For those who have heard me moan and groan about the destruction of our feet by modern shoes, you have also heard me state that I did not have a viable alternative to recommend. After countless hours researching the internet, attending trade fairs, hunting on foreign shores, etc., I came across VIVOBAREFOOT. Everything about VIVOBAREFOOT ticked the boxes I had been seeking. I finally found a forward thinking company who was heading in the same direction as me. Ironically, the directors and design team are 7th generation Clarks' (of the school shoe making dynasty).
For more on why I needed to seek out footwear that does not destroy our naturally amazing foot function, read the article I wrote recently, titled: "The Foot: Evolutionary Disaster or Persecuted Masterpiece?"
I have been trialling VIVOBAREFOOT footwear for several months now, on myself, my wife and my little girl (three years old). My little girl has not worn another shoe since getting a couple of pairs of VIVOBAREFOOT. This is not because I select the shoes she wears. She gets her own shoes out of her wardrobe and puts them on herself. I love that she has chosen to wear the shoes of her own accord, which tells me more than any scientific study.
I, too, have been extremely impressed with the first three pairs of VIVOBAREFOOT I have been trialling, for work, casual and exercise. As part of my exercise regime I regularly climb ropes. The descent on a rope shreds the sole and upper of nearly every shoe in existence. After at least three dozen rope climbs in my VIVOBAREFOOT shoes there is not a wear mark anywhere on the shoe. This will reassure parents who may worry about the thin, puncture resistant sole wearing out quickly. Thick, clumpy soles on traditional school and sports shoes do not ensure longevity of the shoe...just degradation of feet. Big clumpy shoes (or as I call them, coffins - where we send feet to die) only have three to four millimetres of outer tread that stop the shoe from wearing out.
Below is a series of pressure analysis pictures of me walking over my force platform at Wollongong Podiatry - no marketing, just my own in-house experiment.
The left hand picture is of my old work shoes, which were a traditional mens leather work shoe (akin to any traditional school shoe design). The middle picture is me without shoes, as we were intended to be before we invented concrete and other unnatural surfaces. The right hand picture is me in VIVOBAREFOOT shoes. All three pictures are from me actually walking, not standing still. I was, and am still, truly amazed at the stark similarity between my bare-foot images and the images in the VIVOBAREFOOT shoes.
I must add that VIVOBAREFOOT shoes will not cater for everyone. Many adults will need to transition slowly into VIVOBAREFOOT. That is not because the shoe is wrong but because most adults are so far removed from what feet are designed to do, and did do before we wore big clumpy coffins, that it will take time to reverse the process.
My initial target with the VIVOBAREFOOT range are school kids and toddlers, adult work and casual shoes, and exercise shoes for people who have already started to transition themselves out of big clumpy coffins.
Wollongong Podiatry displays a range of VIVOBAREFOOT footwear and can order any style available in Australia. Wollongong Podiatry has no intention of moonlighting as a shoe shop so shoes will be ordered upon demand. The shoes displayed in the clinic are available to try on in all common sizes so you can be fitted to the exact shoe you will be ordering. Please allow up to 4-5 working days for the shoes to be delivered to your home or office.