Ahinsa Shoes are designed by physiotherapists, sewn by hand in the Czech Republic and Croatia, and made of durable high quality vegan materials, also sourced in Europe. Their focus is on everyday footwear that your mind, heart, and feet will feel great about.
The Chitra Trail shoes are made from breathable, fast-dry Coolmax lining and Tebox mesh uppers, CF+ vegan “leather” reinforcements, all on a lugged yet flexible Vibram outsole. These are the most barefoot feeling trail shoes we’ve ever tried!
The Chitra comes in unisex European sizes. So far most customers go a size down in the Chitra. Occasionally they’ll take their regular European size.
The forefoot of this model is relatively shallow, so if you're higher volume in the forefoot you may want to try your regular European size. Regular European size could also work for those who are in between European sizes and who will be trail running for extra length to help with downhill running.
The overall footprint of the Chitra appears bean shaped, however it works very well for folks with triangular feet and medium to high arches as well. The toebox has lots of room for the big toe and the outer toes in the width and length. Folks with long outer toes will not need to size up to accommodate them.
These trail shoes have some volume adjustability from the midfoot to hindfoot with their lacing. Folks with high volume feet all the way to the forefoot may find the Chitra tight over the area where the tongue attaches at the bottom of the lacing. The back of the heel flares out at the bottom, making them a great choice for customers with protruding heel shapes.
The Chitra has an optional insole and a Vibram outsole (2mm+4mm lugs). The Vibram outsoles are flexible in all directions and have a great grip, as you would expect from Vibram! Ahinsa reports that they are suitable for both soft terrain and firm terrain hiking and trail running (such as mud or grass for soft ground and rocks or boardwalks for firm terrain). The design of the outsole feels stable on flat ground, yet conforms around bumps and dips on uneven surfaces.
These shoes feel very barefoot- the most flexible of any trail shoe we’ve ever seen! The insoles provide about 2mm of cushioning foam should you choose to wear them in the Chitra. Otherwise there is essentially no squishy cushioning, just direct feedback about the ground through the soles of your feet!
If you are new to minimal shoes you might try a more cushioned trail shoe first, or be very careful to adventure within your body’s current skill-set and limits during the first few months of wear when your feet are building strength, range of motion, and new skills.
Ahinsa recommends cleaning the Chitra by wiping the outside with a clean, damp cloth and letting them dry.
If you’re looking for a trail shoe for hiking or running, or even to walk in the park, the Chitra will be your option for barefoot freedom! They come the closest to the flexibility and groundfeel of being barefoot while offering the grip and protection of a trail shoe. They are so lightweight and breathable you’ll barely notice they’re there.
They are super spacious in the forefoot and offer a secure sculpted fit around the midfoot and hindfoot so you can move with confidence and comfort on any terrain! Probably the one place you don’t want to wear them regularly is city sidewalks and pavement, as that can wear down lugs on trail footwear unnecessarily quickly. However, Vibram is well known for their durability, so we’ll have to wait for more feedback to know for sure.
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