Sorry for not coming back to you earlier.
>> Since you already are a sandal user, maybe you could continue in the vein, but with trail sandals instead? You could experiment with Huaraches (Luna makes some out of varying thicknesses and cushioning) and you may also want to try out the Teva Zilch as well. <<
Since I really like my Columbia sandals (except for the debris coming in), I had decided to either have a more open sandal (where the debris could escape from as fast as it comes in), in which case something like the Teva Zilch could be appropriate or, as I said before, have something like the Tech Amphibians (which would completely avoid any debris coming in), but these wouldn't be minimalst.
As a matter of fact, I’ve been working on some home-made (open) sandals. I call these my TFD-sandals (TheFlyingDutchman). When I first started (a few month’ ago) I wanted these to be really sturdy (bullet-proof) and I also wanted to the sole to be thick (and rigid) enough so that me feet wouldn’t feel anything protruding from the ground. That’s why I decided to make the sandals out of heavy genuine leather (upper sole and straps) and I wanted to use a car tire to make a rubber outer sole (the one in contact with the ground). I would be using acetal side release buckles to secure the straps. This is what I had made so far (stopped when I read your first article about minimalist shoes):
My TFD sandals (not finished yet):
For “qualifying” my TFD sandals (MYOG) as a minimalist shoe, I would think it has many things in favor: 0mm heel lift, no arch support at all, no toe-box (therefore unrestricted spread/splay), no cushioning but...... even though there is no cushioning, as you can see, the outer sole (last picture) is quite thick (and it’s VERY rigid too), so...... no ground feel AT ALL. This, I think, would make my sandals NOT appropriate as a minimalist sandal. Because of this sole these sandalas are also quite heavy.
OK. To the point: To make my “creature” into a minimalist sandal, I’ve been thinking of forgetting about my “car tire”-sole and buy a ready-made (maybe Vibram) sole. This one should, of course, be very thin and very flexible, so this is my question: Which sole would you recommend?
Just one more clarification: As you’ve seen in my previous interventions, my goal is long-distance, multi-day (non supported & no-resupply) hikes (25-30 miles/day for 1-2 weeks) with an initial load of 25-30lbs (including ALL the consumables for the whole trip). Do I go for the thin, flexible sole or might I be better off with the (better?) protection of my “car-tire”-sole?
Sorry for being a nuisance, but I don’t know how to proceed. Many thanks in advance.