10 Best Vivobarefoot Running Shoes Tested


Searching for Vivobarefoot Running Shoes? Take a look at the top rated shoes of 2018, benefits and drawbacks of each pair, and what to be aware of before buying them in a store!

Vivobarefoot is a company that makes interesting and innovative running shoes. They have a huge draw for those looking for vegan materials, shoes with a flat drop, and a natural barefoot feel. Their designs are unique,  sleek, and some are very aesthetically pleasing–but is their quality any good? For some people their quality is excellent, but for others not so much. These shoes are perfect for those looking for lightweight running shoes made of quality material–but which ones are the best? Let’s go over them and find out.

Last Updated: July 12, 2018
By Max Knapp:

This update brings Vivobarefoot’s Motus, Primus Lite, and Primus Trail Sg shoes. The Motus is an excellent, versatile shoe that you can use for all of your athletic activities, including running. The Primus lite is a comfortable and durable option for runners who enjoy barefoot running and the feel of the road. Lastly, the Primus Trail SG is perfect for trail runners looking for a durable and protective shoe that allows them to comfortably feel every step of their trail runs. 07/12/2018 This update brings two more shoes to round off the list: the Primus Mesh Trail Runners, and the Hybrid Golf shoes. The criteria for our list has been updated to include the different qualifiers we used to make our selections so our readers can hopefully use the same criteria when shopping on their own.


Vivobarefoot Stealth II
  • Vivobarefoot Stealth II
  • 4.9 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Modern And Sleek
  • Price: See Here
Vivobarefoot Primus Road
  • Vivobarefoot Primus Road
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • V-Web Vegan Mesh Upper
  • Price: See Here
Vivobarefoot Primus Lite
  • Vivobarefoot Primus Lite
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Non-Marking Rubber Outsole
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Vivobarefoot Running Shoes



Vivobarefoot Stealth II

The Vivobarefoot Stealth 2 running shoes are a modern, sleek looking running shoe. They feature only black color with some hints of light brown, although it presents very well. They look amazing, people may not realize that they are a shoe meant for running because of their beautiful design. They feature Dri-Lex performance lining that will help keep your feet dry, and it also increase the overall comfort of the shoes.
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They are very comfortable running shoes. Dri-Lex performance lining grips gently around your feet to keep them in place while you are running. They also offer great stability because of their outsole which gives you great traction as well.

They are durable running shoes, so you won`t have to worry that you would need to buy a new pair every six months. Despite the materials being lightweight, the quality of them is top notch.

Like with pretty much any model of Vivobarefoot running shoes, Vivobarefoot Stealth II are definitely worth looking into, considering you do so with their specific features in mind. This is a shoe that does have pros as well as cons, as most do. So consider every aspect.
  • Quality of the shoes
  • They are very light weight
  • Modern and sleek design
  • Outsole that provides great traction
  • Dri-Lex performance lining
  • They don`t offer enough protection
  • The outsole is too slim

Vivobarefoot Primus Road

Vivobarefoot Men's Primus Road Running Shoes are great running shoes. They feature modern, sleek design. They are also a vegan-friendly shoe.
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They provide you with great comfort and don`t develop any hotspots that could annoy you on your run. Also, they provide okay stability.

They are durable for a road shoe. They will last you long enough if you use them on the surfaces for which they are intended to. Materials used are great quality and won`t break down easily.

If you want a great road shoe with a simple, sleek desing and high-quality materials, these will be worth looking into.
  • Beautiful, modern design 
  • Great quality materials used for making the shoe
  • They provide great breathability for your feet
  • Very affordable running shoes
  • For some people, they might not provide enough stability
  • For some people, they are to standard looking

Vivobarefoot Primus Lite

The Primus Lite shoes are comfortable and durable option that come with a sleek design and give you all of the advantages of barefoot running.
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While these shoes come at a higher price, the features they offer are well-worth it to runners who look for a minimalistic type of shoe that also looks great.

These lightweight, zero drop shoes provide adequate comfort and adapt to your foot's natural shape and stride. They can be worn with or without socks and provide you with all the benefits of barefoot running--but with the added protection of the shoes rubber outsole.

