Vivobarefoot Primus Trio

6.0
6.0 score
[Editors rating (6.0) + Users rating (10.0)] / 2 = Runnerclick score (6.0)/10

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Editor rating: 6.0 / 10
User's rating: based on 1 user ratings
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Vivobarefoot Primus Trio Review Facts

The Vivobarefoot Primus Trio is a barefoot running shoe. It is lightweight and has a zero drop and is intended to give natural, free movement. The 3mm stack height keeps the foot close to the ground for better control and a barefoot feel. The ankle-fit feels like a sock in order to let the ankle move freely while also keeping debris out of the shoe. The wide hide leather in the upper provides lightweight comfort and durability. The mesh is lightweight and breathable, allowing the foot to breathe naturally while keeping it dry and cool. The wide toe box lets the foot transition smoothly and have strong toe-offs. The leather footbed is so soft that wearers can run without socks. The TPU material in the sole is thin, durable and lightweight, while the Pro 5 technology helps the shoe be resistant to abrasion and punctures. The Hexagon Ultimate Barefoot Sole provides flexibility and slip-resistance on dry or wet surfaces. If you enjoy barefoot running, or are wanting to try it, the Primus Trio provides comfort and protection while allowing the foot to move and breathe naturally.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Sole allows natural movement
  • Zero drop
  • Very lightweight
  • Soft footbed, comfortable fit
  • Great breathability and flexibility
  • Upper allows ankle to move freely
Cons
  • No tongue or loop
  • Upper may wear through
  • Outsole might come apart
  • Toe box not as wide as some expected
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The outsole is made from TPU and Pro 5. The TPU keeps the sole light, flexible, thin and durable. The Pro 5 technology makes the shoe resistant to punctures and abrasion, protecting the bottom of the foot while still allowing the wearer to feel like they are running barefoot. The outsole is covered in small hexagonal shapes called the Hexagon Ultimate Barefoot Sole. It is flexible and slip-resistant, allowing the wearer to run on wet or dry surfaces. The hexagons are indented for most of the shoe, while the outside forefoot has filled in lugs for better traction and durability.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The midsole is made of a lightweight leather footbed. It is very soft, so socks are not necessary. It cushions landings and absorbs a little bit of shock. It is flexible enough to allow the foot to move naturally and have smooth transitions. The combined stack height of the outsole and midsole is just 3mm, giving a lightweight, barefoot feel and better control over movement.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The upper is made of wide hide leather and breathable mesh. The wide hide leather covers the sides of the shoe and a strip across the back of the heel. It is soft, comfortable, and durable, and has perforations on both sides of the midfoot for breathability. The mesh covers the tongue, front of the shoe, and most of the heel. It is lightweight and breathable to keep the shoe ventilated, allow the foot to breathe naturally, and keep the foot cool and dry. The upper has a wide toe box to allow natural movement for smooth transitions and stronger toe-offs. The upper is cut below the ankle so it can move freely, and has a sock-like fit for comfort and to keep debris out of the shoe.
Weight
Weight

Weight

This shoe is very lightweight, weighing just 5.3 oz (150 g), well under half a pound. As a barefoot shoe, the low weight is very important to keep the feel as natural as possible. The outsole has just enough TPU and Pro 5 material to have good durability and traction, and the midsole is thin and soft lightweight leather. The overall stack height is just 3mm for a minimalist feel. The upper is also very light, with its thin wide hide leather and very breathable mesh.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

The Vivobarefoot Primus Trio has excellent breathability. The upper has lightweight, thin wide hide leather with perforation holes on the sides of the midfoot. The lightweight breathable air mesh has larger ventilation holes and adds breathability to the tongue, toes and heel. The high level of ventilation was intended to allow the foot to breathe naturally as if running barefoot. This keeps the foot cool and dry. A minimal amount of stitching is used on the leather near the lacing system and the band across the heal, but it does not block air flow to cause irritation or hot spots and does not take away from the total breathability of the shoe.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

The Primus Trio was designed to be as comfortable as possible, with a soft interior that does not weigh the foot down or feel like the user is wearing a shoe. The length is true to size and the width is normal and the toe box is slightly wide to allow the toes to splay naturally. The midsole is a soft leather footbed that does not require socks in order to feel comfortable. The zero drop, barefoot feel received compliments by some testers who normally have back pain and no longer had it after wearing this shoe. The very low stack height and weight, as well as the breathability, add to the comfortable barefoot feel. The upper is also comfortable with its soft wide hide leather and the lacing system that create a snug and even fit. The band around the heel helps keep it in place and provides a snug fit. The shoe is cut low to allow the ankle to move freely, and the comfortable sock-like fit also helps keep debris out of the shoe. Taking away from the comfort is the fact that the toe box is not quite as wide as expected, feeling slightly narrow for someone with wide feet, and that the shoe does not have a tongue or a loop, so it can be difficult to put on or adjust.
Style
Style

Style

This shoe has a sock-like, minimalist look. The outsole is thin and has hexagonal shapes. The midsole and upper are thin and soft. The wide hide leather covers the bottom of the midfoot, the side of the midfoot and a band across the back of the heel. Mesh covers the toes, tongue, and most of the heel. The upper has a low cut around the ankle for easier movement and transitions. The tongue has a hexagon shape with a Vivobarefoot logo, and there is also a logo on the big toe, as well as the area between the midfoot and the heel on sides of the shoe. The color options are solid and neutral, working well with any outfit: Black or Grey for men, and Black or Frost Grey for women.
Durability
Durability

