Monday, August 24, 2015

The best back to school shoes for your children's feet

My brother is a constant source of embarrassment to our family.  He is known in our town as 'that guy who never wears shoes'. Which is all very well if it's summer and you're heading to the beach - not so much when you meet him in a posh restaurant in November and the barefoot horror is exposed to the rest of the unfortunate diners. 

Anyway, I digress. The main reason he began going barefoot is due to a persistent bad back that regular shoes seemed to exacerbate. So he ditched them and has never looked back since. Barefoor 1: Shoes 0.

Our family was born and brought up by the sea and we spent much of our childhoods running to and from the beach barefooted. I really do think that children's feet should be allowed to breath and grow without restriction as much as possible. It's something I'm a great believer in - as my own children's feet can testify:

So when Barefoot shoes pioneer Vivobarefoot got in touch with me I was delighted to test them out and spread the word. 

Not only do Vivo Barefoot produce wider, flat-soled, flexible shoes without cushioning - which are proven to mitigate issues of footwear damaging children’s feet - they have gone one barefoot step further and launched a nationwide campaign to  highlight the damage ill-fitting, tapered non-foot shaped shoes do to children’s feet.

Supported by medical professionals and parents across the UK, the barefoot shoe brand is mounting pressure on mainstream footwear manufacturers and retailers to carry warnings informing people of the danger of conventional footwear design on a child’s natural foot development.

In order to educate parents, Vivobarefoot is running parent learning sessions at its London store in London and has provided a guide to buying safe shoes on its website

Galahad Clark, founder of Vivobarefoot and member of the famous Clarkes Shoes family commented:

“Our kids’ feet are being physically deformed by the shoes they wear – resulting in a national crisis – and the footwear industry has turned a blind eye to the damage being done for too long now. The mainstream footwear industry has sold parents a lie and their failure to come clean about the dangers is becoming a public health issue. We want to educate and empower parents to protect the feet of their children and put them on a path of healthy natural development.”

And yes he's even talking about his own family's shoe empire there. 

We chose a really gorgeous pair of navy and lime trainers that the notoriously shoe fussy six year old absolutely adores. They are cool, comfortable and kind to his feet. What more could a kid or their parent want from a pair of shoes? 

Luckily our school isn't too strict about shoe colour or type - so these will be the only shoes he will need for the year - inside and outside of school. They do have more traditional type shoes available though and they all follow the same 'barefoot' ethos.

My boy has been putting these ones to the maximum test - running, climbing and jumping in them. These shoes are all about allowing your body to move as evolution intended - barefoot. 

 In fact, he is such a fan he refuses to take this pair of shoes off - a first for anyone in this family.  

Which reminds me - I must go and send that link to my brother... 

Disclosure: I was provided with a choice of shoes from Vivobarefoot for the purposes of this review. I strongly believe in both the brand and it's ethos and highly recommend you take a look around it's website or pop into one of their sessions in the London store. They also do adult footwear. 

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