- Barefoot-like experience
- Super lightweight
- Easy on-and-off
- Adjustable fit
- Easily packable
- Machine washable
- Incredibly unique
- Comes with a bag and a cool tag
Who should buy
Befriend this one-of-a-kind pair and let it meet your other shoes if you're looking for:
- A sock-like and slip-on fit with that barefoot feel
- A minimal and unique-looking shoe
- An incredibly lightweight and breathable option
- Something that isn't high-maintenance
Who should NOT buy
If you want a pair that accommodates wide feet and lets you enjoy the barefoot feel, go for the Merrell Vapor Glove 6. It has that extra space that wide-footers love!
This pair is ideal for weightlifting, but if we talk about sports, that's pretty much it. If you're looking for something that you can use for jumping, going to the gym, or just activities that require some agility, you should have a look at the Allbirds Tree Dasher 2.0.
The queen, king and everything in between of summer days! The Vibram Furoshiki is ready to enjoy warm weather next to you with its impressive 4/5 score on our breathability test!
Vibram Furoshiki (on the left) vs. Skechers GOWalk Joy (on the right)
The Skechers GOWalk Joy got a 2/5 on this same test. So... we know your feet would become professional swimmers on a sunny day because of how much sweat there would be.
But forget about that and look at all the smoke easily coming out of the Vibram Furoshiki's upper. When we say this shoe is HOT, we don't mean your feet will be!
To learn a little bit more about its material, we used our microscope to see if the shoe actually had any ventilation holes.
But... no? Check out this close-up!
The nylon is tightly woven, but the material itself is so breathable that the shoe does not actually need any extra gaps for the air to go in and out! Pretty cool, right?
Just in case you're still not convinced, look at our transparency test.
It doesn't have any pores, but the light is coming through literally everywhere! The Furoshiki took the "rise and shine" motto way too personally, didn't it?
Breathability and durability have long been enemies and this case is no exception. When breathability wins, durability loses. And that's exactly what we can see in the Vibram Furoshiki.
It got an underwhelming score of 1 out 5 in our toebox durability test. Look at the Dremel completely destroying the hopes of this shoe to become a war hero!
The damage at the toebox was absolute, as our tool completely destroyed the layer of nylon this shoe has. That's the price to pay for such a stretchy upper! Bye-bye!
Side note: When you look at the picture, you might think there's one extra white layer under the nylon. But there isn't! That's just a white piece of material that we put inside our shoes to see how deep the damage is.
Heel padding durability
We moved our Dremel all the way back to the heel of this pair. Once we turned it on, we could already tell that it could not put up much of a fight.
With another 1/5 on our heel padding durability test, this shoe got absolutely wrecked. Dremel 2 - 0 Vibram Furoshiki!
But even after these 2 low grades, we are actually going to bat for the Furoshiki here. By just looking at it once, one can clearly see that its design does not focus on resistance!
You wouldn't ask a fish to climb a tree, right?
As we were saying, this shoe does not focus on durability. Still, its outsole did not do that bad when we checked its hardness!
Using our durometer, we measured its hardness at 68.4 HC. And that's quite close to the average!
Let us tell you that there are many walking shoes that basically rely on exposed foam. To see what this looks like, you can have a look at some Skechers models.
But the Furoshiki is totally different! This one-of-a-kind pair has a full-length rubber sole that is way stronger and will wrap around your foot accommodating to its shape.
Do you know Iron Man? Well, just imagine something like that!
|Vibram Furoshiki||68.4 HC|
Remember we compared this shoe's sole to Iron Man? Well, it's more accurate to say that this is Tony Stark's improved version!
After drilling its material for 22 seconds at a speed of 10K RPM, the Furoshiki basically did not even care. We used a tread gauge to measure the depth of the damage, and it was a mere 0.7 mm. Not even 1 mm!
Just look at that. It feels like the damage is playing hide and seek with us!
No Avengers' spoilers, though. Just saying this pair would be a damn good member!
|Vibram Furoshiki||0.7 mm|
We used one of our calipers to measure this pair's outsole thickness and... holy guacamole! We got 4.4 mm!
This is way higher than the average. When we compared this sole to an armour, we were definitely not wrong!
|Vibram Furoshiki||4.4 mm|
When durability and breathability are at war... lightness sides with breathability!
