Sometimes Run Oregon bloggers get new products to try out, and my favorite reviews are the items I’ve never heard of. Like Iguaneye shoes. They are unique – both in appearance and feel – but after just one day of wearing them I was sold, and threw them in my suitcase for the next day’s work trip to Washington D.C. I wore them in the airport both going and coming, and for my post-trade show walks back to the hotel.
When I first got the package, a flyer included with the box explained the concept created by this Portuguese company. Amazonians would dip their feet in rubber for protection, covering just the soles of their feet and their toes. They were essentially barefoot, with just enough coverage to keep their feet safe but not constricted. The Iguaneye shoes do just that – and are surprisingly comfortable and breathable. At first glance, I wasn’t in love with all the toe cleavage, but wearing them around the house for mere minutes proved to me that they are actually pretty nice.
The shoes are comprised of two pieces: a one-piece rubber upper/sole and a footbed, which can be removed. Thus, you can order one insole, which is made of cork and latex (99%/1%) with a leather footbed, and insert it in any of the uppers. Swapping the footbeds is simple and takes no time at all. I’ve done demonstrations to four of my co-workers, who all agree they’re pretty cool. And unlike other rubber shoes, the cork footbed sits on a ridged sole, allowing for more air flow so you don’t get sweaty, stinky toes.
The Iguaneye shoe does take a little getting used to if you are used to flip-flops, which are likely to fall off if you don’t flex your toes a little bit as you walk. If you flex your toes wearing the Iguaneye shoe, they won’t fit right and you might walk out of them. That’s because flexing your toes while walking is not how your feet were designed to walk — with the Iguaneye, you get the best fit by letting your toes spread and relax. I learned that the hard way, by losing a shoe crossing Pennsylvania Avenue (no joke). I was trying to hurry across the intersection, so I flexed my toes (as with flip-flops!) and … well, D.C. drivers like to use their horns.
I wear a 7.5 or 8 in dress shoes and an 8.5 in running shoes, and the size 8 Iguaneye (Euro size 39) fits pretty perfectly. The heel cup tilts in and high over the heel, which is part of what lets the shoe stay on so well when your feet relax and are allowed to spread out.
I have a hard time finding summer shoes, because I am allergic to nearly all dyes. After my best friend’s wedding, I got a blistering rash in the exact pattern of the strappy shoes all of us bridesmaids wore. Any time I wear leather shoes, I get that same rash. I also have a hard time finding comfortable white shoes, so I ordered the light grey color with a teal footbed. And now, I can get rid of all my other uncomfortable white shoes. Next up, I’m going to order a pair of black ones, because who can’t use a pair of comfortable black flats?
Check them out online here; the upper/sole pieces are about €70 and the footbeds are about €15, so it’s about $100 USD for the combo. There are 11 colors for the outer and 9 colors for the footbed, so you can truly customize your Iguaneye. And do your feet a favor!