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Furry sock shoes designed for walking, running and sports

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February 10, 2012

Swiss Protection Socks are socks that can be worn like shoes

Swiss Protection Socks are socks that can be worn like shoes

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Swiss Protection Socks from Swiss Barefoot put a whole new spin on the barefoot movement. These are essentially big, burly socks that are designed to be worn not inside shoes, but instead of them. The manufacturer claims that the socks are hefty enough to protect your feet from the pain and dangers of walking completely barefoot.

Here we thought that current barefoot offerings like the Vibram Five Fingers and O1M One Moments were strange-looking. The Swiss Barefoot socks look like they belong below a barren stare and hospital gown in a scene from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

These five-toed sock-shoes are for real, though. The company that makes them describes them as the "first firm socks for the ultimate barefoot feeling without the risk of injury from sharp objects." They supposedly give you a more natural stride thanks to the elimination of the sole, while protecting your feet from rocks and other sharp objects with their thick bottoms. They basically split the difference between the average barefoot shoe and grippy slipper socks designed to be worn around the house.

Five toe articulation

The socks get their claims of toughness from a blend of 50 percent Kevlar (that's the stuff they make bulletproof jackets out of), 32 percent polyester, 10 percent cotton and 8 percent Spandex. The soles are laminated with naps of PVC that Swiss Barefoot says makes them cut-resistant.

Interestingly, Swiss Barefoot doesn't just see these as useful for walking around your garden or getting the paper in the morning. In its video and photos, the company depicts all types of activities, including running, rock climbing and water sports.

The socks sell for 55 euro (US$73) for the short version and 59 euro ($78) for the longs. Take a look at the video below for a little more information, and footage of people using their Protection Socks.

Source: Swiss Barefoot Company

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.   All articles by C.C. Weiss
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24 Comments

A shot of Novocaine in each foot and a fat paycheck and I'll run on the rocks too.

DemonDuck
10th February, 2012 @ 03:18 pm PST

Hard to imagine these providing much mileage, Kevlar or no.

Bob Ehresman
10th February, 2012 @ 05:05 pm PST

they really seem to be working the swiss angle, even the cross on the ankle straps. we all know everyone's a sucker for a germanic accent and high tech electro background music

my first thought would be the whole structural integrity of a shoe comes from the single piece at the toes, the minute you break that up into indivdual toes you take that strength away. sure this can be overcome by material advances, but a single piece of advanced material will be stronger yet again

i don't really understand the "natural barefoot" shoe craze, i think it's probably just a cultural mutant that's arizen from the "green revolution" that's making a timely entrance in our way of life. regular shoes work and can be improved upon, i don't see the point to these. they're not more natural, just a different profile

what's next, natural penis and testicle outlined pants? i just don't see the point, but i'll still give them a go (the shoes, maybe not the pants)

Kiel Stuart (@kielrhys)
10th February, 2012 @ 05:29 pm PST

I have tried socks with individual toes, blinding pain.

Slowburn
10th February, 2012 @ 09:23 pm PST

I would try a pair of these as soon as I can get my hands on a can of NeverWet spray that's due out mid 2012. I would feel the need to try and protect a $70 pair of sock! The individual toe sock is big here in Japan and they feel fine to me. I'm sure you'd get some looks walking around town in socks. I'd use them at the beach.

kinbo1966
11th February, 2012 @ 01:12 am PST

@gimeney - I know a few people who have started running in 'feet' shoes and they are quite enthusiastic about the change. The main thing that happens is that the shoes force you to change your gate and stop punding your heel into the pavement and adopt a gate that puts less strain on the foot, ankle, and leg. The runners I know who use these are not touchy feely green whole grain types; they're serious physical fitness nuts and these shoes are making a real difference to them.

I use them around the house and in the woods and find them more comfortable than regular shoes. I also find that I can walk more quietly since my foot has a better 'feel' for the ground.

Give them a try; I think you'll like them. Do NOT buy on line - go to a store where they can help you get fitted.

Doug Finner
11th February, 2012 @ 06:02 am PST

I would love to try them out. Hope to see them soon here.

Carlos Grados
11th February, 2012 @ 09:17 am PST

These make sandals look smart.

VoiceofReason
11th February, 2012 @ 10:37 am PST

@Gimeny - The reason these 'bare foot shoes' are around is because they help develop muscles in your feet and ankles as you would better being barefoot. But because it's just stupid and dangerous to go everywhere and do everything barefoot, they're giving an alternative.

You may not see the benefits yourself, but not everything is made for 100% of the population.

These are great for so many different aspects in fitness including general workouts (as are the Vibram Five Fingers)

Feet are much like hands. Muscles and grip can be developed so far, yet you need to use them in different ways for that to happen... using these for something such as mountain climbing would be incredible because not only will you get better grips with your feet, but you'll develop the muscles a lot more just like your hands do the same.

Markay
11th February, 2012 @ 06:34 pm PST

What if the grip is so good and your feet side out of the $73 sock, you lose your balance and get hurt.

