Check out our latest newsletter. We talk about:
  • How we're improving the Oxfords in every aspect, for the next production run.
  • Our new product: The Boots
  • New colorways coming, and how you can help shape our future.

If you want to get updates like this, just hit "Subscribe" on the top-left corner of the next page!

Shoes are here...

...and I have them packed and ready to go! Sorry it took so long to update you. After all the delays, I didn't want to say anything until things were as certain as they are now =). 2013 was a year of disappointing setbacks, but we were able to finish it strong. My wife Cherry and I were working hard through the holidays to fulfill all outstanding orders within December as promised, and I'm proud to say we did it. We've learned a ton, particularly about manufacturing, quality, and fulfillment, and look forward to providing ever greater products and service.

Most SKU's are in stock now, and the ones that aren't can be reserved from our Spring shipment at $20 off, on Returning customers, remember to use your discount code, and/or share it with friends that have been waiting! If you don't remember it, just reply to this email for a reminder.

But before you order, check out our...


New Sizing Guide

It's made based on my experiences helping multiple customers one-on-one, whether through email or in person, find the the perfect pair of PriPro's for them. 

At first we didn't have a sizing guide ready yet, and I noticed that all of our exchanges were for shoes too big. Next, we posted up an overly-complicated chart from Wikipedia with measurements and conversions from every sizing standard. Then we simplified it to just a measurement and "Your PriPro" in U.S. sizing, but then we started getting the opposite problem, with lots of exchanges for shoes too small. So here we are with a new sizing guide that is simpler than ever, and I hope more accurate than ever.

Continuous Improvement: one of our core company (and my personal) values. Speaking of which, here's another improvement...


New Shoe Trees

We recently changed vendors for our complimentary accessories. Our old shoe trees, while comprised of US materials, were made in China, meaning double-shipping. Sourcing locally makes an enormous difference for the climate. According to gizmag,"15 of the largest ships now emit as much sulphur oxide as the worlds 760 million cars." Hat-tip to customer Justin Whitehead for sharing!


Now? They're made in the USA by Woodlore. You may have heard of their parent company: Allen Edmonds. They make amazing shoes in the US--good enough for presidents on Inauguration Day. And they've been doing so for almost a century, almost as long as our shoemaker. We're proud to offer Woodlore's aromatic red cedar shoe trees with every pair of the Primal Professional.


That's all for now. Stay tuned for even bigger announcements in the coming months! 2014 is going to be huge.


Best Regards,

Mountain Evan Chang


Sizing (Important!)

If you've already placed an order, please review our updated SIZING GUIDE We've had half a dozen messages like this: "Mountain, I received my shoes yesterday. They're beautiful, comfortable, and everything you promised - but they are definitely too large!" After chatting a bit with everyone, I was able to better understand their concerns, and better explain how the Primal Professional should look/feel. I've compiled my responses and organized it into the updated sizing guide. To change your size, just reply to this email and let me know!

Changes in Address?

If you've moved since first placing your order, hit REPLY and let us know your new address before we ship!

Shipping Update

We had a partial shipment arrive in May, allowing some very early customers who ordered specific sizes and styles to get their shoes. The bulk of the production run, however, is due at our curb next week. It will take us a couple days to fulfill these, as Cherry and I will be personally organizing, inspecting, doing QA/QC, lacing up the shoes, packing the shoe trees/shoe bags/shoe horn, labeling, and finally sending them off! You can expect them on your feet before the end of June.

Ordering vs Pre-Ordering

We are a small company with big goals but limited capital. Your pre-orders help us immensely in achieving those goals, and we will always offer a discount to make it worth the wait.

But now that we're getting shoes, they're no longer pre-orders but orders, at full retail price. The price goes up after Wednesday June 12th. Another reason to pre-order now: inventory is dwindling fast. Size 8 and 11 cap-toes are completely sold out and are back in pre-order status until the next production run. Only 40% of our first production inventory remains, and the rest will go as people get these on their feet and start talking about them from firsthand experience.  Visit to order at a discount before Wednesday June 12th.

Other Highlights

"I wore the shoes out for the first time and they are absolutely fantastic!  Played violin for a wedding, had to stand for about 90 min. and they were unbelievably comfy, both for the feet and for the back, (spinal alignment not messed up by heel rise).  Congrats on a great product!" - Philip, Violinist, of Jacksonville, FL

"Just wanted to give you HUGE props!! I came back from my business trip today to find my new primal captoes. Like a kid at Xmas I tore into the box to find great craftsmanship. Love the entire package with the shoe tree, shoe horn and shoe bags. My feet were barking from my Ecco's so I immediately put on the new shoes. Not only did my feet stop hurting but they looked damn good too. I spent the remainder of the day in the kitchen without the slightest slip. Thanks again for making such an awesome shoe. Hands down my favorite most comfortable work dress shoe." - Eric, Chef, of Chicago, IL

The other day, we got this photo from a customer. If this happens to your shoes, don't let it slide! Let us know immediately! We'll get a replacement pair out the door and email a prepaid return label for the defective pair right away. This is absolutely unacceptable damage and I won't allow you to suffer from it. 

