My family has heard the spiel enough by now and they drink the Kool-Aid: minimalist footwear is better for your feet. Every time a shoebox arrives in the mail, my kids rip it open and proceed to critique the design. The last time that happend I had just arrived home from work. As soon as I walked through the door, Brienne (my seven year old) proceeded to tell me that the latest pair that had arrived were too narrow and that the heel was too thick. When I took them out of the box to take a look, I agreed with her synopsis.

Considering that this is an outdoorsy blog, most of the shoes that come in the door are designed for outdoor wear. However, I am a firm believer that when barefoot won't do, minimalist footwear is suitable for all occasions, not just hiking. For my son that isn't much of a problen as he doesn't really care how things look, as long as they work. My daughers on the other hand will pick fashion over function for everyday use given the choice.

"I am delighted in the pinkness" were the first words I remember coming out of Brienne's mouth when she opened the box for the first time. It was her turn to review some shoes - a rarity for someone who usually settles for hand-me-downs from her siblings. She didn't care that they were minimalist and support the proper development of her feet, she just cared that they were pink. Beautifully constructed, the VIVOBAREFOOT Pally by Terra Plana satisfies her desire for fashion, and my desire for function.

  • They are durable - built with a smooth, flexible leather upper and a strong, grippy, rubber outsole.
  • They are comfortable - lined with soft microfiber around the heel and trimmed around the ankle with comfortable, padded lycra.
  • And they are minimalist - there is no elevated heel, no cushioning (except for the insole), no arch support, a wide toebox, and a thin flexible sole.

If they were my shoes, I would go into great detail about the fit, the ground feel, the function, etc. But they aren't mine, and I couldn't even try them on if I wanted to. So the only thing I have to go on is the fact that she loves them, wears them all the time, and never complains about having blisters or sore feet. In my book, that is considered a home-run. My girls evaluate shoes using two parameters: are they comfortable and do they look nice. The Vivo Barefoot Pally fits the bill on both accounts.