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 VBANYA, 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

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

  1. Thank you for perfect review. I have very low instep, very narrow ankles but Roman type feet. Pls which would you recommend for subtile feet as mine? Hovewer I liked both I heard Addis might get wet trough the stitching… Wanna order some pair but not sure which one of these two… thank you for your help. Anyway, black from Geo and brown from Addis look great! Would you consider getting Addis for yourself too?

    1. Hello! I think I got your comment also on Facebook and replied there. The Court and the Addis are very different styles, but the Court will fit very narrow ankles and low instep well. If other Vivobarefoot shoes fit your feet, then you shouldn’t have an issue with your toe running into the edge of the Court.

  2. Hi! First I would like to thank you for much time you put into these reviews.

    I’m currently looking for a barefoot shoe that I can use at the office and possibly outside of work. We are allowed to dress business casual, even jeans. So, this seems like a solid pick. However, I’m concerned with the flexibility and durability.

    In your video it appears to be slightly harder to roll up the shoe, specifically the toe area, probably due to the leather. Is this an issue? Is there a ‘break-in’ period? Ideally i would like the true barefoot shoe feel when walking. How does your husband feel when he walks with them? I’m a fan of how flexible the ababas are. The vivo ababas look like they would give you the true feel.

    How is the durability? How frequent and for how long have they been worn, and how much are they falling apart? I see a good bit of durability comments out there with vivo’s business looking shoes. I’d hate for it to fall apart so quickly at this price.

    1. Hi Josh, I picked up his Addis to see how they’re rolling up now and it was definitely due to the leather being new. Now they roll into a tight ball and really soft and flexible. The ground feel is also good. I believe they are made on the same outsole with leather lining as the Ababas actually. As far as durability, he has had them since the end of May so it’s only been about 6 weeks. They’ve been caught in a few rainstorms, otherwise it’s just been to work and back. So far so good!

  3. Thanks! These are the two pairs I’ve been debating between. 🙂 My main question now is sizing. I’m consistently a 39 in Vivos (usually US 8-1/2) but they are now in whole sizes. The new charts match an 8 but wondering if they’ll run smaller compared to the older models. Is anyone able to compare? Thanks!!

    1. Sometimes it runs out of uses and they need to reset it. I just popped an e-mail over to them and they usually have it back up and running with in a day!! So you should be good to use it soon.

      1. Similar, but the Addis is more square shaped with room for the outer toes. Be Lenka Champ has a bean shape with lots of space for the big toe but not as much for the 4th and 5th toes. So depending on how your particular foot is shaped, you might prefer one over the other.

  4. Hi,
    How have you found the leather creases over time, if the shoe can be rolled into a ball? I’m dreadful for toe (ball of foot) walking and so most of my shoes crease. I’m wanting a pair smart enough for (smart casual) work, but equally just thinking of throwing the towel in and getting fabric trainers.

    At the moment I just go around the office in my socks so probably anything would be an improvement on that!

    I do seem to have very narrow ankles and an Egyptian foot but I’m guessing the geo shoes are made of similar leather?

    1. I just pulled out Justin’s Addis sneakers and they don’t have crease marks! He wears them quite a bit for work and they’re fully broken in. My Geo Courts actually have more of a crease at the toe. Not majorly, but it’s there.

  5. This is a really great review. I’ve wanted to love Vivo, but they are just too narrow for my wide feet, but now I think the Soul of Africa line might actually work. Can you tell me how the traction is with the Addis in wet conditions? I had such a hard time with slipping in the Primus Trails (FG & SG) in wet conditions, so that makes me nervous about Vivo as well.

    1. Hm, my guess is that it would be similar. The outsole is a little stickier on the Addis, but I don’t believe they’re designed to be slip-resistant. We’ve only worn ours casually and not hiking or out in rain.

  6. Hi, I bought these shoes some time ago and agree that they are very comfortable. I usually take size 38 (EU) but would go for a 39 if I bought them again. The one major drawback to these shoes, which is a great shame, is that they have no traction. I would be very careful wearing them on wet, hard surfaces or where there are wet leaves. Summer only or dry day only in my opinion.
    Thanks for all the reviews!

  7. Patrícia Ramírez

    Hola, moltes gràcies pel teu anàlisis, m’agradaria saber si serien compatibles amb plantilla ortopèdica,moltes gràcies.

    1. Hi Patricia. Typically barefoot shoes aren’t worn with orthopedic insoles, but if you want to wear one I do think it would work inside this style of shoe. I wore my own insoles inside Vivobarefoot shoes at first.

  8. I have wide feet, and the Addis fit me! I got them fairly cheap on Revivo in olive green. The ground feel is pretty good and they’re very smart looking. I can definitely teach in them. But they’re barely wide enough. Still, I like the style and colors and feel pretty good.

    1. Hi Gaby,

      I also found that the (women’s) Addis wasn’t wide enough for me. So I ordered the men’s, which is noticeably wider. Only thing is, I had to size up to do so, as the smallest size they come in is size 40. With insoles to take up extra space, these kinda work — I just don’t run in them, or else I’ll trip!

      I’ve been wondering if the width of the youth Addis (which go up to size 39) is more like the women’s or the men’s. Maybe I’ll look into this when I need new shoes…?

      🙂

      Elaine

  9. I’ve been wearing my Addis quite a lot since I got them in… October? -ish…

    Some responses to questions here, based upon my experience:

    – They don’t seem to crease at all! In fact, I’m considering using a little leather balm to soften them up. Having said that, they’re not even a little uncomfortable as is, and required no break-in (I’ve only worn with socks)!

    – This is my most water-resistant pair of barefoot-style shoes, so I almost always wear them when it’s wet. I personally find them to be fine, traction wise, in wet conditions.

    – I can confirm that they look great as business-casual wear!

  10. 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! 😅

    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.

  11. 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.

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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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