If the summer heat is already getting to you, think about making the minimal sandal your next footwear purchase.
At the end of a long day, the first thing you probably want to do is lose the shoes. Children run around without footwear whenever possible and adults usually only wear them when necessary. It was this dislike of wearing shoes that led one man to create the minimal sandal, and now it’s a promising business.
Terral Fox never intended to start his own business when he began hunting for a new kind of sandal. An avid outdoorsman, Fox often wore sport sandals, but found them to be heavier than he would have liked. Furthermore, their design was lacking. His search for affordable, functional footwear turned up minimal shoes with many qualities he liked, but nothing in the sandal department.
(And that’s what he really wanted.)
When he stumbled upon huarache sandals, the wheels started turning. Huaraches are handmade rubber-soled sandals used by the Tarahumara. These were the closest to what he had in mind, but he wasn’t fond of laces, so he decided to create his own minimal sandal experimenting with different materials until he got what he wanted – a light, durable, strapped sandal, comfortable to wear, and able to use in any activity from watching TV to running and hiking.
Fox was satisfied with his prototype, and the idea would have stopped there if not for his wife’s encouragement to take the idea online.
Fox registered at Etsy, a website for people to sell handmade goods, and sold his first pair of minimal sandals in 2010. Now, just three years later, his simple idea has spawned a growing company along with more designs and the option to customize footwear for people unable to find exactly what they want from the catalog.
Fox stands behind his product, and offers users advice with its use. He cautions against jumping into full-time wear, since they’re much less restricting than normal shoes. This advice is geared especially toward runners, who have never used any type of minimal shoe: walk in them first, and slowly transition to running.
Many people have an idea, but far fewer have the drive to bring that idea to life. And if they do, turning it into a successful business is a whole other challenge. In the case of Terral Fox and his minimal sandal brand Unshoe, necessity caused invention. Success has just been the next step in the process.