Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III

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85%
πŸ… Highly Rated
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Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III: Review

β€œA sustainable and minimalist shoe for the eco-conscious runner.”

Overview


The Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III is a barefoot running shoe that stands out for its minimalistic design and commitment to foot health. Crafted to enhance the natural function of the foot, it encourages a more engaged running experience and strengthens the lower body.

Key Features:

  • Recycled PET upper: This sustainable material is not only environmentally friendly but also provides durability.
  • Wide toe box: Offers ample space for toe splay (the ability of the toes to spread out), enhancing stability and comfort.
  • Flexible sole: Allows for natural foot movement and a close-to-ground feel.
  • Vegan construction: Ensures the shoe is free from animal products and aligns with eco-conscious values.

The Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III is part of the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite family and is an ideal choice for runners who prioritize a natural-feeling ride and environmental sustainability. Its zero-drop sole (no difference in height from heel to toe) offers a benefit of improved ground feedback, making it suitable for road running and gym workouts.

With an average review score of 85%, it's in the highest rated 30% of similar running shoes. Based on our monitoring of prices across the internet, it's currently in the cheapest 20% of running shoes today.

Verdict

The consensus on the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III


The Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III is a shoe that caters to the road running and gym enthusiast with a penchant for minimalistic design. Its flat rubber outsole and recycled PET upper are built to withstand rigorous workouts on hard surfaces. However, its performance on loose or wet terrain is less impressive, with a tendency to slip. The shoe's wide toe box and flat profile contribute to a stable and responsive experience, particularly beneficial for sprints and weightlifting. At 249 grams, it maintains a lightweight feel, essential for a minimalist shoe. Durability is a strong suit, with the recycled rubber upper holding up well during testing. While the Primus Lite III is not the most versatile shoe, it excels in its intended environment of hard surfaces, where it provides excellent traction and stability. For those new to barefoot running, a gradual transition is recommended due to the lack of traditional cushioning. Overall, the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III is a solid choice for barefoot enthusiasts seeking a durable and environmentally friendly shoe for road running and gym activities.

Updates to Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III


The Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III represents an evolution in the Primus Lite line, with a focus on more sustainable and vegan materials compared to its predecessor, the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite II. This shift reflects a growing trend towards eco-conscious production in the footwear industry, reducing the ecological footprint of both the brand and the runner.

Comparable Shoes


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For those seeking a more affordable barefoot running shoe, the Merrell Vapor Glove 6 may be a better fit. It offers a similar minimalistic design and is geared towards runners who are already comfortable with zero-drop footwear. However, the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III stands out for its sustainable materials and vegan construction.

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The Xero Shoes HFS is another alternative for runners interested in a hybrid barefoot experience. It provides a balance between minimalism and cushioning, making it a potential stepping stone for those transitioning to barefoot running. The Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III, on the other hand, is for the more experienced barefoot runner looking for a pure, ground-connected feel.

9 Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III Pros & Cons


5 Pros

Made with sustainable and recycled materials, the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III is environmentally friendly.
The wide toe box allows for natural toe movement, enhancing comfort and stability.
Its flexible sole and zero-drop design promote a natural running form and foot strength.
The shoe's lightweight construction makes it comfortable for a variety of activities.
Excellent breathability keeps feet cool during warm weather runs.

4 Cons

The minimal cushioning may be too intense for beginners or those not used to barefoot shoes.
Traction on loose or wet surfaces is not as reliable as on hard, dry terrain.
The shoe's price point is higher than the average for road running shoes.
Laces may come undone during runs, which can be inconvenient.

In Depth


Upper

The upper of the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III is made from recycled PET, reflecting the brand's commitment to sustainability. This material choice not only benefits the environment but also contributes to the shoe's durability. The design includes a breathable mesh that aids in ventilation, keeping the feet cool during warm days. The spacious toe box is a standout feature, allowing for comfortable toe splay and enhancing the natural movement of the foot.

