By Tina Dubois
Review of the VIVOBAREFOOT Boxing Boot – A Comfortable and Fashionable Boot for Any Woman
It’s always wonderful when a new product fills a previously empty gap in the minimalist footwear market. Some time ago, Living Barefoot reviewed the Dundan boot by VIVOBAREFOOT but it was sadly discontinued. They’ve introduced back to their line-up a similar model but with some improvements to make the Boxing Boot an even better product! It offers great looks, barefoot feel, and comfort in an as yet little represented minimalist boot.
These are amazingly comfortable boots. The leather is soft and flexible and the inside of the boot has no unnecessary bulk, which I find is sometimes the case with boots. The leather itself isn’t very thick and there is a thin layer of black material between it and your feet, but the boot is still warm enough for mild winter conditions with little insulation. They are extremely easy to get on and off with the zipper along the side, which is hugely appreciated, and the laces still allow for a customizable fit to the top of the boot. The zipper also allows this fit to remain the same every time you put them on, no need to unlace and retie every time you want to wear them.
There is more than enough width for even wide feet. If you have narrow feet, you can tighten them with the laces in the upper to keep your feet from moving around inside. These boots are the best of both worlds and will probably fit just about any width of foot.
The sole is VIVOBAREFOOT’s rubber hex sole and is 4.5 mm thick. It is incredibly flexible in all directions. This was unexpected in a boot because the structure required for a boot design usually limits the ability of the sole to flex but this is not the case with the Boxing Boot. It is a stellar combination of flexibility and structure.
Each size EU 38 Boxing Boot weighs 9 ounces or 255 grams. This is not considered a light weight for a minimalist shoe but it’s not a shoe, it’s a boot. There is obviously much more material involved in their design and construction. That said, because of the way the boots attach to the foot and the balance of the weight, they definitely do not feel heavy while wearing them, even while hiking in the snow.
Like all VIVOBAREFOOT products, there is no arch support designed into the shape of the product. There is a removable 5 mm press EVA insole. The press EVA insole is denser than their previous versions so only adds a little cushioning underfoot. As well as providing a small amount of cushioning, if you want to wear these boots in cold temperatures, the insole is an excellent feature to protect your feet from the cold of frozen ground. If you want better ground feel and don’t have to worry about frozen ground, the insole comes out easily.
The boot is so flexible that ground feel is great. There is about 2.5 mm of grip depth so small rocks won’t be felt if they fall within the hex shapes but ground contours are easily felt because the outsole bends around them with such ease.
The rubber outsole provides sufficient traction for indoor surfaces and the rubber hex design has more than enough grip on slippery snow. Finally there are more comfortable minimalist boot products for Canadian winter!
Quality of Materials/Manufacturing
The quality of the materials and manufacturing are both excellent. There are no defects in the review pair. The pull-up leather and triexta/polyester lining appear to be good quality materials suitable for this type of footwear. VIVOBAREFOOT always has high quality outsoles and the Boxing Boot is no exception.
Walking in ankle-high snow has not been a problem in the Boxing Boot and my feet have stayed warm and dry. If you were to stand in water passed the bottom of the zipper, some water might leak in but I haven’t experienced it personally.
The Boxing Boot fits true to size. I generally fit a size women’s U.S. 8 or EU 38 and the size 38 review pair fits me perfectly in length and width. I did have the opportunity to try the size 39 and it was too big for sure. Keep this in mind if you are familiar with VIVOBAREFOOT products (I fit a size 39 in the Evo, Neo, and Neo Trail).
The Boxing Boot retails on the VIVOBAREFOOT website for $175 USD. This is a good price for such a high quality leather boot and definitely worth the value compared to similar products in the conventional footwear market.
I think these boots are beautiful and fashionable. Their design is simple and classic and would look good with any casual and even some dress pants. These are a great option for work appropriate footwear if you need a boot for snowy, cold weather.
These boots do not need a break-in period as they are comfortable right out of the box. However, I have noticed the leather of the upper has softened and begun to conform to the shape of my feet. This just makes them even more comfortable than when they were brand new.
Although not necessary, I would recommend applying a good quality leather footwear protector before venturing out into snowy, wet conditions. If you’ve invested the money to buy them, you’re probably going to want to keep them looking great and lasting a long time, which a leather protector will do for your boots.
Due to the relatively thin leather and liner, I wouldn’t recommend them for extremely cold weather conditions (-30C or colder). They are comfortable to wear at freezing with only a thin pair of socks. If you want to wear them in temperatures considerably below freezing, I would recommend a thick pair of socks. Your level of comfort depends on how used to the cold you are and the thickness of the socks you choose to wear. Thankfully, the boots are wide enough to comfortably accommodate thick layers within.
These boots are stylish enough to be worn with just about any pant or legging. They are cool enough to wear in warmer temperatures and warm enough for colder temperatures (to a point). They are suitable for walking in dry, wet, or snowy conditions. They are comfortable enough for short or long walks and are incredibly easy to get on and off. I’m having a hard time thinking of casual uses you couldn’t wear these boots.
VIVOBAREFOOT has introduced some truly stellar minimalist products this year and the Boxing Boot is another to add to the list. They are a versatile, comfortable, stylish, all-weather boot suitable for any casual wear or adventure. They have the added quality of being great for winter conditions as well, a niche that is poorly represented at this point in the minimalist market. I’m impressed yet again at VIVOBAREFOOT’s understanding of the minimalist market and not only listen to customer’s desires but also develop products that fulfill their needs.
For more information, take a look at the VIVOBAREFOOT website. Make sure you sign up to receive the latest email updates from VIVOBAREFOOT to take advantage of information about sales, end-of-season promotions, and new product announcements.
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.
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