Comment from: Steven McG [Visitor]
Steven McG

I recently bought some black Aquas and i would agree with most of Justin's review. I do have slightly different views on a couple of points though:

1) The sole isn't totally neutral, it is nice thin at the heel, but there is a bit of toe lift. It isn't a huge amount, but it is definitely noticeable if you are used to VFF's.
2) I'm not sure that the stiffness comes from the construction of the upper, to me the rubber of the sole seems stiffer than Vibram's. This might change in the warmer weather though, it is rather chilly in Scotland just now, so it might soften up in the summer.

On a related note, if you are looking at the website there are 2 Vivo Barefoot sole styles, the regular one (as shown above) and a winter one. The winter style is slightly thicker and less flexible, but does have a grippier tread.

Lastly a note of caution if you are considering buying Vivo Barefoot shoes. In my experience over the last 2 years, Terra Plana's sizing is rather inconsistent, i have ordered 6 pairs of shoes from them and ended up returning 4 of them as they were too narrow. My feet are an E width and i have tried the following Vivo Barefoot styles: Kariba - just right, Aqua - they were too tight with the insole, but once that was removed they were a little neat but ok, Darmha - way too narrow. The other 3 styles were regular Terra Plana rather than Vivo Barefoot. When i called up to return the Darmhas, they mentioned that generally the styles with little or no lacing tend to be narrower so that they are more secure. Just something to keep in mind, especially if you are ordering from the states.

Overall Vivo Barefoot shoes are great for the rare occasions you need slightly more normal footwear (interviews, weddings, funerals etc) but i much prefer VFF's.

02/18/10 @ 10:36
Comment from: coupon [Visitor]

They look like clown shoes.

02/18/10 @ 11:54
Comment from: [Member]

Humorously, that's exactly what one guy friend of mine said. In the end, I've found fashion is all about owning the look -- and it's surprisingly easy to own the look of these Aquas, even in blue suede. Definitely a hit with the ladies.

02/18/10 @ 11:59
Comment from: genesis [Visitor]

interesting shoe. im not so sure i could really plop $150 for the shoe. why was it hard for you to run in the rain with the VFF? slippery?

02/18/10 @ 13:23
Comment from: Zyzzyx [Visitor]

I've got a pair of Vivo Oaks, picked 'em up last October or so. Would have to agree with everything. I've found them to be even better on the aesthetics, as they're just plain black suede, they blend in nicely.

Also picked up a pair of the Vivo Natal boots for winter. Has the same hexagonal sole and it was a bit slippy at times, but it seemed like with the thin sole I was better able to feel the ground conditions and be ready for potential slips.

02/18/10 @ 13:39
Comment from: Chad R. [Visitor]
Chad R.

Great review, Justin. I've been curious about Terra Plana but the steep price has been a deterrent. If anyone gets a pair of the new Evo running shoes I'd like to see a review.

02/18/10 @ 17:27
Comment from: hinogi [Visitor]

I have bought the Vivo Kariba to wear in the cold and wet winter. They have the invers hex sole.
Someone already said that the sole turns upward towards the toe section but I haven't expericenced that they change the walking style or the feeling of the shoes.
For the slippery part, you have not grip on ice for one I tried that one, also on wet metal like train rails or something its really difficult.
BTW the shoes are produced fair and ecologically.

02/18/10 @ 18:57
Comment from: barefootnyc [Visitor]

The first minimalist shoes I owned were Aquas. I loved them immediately, but once I discovered VFFs, they became my backup, dressy, shoe. I now have two pair of Vivos--Dharma and Kariba, the latter for winter use. I think they look great.

As comfortable as the Vivo Barefoot line is, VFFs are cutting edge foot gloves that come far closer to the barefoot experience.

But thanks to both companies, I'm now able live my life without resorting to conventional shoes.

02/18/10 @ 22:37
Comment from: Danny [Visitor]

First off, great review, Justin. So, oddly, I just bought a pair of Vivo Barefoot Lesothos about a week ago based on some posts I'd read on the forum. The forum contained heaps of good info about Terra Plana shoes so I highly recommend anyone interested in them take a look at the threads. They are the most comfortable shoes I've owned, maybe ever. Not quite as barefoot as VFFs, but still incredible.

Second off, you mentioned how difficult they are to get on. I do agree however I've always made sure I have a shoe horn near wherever I gotta put shoes on and these shoes BEG for one. Trust me - get one, and you won't have a bit of trouble putting them on anymore. Well, the 1st few times are a little tricky but you'll get the hang of it and it makes the shoes way more managable. ...What to do if you take them off at a friend's house, I can't help ya unless you wanna carry a shoe horn around with you at all times...even I'm not that bad :).

HUGE thanks for the discount! I'm already ready to pick up another pair and this clinches it.


02/18/10 @ 22:51
Comment from: Laura [Visitor]

Great review. I've been curious about their line since my new addiction to VFFs took hold of me last week. I was set to order one or two models but they are sold out of my size. Hopefully that will change soon as I'd love to have the way to bring this barefoot feel to areas where the VFFs can't go.

