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Thread: Choosing and packing shoes for travel

  1. #46
    Registered User Ms. Ferret's Avatar
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    I so totally want a pair of Soft Star shoes after reading these threads. Do they work well for various climates/terrains?

  2. #47
    Registered User dorayme's Avatar
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    I have worn my Merry Janes throughout the Humid and Hot NC summer. This is my first winter, and winters aren't usually super cold here. I think I'm going to order a pair of the fleece innersoles. Handknit socks help with warmth most days though. If you are concerned about very cold climate, you could spring for the Phoenix boots. If I didn't already have a pair of similar EMU Australia boots I would.
    As for different terrains, I haven't had any issues with mine. I haven't been mountain climbing, but I have worn the MJ's to hike/scout out many properties on our house hunt this past year. I wore my Ballerine flats on a tour of a summer camp facility and the terrain varies significantly from gravel, to root filled paths. I had no problems, other than irritating leaf bits in my shoes.
    If I were trying to do anything with speed, I would probably want the run-a-mocs or at minimum the Ramblers to ensure the shoe would stay with my foot. The MJ's and BF's are very secure for walking though.
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  3. #48
    Registered User Ms. Ferret's Avatar
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    Thanks dorayme!!! I think I am going to pick up some Merry Janes for winter -- they're adorable!
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  4. #49
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    Trying to revive this thread: but I am interested in Soft star shoes.
    I have plantar fasciitis, pretty bad in my right foot. Bad enough that at the moment I can only wear Dansko clogs (the closed back ones, they have the best support) and Birkenstock sandals. I also have a small bunion on said foot. I went to a podiatrist and before even really telling me what he was doing I got a cortisone shot in my foot. It sucked. But he has done little else to help me, saying the cortisone would take care of things. Anyway I have read a bit on minimalist footwear and I see that it can help plantar fasciitis in some cases by strengthening the foot, but other publications say that it can aggravate it. Best info I have found said for people to transition slowly, by retraining the gait. Anyway I am thinking of buying a pair of softstar shoes and giving it a go. Does anyone have advice as to how to transition from regular to minimalist shoes? I don't run anymore, so I wouldn't be working out, just walking around.

  5. #50
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    @atarango1: sucks about the PF. And worse: who gives a shot without warning? Jeez.

    As for retraining, what I would suggest is to start indoors with your new minimalist shoes. Put them on at work (assuming you're inside and sitting for at least some part of the day) and go barefoot or in socks at home. If you get SoftStars, you will definitely feel the floor, and it is possible that you may begin forefoot-stepping naturally. If you don't, you may have to consciously tell yourself to step toes-first rather than heel first. I'd suggest doing this for a week and seeing how your feet feel. Then, if the weather allows, take some walks in your shoes. It may be best to start out on grass, since it's a much more forgiving surface than pavement. I think even 10-15 minutes of walking a day can be helpful. You will gradually build muscle in your calves and feet, and your toes will begin to splay more naturally to get a grip on the ground. As your feet get stronger, you can wear your new shoes longer, and gradually move away from the others.

    NB: you may need to exercise a lot of patience during this process. Danskos/Birks have a ton of support and really immobilize the foot, so it could take some time before you feel like your feet have adjusted and your gait recalibrates. However, once this process happens, I think you could switch to normal shoes for a period of time and then back to minimalist footwear without much of a readjustment process. After a long midwestern winter, it only takes my feet a few days to feel normal again in fivefingers or zero-drop zori/flipflops. Hope this helps, and that relief is forthcoming!

  6. #51
    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    I limit myself to 2 prs. Of shoes. I always wear my Vasco trail shoes on the plane and take leather Teva sandals (OK for long walks, a dressier look, and submersible) as we predominantly travel to hot humid places. To the occasional trips to cooler climes, it's the trail shoes again but with Naot cross straps (just fine for dressier look and long walks, with or without socks).
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  7. #52
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    Thanks for all the advice Badger.
    I bought a pair of soft star shoes, the Merry Janes in silver and at first I was like, hmm. But it feels kind of neat to be able to feel the ground.
    Unfortunately because of my car accident I have been on crutches for two weeks and now a cane and I can't walk right, so now is not the time to begin retraining my feet to the new shoes, but I hope once my knee is healed (bone bruises, a torn ligament,nothing serious. Just bothersome and slightly painful) that I can work on the barefoot shoes. The best thing about the soft stars is that they are so light, it's like wearing nothing!

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