Fall Favorite: Minimal Shoe Style + Comfort with VivoBarefoot Ryder Boots
It’s hard to find a pair of good-looking black boots that fit our walk-heavy lifestyle: Even on ‘date night,’ we’re usually walking the couple miles into town to go out, which means until I found VivoBarefoot Ryder Boots, I’ve been date-night-ing in sneakers. (Which is fine, but I like being moderately dressy on occasion!) I love barefoot shoes for pretty much everything, not just running — in fact, I often will wear more typical running shoes when logging big miles, but swap them back to barefoot options for recovery runs and any walking. But… I also really, really like shoes that actually look good when I’m going out to dinner or hanging out with friends.
I’ve spent a lot of time trying to find a shoe that was walkable but still looked nice enough to go out to dinner in, or just hang out and not feel like an athlete. It’s not easy! I admit, I’ve even tried a bunch of VivoBarefoot’s Gobi-style ankle boots in the past and while they’re comfy as F, they sort of fell flat in the style department.
But this year, VivoBarefoot released the Ryder Boot, a play on a knee-high riding boot, with a leather front and neoprene back for maximum range of motion, plus Vivo’s barefoot sole (obviously) and their heat-saving inserts.
I took one look and ordered immediately. The boots are my new favorite thing in the universe. I’m always a little skeptical of how barefoot shoes will look, not because of the sole but because they’re made with wider toe boxes and you run the risk of a bit of a duck foot situation — not the case here. The boots look like normal knee-high leather boots, and they are comfortable as hell.
A month in, they have a really nice slightly aged look to the leather and are still making me so freaking happy. The temps have dropped in Ontario, and thanks to the neoprene back, the boots are really cozy in addition to being easy to walk in because of the stretchiness of the neoprene. Basically, if you’re looking for a basic black flat boot, I can’t recommend them enough. I’ve put dozens of miles of walking in them so far, and it’s awesome being able to feel a bit more put together without sacrificing walking comfort.
Get them here ($210 — but the Vivos I have last FOREVER. I’m still using a pair of sneakers from three years ago!)