FAQ / Help
Sizing, Fit and Feel
What size should I choose?
Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for help with sizing. Here's a couple more things you can provide us to better help you choose a size. It really helps us to get answers to all 3 questions. That way, you'll have the best chance to have shoes that fit on the first purchase and you won't have to deal with the hassle of returning the shoes.
- What sizes do you wear in some other brands? Do they fit loose, tight, or just right? Please specify sizing standard too, e.g. US, EU, UK / Men’s, Women’s / Narrow, Medium, Wide, etc.
- What are the lengths of your feet, as measured in this manner?
- Can you take a photo of your feet, from directly up above, like the picture here? Preferably side-by-side with one of the shoes you’ve referenced. This would allow us to see the general shape and width of your feet.
What if my shoes are too big?
What if my shoes are too small?
What should I do if the topline is hitting my ankles?
What is the size difference across versions?
V3 and V4 have a thin layer of Poron, so they have a little less volume than V1 and V2. Most people don't notice the difference though. If the size you have fits well, we would recommend staying with the same size.
Do you carry shoes in wide width?
The W stands for Wide. All of our shoes are Wide width. Most of our customers already have wide feet, or their feet are going to get wider as they wear barefoot-style shoes like ours and exercise barefoot. Still, plenty of people who have Medium or even Narrow feet have found a comfortable fit with our shoes by sizing down.
If the size you order doesn't fit, and you’re in the UK, we got you covered with 365-day free returns and exchanges. If you're outside the UK, but in Europe, we offer a discounted shipping rate of £6.99 to anywhere in Europe and FREE shipping on replacement orders. If you’re outside of Europe, you’ll have to send the originals back to us, but we will ship your replacements for free. Regular wear is okay. Just make sure they’re clean and no irreparable damage and you’ll get a full refund.
Do you carry half sizes?
We do not offer half sizes at the moment. Only four customers (as of September 2018) in our company’s history have ever returned a shoe because they needed a perfect half size. In the US, we offer free accessories to help with shoe fit. However until our Outlet Store is up and running, we have decided not to ship free accessories outside the US because it’s not worth the postage. Instead, we can reimburse you if you purchase any of the free accessories we offer. Just send us a photo receipt with your order # and we’ll have it processed as a refund through that order.
If you need help deciding size, feel free to email us at email@example.com.
Are there smaller or bigger sizes than those listed on the site?
We don’t currently have plans to make smaller or bigger sizes at the moment. Our end sizes such as 6.5, 12.5, and 13.5 are already very slow sellers. Each size of our shoes requires its own outsole mold, which are expensive. As a small company, we have to be very strategic with our capital.
Returns, Exchanges and Refunds
How do I get a return label?
Can I do an exchange instead of reorder?
We’re sorry to say that we don’t do exchanges. Exchanges made sense for brick-and-mortar stores, where the returning goods and replacement goods are exchanged immediately. It doesn't work as well online given shipping times, and that's why Zappos, Amazon, etc. don't do even exchanges either.
I somehow got sent used shoes.
Sorry for the unpleasant surprise! Our warehouse receiving team didn't catch that these shoes aren't in brand-new condition.
How do the shoes feel and how is the sizing? If you're okay with this pair, we can give you back £15, because that's the discount for V4 shoes with normal wear at the flexpoint in our US Outlet Store. And we'll give you another £25 for saving us shipping costs and effort. So if you want to keep this pair, we can give you a total of £40 back. Or you can return these and we’ll send you a brand new pair. Let us know what sounds best to you!
What are the return instructions?
1) Make sure shoes are CLEAN, like New
Unlike other shoe companies, we're okay with you wearing your shoes outside! Just make sure you clean off any dirt or mud before sending them back. Common courtesy, right?
- Wrinkles? Okay! It's practically unavoidable.
- Dirt or mud? Not Okay! Please clean this off.
- Scuffs? Not Okay! Please have these buffed out. Your local cobbler is great at this.
Deep cuts or scratches? Never Okay! If you return shoes with deep cuts or scratches, you will lose your refund and shoes.
