Episode 30 : Prime Trotter "Oxford"
Updated: Oct 2, 2020
I believe everyone should own a pair of dress shoes, whether the occasion shall arise, and wearing them is a necessity. With many of us cringing at the thought of having to wear uncomfortable dress options, which may undo any progress on our feet - there is good news... The barefoot industry has evolved spectacularly in the past few years! Fast-forward to 2020, and they've seriously turned it up a notch - leaving customers like us, with so much variety compared to yesteryear.
Prime Trotter is a prime example of one of these companies making leaps and bounds, and one of the top 3 I’d recommend to potential customers. Based in Greece, they are artisan-crafted barefoot shoe company, specialising in quality leather shoes and boots; designed by Mr Vergos – a shoe maker with over 25 years experience; he brings his passion and expertise to the barefoot industry.
They currently specialize in Mens shoes/boots – However, they have recently expanded into the Womens boots market, under the name VirgoBoots. Their website currently shows the following styles, however upon contact, you can completely customise effects, foot size and materials.
Bespoke Chelsea Boots – 280 Eu
Bespoke Leather Boots – 250 Eu
Bespoke Oxford Shoes – 250 Eu (Model being reviewed – In Burgundy Leather)
Bespoke Derby Shoes – 250 Eu
Ready to Wear Desert Boots in Pebbled Black – 190 Eu
Ready to Wear CapToe Oxfords – 205 Eu
Wingtip Boots – 280 Eu
Wingtip Oxford Brogued – 280 Eu
As they are completely handmade, they take approximately 3 weeks to make. They offer worldwide shipping, and have a complimentary ‘one free size altering’ per pair of shoes. Feel free to browse their website here.
(Disclaimer: These shoes were given to me to review, however my opinion is my own).
"Prime Trotter is born of necessity for independent designing and crafting. Mr Vergos is a Greek designer and shoe maker who has been working on mass production for over 25 years. He wills to overcome the boundaries of mass production and set his own high standards on the design and the quality of raw materials, by handcrafting shoes.
Prime Trotter’s shoes are handmade throughout the whole process. Handcrafting gives the ability to get over the strict delimitation of the sizes and provides the option of custom orders, to achieve maximum comfort. There is also the ability for the customers to choose their colors and leathers of preference. Prime Trotter promotes the pursuit of comfort, unique style and high quality in everyday life."
The smell... They smell amazing, and gave my entire house a pleasant aroma
They're wide throughout – wider than most sneakers
Surprisingly light and flexible for a dress shoe
Exceptional handmade quality
No hard edges – no need to break in
Overall... beautiful and hard to flaw
Sizing and Fit:
My foot is approximately 292mm, with my 2nd toe being the longest.
Kostas, from Prime Trotter, was extremely helpful with my measurements. They have stock measurements already made up, however, prior to ordering a pair - they encourage you to contact them, and to provide your own measurements, (shown below) so that they can customise them accordingly, for a perfect fit. Kostas took my measurements, and suggested I choose an EU 46, with some slight adjustments. Initially I was hesitant going with the 46 – however, his expertise is second to none, and he was correct.
My measurements I gave to Prime Trotter were:
29.5cm length (however I would like an additional 1cm for room please) therefore 30.5cm
Approx 12-13cm Width
Approx 29cm Perimetre
Approx 24cm Passagio
I feel as though many people within the barefoot shoe movement become accustomed to how barefoot sneakers feel, and therefore judge dress shoes in comparison to sneakers. This is somewhat of a fallacy, as they are 2 completely different types of footwear. Considering this, the Oxford is extremely comfortable and has amazing ground-feel and flexibility.
There are no hard edges or seems, and the leather is quite soft and supple – There was no need for a break in period, and I didnt receive any blisters
The upper is quite roomy around the toes, (roomier than some sneakers)
Theyre surprisingly light and flexible - to the point where wearing them casually is possible. They didn’t feel clumsy whatsoever.
The sole is similar to most dress shoes – in that theyre not overly grippy. Once again, it’s a dress shoe, not a trail shoe – so this is no issue
I haven’t worn them long enough to break a sweat - and this won't be a decisive issue for me anyway, as they are a dress shoe
Upper: Full grain calfskin leather
Lining: High quality calfskin
Insole: High quality calfskin
Bed-Foot: Zerodrop nubuk calfskin 2mm thickness, stitched with the middle-sole. No arch support.
Midsole: Zerodrop calfskin 2,2mm thickness, stitched with the bed-foot.
Sole: Vibram rubber
Weight: 340g a pair
Drop: 0 mm
Stack Height: 7mm total
Laces: Cotton waxed
Only previously experiencing the VivoBarefoot Ra 2 and Davinci Lapworth (prior to the Prime Trotter Oxford) – The Prime Trotter Oxford has opened up a whole new world of dress shoes…
I have the belief that each shoe is like a tool. You're not going to use a hammer to drive screws – therefore, youre not going to wear a sneaker for every occasion. The Prime Trotter Oxford, gives people within the barefoot community, the confidence and ability to wear a shoe which can benefit their feet, as well as ensuring that they don't feel odd, when the occasion calls for something more than a sneaker.
They tick all the boxes as to what makes a functional shoe – I’m confident to wear them casually, as well as in dress situations, making them a valuable addition to my wardrobe. If the thought of finding dress shoes gives you anxiety - look no further, Prime Trotter will get the job done!
- Alex TBSR