"What on earth are they?" I was asked yesterday, the person pointing at my feet with a look of confusion. "Ummmm, they're called Skinners, they're a morph of socks and shoes". Still a look of pure confusion. However these have taken me a little by surprise. A very dear friend is an advocate of barefoot shoes and is barefoot herself at every opportunity. Her arguments about the health benefits are convincing but the toe shoes things have always weirded me out a little. These however.....
oSkinners are pitched as 'multi-purpose footwear for sports and travel'. Designed to enable you to 'move without limits' they are truly multi-purpose. They are designed to be durable and light, made with Swedish polymers they are incredibly hard wearing and surprisingly they do indeed absorb much more than I though they would. Walking and running over stones and gravels I approached with a slight wince on my face but actually the connectivity I got to the ground gave me so much more confidence as I ran, my pace was quicker too - bonus.
They are, being socks essentially, incredibly lightweight and pack down very small, they take up less room and weight than one of my power packs so they are perfect for throwing in your pack as a spare pare of shoes after a long walk in the hills. Being made from a combination of man made and natural fibres means that they are excellent at wicking moisture, although if I am honest my feet did get a little clammy after wearing them for the day. However, they wonderful thing about these is the diverse range of activities I can use them for.
Not only have I found myself enjoying just wearing them (I actually love the comments I get, anything to open up a conversation with people) but I wear these for my runs on the forest tracks, for surfing, kayaking, canoeing, stand up paddleboarding, circuit training and outdoor yoga. Anything that is this versatile is a winner in my eyes.
Being so compact is a bonus also, I travel around the UK a lot, I am here, there and everywhere so these are great to chuck in the van. I can wear them as I pootle around in the evening, in and out of the van, I can wear them to the pub and as they are so diddy they literally fit in any small gap in my pack.
So - the final question I have which is something I am asking of everything now is just how environmentally friendly are these? Well, there are no adhesives in these, they are washable and the design allows them to be used for mile after mile after mile. Handmade in Europe using European sourced materials the carbon footprint is not that high for us in the UK. They don't use any toxic plasticisers, the compounds are phthalates-free and production waste is below 1% As they say."production of Skinners is NOT associated with harming people, animals or the environment.".
So would I recommend? Yes I would, I live in flip flops for most of the year, approaching winter is always a struggle as I lose that freedom of movement however these have filled a gap for me and they are SO comfortable - a massive surprise. My only wish is more colours - I want them in bright orange please!
For more information visit their website HERE