Review Paleos®Paws by Samuel, SwedenGoSt Paleos – as close you can get to walking barefooted while not.
I remember the feeling when I first opened the case my Paleos came in. I remember the smell, the feel of them and the excitement to get them on and try them out. The touch of ring-mail on my fingers, tran sferred to my feet as I pulled them on for the first time. I took the time to carefully wrap my feet up in the protective-gear that came with the package, and wiggled my feet into the shoes.
My feets first target were a patch of grass and some gravel. I stood up, and remembering the lack of sensation a few moments ago when I were wearing my regular shoes, the world suddenly turned upside down as I could softly feel every stone, every stick and every small nudge in the ground. When I heard about the Paleos, my first thought was that they looked a bit odd. That they would rust, and make me look a bit odd. However, I realized that they were made out of stuff that doesn't rust, and that I don't really care what my feet look like anyway.
My mind were truly boggled when I realized that these shoes are actually recycleable and dureable like nothing else I've ever seen. That's when I realized that I needed to contact GoSt. I had just initiaded a campaign called «Oct-Out, the October Opt-Out» where I try to inspire people to consume less, live more sustainable lives and get out more into the wonderful nature that surrounds them (click here if you're interested). I hoped to acquire a pair of these for a competition to help me spread the campaign, as they fit the concept perfectly. I asked gently, and they replied gentler.
Normally I can walk quite comfortably on gravel, but this was without comparison. I stood up and felt alive. A few jumps to try them out, and to see how my feet could handle the rings beneath them, and I was on. My steps over the gravel is normally quite planned, to avoid too much pain, but now I carelessly crossed over not even looking down. The warming sensation of the dogs freshly laid excrements, quickly pushed through the mesh of the shoes and into my feet by my own bodyweight, suddenly reminded me me to mind my surroundings.
A quick wash later I was ready for more, and I found myself walking that same dog across a field and into the nearby forrest. As I traversed sticks and stones, and could feel the softened impact of what otherwise would threaten to tear a hole under my feet, my enthusiasm for these shoes grew. I had a hard time shaking off the feeling of walking with wet socks, caused by the fabrics in the protective gear, so it only took two trips of about an hour and a half before I ventured out with only my feet and the Paleos. And my girlfriend. Helena. And her dog. Julius.
Despite being late summer, despite being moist and a bit cold, despite walking for almost 4 hours on regular roads, rocky roads, clay, grass, pineforest floor and through leafy forests my feet never complained about anything. Quite the contrary, I came back home with dirty but baby-soft feet that only needed a rinse and some drying to again be ready for anything. I remember laughing in awe so many times at what my feet could handle, and screaming to Helena stuff like «These shoes are awesome», «I can even walk on THIS», «You must try them» and so forth. For me, wearing the shoes was great fun, but I can only guess what my constant outbreaks felt for her. I imagine it was like when a friend of mine bought a new computer, proudly demonstrating all the new features that MY crappy computer could not offer ME, while he promised never to become a fan-boy of this brand. He became a fan-boy. So did I, I guess, in Helenas eyes.
I feel that I need to emphasize something at this point. Every step of every walk when you go barefooted gives your feet something they need. Especially if you walk on rugged terrain, where roots, rocks and the uneven ground directly interfaces with your feet. Our feet has been so accustomed to soft shoes and the cushioning they offer that all the muscles that are beneath our feet are severely weakened, almost inactivated – and walking barefooted on rugged terrain activates these muscles. Every touch of a rock, a root or – simply – the uneven ground triggers the muscles to react while sending sensory input to your brain telling it that your feet actually exists. This strenghtens your feet, enhances your balance, and works out your entire lower body. These improvements in turn improves a vast number of mechanisms in your body. Simply put – walking barefooted is great for you. So, coming home from this quite long trip, not only my feet felt great. I did as well, because that's what these shoes give you. The exact same stimulation for your feet, without the need for tip-toeing, and without the risk for severe pain if you don't.
Not long after I went to the coastline to try them out for a swim. I live in Sweden, where there are lots of seashells stuck on the shore that can tear up your feet quite badly if you slip on them, so I was looking forward to going for a swim without worrying about that. While I managed to scrape up my knees while swimming in too shallow water, the shoes perfectly protected my feet. With the paws attached underneath them, I were even protected from slips while going in and out of the water. They once again impressed me. There were, naturally, things that I don't enjoy as much about the shoes, and I need to add those because I fear the reader might see me as some sort of fan-boy. I kind of am, but nevertheless the shoes are not perfect for everything:
► They are uncomfortable on the hard surfaces that I face every day as I normally live in the city, but they aren't made for that sort of environment anyway. Neither are our feet, for that matter. That said, I'd love to see Paleos built for the city.
► They look like a mideval armour for your feet, and can feel a bit odd to wear cosmetically.
► They are heavy compared to walking barefooted, but while the weight did bother me a bit while swimming, I never thought about it otherwise (they weigh less than regular shoes).
► I would never wear them on a beach, or any surface where I'm comfortable walking barefooted normally, because the only benefit I could see from that would be protection against the improbable glass-shard anyway. On almost any other surface however, I'd definitively use them.
► In the beginning it can feel like they are digging their way into your foot. They aren't, the mesh is to tight for that, but the sensation is there. Pro-tip: Use the protective-gear from the start and gradually remove them. I personally never really felt comfortable with the protective-gear, so I stopped using it quite fast.
Other than that, they can be quite the hassle to put on. They require some quirking and some twirking, and then you lock them in place with a elastic rope. This can also bother you, especially the first few trips, because you might do as I do and tighten them too much on your tendons.
However, as with new shoes, this is something you work around quite quickly. You simply learn not too tighten them so much, and wiggle correctly. It now takes me about 40 seconds to put them on, compared to perhaps 10 seconds with my regular shoes. Time well invested.
