Vivobarefoot Addis Review -Sustainable, Wide, Classy

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Vivobarefoot Addis Sneaker in brown

Vivobarefoot is a pioneer of barefoot shoes, one of the very first shoe brands that believed “less is more” in shoes. Since then, it has paved the way for what is now a thriving market of healthy footwear.

My family and I have tried many different Vivos over the years and we continue to be impressed by their quality and good style. But while Vivobarefoot shoes work for many people, most follow a particular shape with a prominent big toe (or an Egyptian shaped foot). For some people with long 2nd and 3rd toes this presents problems. So when I saw photos of the Vivobarefoot Addis I knew I needed to test them.

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Table of Contents

  1. The Addis
  2. Materials
  3. Soul of Africa
  4. Sizing
  5. Barefoot Features
  6. Price
  7. Court vs. Addis
  8. Conclusion

1. The Addis

The Addis is a leather sneaker, casual enough for every day wear and dressy enough for business casual outfits. It comes in black and brown, and is available in men’s, women’s, and kids sizes. But the thing that drew me to them was the shape of the toe box. The Addis is made on a wider mold and has a more rounded toe box than Vivo’s other styles.

My husband has tried a few different Vivo styles and often has a problem with his 3rd toe running into the sloped edge (he has Roman feet). In some shoes, the Trackers for example, he got around this problem by sizing up. But that can leave you with a shoe that’s just too big, and he wears insoles and socks in his Trackers to keep them fitting well. The Addis, by contrast, fits his foot perfectly with no toe rubbage and no need to size up.

Vivobarefoot Tracker size 14 next to Vivobarefoot Addis size 13

2. Materials

Besides a great fit, the Addis is classy and smooth looking. Made of a high quality leather inside and out, they are soft and breathable. The wild hide leather from Pittard’s that Vivo uses always looks beautiful even after lots of use, thanks to it’s natural scarring.

The natural rubber outsole is flexible and thin, so you get a great barefoot feel. The rubber walled sides and reinforced heel will help to prevent scuffs, which keeps them looking clean and helps them last a long time. The leather insole is stitched in (not removable) and the collar is padded for a secure fit on the heel.

These shoes are very well made, in my opinion some of the best I’ve seen from Vivobarefoot yet. Sometimes simplicity is ultimate sophistication.

3. Made in Ethiopia

The Addis is part of the Made in Ethiopia range, all of which are wider and more rounded in the toe box than other Vivobarefoot shoes. This is huge news if you’ve tried Vivo in the past and they didn’t work for you. Currently, there are two styles in the Vivobarefoot Made in Ethiopia range, the Ababa and the Addis (both names of the city where they are made). But I certainly hope that more will be added in the future.

Even more fascinating than their shape is the story behind them. The Made in Ethiopia line is a collaboration project where shoes are handmade by community members using local supplies. The leather is also locally sourced and naturally tanned. The venture supports the local economy and a portion of each sale goes to the Soul of Africa trust, which gives back to the community even more. Shopping sustainable and ethical brands is an increasingly important choice to make, and I am glad to see Vivo rising to the occasion.

Made in Ethiopia shoes stand out from other Vivobarefoot shoes with this unique foot imprinted outsole, homage to the main purpose of barefoot shoes (letting our feet be free).

4. Sizing

My husband wears a size 13 usually, and that is what he got in the Addis. They fit him well with plenty of room for his toes and enough space to wear socks. In his Vivobarefoot Trackers he wears a size 14 but always uses thick socks and an insole to keep them secure to his foot. We used the sizing guide on the product page to double check his size, and it was spot on.

5. Barefoot Features

All Vivobarefoot shoes are completely flat, thin, and flexible. These shoes meet all my requirements for healthy footwear. See them in action in the video below!

6. Price

The Addis sneaker is $115, which is cheaper than most Vivobarefoot shoes. The Court sneaker, for example is $150. Vivobarefoot isn’t known for having cheap shoes, but the Addis is actually one of the more affordable barefoot options out there, especially considering that they can be dressed up (men’s dress shoes tend to be expensive). You can also get an extra 10% off with my code VBANYA20, and they have free shipping and returns.

7. Court vs. Addis

Another new sneaker style from Vivobarefoot is the Geo Court. I have a couple pairs (reviewed here) that I wear frequently and I am a huge fan of them. For me the style of the Court wins out over the Addis, but when it comes to craftsmanship and foot shape the Addis is the clear winner. Besides having a wider toe box, the Addis is made of thinner, more flexible, and more breathable materials. The Court is more padded, close around the ankles, and makes my feet sweat . In addition, they had a break in period before they were comfortable.