Outsole

The outsole of the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III is a thin, 3mm rubber layer that provides a close-to-ground feel, essential for a barefoot running experience. This minimal barrier allows runners to sense the terrain beneath their feet, promoting a more natural running form. The outsole's design offers excellent traction on hard surfaces such as tarmac, pavement, and gravel, ensuring a secure grip during various activities.

Size/fit

The Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III is designed with a wide toe box, catering to runners with wide feet or those who prefer extra room for their toes. This feature is crucial for allowing natural toe movement and enhancing overall foot comfort. The shoe's fit is true to size, providing a snug and secure feel without being restrictive.

Comfort

Comfort in the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III is achieved through its wide toe box and flexible sole, which allow the foot to move freely and naturally. The shoe's lightweight construction contributes to a barely-there feel, making it comfortable for short runs, walks, and gym sessions. However, the minimal cushioning may be too harsh for beginners or heel strikers (runners who land on the heel when taking a step) who are not accustomed to barefoot shoes.

Breathability

The mesh upper of the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III is highly porous, allowing for excellent airflow. This breathability is particularly beneficial during warm weather, as it helps to keep the feet cool and dry. The shoe's design ensures that even on the hottest days, runners can enjoy a comfortable and sweat-free experience.

Stability

Stability in the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III is provided by the wide toe box and flat profile of the shoe. These features allow for a stable base and natural foot splay, which contribute to improved balance during runs and workouts. The shoe's design promotes a stable and confident ride on hard surfaces, though it may not be the best choice for uneven or loose terrain.

Durability

Durability is a key strength of the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III, with the recycled PET upper and rubber outsole holding up well after extensive use. The materials used are of high quality, and the construction is designed to withstand the demands of daily running and gym workouts. The shoe's longevity is a testament to its robust design and the brand's focus on creating a durable product.

Grip

The grip of the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III is reliable on hard surfaces, where the flat rubber sole excels in providing traction. The shoe performs well on tarmac, pavement, and gravel, ensuring a secure footing during various activities. However, its performance on wet or loose surfaces is less dependable, with a tendency to slip in these conditions.

Flex

The flexible sole of the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III is a defining feature, allowing the foot to bend and move with minimal restriction. This flexibility is crucial for a barefoot running shoe, as it promotes a natural gait and foot function. The shoe's design ensures that runners can enjoy a full range of motion during their activities.

Who should buy the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III?


The Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III is best suited for runners who are already accustomed to barefoot or minimalistic footwear and are looking for a durable, eco-friendly option for road running and gym training. Its wide toe box and zero-drop sole make it an excellent choice for those seeking a natural running experience and improved foot strength. Additionally, its vegan construction will appeal to environmentally conscious consumers.

Who should not buy the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III?


Runners who are new to barefoot running or prefer a shoe with more cushioning may want to steer clear of the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III. Its minimalistic design and lack of traditional cushioning can be challenging for beginners. Those who primarily run on technical trails or in wet conditions might also look elsewhere, as the shoe's grip on loose or slippery surfaces is not optimal. Instead, they could consider options like the Vibram V-Trail 2.0 for trail running or the Merrell Vapor Glove 6 for a more affordable barefoot experience.

Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III: What's it good for?


The Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III is well-suited for short, easy runs on hard surfaces, such as roads and gym floors. Its flexible sole and wide toe box make it a good option for weightlifting and other gym activities, where a stable base and freedom of movement are beneficial. The shoe's lightweight and breathable design also make it comfortable for walking and everyday wear.

4 Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III FAQs


Is the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III suitable for long-distance running?

The Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III is designed for short to medium distances on hard surfaces. Its minimal cushioning and barefoot design may not provide the comfort needed for long-distance running, especially for those not accustomed to minimalistic shoes.

Can I wear the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III for everyday activities?