Robert DuBois
12th February, 2012 @ 06:01 am PST

I have Vibram Five fingers and I love them. I'm a runner and I always had problems with my legs (shin splints and pain) but I get these and adopt the new running pattern of a forefront/mid-foot strike and boom problem solved. I personally think this is a good idea in theory but I mean honestly there ugly. And I get enough "what the heck your weird" expressions from people with my Vibrams. I do like being different but i just think wearing big puffy socks looks really ugly.

Christian4917
12th February, 2012 @ 11:12 am PST

How these got beyond the idea stage , I am not sure !

Judy O'Leary
13th February, 2012 @ 08:26 am PST

The marketing department at Swiss Barefoot should be talking to Peter Jackson's production company about a promotional tie-in for the release of The Hobbit. Lose the red cross and glue on gobs of horsehair and voila: "walk in the feet of a hobbit on all your adventures!"

gpbarr
13th February, 2012 @ 09:11 am PST

I have done 29 Marathons and had the "delight" of working for some years, in a running specialty store. Just before gaining my freedom from Retail Hell Insanity, the whole Vibram thing exploded on the market. A noted Podiatrist, whispered to me, that he could not thank Vibram... enough for giving him patents. My own coaching for such wearers, was to take LOTS of time, getting your feet, legs... used to them because most people are not born running in a barefoot world.

Type A people, would come limping in. The endless gimmick types, looking for an easy way to become Phidippidies, (without the dying thing) would also come in, with pained looks, having ignored my advice. Suggestion: train, and do so smartly, with the right bio mechanical form and shoes for that form.

My own choice, the Asic Kensei was the "shoe drug" I wanted, as I elect to have use of my heal, the entire foot, when going 26.2 miles. My best, 3:26 and that was before I knew much about the fineries of good shoes, socks, nutrition... . In fact, I see few of the "barefoot" Vibram runners in Marathons or even Half Marathons. Sadly, looking at feet, other peoples, is all too engrained in me now. Seeking council... .

In nearly 4 years, and thousands of fittings, I was impressed at how many people were doing the big distance in poorly chosen shoes. If you grew up doing track, sprinting, running barefoot, you have an advantage, up to a point. If you are a GOD at running, then how very nice for you. If you are a normal human being, a mortal, OLDER, be wary of gimmicks and resounding changes.

lwesson
13th February, 2012 @ 09:23 am PST

My understanding is that Kevlar does not protect against sharp objects, such as broken glass or a knife. I would like to know if they have an earthing fiber effect. Are they conductive? I would wear them around the yard to protect against minor objects, and to allow the electromagnetic earthing effect. I am in the market for a pair of real moccasins without soles also. Just need the money.

Ron Wagner
13th February, 2012 @ 10:57 am PST

nice, but what about warmth? wool, dammit! lose the cotton.

John Comeau
13th February, 2012 @ 11:22 am PST

Hmm, I'll stick with my Merrell Trail Gloves, thanks.

SLB
13th February, 2012 @ 11:43 am PST

What a HOOT! I've tried on VARIOUS "Running Socks" and much to my dismay ... although they provided the right shoe size NONE OF THEM provide the correct "Toe" size! Nobody makes a size 11 FAT TOE size! So ... until they figure that one out ... there'll be the group of us that can NEVER buy their products!!

dominik_12
13th February, 2012 @ 10:24 pm PST

I am a massage therapist and walking "barefoot" is great for your health! Among other attributes it works the reflexology points on your feet, which correspond to every part of your body.

Warren Gang
15th February, 2012 @ 02:46 pm PST

Traditional running shoes may not have a serious body of evidence showing that they prevent injury or make you run faster, but neither do these 'barefoot' style. I'd just go with whatever is more comfortable. I might give em a go for bouldering.

Joshua Frazer
8th March, 2012 @ 08:06 pm PST

has anybody tried these socks yet ?

I wonder abought grip on rock and wet ground?

doitallthetime
20th March, 2012 @ 06:18 am PDT

I like them...but i live in Florida where it's bare foot weather most of the year. I'm tired of stepping on things that are sharp or really hot, i've lived here for a long time and you can fry bacon and eggs on the pavement...that said, they aren't a general replacement for shoes but seem great for fishing, beaches, boating, etc...

Tennis shoes are fine, but when do you ever want to carry them around at the beach or whenever your in and out of the water.

They look dumb, but so do sandals with socks...and too many in Fl wear that horrendous combination. There's a time and place for this new type of footwear, anywhere away from water and you can be sure that the locals laughing....are laughing at you!!

John Hemingway Parkes
24th April, 2012 @ 10:25 am PDT

Reddit rated the Swiss Protection Socks a "meh"

http://www.reddit.com/r/BarefootRunning/comments/ummkn/swiss_protection_socks_kevlar_socks_for_barefoot

Bob Humbly
5th June, 2012 @ 06:23 pm PDT

I went straight to them, but they're not right, I'm looking for something to get grounded in whilst outdoors, sure, they do, but not on paving, they'd break up. Keep looking.

Topofthemorn
12th July, 2012 @ 07:51 am PDT
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