Some would perhaps consider the fact that your feet get dirty a drawback, but then you'd probably not walk barefoot anyway and these shoes might not be for you. The benefits of these wonderful shoes does in my humble opinion outweigh the drawbacks by far, and I will never hesitate to recommend them to those who enjoys the barefooted feel and wants to extend the range of this sensation even further. Because you won't regret buying them. Ever.
"This review was a requirement after receiving a pair of GoSt Paleos for my personal use, and an additional pair for use in a competition. I were not required to give positive feedback about the product, we are by no means economically affiliated and these words are my own unfiltered words".
Paleos®Summer 2014 by Fizz Fry, UKOn the 9th July 2014, I received through the post the most wonderful package - my paleo barefoot shoes. Although i wrote a short review a few weeks in, I wanted to live with my new friends for a while before writing another, I wanted to see if they would become as integral a part of my life as I thought they would.
There is still more testing to be done. Due to the driest summer and autumn I can remember here in the South West of the UK, mud has required searching for! This is the direct opposite to normal, and is in some way a ‘payback’ for the terrible flooding that Somerset was plagued with last winter.
I decided early on this summer to wear shoes as little as possible so that my feet can strengthen themselves naturally, and i get to explore more surfaces barefoot. For general street walking, nipping over to the shops, tarmac and short grass running and as many occasions as possible, i am totally barefoot.
At work I wear Sockwas on most occasions, and for any natural terrain walking, especially out with the dog, in rivers, streams, any mud I can find, on the moors, under trees, it’s a paleo barefoots day.
Where have I tried them?
In the last few months we have been on the moors, places of thorn and bramble, and currently rocks and dust! Small stream beds with a little mud can be followed down the hillside to boggy marsh areas. The grip and my balance has been fantastic through these challenges, and I am still enjoying the temperature changes and sensations as much as on day 1.
Then we have explored rivers, streams and the sea, pebbles, sand, mud and silt, and balancing on algae covered rocks. Again the grip has been superb, with my husband blanching slightly as I gather the experience and courage to rock scramble. I have loved being able to wild swim in pools and streams without fear of cutting my feet.
Then I surprised my instructor for stand up paddle boarding (a birthday present) as he offered me wet boots. He was not happy for me to go barefoot because there was a risk of cutting myself if I fell into the canal, but when I pulled out shiny chain mail, and explained their purpose, he was very happy for me to wear them.
This was a great relief, my feet would have boiled in wet boots, but the barefoots were able to provide the natural feel I was comfortable with, along with grip on the board and protection. If I was SUPaddleboarding on the coast I can think of nothing better to wear than my GOST barefoot shoes.
I still have to try running in proper mud. I currently have a small injury that has preventing me from running for a few weeks - but I’m confident in both myself and the British weather, rain and mud will join us for the winter, and I will be out there in them, with barefoots on my feet and a big smile on my face. I am looking forward to frost, and snow will be amazing!
How have they changed my life?
On a wet or muddy day, my heart would sink as I thought of walking out in muddy heavy terrain, hefting my walking boots and half - a - tonne - of mud along with me. I had invested in expensive wellingtons, which helped, but they also carried a huge amount of mud attached. Trainers might be lighter, but would be a pain to clean up afterwards.
Now the choice is simple, and my heart is light. Rain = fun = mud, puddles and I used to seek out dry smooth paths, both in bare feet, and in shoes.
I used to seek out dry smooth paths, both in bare feet, and in shoes. Now, with my feet safe, I feel like a child, ready for new experiences, looking for new places to explore. I have lost my fear of running off into the undergrowth, climbing up steep slopes, even walking on scree. I seek out cool deep muddy puddles on a hot day, and love the sensation of soft mud sliding on my skin. In a few minutes my feet are dry, light, cool, the mud turns to dust and drops away.
My husband and I will often go for long walks with our dog on a day off. My decision to enter the world of bare feet had impacted on these walks, as my pace altered dramatically, slowing down as my pace shortened and my poor soft pads and underdeveloped muscles started to experience the world outside shoes. I found I could keep up on country road walks by running at a slow pace, but wasn’t listening to my body as I wanted too. My husband, being a compassionate and patient man, slowed down for me, and enjoyed my enjoyment, until I trod on a thorn or my nemesis - the dreaded holly leaf (not dangerous, doesn’t really even dig in any more, but always makes me yelp!)
Now I simply walk to the camper van in bare feet, with my paleo barefoots swinging in a little bag at my side. As I am more confident and more relaxed, the walks are again fun for all of us.
Which brings me to my surprise benefit. One I didn’t anticipate. I have been studying dog training and behaviour for about 7 years, and over that time my relationship with our Chocolate Labrador Retriever, Tarka, has grown, developed and blossomed. It is our relationship and understanding of each other that underpins everything we do together, be it training or play, or both. I was looking forward to being able to ‘follow my dog’ in safety, with my paleo barefoots .
Tarka has loved this. She had also taken to following me, and my ability to go wherever I wish in the landscape has led to a stronger bond. Together we have explored rivers, both paddling, and also wild swimming together. She has led me to rabbit holes, waiting for me to bring the rabbit out! I have led her into muddy puddles and played games at the depth of them, persuading her to dip her nose and face in, exploring in her own way.
The picture used to be: person on path, dog exploring environment around path.
Now the picture is: dog and person explore the environment together. I feel that I have begun to enter her world more fully, and perhaps catch a glimpse of how human and canine may have worked together in the far past. It is a deeply humbling experience, exciting, and also it is fun.
Who would have thought that a foot covering could make such a profound difference to life experience? All I can say is a very big thank you to Jorg and Uschi.
I will write again in early 2015 when I have experienced a few more miles and let you know how i’m getting on.
