Think On Your Feet
Published: 02 July, 2010
Created in collaboration with footwear technologists and podiatrists, Terra Plana’s VivoBarefoot Kids is a lightweight and super-flexible shoe line with a thin puncture-resistant sole designed to mimic what foot specialists have long known... that children walk best barefoot. ecause of the high proportion of cartilage and other soft tissue, the developing foot can be deformed under the persistent pressure of wearing incorrectly shaped or rigid shoes. The child’s foot does not fully mature until age 18–19 for girls and 20–21 for boys and growing evidence supports that children’s shoes should be designed on the barefoot model More than 80% of foot problems are attributed to misshaped and inflexible shoes, but modern day life means children can’t always be shoeless. VivoBarefoot Kids offers a close alternative for everyday use.
Benefits of VivoBarefoot Kids include:
- Allows natural growth and development
- Stimulation of nerve endings in feet enhances sensory perception and circulation
- Strengthen feet and therefore the body
- Naturally aligns posture
- Protection from the environment
In 2009, an independent medical study directed by podiatrist Annette Thompson, of Cape Town University tested VivoBarefoot on 22 children without foot imbalances or deformities. The tests, which were conducted by qualified biokineticists, an orthotist and a podiatrist showed:
- Improved foot muscle strength in all cases
- Improved proprioception (balance)
- Improved ankle function and strength (plantarflexion, dorsiflexion, inversion, eversion)
- Improved strength recovery and muscle tone (particularly in the children who had previously worn rigid soled shoes)
The results for barefoot and VivoBarefoot were almost identical.
These findings support the recommendations of other studies internationally, that shoes for children should be designed on a barefoot model. VivoBarefoot has now been awarded approval by the SA Podiatry Association. Test results were presented at the 9th International Footwear Biomechanics Symposium and were subsequently published in ‘Footwear Science’, Volume 1 Number S1 June 2009; a peer reviewed journal published by Taylor and Francis Group, UK.
The new expanded collection features sizes for children ages 18 months to 7 years. Hero styles for girls include the Becks, a short suede boot with warm woolen inner lining and the Pally mary-jane style, an easy-to-wear everyday shoe available in eco-leathers or nubuck. The Oaky, Rooty and Aquarius offer ‘mini-me’ designs for boys perfect for the playground, parties, or school. The VivoBarefoot Kids range joins the existing original VivoBarefoot shoes for men and women to create a total barefoot lifestyle solution.