Facts

  • Terrain

    Road

    Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

    Trail

    Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

    Good to know

    As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

  • Arch support

    Neutral / cushion / high arch

    Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with normal, high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

    Stability / overpronation / normal arch

    Shoes for runners who need mild to moderate arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a low arch. See the best stability shoes.

    Motion control / severe overpronation / flat feet

    Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

    Good to know

    - Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
    - More about arch support in this video.
    - Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

  • Use

    Daily running

    Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

    Competition

    Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

    Good to know

    If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

  • Price
    $135
  • Weight
    Men: 7.1oz
    Women: 6.3oz
  • Heel to toe drop
    Men: 0mm
    Women: 0mm

    The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

    There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.

  • Heel height
    Men: 3mm
    Women: 3mm
  • Forefoot height
    Men: 3mm
    Women: 3mm
  • Width
    Men: normal
    Women: normal
  • Release date
    Unknown
Show more facts

Summary

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

7 reasons to buy

  • The majority found the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite to be a highly comfortable shoe.
  • Most of the users highly appreciated the very light weight of the footwear.
  • Several customers highlighted that the shoe had a reliable capacity to adapt to the natural shape and movement of the foot.
  • A few runners welcomed the minimalist, closer-to-ground feel by saying that it was like ‘feeling the natural ground but with protection’.
  • Some purchasers said that they liked the overall look of the shoe.
  • A few users mentioned that they loved the colors the footwear was available in.
  • A wearer said that the shoes were comfortable ‘even without socks’.

1 reasons not to buy

  • A runner said that it took him time to get used to the shoe.

Bottom line

The Vivobarefoot Primus Lite, owing to its amazing design, high comfortability and incredible looks, has the vote of the majority. The individuals loved the natural feel of the ground, which the shoe allowed. At the same time, they were satisfied with the protection the sole unit offered.

Rankings

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.

Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.

80 / 100 based on 1 expert reviews

  • 80 / 100 | Cameron Corbin

    My thoughts on the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite

    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.

     

    Outsole

    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.

    Midsole

    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, 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.

    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.

    Overall

    The Vivobarefoot Primus Lite excels at differentiating very similar shoes, the Vivobarefoot Stealth II.

    This shoe provides confidence to any barefoot runner by integrating their signature PRO5 outsole and combining it with off-the-charts mesh/fabric upper. In the rain, this shoe underperforms because of its lack of traction.

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

Apply to become an expert

Updates to Vivobarefoot Primus Lite

  • The interesting aspect of the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite is that the shoe delivers a level of quality and performance on the roads using only a minimum amount of technologies.
  • The exterior side of the lightweight TPU provides the needed traction on wet or steep surfaces, while its interior serves as the midsole. Also, the very thin yet sturdy upper assumes the shape of the foot which makes possible for the wearer to follow his natural gait while running without having to compromise on the comfort or the breathability.

Vivobarefoot Primus Lite size and fit

The neutral road running shoe is based on a minimalist design which, owing to its semi-curved shape, adjusts to the natural shape of the runner’s foot. The Vivobarefoot Primus Lite has a standard running length and a standard medium width of D for men and B for women, respectively.

Outsole

The Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) outsole is light in weight, resistant to abrasion and has excellent traction. It ensures maximum protection underfoot and at the same time lets the user feel the natural ground underneath.

Midsole

Unlike a traditional midsole, the shoe utilizes the inner side of the Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) as its underfoot platform. It Is thin and flexible, qualities that are actually important for those who like to experience a near-barefoot performance.

Upper

The upper unit of the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite utilizes a Breathable Mesh in order to maintain a well-ventilated in-shoe feel for the wearer. The open construction of this material allows environmental air to pass through it, enabling maximum ventilation inside the footwear. At the same time, it wraps itself around the user’s foot, offering a snug and secure fit.

The Fused Upper Material, based on the minimalist design, feels seamless against the skin. Also, the material adapts itself to the shape of the foot, thereby enabling a natural gait for the runner.

Thin overlays are fused to the main fabric. They provide structure to the façade of the shoe. They also help in maintaining a snug and secure wrap.

Round laces cause the upper to provide a customizable coverage. They’re directly linked to the printed overlays via eyelets, thus making it easy to attain a fit that’s adherent to the preference of the wearer.