We spend most of our waking hours outside home wearing shoes. So it is important that the shoes be comfortable and promote good health of our feet and legs.
I’ve been regularly wearing a few different models of Vivo Barefoot shoes by Terra Plana for a few months now. They have become my footwear of choice.
I find them extremely comfortable and I feel that my feet and legs have become healthier as a result of wearing them. Compared to Vibram Five Fingers shoes, the Vivo Barefoot shoes have the look of regular shoes and can be worn in most social and formal occasions. The Vivo Barefoot shoes come in dozens of fashionable designs. My wife suggested the models I bought.
The Terra Plana Web page lists some benefits of barefoot shoes that I agree with:
- Strengthens the muscles in your feet.
- Realigns your natural posture.
- Feeling the ground, stimulates sensory perception.
- Flexes your feet as nature designed.
Theï¿½casual shoes I wear on evenings and weekendsï¿½areï¿½Vivo Barefoot (Oak Black Oil Suede and Oak Dk Brown Oil Suede)ï¿½and so are the dress “formal” shoes I wear to work with a suit (Dharma Black Veg Tanned Leather). While Terra Plana does not currently make Vivo Barefootï¿½formal dress shoes, I find that their black and brown leather shoes are fine to wear with a suit and tie to work. The comfort and health benefits provided by these shoes make up for the fact that they are not fully formal looking dress shoes. I find that they provide better grip on the ground than dress shoes and are thus great for my walking commute to work in Midtown Manhattan.
For outdoor sports like hiking and running, I wear Vibram Five Fingers shoes, but for social occasions and for work I wear Vivo Barefoot shoes. I find that the Vivo Barefoot shoes and the Vibram Five Fingers shoes complement each other well. Walking in Vivo Barefoot shoes most of the time keeps my feet in healthy and fit condition for when I hike, run, or otherwise exercise in Vibram Five Fingers.
For further reading, I suggest a recent article in the New York Times that discusses Vivo Barefoot and Vibram Five Fingers.
One drawback is that these shoes are expensive (about $150 for a pair) but I was fortunate to be able to get mine much cheaper. I had gone to the Manhattan store wearing my Vibram Five Fingers shoes. That led to a conversation about barefoot shoes with the store salespeople who were friendly and they realized I was seriously interested in such shoes. I politely and respectfully requested the store sales agent for a discount. She seemed agreeable. I then offered to buy two pairs if she’d give me a good price. She kindly agreed and suggested that if I buy the previous models which had been replaced by the new models, she could give me an even better discount. I agreed. By this time the salespeople and I had a good rapport. Before she started the paperwork for the sale, I further asked I bought three pairs if she could give me an even better deal.ï¿½She agreed. So I purchased three pairs and got them pair much cheaper than the list price. In work and in personal life, negotiations should result in win/win for both sides and this was another negotiation that left both parties happy. (Note: I haven’t posted my purchase price here since that wouldn’t be fair. After negotiating a good deal it is not a good idea to publicize the terms.ï¿½Market conditions and other circumstances vary and I don’t want to mislead anyone about what price they could get. )
I highly recommend these shoes.