Sockwa Shoes and Kigo Shoes Comparison

It’s all about the perfect fit. We all hope that one pair or one brand of barefoot running shoes has all the features we would like our running shoes to have, if we are lucky enough. Sometimes, you really can’t have it all, so we try to patronize certain shoe brands depending on its main purpose.

This article does not intend to compare which is the better between Sockwa Shoes and Kigo Shoes. Rather, we aim to highlight the best features of each brand.

Sockwa shoes claim to have the thinnest sole in the market, thus its slogan “allows you to actually feel the ground”. Sockwa shoes make use of its ultra-thin sole technology and the stretchable and form fitting uppers that give the user more connection to the ground.

On the other hand, Kigo banks on its durable, stylish and minimalist footwears that will appeal to users who want their shoes to be multi-purpose – meaning good for athletics and everyday use.

Comfort
Sockwa shoes are really comfortable provided that the user gets into the right size. The sole and the upper are made of stretchable materials that allow freedom of toe movements. It is elastic, so it does not restrict your toes to be just boxed in, which of course also contributes to better blood circulation. The seams are neatly sewn together that you sometimes forget they exist.
Kigo has basically two models, Star and Shel. Star is specifically designed for women while Shel is intended for unisex use. The concern about Shel is its slimness which might tend to get uncomfortable especially if you were a man with wide feet. Women should have no problem with this as they are more than likely to have narrower feet. It’s a good thing that the upper of Shel stretches over time, thus decreasing the discomfort. However, you might still feel the narrowness if you had wider feet.

The Barefoot Feel
In terms of feeling the surface you walk in, Sockwa socks are the closest that you can get to walking barefoot.
With Sockwa shoes, the user can actually feel every little humps and bumps, with the benefit of having yourself protected from the really hard and sharp objects.
Although Kigos are not as thin as Sockwa shoes, they too can give you enough feel of the ground so as to be considered a good barefoot and minimalist shoe. It is also light enough for everyday use.

Durability
The kind of materials that Sockwa shoes are made of may restrict it from lasting that long especially if the shoes are used for extremely rough surfaces over long periods of time. These shoes are not really for hardcore outdoor adventures. Sockwa shoes are basically beach shoes thus they are ideal for sandy surfaces.
In contrast, durability is one of the strengths of Kigo Shoes. The shoes are made to endure strenuous activities such as skiing, hiking and similar activities. Rest assured that the shoes will take its user to the long haul.

Price
Price according to the Sockwa website is pegged at US$20, which is a real value for your money, as long as you know the limitations of the shoes and use them accordingly.
Kigo Shoes are sold at US$50. It may be more than twice the cost of Sockwa but given that it is expected to outlast many difficult climbs and treks, it sure is well worth the extra cost.
There you go. Remember, that getting the maximum benefit out of your minimalist shoes is knowing how it’s going to be used and getting the one that would best respond to your needs. May you have many more hours of barefoot walking, running and adventuring with your choice of barefoot shoes!

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Rachelle March 31, 2011, 12:05 pm

    Thanks, Pinky!
    Good comparison. You make a great point – with more and more choices available to minimalist footwear enthusiasts, there’s sure to be at least one ‘perfect choice.’ According to our research, there are at least 30 ‘players’ in this market. For kigo, the values will remain durability, sustainability, comfort and value. With the launch of the Fall/Winter lines, we’ll meet those goals in new ways, including cradle-to-cradle construction, above standard durability in the (zero-drop 2mm) compression rubber outsoles and anatomical last designs.

    Thanks for continuing to be one of the voices inspiring us companies to produce better and more versatile footwear options!

    Reply
  • Ian B April 11, 2011, 11:20 am

    I own both Sockwa and Kigos along with 3 VFF’s, 2 Jingas, and a pair of Feelmax Lappas. I can say I had an unsatisfactory experience with Sockwa…I ordered two pairs of Playa Low-cut, and a pair of Amphibians. Beware they size small! I ordered the biggest Amphibians they make and they were too small…and I take size 44 VFF’s. The Playa were small but are so sock-like that they stretch, but order big if you do order! I also received two “lefts” for one of the Playa pairs… I contacted them and initially they said they would be sending out replacements, but then they didn’t and didn’t respond to any further emails. Ho Hum, the Amphibians went on Ebay, and I made do with two left feet(There isn’t much of a difference anyway!) That said, I concur with the reviewer that the Sockwa(Playa) are the closest to being barefoot that is possible. That is because these “shoes” are in fact a more durable sock. I daresay they work great on sand, but in an urban environment they wear through in about 2 days. This is not to say that I no longer wear them! I love them because they allow me to be ‘barefoot’ without people noticing. The elastic upper stays on, looks ‘shoe-ish’ and yet my feet are in contact with the ground because the soles wear through where your foot contacts the ground! Great for wandering around the mall…well, for just about everywhere that barefoot is not acceptable. I love them for that.
    I read on their site that Amphibians 1.5 are out very soon, so maybe they will adress some of these factors, hopefully the sizing!
    Kigos were a disappointment too, although they too size small (and the sizing on the website is confusing, as the US/EU size chart is wrong!), I had no problems returning the first pairs and getting replacements. They are great as they slip on easily, have near zero drop, and fold in half for easy storage(use a rubber band). My girlfriend loves hers and has worn them a LOT. I find that the sole is a bit too rigid, and I miss the ground feel that other brands give. They are great because I can carry them along for a break when my feet(read soles) get tired(read sore) from being barefoot, but I wouldn’t run in them, I go barefoot or use VFF’s for that. My girlfriend does run in them, they are her first minimalist shoes, and she loves them for that. It has got her enjoying running without the stare factor of VFF’s…plus she insists they look good. The colors could do with an update though.
    In summary;
    Sockwa – Incredible ground feel, the soles wear through very quickly in an urban environment.
    Kigos – Minimal ground feel, great for a mainstream minimalist shoe, seem very durable.
    It depends on what you want these for, they don’t really compare, get both and see!
    And remember, size up!

    Reply

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