Review of four different barefoot shoes

Dear Feelmax,

Thank you very much!

I love both the Kuusaa and the Osma2 I ordered.
In the last two years I have tried different barefoot shoes (Huaraches, Vibram Fivefingers, Merrel, Vivo barefoot sandal) and Feelmax are the ones most close to barefoot and comfortable.

My opinion, starting of the worst;

+ Barefoot feeling, perfect for those hot days
+ protection of the sole of the foot.
+ Very good sole, flexible and durable!
- Never ending tying laces
- skin damage between toes because of the laces.
- Looks funny.
- Only protection on the sole of the foot.
- Little stones and sand become stuck between the foot and the sandal.

Vivo barefoot sandal,
+ Perfect for hot days, easy on.
+ Protection on the front of the toes.
+ Barefoot feeling (little sensory feedback)
- Sweaty because of the silicone fabric.
- Shape of the sandal forces the toes apart, which is very uncomfortable.
- Also looks funny.

Merrel barefoot,
+ Looks like a normal shoe
+ Barefoot feeling (trains the legs, not persé the foot)
+ Good fit, “merrel glove” really has an awesome fit!!
+ Also available in casual chic versions (not persé sport shoes)
+ Wearable throughout the year
+ Also available with gore-tex.
- Rigidity; trains the legs, not persé the foot. Also there is little to no sensory feedback in the sole

Vibram Fivevingers, version KSO and BIKILA, until now I have favored the Fivefingers.
+ Perfect fit for me (might not be for other people)
+ Good protection (puncture resistant)
+ Durable shoes! (still use them after two years. Might need new ones this year)
+ Machine washable (30 degrees)
+ Flexible
+ Also available in gore-tex
- Must wash after use
- Provides some sort of support over the length of the foot (the calfs and legs are more trained than the foot)
- Looks funny
- Not to use during winter

Feelmax (Kuusaa and Osma2)
+ Excellent Barefoot feeling (“structure of the ground feeling”, all the muscles in the foot AND legs are trained!)
+ Looks like a normal shoe (Osma2) or house shoe (Kuusaa)
+ Good grip
+ Ultra flexible
+ Easy on
+ Machine washable (low temperature 30-40 degrees)

So the other brands all have their drawbacks differing from not comfortable to too much support/rigidity. Feelmax has high flexibility, high comfort, no support or rigidity whatsoever.

Yesterday (5/29/2013) I really felt the difference while running 21 kilometers barefoot on the beach. Before Feelmax I could not run this distance barefoot, while I trained consistently with the vibram fivefingers. Why? because my foot- and calf muscles were not trained well enough. Even after using a good training program!

Until yesterday I have worn the Feelmax shoes only for walking, not running. So only the walking was enough to strengthen my foot- and calf muscles to run 21 kilometers barefoot on the beach!

Kuusaa and Osma2 are FANTASTIC products!

Thanks Fastway!

a teacher of physical education at primary and secondary school,
an active barefoot Freerunner since 2008



Feelmax Footwear / Shukokai Karate

“Increased body awareness is essential for increased ability. Feelmax shoes are comfortable and practical. They allow me to better understand my feet and the interaction with the ground in everyday movement. I recommend Feelmax.”

World Chief Instructor, shihan Chris Thompson KSI 8 Dan.



Feelmax Footwear / Taekwon-Do

“I have had the pleasure of testing and using Feelmax footwear since the very early days of product development. This has given me the opportunity to have a significant impact on product development by giving feedback based on my experience with the shoes. Barefoot shoes are an excellent innovation. They have changed my long term training habits by increasing safety and providing new possibilities for training.

In martial arts you usually train barefoot; and for me, the barefoot feeling has been important in cross-training as well. In Taekwon-Do (as in many other martial arts) being able to move and stop quickly are vitally important. Having good ground feel is important as well. The grip and ground feel that Feelmax shoes provide has been suitable on every surface I have tried, and they have made it possible for me to train outdoors as well.

I have used Feelmax shoes at training camps in foreign countries, for running on sandy beaches, on sports turf, and while training in a gymnasium. Over time, Feelmax shoes have also become a part of my leisure. And I use them when refereeing as well. Barefoot training has become a hot research topic recently, and the results are in support of using barefoot shoes. I highly recommend that you take a look at the research if you intend on training seriously. I use Feelmax shoes every week for a wide variety of different sport and leisure activities.”

Mikko Allinniemi
6. Dan, international Taekwon-Do teacher, multi- World Championship and European Championship medalist



Feelmax Vasko / crossfit

I have tested the Vasko and think that they are a great shoe. They are really lightweight, and I also really like the colors. I have found that they are perfectly suited for Crossfit. I have a pair of Crossfit-specific Reebok shoes that have caused me problems on occassion, not so with the Vasko – they easily outperform the Reeboks.

Eero Haapala
Master of Science (exercise medicine), researcher



Feelmax footwear and toesocks

Since 2002 the only kind of socks that I’ve been using are Feelmax Toe Socks. At first it took me couple of days to get used to them, but after that I discovered the benefits of the high quality toe socks and haven’t wanted to wear anything else since. Now if I try to wear “normal” socks they make my feet feel sweaty and make my toes feel somehow trapped. I’ve also noticed, that especially in sports your feet are much better off with toe socks, and they can definitely prevent blisters and other such problems.

Especially because I need to travel so much, has Feelmax light shoes become the most important shoes of mine. They take minimal space in my luggage, but can be used for running, at the gym or when just hanging out during some time off. I also believe that human feet are built to go barefoot and therefore I prefer Feelmax whenever I can. They look good and are as close to going barefoot as it gets and still provide important protection for my feet.

Markus Niemelä
Professional race car driver



Feelmax Vasko

I’ve been wearing Feelmax Vasko-shoes now about a month. I’ve worn them a lot on leisure, and I’ve worn them four times when running (about an hour at the time) in winter conditions – on snow and slush.

Membrane material repels water well enough, when wearing them on snow my socks don’t get wet, but when wearing them on slush my socks do get wet finally, but my feet still keep warm. Raised border of the outsole is good.

The outsole gives a grip good enough for running in winter conditions. Thin outsole enables a better ground feeling and reduces a risk of ankle injury.

My opinion is that the ground feeling is a lot better than in a shoe with thicker outsole. In spite of the smooth of snow the tactile ground feeling enables lighter, smoother gait and requires less exertion making you feel more energetic in winter conditions too.

Teemu Lemmettylä
Professional triathlete


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