Review by Marco from Barefoot Runners
End of August 2014 / Where: A beach on the South coast of the Netherlands
We stayed at a holiday home very close to the coast so the perfect opportunity to test my well used Anterra’s on some different terrain, Sand. So far they have served me well from country lanes to boggy paths and even an official Mud-run. The weather was mild (17-20 degrees Celsius) and a mixture of sun, clouds and a serious amount of rain. On the first day I explored the terrain around where we were staying to see where I best could test the Anterra’s and it turned out that I wore them for most of my holiday!
Waking up and going out for a stroll around the house as usual is get up & go. Quite literally as you just slip on the paleos, no need for socks or tying laces and out you go.
The gravel around the house again proved no problems, whilst unloading some bits out of the car, something I could not have done so easily barefoot.
I walked the path (a shell covered earth path) to the main road, again without problems, and actually glad I was wearing them as I did test it a day later barefoot and the crushed shells they use are very sharp and also tend to stick to a hot foot.
Later that day the family and I all went to the beach where I discovered another advantage, when crossing the path over the dunes and hitting the sandy part of the beach, my wife and children all had to stop and remove their footwear. To get that barefoot feeling and also to prevent sand going in their normal shoes. I just walked on.
In fact the whole day from sand dune with seagrass to beach to into the sea and back to the house I kept wearing the Paleos without having to stop or change footwear! They were comfy, provided great grip and as usual felt very light.
The only times I felt they were there was when I stepped from wet sand to dry sand and a clump of that wet sand seemed to stick inside the Anterra’s under my foot like a wedge. But I either washed that straight out in the sea or just walked it out (shaking my feet a bit as I went along).
I used the neoprene liners on the first day which to be honest are not great for a whole day in the sand as they get wet and sand sticks to them on the inside, rubbing your foot. So they are much better without in this terrain.
The only other thing one could comment on is that when I returned to the house, my feet where black underneath and under the toenails and needed a good scrub. But hey that also happens walking barefoot.
So the positives for me were:
► I did not have to change footwear and could keep wearing the Paleo’s the entire day
► on a variety of terrains (gravel, beach path, shells, sand & sea)
► they always feel light and comfortable and
► I do not have to worry about them getting dirty or wet as I would with normal shoes.
So next time I go to the beach my beloved Anterra’s will certainly accompany me!
Tim was kind enough to send a pict from his (Paleos)vacation in Ireland along with a short comment on his activities. Thanks Tim!
"I had great fun with the paleos in County Kerry in Ireland this summer, probably the most beautiful county in the country (IMHO). The mountains and streams in the Dingle peninsula were stunning, and offered lots of paleo opportunities. It was lovely to feel the rough and varied terrain and to wander through overgrown fields as though barefoot, but with the security of knowing that my feet were protected. And walking in mud just doesn't stop being fun, especially when there are some pretty places to rinse them off"
Emilie Reas, CA, US
Thanks Emilie Reas for the great write up! We hope it will help others to understand how "special" and different the Paleos are!
Feet in shining armor: Paleo Barefoots review:
Indeed, even I – a barefoot runner – was skeptical when I first heard of the Paleo Barefoots, a minimalist footwear constructed entirely of chainmail. Being a sucker for functionally and aesthetically innovative advances in minimalist running, I became immediately intrigued. Like most minimalist shoes on the market, the Paleos are designed to allow the foot move as freely and naturally as possible, with just enough protection against the elements. But what sets the Paleos apart is their unique design that, theoretically, will let them last a lifetime.
Even the most minimal shoes – including the more popular “toe” shoes or huaraches – require a rubber-like sole at least several millimeters thick to confer durability and protection. In contrast, the Paleos’ construction from metal – yes, literally minuscule steel links – eliminates the need for a thicker sole. This design yields a sock-like slipper, only 1.4 mm thick, with ultimate flexibility and ground feel.
However, while chainmail will win the battle against dirt, sand, twigs and grass, the victor of a metal-versus-concrete war is anyone’s call. Thus, Paleos are intended only for use on ‘natural’ surfaces, and aren’t recommended for running through the concrete jungle. Such a product sounds like a dream come true for any barefoot runner looking to venture into more challenging terrain. But the unfortunate reality is, dreams aren’t fulfilled for free. In fact, the Paleos carry... Click here to read full post on her website!
April Burkhart, Texas, US
Dirty trainers and shiny PaleosULTRA!
... GoSt Paleo Barefoots Anterra Sport with paws. These beautiful chain maile shoes made their entrance into my life and changed everything!
Anterra were what I was looking for they have a lightweight feel which I didn't anticipate. They breathe like no shoe I've ever worn! I could feel the earth beneath my feet again and the tickle of dew drawn grass in the morning.
Then there was the clay factor; they picked it up just like my other shoes had, but with a remarkable difference. I could now wade into the puddles and streams on the course and with a little swish and splash my shoes were CLEAN! I could run the trails without worrying about stepping in glass barefoot and I had incredible grip thanks to the paws application!
I began to do more running... Click here to read full post on her website!
Amit K, UK
As expected from Paleo Paws, they are very flexible, allows you to feel the surface but yet protects from whatever nasty bits hiding beneath from eyes. I can roll my foot in them quite easily and it does not provide any structure to limit foot’s natural flexibility. I ran 7 miles in them on a variety of terrains and they do provide biomechanics efficiency you would expect from a minimalist.
The one element I had concerns about was the weight (I had tried them before but it was a short run and I was concerned if I could handle mid to long distance runs in them). But once they were on my feet I didn’t feel any weight and they felt quite secure (not snug though). Paleos Paws beat my expectations in many ways, they could be worn on almost every natural surface (I haven’t try them on big rocks yet though!) and they allow natural proprioception and protection at the same time from sharp gravel or rocky trail paths and it's real fun to enjoy muddy puddles!!
