Customer Services FAQs | VIVOBAREFOOT US


Below are the questions we are most frequently asked.  If you have a question that isnt answered below please e-mail us at VIVOBAREFOOT Customer Service.



General Questions

If barefoot is the healthiest way to be, why do you make shoes at all?

After a barefoot run in New York, Damian, Ben and Galahad got kicked out of a café for not wearing shoes! It’s cold if you don’t live on the equator and modern cities are full of unnatural obstacles, let alone festering muck that you wouldn’t want squelching between your toes. We are the missing link between barefoot health benefits and the protection afforded by normal shoes. In addition, they look good.

What do you say to people who might call this a fad?

If it is a fad, it is one that has been around for millions of years. In our opinion it is cushioned heels, arch supports and more recently toning shoes that are the real fads. VIVOBAREFOOT is not about gimmicks. It is about allowing your body to move as evolution intended -- barefoot.

What do you think is the future?

There will be increasing demand for minimalist shoes as more and more research is published to support the health benefits of being barefoot and more people have first-hand experiences. In addition, with the recent backlash against toning shoes, consumers are looking for a more common sense approach to being healthy. Good, honest science to support barefoot health is increasing and will continue to grow the category. 

What makes a good barefoot shoe?

There are many products on the market that claim to be barefoot -- in reality they are anything but. It is important to understand what makes a true barefoot shoe -- heel height, lift, weight, and flexibility. The real difference is the thickness of the sole. Any shoe with a thick sole and pitch cannot claim to be a barefoot shoe as it masks sensory perception. 


VIVOBAREFOOT footwear is produced sustainably using recycled, locally sourced materials, with efficient and eco-friendly production techniques in independently monitored ethical factories. We use minimum components where possible and favour stitching and vulcanized production methods over glue. We aim to make our shoes extremely durable so they spend more time on the feet.  Follow the links to read more about our Eco Partners & MaterialsSustainable Product Guarantee and Ethical Policy

How can you make eco-friendly shoes in China?

We are interested in making lightweight anatomically correct shoes from the minimum number of components and China is the best place to do that. All the component makers and advanced material suppliers are based in China and considering that most shoes contain 30 different components we minimize our production miles that way. We work directly with all our factories and they are independently audited to the highest international labour and environmental standards..

What is VIVOBAREFOOT’s connection to the social enterprise Soul of Africa?

VIVOBAREFOOT’s chairman, Lance Clark, set up Soul of Africa and VIVOBAREFOOT have helped its development over the last two years. Soul of Africa has raised over $2m for the Soul of Africa trust to date and provided hundreds of jobs in a destitute area of South Africa. This year we are launching a Soul of Africa using Vivobarefoot technology product and excited about the future of this important project.

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Do I have to create an account?

You are not required to create an account if you wish to place an order with us. However, account holders are able to benefit from the following great features:

  • Faster shopping – quickly proceed through the check out as we will have all the details relating to the delivery of your order (with the exception of your card details which you will have to enter each time you order).
  • Track your order status – log-in to your account to check if your goods have been despatched.
  • View your order history – check what item/size you previously purchased via your account.
  • Sign-up to email updates – be the first to hear about special offers and new products with our email updates.
How do I create an account?

You can only create an account when placing an order.  As you checkout you will be asked to login or proceed as a guest; if you are a new user proceed as a guest.  As you reach the end of the check-out process you'll be asked if you wish to create an account - tick the box to accept.

I can't remember my password to login to my account, what should I do?

If you cannot remember the password you chose for your account click the 'Forgotten Password?' link on the My Account page.  You'll be asked to enter your email address, we'll then email you instructing how to proceed.

How do I change my account details?

You can update the personal details on your account, such as address, email address and contact telephone number by logging-in to your account and heading to the Account Dashboard.

Can I have a different delivery address to my billing address?

Yes, there is an option in the checkout to add a different delivery address.

What payment options do you accept?

If you order via our online you shop you can to pay by debit or credit card. We take the following types of card: 

  • MasterCard
  • Visa
  • Visa Debit
  • American Express

You can also use the card types listed above when ordering by phone.

