I continue to love my Fivefingers. I’ve been wearing them more and more on my regular days about town. Since it has been a cold and wet spring so far, I’ve been wearing my Bormios, a leather ankle boot. Their treated leather is fairly resistant to water and warmer than my Treksports.
Last fall I took a series of long hikes in my first pair of Fivefingers, the Treksports. They performed like a charm in most situations. Where they failed me was in wet/muddy trails and snow. I bought a pair of Bormios on sale to fill these needs. Constructed primarily of kangaroo leather with a soft lining, they are just as washable my other Fivefingers, yet the heavier material lends my feet and ankles more protection from the elements.
The boots themselves lack any sort of laces or straps, instead they are fitted through the ankle and open up via zippers on either side. I was initially concerned about the lack of adjustment, but having worn them a few times, I can say that they feel great. I will admit that the dual zippers are pretty noticeable when I wear them without socks, or when my socks slouch. This is a minor irritation though, and I suspect that it might become invisible with continued wear or higher socks.
Though I bought them with trail use in mind, I have been wearing them on sidewalks around town and they continue to feel good. As is usual with the Fivefingers, they don’t give any support, so they are much like walking barefoot as far as ground feel. We’ve had a rainy spring, so I’ve worn them in the rain and on wet streets, yet they’ve managed to keep my feet reasonably dry and warm. That isn’t to say that they should be mistaken for a rain boot, as I am sure that if I submerged my foot in a puddle, I would have withdrawn a sodden foot.
A few weekends ago, I took a long walk along the wetlands near my home with Portmandia Jr. We followed a trail that runs along one side of the water with a steep hillside opposite. The water level was nearly at flood level, and the trail was muddy. This meant that we spent a fair amount of time scrambling up the slope to get around submerged section of the trail. Unfortunately the slope was choked with vegetation (read: thorny vines) and some section had debris (read: jagged scrap metal). The boots performed beautifully, giving me traction in the loose mud even when providing portage to my 40 pound companion.
The boots are still muddy, but I think that I’ll be washing them soon in preparation for using them on the trail in the near future. The trail season seems just around the corner and I don’t want to let wet trails keep me hiding at home. It’s time to get out and my Bormios help the cause.