Vivobarefoot Primus Trail SG

Vivobarefoot brand likes to operate under the saying, less is more. They believe the less material and technologies in a shoe and the more opportunity for the runner to connect to the ground below them and run the way nature intended, the better. The Vivobarefoot Primus Trail SG is a shoe designed for the adventure junkie who doesn’t want to have to worry about the wet weather getting in the way of their run. The shoe is extremely lightweight and is a natural running shoe for the athlete who doesn’t want to be bogged down with heavy cushioning and a high heel drop. From the upper to the outsole, the shoe is designed to deflect dangerous trail debris and keep the runner protected while they tackle mud, rocks, streams, and anything else they can think up. This shoe is not suggested as a road running shoe because of the added traction in the underfoot, and instead, should be reserved for what it was designed to do: tackle the toughest terrains. Since this shoe is so lightweight and durable, runners also found it to be a great companion for adventurous obstacle races too. The styling options are limited and the price puts this shoe out of some runner’s price range, but overall, it is a great trail shoe for the natural running enthusiast.

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Where to Buy
Where to Buy
Pros & Cons
  •          Zero drop
  •          Flexible
  •          Highly responsive
  •          Added traction
  • Cons
    • Pricey
    • No midsole and no cushioning
    • Limited styles and colors
    • Key Features
      One of the most impressive elements of this shoe is the outsole. It is able to provide a lightweight feel with maximum protection on the trails. Vivobarefoot uses their patented soft ground sole in the designed o the Primus Trail SG. Out of all of their various outsole materials, this one is designed to hold up against the muddiest, rockiest, and toughest terrains. Since Vivobarefoot is a line that prides itself on providing the most minimal ride on the market, the outsole design has the tough task of protecting the runner with a minimalist feel. This outsole is made from a puncture proof material, Pro 5, which is actually 5 times more puncture proof than leading outsole rubbers. This material keeps the weight ultra light and the feel ultra minimalist without sacrificing protection and durability.
      One of the unique things about this shoe is that it actually does not offer a midsole. Their less is more mantra really shines in their midsole design. Vivobarefoot believes that all the extra midsole cushioning and layers of foam that goes into most runner shoe midsole’s hinder the natural development of the muscle in the feet and legs. They also ascribe to the belief that the added midsole foams keep the runner from feeling connected to nature and the ground below them. For these reasons, runners will not find a midsole in these shoes. This is a natural running shoe that works hard to stay true to the natural movement of the runner's gait.
      The upper is designed to repel water and keep the runner safe from potentially harmful debris that can infiltrate the shoe during trail runs. Around the ankle, runners will notice a stretchy, adaptive collar. This provides a protective seal around the foot that keeps debris from entering the shoe. Although the upper is designed with various protective elements, it is still breathable and promotes airflow to the foot. The entire upper is made using a seamless design that reduces friction and lowers the risk of hot spots and blisters. It provides a second skin like fit that allows runners to forgo socks on their outdoor adventures. Finally, the upper is covered in a variety of quick-drying zones that wick moisture away from the foot and work to shake the excess water out of the foot after traversing through streams or puddles.
      The upper of this shoe can do two difficult things that are often mutually exclusive. It protects the runner from water and debris and still allows for maximum airflow to reach the foot and circulate inside of the shoe. Runners reported that the breathability of this shoe helped keep them comfortable and reduced the risk of blisters and hot spots, even on long runs.
      Vivobarefoot shoes are some of the most lightweight on the market today. They work to strip the shoe of only the most essential elements to keep the runner safe and comfortable on their runs. Because of this, the shoe doesn’t have any added weight due to midsole cushioning or synthetic overlays on the upper. The outsole isn’t lined with heavy lugs or multiple layers of heavy duty rubber. This shoe is completed stripped and this keeps the weight extremely low.
      Runners who like a minimalist or natural feeling shoe found this shoe to be very comfortable. The upper has a second skin feel that is caused by the fused, seamless upper design. Runners didn’t need to wear socks during their runs because the shoe works hard to wick away and drain away moisture. It also is made from a water-repellent material. All of these details translate to a very comfortable ride for the runner. However, if you are a runner who likes a cushioning, plush ride, this shoe will not feel comfortable to you because it lacks any additional cushioning.

