My Invisible Shoes came today. That was the fastest anything has ever arrived after ordering. I ordered Friday night, I think, or maybe Saturday morning. They arrived today, Monday.
I ordered their smallest size. I was surprised I would fit the smallest size, but they just barely fit me. I think the next size up would be better, but these are actually a perfect fit.
I think the cheap nylon laces are kind of hokey, but I'm surprised how nice they feel. I think I will use the nylon laces for a couple days, as lame as they are, just so I can have the full Invisible Shoe experience. One nice thing about them is you don't have a good side and a bad side like leather laces, but the hardware store appearance kind of takes that plus away.
The new soles they have are really nice. They have little chevron shapes on the bottom for grip. They have the side holes pre-punched on little wings that stick out a little bit on the side. The sole is shaped a little bit to conform to your foot but not overly so. They feel really "soft", smooth and barely there. Even though I got the thickest ones, they are so flexible you can fold them in half with your toes. They are very quiet to walk in.
The reason I ordered them was I had made some huaraches using soling sheet and vegetable-tanned leather with a suede top. They were rugged enough for hiking. But the leather was poor quality and it separated and peeled right off the sole. Meanwhile, I've been using this soling sheet to make a lot of other sandals and shoes and I wear the zig-zag tread off way too quick for them to offer any meaningful traction on these ball-bearing trails I hike on. Plus without a thick leather top, the heat from the soil just goes right through and I burn my feet.
I considered buying some unit soles to make another pair of huaraches, but the athletic sole didn't look like it would provide much traction and the hiking soles looked too heavy. Then I thought, why not try the Invisible Shoes. They're kind of like buying unit soles. I could see what they were like and if they might make a decent pair of hiking huaraches.
So I haven't decided if I will try to stick some vegetable-tanned leather to these or not. It sort of seems like the glue might not stick to this rubber. It has a checkered surface that feels non-stick. I'll see if that's just a coating that wears off. It's not certain that these little chevrons on the sole will actually provide any better traction than the basic Vibram 127 athletic soles, either. And they are more expensive than a pair of unit soles.
I have way too many sandals now, but I feel like I can't ever wear shoes again. It's just too free to have my feet completely unencumbered. I've actually done some running in them, too. It's a lot of fun.