VivoBarefoot Rooty Kids Minimalist Shoe Review
As my oldest daughter's feet grow, her options for kids minimalist/barefoot?healthy?shoes increase. Unfortunately, the number of not-so-healthy, heavy, and clunky shoes also increase (Avi's four-year-old friends all have light up shoes, which generally are anything but light?and mommy and daddy recently
cavedgranted her birthday wish and got her a pair).
Today I'll be reviewing my 4 year-old's Vivo Barefoot Rootys. VivoBarefoot sent the BirthdayShoes household a pair of size 25 (US size 9) Rootys a few months back for Avi to try out and "review" (via me!). The short of it is that they are a great choice and have held up well to kid-sized wear and tear.
Read on for photos and details!
The Vivo Barefoot description of the Rooty (here) is as follows:
Because most kids can?t sit still for too long nowadays, the ROOTY features double Velcro fastening that is quick and easy to slip on and secure for kids of any age. The ultra-thin, puncture-resistant sole provides maximum proprioception with protection.
The Rooty is pretty standard Vivo fare, in other words. The shoe's upper is leather and has two velcro straps. The sole is also typical if you're familiar with Vivo soles in that it's thin and flexible (sole photos here and flexi-photo here).
They also have a removable insole that is also exactly what you'd expect if you wear adult Vivos. We left that insole in.
The shoes can totally be worn without socks. That's exactly how Avi wore them 100% of the time.
Take a look over the shoes.
How the Vivo Rootys perform
It probably took a week or two before the Rootys became Aviana's go-to footwear, but suffice to say they did in good time. These photos were taken back at the end of May and the Rootys were worn multiple times a week for about four months.
The Rootys worked well as an all-around, do-anything shoe, and I'd certainly give them a stamp of approval for being suitably foot-minded. From what I can tell assessing my daughter's feet, they're like her mother's--higher volume. On the downside, this meant that Avi couldn't slide her feet into her Rooty shoes without undoing the velcro straps. That said, she had no problems with fit once her feet were "in" and the shoes never seemed uncomfortable or tight.
The velcro straps are notable for a couple reasons. For one, they use a less gnarly velcro. Not sure what the technical term would be for this type of velcro, but it's lower profile and less likely to snag on things. The hooks are shorter, I believe. For whatever reason, the velcro was a bit of a challenge for Avi in the early days of Rooty wear. I recall having to help her at least a few times in the beginning with getting the shoes on.
As far as fit, I was a little concerned Avi's feet would be too small for a size 9 (EUR 25) when we got these, but even if they were a little too big, she didn't have any tripping issues and can still wear them today about four and a half months later.
How they're holding up
Avi never wore her Rooty's with socks. I guess I've influenced my kids to follow in my footsteps with preferentially passing on socks. The upside to this is faster out the door times. The downside has been stinky feet. That's applied to most all of Avi's footwear save for huaraches.
Thankfully, in the case of the Rootys, they didn't stink it up too bad. They managed to avoid acquiring a smell much longer than Avi's old Merrells (My youngest ended up wearing her own Merrell Flux Gloves and they got the stink fast, too). That said, I did finally throw them in the washing machine because they were looking a little dirty and I figured they could use the wash. Happy to report they came out looking much better and importantly didn't just fall apart in the washing machine (note: didn't use the dryer and wouldn't recommend it! Also, don't use hot water).
So below are some "after" shots that were taken recently. The primary wear points on Avi's Rootys have been at the front of the shoes on the top (as in with this picture where the sole meets the upper at the front) and the front sole. I attribute this mostly just to them being sized to "grow into." Really, after four months of heavy 3-to-4 year old (ab)use, the Rootys look really good to my eye.
You be the judge:
Where to get'em
If you're interested in the Vivo Rooty, you'll probably have to head over to http://birthdayshoes.com/media/blogs/bdayshoes/VivoBarefoot/Rooty/used/IMG_5080.JPG?mtime=1382019478">VivoBarefoot.com. Be forewarned, they are $70, so not cheap. I've yet to ever see them on sale either, unfortunately.
That said, they are durable and I actually think we'll be able to get more use out of them from Raya when her feet get big enough.
Anyone else have Vivo Rooty experiences? Let's hear them!