These shoes have sufficient tread for road running and are highly durable when used on the road only.
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Vegan material
  • Adaptive to the shape of your foot
  • Some users were disappointed with the sole durability

4. Vivobarefoot Ultra Running

The Vivobarefoot Ultra are running shoes are meant for running in very wet and hot environment. They are made of synthetic and fabric which means that they are vegan-friendly. They also feature rubber outsole which will enables increased grip while you run.
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They offer great comfort considering that they are made only out of synthetic materials. Stability is also amazing, there is a small chance that you would lose your footing while running.

They are one of the more durable running shoes that you can buy because there is pretty much nothing that can get torn apart. They are seamless. The quality of materials is great, rubber outsole will last for miles and miles on end.

They will last you a very long time, are durable and because they provide you with great breathability are worth picking up if you need a shoe like these. You will hardly find any similar running shoe like this on the market.
  • Quality of the materials
  • Durability that they provide
  • Rubber outsole that provides great traction when running in wet enviorment
  • Very affordable
  • Modern and sleek design
  • For some users the design is too open
  • For some users they are very ugly

5. Vivobarefoot Trail Freak

Vivobarefoot Trail Freak are very modern looking running shoes. They are meant for running on the rough terrain. The design and color choice is one of the prettiest that you could find on any running shoes.
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They will provide you with great comfort and won`t create any hotspots that could annoy you on your run. The stability that they provide is very good, especially because of the outsole that provides you with great traction.

They are very durable running shoes and will definitely last you for a long time and many miles. The quality of the shoes is good, all materials are good quality and they won't tear anytime soon.

These are one of those running shoes that fall into category best value for money because of their affordable price, modern design, high breathability and of course because of high-quality materials.
  • Very beautiful and modern design
  • Great quality of materials
  • Robust outsole that provides great traction
  • They are very durable
  • They provide you with great comfort
  • Laces can get lose easily
  • Upper don`t protect you enough from impacts

8. Vivobarefoot Motus

The Vivobarefoot Motus is the perfect option for runners looking for a multi-functional running shoes. They are perfect easy trail runs, road running, short and long-distance running, and many other athletic activities. If you are looking for any easy transition use, this is the perfect option for you.
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These lightweight and breathable shoes are a perfect option for versatile athletes and runners looking for a shoe that will fit the needs of all of their athletic activities--without having to sacrifice their comfort levels. The Motus are great for individuals looking for minimalistic shoes without any unnecessary cushioning. If you like the feel of the road and enjoy all of the advantages of barefoot running, this shoe will provide you with adequate protection without sacrificing those attributes you enjoy.

The shoes are known be highly durable and long-lasting. Their outsole incorporates the PRO5 design and is made of a highly durable rubber compound. This provides the shoe with optimal protection from wear and tear and makes them tough enough to use on trails, where the shoe needs additional protection.

These shoes come at a higher cost, but Vivobarefoot provides a money back guarantee if they do not fit your needs. Although the price is high, if you are looking for a durable and multi-functioinal shoe, you will find them well worth their price in the long run.
  • V-strap for additional stability
  • Flexible
  • Hi-VIZ reflective material for additional visibility and safety
  • Breathable
  • Pro5 outsole for maximum durability
  • 4.5mm drop for optimal responsiveness 
  • 3 color options
  • Adequate traction 
  • Multi-functional shoe--great for running and other athletic activities
  • High cost

10. Vivobarefoot Primus Trail SG

The Vivobarefoot Primus Trail SG are this company's best trail shoe options. These lightweight shoes are an excellent option that provide adequate comfort, stability, and flexibility.
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These shoes are wide enough for individuals with wider feet as well as for those who partake in long-distance trail running or walks. They also feature a barefoot heel, which allows for your natural stride. Lastly, they come equipped with a water drainage system and grippy outsoles that will keep your feet cool and dry as well as maintian your stability in the outdoor terrain.

These shoes are highly durable and are designed to last you a long time. While they may look like they aren't durable--due to their very minimal outsole size--they have proven to maintain a long life span, even for those who put them through tough terrains or through trail runs that put the shoe under extra duress.

These shoes come at a high cost, but their durability and additional features are well worth the price if they fit your needs.
  • Sleek, modern design
  • Rubber sole
  • Water drainage system 
  • Grippy outsole--making them excellent for outdoor terrain, wet or dry
  • Vegan material
  • Comfortable 
  • Lightweight
  • Toggled laces
  • High cost
  • Break in period
  • One color and style option 

Vivobarefoot Primus Lux WP Leather

A heel-to-toe leather shoe designed for the kind of wild moves that only natural materials can provide. The ultra-minimalist primus lux is built for the urban playground and lets your feet breathe naturally every step of the way.
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The Primus Lux is a premium everyday shoe that can be worn for both work and play. It is wide, thin and flexible, providing that "barefoot" feeling while giving adequate protection to your feet during your day-to-day activities.