And finally, our first published review from a customer:

Best Regards,

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Hi Primal People,

I'll keep this one short and sweet. Turns out, that sidewall adjustment I mentioned in the last newsletter did delay the outsoles, and it bottlenecked production. We're getting real close now, though. They are scheduled to complete assembly and ship out May 3rd. It'll take about 5 business days for the shoes to reach me in San Diego, hopefully Friday the 10th. My team and I will be hustling throughout the weekend to get these ready and out the door by Monday the 13th. And just one more update...

New Look

If you haven't stopped by our new website yet, drop by for a second The home page needs some detailing, but check out that product page:

That's it for now! Trust me, I'm even antsier than you are =)

Barefoot Mountain, CPA

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This is a copy of our latest newsletter. Make sure you're on our mailing list to get the big updates, monthly (at most)

Production Updates

While working with the larger sizes, our outsole maker realized that we could get a tighter bond between the outsole and the leather by adjusting the angle of the sidewalls a few degrees. This modification puts us back a week or two, but it is offset by another piece of good news...I was informed by our shoemaker Weinbrenner that our assembly time has shortened, looking at 4 weeks instead of 8 weeks, due to efficiencies discovered in the workflow. For this run, it is a wash and we're still looking at an April ship date. For future runs though, we can be even leaner and agile, with our factory lead time now 8 weeks instead of 12 weeks. Compare that to 24 weeks if made overseas. It is a thrill to have a supply chain full of vendors who are dedicated to continuous improvement and workmanship. 

Roundup of Reviews

  • "In my opinion, there is almost no comparison – my suits are dying for them!" -Minimalist Running Shoes
  • "It was like I was wearing slippers, but nobody knew it." -Toe Salad
  • "I have to say that with what we’ve seen thus far, I feel that this barefoot dress going to be a tier above the rest." -Technically Running
  • "The leather is incredibly uniform and supple, the stitching is perfect, and it just looks sexy." -In Search of Badass
  • "Through it all, as is the sign of any good shoe, I never noticed they were there. Perhaps more importantly, nobody else did either." -Birthday Shoes

Highlights from Facebook

Have you Liked our page? If not, you're missing out:
  • It's confirmed: the Primal Professional can be resoled (photo)
  • Our most controversial post, ever (status update)
  • The elusive smooth-toe model is captured in a (photo)

Paleo Parties in San Diego?

If any of you are in town, there is an awesome potluck coming up hosted by Paleo Treats. It will be on Monday, March 18 6:30p-8:30p at 1815 B Main St, San Diego, California 92113. Bring something yummy to share, or just stop by and say hi! I'll be bringing homemade sauerkraut and a pair of PriPro for anyone who wants a sneak peek. 

That's all for now! By the looks of things, we'll probably have one more update before you get shoes. That said, if you have not pre-ordered, they can still be had at $20-40 off on

Can't wait until April...

Barefoot Mountain, CPA

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Hi Primal People,

Happy Holidays. If you've been wanting a pair, now is the time to secure yours from our limited first production run. Price has gone up $10 since Nov 30th, and will go up another $10 after Dec 31st because that is the day I place my order to the manufacturer. Go to our new website, check out our extensive warranty and shoe care accessories we include for free, and let me get these to you as soon as they're ready.

Speaking of which, our outsole molds will finish by Jan 18th, our shoes will finish by Apr 12th, then give us a week or two for distribution.

Worried that since these are new shoes, they might suck? Well, here are at least 3 people who have tried them, and didn't think they sucked! In case you missed it, minimalist shoe expert Nicholas Pang wrote up a fit review on Minimalist Running Shoes. Next we have Steve, an IT recruiter who coaches candidates on interview technique, phone screen technique, and dress, share his highly-relevant thoughts on his blog Technically Running. Last but not least, Randall shares his experience wearing a pair of PriPros on his wedding day over at Birthday Shoes.

I also wrote an article explaining why I chose a black leather, round-toe, closed-lace, cap-toe Oxford as our first model over at MyFiveFingers, and did an interview about our shoes over at SurvivalPunk.

Finally, make sure you click to display images in this email to see the next 2 photos.

Stores, bloggers, healthcare professionals, and gyms...we are offering 3 ways to partner with us. Reply to this e-mail to request more details.

To a great year ahead,

Barefoot Mountain, CPA

For more frequent updates, Like us on and follow us at

I wrote a guest post on about why I chose a black leather, round-toe, closed-lace, cap-toe Oxford as our first model. In one word, versatility. The design we carefully selected is widely acknowledged as the most classic, and can be worn in almost any occasionWhile most of us know a ton about what makes a good minimalist or barefoot shoe, the dress shoe half of the product is a bit more enigmatic. Welcome to Dress Shoes 101 by Professor Primal Professional.

Check it out here.

