Vibram’s Furoshiki Footwear: The shoes you wrap around your feet


A company that designed the FiveFingers range of footwear have now decided that feet need to be less enclosed and have come up with a wraparound version.

Italian firm Vibram has created shoes that they say are “outsoles that wrap around your foot,” and modelled on traditional Japanese wrapping cloth.

Furoshiki shoes are basically a rubber sole with stretchy material attached to each side that you wrap over one another.

Furoshiki means the Japanese art of “packaging items by wrapping them in fabric.” The shoes cost $110 each and come in several different styles and sizes.

Wearing them is easy; all you do is place your feet on the sole and fold one side over the other, securing them with a Velcro tab. Each one of the material ends has a tab that catches onto the heel of the shoe.

Vibram's Furoshiki Footwear

Because the material is so stretchy, the toes can move freely inside the shoe, with customers stating that it feels like wearing a sock with a sole at the bottom.

The other advantage of the stretchy material is that the shoes will fit any type or size of foot. So whether you have wide or thin feet, the stretch fabric along with the hook and loop closure system allows for a quick, easy fit.

They are also lightweight and pack down to a very small size, and come with their very own travelling case which makes them ideal for travelling.

Furoshiki Shoes can be worn by both sexes, as the tightness of the wrapping depends on the individual person.

Vibram's Furoshiki Footwear

Customers who have already bought the shoes state that wearing them is like wearing a pair of slippers at home.

Vibram decided to design the shoe after the president of the company, Marco Bramani, was asked if his design team could make a “one-size sole.” Vibram were set a challenge to construct a “dynamic structure sole” instead of a normal static sole, as Masaya Hashimoto explained, one of the Vibram designers of the Furoshiki shoe.

Vibram's Furoshiki Footwear

Currently, there are seven styles available, ranging in women’s sizes from XS to 2XL and men’s from 7 to 13 in U.S. men’s measurements. There are plans for more styles, however:

“We believe the wrapping sole concept has a big potentiality, so we will develop it in different product lines in different fields,” said Hashimoto.

So where would you wear a pair of Furoshiki shoes? They are advertised as the perfect pair for travelling, for casual wear as well as water sports. Hikers could easily store them in backpacks to wear after a long day’s hiking. There are some people that think the Furoshiki shoes can just be used as an everyday shoe. They are comfortable, flexible, easy to wear and trendy-looking.

You can buy Furoshiki shoes at zappos.com and on Vibram.com.

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