Vivobarefoot are one of the most innovative shoe makers on the market. They continue to innovate around a core product based on a puncture resistant patented sole. Started in 2003, they are one of the first in the market so you can expect to get quality, tried and tested products. If you wanted, you could do everything in a pair of their shoes, from hanging out on the beach, running trails, going to work through to going to a night at the opera! They have sandals, casual shoes, dress shoes, running shoes, workout shoes, something for every occasion.
Some of their products can be on the pricey side but as they are made of high quality materials, you can be sure they will last. Because they are UK based, US and EU buyers can probably pick up some good deals at the moment due to a favourable exchange rate.
I have personally owned over five different pairs of their shoes and will continue to buy as new products that suit my need come out. The wide toe box is a real feature of these shoes meaning they are extremely comfortable to wear. I would advise going one size bigger than usual as they are often a little bit smaller (in UK sizes).
There are two main shoes in this category for Vivo Barefoot. These are the Primus and the Stealth II.
The Primus is a take you anywhere shoe. It is as comfortable in the gym, on short road runs and if you want to can also be worn as a fashion shoe. It has many of the trademarks of Vivo Barefoot, the puncture resistant sole with hexaganol motif. It is constructed out of purely synthetic materials so is a suitable ‘vegan’ shoe. Its no -stitch construction means that the chance of blisters or rubbing is greatly reduced. This is one of our favourite all-round barefoot shoes of the moment and would work as a great addition to any shoe collection.
The Stealth 2 is marketed as primarily a running shoe suitable for running long distances. It provides quality protection through its puncture resistant sole, high breathability through its hexagonal construction upper mesh. It has a non-stitch build to reduce risk of blisters on longer runs, and is again constructed from ‘vegan’ materials. If your primary interest is road running, this is the shoe for you.
This is where Vivo Barefoot really shine. Few other companies offer as high quality shoes for everyday wear as they do. They offer a range of shoes which can go with everything, from a pair of jeans through to a dinner suit. The Ra II is one of their most versatile shoes. Matching up with almost any outfit, providing all the usual aspects you will come to expect from this company. A very flexible shoe, a thin puncture free sole, a reasonable, although certainly not cheap, price point and style.
Similar to the Ra ii is the Gobi II. Essentially a High Top version of the Ra.
Perhaps their premium product is the Lisbon. A hand-cut, hand-stitched dress shoe for the smartest of occassions. Made with ‘polished Sacheto calf leather’. These are beautifully made shoes and whilst very pricey, you get good value for the money and would expect to pay a similar price for a similar quality non-barefoot shoe. One issue I have found is that they do squeak a bit when you first start wearing them. This is due to them being made of highly polished, high quality leather and will in time improve as they shape to your feet.
A new alternative to the Lisbon is the Porto Rocker which comes in two styles, high and low. This shoe is similar to the Lisbon but with a bit of interest on the heel.
Vivo Barefoot’s off road range is impressive. They have products for every off road activity all the way up to full day trekking. Their Tracker product offers a genuine minimalist alternative to the more traditional heavy, structured, thick soled walking boot. It does this whilst providing a grippy, minimalist sole that ensures good ground feel. In keeping with more traditional walking boots it is made of high quality durable leather to keep the worst of the conditions out and provide protection from rocks, thorns and brambles.
If the Tracker is a little too much for you, then the Primus Trek is another option. This shoe it less structured and certainly not as sturdy as the Tracker, but will provide you with plenty of grip and comfort on a long hike.
Finally, for those wanting a higher speed off road encounter There is the Primus Trail . VivoBarefoot’s latest off road running shoe. Building on their long tradition of producing quality off road running products, the Primus Trail offers the full flexibility and ground feel of their other products whilst providing grip to meet any conditions. The shoe comes in two versions, FG for firm ground and SG for soft ground. The SG has a deeper grip compared to the FG .
The Primus Trail FG
and the Primus Trail SG