Imagine if your feet could roam free and easy unencumbered by shoes, but still be magically shielded from the hazards of baring their soles.

FitKicks may be the next best thing.

The lightweight hybrid slipper/loafer/water shoe has stretchy breathable  uppers that allow plenty of toe-wiggle room. Black rubber pebble-ridged soles provide protection and traction, yet allow full range of foot motion, so you can point, twist, or flex.  In fact, they bend in half for packing.

Sewn-in toe guards minimize wear and tear, and an elastic strap that runs diagonally across the top adjusts to your foot shape, making for a more form-fitting grip.

FitKicks come in solid colors or whimsical patterns in men's, women's, and FitKids children's  sizes.  For extra warmth, a version called KoziKicks (in women's sizes) is lined with toasty fleece. A Maritime model (limited to women's sizes for now) has white pebbled soles to prevent scuffing boat surfaces.

FitKicks  clearly are not designed for orthopedic needs, but they're great for kicking back on a plane, beach-walking — they dry quickly — and general perambulating out (or in) and about.

FitKicks run $20 to $24 in men's and women's sizes; $18 in FitKids styles; fleece-lined KoziKicks are about $30; Maritime model, $23; at fitkicks.com