Yes, the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III is versatile enough to be worn for everyday activities. Its comfortable fit, wide toe box, and breathable design make it suitable for casual wear, walking, and light exercise.

Are the materials used in the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III environmentally friendly?

The Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III is made with recycled PET and other sustainable materials, reflecting the brand's commitment to reducing its ecological footprint. The shoe is also 100% vegan, aligning with eco-conscious values.

How does the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III perform on wet surfaces?

The Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III is not optimized for wet conditions. Its flat rubber sole can lose traction on wet surfaces, making it less suitable for running in the rain or on slippery terrain.

Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III alternatives

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Weight
Weight
249 g
M: 278 g
W: 221 g
M: 335 g
W: 266 g
M: 230 g
W: 204 g
M: 193 g
W: 164 g
Forefoot
Forefoot
4 mm
22 mm
28 mm
7 mm
Heel to toe drop
Heel to toe drop
6 mm
11 mm
8 mm
Heel
Heel
3 mm
28 mm
36 mm
7 mm
Usages
Usages
Daily running
Daily runningSpeed trainingDaily runningDaily runningRacingSpeed trainingDaily runningRacingSpeed trainingDaily runningSpeed training
Brand
Brand
Vivobarefoot
NewtonSalmingOnSauconyXero Shoes
Strike Type
Strike Type
Fore/Midfoot strike
Fore/Midfoot strikeFore/Midfoot strikeHeel strikeFore/Midfoot strikeHeel strikeFore/Midfoot strikeHeel strikeFore/Midfoot strike
Shoe Type
Shoe Type
BarefootBreathableLow dropZero drop
LightweightMaximalistBarefootBreathableLightweightLow dropMinimalistZero drop
Carbon fiber plate
Carbon fiber plate
Orthotic friendly
Orthotic friendly
Removable insole
Removable insole
Techs
Techs
VibramOn CloudTecSaucony RunShield
Waterproofings
Waterproofings
Water repellentWaterproof
Environmental Characteristics
Environmental Characteristics
SustainableVegan β“‹
SustainableVegan β“‹
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Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III: what the experts say (1 review)

Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III characteristics and specifications

Characteristics
SportsRunning (+1895)
TerrainRoad (+1285)
UsagesDaily running (+1097)
BrandVivobarefoot (+7)
Support TypeNeutral (+1483)
Pronation TypeNeutral pronation (+1462)
Strike TypeFore/Midfoot strike (+1044)
Arch TypeHigh arch (+1410)
Shoe TypeBarefoot (+14)Breathable (+321)Low drop (+270)Zero drop (+93)
FitWide toe box (+314)
FeaturesBreathable (+960)
MaterialsMesh (+843)
Environmental CharacteristicsSustainable (+140)Vegan β“‹ (+222)
ColorwaysBlack, Blue, Blue Haze, Botanical Green, Bright White, Charcoal, Grey, Midnight, Obsidian
Specificationsvs Average
Model
III
Released
May 2022
Measurements
Weight
249 g
Heel to toe drop
Heel
3 mm
Forefoot
4 mm

Evolution of the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite product family

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AuthorTom Green
Tom is the founder of geerly. Based in West London, he found his passion for running in his mid-30s. He’s best at longer distances, and is a regular at the London Marathon, where he's edging closer to sub-2.40. He started geerly because he found it frustrating when shopping for running shoes spending ages trying to find the best deal in his size, and wading through verbose, waffling reviews clearly designed to appeal to search engines rather than be helpful to users. For geerly he's passionate about writing reviews that get straight to the point, and helping runners find the right gear at the best price.
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February 19, 2024 at 9:55 AM
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πŸ“Š Stats | Powered by geerly.com πŸ‘Ÿ πŸ•’ Official time: 00:22:45 | Course PB 🚨 🏁 Overall position: 35/549 🚹 Gender position: 21/299 🎯 Age grade: 61% My parkrun 3️⃣4️⃣