• barefootshoereview

Episode 42: Ahinsa Sundara Bare Hemp

Updated: Feb 11


Introduction:

Ahinsa are a barefoot shoe brand based in the Czech Republic, which have quickly become one of my favourite companies, since getting to know what they're all about. Their owner Lukas, is a Physiotherapist, who is not only passionate about providing healthy shoes for his customers, but is equally as passionate as providing them in an ethically responsible manner. All Ahinsa shoes are handcrafted using 100% Vegan materials sourced from the EU - including the latest cutting-edge materials, such as Hemp. Furthermore, they're amongst the top 2 widest shoe brands available on the market, which is great for those struggling to find something that fits, or after something which simply allows their foot to move unhindered!


Ahinsa has a complete range of products available ranging from casual, dress, and athletic shoes, in addition to casual and winter boots - which are quite affordable for handmade barefoot shoes of the highest standard. Another interesting thing to note about Ahinsa, is that they are quite customisable... Not only can you choose different fabrics and even custom prints, you can also change their soles. I decided to test out the Sundara Bare Hemp, as I didn't have a light coloured shoe at the time, and I've never owned any Hemp products - so I was interested in seeing what all the fuss was about, and was not disappointed!


The Ahinsa Sundara Bare Hemp is currently discontinued, which is unfortunate. However, you can still find them at discounted prices on the Ahinsa factory sale website located here. In addition, there are other Hemp alternatives available on the Ahinsa website.


Click here to access the Ahinsa website. Use the affiliate code "A10_TBSR10" for 10% off


Disclaimer: These shoes were given to me to review, however my opinion is my own. This page uses affiliate links, and by purchasing from an affiliate link, I will receive a small commission which doesn't cost you anything. Thank you, and enjoy the read!

Company Overview:

Ahinsa shoes® is the story of physiotherapist Lukáš Klimpera and his quest for shoes that would enable not only our feet, but also the whole body to work naturally, healthily and happily + that would be ethically made from only the highest quality materials and not contain any parts from slaughtered animals. The strongest inspiration for Lukáš’s quest was his yoga master Vishwaguru Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda and the physiotherapist Clara Lewit, who amazed Lukáš with her brilliant, sensitive and human approach back when he was studying physiotherapy at Charles University.


The driving force were patients from Lukáš’s practice who, after successful therapy, often slipped into shoes that once again damaged their locomotor system. For his patients (and for himself, too), he began to search for shoes that would enable the natural function of their feet and body. At that time Lukáš was becoming more and more interested in what lurked behind the products he was buying. The things he discovered were often so shocking that they too became “fuel” for the whole project. Also, the solid upbringing provided by Lukáš’s parents – the perseverance of his father and the sensitive approach of his mother (and her motto: “if you don’t ask, you don’t get”) – created a firm foundation on which the whole project was built.


That’s how it all began. Lukáš next had to find a manufacturing method, materials, models, and the most important thing – colleagues interested in helping create the whole project.


From the very beginning, Lukáš paid attention to ethical production – showing proper respect to nature and the wellbeing of every client, as well as employees and co-workers across the company. The principles followed are therefore quite simple: healthy, high quality footwear, made with care and love.

Manufacturing and Sustainability:

  • Ahinsa shoes are handmade under EU conditions

  • Our shoes are made from the highest quality materials produced and available in the European Union

  • Our shoes are not made from any animal material, and neither is their production linked to the suffering of animals or humans.

  • We just use materials that have not been tested on animals

  • We strive to be as environmentally friendly as possible

  • We have included secondary materials in our production

  • We also use pure natural materials (linen, hemp, cotton) and recycled materials.

  • Our suppliers are also environmentally conscious.

See more information here.


Shipping and Returns:

  • We will be happy to change the size if your shoes don't fit you :). Just send the shoes back to our address mentioned below with information about what size you need, and we will send you the new size AT OUR EXPENSE as quickly as possible.(To keep this size exchange fair for everyone, we can accept only shoes that are 100% clean and not worn).

  • You can return the ordered shoes at any time within the statutory 14-day period by sending them back. Of course, only the clean and not worn shoes could be returned.

  • Europe delivery 12 EUR

  • Worldwide delivery 19 USD

For more information about shipping, click here, and for returns, click here.

