Monday, March 15, 2010

Barefoots: The heel-less wonders

When Galahad Clark (part of the Clark Shoes dynasty) took over a floundering men's shoe company in Holland called Terra Plana there was little interest in eco-friendly footwear. Now things are quite different. Clarke relocated the company to London and began a partnership with a podiatrist to design a foot shaped shoe that would leave the foot unrestricted. In 2005, the Terra Plana's VivoBarefoot line was launched with an ultra-thin soled shoe, made from abrasion-resistant thermoplastic urethane (TPU). The ‘barefoot revolution’ had arrived and now Clarke has added children's footwear to the line and the shoes are selling well across the globe. The new VivoBarefoot's running shoe, the Evo, (short for evolution) is hoped to become the flagship and weigh 480g (17 oz.) a pair. According to the manufacturer a sucked-in arch area grabs the underfoot "like a second skin" for support; and the lightweight TPU-and-mesh upper allows efficient exchange of gas (breathability) to keep busy feet cool.

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