VIVOBAREFOOT – Sock Doc’s favorite footwear. They’re as barefoot as you can be without actually being barefoot. No drop. No arch support. No cushioning. No motion control. Plenty of unaltered proprioception to help with your balance, body awareness, and overall health and fitness.

VIVOBAREFOOT makes shoes for on the road, off the road (trail) and multi-terrain. Whether you’re in the office or in some water they’ve got a barefoot-style shoe to fit your need. Plus, they’re well aware that kids’ feet need only one thing to develop properly – a little bit of protection at certain times. So they’ve created a diverse line of kids shoes and boots to fit their needs.

I have completed several VIVOBAREFOOT shoe reviews that you can find below. I don’t get paid any money from anyone for my VIVOBAREFOOT shoe reviews and I don’t work for them nor am I an affiliate; I just think they’ve got great shoes. If you’re interested in injury prevention and optimum health and fitness as I am, then VIVOBAREFOOT will fit your lifestyle.

Make sure you read “Healthy People = Barefoot People” to learn more about how your bare feet and your health are interrelated with each other as well as how to properly transition into a barefoot type shoe. There’s a powerpoint presentation at the end worth watching too.

Shoe Reviews




  1. I can’t seem to find any of the minimalist shoes that would work for a student athlete sprinter. They all seem to be designed either for just daily living or trail or long distance runners. Am I wrong? Do you have any suggestions for sprinters?

    • I wouldn’t necessarily say they’re for long distance – you might not want to sprint a 100m in them, but you can definitely be running 400s in them. Check out some other shoes at your local running shop. Most sprinting/racing flats are so minimalist just by the nature of the design.

  2. Gregory Michael says:

    I’m trying out the minimalist New Balance Vibram and like it so much I don’t wear anything but it even at work. This will soon become a problem especially at my job because of the natural of what I do. Most people wear heavy duty boots with steel toed protection. Have you found a minimalist boot for work or have you heard of anyone removing the outer and mid soles of their boots to bring them closer to barefoot walking?

  3. What do you recommend as shoes for tennis? Thanks for your great website and info. Jill

  4. I’m a size 11 1/2, do I need to buy a size 12 or would it fit true to size?

    • Hard to say because it depends on what you’re an 11 1/2 in. Best is to try a pair on but I don’t find their comparison chart on their site to be very accurate.

  5. What do you recommend for a woman with size 12 narrow feet? Vivobarefoot does not manufacture shoes for women in that size.

  6. What do you think about the new balance MR00 Road as a casual/workout shoe? Do you think it’s a good option? And also I have a pair of vans and I’ve been wondering if I could classify it as a “minimal” Shoe. This is the link to it. The heel looks thick but when you take out the thickly cushioned insert it basically because a zero drop shoe. There isn’t any cushion to the shoe and it’s pretty flexible with a pretty wide toe box. Vans just aren’t really known around the world as a “minimalist” type of brand, but i’m wondering if these would work? Thanks a lot doc!

  7. Donald Gabrielson says:

    I have pain and swelling around the sesamoid bones in my right foot. The side of my right leg is numb because of a bulging disc in my back. I had surgery, however my right leg is still numb below the knee, because of numbness I slap my right foot when I walk (my left foot is OK). I have used orthotics for years but they are not helping anymore and around my sesamoids it is swollen and painful. I walk on a cement floor every day. Do you have a solution for my problem?

  8. I have a horrible back. (Twisted sciatica and 2 bulging disks in the upper back) I need an lightweight shoe for long distance backcountry camping. I was considering a natural shoe. Any suggestions?

    • Gotta see what works for you. If you’re used to a supportive shoe then going with less will probably make your back feel worse if you don’t address the problem there.

  9. Hi,

    I purchased two pairs of the women’s Vivobarefoot Breathe Trail shoes, one in a 39 and one in size 40. They both fit me differently, obviously, but I’m not sure how the shoe is supposed to fit? My toe somewhat touches the end of the 39, but everything else feels nice and snug. The 40 is a little roomier, but my toe doesn’t hit the end, and the toe box is bigger on the shoe. I don’t think the 40 would slide around on my foot, but it is noticeably roomier. Can you advise on how this shoe (or any barefoot shoe for that matter) should fit, please? I plan on using the shoe to hike up somewhat steep terrain. Thank you much!

    • Your toes should never hit the end. Ideally about 1/2 or even closer to one full width of your thumb from end of longest to to end of shoe is a good reference. Vivo shoes are great, but their sizing is funky. Your experience is not uncommon.

      • My toes don’t hit the end, but they’re about half a thumb’s width from it- however the rest of the shoe fits as though it was made for me (i have quite narrow feet and high arches). would you recommend going a size up or sticking with what i’ve got??