Steve Bailey, Calne, Wiltshire, UK
Today I took my brand new Paleobarefoot Pronativs for their first test run.
I dropped my car off at the garage (in the middle of a field in Wiltshire), and planned to run back from there.
The first part of my run was across a field, and then up a gravel track which has always defeated me totally barefoot.
I ran along the old Bath Road heading towards the Cherhill Monument, and the Neolithic Oldbury Hill Fort. Apart from my legs being stung by lots of nettles, thistles and grass seeds, I didn't have to scan the ground as I ran, I just knew the Paleos would protect me.
Heading up towards the hill fort, there is a flint path, the flints are exceedingly sharp (which is why Neolithic people used them for knives and axes). With the Paleos, I was able to concentrate on the scenery, without picking a line between the lumps of flint.
Once at the hill fort, at the top of the hill, it opened up into lush grassy meadows. I stopped to take in the view of the Lansdowne (Cherhill) Monument, and the Cherhill White Horse hill figure. I had to descend some steep grassy slopes, the grip on the Paleos was amazing, I didn't slip at all.
Running off the hill there is a heavily rutted chalk path, which is lethal when damp (fortunately it was bone dry today), but there were still large lumps of fresh chalk.
The grip running down was like no other footwear (I don't call them shoes - they are a foot covering really) I have owned (Mizuno trail shoes, Vivobarefoot trail shoes). The feeling was almost superhuman, I felt I could run down anything.
I did run approx 1 mile on tarmac, between trails, and they were absolutely fine.
Running back into Calne, I stopped and had a dip in the River Marden to cool my legs off. When I stepped on slimy green rocks, the Paleos gripped better than rubber shoes, and better than barefoot.
After I took them off, and ran the final mile on tarmac home (just to see the difference), I had no sore spots on my feet, either top or bottom (and that was without wearing either the inner socks, or the ankle wraps).
All in all, 7 miles total, I am blown away by them. I can't wait to go out again - they are addictive.
To sum up, you feel every bump and lump, but you don't feel the sharp edges which may cut you.
Steve Bailey, Calne, Wiltshire, UK.
Thoughts and feelings on the Paleo Ultra with Paws... by Dave, UK
OK so I've had these for nearly a month now and thought it was time to write up how I've found them so far...
When I saw these for the first time late last year I loved the idea but having already put in for some road races held back. 6 months and the evolution of Paws later I decided to take the plunge and get a pair, opting for anterra's with the jumbo paws.
I would say take time to get an accurate sizing. I was reccomended a size lower than I would normally wear in fivefingers and I think this was probably because my picture wasn't that good. Jorg had given his rationale for his sizing and because of this (I don't have narrow feet as the pic shows) I decided to go with my usual, am glad I did.
Everyone comments on the customer service and I have to concur, I can't fault it. After ordering on the Saturday night, I had a nice little tin waiting for me wheni got home from work on the Friday.
My first thought was one of being impressed by the quality. They are a lot of money but in terms of product, a lot of work obviously goes into them. They were heavier than I thought but not in a bad way. The material is difficult to explain really, it is soft in a way that I hadn't really imagined it would be.
For the the first run in them I decided to go down to the beach in the rain. Here it was apparent why these are great off road. Normally I'd go barefoot and impale my feet on the sharp shingle or wear shoes and avoid the water. Now I didn't need to choose. A run up a grassy wet path also no problem.
Second run a mix of forest and dry path and road. No problems in the forest and even better in the mud to the point where I was actively seeking out the muddy puddles. The road running however wasn't fun and a bit disappointing.
The guys at Go-St are right, these aren't road shoes. When I first saw these advertised I was excited, surely these would be the last shoes I'd ever have to buy?! I could sell the hefty price tag to the wife if that were the case. I'd emailed before to be told that they weren't designed for roads. I didn't really get this. Why were GoSt appearing to do themselves out of customers? We're they saying that you can't run barefoot on the road? I do though locally to me the surface is a sharp stoney asphalt so I need some protection. A shoe is a shoe isn't it?
After owning a pair I get it now.
Firstly the material is a bit like wearing a sock and although it's soft and it moves, it hasn't any stretchiness to it. At least for me, running on hard surfaces pushes the top of the shoe into the top of the foot. Short distances and with the sleeve this isn't really a problem though over extended distances wouldn't be too much fun. Because of the way the shoe fits, on softer ground this doesn't happen. Also, maybe because I got the jumbo paws, you are aware of them occasionally on harder ground, they're not a soft flexible rubbery material bit a more durable plastic.
Secondly, as a shoe, they are actually more fun off road. As I said above something about wearing them makes you want to run through mud or the sea...
These have become my summer sandle, down the pub, round the supermarket I love them. The paws provide a phenomenonal amount of grip which at first quite surprised me.
I went canoeing in these yesterday. As much as I hate wearing wet shoes, canoeing has never really been possible barefoot with wet slippery slippery jetties and quays. I genuinely felt like Spider-man yesterday I had so much grip up coming up my neighbours muddy slipway yesterday. These are a genuinely brilliant solution for watersports. I haven't tried them on the surfboard yet though imagine in the summer will also be a good alternative when it's too warm for wetsuit booties.
The paleos have been really well thought out and it's clear a lot of work has gone into designing and developing them. It's clear Jorg and the team understand the product and are passionate about it. There's no escaping the fact that they are expensive. I think you get what you pay in terms of quality for though I think it pays to understand what you are getting in terms of function etc. They are not sold as and nor are they the life long on and off road shoe. (If used appropriately then I think they will last a long long time though). In a way it's a shame you can't hire a pair for a few days to see if they're the sort of thing your looking for really. I think most people doing this would be convinced to buy a pair.
The proposed road shoes look interesting. I had doubted why they needed a traditional upper but having the ultras I can see the purpose now. I had better get saving...
