couldn’t get a good fit.


    I find this incredibly odd, since I know, as someone with 10.5EEE sizing, that they have far and away the most number of specific width and narrow sizes of any manufacturer. It doesn't make sense you couldn't get a size that fit you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Creature View Post
    I’m most concerned about my toes being squished together all the time.[/url]
    That sounds like a fit/sensitivity issue to me.

    I like to race and trail run in Altra Lone Peak 4s.

    Altra describes this zero drop shoe as having a "footshape toebox" that, "[a]llows your toes to relax and spread out naturally for more comfort and stability in uphill climbs and downhill descents."

    For more businessey stuff, you could try Vivobarefoot, TadeEvo, Ahinsa, Lems, Chronology.

    Carets you already mentioned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by evanparker View Post
    I find this incredibly odd, since I know, as someone with 10.5EEE sizing, that they have far and away the most number of specific width and narrow sizes of any manufacturer. It doesn't make sense you couldn't get a size that fit you.
    Maybe the people I was working with didn’t get me the right options but either they were tight across the top or sloppy in the back. Trust me, I wanted to make AE work. I went twice, to give it a second shot, but had the same results.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElDub View Post
    For more businessey stuff, you could try Vivobarefoot, TadeEvo, Ahinsa, Lems, Chronology.

    Carets you already mentioned.
    Thanks! Altra has been recommended but I don’t need their style sneaker. I will look into the others you mentioned.

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    Varsity Member Nandyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creature View Post
    Maybe the people I was working with didn’t get me the right options but either they were tight across the top or sloppy in the back. Trust me, I wanted to make AE work. I went twice, to give it a second shot, but had the same results.
    Tight across the top can be a high instep issue. I've got wide, flat feet, and my right foot also has a higher instep so sometimes it's hard to find a shoe that isn't tight across the top of my right foot

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    I've been doing the barefoot shoe thing for a while, and I've seen about everything out there. I've never been willing to spring for the Carets, but they get good reviews, and the best I can tell, they're the only thing close to a minimalist dress shoe. Lems makes some great stuff, but no true dress shoes. Their boots and boat shoes are extremely comfortable and not terrible looking. Both are suitable for a casual office. My favorite shoe of all time is the Merrell Vapor Glove. It's not remotely suitable for the office, but it is unbelievably comfortable, like wearing only socks.

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