2) Packing the items for Return
Make sure the LEFT shoe tree goes into the LEFT shoe, and the RIGHT shoe tree goes into the RIGHT shoe. Switching the shoe trees can distort your shoes and forfeit your refund.
What are the shipping times, prices, and destinations?
Here are our shipping options and prices (you’ll also see these during checkout):
UK 2-3 day: FREE
Europe (excluding UK) 3-7 day: £6.99
International (excluding UK/Europe) 5-12 day: £20.00
DESTINATIONS: We ship anywhere in the world serviced by DHL, FedEx, or Royal Mail. Please note that we cannot specify a carrier.
CUSTOMS DUTIES: Your government may assess additional customs duties and taxes before you can receive the item. Click here to see full return policies.
Can I declare a lower value on customs forms?
We’re sorry, we can't falsify declared value because we don't want to needlessly irritate a government and lose our right to do business in that country. We hope you understand.
Do you have any recommendations for shoe care products?
We recommend Saphir Médaille D'Or Shoe Cream. Shoe creams provide both conditioning and shine. This particular formulation, made of all natural ingredients, has been the highest-end shoe cream since 1925. It has a much higher concentration of pigments and wax than other shoe creams, so you don't need to use as much as other creams.
For our Oxblood shoes, Burgundy would be the closest to the original color. You can also go with Hermes Red and Mahogany if you want it to look more red or brown, respectively.
Do you pre-condition your leather?
Your shoes have a light coat of cream upon arrival. You don't have to use a conditioner now, but you can definitely improve the shoes looks and performance with some conditioner, cream, and/or polish.
Do you ship free accessories outside of the US?
Until our Outlet Store is up and running, we have decided not to ship free accessories outside the US because it’s not worth the postage. Instead, we can reimburse you if you purchase any of the free accessories we offer. Just send us a photo receipt with your order # and we’ll have it processed as a refund through that order.
How do I remove the tongue pad or heel grip?
Once our Outlet Store is up and running, we'd be happy to send you another pair of tongue pads. Until then, we can reimburse you if you purchase a tongue pad or heel grip on your own. Just send us a photo receipt with your order # and we’ll have it processed as a refund through that order.
In the meantime, we would recommend the following steps to cleanly remove and replace the tongue pad:
- Heat the tongue pad with a blow dryer to soften the adhesive.
- Once the tongue pad is warm to the touch, turn off the blow dryer.
- Try to wedge your finger between the pad and the shoe as you peel it off. This way, the entire tongue pad will come off, and not leave the residue.
- If we're lucky, the tongue pad should still be sticky, and you can re-position it.
- If not, we have another pair of tongue pads en route to you!
The leather is creasing/wrinkling/breaking.
We understand you have a concern about wrinkling on your new shoes that you paid good money for. We hope we can properly explain the situation and also provide you with some peace of mind.
First, check out this article from the CEO of Horween tannery: On Leather Quality and Properties. It explains what causes variations in leather wrinkling AKA "break", and shows some photos of good and/or acceptable break. Horween makes world-famous leathers like Chromexcel and Shell Cordovan which are used on $1,000+ shoes and boots. If you send us a photo, we can judge if the wrinkling is expected or not.
Carets have a much greater range of motion than conventional dress shoes, and will wrinkle quicker as a result. This doesn't mean that your entire shoe will be covered in wrinkles, but just that the flexpoint will reach its max level of wrinkles sooner.
If you're loving the fit and comfort, we would recommend wearing them for at least another week. If you still find it a bother, we can help you out with an exchange. It's impossible to tell how the leather will break until you start wearing them though, so keep that in mind if we do an exchange.
I'd like to stretch your shoes out.
From the few times our customers have told us they were going to stretch our shoes, it has never worked. But, you’re welcome to give it a try. Stretching the shoes won’t void your return rights unless something catastrophic happens like they rip through the leather.
Product Technical Questions
What materials are used?
Upper: Full-grain aniline cowhide
Liner: Full-grain aniline cowhide
What is the shoe and/or outsole life?