"Paleos® day one" by Fizz Fry, UK
The Oxford English Dictionary describes ‘shoe’ in the following way: A covering for the foot, typically made of leather, having a sturdy sole and not reaching above the ankle.
I hesitate to call Paleo Barefoots shoes, except in the purest sense. They are a covering for the foot, and so much more. Since Wednesday I have been struggling for a new definition of them. For Wednesday was the fated day…..
… the day my very own pair of Paleo Barefoots arrived. My name was drawn, I was one of the lucky 3, and I had been watching the tracking information many times a day to see where they were.
This week I have been struggling with newly acquired hay fever. Trying out different remedies and tablets, finding breathing tough, and haven’t run until early this morning (a quiet, slow mile.) So I knew I wasn’t up to a long run with my new shiny Barefoots. Instead Paul, Tarka and I went out for a walk.
Now since I started this barefoot lark, I have found it uncomfortable to wear trainers or shoes I used to consider normal footwear. If my feet aren’t bare then I am usually in Sockwas or Xero Sandals. This has had the effect of changing my stride length. Shod I could stride out and keep up with Paul at a walking pace. Now, with my shorter stride, I find that his fast walking pace had me breaking into a slow run in order to be comfy. Our walks together were still good, but not as relaxed or perhaps as fun as they had been in the past.
As an aside, a friend told me something similar happens to horses and ponies that have their shoes removed - their stride length is shorter and they feel quite different to ride. Why am I not surprised!
I hadn’t realised how I had missed the pleasure of enjoying a relaxing walk together until we went out with the Barefoots. I felt myself relax, melting into the joy of the moment, noting the temperature difference of each muddy puddle, each patch of sunbaked earth and the cool of the tree shaded mud. Bliss. I followed Jorg’s advice and followed my dog…
….over grass with young prickly gorse emerging, soft mud, roots and tangles of twigs, the world seemed new and fresh and I sought out mud and puddles instead of shying away from them.
In the midst of this sensory experience I realised that I was walking easily, comfortably and with some speed. my stride was still short, but my delight in the world was causing me to relax, and with that relaxation came an ease of movement. How very wonderful.
I plan to wander a river course soon, exploring the river from inside it, with my dog. I am looking forward to deeper mud and wilder nature, a fitter me, able to run and explore, faster and further. But the greatest and most unexpected delight for me has been the delighted relaxation I feel when I put them on.
My feet are safe, and yet they feel. Because my feet are safe, I feel safe. Because my feet feel, I feel. Proprioception is a word I have heard, and something I have read about. Experiencing it through my Paleo Barefoots brings a whole new depth of understanding. It is as though I have gained a whole new sense overnight, and yet this is only my thoughts and reflections of day one. Where will my foot-friends take me next?
A big thank you to Jorg and Uschi from GoSt-Barefoots!
Lynne Allbutt, Allbutt Shoes, UK
Lynne Allbutt, another tough girl from the UK. Lynne, from Llangattock, near Crickhowell did a 45 miles in just two days. Staring on the 31st of May 2014 she ran barefoot from Anchor to Borth – the equivalent of two marathons. Read her findings on the PaleoBarefoots - it's really worth it:
In life, there are relationships that obviously work – think ‘strawberries and cream’ for example, and those that shouldn’t – like strawberries and balsamic vinegar (yes I have an abundance of wild strawberries in my garden at the moment, hence the analogies but stick with me)
Paleo Paws on LynneChain mail shoes for bare feet definitely fall into the latter group. They shouldn’t work. It’s as unlikely as a chocolate teapot. But they do – and they work beautifully.
I am lucky enough to have been trying them out for the last two weeks and am not ashamed to say I am a little addicted. My feet have new best friends.
When I first heard about Paleo Paws, I was sceptical to say the least; gloves for feet I could just about comprehend; running socks I could grasp but barefoot shoes made from chain mail???
Click here to read full post on her website!
Tracy Davenport from Barefoot Britain, UK
A very comprehensive review by Tracy from Barefoot Britain - one of very few persons we consider real barefoot runners. Read all the truth (exept the too dirty toes) on the "Paleos-Paws"! Thank you very much Tracy. Here is how Tracy's review begins ...
I wanted to begin this review by letting you know that I am a Barefoot runner, I almost exclusively run Barefoot on all terrains and temperatures. So I think that it was because of this that I was chosen to review this product.
I'm pretty specific when it comes to footwear and the factors by which I judge them. Based on how well they perform and how well they compare to being truly barefoot.
I have to say there are an awful lot of shoes out there which I simply will not run in because of the way they perform and how much they alter the way I move when I run dispite being called minimal shoes... I had first seen these amazing looking chain mail shoes about a year ago and they really caught my eye then.
I'm not sure if it was because they looked really interesting or more that I simply had to touch a pair, they looked so tactile. I also love metals, my degree is in metal work and I have always had a fascination and affinity with metal things... see full article on Barefoot Britain!
Andi Lee, CA, US - Applause for Paleos Paws!
As with the regular Paleos (and if you have those you can send them in for adding the Paws should you want to) they performed perfectly and very protectively on the beach area as we were unloading the kayaks, and in helping launch the kayaks off the beach. This is an activity where conventional footwear becomes completely sodden and clogged with sand – as everyone else who was wearing regular shoes quickly found out! As soon as I hopped into the kayak (which has a slippery surface on the inside) my feet started to dry out nicely and all the sand just washed through – this is one of my favorite things about the Paleos! The grip was great, and I had no problems with the surface or using my feet to provide stability and grip while paddling... Click here to read more!
