Walking back into the store with them on was like having an epiphany on comfort. A coworker asked how them felt and my first response was “They are like wearing kittens”. My toes were free to wiggle and my whole foot was flat and firmly pressed into the floor. I felt grounded. At the end of the day my feet felt great from running around on the hard concrete for 8 hours. I was slightly worried the minimal padding would be a mistake there. I was wrong they are still comfortable now months later. The leather is very supple an moves and bends well in the active environment I work. To me the shoe feels cooler than others. Usually after wearing to longer than 8 hours I notice some sweatiness.
At left is a typical dress shoe, same size and same Wide width. You can see that it is still 1 or 2 cm longer than ours. Most sleeker dress shoes have a fair amount of unoccupied space in the front. We took advantage of that and used it to give you a wide toebox without looking like it. Dress shoes get even longer if we start looking at chisel-toe and pointy-toe styles. But even though these conventional dress shoes are longer, you still feel cramped because of the heel lift and the fact that their shoes are widest at the ball of the foot. Ours are widest at the toes, as a foot naturally is.
Regarding groundfeel, Carets' outsole is 4mm thick, with another 4mm of leather and cork between that and your feet. The polyurethane we use for the outsole was selected for durability, which is more important than groundfeel in a shoe like this. The 2-part (polyurethane + leather/cork) design allows for the shoes to be resoled like good dress shoes and unlike most minimalist shoes.