Groundfeel, Stack Height, and Sole Thickness?
As the Founder and Head of Design at Carets, I'm serious about 3 things for myself, and for you:
- Barefoot Biomechanics,
- Looking like a Billion Bucks, and a
- Luxury experience with Carets.
I did a full marathon completely barefoot (intentionally, no footwear whatsoever), and 2 Spartan Races mostly barefoot (unintentionally... I learned that sandals don't work well in muddy conditions). Growing up in an Asian household, I never wear shoes in the house. So I love and cannot do without the richness and intensity of Groundfeel, either. I get it.
Carets Groundfeel, Stack Height, and Sole Thickness
Qualitatively, relative to some other brands you might know, we have less groundfeel than Vibram FiveFingers and Vivobarefoot, and about the same groundfeel as Lems.
Quantitatively, the polyurethane (PU) outsole of our Classic Collection (Falcon, Fer, and Zetone) is 4.5 mm thick.
The thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) outsole of all our new shoes is 3.5 mm thick. Above that, is some of the upper leather, wrapped under. Above that, is a thin layer of Poron performance cushioning. Finally, we have a layer of smooth full-grain leather upon which your foot nestles. In total, there is 8-9 mm of material between your foot and the floor.
Optimizing Between Durability and Groundfeel
Durability and Groundfeel are inversely related, because they are both tied to the same variable: Sole Thickness. The thinner a sole, the more Groundfeel, but the less Durability.
Where is the optimal balance between Durability and Groundfeel, for the Primal Professional who wears Carets shoes? Compared to your $100 athletic shoe or your $200 casual shoe, the expectations for your $350 dress shoe are shifted more towards Durability than Groundfeel.