Having worn and reviewed VIVO BAREFOOT Aquas and requiring a slightly dressier pair of "barefoot shoes," I picked up a pair of the VIVO BAREFOOT Oak, which is like a laced loafer that I'd heard good things about and, personally, I'd been digging the style of them in all the photos I'd seen online. So I picked up a pair and what follows is my review of the Vivo Barefoot Oak, including a video unboxing, photos, and more!
Points of note about the Terra Plana Vivo Barefoot Oak:
- They are pretty easy to put on (as compared to the Aquas). That said, the heel feels a little roomier than the Aquas, which I attribute to the lack of sidewall/ankle insulation in the Oaks (see photo).
- The sole feels a little thicker on the Oaks than the Aquas — per Terra Plana's website, the sole of the Oak is 4.5mm thick. This means a bit less barefoot feel. The sole feels similarly "stiff" to that of the Aqua.
- Nice overall construction, stitching, build. True to expectations set from the Aquas, I like the quality of these shoes.
- The Oaks are comfortable. With a sizeable toe box, my feet don't feel squished at all in the Oaks.
- Style! I was a bit nervous about the grey and blue, but now that I've got it, I really like it. Generally speaking, I like the suede look of the grey oaks better than the brown tanned leather Oaks (though I'd like a dark brown suede please!).
Hope to put these to good use and get a solid review up on BirthdayShoes once I've put them through the ropes, which usually takes me a couple months!
Some have asked, so I'll point out that your size in the Oak is apparently "true to size" (Other Vivos you are supposed to size up). Check the note explaining Oak sizing by Terra Plana at this link (scroll down) reproduced below:
IMPORTANT NOTE: This style of Oak runs true to size. If someone is a ½ size they should go up the nearest full size. Example 10.5 order size 11.
I'm usually a 10.5 and I got 11 / 44 Oaks. They are perhaps a little roomy for my feet and one day I'll have to try 43s in brown (I do like the brown) just to see if they're big enough. Note that with Endless you get free return shipping.
Overall take - a year plus later
I like the VIVO BAREFOOT Oaks. They are easier to put on than the Aquas, have a solid, simple style to them, and are quite comfortable in that they're minimally soled with no arch support and a solid toe box. If I had any issue with VIVO BAREFOOTs, it'd be that sometimes they feel a little "too big" for my feet, which may just be because my sizing puts me a bit "in between" but it's also because they lack features like a raised arch (note: even FiveFingers raise sole at the arch to hug the foot — this isn't arch support per se, it just places the shoe on the foot). All in all, over a year and a half later from when I originally picked these up, I'm still a big fan of the Oak.