But out here in Colorado, going barefoot is not a good idea. Colorado has cacti and briars and all sorts of nasty stuff. That's where Vibram FiveFingers come in.
|From eagle's peak|
They're pretty much just a 3.5mm Vibram sole - the company that makes soles for my combat boots - with toes, and covered with mesh. Other models don't have the mesh on top; or they have just a strap. This is the KSO - Keep Stuff Out - model, which seems the most versatile to me: hiking, running, climbing, kayaking, walking, maybe swimming on a rough beach. They don't do a horrible job of keeping snow out, either.
So far, I haven't spent much time in them, but they only get better. I hiked Eagle's Peak, up a steep, rocky trail that follows a stream. It's about 2,000 vertical feet, so there was some packed snow and ice on the trail near the top. Not much traction there, but for the rest of the trail, it was nice to be able to wrap my toes around stuff. Just had to watch out for small rocks.
Today, I took them down to the climbing gym. I don't think they're as good as actual climbing shoes, but they're a lot better than tennis shoes. And once my feet get tougher and stronger, I should be pretty good.
Haven't done any serious running with them yet, but I plan to. I love walking around in them, feeling the ground beneath my feet, all its bumps and softness and clues. They're super quiet in the woods - could be good for hunting. And if only they didn't have that logo on the top, I might be able to pull them off with blues...