Marco, Barefoot Runners UK
Marco, thank you so much for this so clear review on the Paleos Paws. Particularly, we love the demarcation of the Paleos to other minimalists footwear. The true purpose and application of our "shoes" comes out very clearly. If one wants to exploit their entire benefits, they necessarily belong to natural soils and waters. We could not have written this review better than you did! Leave concrete and asphalt - go, hike, run in nature! Thanks...
Testing The Paleos Paws
After a few weeks of testing here it is, my findings on the Paleo Paws minimalist running shoes, or running socks. Or monty python chainmail shoes as some call them in jest. But jesting aside, how do these "shoes" perform and compare to traditional running shoes?
I was fortunate enough to test the Anterra model last year and loved the concept. Running in a minimalist shoe that just offers protection, nothing more (and looks good as well tbh).
After walking and running in them for weeks I personally thought they were superb outdoor shoes for nature walks and off-road running. So with the addition of the new pads underneath, are they now even better? Click here to read full post!
Josh Orth, Melbourne, Australia
Review: GoSt Paleo Barefoots Antera Paws: Adding the Paws grip-spots immediately ended this issue, providing immediate regular shoe traction with surprisingly little loss of tactile response. They added some pressure points on the foot that had not been present in the "bare-sole" version, but this was not unpleasant by a long shot. The area taken up by the Paws is slightly larger on the links than on the ground contact, and only very slightly permeate into the shoe, essentially imperceptibly. This means that you still have all the flexibility, and articulation of the originals with none of the slip-sliding... Click here for full article and more reviews on the Paleos!
Ian Hicks for BarefootBeginner, UK
Jörg from GoSt Barefoots very kindly sent me a pair of Pronativ just before Christmas, but this was no ordinary pair! This pair has been fitted with “Paws”! For an additional cost this new option is now available for the existing ULTRA range. The “Paws” are resin spots that are bonded to the underside of the mesh soles. The idea behind this is, to give them good grip on smooth surfaces.
The fit is better with the “Paws” fitted. The spots give the ULTRAS a bit of structure, creating a more shoe-like shape, although these are still more akin to a sock (performance sock) than a shoe. Anybody who has read issue 9 of Barefoot Running UK Magazine, would have seen my long term review of the Pronativ. In the review I talk about a slack feeling over the toes, this is now much less noticeable...
... read full review!
Chris Fielding, BarefootBeginner, UK
I have lots of shoe boxes all over the house but the Paleos arrived in a shoe ‘tin’. They were sparkly and new and the whole family could not wait to get their hands on them.
They are light and flexible and feel incredibly smooth. Jorg included the winter kit which includes a selection of fabric and neoprene that sits on top of the foot but leaves the underside bare.
I went out for a couple of miles in conditions that were wet and just above zero. For my first run, I left the winter kit at home and went barefoot to metal. They did well and I was surprised at how much I could feel the ground. I got a swish at first with each step as the chainmail flicked forward from my toes but that sort of settled down after a while.
It is nice to feel the elements and you get wet, muddy feet if you run in wet muddy conditions... Click here to read full post!
Josh Orth, Melbourne, Austraila
I had a lot of fun doing my third Tough Mudder on the weekend, this time, for the first time, in my Pronativ's.
They held up really well, and I never had a moments fear that I wold loose them thanks to the lock-tight straps and buckle. The gravel sections were not as much fun as you might think, but the mud, slush and climbing parts were great.
I was asked several times if i wore chain-maile underwear as well, i should have handed out cards.
Four and a half hours of 20km course, and 2km to and from the carpark, not a blister or worry with my feet!
Garrett, Arkansas, US
"Really nice review, and thanks for putting the silly cheese grater myth to rest!" Garrett alias MudRunner has the PRONATIV and there are some good pointers in his video ;)!
More than 200 miles with the PaleoBarefoots®!
The first independent and long-term review on the PaleoBarefoots® has been published by BarefootRunningUK. The magazine's main focus is barefoot running and the use of minimalist footwear in natural conditions - exactly the right place for our exceptional Barefoot concept!
Click here for English verison of a very comprehensive ...
Long-term-review by Ian Hicks.
(Barefoot Running Magazine Issue 9 2013)!
Jona, Christchurch, New Zealand
I have been waiting until I had completed the mud race before getting back to you. Attached are some pictures I have of me wearing your shoes. Sorry they were all taken on my phone so not great quality.
As you can imagine it is generally too cold for much use of your shoes but I tried them out in the stream behind our house. The water was pretty cold but the grip on the slippery rocks was impressive. The shoes seem to be drier than if you were bare foot when you get out.
My first real length of time in them was at the beach on a more mild day. They were very comfortable and I purposefully stood on every broken shell in front of me and felt well protected. The kids had taken a ball to kick around and I was expecting the shoes to hurt kicking but they were fine.
The next time out was a short 5 km run up and down Harry Ell track on the port hills near Christchurch (photo -red top). I have been using barefoot shoes for a while so my feet and legs were used to this type of running.
The track is not ideal as the surface is very hard packed shingle and the mid foot was feeling a little tender at the end and I was glad to have the inner sock. The new running sock would probably be more comfortable on this track but not essential.
The third time out was the mud sweat and tears challenge. This is a winter 10km race through varying terrain of mud, water, hills, rocks, hard packed trails, very soft grassed paddocks, pine forests and man made obstacles. I worn the inner sock and the shoes were great.
This was the best test I could give them and they performed brilliantly. They don't hold mud or water so my feet never felt heavy. No injuries or blisters and feet not at all sore or tired.
I am really looking forward to some warmer weather so I can get them on more. Jona
Rob, Tilba Tilba, Australia
The shoes arrived! They are a terrific fit so I thank you very much for the size advice. It is winter here now, no snow but rain, but I am even enjoying the new sensation. I have not worn shoes except when working. My last home was on an Island in Sydney harbour and I constantly had wet and cut feet, the Paleos would have been perfect there.
