Vivobarefoot Men’s RA II Classic Oxford – Review

Vivobarefoot Men’s RA II Classic Oxford – Product characteristics

  • Rubber sole
  • Shaft measures approximately Ankle from arch
  • Light, flexible and breathable, with an ultra-thin sole
  • Wild Hide Leather – naturally scarred and durable
  • Men’s Everyday Shoes
Vivobarefoot Ra II, Mens Leather Barefoot Oxford Lace Up Shoe Dark Brown
773 Reviews
Vivobarefoot Ra II, Mens Leather Barefoot Oxford Lace Up Shoe Dark Brown*
  • Light, flexible and breathable, with an ultra-thin sole
  • Wild Hide Leather - naturally scarred and durable
  • Men's Everyday Shoes

Vivobarefoot Men’s RA II Classic Oxford – Reviews

Get them. Seriously.

Okay as someone who legitimately hates to wear shoes and I don’t just mean on the beach, these are fantastic. I have a slew of foot problems including mortons toe so vibrams aren’t an option and considering I am on my feet all day working as a bartender good shoes are critical. I’ve been a user of shoes for crews for years but my job requires a dress shoe and I despaired of finding something with enough darn toe room to keep from throwing my shoes off as soon as I could.These? Like jazz shoes. You feel the difference in carpet and marble, cement vs wood. Wear them with injinji toe socks and your feet will be thrilled.Only con is my right foot was badly creased and I couldn’t figure out why. It’s from driving. Not sure how to fix it but aside from that, no complaints.Update September 24 2017I still love wearing these but the creasing is a notable problem if you need to look professional. See photo to see the difference for the driving shoe.

Reviewed in the United States on August 4, 2017

Most comfortable shoes I have ever known; sadly NO authorized repair center in the USA

