Fall and winter travel often consists of packing for destinations where the weather is cold and conditions can be rainy or even snowy. In those cases, travelers often wear sturdy shoes, leaving the summer sandals at home.
But sturdy shoes can make less-than-optimal travel shoes—at least, where transportation comes into play. How many times do you find yourself balancing on one foot to untie a boot, drop it into the TSA plastic tray, then balance again to put it back on? Once you take your shoes off on the plane, you hate to put them back on, but visiting the airplane bathroom in your socks is a little too much to stomach.
Enter the Vibram Furoshiki Shoe.
Named for the eco-friendly wrapping cloth in Japanese culture whose use promotes caring for the environment and reducing waste, the shoes have a low-density Vibram grip sole, made from 28 percent elastane (stretch rubber/lycra) and 72 percent PA (polymide and nylon). And the sole wraps around your foot.
Sounds weird, right? Just put your foot in, wrap the upper around, and fasten both hook and loop (Velcro) closures. You’re done. No laces, no buckles.
The shoes pack up easily for traveling and come in a handy carrying case, so you can stow them away for the exact moment you need them. Bring them along in your carry-on bag for airport and airplane comfort, tuck them into your suitcase for wandering around the hotel or cozying up by the lobby fireplace, or wear them for quick trips to the market.
The shoes aren’t exactly the same as Five Fingers shoes, where support is paramount. But they’re comfortable for walking around, as long as you take a break every few days to wear something with arch support.
Vibram Fusoshiki shoes come in a variety of colors. Black is the simplest, but then there’s a rainbow of combo colors, as well. They list for $77 on the Vibram site.