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"One Day Without Shoes" Movement

Yeh, at first when I saw this I thought London had seen the light, but read on. Have you ever seen anything more barmy??

"Many children in the developing world grow up barefoot, putting them at increased risk of injury and soil-transmitted diseases. Children whose families cannot afford to keep them in shoes also risk missing out on their education, as shoes are often a required part of their school uniform" (my italics).

Easier solution: leave shoes out of compulsory school uniform. Duh, duh and double duh.!/TOMS


looking for kitchen shoes, minimalist

title says it all. I need something leather and non-slip. really non-slip. these don't have to be completely minimalist, but if you look for "chef shoes" you find all sorts of supportive, orthopedic, mumbo jumbo.

any thoughts would save me some time....


Minimal shoes for walking on ice?

I am not a runner, but I've been really interested in minimal shoes since last Spring, and I barely wore shoes at all over the summer. I'm loving it! But I'm a college student in Michigan, and my campus gets really icy in the winter. Last year, I wore a pair of sneakers most of the time, and Ugg boots (with a thick sole and about 5 mm drop) when there was more than 2 inches of snow. I want to wear more minimalist shoes this year, but I need a boot that has good traction on ice (there really isn't any way to avoid it on campus). I have a pair of Merrell Contour Gloves that I loved through the fall, but as soon as it snowed, I was sliding all over the place! Now I'm back to wearing my Uggs. :/

Also, I've been trying to update my style (I'm turning 26 in a couple weeks and still dressing like I did in high school), so bonus points for something that looks nice enough to wear when I need to dress professionally or I'm going on a date. (That overly sporty look is fine when you're exercising or running errands, but in some circumstances, it just doesn't fit.)

9 outcast?

I'm not a runner, a walker, or really an exercise hobbyist at all. Just a guy with a bad foot. Let me explain:

About a year ago, I began having foot pain in my left foot. Right in the arch. Shoes with any support whatsoever became miserable to wear. My doctor said it was plantar fasciitis....whatever. I can go a week in flip flops and feel awesome, but kick on the Adidas's and it's miserable.

My question is...most of the "barefoot" or "minimalist" shoes that i've researched are recommended for running, but i've never seen seen anything for just regular use...home, work, walking around town, etc. Any suggestions from a pro?



Teva Zilch straps have sharp edges.

I bought a pair of Teva Zilch sandals for summer use. Unfortunately we had a bad summer where I live so I didn't use them as much as I would have wanted to. But in the few times that I could wear them the straps rubbed my skin off three times. At first I would like to say that I really love the Zilch. It is a very comfortable sandal. It looks like Teva used the latest technology in sandal making. The straps have sharp edges though. The first time I wore them they rubbed a piece of skin off right away. Loosening the straps resolved this. A few weeks later I ran for half an hour in my Zilch's. I was prepared for the sharp edged straps (I took bandages with me) but my skin got rubbed off again. So far I had only used my Zilch's for small walks, running errands, cycling etc. But on a holiday I took my Zilch's for a big walk when the skin had just recovered. And again... ...rubbed off skin. The problem is also that it doesn't help to release the straps. The strap becomes more loose at the outside of my foot and the skin damage is on the inside, near the big toe. I tried a simple solution: I fixed a small piece of Velcro with glue on the other side of it on the strap. A small piece of elastic ribbon went around the strap and got fixed on the glue (see pictures). The sharp edges are now off the skin.

Now I would like to know if other people have the same problem with the Zilch. And what is your solution?



I had been looking for a more minimalist shoe for work. In fact I place more of a premium on this since I spend a great deal of time there and cannot possibly go barefoot or make due with many minimalist options.

I came across the Ra on the Vivobarefoot sight and I bought them, they arrived this week and so far I could not be happier.

They look perfectly acceptable with my work attire and are easily the most comfortable shoes that I own.

Extremely happy so far.


What are your summer plans?

