This company is now closed.
**I have heard too many reports of people having issues ordering from Da Vinci that I am now recommending caution. I hope that they’ll get things sorted, but at this time I advise against ordering from them**
DaVinci Footwear is a brand of barefoot shoes with an old world feel. Made in the classic way to be re-solable and extremely long lasting, there are few barefoot shoe brands that approach this rustic aesthetic.
But DaVinci is going through a change! When they first launched in 2019 they were made with a much narrower toe box than most barefoot shoe buyers prefer. Hearing the voice of the community, DaVinci has kept all the great features of their original shoes, but increased the toe box width considerably. These new boots will be available for presale starting Saturday January 9th! Read on for everything you need to know about the new DaVinci Barefoot Boot line!
The DaVinci Brand
First things first, check out my Original DaVinci Review for an introduction to the brand and their flagship styles.
Old toe box in unwaxed brown (left), new toe box in waxed brown (right).
There will be 4 main differences between the new DaVinci boots and the old ones. Those are toe box shape, outsole material, sizing, and color options. The new boots will also be made of a higher quality leather. The styles of the boots remain the same.
The biggest difference will be the toe box, which is considerably wider than the original. The shape of the midfoot and heel is the same, the volume of the shoe is the same.
The new outsoles will be entirely of rubber with no split in the center. They are grippy with some traction, but I do not recommend them as a snow shoe for icy conditions.
*There’s been some confusion with their size charts. Since writing this post I have received another pair of boots in a size 6, the same size I wore in their original line, and they are the exact same length. My husband also got a pair of the new line and they are also the exact same length as his original pair. So I would recommend sizing down a half to full size just like before.
See the bottom of the post for the updated size chart which you should use to determine your correct size (the 2021 size charts are also up on their website). See this post for help on understanding size charts and how to measure.
Based on the size chart I would say the new boots run long, but not as long as the old boots. Both my husband and I got a smaller size than we normally would in the old boots (a size 6 for me). But in the new boots I tested out a size 7. They are rather long on me and I am able to wear thick socks and an extra insole. Based on the fit of the size 7 and the size chart below, a 6.5 would be a comfortable size for me and still leave space for medium weight socks. A 6.5 is in my normal range, but it’s not uncommon for me to wear a 7 in boots, or even a 7.5 for thick socks. So compared to other size 7 boots I own, these seem to be longer. Be safe and make sure you use the size chart.
All 3 styles will still be available for men & women, but there will no longer be burgundy. All boots will come in the following leather colors: waxed brown, waxed black, unwaxed brown, unwaxed black. Read my original review for more info on the differences between waxed and unwaxed leather.
The new boots will be made with a higher quality leather that should be softer and less crease-y.
Cost & Ordering
DaVinci is a US brand and offers $10 shipping within the US. They ship internationally, and the cost is calculated based on the location. Returns are possible, but buyer pays return shipping (use Paypal, remember?)
During the first week of the presale the new line will cost the same as the old ($230-$250). But after the first week the prices will go up slightly to reflect actual manufacturing costs. These boots cost more to make than the old ones. Again, refer to my original review for my thoughts on the pricing and quality of these shoes. Note that there are no pictures to go with the listings of the new wide boots. On their website, click the Shop tab and scroll down past the original models to see the new listings.
The shoes should be in stock and shipping out by the end of January, but because of the strain Covid is placing on manufacturing it could be as late as February. Styles will continue to be restocked throughout the year, so if something does sell out it will be replenished at some point.
There won’t be any new styles released during this presale, but we can expect a low top model and vegan options from DaVinci later this year.
What about the old styles?
At this time, DaVinci does not plan to restock their older models. If there appears to be big demand, they will consider it, but right now the plan is to phase them out. They will remain on the website as long as they are in stock.
Comparisons to other major barefoot shoe brands
From Left to Right, Top to Bottom: Mukishoes, Xero Shoes, Groundies, Vivobarefoot, Wildling, Feelgrounds, DaVinci, Lems, Be Lenka, Ahinsa, Shapen Ivy, Softstar Primal
I have tested and reviewed 100’s of barefoot shoes and understand how they stack up. The above photo is a handful of common barefoot shoe brands put in order of toe box width, from narrowest (top left) to widest (bottom right). DaVinci’s updated toe box shape puts them in the category of a “barefoot shoe brand for extra wide feet.” Their old model would have been in last place, but now they are going from narrower than average to wider than average. That means they are wider than brands like Vivobarefoot, Wildling, Mukishoes, Xero shoes, and Groundies.
DaVinci lace up boots fit a medium to high volume foot. The chelsea style is medium to high volume over the arch and ankle, but shallow over the toes. I have low volume feet and am able to make all DaVinci styles work for me by using the tips I talk about here.
The leather, especially the waxed leather, requires breaking in and the shoes soften significantly with wear, but I have found all the DaVinci styles I’ve tried to rub my heel. I have a bone spur, so I use heel cushions in many of my shoes, and if you also have sensitive heels I would plan on it too.
The DaVinci Talmadge next to the Vivobarefoot Fulham, a popular barefoot chelsea boot. The DaVinci boot is wider and less tapered on the pinkie toe side.
*There’s been some confusion with their size charts. I am not sure if these charts are 100% accurate, but since writing this post I have received another pair of boots in a size 6, the same size I wore in their original line, and they are the exact same length. My husband also got a pair of the new line and they are also the exact same length as his original pair. So I would recommend sizing down a half to full size just like before.*
Huge thanks to DaVinci Footwear for making their shoes work for the people! And special thanks to Scott from DaVinci for taking the time answer all these questions from the community. Happy shopping!