The barefoot craze. Vibram Five Fingers VS Actos Skin Shoes

Dec 01, 13 The barefoot craze. Vibram Five Fingers VS Actos Skin Shoes

I have always liked simple designs. Back from the old Nike Prestos (Late 1990s, early 200s), Prestoto the more recent Reebok zignano and Nike Free, simple, lightweight shoes seem to always capture my attention.

Now, there’s this new age trend of barefoot running or minimalist shoes. Literally overnight, there’s an explosion of shoes being made with lesser materials, yet costing a good 2 to 3 times that of a normal sports shoe.

It’s almost like selling bikinis or lingerie. The lesser the material, the more expensive it is.

IMG-20120205-WA0002One of the main reasons for barefoot running or minimalist shoes is that when you wear a  heavily cushioned shoe, the small muscles in the legs loses it’s strength. On top of that, a thick shoe encourages heel strike.

Barefoot running or minimalist shoes are suppose to help maintain a more natural gait. After all, the ancient people didn’t really wear shoes right?

I jumped onto the bandwagon and got myself a Vibram Fivefingers classic then. However, my second toe is longer than my big toe, or scientifically speaking, it’s called Morton’s toe. Thus, I wasn’t really able to wear it longer than 3 hours. I did manage to clock 5km runs in it though, and my calves were screaming bloody murder for quite a while.

While I wanted to use it for vacations because of it’s size and easy packing, I never really got round to it. Not being able to wear it longer than 3 hours was definitely a major deal breaker.

I kept my eye out for something similar in the market, but I just couldn’t put my money down for a minimalist shoe that costs so much.

DSC_0213Then I discovered Actos shoes! Essentially they are like aqua shoes, in that they have a slim outsole, and the top of the shoe is a lycra like material. The best thing however, was that it costs S$30! While they say it is made in Korea, who knows where they came from.

Trying the shoes, it was definitely very lightweight! According to the specs, they are about 58grams a pair. And they fit very nicely compressed. They do come with a pair of insoles, although I’m sure you can get better ones elsewhere.

DSC_0216The finishings were pretty good. seams look nicely done, and for some models, they have a reinforced large toe cap, as that’s probably where the majority of wear and tear will happen.

Sizing wise, it was fairly accurate to follow their chart. I wear a size 39, and I bought XL.

Till date, I actually worn it to walk around, for gym, and even for body combat.

A good replacement for casual shoes, flip flops and even sandals!

Of course, there are disadvantages. For one, you don’t wear a sock for it. Thus, it has a tendency to smell after 2-4 wears. I would suggest removing the insoles, and placing a charcoal deodorizer inside. Wash the shoe every once in a while.

The alternative to that is to buy multiple pairs. Which is what I did 🙂

Still liking them a lot for the comfort, simplicity and designs. Definitely quite an eye catcher.

For Singaporeans, you can actually find them on


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