My real home is now on 35 acres and I have two rainforests, I have been caught many times walking bare footed too far away from my houses to get shoes. Now I will be able to walk safely around, I don't expect them to keep out leaches though! And the only snake I have seen in years is my diamond python Fangez and he is in his terrarium, so leaches and snakes asside they will be fantastic on the farm..
I am trying to think of something that has made me so delighted as these shoes and I am struggling- maybe the heated car seats or my first iPad or 3d TV. They are a unique and beautifully executed design and concept. Your company deserves huge success.
Fond regards Rob (Australia NSW)
LeeAnne, Massachusetts, US
I'm a twenty something year old in college in Massachusetts. I like walking around in the woods in the park near my school campus. The other day was the first day I had an abundance of free time PLUS the weather was gorgeous.
I put my Paleos Barefoots on and took my new dog out to the park and we walked, jogged, played in the river, splashed through the streams and in general had oodles of fun. We spent 3 hours together in the bright sunshine and the whole time I was enjoying the feeling of wandering around in the forest without shoes. But of course I had shoes on! It was a spectacular sensation.
I'll admit I was worried that the shoes were not going to be comfortable, but man was I wrong. I had no trouble at all forgetting that I was wearing them. I am so happy I bought these shoes. My puppy and I got wet and muddy; we chased after frogs and ducks; we went home exhausted, but it was our best day together. And the joy of feeling like I was barefoot added to the day and made the whole experience one awesome adventure. LeeAnne
Paul, Hawaii, US
We've just received some feedback from Paul. He is one of the raffle winners and lives in Hawaii:
Got my Paleos a couple of weeks ago, took them on a hike today. Went up the Koolau Mountain Range here in Hawaii, about 6 miles there and back with about 1100 ft. elevation gained. Hiked/ran over hard and soft dirt, mud, roots, climbed over trees, ran through brush, climbed down slick drops with a rope, all wearing my Paleos. They didn't disappoint. It was very interesting to feel the chain links "bite" into the soft dirt and mud, I felt very secure in my footing. It was wonderful to feel all the terrain so closely without it hurting, there were a couple of spots where I stepped on a particularly sharp rock or edged tree root and it hurt a little, but nothing too different from doing it in a pair of vibrams.
Also, they are SUPER quiet. I could barely hear my footsteps at all, even when I was running. When I was walking I saw a lot more wildlife than I normally do on that trail. I am thinking about maybe wearing them with a couple of pairs of trail socks to go hunting (Half joking). After the hike my feet hurt a little, more of muscle soreness than anything. It was a good feeling. I was muddy, sweaty, and gross, so it was awesome to be able to just spray them with a hose and hang them up on my clothesline for a bit. I would recommend the Paleos to anyone who loves the outdoors, because they can handle all kinds of natural terrain with NO problem, and you may end up seeing more wildlife because they're so quiet.
Overall it was a wonderful experience! Paul
Timothy, Pennsilvania, US
So it finally warmed up enough for me to give my Pronativs a run. I took them disc golfing with me yesterday. It was around 45 F or roughly 7 C. It was bright and sunny. A good day to be out. I had no idea what to expect from the shoes except that it would be different from anything I had ever worn before. I put them on in a concrete parking lot with the liner socks. As I played through my round, a few hours in total I noticed quite a few things about these shoes.
First I was simply amazed at the amount of sensation that I got through these shoes, both for good and ill. On the good side it was fantastic to feel every blade of grass, all the dirt and sand and leaves. It was absolutely electric. I have always enjoyed being barefoot and these shoes seemed to be the closest to a true barefoot experience as I can get without losing any hope of protection for my feet from the various hazards that can be found. ON the downside of the amount of sensation that I got through these, it hurt quite a bit when I would step on a stone or stick wrong and get a sharp edge into the bottom of my foot. It felt exactly as it does when I do it barefoot actually. I know these shoes are meant to prevent damage, not pain. It just caught me off guard because all of my other shoes have thick soles and so offer at least some reduction in pain from sharp objects. It is worth noting that even though it hurt that there was NO damage to my feet, not even a little. SO the shoes protected me perfectly.
I had the chance to experience a wide variety of terrain with these. I walked up hill, down hill, around hills, and through streams. The shoes handled all of the terrain quite well. Though I noticed that there will need to be quite some adjustment to figure out how to really walk in these. I am an avid hiker and I am used to walking certain ways and know that on certain terrains. I know that for any situation there are certain ways to place my feet for optimal traction and stability. This knowledge works very well when using backpacking boots but not quite so well with the Paleos. The paleos demand different techniques so I will need to adjust.
For the first time out I really loved the shoes and I am look forward to my next outing.
Last Sunday the 14th it was finally above +10 degrees Celsius so time to take the Anterra's out for a follow up test. Running in the Anterra's.
I walked to my local field in trainers and changed on the footpath into the Anterra's, with liner socks. It had rained a few of the days before so the ground was still quite wet and in places very muddy. One of the first things then after putting them on is that you do not have to worry about soiling your precious running shoes. You can just walk / run through the puddles and mud and not worry about the dirt. Also because you do not actively have to look where you are walking / running, your eyes are not towards the ground 50% of the time thus i noticed i can stand up straighter focussing on the way ahead. This better posture again improves running.
From grass to path to mud to climbing hills and through the woods, what can i say. The slogan should be: 'the "shoes" that make you smile!'.
It really is like running barefoot but with that added protection.
When running they do gather dirt & mud but they still feel light and your feet still feel all the sensations of nature. I did not get cold feet as i kept moving and landing on the ball of the feet in them is no problem with the steel rings either.
They offer great protection so i do not have to worry where i thread and offer better grip in the mud than barefoot. Although when they collect a lot of mud they do start to slip more on slippery slopes. The liner socks helped a bit with padding the fastening around the achilles heel but apart from that i did not really notice them and next time i will try without as i am as yet unconvinced of their use.
