Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Work-Safe, Slip-Resistant, Approved Non-Slip Minimalist Shoes. Or the lack thereof.

I have again been re-faced with the seemingly constant challenge of finding "work-approved" footwear. Maybe that is what has started my pondering. It seems that if you have any kind of problem with "normal" shoes, you are "being difficult" or it is because of "that thing you're doing." Of course, the fact that I spend more time at work in those shoes than I don't, and the fact that I am in great pain in my legs, my kness, my hamstrings, my back, and my neck-- those things don't matter.

I feel so fortunate to exist in a time when zero-drop, minimalist shoes have become widely available, when much of the population has awoken to the facts involving body-alignment and foot-strength and all that jazz. However, it hasn't been a large enough portion of the population to become the norm. This is unfortunate-- for them and for us. I have been told a number of times about the "arch support" in the work-available shoes and how if the shoes I'm wearing hurt me then I need more support. Brilliant.

Run Amoc
Dash Glove

If a minimalist company would manufacture and focus on work-approved footwear requirements, they would bank. I have been hunting, and hunting, and hunting for any minimalist shoe that met the requirement. I did find one that absolutely strikes my fancy-- congruent with both my current requirements and my own sense of style (pffft. That suggested I had a sense of style). Belleview, the trusted maker of American military and law-enforcement boots for a ridiculous amount of time, offers a minimalist combat boot called the Mini-Mil. The only limiting factor is the price. They're lightweight and only have a 5mm drop, which is pretty good for what they are offering you. I also think it would be nice to have a minimalist shoe that I didn't feel like I was going to destroy (my Vivobarefoot mesh has begun to show tears from simple, every-day use, the sole of my KSO Sports began to come loose a week after purchase, the top fabric of my Jayas got a hole busted through them when I tripped at the LAX airport).

Other shoes that may work, such as the Merrell Dash Glove and the Softstar RunAmoc, and the incredible Zemgear shoes, do not actually post a claim of being slip-resistant, which is a requirement for approval in many workplaces. Including mine. Great. I'll keep you guys up to date on what I discover and see if I can't get a guide going.



Jeff said...

Great post. I'd be interested in seeing how these work out. At my work, I have to go into factories, plants, and offices. Both my dress shoes and work boots are extremely uncomfortable. Minimalist shoes for either of those would be great.

Shaleah said...

Thanks-- I have an update coming soon! I purchased a pair of Mini-mils and a pair of Zemgears, another one I found after this post, and I'll review them both.

Shaleah said...

Hey there-- just sending you a quick note that I've updated with two reviews!

Rhea Footwear said...

I recommend Rhea Footwear. Not everyone agrees with wearing Rhea Footwear but I used them for 3 years as an apprentice chef and they were amazing.

Unknown said...

I cut the soles off of some $11 walmart tread safe, buffed and smoothed them down, buffed down the tread on my minimalist shoes and glued the tread safe on the bottom...takes about an hour or 2, but worked great!

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