Free Your Feet, or FYF, claims to be “the world’s most minimalist footwear”. The socks were recently launched on Kickstarter by the Barefoot Company. Here’s our review.
What is FYF?
Calling FYF “socks” is a bit misleading: FYF is footwear designed to support your barefoot lifestyle. Do you like running barefoot – but hate getting pieces of glass or rocks stuck in your feet? Of course you hate that.
FYF is designed to protect your feet no matter what you’re doing. In promotional images, people are seen wearing FYF on the beach, while slacklining, or running across gravel. In real life, the footwear is very popular among barefoot runners.
FYF achieved its fundraising target on Kickstarter back in 2015. The Swiss manufacturer, Barefoot Company, earned over $330,000 of its original $10,000 goal, thanks to support from nearly 4,000 backers.
Today, the FYF high-tech footwear is available for anyone to order online. The footwear is priced at $80 per pair.
Normally, you wouldn’t pay $80 for a pair of socks. But FYF is not just a pair of socks. Its high-tech activewear designed to support an active lifestyle. The company markets the socks as more of a pair of shoes than a pair of socks. Sure, they look like socks, but they have all of the features you’d associate with a pair of shoes.
Here are some of the key features in the FYF footwear:
- Individual toe design, so each of your individual toes stays protected
- Elastic seam that keeps the footwear tight on your feet
- Made of 46.5% Dyneema material, described as “the world’s strongest fiber”
- Grip dots to give you a “phenomenal grip”
- Grip dots are widespread for full flexibility
- Seamless sewing to maximize wearing comfort
The makers of FYF are careful to remind you that the footwear is not puncture-resistant. Ultimately, you’re still wearing fabric, and that fabric is permeable to needle-like structures. So if you plan on running across a bed of nails or stepping on a sea urchin, then you’re going to be I trouble.
That doesn’t mean FYF isn’t strong: the manufacturer isn’t kidding when they call Dyneema the world’s strongest fiber. It has high tensile strength and it’s 15 times stronger than steel. The use of Dyneema, according to the manufacturer, “enables the FYF to have an incredibly high cut, tear and abrasion resistance”. The fabric is also supple and soft (it’s made using micro-fiber technology).
Dyneema is a unique fiber technology that gives FYF its unique advantages. FYF is made from 46.5% Dyneema. Here are some of the key features of Dyneema fabric:
- Enables the FYF to have a high cut, tear, and abrasion resistance
- Supple and soft fabric made with microfiber technology
- Lightweight fabric that means “you feel barely anything” on your feet
- Long-distance runners will especially feel the difference in weight when running
- High thermal conductivity, which means heat is transported away from your sweaty feet, bringing cool air in
- Hydrophobic, so it dries fast and gains nearly no weight when made wet
- Chemically inert material, which means you can apply most cleaning liquids and dry cleaning methods to the fabric
- High bending fatigue, so you can bend your toes repeatedly without damaging the fabric
- UV-resistant, so your fabric won’t wear out when exposed to direct sunlight
Ultimately, because of these features, FYF is advertised as the idea footwear for a wide variety of physical activities, including biking, surfing, scuba diving, running, swimming, kayaking, walking, hiking, rock climbing, combat sports, and much more.
Who Created FYF?
FYF was created by the Barefoot Company, a Swiss manufacturer who partnered with Dr. Dieter Hesch. Dr. Hesch and his team were the first to bring a Kevlar-based Swiss Protection Sock to the market. Barefoot Company also partnered with the makers of Dyneema (DSM Dyneema).
Barefoot Company also does business under the name Swiss Barefoot Company.
FYF is priced at $80 USD.
FYF is available to order online today through FYF.io. You can purchase the footwear in five different sizes (XS, S, M, L, and XL). You can also choose from two different varieties, including high-peak and low-tide (high-peak has a “rim” around the ankles while the low-tide socks are cut below your ankles).
FYF Reviews: What Do Customers Have to Say About FYF?
FYF has been available to order for several months, and initial Kickstarter backers have had the footwear for over a year. What do active individuals have to say about the socks?
Well, after reading though dozens of FYF reviews online, suffice to say that the footwear is very popular with barefoot runners. There’s been a growing trend towards barefoot running in recent years, and FYF is as close as you can get to barefoot without actually exposing your feet to the pavement, trail, or whatever else you’re running on.
One of the best reviews we could find was on FrenchBlokeRuns.com, who is currently on the path towards becoming a barefoot runner. Here’s how that reviewer concluded his review:
“Overall, I’m quite satisfied with them, even though I can’t use them on the roads (which accounts for most of my running), but once they have new designs, I’ll definitely buy a pair for trails or simply to run in parks.”
Another review on The Gadgeteer claimed that “I really like the FYF high-tech toed footwear”, and wrote that “The Swiss Barefoot Company has done an excellent job creating some impressive minimalistic socks, designed to survive all-types of workouts.”
The one complaint from that reviewer is that while the sock covered his entire foot, the Dyneema material did not.
Should You Buy FYF Footwear?
You shouldn’t look at FYF footwear like a pair of socks: you should look at it like a shoe purchase. $80 is a fair price to pay for a good pair of running shoes, and FYF footwear is far from your ordinary pair of socks. The footwear is made from high-tech Dyneema material that is specially designed to keep your feet dry, cool, protected from the elements, and comfortable.
The Swiss-made footwear is well-reviewed online, where it’s particularly popular among barefoot runners. You can find people who wear the footwear doing everything from surfing to swimming to rock climbing.
To purchase FYF footwear today, or to learn more, visit FYF.io.