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Episode 5: Vivobarefoot Achilles Sandal


My adoration for Vivobarefoot is no secret; they are my go-to barefoot shoe company, and almost always fail to disappoint. When I happened to stumble across their modern interpretation of a huarache sandal at such an affordable price, I decided to take the risk and I ordered a pair. Retailing at approximately $25 AUD - the worst case scenario would’ve rendered them into an expensive fly swat, or a shoe delegated solely to taking the rubbish bins out, under the guise of the night sky.

The Achilles sandal is not in production anymore, however surplus stock is still available if you search in the right places, in colours ranging from – White, Black, Yellow and Red, priced from approximately $30 AUD. I was after the black colour-way, however only the white was available, at that price.

Company Overview:

Vivobarefoot Limited manufactures and sells shoes for men, women, and kids. The company offers casual wear, court sports, golf, gym, hiking, indoor sports, lifestyle, road running, trail running, walking, winterproof, and work shoes for men, as well as watersports shoes for women; and play, school, and watersports for kids. Its shoes are available online and through stores in the United Kingdom and internationally. Vivobarefoot Limited was formerly known as Terra Plana international Ltd. and changed its name to Vivobarefoot Limited in December 2015. The company was founded in 1997 and is based in London, United Kingdom.

Galahad Clark, a 7th generation descendant of the Clark Shoes company founded VIVOBAREFOOT with his cousin Asher Clark in 2012. Their mission is to change the footwear industry based on one simple insight—shoes should let your feet do their natural thing. Every shoe features a patented, ultra-thin, puncture-resistant sole that protects the foot and allows maximum sensory feedback.

Initial Impressions:

To not offend the designers too much, the aesthetics of the Achilles sandal are an acquired taste... I think that worked (:

I personally interpreted them as a futuristic hybrid between a Japanese style tabi shoe, and a huarache sandal. They have a split toe compartment, which made me a bit hesitant at first – and eventually did take some time getting used to, as my second toe is a tiny bit longer than my first, and the compartment does tend to increase the toe splay. The sole is fairly thin, and occasionally slaps around on the floor, at the back, however they do feel very natural, almost have a primal vibe to them, and they are also quite stable on your feet.

Technical Specifications:

The Achilles is an innovative sport sandal from VIVOBAREFOOT with the patented 3 mm thin, puncture resistant sole. The model has been developed together with the running coach Lee Saxby. The sandal has a specially designed front which provides special support and balance on the ball of the foot. The Achilles has a removable heel strap with padding and two Velcro straps. The sandal is super light, flexible and unique minimalist, which makes them ideal for the summer. Another special feature is that the model is cast from two EVA pieces and is vegan.

• Upper: TPU 

• Removable heel strap with padding & 2 velcro straps 

• Sole: 3 mm 

• Weight: 119 g (Gr.37) 

• 100% vegan


The Achilles is a great barefoot shoe addition to any enthusiast's collection. I’ve personally never been a sandals kinda guy, and doubt i ever will be. I do however tend to wear these to the beach, while participating in somewhat messy activities, or throughout summertime in general, and find this a good enough excuse to wear them.

They’re an extremely easy shoe to clean, easy to pack, receive a vast array of comments (positive and negative), and are quite experimental looking.

In all honesty... If you can pick these up for a reasonable price, aren't concerned about being a fashionista, and don’t have any toe issues, then I say go for it!

Word of advice: Please don’t wear them with long pants!

-Alex, Thebarefootshoereview


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