Shopping solely at ‘official’ barefoot shoe brands, although great for the feet, isn’t always so great for your bank balance. And although I’m a huge fan of many barefoot brands on the market, I am always on the look out for minimalist shoe options from high street stores.
One in particular where I’ve had success in the past is H&M and after visiting their store in Lisbon last week I was happy to find three minimalist styles that all come in at under €15 that I wanted to review. The first of which is their espadrilles at €9.99…
I’m a huge fan of both the style of espadrilles and the minimalist experience they provide. You can pay widely varying amounts for them from different brands, with these from H&M being some of the cheapest I’ve found, but I do feel that you pay for quality and I made my way through at least two pairs from H&M last summer. In my experience, one time of getting caught in a heavy downpour or at a spontaneous party with an alcohol sloshed floor pretty much finishes them off in one go (although as they were so cheap I didn’t bother try salvage them after that).
There’s a lot of colour options in at the moment, including a rather funky fruit salad print, as well as everything from plain black, to stripes, to leopard print.
On the UK site I noticed they have two slightly styles and the more expensive of the two looks slightly thinner in the toe box so just be aware of that when trying them on.
HEEL (5/5) – scores top marks here with a zero drop (aka flat heel)
TOE (2/5) – although only thin, the canvas fabric doesn’t really have any give to it and therefore my toes feel a bit suffocated and there’s a lot less room than I imagined
SOLE (3/5) – flexible but you don’t feel much with the thicker outsole, which makes the whole sole about 13mm thick
UPPER (3/5) – it’s really important to get the right fit so they hold on well (a past pair of mine has their elastic go which was the end of them) and I do find they can easily slip down, especially if you’re on quite an uneven surface so don’t hold that well for me
Detail images via hm.com
Annoyingly I found that I was between sizes on their style this year. I would have had to buy two pairs for a perfect fit, as the EUR 39 was right for my left foot and the 38 for my right, so these weren’t the winner of the three styles for me.