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Vivo Barefoot: Walking Shoes for Travelers

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Terra Plana's Galahad Clark, decendant of the founder of English shoe company Clarks, wants you to go barefoot. Forget that his ancestors Nathan Clark designed the crepe-soled desert boot in 1950, or before that, in 1883, William Clark created shoes to follow the line of the foot. Galahad wants you to walk as close to naked as possible.

This is quite a departure from the traditional cushy platform-soled Nike-Air type sneaker that we're all used to wearing. Did you know that knee and foot injuries have increased with the popularity of the high soled tennis shoe? Humans are meant to be barefoot, so Galahad created a shoe collection with naked feet in mind called Vivo Barefoot.

I took a pair out for a test drive on a recent trip to Europe, where I was expecting to be walking all day on cobblestone streets. I did find that walking was easier and that each part of the sole of your foot gets a bit of a stretch with every step: heel, arch, ball then toes all are making contact with the ground. Isn’t that the way it is supposed to work? And the pair I wore (above; $125) was super-cute, with a bit of a European flair.

Mimi Lombardo is the fashion director at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of Whitney Lawson

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