A barefoot shoe that feels truly barefoot, works on the road and on the trails, looks good, and feels comfortable walking, running or hanging out, even on the first wear? Yeah, that’s a shoe that I want to keep around. The VivoBarefoot name is pretty well known in the barefoot world, but I just stumbled on a pair of the women’s Evo Pure shoes by chance. I thought they looked pretty cool—it’s rare to find women’s shoes in a decent basic black—so I was stoked.
And I was more stoked when I started running in them. Super comfortable, though admittedly I’m fairly used to running barefoot so it wasn’t a major change for me. They’re ultra light and are surprisingly rugged despite their mesh upper and thin-but-puncture-resistant sole. I took them on all kinds of trails, and my feet were super happy—not a blister in sight!
The biggest thing for me isn’t the running component though. I snagged them in black when they were available, and they’ve become my go-to shoes for just walking around town. They saved my feet the last day of Sea Otter Classic when I was running around all day, and while most barefoot shoes look (let’s be honest here) pretty freaking dorky, these are a really simple, clean look that blended with whatever I wear (dress, jeans, shorts, leggings) and don’t make me look like a kooky barefoot running-type. Which I am, but I don’t necessarily want to broadcast that fact all over the place.
That’s what makes the biggest difference for me: finding a pair of comfortable sneakers that I can survive in all day, every day if needed. The amount of shoes I need to bring on any trip is now drastically decreased, which leads me, nomadic as I am, to my last point on why these shoes are awesome.
They make a great set of travel shoes: they take up almost no space in my bag and serve as both run shoes and walk-everywhere shoes, which is pretty key since I walk basically everywhere when we’re on trips. When we were in Ireland back in November, all I had were a bright yellow pair of sneakers, and while those were super comfortable for hanging out, walking and running, I looked like a complete and total dork in pubs. The Vivo’s are much stealthier.
Find them here for $110.