The Oxford shoes with the Vibram sole

My Terra Plana Button shoes arrived a couple of days ago. As you may or may not recall, I picked up some Vivo Barefoot shoes early last year and they have been great! The style of teh Barefoot is like old-school Vans slip-ons, but Terra Plana makes them entirely of natural and recycled material. More importantly, they have a thin segmented sole. Instead of your foot being splinted in to rigid footwear, you can move a little more naturally. They really are great shoes, but the soles are starting to wear a little thin. I would guess they have another 6 months to go. Plus — well, slip ons? They are maybe not perhaps the most formal of footwear around.

For some time, I have had my eye on the other thin-sole styles that Terra Plana offers.  The Button is an Oxford style with Vibram soles similar to the Barefoot.  They have been out of stock for a long time.  Before that, it seemed their sales coincided with the availability of sizes under 8 and above 14.  But I finally managed to get a pair!

They look great.  They feel great-ish (…still a bit rigid, but they will soften up in the coming days and weeks).  My only reservation is that they trend toward the work-boot end of the Oxford spectrum.

A warning to anyone looking at this kind of shoe is that it took about a month for my feet and legs to get used to the thin soles.  I have flat feet, so your experience may be different.  Today I wouldn’t wear anything but.

Up until a few years ago, I would get all giddy about the latest, greatest gadget.  As disposable income decreases (hello, mortgage!) my gadget obsession has similarly decreased.  I still like nerdy concepts and programming languages and advances in algorithms and techniques, but the actual hardware such things run on has started to feel like a commodity.  I am still very interested in such gadgets, I just do not feel the need to own them quite as frequently.  Instead, the giddiness in gadgets has been slowly  (but not entirely) replaced with excitement for clothes and fashion.  It felt really good to get the plaid-lined leather “murse” — I mean messenger bag —  from Levenger.  And the matching 3×5 card wallet.  And the matching pocket protector (yeah, really!).  And the matching notebook.  Fancy Diesel and Levi jeans recently.  And most recently, these Button shoes.  I feel this is for a few reasons.  Gadget hardware, physical and built of atoms, becomes obsolete in a matter of months — meaning you have to spend money to buy a new one.  Software, however, is less expensive.  The revolutionary ideas behind algorithms and techniques are free.  And the atoms that build up simple, durable, non-gadget goods?  They survive an eternity in internet-years.  It may be different for girls because some styles have built-in expiration dates — each year’s spring and winter styles and whatnot — but for many elementary mens styles, the replacement date is the day that it falls apart.  Like my Vivo Barefoot shoes are on the verge of doing.

Posted in: Dear Diary

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Brian Enigma

Brian Enigma is a Portlander, manipulator of atoms & bits, minor-league blogger, and all-around great guy. He typically writes about the interesting “maker” projects he's working on, but sometimes veers off into puzzles, software, games, local news, and current events.

2 thoughts on “The Oxford shoes with the Vibram sole”

  1. How long did you stalk the website before they came back into stock? It appears that they are no longer in stock. I’m going from a business casual environment to a suit & tie operation, and I already have a pair of the Terra Plana Dharma, but these ones look much nicer for a suit and tie!

    1. I had been looking at the shoes for maybe 6 months, perhaps even a year. Every time they had a sale, I jumped on the site — only to discover no size 11 shoes. I even pleaded, with no luck, with customer service to let me pay for them at the time and have them shipped whenever they became available.

      I finally bit the bullet and bought them at a non-sale price the instant I saw my size was back in stock!

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