  10. Richard says:

    How durable are these shoes? I’m considering the Freud II, but I cant find any reviews on It. I’m going to use them in the gym, when Im working with clients so I would like to have something like vibrams. Without the goofy look. Any opinions or recommendations would be appreciated.

  11. Patricia says:

    My chiropractor recommended Vivo Barefoot shoes, he thought it would help my chronic shin splints. I had to give up running years ago because of them. Several years ago, I had a physical therapist who specialized in foot stuff recommend mizuno wave inspire for walking and exercising.

    The regular shoes/sandals I’ve tried include Merrell’s, Crocs, and Arcopedicos with mostly good results.

    I had a podiatrist tell me years and years ago that unlike most people barefoot isn’t really a good thing for me and that I should where something on my feet always unless I am in bed or the shower. I also seem to remember him saying not to wear thin soled shoes. Unfortunately, I don’t remember why he told me these things.

    Do you think it would be okay for me to try vivo barefoot and what ones would you recommend I start with?

    thank you so much for your help

  12. hi,
    I’m a french DC, I’ve see you at symposium of AK in bordeaux. I make triathlon M and I want to prepare a L (2015) and iron (2016). I run with the saucony hattory but for a half and iron I don’t know which shoes I can take?
    thank you

  13. I have been transitioning to barefoot over the last six or eight months. I use Vibram five fingers. This past winter I sprained my ankle several times, and I am hoping that going barefoot will strengthen my ankles and help to get stronger. The last time sprained my ankle was about eight months ago. At this point when I run my ankle still hurts. It is never terrible but it is often uncomfortable. Is there something I’m doing wrong?

  14. I was diagnosed with a Morton’s Neuroma about 2 years ago between the first and second toes. The doctor gave me a cortisone shot, and I haven’t felt pain until last Sunday (12-21-14). When I got up from the computer (must of been doing something with my foot I shouldn’t of) my neuroma started hurting again. There is a small callous on the ball of my foot underneath my first toe, and that is where the pain happens when I walk. I have tried to get rid of the callous with callous removers to no avail. I can’t bend my big toe normally on my right foot where the neuroma is because I broke or sprained it along time ago when I was a teen. I’m trying to prevent surgery and cortisone shots, and would appreciate any help you can offer. Thanks.

  15. I have flat feet and was told that I over pronate and should use shoes with motion control. Do you think the vivobarefoot would work for me and if yes, which one should i go for. I will start practising for 10k run by mostly running on the road or treadmill.


  16. Sock Doc,
    I have recently been attempting to transition fully to barefoot shoes as a long time motion control shoe wearer due to my “overpronation”. After reading your article it is clear that whoever told me to start wearing motion control shoes is an idiot, which I began suspecting around 3 years ago when I switched to minimal shoes for running. I now wear minimal shoes always for running and frequently for day to day. I still feel that I under supinate though, and my Achilles Tendon turns inward very badly, even worse than pictured in your article. I also have trouble distributing my weight properly as shown here So my question is, should this correct itself, and if so will it happen on its own if I continue to wear barefoot shoes or are there exercises or something I should be doing to correct it?


  17. Hi,

    I just received my Vivo Stealth Women running shoes and they are about 1 full width or maybe slightly even more of my thumb from end of longest to the end of shoe (as you have said in earlier comments to be good). They feel really roomy in the toe area but otherwise fit nicely but I still can’t quite decide whether I should return these and get one size smaller. Do you think that they are still good for running even though there seems to be lot of empty space around toes? I’m worried that in one size smaller my toes will hit the end of the shoe. I’m also new with barefoot running so I can’t use my experience in this situation. Thanks a lot for your help!

    • Sounds a bit large. I’d recommend going down one size and then you can even take the insole (sockliner) out and that should help with the fit.

  18. I recently discovered your website a few months back and have read and re-read many of your articles. I have forwarded many of them on to my good friends.

    I was diagnosed (via a MRI) with a slight complex tear of my meniscus back in 2013, but it settled down after a mis-step whilst hiking in the dark. 2014 was a huge climbing year with no trouble from my injury. In March 2015 my meniscus injury flared up. Surgery has been suggested, but I am still sat on the fence.

    As I spend all my indoor time barefoot and windsurf barefoot during the summer I thought I would give barefoot hiking a whirl. I broke it down with just hiking the flat wet muddy stuff in a forest the first time. My second go at barefoot hiking I put my runners on when climbing a small scree area and a small rock face. Today I decided to try the same trail all barefoot and all I can say is I wish I tried it sooner.

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