So, I thought I would get a thread going here where we could share our summer plans. What exciting things are you planning on doing this summer with minimalist footwear? Backpacking? Running a race? Getting married? Something else?

What are you going to be using and why?


Inspirational websites I have found

Here are a couple of websites I have found that are really inspirational for DIY shoe and sandal making.

This one is pictures of ethnic shoes from all over the world. I'm almost finished making a pair similar to #1719

This one is all Mexican huaraches from the kind you can make yourself to the fancy kind. I kind of want to try to make some like the cuernavaca huaraches, which I think are just #1719 above with a heel thingie and a top-of-foot thingie.

This lady makes really cool moccasins. I wish I could figure them out and make some myself.


Vivobarefoot Venus

I just got my first ever pair of barefoot shoes: Vivobarefoot Venus ( ). They're not for running or anything, but everyday wear, and they're new for Vivobarefoot this year. I'm very excited.

I got them for free provided I review them on my blog, so here's the first review with first impressions, if anyone's interested:

I haven't seen too much information about them out there -- has anyone else come across a pair of Venus before? What did you think?


Pant length

Hmmmm running into an interesting problem. Finding a lot of my pants are no longer the right length. With out that one or so inch of heel lift everything is draggin on the ground. This is getting darn right annoying. A closet full of "old style" shoes that won't fit. Drawer full of pants that need altering.


Coming from Thailand and Wondering what to do with Midwest Winters

Hey all. First I'll give a real quick background on my barefooting story but if you want to, you can skip straight down to my current predicament. I was one of those kids who had to be constantly forced to wear shoes growing up in California, but for the most part did not. Then when I started going to school around 7 years old and wearing tennis shoes all the time, I began having all foot pain and even problems with joints in my feet getting out of place or even totally dislocated at random. My parents and I thought for a long time that I would just be a person who had to wear orthotics for the rest of my life, and it was a constant pain.

Then when I was 14 we moved to tropical Thailand, where being barefoot and wearing minimalist footwear is deeply ingrained into the culture. I decided that enough was enough with my orthotics and that it was too inconvenient to be bound to them while having to take off my shoes and deal with flooded streets all the time. By degrees, my foot troubles went away, but amidst all the busyness of adjusting to a new way of life, I didn't even notice.

That is until I was in a serious car accident and returned six months later to the United States at 17.

When I got here, three things happened. Firstly it was still very "cold" for this un-acclimated Thai girl, so I bought my first pair of sneakers in 3 years. Secondly, I decided I was healed up enough to start getting back in shape, so I began running, but I discovered that I had pain I had never felt in Thailand. It wouldn't be so bad while I was actually running, but the moment I stopped to walk I felt pain in my heels going all the way up my shins. I took it slow with the running, but even normally I loathed being on my feet, because after 15 minutes in sneakers my ankles would begin to ache. The third thing that happened was the TOMS day with no shoes. I was actually not a fan of TOMS (and I'm still not) or their thinly veiled marketing campaign. But a bunch of my friends were doing it, and so I got online to find out if they would be breaking any laws by walking into restaurants and such. It was then I discovered "the barefooting alternative", and it made incredible sense in light of all my past experiences. Traveling down the same internet trail, I found VFFs, which seemed like a good compromise between all my "strange" new ideas on footwear and my dad's concern about pieces of broken glass. Straight away I tore out all the inserts from my tennis shoes until I could get my hands on a pair, and I felt a marked difference.

My first run with the VFFs left me pain free and reunited with my old friend from Thailand, the wonderful feeling of a good workout in my legs.

For the past year, I've worn only flip flops or my VFF Sprints, and thanks to Cody from the show "Dual Survival" (a survival expert who is %100 barefoot except for snow) have convinced my dad I won't slice open an artery if I transition to going completely barefoot, which doesn't give me any trouble at all in California. Even during my visits to Washington state, it took a wind chill of 11 degrees and four inches of snow to rend me only temporarily from my flip flops.