Still very impressed with these "shoes" and now that the weather is improving i will take them out more and more.
In fact on the way back i opted to keep them on instead of changing into my trainers and walked through the grass and over tarmac past the shops to home. That got some interesting stares of people i must say. Especially on this hard surface the feet feel like they get massaged and they tingled nicely when i got home.
The day after i really felt i had given my feet a workout as for the first time in months they feel like they have been used as they should have. Tired but good!
I have taken quite a few short videos of running on different soil types and will now edit these together and post within the next two weeks!
"happy feet" Marco
Christopher, New Zealand
It always seems when you want to get out in nature, you have two options, getting your shoes damp and muddy, or risking cuts and injury in bare feet. I saw these shoes and knew straight away that this was what I had been looking for a third option.
What these are, is a tool which enables you to walk comfortably anywhere bare feet is more suitable than a shoe, but without fear of getting cut or getting puncture injuries. In saying that, they have some surprising additional benefits and limitations which I will explain further.
I received my shoes within about a week, in a silver metal box with some instructions. I was very careful with the sizing (Jorg was most helpful in this regard) and followed the instructions exactly. My heart skipped a beat as I manouvered them onto my feet, as I thought they were too small. I gave them a firm tug and I was rewarded with the most exact fit I've ever had in a pair of footwear, most fortunate in a pair of metal shoes!
Like a piece of jewellery, they're cool to the touch, then warm up and become unnoticeable. The first thing I did, was walk outside, on to the long grass. I laughed, this was too easy. I instantly started looking for a bigger challenge. There's steep muddy hill, which I've always had trouble with in shoes on my property. I walked up it with PERFECT grip, the paleos act like a tank track, they are an interface between your feet and the ground, pushing into it and offering huge amounts of lateral grip in the muddiest surfaces.
Of course, this wasn't hard enough, so I looked for something else, I tried bark, gravel, mud, sand. Have a look in the Gallery photos, I think I tried just about every surface known to man!
So after all this I've come up with some main advantages and some limitations of this product which I hope will be informative to you.
The main advantages:
► Will protect your feet from just about any surface which would other puncture or cut you.
► You could literally walk on razor blades if you wanted to.
► Offers tank track like grip on any nonpolished surface, even slime covered rocks and
► muddy hillsides!
► Stops your feet getting sweaty, especially in humid forest environments.
► Allows you a far greater sense of the ground you are standing on, increasing your safety.
► Very durable, provided you don't use them on concrete. Would probably last a decade
► if used only on natural surfaces. It's metal after all!
► You don't have to worry about getting them dirty, they clean up very very quickly.
► It's a real feeling of freedom, and in a way it makes me get out in nature more often.
► I really like transitioning from mud to clean water and watching them go from covered
► in mud to sparkling again!
► They look great, and people are always very curious about them.
► You get to FEEL the surface you're walking on, for example mud feels fantastic, especially
► when you don't have to worry about what's hiding underneath.
► The customer service and support is excellent! They are extremely happy to help and give
► advice, and very prompt.
► If you're expecting a trainer shoe, then you will be in for a surprise. There is no padding
► unless you use a neoprene sock, so you cannot run on a surface that you wouldn't expect
► you bare feet to run on. You can and will get a bruise if you start jumping on small rocks!
► If you want to walk through wet muddy surfaces, it pays to have a little bit of water around
► to give them a quick rinse. They tend to be comfortable while dirty and wet, but as they dry
► obviously the dirt and mud can start to become abrasive. A quick shake in a puddle or a
► stream and they're literally as good as new (try that with a boot or sneaker!)
► If you have delicate feet I would imagine you'd want to take it easy to begin with.
► Basically if you're someone who doesn't do a lot of walking, you're going to have to take time
► to get used to the lack of padding, and perhaps some rubbing around the usual areas
► (like you do in any normal shoe) I think I'm quite lucky, I already have very tough feet.
► I usually walk 20km at a time, so my feet don't even notice the Paleos.
► If you are an avid hiker/walker you will likely have no problem whatsoever.
I cannot recommend this product enough, it seems like a crazy idea at first, but I don't think I could live without them now! Christopher from New Zealand
I had been waiting for over month for the new shoes to arrive and finally on the morning of 24th of December Santa brought a Christmas present my way - Paleos!
My first impression was that they look more like an armor than something that would be comfy to run in but then I picked them up. The feel of them is completely different than I what I had expected, it was soft and smooth and the metal felt almost warm in my. Very quickly I got the grasp of the level of workmanship in the Paleos it reminds more of the old sagas of the dwarfs smiths than anything that I would normally see in a shoe.
Finally after much wait and almost every hiccup possible I got to go for a run in them. Being who I am I picked the worst time possible to try this. It was one of the first days after a big snowstorm and a nasty freeze. The temperature had risen to +5°C and the snow and ice was melting. I put on a 1mm neoprene sock under the Paleos for cold protection and it was needed.
First thing is the shoes are just pure fun. It was a strange mixture of feeling protected and forgetting you had them on. I took them on short 5k run through the valley near my home. Running in the dirt you can quickly feel that that is what they are made for. I took them through everything that I could think off, dirt, sand, snow, ice and water (The river had flowed over the banks and filled up over the trail so I was forced to run around 100m in 20cm deep water. I was very happy I had the neoprene socks there.
But where they really shined was on ice. They performed there beyond any hopes I had for them. I ran on ice that had a layer of water on it and it was like I was running on dirt field. I ran up hill covered in hard ice and I was steady like a rock. At no time did I ever feel like I was about to slip or slide in them.
Just don’t stop to long when standing on in it. When returning home I stopped on a sidewalk covered in ice while waiting for the light to turn green and I could feel that they got stuck ☺