this post was submitted on 16 Mar 2024
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Buy it for Life

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Am also looking for sneakers to get for the following seasons:

  • grey ones for summer
  • black ones for spring/autumn

But I'm virtually clueless when it comes to fashion + they should be available in the EU

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[–] KryptonNerd 10 points 4 months ago (3 children)

I've been enjoying my Vivo barefoot shoes. But obviously they're only really good if you like having a thin sole on the shoe. They have a repair service though so that's one of the reasons I recommend them.

[–] 4 points 4 months ago

I just switched to these last summer. Took about a month to relearn how to walk, but they've held up better than any other shoe in my life. One of my pairs is a single continuous piece of rubber from the top of the heel to my toe on the bottom, so there's no way for the heel to wear out, which is usually the first thing to fail in a shoe.

[–] 3 points 4 months ago (1 children)

I haven't tried out "barefoot" shoes, since I imagine it would be sensorically weird/unfamiliar to me.
But if I ever do, I'll look into Vivo ones first

[–] KryptonNerd 4 points 4 months ago

I hadn't tried them until I went to one of their shops last year to try them on. I didn't really expect to like them, but wanted to give it a go and was pleasantly surprised. They are now my favourite, most comfortable shoes (although sometimes I wish they had a slightly thicker sole). It is worth noting that the insole they come with didn't last very well though (it started to crumple up in the shoe and became uncomfortable) so I replaced it with a cheap regular insole I found online and it made them even more comfortable (a bit more cushioning but still a wide toe box and flexible shoe).

[–] 2 points 4 months ago

They’ve been getting worse and worse imo.

My first pair lasted 3 years (Tracker FG) before the sole cracked and unglued itself. My second 2 from the same issue.

My third pair (Magna FG) has lasted less than a year. The lugs on the sole have gone and I’m probably going to wear through them.

Not to mention the colours have gone absolutely mental. I don’t want a yellow sole. Or a green boot.

[–] 7 points 4 months ago (2 children)

Altberg make shoes, I've not tried them but if the quality is similar to their boots they will be great.

Although they're not technically in the EU any more since they're made in the UK.

[–] 1 points 3 months ago* (last edited 3 months ago)

Not OP, but thanks for the suggestion, seems like they might be a good choice for wide fitting walking boots and the like, and they've got plenty of outdoor shops listed in the UK as stockists

On the made in the UK note though, seems like many of their boots are manufactured in a factory in Italy?

[–] 1 points 4 months ago* (last edited 4 months ago)

Will definitely look into whether Altberg is worth the hassle, makes a good first impression tho

[–] 4 points 4 months ago* (last edited 4 months ago) (1 children)

Common projects wear in very well and last ~~forever~~ for many years in my experience

edit: I haven't actually had them forever

[–] 1 points 4 months ago

they seem like quite a commitment, especially with their instransparent internet presense, insecure website and rly high price

[–] activistPnk 4 points 3 months ago* (last edited 3 months ago) (1 children)

I needed expensive custom orthotics. Of course making a costly medical modification to flimsy shoes is a terrible idea. The orthotic maker gave me this advice: buy leather shoes and make sure the inside is also leather. It was great advice because when the interior heal of the shoe is some kind of fabric it’s not long before the material forms a hole and the plastic skeleton is exposed.

I found some ugly tennis shoes (didn’t care); had 3 stripes (i think that’s Adidas). They were all leather inside and outside except the sole. They lasted like over a decade. The outer sole was the first to wear out. I can probably have them resoled.

But in general, if you go into a place that makes medical orthotics they will have the advice you’re after, and perhaps have specific recommendations.

Theoretically there is just one material more durable than leather: aramid (aka Kevlar™). Not sure if anyone is on the ball with making aramid shoes though.

[–] 4 points 3 months ago

The mention of kevlar made me curious. I went looking and found these:

I can't recommend them personally because I've never worn them, but they look interesting. They seem to emphasize replaceability for their wearing components and durability for the rest.

