Oetzi3300 Madlib Review

Posted: October 31, 2011 in Barefoot, Fitness, Health, Life, Primal, Reviews, Shoes, Society, Work
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Let’s be honest Puffins, the minimalist shoe market is booming.

Nothing like a new pair of kicks fresh out of the box.

It seems that every Joe schmo shoe company is trying to create the next awesome minimalist running shoe.

While that’s super awesome and what not, the average person doesn’t make their living from running. Most of us have a 9-5 job to pay our bills, and no matter how hard you try to make them, toe shoes, huaraches, and racing shoes are not business appropriate. Unfortunately, for the 9-5er’s there aren’t a ton of options out there for work appropriate shoes. Enter the Oetzi3300 line and their Madlib model.

Not exactly 0 drop. Good thing it's removable



The one thing that the entire Oetzi3300 line offers is the antimicrobial corkbed insert. These are meant to function much like the Birkenstock foot bed and mold to your foot. Unfortunatley, they aren’t exactly 0 drop. Before you ask, no I didn’t measure it because it’s not something that I even bothered testing. It’s not something that I look for in a minimalist shoe, and the first thing I did was pull the insert out. I know people rave over their Birkenstocks, and I’m sure this would make a great feature if it were something that you were looking for. However, anyone looking for a minimalist shoe will do just like me and pull them out. Perhaps Oetzi3300 could offer a price reduction if you ask to leave them out of your shoes. Just a thought guys.

Once that insert is pulled out the shoe reverts to a 0 drop shoe. Thanks to the stitching technique that is used to hold the sole to the bottom of the shoe, some doctoring had to be done to the footbed, after the corkbed is taken out, to remove a few sharp strands of thread. The sharpness came from the glue used to hold the strings down. Once the strings were removed, the footbed was nice and smooth. This made for a very comfortable ride while barefoot, and an even more comfortable ride with dress socks on.

The best feature of the Madlib, from a minimalist standpoint, is the roomy toe box. I’m not talking just wide. I’m talking like uber wide and tall. As you could see in the photo above, when the feet are not in the shoes, the toe box looks a bit floppy. However, once they have some feet in them the toe box tends to fill out. Out of all the single toe box minimalist shoes I’ve tried, the Madlibs have the most comfortable toe box and truly allow my toes to splay with all their glory. This is truly the most awesome aspect of these shoes, and is something that most minimalist shoe companies could learn from.  The only negative I could point towards is the lacing system. It’s your traditional lacing system, and due to the width and height of the toe box when the shoe is tightened it causes the leather to bunch up right under the bottom of the laces. When wearing pants this isn’t noticeable, but once you put on shorts it becomes glaringly apparent. I wouldn’t recommend wearing these with shorts.

As you can see they are easily held in the rolled up shape.

The Madlib is extremely flexible. I’d say it’s even more flexible than the New Balance minimus. It definitely passes the ball test. The heel cup retains its shape even through the roll up test. The heel cup also provides a stable seat for the ankle. This is something that is often missed by minimalist shoes and is a welcome addition to the shoe. While it doesn’t support the ankle, it provides a secure fit and makes for a comfy ride. This is also a good shot of how thin the sole is.

A shot with real sole.





The sole provides a decent amount of ground feed back. I’d put it on par with the Vibram Bikila. Not stellar, but adequate enough for a business casual shoe. The sole is not a singular piece of rubber. In fact the best way I can describe it is that it is a cutout. It’s as if they created the design the cut out all of the negative space in the sole. This lends to its flexibility as well as ground feel. As you can see the sole is stitched all the way into the interior of the shoe. Hence the need to cut out the strings from the inside. Notice the anatomical shaping of the shoe. Like I said, the toe box is incredibly wide, and is indeed the widest part of the shoe.


The Oetzi3300 Madlib is a good contender for a business casual shoe and looks reasonable with business slacks and truly shines in jeans. I’d recommend shying away from shorts with these thanks to the bunched up leather from tightening the shoe. Oetzi3300 company offers several different models of shoes, and they are all made of high quality materials. Once you take out that cumbersome foot bed it becomes a top notch minimalist shoe. The price point is a bit high for my taste, but it’s hard to argue with the price when you hold the shoe in your hand. As soon as you take it out of the box you can feel the quality of the materials, and I’ve been impressed with their wear over the passed few weeks. They are comfortable with and without socks, and should be acceptable for any business casual office. They are a little on the warm side and make for an excellent shoe with the colder weather approaching.


Take a look around their site. I’m especially a fan of their Troop and Brogan models.

Until next time,


  1. I can’t tell if these are formal or casual or neither. It’s hard to get a sense of them from the pictures and the company website. Would they work at all with a suit?

  2. Christian,

    I wouldn’t wear these with a suit in court. They don’t have a sharp look to them, and that’s something I look for in a dress shoes. I think these would shine in a business casual environment. They remind me of a sturdier looking run-a-moc in person. I tried to take a good picture of the side profile and I just couldn’t get a good picture.

  3. Joel says:

    Nice review Puffin; I’m going to be reviewing their Suede Moc check mine out when I’m done buddy 😀

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