Your card will be charged in the currency you have selected (you can change the currency of the site using the currency selector on the top right hand side of the screen).

We also except PayPal via our online shop. Please select this feature at the checkout, and follow the instructions to sign into your PayPal account. To find our more on buyer protection when purchasing through PayPal, please click here.

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Discount / Promotional Codes & Competitions

  • We are not accountable for the accuracy of promotional codes on affiliate websites such as Hot UK Deal, Quidco etc.  We do not list a record of current or expired discount codes on our website.  
  • Discount codes are set up for specific regions and will only apply in those sub domains (UK/US/EU/DK/ES/FR/IT/NL/PT/SE). Discount codes for Vivobarefoot products distributed by other websites cannot be used on our website; our codes cant be used to buy Vivobarefoot products from other websites.
  • Promotional codes are valid for online orders and cannot be used in retail outlets.  
  • Only 1 promotional code/offer can be used per transaction
  • Where a discount allows a free item (for example buy one get one free or buy two get one free) the cheapest product will be free.
  • Discount codes can only be used by each user.  In the event of product returns, refunds will be given for the value used in the original purchase once the discount is applied.
  • Unless stated, promotional codes will not be valid on items of $70 and under
Do I need a account to use a discount code/coupon?

No, you will need to register for a account in order to claim a promotional promotion. We do encourage you do sign up to an account (or logging in to your existing account) when placing an order - this way you'll find it easier to get codes in future!

How do I redeem a promotional / discount code?

In order to redeem your promotional code enter it at the 'my cart’ stage of the checkout. There is a box on the left-hand side of the page where you should enter your code.  

Can the code being used be redeemed against more than one product on the same order?

Discount codes vary and can be associated to individual products or entire orders.  When a code applies specifically to certain products, it will be made clear. 

What are the expiry dates on the coupons?

Each discount has its own expiry date - this will be communicated with the codes Terms and Conditions. Once a code is expired, the promotion is over - the code cannot be recreated if you missed the promotional period.  We reserve the right to withdraw discount codes before their expiration date without any prior notice. 

What can I do if I've forgotten to apply a coupon to an order I have already placed?

If you checkout without applying the promotional code, we cannot amend your order at a later date.

What happens if I need a refund for an order purchased after using a promotional code?

  1. If you request a refund for your order, you will be refunded the purchase value of the order after the discount was applied.
  2. If you use our ‘GO BAREFOOT [24]7’ promotion, and return an item(s) the offer becomes void. If you return the cheapest priced item in the order, this item will not be refunded, or will be refunded at the 50% price paid.

If you return other items in the order, these will be refunded minus the price of the FREE or discounted item.

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Shoe Construction and Technology

How is VIVOBAREFOOT different from other shoes?

In 2004,we became pioneers of the barefoot movement by launching VIVOBAREFOOT, the first minimalist shoe with a patented, ultra thin puncture resistant sole that offers maximum sensory feedback and maximum protection.

70% of your brain’s information for movement comes from the nerves on the soles of your feet; this is called Proprioception. The more you can feel the ground, the greater your body’s understanding of its surroundings and natural movement. To read more about Propriception and the benefits & science of barefoot running, click here

The VIVOBAREFOOT difference is in the sole. We make a series of constructions specifically designed for varying elements, terrains, and activities. From high performance off-road and trail running shoes, to work and kids shoes, VIVOBAREFOOT offers a total lifestyle solution for the whole family with options for transitioning from walking to sports. 

If all your shoes are barefoot, why do you have different soles?

We make a range of soles because we want to offer maximum proprioception with appropriate grip for a variety of terrains.  When choosing which sole to use, there is always a compromise between traction (grip) and proprioception (sensory feedback). The Off-Road sole is as unsuitable for road use as the On Road sole is for mountaineering.  All sole types are designed to give you the maximum proprioception level we can give you whilst still allowing you to have the grip and terrain suitability you need.

What’s the difference between the soles on your shoes? 

We make 4 different sole types, all which share 1 common feature - our patented puncture resistant layer. 

