“Look. We so do this all the time.”

Volcanic ash and dirt looks good on kigo shoes. It coats them lightly, giving them a nice, worn-in look that says the person attached to them hikes through state parks in the desert frequently.

Perhaps they lie a little too well.

My kigo drives arrived in the mail in the morning about an hour before I headed out for nearly two weeks of nonstop travel. I pulled them out – light, flexible, laces that don’t need tying, awesome – slid them on, grabbed my backpack and bailed.

I always feel like a dork in new tennis shoes, especially when I’m doing outdoor stuff. “Poser!” they cry. “She doesn’t really hike. Look how clean and white we are. We were in a box this morning.”

My kigos said nothing of the kind. Actually, they said nothing at all at first. True to their “next best thing to barefoot” claim, they felt as if I’d been wearing them all my life, born with black stitching and flat rubber soles molded to my feet. They didn’t even talk when I crammed them in my backpack – their few ounces of weight added no more bulk to my bag than a pair of flip flops.

I took them around. They chilled by a bonfire while I made s’mores. They trekked through alpaca farms and maneuvered around massive clumps of cow shit. They scuffled under strawberry bushes and apple trees and they pedaled a CyclePub while I waved at passing cops. By the time I got to the desert, they started speaking up.

“She’s a pro. I mean, look how dusty and used we are. Clearly she does this volcano hiking shiz all the time.”

(I don’t.)

Flat, flexible and produced with low carbon output technologies – these shoes are sweet, even if they tell a lie every now and then.

And the winner is…

Rachel Wolery (@zipsetrachel)

Stay tuned for more contests on Goods!

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