Friday, January 4, 2013
Wish Lust: Gost PaleoBareFoot - Chainmail shoes
Hot on the heels of my Danner boots post (yes, I went there) I saw a post on Gizmodo about these very interesting free-running shoes.
These are shoes are made of chainmail links made of 0.55 mm gauge "1.4404" stainless steel with a 4mm external diameter chain and an internal diameter of 2.9 mm. This is some pretty fine link... The kind that one might find in a butchers glove or hobbit chest.
What have the good people at Gost made?
Armoured running shoes, thats what.
According to the documentation, each ring is fused, and the entire process is automated. What would have been a seriously laborious manual task has seemingly been reduced considerably, allowing these to be made at an industrial level.
So, what might they be good for?
"Barefoot running" Or at least, mostly bare. The site talks about the tactile advantages of running, and walking barefoot, that the human foot fares much better when it can respond to the environment beneath each footfall, whilst still being protected from cuts and abrasions.
I've worn mail in the past, and there certainly is something to be said for its feel, AND its protective ability. Made in a very good range of sizes (and half-sizes) and with integral lacing, the PaleoBarefoots boots can also be fitted with a neoprene anklet, to reduce chafing on the top of the foot when running.
The makers of the Barefoot however are quick to point out that on slick modern [edit, thanks Jorg! ] polished surfaces like marble, wood, tiles, they do not give a good grip, but on concrete the Paleos have an excellent grip and recommending wearing them in outdoors environments. [/edit]
Water drains right out, mud squishes away. Sand, sharp rocks, thorns, bindies, broken glass and old rust nails. All worries of the past to the fleet-footed paleo runner.
I'd wear them as part of layering, in a disaster situation. to avoid the same kinds of hazards, as well as Punji stick type man-made ones.