As our attitude to the world around us changes - so does our footwear.
As our attitude to the world around us changes - so does our footwear. For hundreds of years most Westerners have felt superior to the natural world and relished stomping around in sturdy shoes. Disrespect for ecological systems comes back to haunt us. Today the living fabric of our planet is unravelling. New attitudes emerge. Many people today not only, don’t see themselves as separate from nature, they want to immerse themselves in the living processes that sustain life. Glamping, treehouses and nature retreats are all trending - offering the modern, alienated human routes back to an authentic connection with the natural world. A new movement is concerned with “re-wilding” human beings. Tony Riddle, a natural lifestyle coach, insists that people who sign up for his courses first purchase a pair of Vivo Barefoots… why? Vivo Barefoot shoes are minimal. They are not about creating a barrier between our feet and the earth. The sole is as thin as it possibly can be to allow maximum flexibility and responsiveness whilst still preventing a thorn from getting through. Barefoot technology reimagines the shoe as a means for us to interact with the world around us... using our feet. This can be highly pleasurable when we find ourselves in an ancient forest with fallen trees, mossy banks and boulders presenting us with diverse terrain with which to engage our bodies. I tried out Vivos over the winter and then the summer and have come back with some observations that may be of interest. Summer - The Motus For the summer season I have been rolling around in the The Motus - a minimalist sports shoe that is made for skilful movement and agility. This shoe is so light and flexible it is possible to forget you are wearing it. It looks and feels like a climbing shoe and offers the same service should you need to scramble over some rock. If you splash through a stream - it will dry fast. What’s hot - comfy and practical - you can do anything in this shoe - walk, run, cycle, climb, play. What’s not - not a thing of beauty you would probably switch them before heading into town for a work meeting or date.
Winter shoe - This Gobi
This Gobi - the original minimalist desert boot, designed so that you can walk barefoot every day in the city - stole my heart. I put it on in September and didn’t wear anything else until the thermal neoprene layer became a nuisance as spring arrived and warmed the air. It is comfy, warm and waterproof - a delight to walk around in. Unlike some of the Vivo range, with its simple, stylish design this can be worn with jeans and a jacket. This shoe does almost everything. What’s hot - provides all the benefits of a Vivo but doesn’t stand out as a specialist shoe. What’s not - I found the shoe worked best with laces tight, this made taking the shoe off a slow process. Find out more at www.vivobarefoot.com *** By Matt Mellen - founder and Editor of EcoHustler Online Magazine and Emergent Communications