• barefootshoereview

Episode 21 : Magical Shoes 24 Explorer

Updated: Oct 2


Introduction:

Prior to wearing barefoot shoes, my preferred style of shoe were retro styled sneakers. For example - New Balance, Reebok Classics etc. After adapting to barefoot shoes, I realised there was nothing quite like that on the market. Thank goodness for Magical Shoes!

Magical Shoes are based in Poland, and have a bit of an extended family history behind shoe making. They have a variety of different styles accommodating Men, Women and children - and even have Vegan options.


The 'Explorer' comes in 8 colour varieties, including 2 Vegan versions - Is targeted towards everyday wear, priced at 99 EU, and ranges from size EU 37 to a whopping EU 54!!! They also have a Autumn Version - which replaces the mesh inner, for a more insulated fabric.


Their website can be accessed here.

(Disclaimer: These shoes were given to me to review, however my opinion is my own).

Company Overview:

"Magical Shoes is the Polish manufacturer of minimalist footwear. In our offer we also have vegan shoes made without the use of materials of animal origin. From the beginning of our existence, our most important values have been care about high quality of production, health of users of our products, nature and environment. This is how we created a product that provides comfort of walking and thanks to technologies used by us (among others elastic and lightweight magical rubber zero drop sole), you have an impression of walking barefoot – with all advantages of this statement!

Our minimalist shoes are produced manually, in Poland, from highest quality, local materials. We care about natural qualities of our products, we only choose suppliers who operate in accordance with ethics. Our vegan shoes are an answer to caring about nature. You can be sure that your minimalist pair of shoes is made with care for every detail, which is guaranteed by our qualified shoemakers.

Magical Shoes is not only an idea, it is also a family. We create our brand together. Footwear production is, above all, a multi-generational family tradition.


Everything started from our grandfather mietek, who in 1966 opened his little shoe repair shop. Thanks to his determination and involvement he gradually developed skills and gained experience, at the same time influencing his three sons who soon began to show passion for shoes. Till now each of them has been operating actively on the footwear market.

In year 2015 Aldona Zawada, the founder of magical shoes and the daughter of one of these three sons, decided to combine half-century experience in manual production with a fresh look on the problem of big footwear brands that flood us with shoes which block the natural effort of our feet. The shoes that we wear should be adjusted to the shape of our feet, have a zero slope between the heel and the toes and be maximally elastic. This should be shoes that don’t have a negative influence on our health.


After months of searching for optimal solutions, magical shoes brand was created, and it deals with the production of minimalist shoes till this day."

Initial Impressions:

  • Classic/Retro styling - similar to a New Balance 574

  • Extremely flexible

  • Wide throughout - Much wider than anticipated

  • Looks good with pants or shorts

  • No removable insole

Sizing and Fit:

My foot is approximately 292mm, with my 2nd toe being the longest. As I prefer a bit of room between my toes and the shoe, I selected the EU47 (I'm usually an EU47 with most brands), which measured at 300mm. Measurement guide is available Here.


The width and length are pretty spot on. I originally anticipated that they may be narrow, however they're very roomy indeed.

Materials:

  • The upper is a combination of mesh and leather - which i almost find allows you to have the best of both traits, regarding breathability and durability.

  • The internal lining and non removable insole/footbed are mesh. Personally i would've preferred a removable insole, and I haven't worn a shoe with a mesh footbed. Therefore, I'll need to further test the end result.

  • The sole is flat, and feels like traditional rubber. Accommodates your foot, except for the arches.

Performance:

This is such a unique sneaker, therefore I'm only using this for a casual scenario - as opposed to athletic scenarios.

Firstly, I've had no issues with the material, or seams chaffing my feet or ankles. The combination of the mesh upper and flat sole, allow your feet more freedom than most other brands.

I'm a huge fan of completely flat soles, as they don't encroach on your foot anatomy - With the lightweight upper, and flat insole - Walking in these is somewhat similar to walking in a sandal.

Technical Specifications:

Upper: Natural leather + air mesh fabric

Lining: Air mesh fabric

Sole: Magical Rubber, 5 mm

Insole: Non-Removable

Weight: 180g (size 42)

Drop: 0 mm

Conclusion:

It was sigh of relief finding a barefoot shoe company with a Retro/Vintage styled sneaker - A style I gravitated to when I wore conventional sneakers. Not only do they turn heads, and have people asking questions - They look like a regular sneaker, with all the benefits of a barefoot sneaker.


The 'Explorer' is a fine example of everything you want in a barefoot sneaker. Priced competitively, stylish, available in a number of options, and fulfilling all criteria - These deserve much more recognition in the industry, and are one of my favourite shoes to date.


Available here.

*Covid 19 Discount: #stayhome

-Alex, TBSR

All Rights Reserved by The Barefoot Shoe Review

Melbourne, Australia

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