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The Vibram Furoshiki features a unique construction which puts it into sharp relief against any other walking shoe on the market. The trainer draws its inspiration from the Japanese art of wrapping things in cloth, known as “furoshiki”, which can be observed in the way its upper wraps the foot up with the help of criss-crossed side panels.
The extreme lightness and flexibility of the Furoshiki allow it to be easily rolled up and carried in a small bag anywhere you go. Vibram markets this shoe as versatile footwear which consumers can wear everywhere and for any activities, even including water sports as the upper material is quick to dry.
This model is meant to feel like second skin and wrap the foot more snugly than a traditional training shoe. The stretchy fabric and the easily adjustable upper construction allow the shoe to accommodate the natural expansion of the foot throughout the day. The material used in the shoe is a combination of elastane and nylon, which allows the foot to expand and the toes to splay naturally for a customized fit.
In keeping with the minimalist shoe design, the outsole of the Vibram Furoshiki is made of a lightweight, low-density Vibram rubber. It is crafted to be flexible and provide traction on different types of surfaces.
The rubber extends up to the upper in the form of multiple thin filaments. These sturdy lines not only provide structure to the top part of the shoe but also serve as a protective element to keep the fabric safe from the wear-and-tear. The extended rubber also allows the shoe to accommodate a wide-set foot without compromising the integrity of the fabric.
The outsole also protrudes up to cover the toe area, rendering protection against bumps. It also forms a heel cup at the back, ensuring that the rearfoot is steady while walking.
The outsole of the Vibram Furoshiki also serves as its cushioning unit. The minimalist construction promotes proprioception of the foot and also absorbs shock. Delivering further comfort is the lightly cushioned textile footbed. This 2-mm component attenuates shock but doesn’t take away the barefoot experience.
The Vibram Furoshiki’s style is inspired by the Japanese style of wrapping presents in a piece of cloth. As the name implies, the shoe follows this design and holds the foot securely in place, like a neatly wrapped gift. The upper is made of 28% elastane, which is a type of stretchy synthetic fabric, and of 72% nylon, giving it the ability to hug the foot snugly.
There are no laces to fuss with, just two hook-and-loop mechanisms on each side of the rearfoot. When the flaps are spread out, there is a visible toe box at the front and a heel cup at the back which help in keeping the foot in place. Users would just slide their feet into the toe box and make sure the rear part is not folded in for a comfortable fit before wrapping up the sides. Then the wearer can adjust the fit to as loosely or as tightly as they please, depending on their comfort zone.