Mud squelched through my individually tyre-covered toes. It felt… strangely pleasant. I’d performed complex yoga movements to get my unwilling toes into their individual pockets. If you’re not familiar, FiveFingers is a barefoot-feel shoe brand made by rubber experts, Vibram. These are the most heavy-duty shoes in their range, with 4mm-deep ‘Icetrek’ treads arranged to reflect the shapes of the foot. These masked the sharper edges of rocks while allowing my toes to spread and to feel and react to the different shapes and textures. I had a pressure point between two toes until they wore in. It’s hard to imagine these shoes will fit everyone. They proved very comfortable though; the wool-lined upper felt cosy against my skin. The main downside is lack of waterproofing – you have to feel at one with puddles and mud – and the treads aren’t deep enough to really get a grip on slippery terrain. Also remember it’s important to adapt to barefoot walking slowly and carefully to avoid injury. Weight 350g
►Verdict: Surprisingly pleasant on easy walks but not ideal in the wet. I personally wouldn’t feel comfortable using them on technical ground or longer walks.
►Best for: Adding fun to shorter walks in drier conditions.
Review by Sarah Stirling