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Minnetonka Tramper Review

I bought my first pair of moccasins about seven years ago. At the time I didn’t give any thought as to whether or not they might be classed as barefoot (I hadn’t event heard of barefoot shoes then) but I like to think it’s one of the reasons I’ve always worn them.

After recently discovering Minnetonka I really wanted to try out their soft-soled moccs, which receive rave reviews on their site. The soles are made from a soft suede so provide a very barefoot experience. However, seeing as it’s winter and I live in Berlin, I thought it might be smarter to first try one of their rubber sole options and actually have a chance at being able to wear them.

Luckily, it’s been a mild, dry winter for Berlin standards so I’ve had lots of opportunities. As yet, I’ve also been lucky enough not to be caught out by a sudden downpour – as imagine the suede wouldn’t hold out too well – although the rubber sole does provide some protection and a little moisture on the ground seems ok. Just remember to check the weather before heading out in them.

They did require some breaking in – one particular walk to No Fire No Glory left me with a bleeding heel – and unfortunately one of the suede laces broke only a few weeks in, but despite this I still rate them highly.

An added bonus is that they’re also on trend with one of the key SS15 looks from Milan with their swinging fringe.

Barefoot profile

Right, down to the serious bit – how they shape up against the barefoot profile…



HEEL (4/5) very slight positive heel of about 3mm, due to a change in length of the rubber grips on the sole



TOE BOX (3/5) slightly on the narrow side, which looks great but does restrict the toes a little


SOLE (4/5) very flexible but rubber grips increases the thickness slightly on this particular style


UPPER (4/5) my left foot occasionally slips off the sole on uneven surfaces (haven’t worked out why it’s only the left in particular) and therefore my toes can be inclined to grip a little but otherwise well attached

Detail images via minnetonkamoccasins.com

I’m pretty certain you can take out the padded insole for an even more barefoot feel but there’s no way I’m trying this until it warms up here.

Next mission is to find an EU supplier for their soft-soled styles. Definitely want to give their brown soft-soled moccs a try in time for Spring. Stay tuned…

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