The Addis also look dressier to me. I don’t think you could get away with the Court underneath a pair of slacks. If you’ve tried a style like the Court sneakers and found them to be too narrow or stiff, the Addis is a great alternative.

In the end, the hubs and I are both happy. He has the classy Addis that fits his foot, and I have the chic Court that fits mine.

8. Conclusion

Feet come in all shapes and sizes. While I personally have no fit issues with Vivobarefoot shoes, I am thrilled that they are introducing such a great shoe with a more inclusive shape. I can’t wait to see what comes off the Soul of Africa production line next!

What do you think of this new toe box shape from the Addis? Is it a style you would wear?

Vivobarefoot Addis sneaker review and Geo Court close up shot

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Comments

28 thoughts on “Vivobarefoot Addis Review -Sustainable, Wide, Classy”

  1. Hi. First, thank you for all the helpful and detailed reviews. Curious to know. How are the Addis holding up? I’ve heard of several quality issues. Specifically, stitchings for the soles coming off. I recently placed an order for the Addis on the Vivobarefoot website… right before I saw those negative reviews (prices have jumped up btw, but I guess that’s sign of the times). Now I’m trying to cancel the order. But the Vivobarefoot customer service seems less than optimal for US customers and it’s via a some company called GlobalE, and not sure if I can cancel it. Might keep it if the quality is good… but not sure. I almost only wear sandals, but I bought these for an upcoming international trip… don’t want my pricy shoes coming undone in the middle of it! πŸ˜…

    1. Hi Beni! Justin’s Addis sneakers are holding up well after a good year of almost daily wear to work (he helps me review shoes, so he’s been testing other shoes the rest of the time). They do have a crease right where the big toe bends and you can see it is putting pressure where the rubber sole is stitched to the shoe. The same thing has happened in Justin’s Trackers, which have been his winter boots for years now. No flaw yet, nothing is coming undone, but we’ve noticed it and thought eventually it might spring a hole there.

  2. Man I saw this shoe and thought it would be perfect. But then come to find out they don’t make it above a us 13 which truly is unfortante as my friend who has the wide big feet is a size 14.5-15 and would not fit in a size 13 in his dreams.

  3. Hi, I’m new to barefoot shoes. I like the idea of zero drop because I my second toe is a claw toe. But we’re moving from the Midwest (where people tend to drive) to NYC (where people tend to walk a LOT). So I’m worried about having enough cushion for pounding NYC sidewalks. How would the Addis do in NYC?

    1. It really is an individual thing, but one trick I did when I was new to barefoot shoes is to get a NorthSole insole and place it inside my Vivobarefoot shoes. It gave me a little extra cushion without needing multiple shoes. Vivobarefoot shoes don’t have any cushion, so they might feel quite hard.

  4. Hello. I recently bought a pair of Addis. They seem to fit? I typically have wide feet and I usually wear soft-star primals. But since they implemented a design change on the heels of their run-amocs, the sizes they make do not fit anymore. Either too long or too narrow with no half sizes.

    My foot seems to fit relatively comfortably in the addis, but the edge of my left toe feels barely cramped. its odd, because when feeling my toe through the shoe, it does not appear to even be touching the side of the shoe at my toe. The edge of my mid or fore foot pushes out the fabric a little, but that always happens, even more so on my soft stars. My right foot seems to have no issues whatsoever, and appears to have the same fit as the left. I wonder if there is some more nuanced issue like the way I hold weight in my left foot? I am not sure.

    Do you think the Addis leather will break in? I feel like it would only need to conform slightly to my foot but I dont want to risk going past the return period and realize they do not fit.

    1. It very well could be how you hold your foot/a unique gait pattern. Or maybe your feet are different sizes (super common!). From that description I think you should have no problem breaking the Addis in. They are essentially just leather and rubber and they soften and mold with use.

  5. I am so sad about these shoes. I love them for their length and width and beauty, but they have enough toe spring to make my toes hurt after a day’s wear. πŸ˜“ My husband uses them instead now, so it’s not a total waste, but very disappointing.

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Hi. I'm Anya.

Hi. I'm Anya.

I first discovered barefoot shoes after a long history of foot issues. By changing my footwear and strengthening my body I was able to completely transform my life. Anya’s Reviews is my way of sharing with the world that healthy feet are happy feet!

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