I suppose calling these shoes PaleoBarefoots, their true name, appeals to a wider market, given the current eat-and-function-like-a-caveman craze popularized by the likes of CrossFit and Mark Sisson, but Chainmail Shoes sounds so much cooler. And regardless of which fancy fad followers GoSt Barefoots is catering to, the fact of the matter is that what lie before us here are pedal sheaths made of mother F'in chainmail. Hundreds of individually welded, 4.0 mm stainless steel rings worth of chainmail to be precise.
PaleoBarefoots were designed to be the ultimate minimalist shoe in versatility, performance, and protection. I'm not so sure they were designed to max out comfort, though, as their (sort of poorly translated) Website makes random comments such as, "It can be tough and rough - just deal with it!" It also explicitly states that you would-be barefoot knights should not use the Paleos in place of traditional running shoes on roads or other concrete surfaces. However, if like a caveman you enjoy trekking through forests and mountains and rivers and grassy fields, wearing chainmail on your feet will keep them free-moving, ventilated, safe from sharp objects, and looking like a 21st century member of the Round Table.
GoSt also gives high ratings to their shoes' traction and grip, assuring buyers that each toe will be able to grab and claw on its own from within the mesh, aiding man in his quest to feel like one with his surroundings. Other purported health benefits of PaleoBarefoots:
- Reflexology - depending on the terrain, feet receive a massage from the underlying soil.
- Constant stimuli - direct contact with the earth leads to more precise foot and body movements.
- Kneipp temperature and moistures effects - instant perception of surroundings and changes therein.
- Biomechanics - challenges and trains the entire foot in a natural way.
- Injury - PaleoBarefoots' comprehensive foot training reduces the risk of injury.
PaleoBarefoots are made in Germany, and come in 3 styles for different grades of use. The Delinda, a self-described piece of foot jewelry, works best for hiking on natural surfaces in and around water. It is GoSt's lightest model. For running and more intense walking, the closed instep of the Anterra is more suitable, and for true backcountry adventures across tougher and changing terrains, the Pronativ steps up to meet its wearer's rugged pursuits. All shoes come with a choice of 6 lace colors.