Episode 25: Groundies Tokio
Updated: Oct 2, 2020
Groundies are one of the most fashion forward brands in the barefoot scene at the moment. Based in Germany, with the sole being manufactured in Germany, and the upper made in Portugal - They are one of the current market leaders, regarding urban barefoot fashion, with a conscience. One of the models that appealed to me, was the 'Tokio'. This range was available in unisex, however since - seems to only be available in the Mens range. I decided to experiment a little, and go for the Beige colour, and have not been disappointed! The Tokio is available in the following colours:
The Tokio is priced at 125 Euros, available in sizes 40-47.
The Groundies website can be accessed here.
(Disclaimer: These shoes were given to me to review, however my opinion is my own).
Company Overview: "With GROUNDIES® your feet will feel what it means to move naturally. Only as much shoe as needed - our mission is minimalism. We want to stand with both our feet on the ground, but still keep up to date. As a consequence the production of our GROUNDIES® barefoot shoes combines high-tech design and traditional shoemaking skills. At the same time we are well aware of our social responsibility. GROUNDIES® are made entirely in the EU: design and soles are from Germany, the shoes are stitched in Portugal. This way, we ensure that the working conditions in production meet the highest standards. It is only through our know-how and belief in barefoot shoes, a wealth of experience and the best materials that we are able to create this unique and top-quality shoe. The human foot is a masterpiece. For it to function, 26 bones as well as joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments have to work together perfectly. And that's what they usually do naturally - if you let them. We want to allow our feet to work naturally. That's why we at GROUNDIES® focus on the very basics. Our shoes only offer what is absolutely necessary to protect your feet from injuries and the weather. What is unique about our barefoot shoes is their wide fit, the flat and flexible sole and the light and elastic material. GROUNDIES® want to give your feet the freedom to move in a healthy way. Our goal was to create a shoe that is 100% functional, that is fun to wear in any situation and that also looks great. With GROUNDIES® you will feel at ease and take every step comfortably and confidently."
They look amazing - great in shorts and pants
Natural foot shape - One of the widest shoes I own, throughout
Super light and flexible
Came with 3 different laces
Comfortable - no need to break in
Very good quality - similar to Leguano with materials and make
Sizing and Fit:
My foot is approximately 292mm, with my 2nd toe being the longest (Therefore, i usually add 5mm to my measurements, and a bit of room for toe splay).
I went for the 47 at 308mm and 109mm wide.
The Tokio is one of the widest shoes I own throughout (Toe-box and mid-foot). The volume and heel width is also quite average for my ankle, and the shoe fits snug. The internal angle, (where the big toe sits) is quite straight, and allows for natural toe splay. Measurement guide is available Here.
Performance: Groundies market themselves as an 'Urban/Casual/Street barefoot sneaker', therefore my testing wasn't too rigorous in this case...
The Tokio looks smart with almost everything that you wear - Shorts and pants included.
The upper is a woven mesh polyester, which conforms to your foot - yet is stretchy, and breathable. There is no stitching which rubs on the foot, as the upper is almost one whole piece. Great breathability properties.
The in-built footbed is a microfibre, very similar to the Leguano Aktiv footbed. It is non slip, and feels comfortable. Additional insoles are available for purchase on the website. Available here. I believe that microfibre footbeds set a new standard.
The sole is very basic, yet fulfils all the necessary requirements. It's white, so it gets dirty fairly easily, has exceptional grip, and is flexible. It doesn't have any contours, and is wide throughout, with no obstructions. Overall, has a sweet spot regarding cushioning, and is comfortable.
Ive been wearing them without socks for the past few months, and feel as though they have similar antibacterial properties to the Leguano Aktiv - although I'm unsure how they'd perform in the washing machine.
The shoe is wide throughout, and is one of the widest I own. Required no break in time, as the shoe has minimal edges and obstructions. The upper is quite soft and spongy, and overall the shoe is very light.
Technical Specifications: Upper: 100% Polyester Sole: 100% LTPU (Slip-resistant light TPU) - Also recyclable, and all materials are 100% Vegan Insole: In-built non-slip microfibre Weight: 140g (Size 41) Drop: 0 mm Stack Height: 6.3mm in total. TrueSense® barefoot sole made from 100% LTPU: 3.3mm base with 3mm tread
Conclusion: The Tokio feels like a shoe, fit for most settings. Along with having the capability of being able to be worn with an array of different clothing, they're also one of the best performers I've come across, regarding general fit and overall feel. The microfibre sole performs well, and reinforces my thoughts that these should be a standard with most footbeds. Although, I haven't had the opportunity to test out how they'd fare with cleaning, I do believe when people purchase a light coloured shoe - they're aware of the possible ramifications. A great overall shoe!