Shoe manufacturer Vivobarefoot to step it up to fund expansion plans

VIVOBAREFOOT, the fast-growing shoe manufacturer founded by a scion of the Clarks shoes family, is to look at raising fresh finance to fund its expansion plans.

Founder Galahad Clark said that Vivobarefoot will look at raising the money it needs to accelerate its growth over the next 12 months.

Having started in 2004 producing specialist minimal or "barefeet" running shoes, in recent years it has expanded into children's shoes, lifestyle and multi--terrain footwear.

Although it is stocked by a number of retailers in the UK and overseas, Clark wants Vivobarefoot to add to its one dedicated store in London selling only the firm's goods.

Vivobarefoot was originally part of Clarks Terra Plana shoe business, which produces environmentally friendly footwear.

However, the firm has grown so rapidly in recent years that he said that it was logical to split into two companies.

As proof, he said that Vivobarefoot has gone from selling 30,000 to 300,000 pairs of shoes a month over the past five years.

Barefoot or minimalist running enthusiasts believe that conventional shoes and trainers of the past 40 years, with their extra padding, air bags, motion control and other features, have damaged people's feet and the ability to walk and run properly.

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