I do have a question about the suede. Is it color fast when it gets wet? The last pair of suede shoes I bought transferred color to the hems of my pants if they got wet. Have you or others had that problem?

02/19/10 @ 01:11
Comment from: [Member]


Running in rain in VFFs is fine -- your feet will just get wet no big deal. But going out and about (casual wear) in VFFs when it's rainy and getting sopping wet feet isn't so much fun -- that's where I go to the Aquas.


I haven't noticed any blue-ness leaking off on my clothes.

02/19/10 @ 08:33
Comment from: Josue [Visitor]  

Great review Justin,
This really seems like a "transition" shoe b/w VFFs and traditional sneaks or casual shoes. I wonder how the opinion would differ if going from these to VFFs rather than the other way around. Hmmm. Either way, it seems like a an interesting piece of footwear.

02/19/10 @ 10:28
Comment from: April [Visitor]

Great review. I was looking for something minimalist that I could wear to work when the weather warms up. I work in a business casual environment and VFFs just aren't an option as we aren't even allowed to wear sneakers on casual Friday. I just found a pair of the Odettes on Amazon for $41 ($100 regular price). By the way, they are offering buy one get one half price on the Terra Plana online store right now. But you can't use any other codes with that deal. Thanks for reviewing other minimalist shoes. I love having other options for when I can't wear VFFs - like my Grippy Roos from Soft Star shoes that I'm wearing right now :).

02/19/10 @ 19:26
Comment from: Laura [Visitor]

Thanks Justin. The Terra site still doesn't have my size but I ordered some elsewhere last night and can't wait to try them. I decided to have fun and went with the blue too. I like the idea of owning the statement they'll make.

02/20/10 @ 13:55
Comment from: Steve [Visitor]

I went online and did some reading after you posted this last week and decided to give them a try since the discount was so big. I just got them in today and just put them on now. I love them so far. I got the Brown leather aquas so I can easily wear them to work without causing a stir, as opposed to the shock and awe of the Vibrams.

Thanks for the write-up and recomendation Justin!

02/22/10 @ 12:53
Comment from: Thomas [Visitor]

I tried to use the code when buying the Vivo Barefoot Evo's (the new running model). It doesn't seem to work with that specific model. Any chance you could contact your connection with Terra Plana and see if they would make the code good for that model? Worth the try right...

03/02/10 @ 15:43
Comment from: [Member]

Unfortunately, the word is that the coupon code doesn't work for the Evo -- frustrating, but the Evo actually came out *after* my review here.

03/02/10 @ 15:45
Comment from: Thomas [Visitor]

Thanks Justin. I know they came out after but I was just hoping they would cover them. I might get a pair of the Aquas for everyday use. Thank you for running a great site for all us VFF lovers.

03/02/10 @ 19:33
Comment from: Dustin [Visitor]

Question about the Lesothos for anyone who's worn them. They have hexagons on the bottom that look pretty grippy but I'm wondering how they fair on grass. I'm a soccer referee and I've been searching high and low for some simply barefoot-like shoes I can wear for reffing that aren't VFFs (because VFFs look kinda funny and would force me to alter my ref socks).

04/13/10 @ 04:32
Comment from: Erik [Visitor]

Relativity of toebox width: Vivos have wider toeboxes than any normal shoe I've ever had, but even though I got mine big -- I have space leftover in front of my big toes -- the shoes (soles) are still too narrow. They start narrowing in, from the ball of the foot. But if you want something that looks like a shoe, it's still the "best" alternative.

04/17/10 @ 15:25
Comment from: Ben [Visitor]

Great review as always Justin.
I am actually wearing a pair of the "zippered sole" Vivo shoes as I am typing.
To be honest I prefer these to the pair of Lesotho I recently got for work, the main reason being that the soles are a bit thinner than the Lesotho and they are much easier to get on.
At work I have to walk through an electronics factory to get to my office and there are "Tack-Mats" at every doorway to take the dirt off your soles. I love the way my Vivos leave a bare foot print on the sticky mat next to all the other ordinary footprints (with my old vivos the sole is so thin you can actually make out the toes on the footprint).
I also wear VFF sprints and KSO for running, walking about etc and go barefoot as much as possible especially for karate and general mooching about.

05/14/10 @ 08:53
Comment from: Aimee [Visitor]  

I'm wondering if anyone say whether these would be good for someone who walks *everywhere.* I don't have a car and walk a LOT, including up a couple of good-sized hills, running errands, carrying groceries and library books, blah blah blah, walking walking everywhere! I'm currently wearing Keens, which are great, but I'd love something lighter and I think I like the idea of the "barefoot" shoe.

06/06/10 @ 22:24
Comment from: Bombolino [Visitor]

The one thing I don't like about Terra Plana shoes is the thick synthetic lining of the uppers, which makes my damn feet sweat! I own one pair and have tried a few others; they all seem cut from the same cloth. If they only had just a thin leather or canvas upper, with the same soles, they would be perfect.

06/08/10 @ 22:53
Comment from: Chris Browder [Visitor]
Chris Browder

Now you're ready to go walking around in Memphis.

07/09/12 @ 14:01

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