Fashion & Footwear July 25th, 2017

How To Get The Most Out Of A Minimalist Shoe

When we come into this world, not one of us is wearing shoes.

Shoes throughout the years cause toes to deform, foot muscles to become lazy and sprains to become more prevalent. Why? Because over time our feet become dependent on comfort and protection, thus resulting in a loss of muscle strength and flexibility.

That being said, we know very well can’t go barefoot whenever we feel like it. Imagine wearing a suit on Wall Street without shoes. And in the Desert Southwest, with the temperatures soaring to 120 degrees in the summer, going barefoot outside is tantamount to third-degree burns.

Personally, I don’t like shoes. I grew up a barefoot kid. Oh sure, I’d put my flip-flops on to appease my Mom, but I'd abandon them once I ran to play in the backyard. As I grew older, I realized shoes were a necessity. I couldn’t go shopping in just socks, and I surely couldn’t hike with my friends or crawl over rocks to go fishing as freely as I could with shoes.

So that got me thinking about what to wear on my feet. I didn’t want the equivalent of boxing gloves on hands; I still wanted to feel something when I was walking.

Enter Vivobarefoot. The brand doesn’t sell shoes in the true sense of the word. They sell an experience. Their tagline, “Barefoot shoes that let feet move naturally over every terrain” intrigued me further.

Take the Vivobarefoot Primus Trail Soft Ground for instance. This shoe is designed for off-road trails and gives a superior grip on wet terrain. Say, for example, wet rocks along the beach as I hike and climb just above the crashing waves. They have a puncture-resistant synthetic outsole, are completely vegan-friendly and have breathable 3M mesh to keep my tootsies aerated.

But what if I’m in the mood to do a little more hardcore hiking? I don’t need to pull out the big waffle-stompers. I don’t even have to pull out boots! The Vivobarefoot Primus Trail Firm Ground is the perfect shoe for the serious hiker attitude. Put these on, and I’m ready to tackle that trail that’s been plaguing me all summer. These sport an elastic bungee closure, so no worries about shoestrings coming undone. The outsole has a multidirectional thread that gives reliable traction but keeps that same barefoot feel.

I love a good hiking boot, but even though I think big boots look great on the shelf, they just don’t look good on me. After all, I’m a barefooter, and I want a shoe or a boot that loves my feet as much as I do. I like the Hiker because it’s lightweight and has a robust outsole. It’s also hydrophobic which is helpful during those early morning treks up the hillside to access my favorite creek for early morning fishing.

Call me old-fashioned and outdated, but I still love a good leather boot, which is why I’m checking out the Tracker FG boot. This gorgeous boot is constructed of high-quality leather that has a special waterproof treatment. This design offers great ankle support, moisture wicking properties and a firm sole that still gives me the barefoot experience. It has a 3.5 mm thermal insole, which will keep my feet cozy all year round!

My Vivobarefoot experience wouldn’t be complete unless I checked out the Ultra 3 amphibious shoe. Yes, I said amphibious. I’ve long dreamed of going to a beach along the PCH to do some adventuring. I love the water, but I don’t just want to lounge beachside. I want to explore the landscape! The Ultra 3 is water-resistant and drains easily, thanks to the Hexagon EVA structure, allowing me to explore caves and crevices without worry.

Another bonus to the Vivobarefoot series is its flexible, easy-to-store design. This makes their shoes to stuff in a backpack, a day pack or a tote. With my new Vivobarefoots, I can walk anywhere — watch out world!

Go Natural