SOUL and VIBE – both unique and completely different models of women’s barefoot sandals from Tikki Shoes. The many colours and the softness and comfort of the sole will delight both lovers of traditional sandal designs and those looking for something special.
***UPDATED FOR 2022***
Tikki Shoes, a barefoot brand from Romania, is known for its quality barefoot shoes, slippers and sandals for children and adults and is one of my favourite barefoot brands.
The quality, the materials they use, the design and their immense friendliness impress me again and again. That is why it is a brand that I am always happy to recommend.
Disclaimer: I was given the sandals as a gift to review, but all opinions expressed here are my own and I do not receive any commission if you choose to purchase through the link on my page.
- Brand: Tikki Shoes
- Model: SOUL and VIBE
- Colour: SOUL in Pearl and VIBE in Oasis colour
- Tested on: woman, medium-wide feet, 26.3 cm long and 10 cm wide, low instep, skinny ankles with narrow heel, fin-shaped foot (see my how to measure guide and foot type) – wearing size 42
2. Material characteristics
The Tikki SOUL and VIBE women’s sandals are available in a wide range of colours and you can choose between monochrome and patterned models. In this review you will notice the Soul model in Pearl and the Vibe model in Oasis colour.
The upper is made of vegetable-tanned chrome-free natural leather, vegan leather or cork. Both models in the review are leather. The softness of the upper may vary slightly depending on the material used or the colour of the leather, but here we are talking about details such as ‘soft’ and ‘softer’.
The SOUL and VIBE models are two completely different styles of sandals, both in the way how they are fixed and in the way they look. In the SOUL model, the foot is fixed with the help of a toe loop.
The loop is connected with back part with strap resembling leaves. Toe loop is designed in the way that the outer part of the loop is wider than the inner part and the circumference of the loop is large enough not to press too tightly on the big toe. So you don’t have to worry about your sandals blistering or the loop disturbing you when you walk.
The VIBE model has a more traditional sandal look, with an adjustable strap over the toes that can be adjusted with a velcro strap and an adjustable strap that goes around the ankle and the instep.
Sandals fasten in different ways. The SOUL model uses a hidden velcro strap for fastening, which makes it extremely easy and quick to put on. The VIBE model uses a more conventional buckle fastening method, which means that this model takes longer to put on compared to the SOUL model.
A small Tikki logo is sewn on the strap around the heel, which is not distracting and blends in nicely with the colour of the upper.
The sole is 6 mm thick Vibram Supernewflex rubber. The sole is wonderfully light and incredibly flexible in all directions.
The footbed has undergone a major change this year. The leather has been replaced by a quick-drying microfibre in light brown or black (depending on the colour of the sandal). I was pleasantly surprised by the microfibre and it turned out to be excellent for walking. It feels less ‘slippery’ in contact with the foot than smooth leather, so the sandals feel even more fixed on the foot, and it is not as prone to wear in contact with moisture as leather.
Straps that are attached between the outsole and footbed are visible, but these parts of the straps are not felt during walking and are not distracting at all.
This sole structure gives you a soft and comfortable feeling when walking and the sandals can be great for beginners too as they are extremely comfortable to walk in, even on hard surfaces. Also, the softness of the sole allows for a good response to the ground.
See also the video for a close-up.
3. Sizing information
Sandals are available in sizes 36-43. Always check their size chart before ordering. In 2022 there are changes in the length for each size, so make sure you look at the corresponding chart. Due to the handmade process, there may be slight variations in the length of the sandals, but no more than 1-2 mm.
My feet are 26.3 cm long and 10 cm wide and I chose size 42 for both models, which means 9 mm of extra room in front of my toes. The recommended space for open toe sandals is about 7-10 mm of extra length, as you can trip in more space. Toe space is also affected by the shape of the toes and the shape of the sandal (squarer shapes need more space than feet with a steep slope, but all toes need to stay on the sole when walking).
Please note that the same sole length in both models may feel slightly different. As you can see, my heel in the VIBE is positioned quite far back, leaving most of the extra length in the front of the sandal. In the SOUL model, the toe is fixed in a specific place and most of the extra length stays in the back of the sandal.
3.2. Toebox shape & width
The sandals are best suited to medium and wide feet (but not extra wide). You can get more width in the VIBE model, as the position of the toe is not limited by the position of the toe loop. The toebox shape is the same in both sandals and is best suited to feet with the longest first or second toe with a milder slope towards the pinky toe. If you see that the toebox shape does not fit your foot shape best, you can also take them to a cobbler to have the sole trimmed and adjusted a little.
The SOUL model with a loop around the big toe is great for proper toe movement while walking, as the toes are not restricted with a strap at the sides. Just be careful with the placement of the loop. The loop should allow the big toe to be placed in a natural position and not restrict movement. Read more about that here.
The VIBE model allows the forefoot to be fixed with an adjustable velcro strap. In case of smaller foot volumes and narrower feet, you will need to tighten the strap more tightly. In this case, I recommend that you attach an extra piece of velcro to prevent the rest of the strap from sticking out too much or having the shoemaker cut off the rest of the strap. Larger foot volumes will not have this problem.
Be careful not to tighten the toe strap too much or leave it too loose. No situation is ok, so you need to find the ideal setting where the sandal is fixed enough on your foot to walk properly, but gives you enough room to move your toes.
3.3. Fit around the instep, heel and ankle
In terms of adjusting to different volumes, the VIBE is more versatile as it can be fixed well on both low and high volume feet.
The SOUL model, meanwhile, would not be recommended for feet with a higher instep, as the part over the instep does not allow much adjustment.
Both sandal models are extremely comfortable to wear. The leather is soft and wonderful to walk in. They are extremely light, so you feel like you are wearing almost nothing. Not even the toe loop on the SOUL model is distracting.
5. How and when to wear them?
Sandals come in so many colours that I’m sure everyone can find a colour that suits them. I like to pair my sandals with jeans, but of course they are also great to wear with a summer dress.
Some SOUL colours can also be paired with leggings for a sportier look. They are such versatile sandals that I’m sure you’ll find plenty of occasions to wear them.
6. Price & where to buy
You can buy sandals directly from the official Tikki Shoes website or from various retailers.
The price of the sandals is 68,81€ and with the code BOSENOGICE10% you can get 10% discount on your entire purchase (code is not affiliate).
7. Shipping info
Shipping costs depend on the country of shipment and the number of products and are calculated during checkout. For orders over 150€, shipping is free for most EU countries. Shipped via DLH Express or GLS.
8. To sum up
Although the SOUL and VIBE share the same sole, the uppers are completely different. While the VIBE allows better adaptation to feet with different volumes thanks to the greater adjustability of the straps, the SOUL is the perfect model for freer toe movement and easy on-off. As the microfibre sole on the upper is not stitched around the edges, they can also be easily trimmed if the shape of the sole does not match the shape of your foot. How great is that?!
I’m wearing Tikki Shoes for the fourth season in a row now and I’m sure I’ll be wearing them for many seasons to come. They are one of my favourite barefoot sandals and they are always a pleasure to wear.