First off, Donald Buraglio, one of the bloggers I read, is having a giveaway contest for some really great casual/work minimalist shoes which I will get to in a minute. Head on over to www.runningandrambling.com and enter the contest before 7pm central today for a chance to win a pair of Vivobarefoot Kali shoes of you're a gal, and either a pair of Oaks or Dharmas if you're a dude. He also has a 20% off coupon code for these shoes, which is a really good deal and runs for several more days. Check it out
Very shortly after I started running in minimalist shoes, I noticed that most of the shoes I owned were no longer comfortable, with some becoming downright painful to wear for any length of time. Initially, I muddled through, wearing slippers (you mainland folks would call them flip-flops), huaraches, my ZEM shoes or, if I really needed to wear shoes, my Nike Frees. Eventually I decided that I probably ought not to be wearing running shoes to work every day (I work in a professional environment), or worse, footwear that are essentially aqua socks.
I had already purchased a pair of Vivobarefoot EVO II running shoes to wear during the winter, and fell in love with the feel of those. (Donald also has a review of those shoes on his blog ) So, much to my wife’s dismay I purchased a pair of black Vivobarefoot Dharmas to wear as my everyday work/dress shoes.
I have worn them for about a week now and I have to say, I absolutely love them. Here’s a breakdown:
- Roomy forefoot allow your toes to move freely
- Thin yet durable sole provides great ground feel, particularly with the insoles removed
- Styling can pass for nice work shoes with slightly moccasin-like styling
- Faux carbon fiber trim panel on the heel counter (Bitchin!)
- Comfortable without socks
- Expensive. Like really, expensive. Ouch. Use that coupon code people
- Looks a bit like moccasins with the seam running down the middle of the upper (this may not appeal to some)
- Construction quality. This may end up being nothing, but with my pair, there are a few loose looking threads that are visible when the insole is removed.
- Heel biting. On my right foot, the heel tends to dig into my achilles tendon a bit. I think this is something particular to Vivobarefoot shoes and my feet as I have the same problem with my EVO II shoes, and only on my right side. Probably not a problem for most
- Toe lift. The forefoot has a bit of a toe rocker which lifts my toes off the ground when I'm standing. This detracts from the barefoot feel a bit while standing but isn’t really a big deal while walking or running
Overall, I'm really happy with them and highly recommend them for anyone looking for work shoes that give a nice minimalist feel. And with the coupon code from runningandrambling.com they are a pretty good deal.