Is it pretty? Can it be called
"appropriate" for a professional work environment? Is it "dressy"?
That's all up to you.
The reason I bought a pair is simple: I live in a place with some
serious winter weather, and regular old Vibram FiveFinger shoes
simply become a problem when the temperature falls below about 50
degrees F, at least where day-to-day wear is concerned. Yes,
FiveFinger shoes will keep you warmer while you are running or
hiking than if you are sitting and standing around. But I do a lot
of sitting and standing around at work -- the modern world, you
know -- and cold is a problem for about eight months out of the
It is true that you can extend the wear of KSOs, or Treksports, or
Speeds into cooler temperatures by using Injinji socks
especially the excellent "Outdoor" series (70% NuWool, 25% Nylon,
5% Lycra) and even more especially in the knee-high version. But
even so, the thin, stretchy fabric between the toes in almost all
Vibram FiveFinger shoes is simply not conducive to keeping your
feet warm in cold weather.
Enter the Bormio.
1. It's a boot.
warmer than shoes.
2. It has leather between the
toes, not thin, stretchy fabric.
In fact the the entire
boot is made of fully lined kangaroo leather.
the warmest men's shoe Vibram makes.
How much warmer?
Quite a bit, actually. On days where I would be downright COLD
wearing a pair of, say, KSO Treks, the Bormio is toasty and comfy.
They aren't exactly brilliant in deep snow, but aside from that,
they have served me very well through a typically cold Montana
winter -- which is nothing to sneeze at.
The fit is excellent, roughly the same sizing as the KSO, KSO
Trek, and Treksport. The thicker material between the toes is not
a problem; yes, I do notice that my toes are spread
ever-so-slightly further apart, but the Bormio is still extremely
comfortable. The leather is a bit thicker and stiffer than in the
KSO Trek, and these feel like they actually need a little "break
in" time, but by the end of the first day, they were dandy. I
believe it was more a matter of the boot shaping itself to my foot
than a matter of the leather softening or stretching out. They
have gotten even more comfortable over time.
These are just as comfortable as any other FiveFinger shoe for
"office" wear. They feel fitted and secure enough that I could
hike in them with confidence. They are the most "conservative" and
"unobtrusive" FiveFinger shoes out there (especially in black,
which I chose) and many people don't seem to notice them at all.
My colleagues and students are all so accustomed to seeing me in
FiveFinger shoes that they don't even bat an eyelash anymore.
These are a winner. They have extended the weather range where I
can wear FiveFinger shoes by a wide margin. If I am out walking in
sub-zero weather, I still go to "water shoes" (oversize and worn
with two pairs of thick wool socks) to keep all ten toes pliable
and attached, but the Bormio has made a big difference for winter
wear. In fact, I am considering getting a pair of the new TREK
, also all-leather construction, in a lace-up shoe
design, for an option in cold weather wear.