Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

Vivobarefoot RA II – Review

3 min read

Within these pages articles are normally dedicated to running. We advocate that barefoot running is the optimal way to strengthen your feet and ankles and become less likely to be injured running. If you spend the rest of your life in poor footwear your feet will suffer and running barefoot will not be enough to compensate. Thankfully brands like Vivobarefoot have made a shoe for almost every situation so you can ‘live barefoot’ too.

The Vivobarefoot RA II is one of these shoes. These are a leather upper shoe on a traditional Vivobarefoot last. They are a great all round shoe that can be worn through most casual or even formal settings.

By live barefoot we mean spend zero time in a shoe that is not letting you move naturally. The major four attributes a barefoot shoe should have are;

  • Zero heel height
  • Flexibility
  • Minimal cushioning
  • Wide toe box

The RA II offers all these attributes and gives a real barefoot feel for everyday life. The RA II is a zero drop shoe featuring a very minimal sole and insole and virtually no cushioning. The RA II is completely flexible and can be easily rolled up from heel to toe. This perfectly mimics the foot in a natural state and makes for high comfort levels when worn for long periods of time.

The RA II has very wide toe box even in the barefoot shoe world. The toes have room to splay and move naturally in the shoe. Throughout the walking gait the foot is able to move naturally from heel to toe.

At the beginning of wearing a barefoot shoe for everyday life there will be an adjustment period. Even if you are accustomed to barefoot running the walking gait is different. You will experience different sensations from walking with cushioned shoes, most commonly in the heel as you will land heel first when walking. This will take a short time to get used to but shouldn’t cause too much discomfort. Think of the overall benefits of your long term foot health.

As mentioned previously the RA II has a very wide toe box. The width would easily accommodate toe spacer on the feet. These can be used in shoe if you are looking to transform your feet to how we evolved naturally. This is certainly a recommendation if you have spent your life in shoes that are compromising your feet’s natural shape.

From a heel drop and cushion perspective the RA II is zero drop with only very minimal cushioning. This is ideal for an everyday barefoot shoe. Whilst comfort is not compromised your foot is able to move in its full range of natural motion. For any surface the RA II offers comfortable ground feel and is perfect for wearing for long periods on your feet. I’ve been wearing these to my 9-5 job and have been very happy with their comfort throughout the day. I spend a good portion of my day on my feet and have not felt any discomfort or sore, tired feet and legs towards the end of the day.

The flexibility of the RA II is typical of shoes from Vivobarefoot and allows the foot to perfectly move as in a natural state. There is no natural range of motion that can’t be achieved with a shoe this flexible. This is heightened by the fact the RA II has beautifully rounded features at the heel and toe area of the shoe. This allows the foot to move through the walking gait naturally.

If there is a negative to the RA II it is only minor. In a warm climate like Australia in summer the RA II can be quite hot on the feet for everyday use. This is my only small concern and certainly the benefits of the RA II outweigh this concern.

The Vivobarefoot RA II are an excellent choice of barefoot footwear for your everyday needs. Whether that be a shoe to wear to the office, a casual shoe to wear out socialising. They can also be worn in a formal setting and still give you a complete barefoot experience


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