PROS100% barefoot feelSoft, pliable leather upperZero rise/no heelsMost comfortable shoes I have ever knownCONS:NO USA REPAIRSole wears relatively quickly compared to other shoes I have wornThere is no question that these Vivobarefoot RA IIs are the most comfortable shoes that I have ever owned. As for the level of comfort, this is a 5-star shoe. I love these shoes. Realize, though, if you buy these, that there NO USA authorized repair agent available to resole or refurbish these shoes and the soft sole–that I so truly love–is already showing some wear after about 5 months of heavy use. That’s why I docked these shoes a star.THE RAIIsThe upper is made of buttery soft leather. The upper conformed to the shape of my foot almost immediately and it felt like putting on a soft leather glove. The foot bed insert is made out of cork that keeps your feet dry and odor free. The shoes are zero rise–that is the heels are not elevated.The soul of the Vivobarefoot shoe, however is its sole. This can vary from shoe style to shoe style from softer to tougher rubber and anywhere from 3 to 5 mm (yes, millimeters) in thickness. The soles on the RA II are 3 mm thick and made out of ‘V-sense’ TPU. They are incredibly pliable and have incredible ground feel. These shoes really give you good ground feel. When you start wearing them, you will really feel like you are walking barefoot. The soles are so pliable, they let your feet find their own natural position. The ground feel is so real, your foot is able to naturally adjusts to any terrain.I have tried Lems and own a pair of Xero Prio shoes. The Lems were well made, but the upper was stiffer than the Vivobarefoots and the sole of the Lems was far less pliable and had far, far less ground feel. They were very well made, but I ended up returning them. The Xero Prio shoes have a narrower toe box–still larger than average but less so than the Vivos. And the Xero shoes have a sole that is better than the Lems but not nearly as good as the Vivos.Given the zero rise and the thin soles, you may need to have your pants hemmed shorter once you start wearing these, or your cuffs may drag on the ground. Additionally, you will feel cold surfaces through the bottom of these shoes. (Vivobarefoot does cell thermal insoles to replace the cork ones. I have these in my Vivobarefoot Gobi II winter boots. The thermal sole does work and it still has more ground feel than most other shoes, but the walking experience is still better with the original cork inserts.)WHY BAREFOOT SHOES?Before buying these, I was a major barefoot-shoe skeptic. I figured that padding was protective and that more was better. I was a major fan of Keens and bought a pair of Kurus. I am not a podiatrist–nor do I play one on TV–so I can only speak for myself. Padded shoes can work well and worked for me for a while. There are some major issues, however:1) The Kurus were mega-padded and work by cushioning your foot while also keeping your foot in a neutral position. This is all well and good until you over-break-in the shoes. Then the extra padding tends to hold your foot in an unnatural angled position that will exacerbate your foot and knee pain with every step. The Keens were less padded, so they had less of this problem, but after a while they, too, would hold your feet in an awkward position. (The newer Keens are not as well manufactured as they used to be in Keen’s earlier days. My first pair of Keens lasted 3 years–no kidding. My last pair of Keens lasted just over a year.)2) Both Kurus and Keens have something of a heel rise. This never caused me a problem, until I wore down the heels on the back outer edge. This tended to keep my heels rolled outward (supination) which messed up the alignment with my knee and caused worsening pain3) Both Keens and Kurus have thick soles and some padding (a lot of padding for the Kurus). This meant that they decreased ground feel and the ability to adjust to different kinds of terrain rapidly. In the case of the Kurus, there was so much padding, I felt like I couldn’t feel the ground at all. I had a Frankenstein-like walk when wearing the Kurus that I really had to get used to before I could wear them every day.4) Both Keens and Kurus improved my knee pain when they were new and exacerbated it when they broke down.ADVANTAGES OF BAREFOOT SHOESAgain, I am not a podiatrist. I can only tell you what worked for me. However, the increase in ground feel allows my feet to adjust naturally to any terrain. I get a lot of feedback from the surfaces I walk on and my body adjusts accordingly. I have far less knee pain and no foot pain.Realize, though, there is no solution that will work for 100% of people or 100% of problems. Some people may need padding and some people may require that their feet are positioned by their footwear. So I can only speak to my own experience.Please note, however, that I originally purchased these shoes in desperation. I had really thought padding would be better for me, so this is not the result I would have intuitively expected. Nor am I happy about paying a premium for these Vivobarefoot shoes. But getting rid of my knee pain and foot pain is priceless and these are now my go-to shoes.LACK OF REPAIR OPTIONSI contacted Vivobarefoot. There are no authorized repair facilities in the US. At about $140 a pop, lack of a repair facility in the US is a major downside in my book. (If you live in the UK, you can get a full RA refurb for 65 quid if you drop and pick up at their London Coventry Garden store. Add 15 pounds extra for shipping if you are sending them from within the EU…)I do use these shoes heavily. I bought a pair in black and when these worked out bought a pair in brown. I basically switch off every day, but they still take a beating. I contacted some online shoe repair services just to get the lay of the land. One stated that they didn’t repair Vivos. Another stated that they could not replace the soles, but could shave them down and retread them for about $83. I will continue to look around for a potential repair place locally and online and will update the review when I find one. I am a bit skeptical as to how well a repairer could fix them without access to Vivo’s proprietary soles, but we’ll see.I will also be hunting for other options in barefoot shoes that can compare with Vivo (but, so far, haven’t found any… feel free to leave suggestions in the comments).CONCLUSIONThese are absolutely the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn and I do love them. I am very disappointed, though, at the lack of a US authorized repair center. Still, I do recommend these shoes as the best barefoot shoe I have ever worn.

Reviewed in the United States on April 5, 2018

Clown shoe

This is absolutely not wearable with any kind of dress pants/suit. Ok ish with a pair of jeans, although the show box is really wide and the shoe looks a little like a clown shoe. You may as well wear vibram gear in terms of looks/fashion….I think that s probably why only the shoe is shown on the website. A picture with a model wearing it with pants would clearly reveal how unfashionable this shoe is. Would make any Italian designer turn in its tomb :)A shoe to wear on casual occasions or during the weekends. I am disappointed because I thought I finally found a barefoot shoe I could wear in office. This is clearly not suitable. Buy their sports model instead.