I hope someone else who has experience with them will chime in. I'd like to know what they think.

[–] 3 points 4 months ago (1 children)

Check out doghammer, they also sell some for reduced price if they were display models or similar.

Furthermore they offer a repair service for certain parts of the shoe. I have a pair, though I didn't need the repair service yet, so cannot attest to that. I am using mines all year, even in (light) snow.

[–] 1 points 4 months ago (1 children)

doghammer seems interesting, but they don't seem to have neither monochrome black nor monochrome grey shoes

which is a make or break for me, since I only wear black all year round and make exceptions for hot summer days during which I wear only grey >w<

[–] 3 points 4 months ago (2 children)

You could also check out Lowa. I had a pair of them before my doghammers, and only replaced them after ~6 years because they got torn at the side.

They are a bit more expensive though...

[–] 1 points 3 months ago

their everday line looks interesting

[–] 3 points 4 months ago (1 children)

I have a pair of leather classic samba Adidas shoes. I wasn't sure how well they would hold up because i can wear out a cheap or poorly made shoe like nobody else I know. The pair i have now are almost 5 years old and aren't worn out.

[–] 2 points 4 months ago

impressive that they held up for so long! thx for the suggestion, but those aren't rly my style

[–] 3 points 4 months ago (1 children)

I’ve not tried the brand myself (but am planning to) and I’m conscious it’s an expensive option, but I’ve heard Goral shoes have good repairability, as they are resole-able. Made in England if that matters to you. But without having tried them myself, it’s hard for me to give a full recommendation.

[–] 2 points 3 months ago

Goral seems great and straight forward in terms of getting the shoes repaired

[–] 3 points 4 months ago (1 children)

Check out Xero shoes. They have an EU store now. Some are repairable by ordering the part you need from them, since multiple models of shoes use the same soles. The shoes themselves are also very long lasting in my experience. Still have a pair of canvas shoes that have lasted 6 years of continuous usage and still use - although caveat I use those only once the snow melts. They also have multiple colors available.

The only thing is they are very thin sole shoes, made for barefoot type walking. They do come with a sole to add some distance, but it's removable if you want it at max thinness. Best thin sole shoes out of many I've tried, including vibrams, and they don't do the toe thing, instead going with a wide toe box.

They also have some leather options, winter boots, and diy sandal kits.

[–] ProdigalFrog 3 points 4 months ago* (last edited 4 months ago) (1 children)

I've heard mixed things about the durability of Xero shoes, and most of it was on the 'not super durable' end of the spectrum. They have a great warranty, but some say you'll need it.

For Barefoot style shoes, Vivobarefoot and Freet seem to be known for being pretty durable. Freet in particular is an interesting one since they use recycled materials sometimes, and more importantly, use side-stitching on some of their models (I know Vivo does too on a few), which significantly increases durability by keeping the sole from separating from the upper.

[–] 2 points 4 months ago (1 children)

Never heard of freet, I'll check them out. I prefer shoes with a sole as thin as possible is the thing, so that's a main criteria for me. But recycled materials is also a plus.

As for Xeros's durability, I can say I've definitely walked them hard. I don't have a car, only used the excellent public transport in Finland. But when the pandemic happened, I also wanted to avoid covid at all costs due to being on dialysis, and didn't have a bike yet. Do for at least 6 months, I'd walk over an hour uphill both ways literally to get to the hospital, and another hour waking back, 3 times a week, every week. Then I did the same after I got the bike and the motor broke and had to wait for a couple of months for a new one about 2 years later. Still use that same pair of shoes, and sole is still good. My winter boots since then died, so that's why I replaced them with Xero ones since the shoes have at least proven themselves. I've even washed the shoes multiple times in the washer, but I do always air-dry them.

