I first heard about barefoot shoes from friends who ran barefoot. Back in 2005, it was a hot trend to be a barefoot runner.
People would toughen their feet by using military boots that were too big and gaining callouses.
Vibram 5 fingers shoes were all the rage and people started out running barefoot and in the vibrams.
This was a huge mistake.
Untrained feet, used to being cradled in neoprene and leather were let free.
Muscles that hadn’t been exercised in 20 or 40 years had atrophied and suddenly were stressed. This led to injuries.
I bought a pair and was never able to wear them. I didn’t like the fit, and because my toes were shaped weird it took me over 3 minutes just to get them on.
Barefoot walking is ideal for the human body. Running barefoot on manmade unforgiving surfaces is not. If you are going to run, seek out more padding in a shoe, even in a barefoot shoe.
But walking.. now walking and barefoot go hand in hand, or foot in foot.
Our feet are meant to feel what they’re walking on.
Add in thick and cushy rubber soles that are stiff and cramp the feet into stuck positions and we never feel anything.
The same part of the brain that receives information from the hands also receives information from the feet. When we take away that sensory information from the brain it gets confused.
Skillful movement cannot be done if we cannot feel the world around us. Studies have shown a higher injury rate for runners in regular running shoes vs those using barefoot type shoes.
During running, most of us heel strike. This means we lead with our heels and our heels hit the ground first. Notice the padding and thick heels in all running shoes.
We aren’t meant to heel strike in running as it makes the knees and hips take more of the load.
Most modern shoes cramp the foot into unnatural positions and don’t allow the muscles of the foot to work properly. Thus we end up with more heel, foot, knee, and hip pain due to unnatural movements of the body.
Barefoot shoes correct all these issues.
They allow the feet to feel the environment, the toes to spread and take the shock of walking and running naturally, and strengthen the feet.
Not everyone can get away being barefoot all day.
I work from home most of the time and do not need to wear shoes, so I don’t.
When I go into the corporate office, I need to have something on my feet.
I refuse to wear heeled shoes ever again.
That means, I need a barefoot shoe I can wear to work.
Also, if I’m going to the store, airport, the city I need shoes.
Best to wear barefoot shoes.
VivoBarefoot is one of the top barefoot shoe companies in the world.
Their shoes are built to last.
I’ve had 5 pairs of their shoes for the last 4 years and all of them are still functioning like new.
In fact, I just ordered 4 new pairs.
This time I ordered some for my kids, my partner, and myself.
Here’s what I’ve been using for 4 years.
Great for hiking. Super comfortable.
Size one half to one full-size up!
I wore these casually and loved them, but they were slightly too small. I didn’t size them up. And I donated them to my brother.
I wear these practically all winter.
I’ve worn these to conferences and they work well in a dressy or casual situation. I’ve spent miles walking city streets with these and they are amazing.
Vivobarefoot is very sustainability minded.
Their goal is zero impact on the environment. By the year 2020 they want to use 90% sustainable materials across their entire product line.
Currently, Vivobarefoot uses sustainably sourced yarns and natural materials like cork. They are also sourcing recycled plastics to use in their shoes.
The shoes I’ve had are already 4 years old and still going strong. I wear the Saami lite’s all winter every winter and they will still last at least one more season.
These shoes are comfortable. I will say that the Primus lite and Stealth shoes have very thin soles.
If you aren't used to bareftoot shoes, these can take some getting used to as your feet rebuild atrophied muscle.
The boots and dress shoes are more cushy and very comfortable in all terrain.
I find it's really nice to be able to feel the ground under my feet wearing these.
Here’s what I just ordered from Vivobarefoot and can’t wait to try out:
Tracker FG in Cement
Primus Lite in White
Women’s Primus Lite in White (for my partner)
Kids Primus Junior Mesh
Don't forget how important it is to start kids out in barefoot shoes.
We’ll be putting these shoes to the test during the upcoming summer vacation and school year start.
For now, you can get yourself a pair with a 10% discount using code PRIMALVB right HERE