P.S. Did you know we're now taking pre-orders and you can save $40-60? Click "pre-order" above for more details. Valid through Friday 11/30.

This is a copy of our latest newsletter. Make sure you're on our mailing list to get the big updates, monthly (at most)


 Hi Primal People,

1. All sizes have passed with flying colors. Testing complete, preparing for production.
2. Our website is live.
3. Save $40-$60 with a pre-order & secure shoes on our limited first production run.
4. Partnership opportunities for stores, bloggers, healthcare professionals, and gyms.
5. See our first fit reviews.

1. All of our sizes have passed with flying colors. Steve & Meagan of Technically Running had this to say about the new last versus the one that wouldn't fit our shoemaker's machines: "they are much more comfortable and the style, design, and fit has increased drastically.  Just by looking at them I could tell they were much less 'bulbous'...These are looking really good!" We are now building outsole molds, the most time- and money-intensive step. Soon, we will begin our 4-week materials acquisition period, next the 8-week production cycle, and then our shoes will be on their way to you.

2. Our website is live. More content on its way. Beautifully designed by Go Fish Digital, the guys behind MyFiveFingers, to showcase our shoes.

3. Save $30 off the retail price (CA residents save an additional $20 on sales tax), plus FREE shipping, with a pre-order today. Guarantee a pair for yourself from our very limited first production run, no risk. Full refunds available anytime before ship date. After ship date, every shoe is backed by 365-day free returns and exchanges plus our manufacturer's workmanship and material warranty. Promotions valid only through Friday, November 30th 2012.

4. Stores, bloggers, healthcare professionals, and gyms...we are offering 3 ways to partner with us. Traditional wholesale, dropshipping with a starter pack, or our affiliate referrals program, there is something for everyone. Reply to this e-mail to request more details.

5. Nicholas Pang wrote up a fit review, our first, on his website, Minimalist Running Shoes. Keep an eye out for another review from a fan who wore the Primal Professionals on his wedding day at Birthday Shoes

Best Regards,



Hi Primal People,

The good news is that the Primal Professional will be lined 100% with full-grain leather, rather than the fabric you saw in the pictures. #Swag.

Now, the bad news. When we last wrote, we were grading up our last sizes and seeking testers to evaluate fit. Soon after, I received this message:

The factory had a very hard time lasting the larger sizes. The last is so wide in the forepart that it does not fit into our lasting machines. This is a big red flag. We have been lasting cement constructed shoes for over 50 years and have never had this difficult a time. I am very anxious to see how they fit. I hope we hear that they are way too wide. If not we may have a real problem. I am hoping that a mistake was made in the grading to these larger sizes of the lasts. If not I don’t think we will be able to make shoes with them.

It hit me like a baseball bat. A baseball bat made of gluten. Ironically, we were all hoping a mistake was made.

So far, we've heard back from our 12W tester, our friends at Technically Running who know minimalist shoes and proper office attire. He agreed that it was too wide. Our 14W is being worn right now, and the 10W is in transit, so we're anxiously waiting.

What does this all mean going forward? They've identified the widest last bottom they could make, and will be grading down from there. They plan on keeping the same circumference over the toes, so however much width is decreased, height will be increased. Keeping the same circumference also means that we can still use the same uppers that they've painstakingly crafted. I believe my toes (or my preferences) are pretty wide, even by barefooter standards. I had to go with custom  Luna Sandals because my toes spill over the edge of the pre-cuts, and in choosing  Lemings, which are quite possibly the widest, most comfortable shoes out there right now, I still chose a size 8 rather than a 7. In the end, this shoe will have to pass the strict standards of our testers. I will make sure the true spirit of these shoes is not compromised over a manufacturing issue.

Arrangements have already been made to expedite next steps, e.g. having all the uppers ready to go as soon as the lasts arrive, and making a 3rd shoe so it can be sent to outsole production as soon as testers approve. All told, this bump in the road will set us back one more month. I spent the last week tossing and turning over this issue. I know that, by making a shoe unlike any other, really the first of its kind, there will be issues. But still, it frustrates me to keep you guys waiting any longer. I thank you all for your continued patience and support.

Lastly, I will be collecting the various messages and posts on facebook from you guys (names trimmed for anonymity) to show my manufacturers the exploding interest in these shoes, despite zero marketing since year. The sooner they get things done, the sooner they can earn your business, and all of us stand to benefit. If there's something you'd like to add, just hit reply.

Best Regards,


For more frequent updates, Like us on and follow us at

Hi Primal People,

Do you consistently and comfortably fit a US size 12W or 14W? Are you "true" to that size? If so, we need your help! Please respond with a good mailing address for a sample to be mailed. Return postage will be provided of course.

We are currently in the grading process to develop the rest of our size range, making sure that all of the sizes stay proportionally comfortable and handsome. Once the grading is done, we plan to provide a PDF with outlines of each size, so you can print and match your feet to the one that fits best. A simple solution to save time, money, and energy. Sounds cool?

Thank you for your continued support and patience. 

Best Regards,


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