30 Something Mother Runner received two pairs of VIVOBAREFOOT Kids Trail Freak Kids shoes for the purpose of this review. All opinions and writing are 100% my own.
I have minimalist shoes in my own running shoe stable, so why not give them to my kids? Minimalist shoes for kids have come a long way, and I was anxious to get a closer look at the VIVOBAREFOOT kids line. My kids decided on the VIVOBAREFOOT Kids Trail Freak, and they couldn’t wait to put them to the test!
Why Minimalist Shoes for Kids?
I first starting looking into minimalist shoes for kids when my middle child was ready for his first “big kid” shoe. I had been experimenting with more minimal shoes myself, and I was surprised that the minimalist options for children were non-existent.
The reason I found it surprising is that children naturally (for the most part) have a very fluid running stride. They generally don’t need anything corrected by a shoe; only protection from the elements. In fact, the bones in your child’s feet aren’t fully formed until their mid to late teens! Why put your child in a shoe that will form their feet in a way unintended by nature. It kind of makes me wonder if this is part of the reason so many of us have foot issues later in life! 😉
Think about early walking shoes– you won’t find a higher heel to toe ratio in early walkers or any arch support. They are simple shoes that offer protection from things on the ground or stubbed toes! When looking at the big kid shoes, it was very hard to find a similar, minimalist shoe. Merrell had the Flux and there were some Vibram shoes, but that was it. Thankfully there are more options now, including the VIVOBAREFOOT kids.
Vivo Barefoot for Kids
VIVOBAREFOOT kids embraces the notion that children’s feet should be free. Footwear should be flexible, flat, and wide enough for a child’s foot. Minimalist footwear allows the child to get feedback from the ground and adjust their gait naturally, as we should! Their feet can grow and develop, without being affected by unnecessary features added to popular kids footwear.
VIVOBAREFOOT offers both athletic and casual footwear for boys and girls. All of the sneaker options are velcro to make it easy for kids to take their shoes on and off independently. The long velcro closure also allows for tightening of the shoe around the child’s foot. There is a flexible honeycomb patterned tread (it’s also puncture resistant) on the shoes that helps children get a good grip on slippery surfaces, or when climbing.
What The Boys Think About Their Vivo Barefoot Trail Freak Shoes!
My only issue with the VIVOBAREFOOT sneakers is that I wish they came in more color choices. The boys LOVED the red/orange combo, but it would have been nice to have a few different color combinations to choose from. The boys really enjoy how lightweight and flexible the Trail Freaks are.
As soon as they started wearing them, they kept remarking about how comfortable they felt and how they felt fast! 🙂 They really like the feeling of running “free.” Click on the video below and you can see my oldest son’s opinion on his new shoes:
In addition to sneakers, you can find some great casual shoes and rain boots for kids. To check out the whole VIVOBAREFOOT Kids line, click HERE.