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Vivo Barefoot?

sieren
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10/28/2009 - 7:37pm
Vivo Barefoot?
I read in the 8 steps book that Esther recommends shoes that allow the feet to be in a kidney bean shape, and also support the arches.  I can see how that would be a good idea for someone with weak foot muscles.  I am wondering what your (Esther or Maya) thoughts are on "barefoot" type shoes, like Vivo Barefoot (by Terra Plana) brand?  These have been all I've been wearing (besides gum-soled mukluks and no shoes at all) for the past year, and I REALLY love them!  I do feel like their shape is conducive to forming the kidney bean foot shape.   
I did go barefoot whenever I could growing up, so I do probably have pretty strong feet muscles.  However, I do think it would be important for someone with weak foot muscles to strengthen them and eventually work up to wearing "barefoot" shoes, or walking barefoot often.  What are your thoughts on this?  ???
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I'm planning to buy a pair of Vivo myself. Terra Plana look pretty good too. Again, I think you need threshold foot strength, shape, understanding and available bandwidth to make this work to your advantage.
Cal
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I was seriously considering Vibram Five Fingers.  I've spent a L-O-N-G time researching footwear options (helped much by links in "Mark's Daily Apple").  Eventually I plumped for a pair of VivoBarefoot RAs.

 

They arrived today.  I put them on straight away... wonderful!  I suspect these will be my favourite casual shoes; I can't wait to start driving in them (I'm a driving freak).

 

The deciding factor for me was (Esther's) kidney bean shape:

RA_KidneyBean-small.png

atotic
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I've been wearing nothing but Vivo Barefoot for 2 years now. I love them! They have thin, bendable soles, and no support. Walking in them feels very natural. You can try them on in Palo Alto at Zombie Runner.

Me and Vivo go way back. I took some Chi Running classes 10 years ago, and their method recommended minimalist shoes. BTW, Chi Running is a perfect complement to Esther's method if you are into running. I was on a lookout for barefoot shoes since then. Every year I'd Google for barefoot shoes, nothing. 3 years ago, Google came through with Vivo Barefoot. They were out there, on the fringe. Founder was Clark's grandson, of Clark's shoes, so I gave them a shot. They making these funny looking "barefoot" shoes, but no running shoes. So I bought them, and used them as everyday and running shoes. Looked quite funny running in white canvas slip-ons. First time I did my regular run in them I got such a runners high :) My calves were sore for about a month.

Before starting barefoot running, unsure of myself, I went to one of those places that analyzes your running stride, and gives shoe recommendations. They recommended stability shoes to correct my pronation, etc, etc. I tried running in these for a month, but it felt like running on planks.

I've had no running injuries since going Vivo.

Fast forward 3 years, barefoot running is all the rage. Vivo now makes running shoes too. All of their shoes have very similar sole (winter models are  a bit thicker). What I like about going all Vivo is that it lets me switch shoe styles, and keep the same feel.

My only complaint with Vivos is that they can be flimsy. I've ripped two of them.

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