I think the journey began with the book “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall. Like so many people I was inspired by this story of running in a more natural way (read it if you haven’t already… such a captivating story that reads like a novel). About the same time I discovered how much fun it is running the trails rather than the roads.
Or maybe it was as a kid growing up on Scilly spending a lot of my time barefoot on the rocks and beaches. Developing proprioception by clambering in trees and leaping rock to rock.
Or when working as a boat crew on the Surprise in the summers between university, spending most of my days barefoot. I always felt that I had a better grip of the deck than wearing shoes. It was a sad time, signalling the end of the season, when I’d have to don footwear again.
So the first pair of Vivos was the Breatho Trail in about 2012. I was amazed at the feel I got for the ground beneath me as I ran, the way your foot and the shoe moulded to the curve of a rock as you ran over it, increasing the surface area and therefore the grip. As these were finally nearing the end of their lives they became my go-to footwear for coasteering, almost like climbing shoes and perfect for exploring the rockiest parts of Scilly.
Fast forward to 2016 and as one of the helpers for the first ÖTILLÖ Isles of Scilly swimrun I found myself on the test event for the shorter sprint race, running along chatting to the two founders of the company! A few of us had been leant prototypes of their new swimrun shoes and were putting them through their paces. Cousins Gallahad and Asher Clark really walk the walk (swimrun the swimrun?) when it comes to natural footwear and enter lots of swimrun events. It was great to talk minimalist footwear with these two barefoot pioneers whilst showing them round our beautiful islands.
From that conversation lead first to getting my feet into the final production swimrun shoe (the Primus Trail Swimrun) in preparation for my first swimrun race (the 2017 Scilly event) and also to our whole family being featured on the Vivobarefoot blog.
Now in 2018 we have partnered with Vivobarefoot and are able to offer a fantastic discount of 15% off all of their (full price) products. Use the code “ADVENTURESCILLY15” at vivobarefoot.com
Nick’s favourite Vivos
Fantastic trail shoes. Although they’re for soft ground (that’s the SG bit) I find the grip on the hard granite of Scilly unbeatable and since they have a very free-draining upper, great for swimrun too.