Vivobarefoot was the brand that introduced me to barefoot shoes world. It all started with a pair of sandals (Kolhapuri), two and a half years ago, and now I already have 4 pairs of Vivos in my closet. The one I’m reviewing below is a classic among their shoes - a foot friendly Chelsea boot in different colours and leathers each year.
I got mine in sales this past August and, even though they’re suede, I wear them all the time. Or maybe especially because they’re suede. I also like the contrast between the orange sole and the pitch black suede. They’re a winner, definitely.
My feet are asymmetric and they measure 24.5cm & 25cm (9.7cm width). Truth is, my Vivo sandals are size 38 and they fit perfectly. Normally, I would just size up, but 39 was sold out. So I ordered 40, thinking I could replace the insole with a lambskin one and my feet won’t slide. Their size chart states that 40 is recommended for feet measuring 26.1cm (full disclosure - up until last week I thought their size chart states the length of the insole, not of the feet). But, to my surprise, they are just the perfect size for my feet wearing socks. I tried switching the insole but the thermal original has been enough for me, for now. But if you plan to, bear in mind to size up. I even bought the Tracker in 40 and it turns out this is the right size for me when it comes to Vivo boots (other bloggers advise to size up for Trackers anyway). I would order Opanka or Ababa in 39, though, as I would wear them without socks. One more thing: I have low volume feet and I wouldn’t recommend Fulham for high volume feet.
I have Greek feet so it's important that the toe-box accommodates my second (longest) toe.
They are flexible and very easy to style, just like any other Chelsea boot, but healthier :) Vivobarefoot is among the first brands that any new barefoot shoes enthusiast comes across (I actually first read about them in The Guardian!), so their dedication to creating functional shoes is very well known. All Vivos are pricey, but the ReVivo online shop is a nice way of getting acquainted with this brand. You can still find my black suede Fulhams there.
More and more barefoot shoes brands have appeared in the past couple of years, as have barefoot shoes enthusiasts. Which is a good thing, but it’s also challenging for older brands, like Vivobarefoot, to up their game. Somehow, they manage to do this wonderfully - first, with their ReVivo program and, in a few months, with a ‘repair your old shoes’ service, which is a beautiful and sustainable way to think of shoes and the fashion industry.