It's hard to say how long the outsoles will last, because it depends on the user’s weight, gait, mileage, walking surfaces, etc. we've heard of anywhere between 1.5 years to outsoles that are still going strong from our first batch in 2013. We can tell you our outsoles are made of polyurethane, which is more expensive than rubber, but lighter and more durable.
Lifetime guarantees have disappeared from footwear, and for good reason, because footwear endures a lot more wear and tear. Our 365-day guarantee is one of the strongest in footwear, and as far as we know, it's stronger than any of the other barefoot brands or dress shoe brands.
Is there a removable insole so that we can place insoles/orthotics in these shoes?
Our shoes don't have a removable footbed right now (working on this for future versions) but you might be able to fit yours depending on the size and shape of your feet! Something even more likely to work is Soul Insole. They make a small sticky gel insert that can fit in a larger range of footwear than traditional inserts.
Do Correct Toes fit in your shoes?
Correct Toes is a great product, especially if it’s paired with smart exercise, good posture, and barefoot shoes. Correct Toes’ website is such a great resource, with information on all 3 and more. We are honored to be listed in their Natural Foot Approved™ directory.
Some of our customers wear Correct Toes with their Carets every day. Some had to modify their Correct Toes to fit. Some just can’t use Correct Toes with our shoes at all. It all depends on your foot shape.
If you’d like some more assurance before ordering, you can send us a photo of your feet, from directly up above, like the picture here. Preferably side-by-side with a pair of shoes that your Correct Toes does work with. This would allow us to see the general shape and width of your feet, and we can better judge whether they’ll work for you or not.
If the size you order doesn't fit, and you’re in the UK, we got you covered with 365-day free returns and exchanges. If you're outside the UK, but in Europe, we offer a discounted shipping rate of £6.99 to anywhere in Europe and FREE shipping on replacement orders. If you’re outside Europe, you’ll have to send the originals back to us, but we will ship your replacements for free. Regular wear is okay. Just make sure they’re clean and no irreparable damage and you’ll get a full refund.
Why do you have a toe spring?
Early in development, we made a shoe that was completely flat. They went "plop, plop, plop" with every step, like a pair of flippers. A toe spring is a useful feature if done right, as it helps you not kick the front of your shoes, especially on dress shoes where there's extra length in the front.
However, we do agree with you, it can be reduced. We are currently working on a new last, so once that’s done, the toe spring will be reduced in all our products going forward. It will take a few more months before these changes hit shelves though.
In the meantime, feel free to try out our shoes. Our shoes are flexible so the toe spring is malleable. We offer 365-day free returns, and full refunds even on worn shoes — details here.
Product Status & Suggestions
When will X be available?
Thanks for reaching out! For every new product, we have to finish development with a final approved sample first. Only then can we take photos, list them for pre-order, and provide a realistic delivery date. Even after final approval, the ETA can change due to the many independent suppliers involved in making a shoe. So before final approval, we can’t give an ETA. I hope that makes sense!
I appreciate your support and enthusiasm! The best way to stay up to date on new product development, production, and availability is through our monthly newsletter — sign up here!
Have you considered making vegan shoes?
While Vivobarefoot is our competitor, we agree with their head of design on this:
VIVOBAREFOOT wants their shoes to have a minimal as possible ecological footprint. Leather is not so good for the environment though. Do you experiment with or look at alternative materials like faux leather?
This is a big question. The short answer is that leather is an unrivaled material for shoes due to its natural breathability, moisture wicking, and the wearing narrative — "the more your wear it the better it looks and feels". We call it emotional durability which is another way of saying that the shoe gets better the more you wear it!
The problem with polyurethane is as soon as you drive it out of the garage it's slowly getting worse and you could argue that this makes a product a lot more disposable. So there are really two sides to this debate and we do make non-leather performance and some lifestyle shoes like our JingJing which uses the best high performance PU money can buy; and while it performs better than most PU’s on the market it doesn’t perform as good as leather.
We will keep our eyes open for a vegan leather that may one day surpass genuine leather though! Materials science is fascinating. They’re working on things like mushroom skin leather, and leather that is lab-grown. None of them are commercially available yet, but we can’t wait!