Durability

The Vivobarefoot Primus Trio has some durability features, although multiple testers had problems in this area. The outsole is made of TPU for lasting durability and Pro 5 to help make it resistant to abrasion and punctures. The midsole is a thin leather footbed. The upper has thin but durable hide leather and breathable mesh, and a close fit around the ankle to keep dirt out. A few testers had problems with the outsole coming apart after a few runs due to its thinness. The midsole seemed to do a little better, as it did not come into direct contact with the ground. A few reviewers had wearing through of the mesh in the upper, although the leather part seemed to be a little more durable.
Protection
Protection

Protection

The Primus Trio has a few protective features. The outsole has a Pro 5 layer to protect against puncture and abrasion, and the Hexagon Ultimate Barefoot Sole to protect against slipping on wet and dry surfaces. The midsole is thin, so it only absorbs a minimal amount of shock. The zero drop helped a few people with their back pain. The upper has mesh and perforation holes to prevent overheating and to keep the foot cool and dry, and a band around the heel to prevent sliding inside the shoe. It also has a sock-like fit around the ankle to prevent debris from entering the shoe.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

This shoe is a minimalist shoe, so it has a great ground feel but no bouncy cushioning. The outsole and midsole allow the foot to move naturally due to their flexibility, low stack height and zero drop, strengthening muscles and tendons for better speed and form over time. The upper's material fits closely and moves with the foot, and the ankle is cut low to allow it to move freely and transition naturally.
Support
Support

Support

The Vivobarefoot Primus Trio has very little support due to it being a barefoot shoe. The sole unit is only 3mm thick, so it does not offer much support to the underside of the foot and has little to no arch support, with the arch area only coming up slightly higher than the rest of the sole. The upper provides a snug fit due to its design, lacing system, and band around the heel, but does not have padding for support.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

The Primus Trio is built for road running. The Hexagon Ultimate Barefoot Sole allows the wearer to run on wet or dry surfaces, but it does not have lugs to go on trails, nor the stability or protective thickness to go over hills or technical terrain. It can be used on dirt or paved roads that are not too rough and do not have a lot of debris on them.
Price
Price

Price

This shoe was about 25% below the average running shoe price when it was initially released. Current pricing ranges between 33% off the original price to more than twice the original price, depending on the availability of the size and color chosen. Some reviewers liked barefoot running and thought the price, style and features were good. Others were upset by the problems with durability and thought the price should have been lower, or ended up returning the shoe.
Traction
Traction

Traction

The Vivobarefoot Primus Trio has good traction. The Hexagon Ultimate Barefoot Sole grips roads well and allows the wearer to move quickly in any direction. It is also slip resistant on both wet and dry surfaces so that users can run in different weather conditions.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

The Primus Trio has great flexibility. The sole unit is very thin and bends with the foot, allowing it to move freely and giving a barefoot feel. The upper also flexible, moving with the foot to allow it transition naturally and the toes to splay for stronger takeoffs.
Stability
Stability

Stability

This shoe is minimalistic and does not have stability for slowing over- or under-pronation, or for going on trails and technical terrain. The grip on the Hexagon Ultimate Barefoot Sole provides light stability for toe-offs and landings. The midsole does not have any stability features. The upper's lacing system keeps the shoe in place but does not stabilize the midfoot from rolling. The band around the heel also helps improve the fit, but only slightly stabilizes the heel to prevent sliding inside the shoe.
Drop
Drop

Drop

This shoe has a height of 3mm in both the heel and forefoot, which is a zero drop. The zero drop and low stack height provide a natural feel suitable for a barefoot shoe. It does not have bouncy cushioning to move the foot forward, but it does allow the foot to strengthen and the gait to improve over time. Some testers happily reported that they no longer had back pain after wearing this shoe because of the zero drop.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

  • Sock-like ankle fit keeps debris out of the shoe and lets the ankle move freely

  • TPU sole is lightweight and thin with good durability

  • Leather footbed is so soft you do not need to wear socks

  • Wide hide leather provides comfort and durability to the upper

  • Lightweight breathable mesh upper keeps the shoe ventilated and the foot cool and dry

  • 3mm stack height keeps the foot close to the ground for a barefoot feel and better control

  • Pro 5 outsole is resistant to punctures and abrasion

  • Hexagon Ultimate Barefoot Sole is flexible and slip resistant on wet and dry surfaces

  • Wide toe box allows smooth transitions and strong toe-offs
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The Vivobarefoot Primus Trio has its good points, although it also needs some improvements. It is lightweight, soft, flexible, breathable, and has a great ground feel. It has good traction on roads and is able to be worn on both wet and dry surfaces. It allows the foot and ankle to move and breathe naturally, strengthening muscles and improving running form. Its biggest problem is durability. Several people had problems with the sole or upper wearing through because of its thin material coming in contact with the ground or the foot. This caused them to give lower ratings or even return the shoe. Overall, the Primus Trio is excellent on comfort, ventilation, and barefoot-like movement, but it really needs to find a way to improve its durability while still being lightweight and comfortable.