The leather upper and synthetic sole make this a sturdy shoe that becomes even comfier over time. Some users have said that, in a pinch, these shoes can even be used for running or cross-training.

These are on the pricier side, but their premium leather construction and stylish versatility will deliver you your money's worth as they can be worn for both work and play.

Vivobarefoot Primus FG M Mesh Trail Runner

These Vivobarefoot Primus Mesh Trail Runners are a quality choice for dry climate trail runners and active road runners. They are breathable and provide great grip with a sleek, aesthetic design.
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These shoes come with mesh uppers that are breathable and flexible. They also have an ankle collar that is padded for light protection and a drawstring closure so you won’t be distracted by loose laces. They are mildly water resistant, but they aren’t fully waterproofed so they may not stand up to small puddles or particularly wet trails. The rubber outsole does provide good grip on uneven trail surfaces.

The materials on these trail runners are not only vegan, they’re made for durability outdoors. The rubber sole is designed for off-road running without being obtrusive. Unfortunately, they are not made to be waterproof, so they are definitely a better choice for runners in dry areas.

These shoes are one of the more expensive pairs on our list, but for runners looking for a less intense trail shoe with decent grip, these will definitely meet expectations.

Breathable mesh uppers

Protective collar on ankles


Rubber sole designed for off-road

Good grip in trail conditions

Drawstring closure



Water resistant but not waterproof


Narrow fit

Vivobarefoot Hybrid Golf Shoe

These Vivobarefoot Hybrid Golf Shoes might be intended for the golf course, but they are a great shoe for anyone looking to roam outdoors. With tough yet comfortable rubber lugs for added grip, they’re more than ready to rough it with on your more rugged runs.
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These Hybrid Golf shoes come with a removable insole which means you can choose your own inserts or rely on their 3mm EVA insert. The rubber lugs help with traction and will allow for more stability and grip if you’re trail running. The tongue is cushioned and helps to protect from the elements and the vegetable tanned leather uppers provide some weatherproofing, although they aren’t waterproof.

With trimmings made from rip-stop nylon and durable leather uppers, these shoes are made to withstand the outdoors. The thick rubber soles and lugs are also meant to last, and the Hex Mesh lining adds another layer of material which can help with the long-term durability of the shoes.

Compared to the price of other Vivobarefoot running shoes, these sit in the mid to low price range. This, combined with all of the great features and extra durability, makes these a great choice with plenty of value for outdoor runners looking for a trail shoe with a little more oomph.

Vegetable tanned leather uppers

Rip-stop nylon for durability

Removable EVA insole

Off-road rubber outsole

Lugs for traction and grip

Hex Mesh inners for breathability


Weather resistant


Tendency to roll inward

Not entirely waterproof

And there you have it, the best running shoes from Vivobarefoot chosen by the staff at Runnerclick and plenty of verified reviewers. Although each pair has their own unique perks and flaws, every model passed our selective criteria. Below we outline these criteria so you can get an idea of what we based the quality and value of the shoes on and so you can use these criteria on your own. Whether you’re browsing for shoes on Runnerclick or trying on new kicks in the store, we want you to be able to pick the best running shoe for you.


The Criteria Used When Choosing The 10 Best Vivobarefoot Running Shoes



For runners, comfort is one of the most important foundations of a running shoe. Part of the allure of Vivobarefoot running shoes is the barefoot running feel they provide. Some of the shoes on our list offer things like removable insoles or breathable mesh layers. You’ll want to be sure the shoes you’re wearing are comfortable or you’ll risk blisters, hotspots, and even sprains which will definitely put a kink in your regular running routine.


For runners, comfort is one of the most important foundations of a running shoe. Part of the allure of Vivobarefoot running shoes is the barefoot running feel they provide. Some of the shoes on our list offer things like removable insoles or breathable mesh layers. You’ll want to be sure the shoes you’re wearing are comfortable or you’ll risk blisters, hotspots, and even sprains which will definitely put a kink in your regular running routine.


