In cold winters, choosing extremely thin soles for staying in the cold for longer period of time is not necessarily always an ideal choice. Feelgrounds created Patrol in order to keep the feet warm, while achieving enough toe space and maintaining the zero drop sole and the flexibility of the shoe.
The Feelgrounds Patrol model was first released in February 2021 and has been slightly modified in the winter of 2021/2022, according to customer feedback. You will therefore notice two Patrol models in the review – Steel Grey is the older model and All Black is the new, updated model.
The differences between the models may not be very noticeable from the photos. The changes are smaller and relate mainly to the smaller volume at the toebox, the bigger softness of the vegan leather, and the length of the laces, which I will discuss in more detail in review.
Disclaimer: I was sent these shoes as a gift to review, but as always, all opinions expressed here are my own. I’m also a Feelgrounds affiliate and I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase on the Feelgrounds website through the links on my website at no additional cost to you. Thank you for all your support ♥
- Brand: Feelgrounds
- Model: Patrol
- Colour: Steel Grey and All Black
- Sizes: 35-49
- Price: 152,76 €
- Tested on: woman, medium-wide feet, 26.3 cm long and 10 cm wide (10.3 cm between metatarsal heads), low instep, skinny ankles with narrow heels, fin-shaped foot (see my how to measure guide and foot type) – wearing size 43
| Made in Vietnam | Adults | Vegan | Ship worldwide |
2. Material characteristics
The patrol, like all Feelgrounds models, is made from completely vegan materials. The upper is made of smooth vegan leather, which is available in four different colors – All Brack, Steel Grey, Dark Brown and Sand. In my review, you’ll notice the colors Steel Gray (old model) and All Black (updated model).
In the updated models, the vegan leather feels a little softer. The biggest difference is noticeable in the softer heel, which felt harder in the older model. Vegan leather also behaves differently than real leather, and in black colour where the material creases, I noticed the formation of a lighter color in the folds.
The laces are long enough to fit different foot volumes and do not untie while walking. In the updated model, they are a little shorter.
The material is very easy to clean. All dirt is easily cleaned with a damp cloth.
The collar is padded and the material around the ankles feels soft. The heel is reinforced with an extra layer of fabric and can feel a little stiffer while walking. The material is softer in the updated model, but due to the thicker sole, the heel still feels more compact.
The shoes are lined with a vegan fleece material, which provides additional insulation for the shoe. The fleece insole is removable and can be replaced with insoles made of warmer materials if necessary.
The sole of the Patrol model is thicker than you are used to seeing with other Feelgrounds models. A 10 mm thick sole is a little more than what I usually choose for barefoot shoes, but with this thickness, Feelgrounds achieved good insulation, durability and grip of the sole, but due to the thickness, the ground feeling is considerably reduced.
Given the thickness of the sole, its flexibility is greater than I expected. By wearing, their flexibility is further increased. I can bend the shoe in both directions, only the heel part of the sole feels a little stiffer. But the ratio between thickness and flexibility is above expectations.
Also check my video for the close-up and to see how they look on my feet.
3. Sizing information
Feelgrounds Patrol models are available in sizes from 35 to 49 and are suitable for both men and women. They can also be worn by older children.
The values of the internal lengths of the shoe in the size chart correspond to the actual inner length of the shoe.
In all Feelgrounds models I wear size 42 (foot length 26.3 cm), but in the Patrol model I still opted for the size 43. The shoes are 18 mm longer than my foot, which may sound like a lot, but I always wear winter boots with socks (usually thicker) and for cases like this such an internal length is not too much.
Also, the updated Patrol models have a shallower toebox part, so they feel slightly narrower. In my usual size they would probably be too restrictive for me.
I would recommend the standard 12 mm of extra space in the shoe only for narrower feet, but if your feet are a little wider, choose a size bigger shoes.
See my post How much space do we need in shoes if you want to know more about that.
3.2. Toebox shape & width
The Patrol model has the same toebox shape as other Feelgrounds models. The shape is best suited for foot types 2, 4 and 5. With type 1, more space may remain in front of the smaller toes if you want to provide enough space for movement for the big toe.
More square foot shapes (3, 6) may run out of space for little toes. Also, for those foot types enough space for smaller toes is more difficult to achieve due to the shallower toebox part. Namely, the updated Patrol model (black), despite the same width and shape of the sole, feels narrower because the volume of the upper part in the toebox is reduced (the total circumference across the toes is smaller).
More about different foot types you can read in my post What is my Foot Type?
With the classic 12 mm of space in front of the toes, the shoes are suitable for narrower and medium wide feet. In the case of slightly wider feet, choose more space to provide enough width.
At my 10cm width, I still have enough space in width at size 43. From an aesthetic point of view, the updated model look better because the material crease less, but there is also less space above the toes and I prefer the old model from the point of view of spaciousness and width.
3.3. Fit around the instep, heel and ankle
The Patrol model can adjust well to different heights of the instep, but they are harder to fix on narrower heels. In the updated model, despite a minor change on this part, I still can’t fully fix my heel to prevent slipping. I manage to get better fixation by tightening the laces very strong and using thicker socks, but it is still not ideal.
Patrol did not cause me any uncomfortable rubbing while walking. The only thing that bothers me is the slipping at the heel.
You can also notice a bigger change in the thickness of the sole, which doesn’t give much of a ground feel, but it’s a compromise I’m willing to make for certain weather conditions.
5. Water-resistance and warmth
The shoes are labeled as waterproof and so far they performed great in snow and wet conditions. The tongue is gusseted, so this part of the shoe is also protected from the intrusion of moisture. So far they didn’t disappoint me.
I got the Patrol model for testing towards the end of winter, so I only had the opportunity to test them in conditions just below 0°C. In these conditions, the shoes were warm enough for me. I will update on how they will perform in even lower temperatures when I have the opportunity to test them.
6. How and when to wear them?
Patrols are suitable to wear with casual clothing. You can wear them with warm winter leggings and legwarmers, skinny jeans or as snow boots. Because of their chunky look, I wouldn’t wear them with dresses or skirts.
7. Price & where to buy
Feelgrounds shoes can only be purchased on their official website. The price for the Patrol model is 152,76 €.
8. Shipping info
Feelgrounds ships worldwide. Delivery costs depend on the shipping country. You can read more about the shipping costs here.
9. To sum up
Designing a warm and durable winter barefoot shoe that will also be waterproof and made from completely vegan materials is not the easiest task. When you add an eye-catching design to this, Feelgrounds is the right brand for the job.
The Patrol will be a great model for anyone looking for a warm, vegan barefoot shoe with a slightly thicker sole for winter conditions. A thicker sole (which has very good flexibility in terms of thickness!) will contribute to greater insulation and add some cushion. Also, keep in mind that the reduced space above the toes may require few millimeter more space in the shoe. I would like to see a slightly narrower heels in the future to fit (my!) narrow heels even better.