Your Barefoot Journey Survey 2020
September 2020 gave birth to the first "Your Barefoot Journey Survey". To our knowledge, this was the largest "Barefoot shoe survey" conducted (440 participants), and the first of its kind. We included 11 questions in total - with the aim of gaining a greater understanding of the barefoot community, and to ultimately, have a bit of fun. The survey wasn't solely focused on our audience, with a number of other barefoot community members having being involved and helping us spread the message (@andybryant_podiatrist, @bosenogice, @mini.and.mum, @obsessedwithbarefootshoes and @thebarefootdaddy. In addition to this, we shared the survey on numerous barefoot running and B/S/T Facebook pages, and the minimalist running subreddit. The original survey can be found here.
This result was comparable to our follower ratio on Instagram (56% Female, 44% Male). We made the assumption that this can be due to researching healthier footwear during pregnancy, to benefit childrens foot health, or as a result of wearing barefoot shoes due to poor foot health - With statistics indicating that women suffer from poor foot health at a disproportionate rate, in comparison to men, which can be attributed to factors such as high heels. (Foothealthfacts.org).
Male: 154 Female: 279 Other: 2 Prefer not to say: 4
This result was identical to our Instagram analytics. Ages 20-49 cover quite an extensive age range. However, we made the assumption that ages 30-39 make up the largest demographic - due to certain factors intersecting perfectly, such as social media use, research/reading, parenthood, fitness/health awareness, and career stability.
15-19: 7 20-29: 102 30-39: 211 40-49: 88 50+: 31
We're located in Australia, and consider our audience to be fairly diverse. Our Instagram analytics slightly differ from the survey results, and indicate that our audience consists of approximately 30% from the US, 9.6% Australia, 9.5% UK, 5.9% Germany, and 5.3% Canada. Although we attempted to achieve a diverse sample size through numerous means mentioned; we believe that we can never truly get a completely accurate representation.
Through analytics, our survey and general observations - we believe that the largest demographic resides within North America and Europe. We've made the assumption that a majority of respondents are located in the US, due to factors such as - having a certain amount of dominance regarding social media patronage, and economics, having a large online community E.g. Reddit, and the largest Minimalist shoe B/S/T group on Facebook, and being home to major US companies such as Earth Runners, Lems, Softstar and Xero. In addition to this, the US has a large fitness industry - in particular the large amount of movement/health professionals who endorse barefoot movement and footwear. We have also observed a disproportionate amount of barefoot shoe wearers and companies in Eastern Europe - In particular the Czech Republic.
Africa: 0 Asia: 3 Oceania: 59 Europe: 92 North America: 283 South America: 1 Middle East: 1
I discovered barefoot shoes after having a foot injury, and researching "wide shoes" on the internet. Therefore, it was a combination of both injury and research, which lead me to the discovery. Whereas, Jade was introduced by me. I assumed that Injury, and Health/Fitness professionals would've had a larger amount of respondents in the survey, but this was not the case. I am also sceptical for reasons, as to why people researched/read about "barefoot shoes" without a catalyst. Was there a lingering foot issue, did they research them after seeing them on someone, or hearing about them from somewhere? Perhaps, how I worded the question was flawed, and I should make it clearer in the future. E.g. Body/foot issue followed by research.
Injury: 41 Recommended by Friends: 48 Research/Reading: 272 Health/Fitness Professionals: 22 Other: 56 (Social media, profession, bought by accident on a clearance rack, liked the look of the shoe, Facebook advertisement, living barefoot already, after buying shoes for children, saw them in a store, studying at university, talk show "Duse k - Chozeni Naboso")
Both our first shoes were VivoBarefoot, and this was also the case in the survey - we only have 2 physical barefoot stores in Melbourne, which stock Vivo, Xero and Vibram. Vivo has the largest following on social media, and has a large amount of stockists around the globe. As most people prefer to physically try shoes, this would be a huge factor in determining your first barefoot shoe. Xero and Merrell also have a large following, and are readily available throughout the world, with Merrell having the advantage of conventional shoes, and having signature Merrell stores. Lems having a decent share of this market could be attributed to being a popular US based company (with US customers being a huge barefoot shoe customer base), having a decent amount of stockists worldwide, and making a great option for a first barefoot shoe - as they have a bit more meat on the sole. There is no surprise here with Vibram. They have almost become a pop culture icon at this stage, have a huge amount of stockists/stores worldwide, and are quite popular with people into fitness, and runners.
Lems: 23 VivoBarefoot: 97 Xero: 35 Merrell: 27 Vibram: 31 Other: 225
We have been wearing barefoot shoes for approximately 2-3 years. The industry has expanded since about 2016-17, and we assume that people wearing them for over 5 years, would generally be wearing Vibram, Vivobarefoot or Xero. We were quite surprised with the amount of people wearing them for under 1 year, and only view this as a positive thing - meaning that it is becoming more popular, and that the word is being spread with success somehow.
<1: 121 1-2: 109 2-3: 72 3-5: 60 5-10: 56 10+: 21
We have 10+ shoes ourselves. The assumptions as to why X amount of people only have 1 pair, can be attributed to factors such as the average price of barefoot shoes, how long they've been wearing them for, and the types of activities they do. Whereas, having more pairs could indicate the types of activities someone partakes in E.g. A shoe for work, casual settings, formal settings, sports etc. Some respondents may also be more fashion conscious.
1: 26 1-3: 119 3-5: 131 5-10:109 10+: 54
First and foremost, I would like to extend our gratitude to everyone who participated in the survey, in addition to the people mentioned in the intro - helping us by further spreading this message. Overall, we had more respondents than expected, and have gained some useful information. We had a lot of feedback, saying that the survey was fun, which we can agree upon too.
We also gained information on how to improve our social media presence, which we will endeavour to bring to everyone. In addition to this, we also gained valuable information on how to improve the barefoot industry - which we will be compiling into a report, and sending to a number of barefoot shoe companies.
Until the next survey...
Thank you so much,
Alex and Jade