If you want your shoes to last more than just a few months you need a pair that is durable and will stand up to your regular running routine. Depending on what the shoes are made for, some will hold up better when facing the outdoors. Others are made with track running in mind and won’t perform the same under more intense conditions. You’ll want something that matches your expectations and that you can easily care for; good shoe upkeep can greatly extend the life of your shoes too!


Vivobarefoot shoes put plenty of care and consideration into the materials they use for their footwear, often preferring vegan materials. Better quality materials can mean a more durable and comfortable shoe, but they can also mean a higher-cost shoe.

Cost and Value

A more pricey shoe doesn’t necessarily mean a better shoe altogether, but it can mean that you’ll be getting more features and benefits with that cost. The more benefit you can get out of a pair of shoes for a lower cost, the more value they have. You want to be able to strike a balance between the cost and the quality of the shoes you’re buying.


Other Important Things to Consider 


Without question, this brand came onto the scene to make waves in the standard running shoe market. It’s important to note that they are more than just a market disruptor, they are really passionate about their cause and stand by helping people achieve a happier foot. We know that you must be eager to make a selection, however, before you go, take a look at the wide range of feedback and data we went through when compiling our selections. This will help you choose a pair that’s right for you. It’s important that you make a selection that makes sense for your purposes and what you plan to do with them. Below you will find some personal factors to take into consideration when making your choice.

The Heart Of The Barefoot Movement

Maybe you came across this guide through happenstance, or perhaps you like the looks of the Vivobarefoot running shoes and said to yourself “let me check these out, they look pretty cool”. Whatever the reason, make no mistake, you’ve found yourself right at the heart of the barefoot movement.

Yes, that’s right, the eternal struggle debating whether or not modern shoe technology helps us by providing cushioning and stability, or harms us by not letting our natural foot shape flex and splay and allow for proper muscle development. We’re not here to take sides, or to sway you one way or another. We’ve set up this guide to help you along your way and to help you in choosing a Vivobarefoot running shoe that best fits you. Be warned, once you join “the tribe” of barefoot runners, you may never go back to modern running shoes again.



The Real World Benefits Of Barefoot Running

We made sure to look for as much data as possible when it comes to the possible benefits of barefoot running. Sorting through user feedback and clinical recommendations, we found that there is evidence that barefoot running improves form. A senior researcher at Nike’s Sport Research Lab found that barefoot runners engage more of their big toe and therefore display a better range of motion. This leads to a better distribution of pressure as the foot flexes and as the toes splay as they hit the ground. In fact, he also found that the toes automatically grip once they make contact with the running surface, thereby utilizing muscles that otherwise would remain dormant.

We Looked At Runners With Past Injuries

While the science is very new regarding this type of information, there is a lot of feedback within the running world about barefoot running’s ability to prevent injuries and help better heal past injuries, especially in regards to the knee. Doctors already recommend that runners with knee issues stay away from footwear that is too cushioned. That’s because a heavy heel strike can place additional pressure on the legs, which leads to more pressure on the knees. The theory is that barefoot running promotes a forefoot strike, which takes all of the pressure off, helping those with shin splints, IT Band Syndrome, and other knee issues to name just a few. Our research turned up several runners that praised their switch to barefoot running, and Vivobarefoot running shoes in particular.

User Ratings About Terrain

It’s crucial to always listen to user feedback in regards to what their experiences have been with running shoe models across different terrain and running surfaces. This is because trying a shoe on in a department store or running shop will never give you a sense of how that running shoe will handle your favorite outdoor trail or the wet sidewalks of your local neighborhood. It’s only after the running shoes see several real-world miles that one can make a determination.

This is why we listened to what runners had to say about the performance of the brand and we marked which models are perfect for outdoor trail running, and which are best for city and treadmill running. Making an educated selection before you buy will ensure that you get the running shoe that you were looking for.

Looks Are Important Too

Let’s face it; these are some funky looking shoes. The best part is that there is a selection to match everyone’s particular style. There are modern and sleek looking options that look like they’ve just stepped out of a time machine from the future. There are also some more classic looking, traditional choices for those who prefer to be more subtle.  Vivobarefoot obviously took a good amount of time and spent resources on design and style. Don’t forget that all models come in additional color choices once you click over to Amazon to make a selection.



