A Japanese designer and Italian shoemaker have taken a fresh approach to athletic footwear, adapting the minimalist art of cloth wrapping to form the basis of a flexible shoe that fits any foot shape.
Masaya Hashimoto worked with Vibram, the makers of foot-shaped FiveFingers shoes (with articulated toes), to create the Furoshiki series of shoes with wrapping soles that fold around feet without needing laces (a simple hook and and loop system).
A specially-engineered gripping system keeps the shoes in place and make it possible for the shoe to perform like ordinary footwear but with less weight and material.
The system has a number of advantages, including more flexible sizing than traditional shoes, easier packing for travel and the ability to skip socks comfortably.
From Vibram: “The concept for this type of footwear was derived from the Japanese custom of packaging items by wrapping them in cloth fabric. Furoshiki is the only sole on the market that wraps around the entire foot. Because the upper is constructed with stretch fabric, it will anatomically fit nicely on any foot type and the hook and loop closure system allows for a quick, easy fit.”