Friday, September 9th, 2011 at 5:37 pm  |  13 responses

The FIT: Fila Skele-Toes 2.0

The most comfortable minimalist shoe on the market.

by Sandy Dover / @San_Dova

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 who we presently are and can continue or aspire to be.

The Fila Skele-Toes 2.0 feature a great package of technical innovations that make the footwear superior to its prior incarnation, the original Fila Skele-Toes. The Fila Skele-Toes makes use of a lightweight, four-way stretch 2-ply nylon; this feature alone made the Skele-Toes a worthwhile wear because the material gives in any way that the feet move. Fila’s patented EZ Slide feature combines the smallest two toes of the feet of the Skele-Toes for a great ease of entry. The Skele-Toes employ zonal multi-purpose outsole plugs into the bottom of the footwear for traction, and because the outsole is regionally based on the ‘Toes, it saves weight, making them lighter. A very effective and purposeful bungee cord is attached for additional ease of entry, too.

What really makes the Skele-Toes great (and a vast improvement over the original Skele-Toes) is that they utilize a foam midsole! The original version used a solid rubber outsole, that while durable, made long-lasting comfort more of a mirage than an actuality; for the Skele-Toes 2.0, a foam last makes the shoe extremely wearable and feet-friendly. Additionally, to top off the footwear are heel cup and foot bridge Velcro straps for a customized fit, reflective striping on the heel for visibility, and a padded foot bridge pillow under the strap for additional comfort and for friction and tension protection.

From a comfort standpoint, the Skele-Toes rank high in general, and are like a vast improvement over the original version. The midsole makes the footwear easy to wear, and there’s an arch hump for support, which was lacking the first version of the Skele-Toes. I first tested the Skeletoes by wearing them for 30 of 36 hours on my first testing and my feet endured with good success. The breathable mesh kept my feet from becoming clammy and I did a great deal of walking in the Skele-Toes and they literally felt like an extension of me. The outsole plugs make locomotion even more effortless and give the Skele-Toes the flexibility that’s desired when it comes to a comfortable feel. The straps allowed me to create a custom fit for my slender and narrow feet and the bungee cord and heel-pull tab made my life much more easy when entering and existing the Skele-Toes. All my testing yielded favorable results, and my feet and body felt sound every time.

The fit of the Skele-Toes was very good, especially considering that the footwear is engineered for almost anyone to wear the ‘Toes. That’s why the special fit and flex features of the footwear are so important, particularly the stretch mesh and straps. Support from the upper is very good without feeling like a brace; the straps are non-intrusive and don’t cause any irritation that may occur by way of traditional athletic shoes. As mentioned, the foam midsole feature works wonder for the Skele-Toes, but they also give the ‘Toes a break-in quality that allows wearers to achieve a custom fit underneath like a typical shoe allows, giving the ‘Toes another advantage in fit and support.

My overall impression of the Skele-Toes is that they are a great pre- and post-training/workout “shoe.” Because they allow the feet to settle in a more natural position and stance, wearers of the Skele-Toes are put in a better position of wellness without having the discomfort of an overly-supportive fit or heaviness. They are great casually and literally can be used for any sort of terrain, even wet and muddy conditions, as they are relatively easy to clean and dry quickly. I do desire for there to be more rubber between the big toes and second toes of the Skele-Toes for wear prevention, but it is a very minor issue. If you want your feet to be comfortable, but you dislike having to trod barefoot on the ground, the Skele-Toes are a smart buy. I do not suggest doing rigorous activity in them; however, they are easily wearable for walking and hiking activities, or activities that are relatively low-impact.

For more information, go to fila.com.

Sandy Dover is a published novelist and web & print magazine columnist in the world of publishing, while doubling (or quadrupling?) as a sports product tester and fitness advisor in the fitness world (with the two worlds often colliding). You can find Sandy frequently here at SLAMonline, as well as at About Me, Facebook and Twitter.

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  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    These look considerably better then the original. More closely related to the Vibrams.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    These shoes + enough power bands to cover you wrist to elbow + switch from full cream to almond milk and there is no way you can fail. ever. at anything.

  • robb

    @Dacre don’t forget the speedwrap ankle braces and drinking muscle milk’s H20 just in case.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/san-dova-speak-easy/ San Dova

    You guys got jokes! Nice burn, y’all! I see y’all are paying attention! That’s what’s up, hahaha!

    NBK > Very close to the Vibram, and very comfortable on the upgrade, too.

  • J.C.

    What’s the point of these shoes? Are they for rock-climbing or something? Outside of that I just can’t imagine them being comfortable or useful enough to outweigh how much of a knob you’d look like wearing them.

  • http://counterkicks.com Quinned

    This seems pretty far from the norm for Fila as a brand

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    The point of all bare-foot shoes is health. The day we are born with soles on our feet is the day someone can come and argue any different. Got to birthdayshoes (.com) if you want to learn about barefoot shoes

  • robb

    @San Dova jokes aside, I hope you keep these articles coming. You bring some interesting stuff

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/san-dova-speak-easy/ San Dova

    JC > You have to see them. They have great cushioning and your foot spreads more naturally, unlike what occurs in a traditional shoe.

    QUINNED > Very far from the norm.

    NBK > *nodding head*

    ROBB > Thanks, sir. These clips serve the main purpose giving people the awareness of options in getting well and fit. Shoes are a huge part of that, aside from just what looks good.

  • @Deknowz

    You guys are nuts! lol

  • logues

    are these the new grant hill’s?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Sandy, how do these do in hot/cold weather? The Vibrams (here in Phoenix it is HOT as everyone knows) get a little swampy in the heat, and the rubber heats up pretty quickly when on asphalt or concrete. I was wondering if the Fila have similar issues?

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/san-dova-speak-easy/ San Dova

    NBK > In hot weather, the S-Ts are pretty decent. The black does attract more heat to your feet, but they stay generally comfortable (a moisture-wicking footbed would’ve been nice). In cold weather, I would not recommend them unless you have a pair of insulating toesocks. These shine in moderate temperatures, though.