We use a fancy IP injection-EVA midsole unheard of in an everyday shoe. It offers maximum lightness and flexibility that will leave your body thanking you. We also designed Sophomores with a wide toe box, zero-drop build, and just the right amount of cushion to allow your feet to behave like...feet.
If you are between sizes, we recommend sizing up, as they do run a little small. If you aren't used to wearing barefoot-style shoes, you will also notice more width at the toes, which should feel wonderful!
Sophomores are "barefoot-inspired", but not as extreme as true barefoot shoes. We've found that totally barefoot shoes cause issues for many. They offer a bit more cushioning for protection from hard surfaces in urban environments. They are wider at the toes than regular shoes, but not quite as wide as some barefoot brands.
In short - yes! Studies have shown that even in flat feet, a minimalist/barefoot style shoe can help build and strengthen arches over time. Sophomores have just enough cushion, without going overboard like most other shoes, which weakens the feet and contributes to the collapse of arches over time.
Sophomores are built to be comfortable, while at the same time supporting the strength and function of your feet and lower body. Most shoes squeeze your toes and overcushion, which leads to dysfunctional, weak feet over time, and even knee, hip and back pain from postural changes.
Barefoot shoes are designed to let your feet (and in turn, your whole body) function as naturally as possible. They tend to be thin, flat, flexible and foot-shaped. Sophomores are "barefoot-inpired", meaning we've adapted the features of barefoot shoes to look better and be comfortable and healthy for almost all feet.
Sophomores are designed to be less extreme than other barefoot shoes, so that the transition from conventional footwear is smooth, comfy, and injury-free. In our opinion, they're also a whole lot prettier:)