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      The Vivobarefoot Primus Trail SG is not a shoe that is designed with a fashionista in mind. Instead, the focus of the shoe is on the development of a barefoot running powerhouse. Although the style and color that is offered are pleasing to many runners, the shoe only comes in one color options, so this is not the shoe that is for a runner who wants to see lots of color and styling options.
      Runners will have a hard time finding a more responsive shoe than this one. This shoe provides the runner with superior ground support. The zero drop, the thin outsole and the lack of midsole allow the runner to feel directly connected to the ground below them. This allowed the runner to change direction and speed quickly and effectively. Runners also reported feeling safer on the trail because of how closely connected they felt to the ground below them.

      This shoe is not for the runner who is looking for additional support in their running shoe. Vivobarefoot is a barefoot running shoe that is all about supporting the natural movement of the shoe without any technological impairments. Vivobarefoot believes that the best running supports for the runner are their own natural gait and running pattern. They believe that by adding in unnatural supports, runners are actually hurting their ability to reach their full athletic potential.
      The key protective element of this shoe can be found in the Pro 5 outsole material. This rubber is designed to be lightweight and puncture resistant. Instead of a heavier, bulkier rubber, Vivobarefoot selected this material because it can give the runner a lightweight, flexible feel but it still provides maximum protection against the dangerous elements found on the trail like sharp or jagged rocks, sticks, and other debris.
      This shoe is a lightweight trail shoe that runners found to provide adequate durability. The shoe lasts a longer time than some other trail shoes that runners had previously, but overall, when considering the price, runners reported that they wished the shoe lasted longer.
      This shoe is designed for the toughest trails that runners can find. Runners also reported that this shoe made a great companion during obstacle races because of the added traction along the outsole and the high level of responsiveness. Runners reported that this shoe could easily handle all types of off-road terrain regardless of how slippery, jagged, or steep.
      This shoe is not designed for the runner on a budget. The Vivobarefoot line is a more high-end natural running line of shoes and will cost the runner more than the average shoe on today’s market. Additionally, runners reported that the shoe lasts an adequate amount of time, but isn’t anything outstanding regarding its durability.
      The traction along the outsole of this shoe is unbeatable. Many runners commented on how safe they felt during their runs, even across the muddy and slippery terrain. The underfoot design is specifically created to grip the ground below without adding cumbersome weight or unnecessary technologies to slow the runner down.
      This is one of the most flexible shoes on the market. Runners can literally twist the shoe, like wringing out a rag, while holding it in their hands. The ultra-flexible outsole and the lack of a midsole provide the runner with a shoe that supports the natural movement of the foot and the runner’s gait. There is nothing in this shoe to impede the natural movement of the runner and this shoe provides an almost second-skin feeling or the runner.
      This is not a stability shoe at all. For the runner who is looking for added technologies to help with their over or under pronation issues. The purpose of this shoe is to provide the runner with a natural running experience and this means striping the shoe of any unnecessary technologies that will impede the natural movement of the runner’s gait.
      Vivobarefoot brand shoes are known for their minimalist, zero drop format. Vivobarefoot engineers believe that the runner’s foot is the perfect technology and it doesn’t need additional cushioning in the heel or underfoot to change the gait cycle in any way. They believe these technologies hinder the muscles in the feet and legs from fully developing in the way that they should and keep the runner from reaching their full athletic potential. For runners who are looking for a cushioning ride, this shoe is not the right choice for you.
      Key Features
      - Added traction to the outsole
      - Zero drop
      - Soft ground sole technology
      - Added stretch around ankle collar for increased comfort
      - Water-repellent mesh upper
      - Pro 5 puncture resistant material in the outsole
      - 100% vegan product
      Bottom Line
      The Vivobarefoot Primus Trail SG is a shoe designed for the true enthusiast who cares as much about being connected to nature as they do about getting a great workout. The Vivobarefoot line is designed to be a zero drop shoe that helps the runner feel connected to the ground below them while also providing them with a flexible ride that supports the natural movement of their gait. This is not the trail shoe for the runner who is looking for tons of cushioning and a forward propulsions from a lifted heel height, instead this is a trail shoe for the runner who wants a thin, flexible shoe that is puncture proof and will help them feel closer to the ground and provide them with added responsiveness. The price tag on this shoe is relatively high, and this shoe is not designed for the runner on a strict budget. The styles are very limited, but overall, this shoe is more about performance than it is about fashion.
      Where to Buy
      By Stacey O'Connor
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 24. 2021

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