VIVOBAREFOOT Opanka – Review

Opanka – the softest and the most minimal shoes from VIVOBAREFOOT I have tried so far. I was so impressed with the looks, softness and fit of these new slip-on shoes that they hooked me in an instant.

VIVOBAREFOOT is a brand well known in the barefoot world for many years. They offer shoes for different occasion and for all age groups. Lately they surprised me with their new Opanka model. A stylish slip-on shoe for women which immediately caught my eyes.

At first I was a little hesitant to buy them because I have shallow feet, which is usually not the best combination for slip-on shoes. But not for Opanka. They fit me amazingly.

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1. General

  • Model: Opanka
  • Colour: Pink/Granite
  • Tested on: woman, medium-wide feet, 26.3 cm long and 10 cm wide (10.3 cm between metatarsal heads), low instep, skinny ankles with narrow heel, fin-shaped foot – see my how to measure guide and foot type

|Made in Portugal|Women’s|Leather|Ship worldwide|

2. Material characteristics

2.1 Upper

VIVOBAREFOOT Opanka leather slip-ons are available in two different colours – Pink/Granite and Graphite.

I decided to choose this soft pink colour, which looks very neutral on feet and blends well with my skin colour too.

Opanka upper is made from incredibly soft leather. The top part is suede and the edge around the sole is from smooth leather. Shoes are handmade in Portugal and VIVOBAREFOOT used local leather for making these shoes.

At the heel part the smooth leather line is extended all the way to the top of the shoe into the pull tabs. There is also a small V logo from VIVOBAREFOOT.

Under the top part over the instep there is a hidden elastic part which helps accommodate different heights of the instep and makes the shoes more pleasurable and secure to wear.

2.2 Lining

The inside part of the shoe is completely lined with leather. At the heel part is used a suede leather, which gives you a little bit more traction and helps to hold your heel in the right place while walking.

2.2 Sole

For the sole VIVOBAREFOOT used their thinnest and the most minimal sole they have and it is in light orange/gum colour.

If you are used to stiffer soles from VIVOBAREFOOT this sole is nothing like it. The sole is extremely flexible in both directions.

Ground feeling is INCREDIBLE in them. The day when I was taking photos for Opanka I was wearing Wildling Feather sandals. If you wear Wildling Shoes you can probably know how amazing the ground feeling is in them.

And when I switched to Opanka to take photos on my feet I felt the ground even more. This was so incredible to me as I didn’t expect that at all.

Also check my video for the close-up and to see how they look on my feet.

3. Sizing information

3.1 Length

VIVOBAREFOOT Opanka are available in women’s sizes 35-43. I choose size 42 for my foot length 26.3 cm which gives me 12 mm space in front of my toes. This my optimal space for space in the shoes to have.

See my post How much space do we need in shoes if you want to know more about that.

At first I wasn’t sure if the shoes are true to size or not. It was definitely hard to measure it with Plus12. The shoes were curved up at the front part and I needed to walk in them a little bit to make it more flat. With Plus12 I measure the internal length 27.3 cm.

If I check with my index toe, they should be true to size or very close to that number. Take in mind that the width of my index toe is around 15 mm.

3.2. Toebox shape & width

Shoes have a wonderfully shaped toebox. The line where the big toe is, stays straight and it doesn’t tapper a lot. Shoes work the best for dominant big toe and with a gentle slope towards the little toe.

I have a Greek foot type and you can see that the shape is not 100% ideal for my foot shape (my third toe has a little bit less space), but it still works for me. Also the width just works for my medium-wide feet.

More about different foot types you can read in my post What is my Foot Type?

3.3. Fit around the instep, heel and ankle

Opanka will be a great fit for women with skinny ankles and shallower feet. They can also work for normal ankles and normal height instep, but they won’t work for feet with more volume.

You can see in the photo that I don’t have a lot of space left around the elastic part. The elastic is not taut, but probably it wouldn’t be too comfortable if the shoe will be too tight around there.

I saw some people suggesting to cut into the elastic a little bit to make it looser. This can be an option if you need a few mm more there.

4. Comfort

Opanka are so soft and comfortable on your feet that you will be instantly amazed by them. They are a pure joy to wear.

5. How and when to wear them?

I’m sure you won’t have problems to finding many opportunities to wear them. They can be your work shoes, your dressier option or you can just wear them with jeans and T-shirt for a more casual look. As VIVO states – “Opanka is your ultimate workweek companion”.

6. Comparison to different brands

Here is a mini comparison of VIVOBAREFOOT Opanka to Feelgrounds Droptop which I already reviewed on my blog here. The main difference between them is that Opanka is a women model and Droptop is an unisex model, Opanka is made leather and Droptop is made from recycled PET materials.

Both models are very soft. If I thought that nothing can be softer than Feelgrounds, VIVOBAREFOOT Opanka is its big competitor. As soft and light as any other shoe from VIVO so far.

Opanka is more secure over my low instep and the hidden elastic part keeps the shoe on my feet very nice. I wouldn’t recommend them for high instep. But Droptop can be a better choice for those with more volume. I need to wear insoles in them to make them a good fit.

Regarding the width they feel very similar to me, also the sole is similar width. But I have more space for my big toe in Opanka which tapers less at the big toe area than Droptop and the space for my big toe is even more generous.

7. Price & where to buy

You can buy Opanka from VIVOBAREFOOT official website. The price is 130€.

You can buy them with 10% discount with using my affiliate code BUVIVO20.

8. Shipping info

VIVOBAREFOOT ships worldwide. The shipping costs depend on the shipping country and the amount you order. They offer free returns.

9. Where are they made?

Shoes are handcrafted in Portugal using only local leather.

10. To sum up

If you thought that VIVOBAREFOOT shoes are shoes for narrower feet and with stiffer soles, then you haven’t tried their Opanka yet.

Opanka is so different from most Vivo shoes. Extremely soft with just an amazing ground feeling. Nothing but pure LOVE for me.

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