Welcome to our new website which aims to bring more interaction between us at VIVOBAREFOOT and the world we move in. We would like to hear from you more! I sincerely believe that the more people that go barefoot (in VIVOBAREFOOT if you have to) the better the world will be.** We will strive for transparency and want to inspire you to make 2011 as grounded, stimulating and free moving as possible…
I watched my first 3D movie and had my first child in 2010. Avatar spoke to me about how modern technology and increased scientific understanding can help us get back in touch with the natural order (as good honest science often does!). My first child showed me what an amazing and sensitive thing the human foot is. Children ‘feel’ with their feet as much as their hands in the early months and it is apparent that whenever we try to put socks or little booties on her she rips them off and charges off… barefoot.
We’ve made a huge effort to offer a full lifestyle of barefoot products. Despite many customers playing all kind of sports, running marathons and blazing trails in the original VIVOBAREFOOTs… In 2010 we introduced the Evo, our first VIVOBAREFOOT performance shoe, now joined by the Neo. Our performance range will be massively enhanced in 2011 with the eagerly anticipated launch of the Achilles (the worlds first performance barefoot running sandal) and the Ultra (the worlds first fully moulded performance aqua shoe with removeable sock). Watch this space for those launches in April 2011. We are then following that with launches of our first trail running shoe and a new hiking and hybrid range in September 2011.
We launched our first waterproof/breathable VIVOBAREFOOTs in 2010 and as Naeem, one of our barefoot guru friends, remarked after running around the frozen tundra of Northern Sweden,
“the best ever winter movement shoe I’ve ever had the pleasure of using! I’ve been here 15 winters running and this time in the Aqueous went further than ever before discovering new and exciting environments and having the time of my life.”
Also in 2010 came the ‘baked’ rubber styles of Dylan and Dalston… And the new Sheep skin VIVOBAREFOOT.
We launched VIVOBAREFOOT kids shoes in 2010 and had fantastic response from people like Ellie May who, until she started wearing VIVOBAREFOOT, had to take pain killers every lunchtime. Now her muscles have started growing back naturally and she enjoys running around in the playground every lunchtime. We have some fantastic new kids products in 2011 – with new performance styles and waterproof hikers also in line.
We also officially started working with (according to Chris McDougal), “The best barefoot running coach in the world”: Lee Saxby. The training video, “Learn the Skill of Barefoot running” we made with Lee and Olly Steeds (of Discovery Channel) has been watched over 60,000 times in the last few months.
Our main aim as a company is to educate people on the joy (and skill) of barefoot movement. As we like to say,
“go un-fuck yourself” (after years of bad posture, heel striking in conventional padded shoes).
We have a new training program available on-line with video demonstrations (see the barefoot section), and, in the pipeline: a new eBook on barefoot running by Lee Saxby and amazing illustrations coming to coffee table books near you… and a new kids animation on the benefits of barefoot.
We will present a dedicated website to barefoot coaching to encourage as many people to train as ‘coaches’ with Lee Saxby this year. We are launching our new barefoot analysis mobile ‘lab’ soon, and.. our new barefoot experience concept store due to launch in New York by Summer and then around the world…
In some parts of the world this is not the new year at all. The Coptics and the Asians are still seeing out the final parts of the old year. My fiancé is from Ulan Ude, a city of 400,000 people about 100km from the eastern shore of Lake Baikhal (the worlds oldest and deepest lake with over 20% of the worlds fresh water!) near Mongolia.
According to the Rinpoches of Ulan Ude it was considered bad luck to marry in the year of the Rabbit (we are both Rabbits) which starts on Feburary 3rd… so we’re in rush preparations for our marriage at the end of this month (in the year of the Tiger).
The wedding will take place in Somerset where I’m from in the Street Quaker meeting house. We had a “Meeting for Clearness” with Quaker elders to prepare (and get permission to marry there). The Quakers believer in silent worship and that God exists within us all. The Quakers try to live life simply and adventurously and always look for the light in others.
And then we’ll celebrate in the Pilton Tithe Barn, lovingly restored by Michael Eavis (of Glastonbury Festival). The barn was part of Glastonbury Abbey (once the richest abbey in all of Europe) that was destroyed when Henry VIII saw fit to do away with Catholism so that he could divorce Catherin of Arragon and try for a son with Anne Bolyn etc…
The Quakers work for peace all over the world. My uncle is actively involved in peace initiatives in the Middle East where the non-dogmatic approach of the Quakers uniquely opens up dialogues across conflict lines. He told me the other day that around 650AD Mohammed told his folk to go barefoot because it was good for their health! Inshallah.
I’ve just come back from my motherland Austria and saw Anthony Gormleys amazing installation called Horizon Field.
100 life-size, solid cast iron figures of the human body spread over an area of 150 square kilometers in the High Alps of Vorarlberg.
According to the artist, Horizon Field asks: “Where does the human project fit within the evolution of life on this planet? The works form a field in which living bodies and active minds are involved in measuring the space and distance between these static iron bodies, and of course both skiers and hikers will naturally be part of this. This installation recognises the deep connection between social and geological territory; between landscape and memory.”
One of my dreams for 2011 is to launch world barefoot day with Anthony Gormley, who earlier in a poetic piece on Radio 4 spoke about how to change the world in 60 seconds:
“Dispense with your shoes – get in touch with the earth – get your most feeling part of your body in touch with all those different surfaces… The idea of this is as an act of solidarity for those that don’t have shoes… our feet connect with our brains and they are an amazing perceptual instrument through which we engage with weather, with time, with temperature. This is a time of global warming, through our feet we can begin to feel it. Through our feet we can begin to be one people standing through gravity on one earth…”
Rediscovering barefoot movement can be a Eureka moment. Please take the time to do the exercises on the training videos as you transition and feel your way back to move like you used to as a kid…
Think on your feet,
Vivo the Barefoot Revolution!
**We are not against women wearing high heels from time to time parading their best bits. My partner and the creative director of United Nude, Rem D.Koolhaas makes some of the most stunning ladies heels in the world. Just if they spend as much time barefoot between the heels – the better!