DIY Barefoot Shoes – Vans Slip-Ons

April 16, 2011

I love me some Vans Slip-Ons. Especially clean ones. As a result, I have quite a few pairs that aren’t dead, but aren’t quite fresh enough for first-line duty.

Of course, there are tons of good reasons to go barefoot. It improves running form, and a whole host of other good stuff. That’s all the time I’ll spend convincing you to ditch the standard shoes, because most of you are probably already on board here.

For my barefooting, I love Vibram Five-Fingers. As a result, I get funny looks from everyone.

The solution? Make an old pair of slip-ons feel like VFFs.

Click ahead for pics.

I simply took a box cutter and cut around the perimeter of the waffle-board sole, then peeled it off. The above picture shows one with half the sole removed. All that’s remaining is the footbed and a thin layer of black rubber. This leaves the shoe quite flexible.

The result is not an ideal solution, but it works pretty darn well. They feel a whole heckuva lot like being barefoot (most importantly allowing for full plantarflexion and dorsiflexion while walking), and they certainly look way more normal than VFFs. Next time, I’ll shoot for a cleaner cut, and maybe run a small bead of shoe-goo around the black rubber to keep it from coming off.

If you’ve got an old pair of shoes worth sacrificing, give it a shot! Let me know how it goes in the comments, and as always, play safe with sharp tools.

Entry filed under: Exercise Equipment, Self Experiment. Tags: .

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