by Sandy Dover / @SandmanSeven

In the NBA world, athletes in that particular universe are subject to physical rigors that most laypeople cannot comprehend. For the elite basketball player, his/her body is his/her literal temple and principal livelihood, and while the roughly 400 players in the NBA put their bodies and minds to the test daily and yearly, those outside of that realm (in the so-called real world) also have become just as conscious about their fitness and health. The FIT is a series that will concentrate on the Fuel, Information and Training (F.I.T.) that it takes for both NBAers and laypersons to be at their very best in the world, as well as focusing on the literal Food, Intelligence and Technology that also comes into play in our physical fine-tuning – because after all, without having the vital fuel, guidelines and tech advancements to feed our bodies, help us better absorb and process what’s necessary, and make the labor efficient and effective, we don’t have much to advance our collective health and performance. The FIT is here to bring to light what can make us all the uniquely tuned creatures that we presently are and can continue or aspire to be.

The one thing that it seems people are trying to go back is getting the feeling of walking barefoot. I mean, you can barefoot, but we have converted the natural Earth in a man-made world. Our natural-born feet on man-made surfaces don’t really mesh well when it comes to urbanization and even less so when you talk about shuffling to and fro in America. It’s incompatible to be sans shoes. Enter the Fila Skeletoes.

Not to be confused with any of the Vibram series, the Fila Skeletoes are something that seems like a relative extraterrestrial in the sneaker world. For all the Nike Frees, the New Balance Minimuses, and even the Reebok ReeFlex series, the Skeletoes are literally made in the likeness of the human foot. Not intended for rigorous exercise purposes like the aforementioned, when it comes to recovery and general comfort, the Skeletoes are the business. Here are the specs of the Skeletoes, per Fila:

Its EZ Slide feature… combines the smallest two toes for ease of entry. It also has four-way stretch, 2 ply nylon and crisp clean color-matched printing, as well as a bungee cord for ease of entry. Velcro straps ensure a customized fit as well as a multipurpose slip resistant rubber for maximum protection from those slippery surfaces. Velcro straps ensure a customized fit as well as a multipurpose slip resistant rubber for maximum protection from those slippery surfaces.

In my testing of the Skeletoes, what I loved greatly was the EZ Slide. Combining both toes made things much easier for me when it came to be assured a proper fit. The Velcro straps gave me a customized fit, and for my own feet (which are slender and fairly dainty by typical man standards), I was sufficed by the results. Literally, the Skeletoes felt as natural as a shoe could feel, and the high rubber sole wrapped up my foot for the protection I needed. They felt home. Aesthetically, the ‘Toes are low-profile and are so discreet in the black/graphite colorway that they can be worn with virtually anything casual and random. Of all the good things, especially the fit, I did wish that the fit would’ve allowed me to wear my toesocks without slight discomfort in between my toes, but that just goes to show how good the ‘Toes are; the fit is as 1-to-1 as you might possibly expect.

All in all, I highly recommend the Skeletoes. If you wear cumbersome shoes and/or are on your feet a lot, the Skeletoes provide good support without giving up comfort, and slipping on shoes that are actually made to emulate your own foot is beneficial for your alignment, from the feet up. Everyone remembers Fila in the basketball world for being the house that Grant Hill and Jerry Stackhouse built, but the rebirth of the brand in America with the Skeletoes may change that history.

Sandy Dover is a published novelist/writer, artist, and fitness enthusiast, currently working toward getting board certification as a fitness trainer. You can find Sandy frequently here at SLAMonline, as well as at Facebook and Twitter.