By Tina Dubois
We are very pleased to review our first Vivo Barefoot boot for the Living Barefoot Minimalist Footwear Series, the Dundan boot. These boots are tremendously comfortable and stylish, in fact, I love them so much, I can’t wait to get a second pair of them in a different color. They are fast to put on and take off, and can be adjusted for most ankle and leg widths with the laces. They are great for mild winter conditions, spring, and fall.
The Dundans are extremely comfortable. The combination of a lacing system and a zipper allows for the perfect combination of custom fit and convenience. Once the laces are tied in the desired fashion, they can stay that way. You can then use the zipper on the sides of the boots for easy on and off. I did end up fiddling with the laces for quite a while before getting them just right, but after that, they have always felt the same degree of excellent comfort.
The Dundans are extremely roomy around the foot. Toes can wiggle around, while the ankle is tight enough to keep the boot in place. There are no uncomfortable pressure points anywhere inside the boot and the inside feels like one piece around your foot with the edges of the tongue in the perfect place as to not feel them at all.
Each size 39 Dundan boot weighs 10 5/8 ounces or 301 grams. Most of this weight is in the sole. While the Dundans are the heaviest footwear product I have reviewed, they are still light on the feet. They are much lighter than conventional boots but heavier than most minimalist shoes. I don’t feel like the weight is an issue but if you prefer the lightest of footwear, it may be something to be aware of, although they are boots and not shoes and are therefore made of more material. To give this weight a perspective, the last pair of ankle boots that I purchased (a pair of Lowa hiking boots), weigh over twice what the Dundans weigh, and I absolutely feel the weight of those boots.
Flex / Sole
The sole is Vivo Barefoot’s patented 3 mm puncture-resistant rubber sole with Duratex (a substance similar to Kevlar). It is flexible in all directions and easily bends over pebbles and gravel.
The grip of the Dundan is the same as other Vivo Barefoot products with the 3 mm sole. It is great for any kind of dry surface or slightly textured wet surface. They are good for small amounts of snow but not on ice.
Support / Insole
There is a removable insole included with the Dundan boot and there is no arch support designed into it or the bottom of the boot. The only time I have used the insole is for extremely cold temperatures for added protection from the cold ground. Otherwise, I find the Dundans most comfortable without the insole.
The Dundan has an incredible barefoot feel, just like the Vivo Barefoot Lucy shoe (reviewed earlier by Living Barefoot). The 3 mm sole provides excellent ground transmission while inspiring confidence while walking on gravel or other sharp terrains.
Quality of Materials / Manufacturing
The sole of the Vivo Dundan is Vivo Barefoot’s patented Duratex 3 mm puncture-resistant sole and is of the utmost quality. The leather upper of the Dundan looks to be of good quality leather and has excellent stitching. My only concern with the manufacturing is that both boots had a large clump of glued threads located on the inside of the boot. I easily cut these out with a pair of scissors. I suspect this was an accidental oversight in the manufacturing.
The Dundan is described on the Vivo Barefoot website as being “water resistant but not waterproof. It is good for the rain and snow but if you were to stand in a water puddle you will get wet.” While walking in 3 cm of slush, my feet did not get wet; however, upon standing in said depth of slush, I could feel water starting to seep in along the bottom of the boot where the sole is stitched to the upper.
The Dundans, like most Vivo Barefoot footwear, are cut wide in the toe but tend to run short. Therefore ordering one size up from normal is recommended. I usually wear a size 38, so the Dundans in a size 39 are roomy without feeling like my feet are swimming in them.
The Dundans arrived in individual bags for each boot within the Vivo Barefoot box. I think this is an incredibly thoughtful addition to the purchase of these boots as these bags can be used to store your boots while not wearing them and are also excellent for packing during traveling without the worry of getting other things dirty in your suitcase. I think it’s another example of Vivo Barefoot’s commitment to detail.
The Dundans cost $195 USD on the Vivo Barefoot website. At almost $200, they are a little on the expensive side, but they are a leather ankle boot with both laces and a zipper. Most good-quality leather boots cost about the same, so I think the Dundans are a good value at this price.
I love everything about the look of the Dundan boot. The design appears simple but is full of little details: there are unobtrusive Vivo Barefoot logos on the edge of the sole and the leather upper, the contrast red stitching that attaches the sole to the upper is eye-catching, and the design in general is well thought out. The boots are elegant in their simplicity.
The Dundans are currently available in three colours of leather: black, dark brown, and dark red. It is great to see such a fantastic boot available in several colours.
The Dundans required no break-in period, they were comfortable right out of the box. After several weeks, the leather has become slightly softer and form-fitted than when they first arrived, which has even increased their comfort.
These boots should be treated with a footwear leather protector as they are made out of real leather, which will lengthen the life of the boots, especially if worn in wet conditions.
There is minimal insulation between the outside leather and the red material lining on the inside of the boot. I would not recommend them for temperatures below -10oC or 14oC without the insole, but they do keep the feet warm in temperatures below this with the insole inserted.
These boots can be used for any stylish outfit in mild winter conditions, spring, or fall. They are great for regular street wear or walking on anything from grass, asphalt, concrete, and gravel. I’ve worn them during everything from shopping trips to walks on the gravel paths around my neighbourhood.
I absolutely love the Vivo Barefoot Dundan boots. They are incredibly comfortable and stylish. They are easy to put on and fast to take off. The lace and zipper combination allow them to be adjustable for a wide variety of ankle and leg widths while having the convenience of a zipper. They have an excellent barefoot feel but at the same time inspire confidence while walking on sharp surfaces due to the puncture-resistant sole. I love them so much, that I can’t wait to get a second pair in a different color.
As you read our reviews, please keep in mind that our reviewers review shoes in terms of their suitability for those looking to find the highest quality minimalist shoe products. All reviews are as factual as possible. In an effort to be transparent and ethical, we will point out any defects found, even if these do not affect the usability of the product. Not all defects will be present in final production shoes as we are sometimes offered “seconds” or pre-release products in an effort to provide you with reviews in a timely manor. In the event that serious issues are found with a review sample we will give every opportunity for the manufacturer to replace to explain the review samples before the final review is released. We never accept payments for reviews. We do not guarantee a good review for any products sent to us. We do not review products that do not claim to be minimalist or “barefoot like” unless we receive a significant number of requests from readers or listeners.
Should you have any questions about our review process or would like your product reviewed on our site, please do not hesitate to contact us using our contact page.
Find “Living Barefoot” in iTunes and download it onto your iPod / iPhone or listen online
Stay updated by being notified when we release a new reviews. Subscribe Here.
As Living Barefoot continues to grow our costs keep increasing. In order to cover the many costs necessary to provide our readers and listeners with the great quality reviews and content on Living Barefoot we would like to request your help.
If you like what we are doing, we are asking for a tiny contribution to show your support. We guarantee you won’t notice the missing contribution, but if enough people participate, it can be a significant contribution to help continue to innovate and bring you great reviews, news, and personalities through the Living Barefoot Show.
What will we do in return? We’ll continue to offer you great free news, reviews, and guest interviews on our show. We will also decrease the amount of advertising on our site as subscriptions increase.
Donate as little as $1 monthly. The subscription will simply deduct $1 from your bank or credit card monthly. You can cancel the automatic withdrawal at any time. You won’t notice $1, but we will!