Since the time I participated in high school sports, I have had knee and back pain. Around 2011 I began hearing about barefoot shoes, and decided to do a little research and try them out. After starting slow and wearing Vibram Five-Finger shoes for a while I began to notice I wasn't having my regular knee and back pain. I worked in education as a teacher and a coach - on my feet a lot, and needless to say, my supervisors were less than thrilled with me wearing toe shoes. Any time I had to wear dress shoes, my joints would start killing me. As I started to make a transition from teacher to administrator and was looking for barefoot dress shoes, I happened to discover Chronology. I was thrilled because I was worried I would have to grin and bear it with regular shoes, or find a very understanding campus. I quickly ordered a pair that arrived just before I started as an assistant principal, and provided all the comfort and benefits I had previously encountered wearing toe shoes. I am now a principal, and as long as I can keep a pair on hand I will never go back to wearing regular shoes. These shoes have been a lifesaver for my knees and back, and for my career!
Is that a Narrow width? Go one size down for our shoes.
Is that a Medium width? Depending on how roomy you like the toebox, go one size down OR order the same size.
Is that a Wide width? Order the same size for our shoes.
Don’t know the width of your shoes? They’re most likely Medium.
II. Fit & Feel
This image shows roughly how/where your feet should sit inside a pair of Carets, at right.
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.
If the widest part of your feet (i.e. your toes) occupies the widest part of our shoes, then you are wearing the right size.
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.
Expect Carets to feel less like FiveFingers and more like flat-bottomed skate shoes with the insoles removed.