The Fila Skeletoes have finally made their way to Australia. For those unfamiliar with the shoe they are essentially a similar version of the Vibram Five Finger barefoot shoe, only they have four toes not five.
These shoes have been out in the United States for almost a year now but like most things they take their time in reaching Australia. I found these shoes at a Rebel Sports store so it was surprising to see such a large retailer stocking them.
Interestingly, when I asked the sales assistant if Fila’s version of the barefoot shoe was selling, he laughed and said he couldn’t give them away. The assistant went on to say that anyone who was interested in the shoe found them to be too rigid and made mention of how cheap they looked and felt. When I picked them up I could tell what he meant as there was minimal elasticity in the shoe. The material felt more akin to a toughened, neoprene wetsuit and the hardened rubber sole meant they indeed felt very rigid and kind of cheap.
Admittedly, the shoe appeared to be well constructed, but I just didn’t like the look of them (but hey that’s just personal taste). I will say the thickness of the sole would not give you the same kind of ground feel as other barefoot shoes so that is something to keep in mind.
All things considered the big selling point of this shoe is price. In Australia, Vibram Five Fingers are outrageously expensive with a usual retail price in excess of $220AUD. When the same shoe sells for around $90 in the United States it is apparent that customers in Australia are being overcharged (to put it nicely). The Fila Skeletoes that I found in Rebel Sport yesterday were on sale for $79.99 so I can see how some people may be tempted.
In any event not only is it great to see such a large company in Fila entering the barefoot market it is also very welcoming that a mainstream retailer like Rebel is stocking them.