Furoshiki is the Japanese art of “packaging items by wrapping them in fabric.” So in true artistic form, Vibram – the company that brought you those love or hate em’ ‘shoe with toes’ – has introduced its Furoshiki line and the world is taking notice. Furoshiki, in its simplest form, is a minimalist’s dream shoe and is modeled after traditional Japanese wrapping cloth.
Designed for travel as well as casual sports, Vibram Furoshiki shoes allow you to step inside their malleable rubber soles and encase your foot in stretchy fabric. If Spiderman designed his own lightweight shoe, these would be them. Vibram, the company that brought you its famous Five Fingers line – the footwear with the exposed toes worn mostly in the fitness industry – feels as if the wrapping shoe concept is the going to be the next best thing in shoe design.
According to Masaya Hashimoto, Vibram designer who invented the Furoshiki, in a recent GearJunkie article, “We believe the wrapping sole concept has a big potential, so we will develop it in different product lines in different fields.”
Available in shoe sizes XS – XXL (men’s US sizes 7-13), the Furoshiki was initially designed to target travel enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers. After reading the reaction to initial wearers, they appear to have widespread functionality, whether they’re being used to trail blaze or as a stand-in for slip on sandals.
The Vibram Furoshikis are considered “outsoles that wrap around your foot.” Vibram President Marlo Bramani describes them as a “one-sized sole concept” and as a “dynamic structure sole instead of a normal static sole.” To wear, a person can easily “fold” the Furoshikis on, using Velcro as the securing mechanism. Once secured, the wearer grabs each fabric end and encases their foot in Furoshikis stretchy fabric – securing it to the base of the sole.
Since Vibram’s Furoshikis weigh almost nothing, it feels as if your barefoot is gripping the ground. Your toes move freely inside and since the stretchy fabric wraps around your foot, there’s no ill-fit or restrictive sensation. Capable of folding them into your pocket, wearers can bring them on any trip whether you plan on using them as a backup shoe after a long day of hiking or an everyday casual shoe while walking around the cabin.