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A Men’s Minimalist Professional/Dress Shoe

by Brian Patterson » on Nov 03, 2011 13

Traditional Men’s black dress shoes are a nightmare.  A raised heel, unnecessary arch support, and toe-crunching tapered tip make for the perfect antithesis to minimalist shoes like Vibram FiveFingers and Merrell Barefoot shoes. Nothing about these shoes aligns with the barefoot/minimalist shoes movement.

uncomfortable traditional men's black dress shoe

The definition of 'uncomfortable'

A new crowd-sourced project, the Primal Professional, is trying to change all of this.  A young entrepreneur named Mountain (yep, thats his name) has set out to raise money for a new type of men’s dress show.  One that looks from the outside to be a very traditional black professional shoe, but on the inside contains all of the features and comfort we love in barefoot shoes.  Below is what it looks like (pretty indistinguishable from any other black dress shoe, right?  That’s the point!):

The Primal Professional Shoe

Here is the video that Mountain made showing off the shoes.  My favorite parts include the built-in optical illusions as well as the sustainable practices behind their production.

We Can All Help Get This Off The Ground

The ‘crowd-source’ part means that we can all give a small amount of money to help get this project off the ground.  In return, your contribution can get you anything from great Primal food products to a pair of the Primal Professional shoes, depending on the amount you give.  You can see all of the details on the project and how to give here.  Mountain’s has currently raise $7,640 and has a goal to raise $50,000.  Lets get behind him!

In the next few days Mountain will be joining us here on the site to provide more background and information on the project.  He is also sending a pair of these our way to take a closer look; so we’ll have more information and details on these shoes over the next week or so.  In the meantime…

If you have any questions or thoughts on these shoes, let us know in the comments!

Submitted Comments

  1. Dan says:

    Wow.. my dream office shoe! I’m really curious to see how they feel.

  2. Mike says:

    I gotta have a pair of those. I wear dress shoes to work everyday, and although I’ve tried to find some that are minimalist (whether they were intentionally made that way or not), its been tough.

    These seem to embody everything I’m in to. Primal, sustainability, barefoot, minimalist….. here comes some money.

  3. Jess says:

    Cool for the right people, but I’m lucky enough to be able to wear my KSO Treks for everything I do – from daily work in the office to serving communion at church!

  4. Christal Williams says:

    I am a huge advocate of shoes that allow your feet to function and transfer energy in the way they are designed. I have many professional male patients in their 60s that just won’t go there with the five fingers. Other minimalist dress shoes they feel are too ‘different’. Please let me know when / where these will be available!!

  5. Michael says:

    These are a dream come true. I own 12 pairs of VFF’s and I am a pure FAN. I have GOUT AND teach Karate, so the Vibram’s were perfect for my lifestyle which encourage me to remain fit to keep my GOUT problem at bay. Can you tell me what size your prototype is? Can I purchase a pair from you at any cost and help you do some marketing or fund raising?

  6. Mountain says:

    They feel most similar to skate shoes with the insoles removed. It doesn’t hug your foot like a VFF, but is thin, flat, firm.

  7. Mountain says:

    The awesome thing is that all of those tie together so well.

  8. Mountain says:

    Christal, what kind of practice do you have? We have been speaking with quite a few healthcare providers and would love to partner up with you as well.

  9. Don says:

    Mountain, contact me privately if you would like to discuss making these shoes a pervasive reality.

  10. Don says:

    I am done with heels. My feet go back to flat starting now.

  11. NavyKnight says:


    I sincerely thank you for teaching me a new word for today I had to Google. “Pervasive”

    However, your comment is 2 years behind. This article was posted in 2011. It is now 2013 and many people are already enjoying PriPros!! I already have 30 pairs of Vibrams and my jungle feet have flourished and are strong and muscular. Alas, I need to work in an office everyday so the only dress shoes I can wear without pain are PriPros. So I highly suggest you purchase a pair for yourself and Pervasively ENJOY! (Yup I still need to learn how to use this new word)

  12. Mark says:

    How much are these shoes to preorder?

  13. Adam says:

    This was my first purchase of Ugg boots and it won’t be my last.

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