Which brings me to my present problem. I'm moving to the Midwest for school, and while I've never lived there, I know they get snow and can have harsh winters. I'm wondering what some of you have done both for daily life and for running in the snow. I'd like to find something that is inexpensive enough for a starving college student, or will last me a long time for the price, and that is at the very least mostly waterproof.


Need to replace Vivobarefoot Kalis

Hi all,

I'm looking for recommendations for a replacement for my brown Kalis. I unfortunately lost one on my way to work the other day when it fell out of my poorly-secured bike bag somewhere enroute. :o(

I have been happy with the Kali style, but don't like the new light brown with white sole they are offering. I'm thinking of trying the new beige Venus or possibly the brown Amelia, but honestly, I'm not that impressed with the colours in the whole Viviobarefoot line right now. (I would like the Venus better without the yellow trim).

Any new suggestions for minimalist office-friendly shoes in brown or beige? (I don't like SoftStars).



Learning to walk in minimalist shoes

Well what a surprise. Here I was feeling like I was getting conditioned with walking barefoot and was all excited to try out the Vivo Dharmas when they came...... Let me back track a bit. The ground I have around here is a mix of packed sand and gravel for the roads. The gravel is not the round kind but rather it is crushed granite pieces. In the hard packed areas this is sort of like walking on nails....dull nails but you get the point. There is also nice grassy areas that pose no challenge and woodland type terrain also nice to walk on. One other issue is that the frost is not out of the ground everywhere. Once the feet get numb on the cold ground those bits of granite are even more of a challenge. So those Dharmas would make working much easier..... Here is the surprise, as soon as I tried walking in the shoes my feet go to ground much differently. Within no time my knees were hurting but why. Well it seems with any foot covering I tend to walk fast, like I always have, hence my heel strikes first. Without shoes I must place my feet so as not to step on something too "uncomfortable" and thus my stride is shorter and I am walking slower.... Did a bunch of reading and this seems to be the normal way of things which means I got some learning to do to walk in minimalist shoes.LOL Hopefully my feet will get tough enough to not need the shoes during the summer but I have to say that so far I find that it is one thing to just stroll around barefoot but quite another to hoist a wheel barrow with a hundred pounds of wet sand and gravel and move that any distance. I feel that the lane ways here do not represent what our feet would ever find in nature for frequent walking, perhaps the occasional patch. SO I'm wondering if anyone has much experience with this kind of service and the amount of time it takes to be able to walk it with discomfort so one can concentrate on the work at hand.


Funny looks?

When I wear my five-fingers in the gym, I often see people funny and surprised looks. They look an extra time with a very surprised face. But they never ask anything... which perhaps a Swedish thing :-)

Anyway - do you have the same experiences? That people think that you are a bit weird/funny wearing strange shoes?


Hi from Barry's Bay Ontario

SO just where is Barry's Bay Ontario? Well it is a small town of maybe 1500 people three and a half hours north of Toronto or two hours north west of Ottawa. I am the on site maintenance and guests services guy. I will try that description because when I say I run a resort people think I own the resort. The reason I am looking at minimalist shoes is to try and alleviate some foot knee and hip issues that have been developing over the last couple of years. I have noticed that a pair of Merrell water shoes I have and a have light pair of NB shoes feel good during the summer but as soon as I switch to a pair of my more serious hikers I have troubles. Since the property I live and work on would be considered more forest floor plus the dirt driveway to the cottages I see it as a great place to be barefoot or close to it......except while using the weed whacker. Just ordered a pair of Rocklite 288 GTX and will post a review in the next month.



Hello from a shoe buyer

I have been on this forum for a while now but I had not introduced myself so far. I am a runner, hiker and kayaker from The Netherlands. My first interest in barefoot walking started years ago when I accidently passed a website about it ( ). I started to read some more about it and ordered the book 'The Barefoot Hiker' from Richard K. Frazine. This was problably the very first book on walking barefoot. It is still available but it can also be downloaded from the internet ( ).

