The 2019 holiday season has officially arrived! With its arrival, however, also comes the stress of shopping for each and every person in your life. Don’t fret! The Correct Toes team has you covered this holiday season. We have assembled a list of foot-healthy shoes to make it easy for you to find the perfect gift that will fit every “sole.”
Our shoe recommendations are based on the Fundamental Five, which are what you should be looking for when purchasing shoes for optimal natural foot health. In short, shoes should be flat, highly flexible, lightweight and without support features, widest at the toes, and they should pass the Shoe Liner Test™. Shoes that adhere to these principles of shoe design will be a perfect pairing with Correct Toes®. You can read more about the Fundamental Five on our blog here.
Not looking for shoes? No worries. See some of our favorite natural foot health tools that will help increase proprioception, enhance recovery, and aide you in feeling your best here. You can also read more about our philosophy for choosing footwear here. On to the 2019 Holiday Gift Guide!
“Casual” in the workplace might as well be a four-letter word for the Business Professional. This person’s feet are commonly adorned with stiff leather shoes that come to a point or high heels that hold the foot in an unnatural, stressful position. Even at the expense of their own foot health, there is no compromise when it comes to style and formality for the Business Professional. Luckily, we have foot healthy gift options that will keep their feet happy and style on point:
Vivobarefoot Ra II (Oxford lace-up dress shoe)
Foot health no longer needs to be ignored in the name of professional fashion. The Ra II is a natural foot-shaped oxford style shoe with a Wild Hide leather upper and a thin, flexible outsole. It is completely flat, widest at the toes, and it passes our Shoe Liner test to ensure your toes will have all the room they need to splay naturally. Moreover, the Ra II is Correct Toes approved, which means that you or the business professional in your life can extend your natural foot health routine into the office.
Lems Nine2Five (Oxford lace-up dress shoe)
Built on Lem’s injection rubber sole, the Nine2Five is zero drop and naturally shaped. A full-grain leather upper elevates the appearance of this near-perfect all-day shoe, making it an ideal choice for the office or other professional settings. The Nine2Five is available in multiple colors: black, coffee, and mocha.
Ahinsa Ananda Comfort Ballerina (ballet flat)
What is considered to be a traditionally “fashionable” shoe, one with an elevated heel and pointed toe, does not make for a foot healthy environment. With that said, the Ahinsa Ananda Comfort Ballerina proves that a foot healthy shoe can, in fact, be aesthetically pleasing. This handmade shoe is crafted with a synthetic suede upper and lined with a breathable AirNet® mesh. It has a 2mm rubber outsole with no heel elevation. As with all Ahinsa shoes, they are 100% vegan and made with cruelty-free materials.
Ahinsa Sundara Comfort Push (slip-on loafer)
The physiotherapist inspired design of the Ahinsa Casual ensures natural foot function, and the highly abrasion resistant upper material helps maintain its classy look. As with all Ahinsa shoes, they are ethically handmade and designed with cruelty free material that’s 100% vegan.
Vivobarefoot Ababa (slip-on loafer)
The Ababa is one of Vivobarefoot’s widest shoes, offering a generous amount of room for accommodating Correct Toes. The Pro5 puncture resistant outsole is thin and flexible, offering your feet good ground feedback. The upper is made with Pittards Wild Hide leather; the footbed is also lined with leather allowing you to wear the Ababa with or without socks. Available in brown and navy.
Wearing workout gear as pajamas, running shoes to work, and a heart rate monitor 24/7 is the telltale sign of the Fitness Aficionado (or perhaps someone from the Pacific Northwest, USA). These people are always ready to run right into their fitness routine at any point during the day. While style is not their focus, these folks often fall prey to buying conventional running and gym shoes with elevated heels, tapered toe boxes, and cushioning thicker than they are tall. Bless the Fitness Aficionado in your life with the gift of foot healthy shoes that will keep them moving strong, balanced, and with the space needed to allow their toes to spread:
Altra Superior 5 (trail running shoe)
The Superior 5.0 is lightweight and comfortable to wear for long distances without feeling weighed down. A wraparound tongue is a non-constrictive addition to this model. With a spacious toe box, the Superior 5.0 easily allows a full pair of Correct Toes to be worn. Finally, the combination of outsole components like the well-positioned lugs and sticky MaxTrac™ rubber is remarkable to use on tricky mountain trails.
Topo Magnifly 3 (running shoe)
If you’re looking for a running shoe with a little more cushion, the Magnifly 3 might be right for you. This running shoe is Correct Toes approved and features zero heel-to-toe drop. The Magnifly 3 combines a breathable mesh upper with a multi-density EVA midsole. Flexibility, ground feel and responsiveness are limited due to the 25mm stack height.
Topo Fli-Lyte 3 (running shoe)
In the Fli-Lyte 3, almost all printed overlays were elminated to make it lighter and more breathable using a new engineered mesh upper to secure the foot over the platform. The addition of a 5mm anti-microbial Ortholite® footbed gives the shoe a softer ride without sacrificing midsole response. A 23mm X 20mm stack height offers cushioning without losing flexibility and ground feel for a more natural running experience.
