When it comes to walking and the shoes I wear, I’ve never really put any thought into much besides how they look. Do they look good? Do I like them? Are they comfortable? Yes to all three, sorted.
I was contacted about the Vivobarefoot shoes and my attention was immediately grabbed. I’ve previously read up on barefoot running, and using shoes that don’t have the usual cushioning built in. I didn’t really go much further than reading if I’m honest, so I was super excited to actually put the Vivobarefoot to the test.
There’s quite an extensive range of Vivobarefoot shoes that you could choose from, whether you want casual, running, waterproof or hiking shoes. When asked if I would like to test and review the brand, I chose the white Kanna shoes.
They are lightweight, soft and are made out of an ultra-thin material that is still strong and puncture resistant. Even better, they are completely Vegan being produced using animal free products and processes. You couldn’t ask for much more really. When looking, it seems like a lot of the Vivobarefoot shoes are Vegan-friendly, barring a few that use suede/leather as the main material.
I chose these ones because they looked like they would go with various outfits. And they do. So that’s all good.
So what did I discover upon testing the Vivobarefoot shoe?
#1 The Benefits of Wearing Vivobarefoot Shoes
They say we have over 200,000 nerve endings in our feet. Padded shoes hinder the sensory feedback that your feet give you when walking and can restrict your natural range of movement. They make it hard to feel exactly what is going on under the shoe. Vivos have been designed to allow maximum sensory feedback. They are foot-shaped (instead of narrowing at the front) to allow your feet the space they need, and they have no heel or support to allow the foot to move as it should naturally without shoes.
Basically, they help your foot to work as nature designed whilst still giving that thin layer of protection from the outdoor world.
#2 Wearing Regular Shoes Makes You Forget How To Walk
Let me explain.
Now as I’m sure many others do, I am most often walking around without shoes on whilst at home. Majority of the time I’m just in socks, occasionally I’m in slippers, but as it stands, I rarely wear shoes inside when I’m at home. And that’s all fine. No problems there.
Then I put on the Vivobarefoot Kanna shoes for the first time and it was like I’d forgotten what to do with my feet. The thing is, we’re so conditioned to putting shoes on and having that huge heel support and cushioning. The Vivobarefoot shoes don’t have that. I was genuinely stomping around for a good 10 minutes or so because my brain and feet couldn’t match up the idea of wearing shoes, yet still feeling as though you are barefoot. It felt as though something was missing and the ground was much further away than my feet realised!
It was strange. I can’t really describe it much more than that, but if you’ve ever seen a video of a cat/dog with shoes on and not being able to walk properly, that’s a pretty good comparison.
#3 You Really Can Feel Everything Underneath Your Feet
I tested the shoes out whilst at Center Parcs, doing various activities. Tree trekking was the first, and yeah I could definitely feel what I was doing with my feet. Slightly uncomfortable on the rope bridges and similar, but on the whole probably quite helpful. The shoes themselves are really flexible and bendy.
Having walked on various types of roads I think I’d definitely look into the more hiking/trail designed barefoot shoes if I were to use them regularly for walking. They do take some getting used to so ease your feet into the barefoot style and bring them in more and more as time goes on. Your feet can start to feel a little achy if they are not used to walking for long periods without the support you get in regular shoes.
#4 Vivobarefoot Kanna Shoes Are Perfect For Gym Use
When doing squats or deadlifts, I know that I have better form when I use a flatter shoe or when I take my regular trainers off. I’ve used my vans a couple of times, but I don’t particularly like taking my shoes off to do these exercises although I have seen people do it in my gym. I thought my gym shoes were fairly flat actually until I tried doing the exercises in my vans/barefoot. Tip: they’re not.
It sort of hit me that hey, these Vivobarefoot shoes must be the perfect solution. And you know what, they definitely give me a much better stance on the floor with my toes being able to spread as they should, and I get a much better range of motion in my legs when going down. I don’t really know the science behind it, but I do know that getting rid of the heel cushioning makes the workout SO much better for me.
I believe this can depend on your feet so it may not work for everyone, but you know, it’s worth a try!
They’re also good for when you want to do a bit of outdoor yoga practise and not have to take your shoes off. Grippy, flexible and allow your feet to still get in yoga positions with ease.
#5 You’ll Just Want To Try More Styles
Yep. I’m completely sold on these. I’ve got my eye on the hiking boots, trail shoes and the sandals. In fact I’m definitely looking at the sandals for my holiday this summer. The hiking boots kind of amaze me because they look like full on boots and I can’t really imagine how they feel with a thin sole. I’m wanting to do a lot more walking so you know, these could be a good addition to my shoe collection.
Once you get used to it, walking in barefoot shoes actually feels really good. It’s such a different sensation. As ridiculous as this sounds, I actually felt closer to nature in them because it was as though there wasn’t any barrier between my feet and the ground. Right, after that statement I’m gonna go disappear now.
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