 Consider Your Running Surface

Since most Vivobarefoot models fit about the same in terms of how they will feel on your feet and how they will strike the ground, the most important thing to keep in mind when making your selection is your running surface. Our buying guide is sure to list which models are intended for concrete, which are intended for trails, and which give you a nice mixture of gym workout and non-technical trail ability. Remember to not make the mistake of choosing a “workhorse” running shoe that you use for all terrain, all the time. This will rapidly wear the shoe and could cause injury. Most seasoned runners keep a solid rotation of running shoes active at all times.

Brace Yourself For Strength Requirements

Barefoot running will help you develop a more natural gait and it will strengthen your foot muscles and tendons, just remember that this means it will ask a lot more from your legs and feet than your standard, cushiony running shoe. Vivobarefoot footwear has been called the closest thing you can get to being barefoot. That’s because it really is. There is not very much standing in between your foot and the ground, which will make you use muscles that you never thought you had. It’s a process, so give yourself time, expect it, and go with shorter outings until you get used to it.

Keep Your Focus On Your Foot Strike

Make sure that while you are making the transition, you are staying aware of how your foot is striking the ground. While you may be used to a heel strike, while barefoot running promotes a forefoot strike. As you make the transition, don’t place too much strain on your Achilles, which will start to work more as you change your natural stride. This is why the idea of starting slow and maintaining shorter distances can’t be emphasized enough.

Don’t Expect Support

This company stands by its passion that a supportive footwear does more harm than good and that it’s their mission to spread the word. They believe that the hundreds of tiny muscles, tendons, and ligaments are hampered by too much support, so they lose their natural support and flexibility over time. This is clearly reflected in their footwear design that calls on your muscles to do the heavy lifting. Tester feedback shows that once the user is past the first two months of consistent use, they’re feet and muscles start to successfully adapt.



We’re confident that by taking some of these factors into consideration when making your choice, you’ll find a pair that is perfect for you. Before you get out there and run, we’ve also compiled some frequently asked questions that commonly arise when searching for a new barefoot running shoe.


 Q: Are Vivobarefoot running shoes really that different; or is it all hype?

A: There is no hype here. The company is extremely dedicated and passionate about their cause and see themselves as messengers on a mission to save feet everywhere. You can tell by slipping any of these running shoes on your feet and by holding them in your hand. There is an incredible attention to detail and solid, quality materials. They don’t just look good, or make claims, they deliver and help users develop their natural foot strike, even correct heel pain for some. Take a look at what Harvard University had to say about barefoot running.

Q: Where can I find the best deal on Vivobarefoot runners?

A: The reason that we team up with a major Internet powerhouse such as Amazon, is because their buying power can consistently beat any brick and mortar retailer, sometimes by up to 20%. Combine this by the hassle they save by offering free returns and you have a no-brainer when it comes to where to buy.

 Q: What’s the big idea behind this entire barefoot running trend?

A: It’s really quite simple. The theory is that overly cushioned and supportive footwear interferes with the manner in which your feet are “supposed” to work. The movement really started a while back when Christopher McDougall wrote a book titled “Born To Run” which debuted a previously unknown tribe that commonly run for 150 miles at a time like it’s walking to the mailbox. The rest is history, as the barefoot movement has been gaining traction ever since and is now extremely popular the world over.

 Q: Do I have to break in these running shoes?

A: Put it this way: these running shoes will break you in. Seriously, we can’t emphasize this enough. If you are coming from a high heal to toe drop, or from a very cushiony and plush running shoe, take it slow. Walk for short distances, then run at a mild pace, then give your regular routine a try. Each time making sure that you are focused on your landings and how you’re following through with your stride.



This was our approach when selecting the right pair of Vivobarefoot running shoes. Remember that selecting the right pair of minimalist running shoes is a significant change that can offer you a ton of benefits as long as you do it right. We hope this guide provided you with all the information you need when making your choice and let us know how your barefoot running journey is going for you. Thanks for following along with us. Now make the perfect selection for you and keep running!


Here are some sources we used while conducting our research

It’s important to use a wide variety of sources to ensure quality information. We like to utilize trusted running enthusiasts and manufactures when providing our readers with the most up-to-date statistics found in all our buying guides. We are also very interested in taking what everyday users have to say about specific products, and we perform our due diligence to make sure that quality research goes into every guide. Here are some sources which helped us with this guide:


  1. Amazon, Amazon, Product Reviews,
  2. Zen Habits, Zen Habits, Health Website,
  3. Runner’s World, Runner’s World, Running Magazine,
  4. Harvard University, Harvard University, Harvard University,
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