Take the Primus Lite III from Vivobarefoot if you're looking for a:
- barefoot running shoe for short, easy runs
- running shoe that can handle weightlifting and walking
- low-to-the-ground shoe that can take a beating
Who should NOT buy it
For beginners, it's best to start with cushioned shoes with zero-drop (for more info about shoe drops, read our guide about heel-to-toe drop) to achieve that natural-feeling ride.
But if you're used to barefoot running and want something affordable, it's best to consider the Merrell Vapor Glove 5.
Primus Lite III vs. II
For a more sustainable approach, the third version of Vivobarefoot Primus Lite is made with more environmentally friendly and vegan materials, reducing not only the brand's but also the runner's ecological footprint.
Loads of ground feel
This shoe has no midsole. What separates your foot from the ground is a 3-mm thick rubber outsole, meaning you can sense everything underfoot.
This also translates to better control as proprioception (sense of self-movement and location) is heightened.
Allows the feet to move
There's a lot of space in the forefoot. This is what wide-footed runners have to say about the Primus Lite III. According to them, their toes can splay comfortably.
On top of this, the outsole is thin and flexible, allowing the foot to move and bend with little to no restriction.
All testers agree that this shoe is extremely light. They even say that they feel like they have nothing on foot.
This is owed to the shoe's stripped-down construction — lightweight mesh upper, no midsole, and minimal rubber outsole.
A solid tank
After 300 miles, the outsole is still intact and so is the upper. Experts tag ian the Xero Shoes HFS.
Sticks to the ground
On tarmac, pavement, and gravel, the Primus Lite III's traction is perfect. There are NO reports of slips on any of these surfaces.
A pledge to veganism and environmentalism
In this version, many runners are happy with the brand's more eco-friendly approach. The shoe is 100% vegan (it doesn't have any animal products nor has it been tested on animals) and it's made with recycled materials.
No sweat with the Primus Lite III
The shoe's mesh upper is very porous and light; air can get through easily. Even under a scorching summer run, many laud its breathability.
Not for newbies and heel strikers
Because the Primus Lite III has minimal cushion, it may be too intense (or even painful) for those new to running.
Also, barefoot running shoes, in general, force runners to run on their forefoot, which can be a lot of adjustment for heel strikers.
Puts a dent in your wallet
On average, road running shoes retail for $120. Meanwhile, the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III costs $ per pair.
Almost all experts share this gripe. Mid-run, the laces come undone, which they find .