Vivobarefoot Primus Lite review

Everyone loves the idea of becoming a barefoot runner much like the 1960 Olympic gold-medalist Abebe Bikila; however,  over time our feet have become softer due to the padding and support shoes have become.

The Vivobarefoot Primus Lite, much like the Vivobarefoot Stealth II, is a solid barefoot running shoe that provides breathability, comfort, and the same PRO5 puncture resistant outsole.

Now be warned, hyper-realistic barefoot running shoes need to be slowly introduced to your feet if you plan on becoming an avid barefoot runner. If not, the benefits of barefoot running will be thrown out and injuries will most likely pop up.

The Primus Lite is not for wet surfaces

In order for everyone to be happy and safe at the same time, the outsole needs to have that perfect combination of multiple things. The outsole needs to be thin enough to avoid feeling bogged down from the shoe and trapping so much heat it feels like a furnace in the shoe.

Also, the outsole needs to have the feeling of being barefoot but safe enough where it is resistant to nuances, like broken glass, or other debris, that would make actually being barefoot horrid.

Vivobarefoot has taken into consideration all of these concerns and perfected it to make what they call the PRO5 outsole. However, the PRO5 cushion just takes care of the basics. Just like the sister shoe, the Vivobarefoot Stealth II, the outsole does not have enough traction to handle wet conditions at all. Be prepared to slide/slip if you decide to take a leisurely stroll during any wet conditions.

Barefoot feel in the Primus Lite

With only 3mm of cushioning between your feet and the surface you are running on, you are bound to feel any divot, rock, or any odd surface. With outsole protecting all of the sharp pain that you might have while running, you will still feel an uncomfortable pressure on your feet that will still make you sore (at least from my experience).

For those who already are acclimated to barefoot-feel running, then this feeling will be typical and should not be taken into account when considering on getting these. However, for those who are new, this shoe does not come with an insole which helped me get used to the Stealth II because it provided some cushion.

Comfy, breathable upper

The upper is one of the most comfortable, breathable running shoes that I have ever ran in. Unlike the Vivobarefoot Stealth II where there were issues with the mesh and bleeding when it gets wet, the Primus Lite excels on not bleeding and providing excellent air flow.

There are two components that are in the upper: the mesh, and the very thin fabric. The mesh provides air flow and makes the shoe comfortable, the fabric provides protection and structure to the shoe.

There are areas where there is just the thin fabric, like the medial areas, and makes those specific areas uncomfortable and a bit hot. However, there are pockets of just mesh which makes the fabric less hot and uncomfortable. The upper consists of two main components: the mesh and thin fabric which makes the upper one of the most breathable and comfortable to run in.

Facts / Specs

Terrain: Road
Weight: Men 7.1oz / Women 6.3oz
Drop: 0mm
Arch support: Neutral
Update: Vivobarefoot Primus Lite II
Forefoot height: 3mm
Heel height: 3mm

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Cameron Corbin
Cameron Corbin

Hello, my name is Cameron Corbin. I live in Katy,TX and I believe that a shoe can make all the difference in the world. I am an avid runner and a shoe enthusiast. I have completed 4 half-marathons in my 10 years of running and plan on doing more! I enjoy trying out different shoes and see which one suits the best for a specific purpose.