Getting Down And Dirty With VIVOBarefoot Primus Trail SG
Name: VIVO Barefoot Primus Trail SG
Retail Price: $150.00
As a Ranger for the Dyrt and an independent travel blogger, I am sent items to test from time to time to give real feed back about how these items work within my active lifestyle. On this trip I was closing out my review cycle for the VIVO Barefoot Primus Trail SG shoes. These shoes are a part of the vast line of minimalist shoes VIVO Barefoot has released utilizing recycled bottles and other materials to keep in line with a Vegan outlook. The shoes are the “soft ground” version of their outdoor line, designed to grip comfortably the ground below you and provide both support and traction when running, hiking or simply walking.
I placed my order for these shoes and within 5 days they arrived at my home. Shipping for the package arrived in a VIVO red reinforced bag with bold branding on the outside. Inside the box was a hefty box containing materials about the shoe, shipping receipt, 1 pair of shoe laces, 2 insoles and the shoes neatly wrapped in branded tissue paper.
I tested these shoes over 5 different wears over two weeks of doing typical things I do in my day to day life. With my stop at Cold Springs I put them to the final test, navigating on slippery rocks as I traversed the many waterfalls in the area, trekking through boggy wet grounds as I visited the neighboring Fall Festival at the Chickasaw Cultural Center, climbing on steep gravel banks and walking on various types of surface. I can only say that the shoes never seemed to miss a beat or make me feel the slightest bit uneasy in my footing.
For someone like myself, finding a shoe which suits my lifestyle is multi-fold. I have had issues with chronic sciatica over the years which has nearly grounded me from travel multiple times, my joints tend to build pressure and pop often and over time and though playing sports as a child I just wasn’t the most friendly to my body as I could be. I had seen information about minimalist shoes helping retrain your step and get your body more in line with its natural feel by extending the muscles you typically are shrinking wearing highly padded shoes, by allowing your toes to rest more naturally and less hindered while in the shoes and by allowing your joints to naturally cushion your walk. I didn’t know what exactly to expect from the shoes and was not expecting a miracle, but I was curious I will say.
Over the first 4 wears I noticed that taking the shoes off I did not experience the same pain after long days that I typically would in a standard pair of running shoes. Pain is perhaps a strong word, discomfort would be more appropriate. Instead I simply felt like I had removed the shoes. I know that sounds strange but considering I didn’t even know I had an issue it was a strange feeling indeed when I had the ah ha moment. Not only that I noticed following removal, typically I stand and stretch and hear my joint popping, however with the VIVO Barefoot shoes I didn’t have the tension release.
With these I can walk around feeling the ground below me in a comfortable way. On stones and uneven surfaces I feel like I can grip better with my feet to secure my balance and though they are taking a little adjustment I am really enjoying the overall feel of the shoes.
Water resistant - When I was walking on the rocks and around the waters edge at Cold Springs, I noticed that while I could feel the water, I didn’t feel like it was sloshing inside my shoes. They are water resistant, and while that does not mean I could fully submerge my foot I felt with the hiking around the rocks I was safe.
Flexible - When you get this shoe you are inclined to test the shoes flexibility considering it is made from recycled plastic bottles, something I feel is much more rigid by nature than what I feel my shoe should be. They completely roll up end to end! Any shoe that will do that is a shoe I know will move and grip in any direction I am moving for sure.
Tight Ankle - It was great for keeping debris out of my shoe and assisted in my shoe not slipping on my foot when I was wearing it throughout the day or competing with my sock.
Tight Ankle - It was very difficult to get onto my foot because it was not stretchy enough to easily slip on. Over time I know it will loosen a bit, but that by far is the worst thing about the shoe in my opinion.
With or without insoles - Inside the box an insert insole is provided, to get the full barefoot experience you can opt to not use these or you can use them for a bit of cushion. I was a bit conflicted by the choice. Without the insoles the shoe slips on much easier but it also is a bit more of a rough ride feel when getting used to them.
Of 5 stars I would give the VIVO Barefoot Primus 4 stars. I love the shoes but the process of putting them on being so difficult (almost 10 minutes the first time I put them on). I feel like it will continue to take some warming up to them to really know how I like that aspect. I have found that when using them to workout that tight ankle does make a small red impression on the top of my foot and while my feet themselves do not hurt, in the long run I would not want the to be the continued outcome. I will continue wearing them and testing them and I assume this will pass.