First Impressions:

  • The Hemp Canvas Upper is interesting - Robust yet soft

  • The sole is quite unique, flexible and feels very grippy

  • Wide and flexible - In the top 2 widest brands i've come across

  • Quality manufacturing - Impossible to pick that they're handmade

  • They also come with additional insoles with slight heel to toe drop - useful for people transitioning

  • Quite stylish - possible to wear on both casual and fancier settings

Sizing and Fit:

**Foot: 292mm x 110mm with widest part at the mid-foot. I'm normally an EU47 or US13 in most brands.**


Ahinsa are unique in their sizing chart, as they already incorporate the extra space (usually 0.7-1.2mm) necessary when sizing barefoot shoes. As my feet are approximately 292mm, I went for the size EU 47, as seen in the chart below, and they fit perfectly. The shoes fit true to size length-wise, and provided ample width for my mid-foot and toe-splay, with the widest point of the shoe being approx 120 mm. Perhaps most impressive was the toe-box of the Ahinsa Sundara - a standard throughout all of their models, which is amongst the top 2 widest toe-boxes I've come across - the other being Softstar. Most shoes slightly taper in at the toe-box, however this is not the case with Ahinsa, as they use more of a bean shape.


The volume of the shoe is quite generous throughout, which is great for those with larger feet, and in this particular model, there was a lot of room around the ankle - which is of no concern, as it isn't a performance based shoe. In addition to this, there were no parts of the shoe which irritated my feet whatsoever. There is a heel counter present, however it is very soft and malleable, as is the rim of the shoe, which is lower than the ankle bones.


For more info on Ahinsa's sizing, click here.

1. Upper and lining:

  • Hemp Canvas Upper - First piece of Hemp clothing I've owned, and I'm surprised. It's robust, yet soft and breathable

  • Stitching throughout does not have any noticeable mistakes

  • Suede-feel footbed, which is quite absorbent

  • Toe-box is one of the top 2 widest I've come across, and has a natural shape

  • Width in the mid-foot is also very substantial

  • No rough points inside the shoe

  • No pinching on the upper at any point

  • The lining is a soft Vegan Leather

  • Has a tiny heel-counter, however its super malleable, and I can't see it irritating even the most sensitive ankles

  • A bit loose around the ankle

  • Came with an additional insole with a slight drop, which could be awesome for people transitioning

2. Sole:

  • Sole is a 4mm black Lifoprene. Its flexible, and has a very good amount of grip. With the non-removable footbed, it has a stack height of approx 5-6mm

  • The sole is completely flat, and has a slight lip around the shoe

3. Weight and movement:

  • The shoe is low-mid weight

  • Feels very stable on your feet, as the sole allows your foot to completely splay

  • Foot completely moves freely, unhindered by any obstacles whatsoever

  • Overall, one of the comfiest shoes I own

4. Packaging and Extras:

  • Standard cardboard box

  • Shoes come with additional insoles for transitioning

  • Shoes come with an extra pair of laces

Technical Specifications:

Upper: Hemp Canvas

Lining: Air Net or CF+ultra dry options

Sole: Lifo+ from German innovative Lifoprene®

Weight: N/A

Stack Height: Approx 4-6mm

Available sizes: 36-48

Price: Discontinued, however approx 119 EU/$140 USD/$193 AUD/105 GBP


Care instructions:

"As with most of our shoes, we recommend wiping only with a damp cloth or using a fine natural soap. Also suitable is an impregnation against moisture and dirt."


Ahinsa have a range of eco-friendly cleaning products available here, with 10% off using the affiliate code "A10_TBSR10".


Future Improvements:

  • Additional eegular width options for people with narrow feet

Where and how to wear:

The Sundara Bare is quite an all-round shoe for most scenarios, except for sports and fitness. They look quite smart with pants for business casual settings, however you can dress them down a bit with shorts and a shirt for a smart summer casual look.

Conclusion:

Utilising cutting-edge Vegan materials of the highest quality, in addition to their signature width throughout, and their quality handmade manufacturing processes - Ahinsa bring something totally unique to the barefoot shoe community.


I can't really fault the Sundara Bare too much except for having slightly more volume around their ankle... They're one of the most comfortable shoes that I own, and almost make me feel like I'm walking on air at times. The Lifolit sole is the same rubber Leguano uses for their sole, and they're one of the best materials that I've come across. The shoe doesn't restrict or hinder your feet whatsoever, is perfect for those of us with large feet, and is one of the most unique looking shoes out there!


For me however, I was quite limited in regards to where I could wear the shoe... I dress mostly very casual, and can see this shoe being more desirable for people looking for a specific aesthetic, if they can wear casual business attire, or if they want a unique shoe during the summer. Luckily however, Ahinsa has a large range of models, including a variety of sole options to keep us covered... I would love to eventually try something more athletic, or better suited to my daily style in the future.



-TBSR, Alex