Barefoot Cobblers (New book coming on January 4th to Vivobarefoot.com)
My family have been cobblers for six generations, but thanks to meeting Catherine Willems and joining the Future Footwear Foundation I have been introduced to cobblers from more than 6,000 generations!
We have been on a wonderful journey of discovery, education, and inspiration from ancient indigenous wisdom to pioneering digital innovation.
Working with the Future Footwear Foundation over the last five years has been a unique blend of sensitive academic inquiry and fascinating revelation, but always grounded in actually doing it: from creating new variants of traditional reindeer moccasins in the Sami cultural crafts center in northern Finland, to adjusting last patterns with cobblers who could use their feet like hands on the sunset rooftops of the tiger reserves in Ranthambore, to producing hightech 3D scans and digital transformations in the most advanced bio-mechanic and additive manufacturing laboratories of Northern Europe.
When I first visited the bushmen of the Kalahari it was to study their natural movement and biomechanics-and it was stunning to see young and old glide through nature with such grace and connection. It was no coincidence then that we also found there the original sandal, made from the local antelope skin, which allowed people to run all day over hot-baked sand without puncturing the soles of their feet on razor-sharp camel thorns... My own personal cobbling journey has been enriched and enlightened beyond my imagination through interactions with the Future Footwear Foundation.
The more we learn, the more results come back from the biomechanic studies, and the more prototypes we test, the more we believe in our shared mission-to bring healthy feet back to the world through sensitive sustainable future footwear made foot-by-foot from local replenishable and biodegradable materials, just like our ancestors made them many years ago and, in part thanks to the Future Footwear Foundation, a few people still do today.
And the best bit is that it still feels like we have only taken a few small steps on what will be a long and exciting journey, and I can't wait to see what our collaboration might bring next… So in these long dark nights spare a thought to cobblers all around the world.
BOOK IN FOR A SWIMRUN NEXT YEAR
We’re proud to announce our continuing support of Ötillö and encourage you all to sign up for a Swimrun in 2019. The races will now have a new short course accessible to beginners and kids along with the Sprint and Ultra distances – hope to see you at one of the races in 2019!
VVAGON & SHOESPIRACY!
Also look forward to the launch of the VVagon (a mobile Vivobarefoot experience travelling the globe in 2019) and a new documentary series with a working title of Shoespiracy in early 2019.