All that said, the outer sole seems to be glued to the shoe (on most but not all models) but it's also partially tied down to it. Hard to explain, but if you look at the back / side of basically all their shows, you'll see what I mean. Technically if the glue did somehow wear off,, or the outer sole wore down, all you'd need to is remove it from that strap, and replace that sole with a new one and more glue. It's probably why they offer great warranty.

I know Xero started in the USA, but I don't know if there's a difference in quality between Xero US and Xero EU as well I suppose too.

[–] ProdigalFrog 2 points 3 months ago* (last edited 3 months ago) (1 children)

I can't dispute your experience, it's possible you got lucky, or the complaints I've seen were just unlucky.

I see what you mean by the side-strap, but I'm not sure how much that would actually do to help them remain usable compared to proper side-stitching, which would hold the sole on all around, instead of just in that one area in the back.

At least in this review of some Xero's, his failed pretty early, including the side-strap retainer breaking, and his second pair seem to be failing early as well. They did honor their warranty, but at least from an environmental perspective, it's not ideal to need a new pair of shoes frequently, even if it's not costing you anything.

Technically if the glue did somehow wear off, or the outer sole wore down, all you’d need to is remove it from that strap, and replace that sole with a new one and more glue. It’s probably why they offer great warranty.

Unless I'm mistaken, Xero does not appear to mention anything about repairing shoes on their website. The 5000 mile warranty just says they'll send you a new pair. In contrast, Vivobarefoot does offer a repair service (in the UK only, unfortunately), and also refurbishes worn out shoes to resell at a discount on their Revivo website, which helps reduce waste.

Also, I was wrong that Xero does not offer shoes with recycled material, after checking their website, I see that they do. Still though, I think for the money, they just seem a little suspect as far as durability. Maybe that's a quality control issue, or a specific model issue? This review of some Xero's is similar with your experience, so I'm thinking that might be the more likely answer.

[–] 2 points 3 months ago* (last edited 3 months ago)

Hm, perhaps then it could be a difference in quality control between the USA branch and the EU one, or even the models. Guess I've been lucky then so far. I do wonder how they know you've walked 5000 miles in a shoe tho, but in another 5-8 years I did definitely reach that milestone with my first pair.

Either way, good info to know.

[–] 3 points 4 months ago (1 children)

I bought a pair of Adidas sneakers (no clue thrle name). They looked like the ultra boost series but without the special™ shoe sole (I think they are no longer being produced).

I bought them in 2012, and wore them in death valley, in the snow in Slovakia, as running shoes in the Forrest and more or less daily for ~8 years. And they still hold up.

Now the Ultra boost Adidas are crooked after ½ year.

[–] 2 points 3 months ago* (last edited 3 months ago)

yeah, unfortunately big brands (like Nike, Adidas and even Docmartens sadly enough TwT) nowadays just means discounter quality with a markup, unless you want to pay min. twice as much for higher quality stuff when compared to "smaller" companies

but ofc all those smaller companies are either getting bought up or run into bankruptcy by larger ones. Suchis late stage capitalism ig...

(btw I love the gay toggle on your website >w<)

[–] Jonnsy 3 points 3 months ago

I'm a bit late to the party but I'm in love with Zaqq recently. They are barefoot shoes but they offer some quite nice designs. The shoes are handcrafted in Germany and made with high quality materials. I cant say something about the long term yes but I believe with the proper care they could last years.

[–] dillekant 2 points 3 months ago

I've got New Balance ones which are fairly cheap but have lasted me a good few years. Won't last for life but definitely years.

[–] 2 points 3 months ago

I have a pair of grey suede Onitsuka Tiger GSMs that have lasted me the better part of a decade.

While I can’t say for certain that newer versions will have the same quality as mine, I’m exceptionally happy with them and will be buying a direct replacement when mine eventually fail.

[–] 1 points 1 month ago

I've only had one pair of sketchers I used to wear everyday, but, I've had them for 5 years and they are still decent. Lineing in the inside is coming apart, but, otherwise still good.