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The beautiful, barefoot game

June 20, 2014 by Jamie Page

Barefoot Football

Broad versatility of soccer skills is the Nirvana of every dedicated trainee.

– Pelé

Every four years large swathes of tribes descend upon a particular chosen country. Clothed in traditional dress and bound by their common values; a selection comes to play for, and many more watch and support, their respective countries. It’s less frequent for this event to occur in one of the homes of football, its spiritual home: Brazil.

Brazilians are renowned for their free-flowing, fast-paced, creative and above all, skillful style.

Can training and playing barefoot, gaining the adequate sensory feedback from the environment to your brain, be responsible for the heightened levels of skill and near-perfect technique the Brazilians are famed for?

Brian Taylor, a British, former elite Athlete and now coach and trainer to many professional Premiership footballers, believes that training in VIVOBAREFOOT shoes, much like barefoot, is hugely beneficial for professional athletes. Once conditioned, recognising that it takes time to reach the level of strength and skill required to train in Vivos, “the benefits of having strong flexible feet that quickly collapse and recoil can really give you an advantage over your opponent”.

He also comments on his son’s progress at the Arsenal Academy: “making full contact with the ground and building up strong neurological pathways is hugely beneficial to Kido’s game and future career”.

Brian has brought Kido up with the barefoot, Brazilian influenced style and believes this has helped him develop his skills.

Trail Freak

Kido Taylor-Heart often trains using shoes that feature our off-road sole, like the Trail Freak.

There are, of course, many colluding factors responsible for the high standard of the World’s most decorated team and the widespread talent that underpins their nation’s favoured game. One common reason is often attributed to the widespread adoption of playing football without shoes. The climate and terrain often makes it possible for the millions of kids and adults to play in bare feet: giving the opportunity to gain all the sensory feedback they need to perfect their skillfully renowned and creative style.

Here at VIVOBAREFOOT we believe skillful movement is the key to successful and joyful activities. Whether you are on the World stage representing your country or enjoying the beautiful game at your local park; any sport, or physical activity, performed with good technique is the key for a long-life of injury-free, joyous movement.

It’s worth commenting at this stage that we don’t make football boots or ‘barefoot’ football boots either. We are researching the current state of play and doing some work in this area as we don’t believe the current, conventional design is refined for optimum grip, sensory feedback and adequate protection – instead current football boot design seems to favour the former and latter.

With football boots it’s all about finding a balance between support versus flexibility” Brian Taylor comments,“ at the moment the conventional football boot design favours support, that needs to change.”

Skillful training and fully utilising the feet can still be achieved in practice. Our barefoot shoes allow the foot to behave almost as if it was barefoot. We make our shoes flat and wide so your feet have enough room to splay and recoil. Our trainers are fully flexible to let the foot to do whatever it needs and allow the big toe to engage with the ground rapidly. We also ensure you get all the proprioception your brain needs to perform with skill.


We recommend that people making the transition to VIVOBAREFOOT spend a lot of time simply walking before they run or play sports. A lifetime of wearing inadequate footwear can often confuse the brain, leading to poor technique, and leave the movement hardware compromised. That’s why a gradual transition, wearing a pair of our lifestyle shoes first, is a good start.

When you’re strong enough and the muscles, tendons, ligaments are building in strength and your skill levels improve then training and playing sports with VIVOBAREFOOT shoes or barefoot if your environment allows can be hugely beneficial. Healthy, strong feet, coupled with refined skillful technique can help support body weight better as well as improve balance and agility – skills that a essential in order to excel at the beautiful game.


 Photo credit

1st and 3rd Lucho De Leon

  Barefoot Blog,  Barefoot Running,  Our Products,  Training Clinic

  Brian Taylor,  Kido Taylor-Heart,  Barefoot football,  barefoot shoes,  skilful movement

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