As most of you know, I consider myself first and foremost a “barefooter” – that is, I prefer having nothing at all on my feet as much as possible. Therefore, I’m always looking for “emergency” and practical footwear that will provide the most minimal experience while providing some protection and, most importantly, keep the “shoe police” at bay when I’m in public places like stores, malls, restaurants, etc.
Recently, I found an interesting product out of Encinitas, California: Luongo Footwear. Company founder and personal trainer Michael Luongo designed these specialty “shoes” as gym footwear. They provide protection against dirt, cuts, or scrapes, while allowing the user to perform most types of workouts “barefoot” style.
As soon as I saw the photos of this product, I got intrigued. They basically look like a cross between ankle socks and slippers. They remind me of extremely light water shoes. Indeed the most minimal closed-toe “shoes” I’ve seen so far. The top is made of a soft cotton/poly blend mesh fabric, which allows for ventilation. The bottoms are made of re-enforced, thin neoprene. They essentially fit like socks right out of the package, completely moulding to one’s feet and allowing for comfortable and natural motion.