When the Furoshiki jumped into our scale, we only got 6.3 oz (179.0 g). This is just amazing, it is the lightest shoe we have tested in our lab!
You'll totally forget it's there! And with its lightweight construction and wrap-around feel, who needs socks?
|Vibram Furoshiki||6.31 oz (179g)|
|Average||9.03 oz (256g)|
It feels like the uniqueness of this shoe never ends!
Walking shoes usually have a tall heel stack, as they are focused on comfort. The average is around 31 mm, so we would expect models of this category to have a similar score.
Using a caliper, we measured the Furoshiki heel stack at 11.2 mm. Brace yourself... this is 64% lower than average! Talk about minimal!
|Vibram Furoshiki||11.2 mm|
Following the heel's steps, this pair's forefoot is also different from other walking shoes. With a height of 5.5 mm, you'd even need to squint to see if it's really there!
Once again, way lower than average.
|Vibram Furoshiki||5.5 mm|
The drop of a shoe is the difference in height between the heel and the forefoot. The greater it is, the steeper the angle between these two parts.
Typically, in walking shoes this score is around 10 mm. But... the Furoshiki is no ordinary walking pair, we know that well! Vibram is a well-known brand due to its FiveFingers collection. This group focuses on mimicking the feeling of being barefoot while still providing protection and grip.
The Furoshiki has the same goal: to provide you with an incredible ground feel and contribute to natural motion.
With a drop of 5.7 mm, it does its job pretty well!
|Vibram Furoshiki||5.7 mm|
When we tried running and walking around with this shoe, it felt incredibly unique.
Even though it's not plush at all, we still felt supported but... more in a kinesthetic way. It bent with our every move, following our foot's shape accurately. Walking with it on was as natural as it could get, and the slip-on plus loop-and-hoop design made it feel like a second skin.
Get ready to close your mouth, because at 7.8 HA, this sole is 223% firmer than average!
If this is definitely not your thing and you're looking for a light shoe with "plushness" written all over it, try the Skechers Summits.
|Vibram Furoshiki||7.8 HA|
Difference in midsole softness in cold
Even though the Furoshiki's midsole is already incredibly stiff, it became even firmer after keeping it in the freezer!
We repeated the durometer measurement and saw the score had changed to 14.8 HA.
So we already said that this shoe's sole is firm and that it becomes even firmer when temperatures drop, right? But... firmer as in... exactly how much?
There, we said it. 50% more than average!
This model does not come with any extra cushioning in the footbed, as that would mean losing some ground feel.
Nevertheless, we measured its thickness at 7.0, which is higher than average!
This material adapts to the shape of your foot. So not only did we feel comfortable in our strides, but also supported!
Cool fact: this makes the shoe ideal for weightlifting but unsuitable for intense jumping, agility activities or heel stickers!
|Vibram Furoshiki||7.0 mm|
Lateral stability test
Just by looking at the video you'll see this is not a stable pair of shoes... did anyone say crème caramel au feet?
We decided to try the Furoshiki with and without socks.
It's already really wobbly without them, because even though it adapts to your feet it doesn't have any structure.
But with socks... Oh, wow. Just wow. Our feet kept slipping and slipping inside such a small model! The shoe's and our socks' materials did not get along at all.
We suggest you don't try this at home unless you feel like your feet should go tango dancing!
This shoe is just as flexible as a shoe can be.
With an unbeatable 1/5 in our torsional rigidity text, the Furoshiki moved in every single direction without any problems.
Should we suggest 0 becomes a grade on this test just for this pair? It would be pretty accurate!
Heel counter stiffness
We were not surprised to see how pliable this shoe's heel was.
With another 1/5, the Furoshiki would even beat Simon Biles at gymnastics!
Midsole width in the forefoot
According to the official site of this pair, its design was improved and is now sleeker. And let us tell you... they did not lie!
We measured the widest part of the midsole at the forefoot at 98.8 mm, which means it's narrower than average!
We did expect this from a Vibram pair, though.
|Vibram Furoshiki||98.8 mm|
Midsole width in the heel
And same thing goes for the midsole width in the heel! With a score of 75.6 mm, it's more than 10 mm narrower than average.
