In recognition of this weekend's snow (that's right, it is June, and this is Alberta), I thought that I'd share my idea of the perfect pair of barefoot shoes:
The perfect pair of barefoot shoes would accommodate those of us barefooters who live in climates with cold, wet winter conditions (it doesn't even have to be winter if you live in Canada). They would be lightweight, comfortable to the skin with or without socks, and come up above the ankles for deeper snow/puddles without interfering with natural ankle and achilles movements. They would prevent moisture from entering the shoes while still wicking moisture away from skin on the inside.
They would have a wide enough forefoot area to accommodate wiggling toes and the typically wider feet of those who are frequently unshod. They would have a thin, flat, flexible sole that would protect the wearer’s feet from sharp ice or rocks and crusty snow while still allowing the feeling of the contours of the ground beneath.
To protect against the extreme cold of winter (or spring, or fall for that matter), they would ideally have a removable insole of soft, insulating material that could be inserted or removed as the outside temperature and that of the ground dictated (although not a requirement as this may change the fit of the shoes).
They would be made from environmentally conscious materials in an environmentally sustainable way.
If only these shoes existed, I would have happy feet all year round, and not just when it was above 0C and dry outside.