Altra Escalante 2 (running shoe)
The crowd-pleasing Altra Escalante is in its third edition. The newest iteration features only a few minor, yet important updates. It continues to have the minimally cushioned-yet-bouncy ground feel that runners seek out, as well as a revamped knit upper that delivers more stability in the midfoot than before. Given its roomy foot-shaped toe box design, the Escalante 2 is fully compatible with Correct Toes and comes ready out of the box to enhance a natural foot heath routine.
The sight of treadmills, elliptical machines, and walls in general make the Outdoors Enthusiast run for the hills… literally. Climbing the highest peaks, diving deep into the unknowns of a forest, and bathing in dirt to wash off the city’s grime, these people thrive in nature. Unfortunately for the Outdoors Enthusiast’s feet, their hard-soled, overly protective hiking boots aren’t doing their feet any favors. Here are the foot-healthy shoe options we’d gift for the Outdoors Enthusiast to explore even more in Mother Nature’s playground:
Lems Waterproof Boulder Boot (hiking boot)
This original Boulder Boot gets a waterproof face lift while also retaining its lightweight, flexibility, and natural foot-shaped design. The upper also lends to its more dressy if you want to look good in nature, in addition to staying dry. This update of the Correct Toes favorite Boulder Boot was welcomed with open arms, as we here in Portland, OR are in a constant battle to stay warm and dry.
Xero Shoes Terraflex (trail running shoe)
The TerraFlex performs well for trail running and hiking. The men’s version of this shoe is Correct Toes compatible for some but probably won’t work for individuals with a wide foot. We suggest removing the liner to allow for more room inside the shoe. The mesh upper and Tough Trek toe cap offers breathability and protection. The TerraFlex’s chevron tread gives good grip on the trails, while the sole encourages natural movement and ground feel.
Altra Lone Peak 4 Mid RSM (hiking shoe)
Utilizing a new eVent® upper, the Lone Peak 4 Mid RSM offers waterproof protection against rain, snow and mud. The 25mm stack height detracts from the sole’s flexibility, but the DuraTread™ Rubber outsole and multidirectional lugs enhanced traction on the trail. The Lone Peak 4 Mid fits snug around the ankle and helps to keep dirt and debris out of the shoe.
Vivobarefoot Tracker FG (hiking boot)
Featuring a high-quality leather upper and waterproof lining, this boot performed well in rainy and snowy conditions. The Tracker’s flexible sole allows your feet to move naturally and the thermal insole keeps them warm in cold weather. Note: this boot runs small, so we suggest going up one size.
While Lavender mochas, oat milk chai lattes, and single origin espresso cappuccinos are the language of the Coffee Shop “Cat,” their footwear choice is what communicates the confident yet relaxed vibe with which they carry themselves. Their shoes are comfort disguised with a hint of elegance and note of approachability. The Coffee Shop Cat wears beautiful boots, elegant slip-ons, or fashionable sneakers as they sip their artisan drink while listening to their favorite mystery podcast. The downside? Those shoes are often tapered at the toes and sometimes stiff soled. Help keep the vibes strong for the Coffee Shop Cat in your life with these distinguished foot healthy options:
Lems Chukka (casual boot)
With some minor stylistic changes to the classic chukka shape, the Lems Chukka proves function and fashion can co-exist. The pairing between a smooth suede upper and injection-blown rubber (IBR) outsole work in concert to create a lightweight, moderately flexible, and sophisticated boot that is well-suited for a variety of occasions. Note: We would recommend removing the liner to accommodate Correct Toes and for proper toe splay.
Vivobarefoot Gobi II (desert boot)
The flat and wide features of the Gobi II offer optimal foot health. The anatomical shape of this shoe is designed to offer comfort and a great connection with the ground. If you’re looking for a stylish, casual and well-performing natural shoe as a gift or for yourself, we highly recommend the Gobi II.
Vivobarefoot Ryder Boot (tall riding boot)
The Ryder has no heel elevation, a hex patterned outsole for extra grip and a Vivobarefoot’s signature Pro5 puncture resistant sole. The upper combines Wild Hide leather and a neoprene panel for extra stretch around the calf. A removable thermal insole provides an added layer of insulation. The Ryder Boot is available in black and brown.
Xero Shoes Vienna (Chelsea boot)
This Correct Toes compatible boot has a 5.5 mm, “Xero-drop” outsole and 2mm removable insole. The Vienna is 100% vegan with a canvas upper and synthetic toe cap. Elastic banding makes it easy to slip the boot on and off. Available in black and purple. Note: we needed to size up one and a half sizes in the Vienna during testing. We recommend you do the same.
FitKicks KoziKicks (indoor/outdoor slipper)
KoziKicks are lined with faux shearling and have a slip-resistant rubber outsole. The upper is very flexible, and the added toe cap prevents excessive wear. Note: KoziKicks might need to be worn a few times to pad down the faux shearling before comfortably fitting Correct Toes inside.