Episode 13: Sockwa X8
Updated: Oct 2
Sockwa was founded in 2008, as a company specialising in sock-like footwear for beach soccer. Since then, it has evolved by developing a plastic TPU outsole (as opposed to rubber), thus catering to a demographic wanting to take advantage of their convenience, off the sand. The Sockwa X8 is their flagship model, which Sockwa claims is their "best yet". It sports a super minimal sole, with a breathable slip on upper.
The Sockwa X8 comes in sizes M5US - M13US, and is available in the colours listed below, priced at $69.99 US.
Available Colours (including black outsole):
My foot measures approximately 235mm; therefore I chose a size W10 (24.5-25cm). In hindsight, a W9 would have worked better, to stop my foot from slipping.
“What began on the beaches of Southern California in the spring of 2008 catering to the needs of budding beach soccer athletes, quickly turned into solving one of mankind's oldest inventions, the shoe. Our beach customers loved our product so much, they started wearing the socks all around town, on concrete, asphalt, and grass. This was the
best problem we could ever face; Remain a beach sock company, or challenge ourselves and make our customers happy by adding a sole, making our sock into a shoe. Needless to say, we rose to the occasion and designed a unique, neverbeen done before, kind of sole, made of Plastic, not rubber. Why plastic and not rubber? Plastic's better for the environment than rubber. It uses less resources and is a cleaner process. But most
importantly, it was listening to our customers, who wanted the Sockwa Sole to be thinner than a Vibram Five Fingers™. Plastic allows us to make the sole so super thin and defined, yet durable and softer than most other rubber soles.”
They came in what looked like a thin box, which appeared to be made from a recycled cardboard, and they felt like they were much better quality than i anticipated. After the initial wear test, i gathered that they were:
- Light, to the point that I almost felt unshod
- Soft material
- Minimal sole but still had cushioning in the footbed
- Extremely flexible
- Easy to slip on and off
- Won't need socks
- Simple easy sock design
- More of a performance shoe than a day to day
- Hard to pair them with my daily wardrobe
Alex felt that his foot did not slide around much in this shoe, although his sizing was spot on, and his feet are wider. Perhaps, my foot is narrower as the length felt good for me, however my foot slid around in the shoe a bit so I didn’t feel comfortable running in them. Due to the stretchy outer, combined with my narrower feet, I felt as though my ankle would be comprised a bit because I didn’t feel secure in the shoes. Therefore, I decided they wouldn’t be a running, or high intensity movement shoe for me. I did use them for weight training though, and they gave me an unparalleled ground feel.
However, with this being said;
- They were very comfortable for extended walks, or for household chores. I'd imagine they'd be the same for the beach, camping etc.
- They excelled in the gym
- In terms of width the toe box was perfect for me, I could wiggle my toes around comfortably and it felt great. (This can be subjective though).
Upper: Aeroprene mesh
Stack Height: 3.2mm (1.2 mm BASF Plastic outsole + 2 mm base layer).
Weight: 4.8 - 7.7 oz. depending on size
Outsole: 1.2mm BASF Plastic
These shoes feel barely there - honestly they are very “barefoot”. You can feel like you are genuinely wearing socks. If you are a barefoot lover who only wears shoes to protect the soles of your feet, this is a great one for you. I would recommend that you get the sizing right to ensure minimal slip within the shoe. I can see them being perfect for those who train in the gym. They are so light weight and flexible, so you have a great range of movement in them.
I would’ve liked the outer material to be slightly thicker to maintain the integrity of the shoes. It’s quite a thin stretchy material which means your foot doesn’t feel particularly secure. Overall, I did find them to be a very comfortable shoe, plenty of room for spreading your toes when walking. I found it hard to think of what to wear them with other than my gym/yoga gear, but I think if you were getting them for the sole purpose of exercise, they would be great.
- Jade, The Barefoot Shoe Review
(Disclaimer: These were sent to me to test, but my opinion is my own)