We spent 5.7 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

6 reasons to buy

  • Several consumers have considered the Vivobarefoot Primus Knit a comfortable product for their daily activities.
  • The forefoot section of this road running shoe is praised for being wide enough to accommodate natural toe splay.
  • Some testers claim that the upper unit is able to provide a sock-like fit that is light and flexible.
  • The stylish construction of the silhouette has allowed people to wear this running shoe for a variety of purposes.
  • A handful of people observe a breathable upper that prevents the foot from getting sweaty or warm.
  • The traction capacity of the outsole unit is appreciated by those who desire surface control when tackling urban adventures.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Some testers observe their toes scratching against the ceiling of the inner lining; they fear that such occurrences would cause the fabric to rip.
  • A few runners report that there is a need for a break-in period of a few days before becoming fully comfortable.

Bottom line

The overall feedback of people towards the Primus Knit has been positive. This Vivobarefoot running shoe is lauded for its lightweight and flexible construction. Users also benefit from a roomy toe box and a stylish design. On the other hand, the inner wall of this product has been criticized for having a low profile while the initial break-in period that several individuals report is scored.

Fans of minimalist running shoes that encourage natural movement and close-to-the-ground action are the target market of the Vivobarefoot Primus Knit.


Terrain: Road
Arch support: Neutral
Heel to toe drop: Men: 0mm | Women: 0mm
Fit: Medium forefoot, Medium heel, Medium toe box
Pronation: Neutral Pronation
Arch type: High arch
Use: All-day wear
Material: Knit upper, Leather, Rubber sole
Features: Sockless wear
Strike Pattern: Forefoot strike
Heel height: Men: 3mm | Women: 3mm
Forefoot height: Men: 3mm | Women: 3mm
Brand: Vivobarefoot
Type: Low drop | Zero drop | Barefoot
Width: Men: Normal, Wide | Women: Normal, Wide
Price: $170
Colorways: Beige, Black, Blue, Green, White
Small True to size Large
Forefoot fit
Narrow Wide
Heel fit
Narrow Wide
Tight Roomy
Stiff Flexible
Warm Breathable
Firm Plush
Durability 8/10
Comfort 8/10
Traction 9/10
See more facts

Expert Reviews

Experts are runners, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

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88 / 100 based on 1 expert reviews

  • 88 / 100 | The Bioneer | | Level 1 expert

    And in all honesty, it’s not training that forms habits: it’s everything you do in-between. It’s how you spend the 90% of your time when you’re not working out. A shoe like the Primus Knit is primarily for those times, but doubles nicely as something you can bring to the gym and occasionally on a run.

  • First look | Shop Zappos |

  • First look | Shop Zappos |

Become an expert

- Barefoot-like running is the name of the game when it comes to the Vivobarefoot brand. The products that are released by this name are designed to deliver natural performance that is protective and secure. An example of such a creation is the Primus Knit, a daily driver for style and the pursuit of an active lifestyle.

- The facade of the Vivobarefoot Primus Knit is similar to sneakers, with a leather-reinforced mesh upper and a one-piece construction forming a look that is visually reminiscent of fashion-optimized footwear. A combination of an environment-friendly insole and a thin outsole handles cushioning and natural stepping motion.

Vivobarefoot running shoes are sized bigger than the standard, according to their website. However, runners are advised to still purchase their usual size preference because the shoe is intended to fit with a gap between the toes and the tip of the shoe.

The overall sideways fit is influenced by the foot-shaped curve of the whole product, the roomy configuration of the toe box, and the form-fitting fabrics of the upper unit.

The outsole unit of the Vivobarefoot Primus Knit is made of rubber. This full-length piece fundamentally serves as the actual platform, receiving the shape of the foot and supporting it like traditional midsole units. It has a 3-millimeter height to separate the foot from the ground beneath. Proprioception, or ground-feel, is encouraged by close-to-the-ground shoes. Another example of a series that has thin sole units is the Merrell Trail Glove.

Above the rubber sole unit is a Bloom™ Performance Insole, which is an add-on that is derived from algae. Such a design is environment-friendly. The insole itself offers some semblance of cushioning. It can be removed or replaced with a new one if the wearer wants to do so.

The upper unit of the Vivobarefoot Primus Knit is primarily made of a knitted fabric. This material has a flexible and form-fitting construction to permit the natural shape of the foot as it goes through the gait cycle. Small holes allow air to enter the foot chamber and maintain a ventilated running session.

Leather panels are stitched onto the back, the sides and the front. These elements are meant to reinforce the structural integrity of the upper unit and help in the attainment of a secure fit.

A one-piece opening permits the foot to experience a sock-like fit. The connected collar and instep evoke the shape and texture of a sock’s topmost portion, even having a stretchy and seamless material to further sell the design.

Flat shoelaces snake through discreet eyelets on the tips of the leather panels. These accouterments work together to deliver a customized in-shoe experience, tightening or loosening the in-shoe hug to suit the preference of the wearer.


Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.