We gave you a preview of the VIVOBAREFOOT hand cut collection, Lisbon and Bannister, last year. This time, we wear tested the Bannister and the upgrade to the best selling VIVOBAREFOOT business casual Ra model, the Ra II Leather. Both are business casual with the Bannister for the younger crowd. The RA II is a step closer to being worn with a business suit but that is probably reserved for the VIVOBAREFOOT Lisbon instead.
The VIVOBAREFOOT Bannister is a tennis inspired premium lifestyle shoe exhibiting the traditional and high quality shoe making techniques of Portugal. The hand finished, polished leather and leather foxing looks the part while the leather footbed will feel great and get better with age.
The VIVOBAREFOOT BANNISTER is a sleek lace-up with sports styling that harkens back to the Roger Bannister era. Leathers that look better with time and move beautifully. For the younger crowd, the BANNISTER can complement your casual or business casual wardrobe and supplement your VIVOBAREFOOT Gobi, Ra, or Freud. The sporty Bannister-era look with premium leather will make you stand out in the crowd or office!
With all VIVOBAREFOOT Hand Cut collection, you’ll get total flexibility from the unlined leather as your feet behave as if they are barefoot in style. The 4mm sole is stiffer than other VIVOBAREFOOT shoes but is still allows your big toe to engage rapidly with the ground as well as independent rear and forefoot movement.
The VIVOBAREFOOT Bannister is available in two colorways: Black and Brown.
VIVOBAREFOOT Ra II Leather
VIVOBAREFOOT has chosen the Spring season to update the VB Ra to improve on a classic and best seller. The all new sole unit is now a sharper and more comfortable office shoe. It’s flatter and has a tighter line which makes it look slimmer and smarter. Another improvement, the heel counter.
The supple yet strong uppers and sole in the VB Ra II gives you total flexibility and provide natural motion control. The VB Ra II wide toe box gives your toes the space they need to splay and natural shock absorption.
The VIVOBAREFOOT Ra II Leather is only available in Black.
The best way that I’ve found to wear test casual and dress shoes is to wear them for various business occasions the whole day – meetings, conferences, breakfast and lunch appointments, and general errands. If your feet can survive without blisters, aches, or pains (includes lower back), then it passes. With zero drop, you’re almost guaranteed that you won’t get lower back pains from standing around. The VB Ra II has a softer and flexible outsole and uppers so I don’t expect it to hinder my natural foot movement. The VB Bannister has a stiffer outsole and uppers. To my surprise, I fared just as well on the Bannister as the Ra II! When I tried out the sales samples last year, the Bannister has an unfinished outsole and in a size 9 that is way too small for me to wear test…
For those who have not fully transitioned to minimal shoes, the VB Ra II Leather might be too minimal for a long day of continuous wear – your feet will feel sore and tired. Try the VB Bannister first in that situation. I like to alternate between something with some cushioning like the VB Bannister and one that is real bare like the VB Ra II so I can work different muscles. Same for my running shoes. Mix it up rule still apply to casual minimal shoes!
In terms of weights, my EU 44 VB Ra II weighs in at 9.0 ounces whereas the Bannister weighs in at 12.2 ounces. The Ra II uppers is also a lot softer and more durable looking than the original version. Even though the VB Ra II Leather is not an alternative to the Primal Professional FER or ZETONE (the VB Lisbon is), it is a great business casual shoe. The VB Bannister is a premium and classy casual but formal minimal shoe for any social and business situation.
*Product provided by VIVOBAREFOOT. CMP.LY/1 Review
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