As I’ve mentioned before in previous blog posts and Youtube Videos I’m a big proponent of the barefoot movement, choosing to do away with big clunky shoes as much as possible especially when doing active pursuits.
My previous review of the Altra Lone Peak series of running shoes goes through why they are my favourite Hiking Shoes and the shoes I’ll continue to use for more active pursuits, but what about when I don’t need that level of protection and cushioning?
Enter the wonderful Shamma Mountain Goats.
Firstly let me preface this review with how I’ve been using the Sandals. I like to travel as light as possible and having a shoe as versatile and packable as the Mountain Goats is a huge win. My most recent trip to Paris, Taiwan and Indonesia saw me taking three pairs of shoes for three different purposes.
- A pair of Vans Era all Black for evenings and situations where I wanted to look a bit more shanazzy.
- Altra Lone Peaks for more rigorous activities such as hiking or exercising or if I knew I was going to be walking all day.
- And then the Shamma Mountain Goats for everything else, and by everything else I mean I literally wore these 95% of the time on our six week trip.
Formed by friends in Santa Cruz, California looking for barefoot sandals for running and everyday use and they’re a company that are always looking to improve on their products and push things forward.
Let’s get into the features.
So my favourite element of the Mountain Goats is the Goat Skin Leather foot bed, Shamma offers four different footbed options when ordering your sandals depending on which model you’re looking at. At first i was a little unsure how I would like the leather as my previous pairs of Barefoot Sandals had both had a rubberised footbed, my doubts didn’t last long. My first thought when I received the sandals was how cool they look, they blend in a lot better with normal sandals especially as the mountain goats have a thicker footbed. I think the leather gives the sandals a less “sporty” look and more of a “yeah i’m going to the vegan smoothie bookstore yoga studio” kinda look. It’s biggest plus point is the comfort though, the goat skin is soft but still grippy and with some ware the footbed has softened even further and started to conform to the shape of my feet.
The only slight drawback of the leather footbed is when it gets wet it becomes a little slimey for want of a better word. It does however dry pretty quickly and for me these sandals are mainly used for walking around town and everyday use so it isn’t an issue. If you’re going to be using sandals for more active pursuits then I’d recomend going for a rubber footbed, it’s going to perform a little better in wet environments.
Grippy as a Mountain Goat
The thickest of the Shamma range at 11mm the Mountain goats have a super aggressive Vibram sole. Scrambling around rocks at the beach found me feeling sure footed and confident. As you can see from the photo the sole has started to ware in the places you would expect it but that’s not surprising given the amount of time i’ve put on them walking on broken concrete and tarmac. I expect the sole to go on and on even with reduced grip over time.
Shamma again offers various strap options (depending on the model) with the Mountain Goats being their most robust system. Velcro is used on the achilles strap as well as the strap on the top of the foot, this mixed with the adjustable buckle makes dialling in your fit super easy. Be sure to also use their Sizing chart before placing your order. One criticism I’ve had of other barefoot sandals is the strap that attaches on the inside of the foot by the ankle, see picture below. Webbing is usually used and it often becomes a jumbled mess, Shamma have solved this problem by making the attachment point a piece of fixed leather. This makes it more durable and comfortable in my opinion. The attachment point on the outside of the foot is still regular webbing but I think this is less of an issue and I haven’t had any problems.
My One Criticism
My one small criticism of the sandals is the webbing between the toes. At first I found it rubbing slightly but now that the webbing has softened up a little I have zero issues. Shamma does offer a set of “Power Straps” (sold separately) that should help alleviate problems should you encounter them.
I’d still personally prefer a piece of cordage to webbing.
As you can see from the photos and video the leather footbed is a little worn but that just makes it more of a custom fit to my feet and they show no signs of wearing through to the underlying material. I don’t know the process behind attaching the leather to the Vibram sole but however Josh and the peeps at Shamma are doing it, it’s working well and hasn’t shifted or lifted at all.
At home now in Finland I’m still using these on a daily basis when running errands around town and I’ll be using them on some upcoming trips later in the year.
I highly recommend you check out Shamma’s range of sandals and use the code pieonthetrail10 to get a nice 10% discount!
Thanks for stopping by,