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**
Da Vinci has updated the width of their shoes! Read this new review for all the deets.
Table of Contents
- Brand Review
- Barefoot Qualities
- Other Details
- Pickford Review – Women’s
- Primavera Review – Women’s
- Lapworth Review – Men’s
1. Brand Review
DaVinci Footwear has landed with a big splash in the barefoot community. The brand is new, fresh, and coming at the barefoot movement from a different angle, which seems to be resonating strongly with their newly-minted customer base.
While I am dedicated to healthy minimal footwear, I also have a great love for the craft of shoemaking in general. We have a plethora of wonderful barefoot brands available to us, but few of them come from a traditional shoemaking perspective. Which makes sense, for these brands the primary focus (and marketing strategy) is the barefoot qualities of the shoes. But traditional shoe-making produces something that will LAST, feels like a second skin, and moves with your foot. It’s something completely separate from the checklist of what constitutes a barefoot shoe.
So when I pulled my DaVinci boots out of the box my first thought was “THIS is a shoe.” This is a shoe by any standard, and it will last a lifetime. To have a product like this on the market that also ticks the barefoot shoe boxes is certainly new.
DaVinci also manages to capture a modern flair. They are reminiscent of styles we’ve known and loved for years, but with unique details, separating them from iconic brands. It’s clear that the people behind DaVinci boots are true artists.
DaVinci boots are made entirely of responsibly-sourced, high quality leather, with minimal waste (read more about their shoe-making process here).
The insole is leather with a layer of recycled foam underneath it. The rest of the outsole is more leather with a rubber heel and toe piece to give traction. Then the whole thing is sewn together with a top stitching method.
Because the shoe upper and sole are made of good leather these shoes will conform to your feet over time and feel great barefoot. They also can be resoled if need be, adding to their longevity.
1.2 Barefoot Qualities
All DaVinci boots are completely flat, with no arch support. Even though the sole is thick (14mm), it is still quite flexible and should only become more so as the leather breaks in. The ground feel is surprisingly good, and walking in them feels natural. I love a good quality sole that feels comfortable and easy on your feet and isn’t just a thin layer of plastic between you and the ground.
Compared to other barefoot boots on the market, DaVinci boots are heavier, but not to the point that it’s bothersome. For me, it’s a fair trade off considering that the heaviness is due to the leather sole which makes for a long-lasting, comfortable and warm shoe. One of my pet peeves about barefoot shoes is that they are freezing in winter. Compared to a traditional hiking or snow shoe, DaVinci boots are considerably lighter, but will still keep your feet warmer than they’d be in a 4mm sole.
The main concern I hear about these boots is that they are narrow in the toe box. The women’s boots are made narrower than the men’s, and I do agree that the they are narrow for a barefoot brand. The width is comparable to Zuzii and Raum, which don’t give space for a wide splay but stretch and conform over time.
In the months that I’ve been wearing mine they have stretched and loosened, but I still find them narrow for my fan-shaped toes. DaVinci has promised wider versions in the future and I think that will make a huge difference for the wide-footed women who want these boost.
For men, the width is more foot-friendly and I love them as a dress shoe option. My husband finds them to match his feet perfectly and not squish at all.,
These shoes run pretty long and in some cases you might want to size down. I got a size 6 (I normally get a 6.5 in boots) and I have almost an inch of length in front. If the shoes were wider I would size down even more, but as is the 6 is the smallest I can go.
As you can see in the above photos, the length of the size 6 is comparable to a size 7 or 7.5. Note that because DaVinci uses a top stitching method, they are narrower than the Zaqq and Vivobarefoot boots pictured above. But Zaqq and Vivobarefoot use a rubber wall around the sole, so though they start out wider, they don’t stretch and conform over time.
My husband ordered a size 12.5, which is a half size smaller than he usually wears in Vivobarefoot and Vans. The 12.5 in the DaVinci Lapworth is perfect for him. His toes are not squished and his heel is secure and doesn’t slide. He wears cotton socks with his.
DaVinci has a size chart on their website detailing the internal length and width of their shoes, and it’s consistent across all their styles.
1.4 Other Details
One concern I have about DaVinci shoes is that they can be slippery when wet. My husband wears his almost every day for work and when it’s been rainy he complains he has to be extra careful walking. I’m hoping this is something they address in the future.
Oftentimes I take a barefoot shoe and try to incorporate it into the look I’m going for. With DaVinci boots, it’s the other way around. They are the look, the style, and the rest of my outfit works around them. While I hope to see some adjustments made to the design of the shoe, the fact that we are getting high-end, fashion-forward shoes for our little barefoot community is an exciting development. Minimalist shoes are going mainstream, and DaVinci wants to help get us there.
2. Pickford – Natural (women’s)
The women’s Pickford boot is a 5-inch lace up boot. I chose the natural brown, which is unwaxed and incredibly soft. They’ve broken in and feel great to walk in, except that my pinkie toe is squished. Thankfully the leather is forgiving, but it’s not ideal for wide feet.
The height of the 5-inch boot is incredibly versatile, it works great with leggings, jeans, visible socks, and skirts/dresses. The design is narrow through the midfoot and heel, so you get a seamless look that can be dressed up or down. It’s a classy shoe, but understated, so it easily can move from look to look without stealing the show.
Because this leather is untreated I used a spray protectant (read more about how I protect my shoes here) to keep it from being damaged by rain/snow.
Pickford Look Book
3. Primavera – Black (women’s)
The Primavera is DaVinci’s 7-inch boot. This is an edgier, more defined boot and I have come to love the rocker look of them.
The waxed leather is gorgeous, but does take more breaking in than the natural leather options. I treated the waxed leather with a waterproofing agent (find the products I use in this post) to make it last.
I love mine with black pants, leggings, tights and visible socks. Again, because DaVinci boots are cut close to your ankle, they are seamless and can be dressed up or down easily.
My Primavera’s remind me of Doc Marten’s, and I have loved mixing up my style with them. It’s not often you can stay true to your barefoot ideals and go for such a unique style.
The 7-inch Primavera (women’s) and Mohawk (men’s) are not lined in the body of the shoe, only in the toe box. They also have a fully attached tongue. The other DaVinci styles are fully lined throughout the shoe and don’t have an attached tongue. I prefer the feeling of the lined shoes.
Primavera Look Book
4. Lapworth – Black (men’s)
The men’s Lapworth is the star of Davinci’s lineup. Aesthetically, it’s flawless. Simple, with a few perfectly placed details: it’s the perfect balance of style and functionality. My husband raves about how comfortable they are and frequently gets compliments on them. I myself am quite envious they don’t come in women’s sizes, but am still so pleased to see this much-needed addition to men’s dress shoe options.
The Lapworth is a 5-inch boot (the men’s version of the Pickford) and works well with professional attire, but isn’t too fancy for jeans and a tee.
The men’s line is wider than the women’s, and the shape of the Lapworth is more foot friendly than my women’s boots, but they still are close through the midfoot and heel to keep the look sleek.
They look like leather foot gloves on my husband, and whenever he wears them I am constantly surprised at how great they look. I’d love to see the sizing extended on the men’s line to include smaller sizes for all the wide-footed ladies out there!
Lapworth Look Book
*DaVinci sent me these shoes to review, but my opinions are my own.*