V-Sole On-Road - Our on-road sole, as featured on One and Stealth, is made from high abrasion soft TPU and is most suited for hard and flat surfaces.  The on-road sole is best utilised for on-road running and in the gym.  The on-road sole has a slight hexagonal tread pattern tuned for the road and in-gym use.  This flexible, soft and wet/dry slip resistant sole lets your foot do its thing with pure sensory clarity.  The V-Sole is just 3mm think, inclusive of our patented puncture resistant layer. 

V-Trek Off-Road - Our Off-Road sole, as featured on the Breatho Trail and Off Road Hi, is made from rubber.  Its aggressive off-road grip is designed specifically for loose ground and wet or muddy conditions - it is not suitable for day-to-day urban use.  The sole features 4.5mm rubber multi-directional 'V-teeth' lugs to increase grip over the steepest, muddiest, wettest off-road terrains, on top of a 2.5mm puncture resistant sole giving a total sole thickness of 7mm.  Whilst this in theory takes away from maximum proprioception, it is a necessary trade-off in order to give appropriate traction.

V-Life Lifestyle sole - Our lifestyle sole, as featured on the Gobi and Ra, is made from high abrasion soft TPU and is most suited for hard and flat surfaces. The lifestyle sole is best for general everyday urban lifestyle use.  Our original sole, the V-Life is where it all began, offering maximum proprioception and puncture resistance with a 3mm sole with an optimized tread for lifestyle shoes. 

V-Multi 1 Lifestyle Hex sole - Our in-city / country Hex sole, as featured on the Scott, is a great all-rounder.  Its inverted honeycomb sole is suitable for everyday urban lifestyle and can hold its own on loose or snow covered ground.  The Hex sole offers more grip than our on-road or lifestyle sole but, as apposed to the off-road sole, is designed to take the general wear and tear a sole receives in urban environments.   The V-Multi 1 offers maximum grip in urban environment and puncture resistance in just a 4mm sole.

V-Handcut – Our Luxury lifestyle sole unit for the Handcut collection. As with the rest of the product it’s handcrafted in Portugal using the finest local materials. The Handcut sole features high de¬nsity TPU with leather to make a resolable unit that gets softer and more proprioceptive with age. 

Are your shoe puncture proof or puncture resistant?

Our shoes are puncture resistant and not puncture proof.  As a company we are challenging the way people think about shoes. Our mission is to create shoes that let your feet behave as if it was almost barefoot whilst protecting from thermal and physical harm. Because the shoe must be flexible and with thin soles there is a compromise to be had. We have a patented layer in our shoes which offers a certain amount of puncture resistance which still letting your foot function fully.  Our patented puncture resistant layer complies to EN Standard EN388 - the test requires that a 5mm nail with 1mm head pushed into the sole at increasing force (measured in Newtons) until it breaks the surface - all our shoes withstand at least a force of 500N.  

In comparison, 'Safety shoes' are required to be at least 1200N using the same test.  Based on this test, we refer to our shoes as puncture resistant rather than puncture proof.  Puncture proof materials that meet Safety Shoe Standards (1200N during EN388 testing) are thick, in-flexible and heavy. Not suitable for barefoot shoes.  We’ve developed PRO5 to be flexible, thin and lightweight and still offer everyday protection.

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Product Care

How do I clean/care for products?

We recommend using standard cleaning products such as Nubuck cleaners/protectors.  Construction methods and materials vary across styles, however we dont recommend you clean any of our shoes in a washing machine.  For on/off road shoes use soapy cold water. 

Can I get additional shoe laces/Insoles?

As you may have noticed, VIVOBAREFOOT produce a diverse range of shoes. Unfortunately, this does mean that we DO NOT stock additional laces for the products. If you receive your shoes with a faulty lace, we will of course replace the pair, but we are unable just to send spare/replacement laces. Although our laces may look pretty- any laces will work!

Have a look under each product specification to see whether your chosen style comes with an insole or not. If you would like to purchase an additional pair of insolves, these can be bought on our website under 'Accessories.' These do tend to be fast sellers, and if they are out of stock, you can use a standard insole purchased from a trusted shoe retailer. Please note, our Winter shoes do come with Thermal Insoles these can also be purchased separately from the website, but are unique to VIVOBAREFOOT.

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