As we're talking about barefoot-style shoes, the Furoshiki do not need a wide platform to land for you to feel surefooted, as your feet are almost as close to the ground as they can get!
But... wide-footers are not gonna like this.
|Vibram Furoshiki||75.6 mm|
If this was a flexibility competition, the Vibram Furoshiki would have taken the gold from the GOWALK Joy!
Would you believe us if we said that this pair is 1536% more flexible than the average?
Yep, that's right. No, no, you didn't read it wrong. It's more than a thousand!!
If you think we're exaggerating, check out this video and the number our tread gauge shows on its screen.
Difference in stiffness in cold
It's true that after putting this shoe in the freezer it became stiffer.
But the score of our tread gauge was literally just 1.5N higher so... it's still incredibly lower than average!
When we tell you that this shoe stiffened up by 139.1%, you'll probably think that we're not talking about Iron Man but the Thing!
It does sound like a lot, but it's still (by far) the most flexible pair we have tested in our lab.
Grip / Traction
Even though the Furoshiki's outsole is definitely a toughie, there were some battles it just couldn't win.
When we wore the shoe around town, at the beginning we had no problems. Asphalt and concrete were just fine! We were happily showing them off until we decided to try them walking on cobblestones... then, we really did feel the barefootness.
First of all, its sole is already really narrow and the insole is not shaped like a human foot. So, once again, getting used to these unique pals was not an easy task.
Then, even though its outsole is mildly grippy in many urban areas, we would not recommend this pair for any intense activities (such as jumping), for trails, or for treks in the city.
Its traction is not the best and it does not have the support or stability characteristics needed to keep you completely safe no matter where.
Size and fit
Toebox width at the widest part
Just by looking at the pictures, we can tell that this shoe has a very narrow profile. Still, as its material is very stretchy, you would think that it accommodates wide feet, right?
Well... so did we.
We used our caliper to measure the toebox width, and we got 96.4 mm, which is around 1 mm and a half narrower than average.
If you have regular feet, it will fit just fine. But if you have wide feet... this is not your armour, Mr. Stark!
|Vibram Furoshiki||96.4 mm|
Toebox width at the big toe
But definitely, the most intriguing part of it all was the tip.
We measured the toebox width at the big toe at 82.0 mm, which is around a couple of mm wider than usual. If we think logically, the conclusion for this would be: Ah, so it's fine if we have big toes!
Well... once again... nope.
This shoe has an inner layer at the toecap made of inflexible material. This means that if you have either wide feet or big toes, you will most likely find it uncomfortable.
But, wait, wait! Don't give up just yet!
Do you want to enjoy the barefoot feel but your feet are more on the wider side? Don't worry, we're here for you! Have a look at the Mererl Vapor Glove 6 and thank us later.
|Vibram Furoshiki||82.0 mm|
Tongue: gusset type
We cannot say this shoe actually has a tongue. With its quirky and peculiar design, it has a first layer that covers the toe box. Then it has two wings that you wrap around it, just like a burrito.
With its sock-like fit, it hugs your feet comfortably and easily adapts to their shape. All you gotta do is pull and attach the Velcro parts... and you're ready to go!
|Vibram Furoshiki||Sock like|
As we mentioned before, this pair does not have a tongue, so we measured its wrap-around pieces' padding instead.
We kept in mind that it's a minimalistic shoe, very light and foot-hugging. But, come on, our caliper showed 0.3 mm. Yes, 0.3 mm! Once again we cannot believe our eyes with this kick. This is pretty much the thinnest it can get!
Better recheck your feet every morning before you leave. You'll definitely forget you've put this shoe on!
|Vibram Furoshiki||0.3 mm|
As we can see in the picture, it does not have a heel tab. With such an easy on-and-off construction, it doesn't really need it! It would just add extra weight to the pair.
It does not have a removable insole either.
As these types of shoes focus on the natural stride and ground feel combo, they do not have any unnecessary pieces between your feet and the floor. And you'd typically not need to put any extra plushy insoles, as that's not the main goal of this kind of footwear!
If you need a pair with one and you don't mind getting rid of the barefoot part and its advantages, then maybe you could try the comfortable and light Allbirds Wool Runners.
The Vibram Furoshiki doesn't have any reflective elements.
You are the one who's gotta shine when you put them on, not them!