I’ve been writing about casual and dress minimalist shoes for runners since 2011 and a few brands started delivering great shoes in 2013 including LEMs Shoes, VIVOBAREFOOT, and Rockport. But there was nothing that can seriously go with a suit – the VIVOBAREFOOT RA was the closest – VIVOBAREFOOT actually improved on that with theVIVOBAREFOOT LISBON that we wrote about last month. Not until now is there a true minimalist dress shoe for the those with wide feet and looking for something that they can wear at work or special occasions without getting back pains or sore feet from walking or standing around too long. The Primal Professional FER and ZETONE is the holy grail for minimalist runners and barefoot runners. (full review on Minimalist Running Shoes)
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.