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M Minimalist Footwear for Fall/Spring Backpacking

by Damien and Renee Tougas

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Article Summary:

Minimalist shoes are designed to allow the foot to function as naturally (and as close to barefoot) as possible, while offering the protection dictated by environmental conditions. In warm weather there are few environmental conditions from which we need protection and hence thin-soled, flexible shoes work fine. In colder weather however, there are a few additional requirements. The criteria used to select the shoes for this review are as follows:

Since the above selection criteria could easily apply to a wide range of footwear not appropriate for backpacking, a few more were added to ensure that what we test would be more "in the ballpark" of what we are looking for: The shoes should be designed for the purpose of athletic/active use. The uppers should absorb little water, be breathable, and dry quickly. The soles should be substantial and grippy enough to handle a variety of rugged terrain, both wet and dry.


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