Skinners Sock Shoes
Is it a sock? is it a shoe? Yes!
Skinners sock shoes might be a new category in outdoor footwear.
- Ease of use
- More protection than socks
- Cost or perceived value
- Less protection than minimalist shoes
I recently acquired some Skinners Sock Shoes. What?
They are basically a sock covered on the sole with a protective rubber polymer. I believe that this might be new category of outdoor footwear. I'd say they offer more protection that a sock and perhaps less protection than a minimalist shoe. I suppose the closest comparable footwear might be minimalist footwear like FiveFingers Shoes, Merrell Trail Gloves Shoes, and Xero Shoes. Or perhaps a traditional leather moccasin.
The Skinners are put on just like any other sock. They fit comfortable just like any other sock. They do grip smooth surfaces like my hardwood floors in my house great. They don't really offer much support, but that is common of minimalist footwear. The sock part feels like a quality sock and the sole has a 2mm of polymer protection. A pair of the sock shoes weigh in at 2.8 ounces. They are packable. They did seem to keep my feet warm.
The company says that they were designed for outdoor pursuits like traveling, walking, running, hiking, camping, cycling, and the gym.
I decided to test them on a little hiking and fly fishing trip.
While walking over concrete, I could feel the ground, but not the heat. While walking over dirt and sand the Skinners performed well. While walking over sand with rocks the Skinners did fairly well. While walking over a hard surface with rocks, I could feel the rocks poking the bottoms of my feet, so I'd say they had reached their limit of usefulness.
I did wade and fly fish with the Skinners and they performed well. They enabled me to feel around with my feet to avoid obstacles and gripped the slimy surfaces without slipping. Upon exiting the water it did feel like I was wearing wet soggy socks. :( I don't know if I'd use them for fly fishing again because it takes them some time to dry out. I would use them after fly fishing when my feet often crave something light, dry, and warm.
It is to be determined how durable these sock shoes might be. The manufactures says that the durability is variable, but that they should last about 400 miles.
Here's a video review of my Skinners.
This product is new to the market and new to me. I've only just begun to experiment with the use of these Skinners. I'll likely use these around the house like a slipper and around the camp like a recovery shoe.
Source: tested or reviewed it for the manufacturer (kept it)
These are for people who have been working at transitioning to minimalist and barefoot running. You can feel the ground, and sometimes even pain, but that's how you learn to move properly. A small insert can be used if you want extra cushion. If you're not sure if you can go barefoot or not, throw these on and don't look back.
- They weigh as much as a sock, and take up about the same space.
- The carry bag actually turned out to be very useful.
- VERY easy to wash and dry. Machine washable, but I usually do them by hand and use a boot dryer.
- Climbing sandstone boulders peeled chunks of the rubber sole off.
- Don't wear inside until broken in, the loose pieces of rubber flake off until the more durable, permanent ones are left.
Imagine putting a temporary callus on your foot. That's it. Comfortable, easy to clean, and they stay in place very well.
I have been searching for the best minimalist shoes for years, this is the closest I have found. For a while I was even making my own shoes, and the design I settled upon was a sock put on a mold of my foot, and sprayed with bedliner on the bottom. This worked great, but the materials did not have the characteristics needed for this particular task.I have coached middle and high school cross country for 7 years, the kids that run barefoot have the least injuries if any.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $55
Where to Buy
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Skinners are multipurpose sock shoes that can be used as camp shoes, running, traveling, at the gym, and as a backup pair of footwear when rollerblading or for other activities. The three-layered stretch-knit body is made from natural and artificial fibers and has some light compression. The bottom is made with Swedish phthalate-free polymers for a 2mm thin double-layer on the underside that can last up to hundreds of miles. Skinners can be machine washed.
80 g / 2.8 oz
9 x 4 cm / 3. 54 x 1.57 in