I actually didn't came to read the book until a few years later when barefoot running became more populair. I followed some classes from a Dutch barefoot running coach and bought my first minimal shoes: Feelmax Panka leather.

My Feelmax shoes started to wear out and since spring last year I bought a lot of shoes because I wanted lightweight minimal shoes not only for running but also for hiking and daily use. I started with Inov-8 Terroc 330's (lightweight but not minimal) for my summer holiday in the French Alps. I actually used my Ecco boots during this trip. Not much later I bought VFF Speeds for running. I think they are my best running shoes so far, but not very good in wet weather.<br> In the fall I bought Terra Plana Aqueous waterproof minimal shoes for hiking and I think thes are great shoes as long as it isn't freezing. For my winterhike in the German Eifel I bought for half of the price a pair of waterproof Inov-8 Roclite 390 because my Ecco's are not waterproof anymore. The 390's are not minimal but they performed well in the snow. For running in the wet season I bought a pair of TP Evo II. They are heavier and stiffer than my VFF's but they fit well on my feet and I think these shoes are quit strong and durable. Meanwhile I was also interested in the Golite Timberlites because of its zero drop sole and its guaranteed waterproofness. I had to order them from the US so I hesitated. Finally I bought them. They fit well on my feet but are not waterproof... The material maybe waterproof but the stitching is not. And Golite calls this 'guaranteed waterproof'. I think these shoes are still very good for dry freezing weather. Where I live we have this kind of weather a lot in winter, more than snow. Finally I bought the Merrel Trail Glove and Tough Glove recently. Now I run in my Trail Gloves but they are actually purchased for hiking and leisure in spring and summer. The Tough Gloves are for daily use. So that's a lot of shoes. And I also think the new Teva Zilch could be interesting for me and the TP Ultra for kayaking... And maybe some other shoes for daily use. I am afraid the Inov-8 Terroc's will not see much use anymore so this was a waste of money. I just see it as a part of my transition from heavy hiking boots in the past to ultralight minimal shoes now.

Real barefoot is still the best I think, especially in nature. But I don't see myself running or hiking barefoot. The only place I like to run barefoot is on a big sandy dune in a forest near my home.


Looking for a shoes to introduce minimalistic footware into my daily life

Hello everybody, I'm Graham (29) from The Netherlands and currently traveling Australia (I brought my VFF KSO's for running ;)). I am looking for a shoes to introduce minimalistic footware into my daily life.

I'm only use to running on Vibram KSO as far as going minimalistic goes. This I've done for about a year now, which I build up gradually over months starting with 5 minutes x 3 a week. I can now run about 10 KM on them in 54 minutes. Maybe that gives you a bit of an indication on my feet. During my stay in Melbourne over the last 3 weeks I've started to walk barefoot more often to increase strength. I normally walk on classic converse shoes without the thin insole.

I've very interested to extend the minimalistic footwear into my daily life. So that would mean me getting casual shoes that are minimalistic. I guess thong sandals or flipflops also count here (maybe get the lunas). As a backpacker I use them quite often if I'm not walking barefoot.

I have been reading up on Damien's website and also on about which shoes to get but I haven't really made up my mind and need some advice. I would appreciate it any help on what shoes to get and where to get them in Melbourne.

The inov-8 190 or 195 look cool btw but not really casual.


Patagonia Loulu's

My feelings are mixed whether these are entirely minimal. The fore-sole is thin, but the heal is a bit raised. Overall they score points with me regarding toe-box... widest ever and the most appropriately shaped I have found so far. They score points for comfort with <almost> no support. The insole is a bit raised in the heal but is removable. At this point, if you are looking for a shoe to wear to work (guys only, sorry ladies) this is a viable option if you can't find the Terra Plana Dharma's (the apparent standard choice as a work shoe for barefooters)

You can find these at REI if you want to try them on. I couldn't bring myself to order the Dharmas without trying them on.

Full text first impression is here.