One thing I’ve been doing since starting this barefoot journey was to read review after review and order one pair of shoes after another. Let’s say that at this point in my life it is understandable because I am letting go more and more of my old shoes that I need/want to replace with barefoot shoes.
But the more I buy, the more I would buy.
I feel like I want to try ALL the barefoot shoes out there. And the bad (good) part is that there are so many options now. For the past few years barefoot shoes have evolved from the Cinderella of shoes (functional, doing the work), into this beautiful Princess (lots of models, textures, designs). And they stayed Princess.
But this is not sustainable for my budget. And I think this is one of the reasons it will take a while for barefoot shoes to become very popular in this part of Europe (and Romania, in particular). They cost much more than the average conventional shoe and in a country where the medium net salary is less that 700 euro/month paying 25% of it for a pair of shoes is unrealistic. And if you have children, add the money for their barefoot shoes as well.
So, even though nobody asked, here I am sharing my approach: make capsule shoe wardrobe for each season. Genius, I know!
These are the pairs that I have been using this summer.
Clockwise: Vivobarefoot Kolhapuri, Vivobarefoot Kuru, Splay Athletics, Tikki, Mukishoes, The North Face
I have reviewed all of them, except for The North Face ones, because they are no longer available - I bought them 2 years ago and I’ve been wearing them on repeat. Not the most flexible, but very comfy. (Actually, more bendy than Vivos Kuru.)
Of course I would add more shoes to this starting capsule - like some ballerina flats, and some slip-ons, and something to replace my old 5 (!!) Stan Smith pairs (eyeing the Vivos Geo Court and BeLenka Prime and FeelGrounds Original and Groundies Universe - or maybe all of them on different colours) and some nude sandals (at some point we will do weddings again), and some trekking sandals and the list goes on.
But I can do that next year.
Same goes for fall - I need some pairs of shoes to transition to cold weather. I have Vivobarefoot Fulham boots, Luks all-year-round boots, 2 pairs of Camper Peu and waiting for another pair of The Drifter Leather Chelsea boots. I still use the Splay sneakers and the Mukis (with socks).
Luks Shoes, Vivobarefoot Fulham, Camper Peu, Splay Atheltics, Camper Peu Boots
And then hardcore winter. So far I have Lems Waterproof Boulder Boots and Belenka Winter Boots. I will be having Feelgrounds Patrol in January. But I can always wear the Fulhams and Chelsea and Camper. I would add some Wildlings, to be honest. And some trekking boots… You get the idea.
The point of my post is to remind myself (and maybe others) that it’s about how good the shoes you read about are for you and which help your feet best. Get to know your feet, what they love, follow other barefoot enthusiasts that have similar foot shape and get their take on what they are testing. I have been amazed by the willingness to share information that the big influencers who write about barefoot shoes have. This must be the kindest community on the internet.
Taking the barefoot shoes road doesn’t mean you need to fill your house with barefoot shoes. On the contrary, you will see the manufacturers in this ‘industry’ talk about sustainability, and consumerism doesn’t fit the profile. Choose smart.
That’s about it 💙