It’s time for another barefoot shoe review! I’m really excited about this one. Feelgrounds reached out to me a few months ago asking if I was interested in trying out their new Highrise barefoot shoes…ABSOLUTELY! They looked cool, comfortable, and met all my requirements for a barefoot shoe: zero drop heel, wide toe box, and a reasonably thin sole.
In this post, I’ll do a quick rundown of my ordering experience, I’ll do an unboxing, and then I’ll put them to the test and give you my honest opinion.
These shoes are available in six different colors, they’re vegan and eco-friendly, and they’re even water repellant! The Highrise shoes are roughly $150 USD.
The highlight of the ordering experience was the printable size guide. Basically, you print a sheet of paper and stand on it so that you get the perfect fit. They even have a section where you can calibrate it by placing a credit card to ensure the scale is accurate. Once you’ve confirmed the credit card fits in the box, you line up your heel to the edge of the shoe image where indicated. Leave some space between the longest toe and the sizing line and be sure to measure both feet! They recommend to size up if you’re between two sizes. Here’s a bonus - if you’re not 100% sure after doing this, you can send pictures of these measurements to the company and they’ll help you.
I’ve gotta say…HOW DOES EVERY SHOE COMPANY NOT HAVE THIS?! I feel like this should be an industry standard! My biggest concern when buying shoes online is that they’re not going to fit! It always feels like a shot in the dark, especially since the same size may fit differently depending on the shoe.
One of the first things I noticed is that they’re SUPER comfortable. The fabric is breathable and lets me move my toes around surprisingly well, but I also like that they hold their shape. They've also proven to be water resistant (but are not water repellant).
Since we’re in the middle of a stay at home order in Houston, we’re not able to go on as many adventures with different terrain as I would like. BUT we’ve been going for a ton of walks in our neighborhood and have been testing the Highrise shoes out nonstop.
We’re doing a lot of walking on man-made surfaces like concrete, and I immediately noticed the thickness of the soles. The soles are 5mm thick (which is still pretty darn thin), but I often wear Vivobarefoot shoes, which have about a 3mm sole. Vivos are super thin and feel amazing when walking on grass or other natural surfaces. However, thin soles take some getting used to on concrete. Because I spent so many years walking in regular shoes with a raised heel and a ton of cushion, I tend to heel strike when I walk. My walking form has improved over the last few years, but it’s not perfect. I tend to heel strike more if I’m trying to keep up with tall people with long strides, like my husband, Alex, or four legged friends like our dog, Bucket.
That extra 2mm compared to the Vivobarefoot shoes makes a surprisingly big difference in the comfort of these shoes. I think these would be a great shoe for people who do a lot of city walking or who are in the process of transitioning to thinner soles.
I’ve previously mentioned that I like wearing barefoot shoes, specifically my Vivobarefoot shoes, when I slackline. It’s important for me to be able to feel the line through my feet. While these shoes feel pretty good on a slackline, I prefer having a thinner sole.
What are my final, honest thoughts? I am SUPER impressed with these shoes. They’re SUPER comfortable and I really like the flexibility and thickness of the sole. They’re great for walking on man-made surfaces, and they give plenty of room for your foot to spread out and breathe. Alex has been eyeing these shoes for the last few weeks and is probably going to get a pair of his own.
I want to thank Feelgrounds again for the opportunity to try out their shoes. I feel really lucky to have had this opportunity and I love supporting companies that have the health of their customers as a priority. If you’re interested in getting yourself a pair of their shoes feel free to use my link! I’ll receive a small kickback that will help me invest more in creating more content for you guys!
Stay safe and stay healthy!
Last year I purchased 3 different pairs of Vivobarefoots: the neon red/orange Primus Lites, the Jing Jing Ballet Flats, and the Gobi Hi Top Eco Canvas shoes. I wear a 7.5 in the Primus and Gobi shoes, and an 8 in the flats.
Alright, we’re going to start with my least favorite of the three, and that’s the Gobi Hi Tops. Long story short - I would probably like them better if they were a size 8. I got them on clearance and wasn’t able to return them. They’re a little tight, but I removed the shoe inserts they come with which helps quite a bit. But that’s not what bothers me the most. Maybe it’s just me, but because they’re high tops, they RUB. The interior is kind of fuzzy (they’re meant to be warm), but they bother me even if I wear longer socks with them and if I wear them for long periods of time.
Next up are the Jing-Jing Ballet Flats. I really like these flats - I don’t gravitate towards wearing flats that often, but when I do wear them, there’s are my go-to. I really appreciate that they've got elastic material around the lip of the flats - this ensures they'll stay on my feet (and I'm less likely to slip them off while I'm in a meeting...I can't be the only person who wants to slip their shoes off under the table, right?!). They look a little funny because they have the wide toe box, but I love that I don’t have to deal with a toe dungeon anymore.
So that leaves the Primus Lites. I love these shoes. In my first video, I mentioned that my feet got pretty tired after walking a few miles in these shoes. Here’s where I’m at a year later, and please keep in mind that this is my opinion and my experience. I’ve definitely gotten more used to these shoes and can walk longer distances and feel fine. BUT most of us walk on concrete and other unnatural surfaces the majority of the time. I’ve definitely noticed that walking on grass or sand or a more natural surface for instance has a much softer impact than concrete or cobblestone.
My favorite time to wear my Primus Lites is when I’m slacklining. If you’ve never heard of slacklining before, basically it involves balancing on a 1-2 inch piece of webbing between two anchor points. There are different kinds of slacklining, and I prefer walking or doing various poses. And as a quick side note, I’ve found slacklining to be a great way to strengthen the muscles in my feet and the stabilizers throughout my body. Because of this, it’s important for me to be able to feel where the slackline is hitting my foot. My Primus Lites are perfect for this, and I love having a little extra protection for my feet when I jump (or fall) off of a line.
I hope you found this information helpful! If you have any questions, feel free to comment below.
If you're interested in purchasing your own Vivos, feel free to use my link and the code BALANCINGLAURA for 10% off! I get a small kickback if you use my link, which will help me keep reviewing more great products!