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

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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,


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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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Hey folks,

It's all coming together. How far we have come...

Our new upper, made with our new leather, built on our new last, attached to our new outsole. Together as one. For more photos: 

After giving this prototype a thorough look and wear, we told our last maker that the lasts are approved. They will begin the grading process. This is where they develop the rest of our size range, making sure that all of the sizes stay proportionally comfortable and handsome.

Lastly, I apologize for the rushed photo work. I just wanted to share with everyone right when I got them! Professional shots are coming soon. We were introduced to an excellent photographer who is obsessed with minimalist footwear himself, and it will be really exciting working with him.

Thank you for your continued support and your patience. 

Best Regards,


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Hey folks,

Wanted to share some quick news. Cherry and I were in the factory today. It was a great opportunity for us to work side by side with the development team. We were able to give and receive immediate feedback, as opposed to e-mail communications and shipping back and forth between Wisconsin and California.

The workbench today: multiple revisions, samples, and lasts, and that ain't even 1/3 of everything.

Our last (a plastic "foot" around which every shoe is built) did not need any further adjustments. All we had to do was modify the upper pattern, a much quicker process, and we're happy to say we had it finished by the end of the day. Now, the shoe factory is going to ship this to our outsole maker to have a new outsole made. This new outsole will be made to fit our new last with the1cm addition, as well as the simulated welt we shared earlier.

These changes are incredible. It's like going from butter, which is pretty amazing, to grass-fed Kerrygold butter, which is f*cking amazing. 
Thank you for your continued support and your patience.

Best Regards,


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Hey folks,

It's Mountain from the Primal Professional. 
I wanted to give you guys a quick 1min. update on what we've been up to. Thank you again for all your support.  Let us know what you think, or any other questions and comments, by hitting reply. 

Shoes will be shipping to funders, coming in stock on our website, and hitting store shelves late Spring of this year.
The design has gone through a number of revisions that enhance both looks AND comfort--what we’re all about. In the picture below, we added a "welt" texture to the outsole edge to give it a more classic appearance. More pictures to come soon.


We put a lot of care into how our shoes are conceived, designed, and made, and we want them to last you as long as possible. While other companies try to upsell you on these essential items, each pair of the Primal Professional will come standard with:
  • a shoe horn, to help you get in and out of your shoes smoothly without wear & tear, and
  • cedar shoe trees, customized to fit our wide-and-dressy toebox, to absorb moisture, help the shoe retain shape, and keep wrinkles from setting in

Be on the lookout for the launch of our official website at

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