Reviewed in the United States on August 26, 2019

I really dig these

After developing bunions I switched out all my footwear for barefoot/minimalist style shoes. Next on the list was a dressy shoe. I initially ordered the size 12.5 (EU 46) directly from Vivo, but found it constrained my toes and returned it. Luckily Amazon had the size 13/EU 47 on sale for $112 so I jumped on it.Overall I love the look of this shoe and find it less clunky than the Lems Nine2Five. It’s a basic black leather shoe. Once you polish it up with a good leather cream (something I strongly recommend because the shoe doesn’t come all that shiny) it’s perfectly wearable in business casual or formal situations. I also have not had the problem of the insole slipping that other reviewers have complained about. As a barefoot-style shoe this ticks all the boxes: wide toe box (after I sized up), zero drop, no arch support, no toe spring, and a flexible sole.I do have a couple issues however. For one, the shoe isn’t all that comfortable. My other barefoot shoes — which are vegan/synthetic — feel much better. The leather is tough; maybe it’ll get softer over time. Secondly, Vivo doesn’t advertise what the quality of the leather is. I can’t tell whether it’s full grain, top grain, or genuine. You have to shine it with a leather cream to get it to look nice. Finally, $150 is a steep price for such a basic dress shoe. I’m not sure what makes Vivo shoes so expensive. (Lems and Xero are upping their prices too).If this shoe worth your money? Only if you find it on sale I would say. The only other decent, affordable, dressy barefoot shoe on the market is the Lems Nine2Five which runs for $135, and that has a full-grain leather upper. I still think the Ra II looks better.EDIT: Unfortunately I have to bump the rating down to 3 stars. While the EU 47 fits my toes, the shoe is far too loose, especially now that the leather has softened up. Apparently the originaly Ra had a wider toebox; I don’t know why they shrunk it. More annoying though is the insole slips as I walk. The foam bottom is slippery so once it gets a crease there’s no keeping it in place. Groundies now sells their shoes on amazon, so I recommend looking at their lineup instead.

Reviewed in the United States on August 2, 2020
Vivobarefoot Ra II, Mens Leather Barefoot Oxford Lace Up Shoe Dark Brown
773 Reviews
Vivobarefoot Ra II, Mens Leather Barefoot Oxford Lace Up Shoe Dark Brown*
  • Light, flexible and breathable, with an ultra-thin sole
  • Wild Hide Leather - naturally scarred and durable
  • Men's Everyday Shoes

Vivobarefoot Men’s RA II Classic Oxford – FAQ

Does the insole still slip with each step like what happened on the original vivo ra? my toes slipped the insole on the orig. ra under my heel.

Yes, but not with each step that you would feel it. Mine are a couple months old and one shoe’s insole started riding to the shoe’s heel and up the inside of the heel. I have to remove the shoe and replace the insole towards the toe halfway thru the day. Sucks for $150 shoes that you’d have to do this. And from the first time I wore them, I was in love. Not worth the risk.

why are these to expensive? What is special about them?

The quality the company provides is the what is being sold. Also the communities these shoes help employ is another rplus when you purchase products from them too. Lastly the 100 day satisfactory guarantee is a a great price pt.and get a full refund. The shoes are not over priced.

if I order the brown model will there be reinforcements in the shoelace eyelets like there are in the black..?

No, the holes for the shoelaces do not have any reinforcements in the brown.

How do these shoes fit? I’m a usually a 12.5-13 and I don’t know what size to go with.

I wear 13 in usa size i went with 46. I work at a car dealership so im always walking , standing, running and driving and these shoes are the best. No more sore feet when i get off.

Im nervous about size because i know barefoot shoes are different. My foot is 9.5 inches long. Will the 7 be too big?

Vivobarefoot.com has a sizing guide.

I bought the vivobarefoot men’s ra ii wp classic casual oxford. what’s the best way to take care of them/clean them/get rid of scuff marks?

I use Weidman Leather Wipes on all of my smooth leather Vivos. It doesn’t discolor them after they dry (less than an hour). I walk an average of ten miles a day and work two jobs. I have to clean them every day because I put them through a lot over the course of the day. I love these shoes. I have eight pair and have several more on the way. I have been in Vivos exclusively for almost a year and cannot find a single problem.

I wear a 10.5 in most shoes..should I buy 10 or 11? Thanks!

I wear an 11 in most USA size or 45 euro. I would buy 11.

Vivobarefoot Ra II, Mens Leather Barefoot Oxford Lace Up Shoe Dark Brown
773 Reviews
Vivobarefoot Ra II, Mens Leather Barefoot Oxford Lace Up Shoe Dark Brown*
  • Light, flexible and breathable, with an ultra-thin sole
  • Wild Hide Leather - naturally scarred and durable
  • Men's Everyday Shoes

*If you buy a product through one of these links, I will receive a small commission from the seller. There are no additional costs for you, and you support my work on this site. To learn more read here. Thank you and Feel Grounded. Dirk