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
Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.
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.
WeightMen: 8.5ozWomen: 4.2oz
Heel to toe dropMen: 0mmWomen: 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 heightMen: 3mmWomen: 3mm
Forefoot heightMen: 3mmWomen: 3mm
WidthMen: normalWomen: normal
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87 / 100 based on 8 expert reviews
Vivobarefoot Stealth II: A strong shoe, trumped by the competition
The Vivobarefoot Stealth II is a high-quality barefoot road running shoe. It has a unique, breathable upper, and a great outsole.
The bottom line is that although the Stealth is a good barefoot running shoe, the Merrell Vapor Glove is better than the Stealth in every area.
The upper is made of a hexagonal EVA structure. There are hexagons of foam with thin mesh centres.
This construction is extremely breathable. Vivobarefoot advertises that the upper will keep you cool in 90-degree weather.
Honestly, I didn’t run in 90-degree weather whilst testing these shoes, but in conditions that my feet would usually get very hot, the Stealth excelled at keeping my feet cool.
The Stealth has an extremely wide fit. I found this to be a disappointment.
The wide fit makes the shoe feel pretty clumsy. I need to really cinch down on the laces in order to secure my feet. The heel area has a standard fit, but the midfoot and forefoot are extremely wide.
The Stealth does not have a heel cup, which is standard for a barefoot shoe.
Barefoot shoes rarely have such support features. Most people are into minimalist shoes after a free and unrestricting shoe.
The lack of a heel cup achieves this perfectly. There is more padding than I would expect around the heel collar. This is favorable because of how tightly I have to tie the laces.
Tongue and Laces
The tongue is made of a thin piece of mesh with a plastic overlay.
The tongue is not very soft; it doesn't feel great against the top of my foot when I run sockless.
I need to crank down on the laces because of the wide fit. The tongue does distribute the force applied by the laces to the top of my foot appropriately.
The Stealth has a fairly sturdy plastic toe bumper.
This toe bumper is not too necessary since the Stealth is a road shoe, but it does give your feet a little bit more protection.
The Stealth is built with a fixed insole. The shoe comes with a set of additional insoles if you feel that you want a slight touch of cushioning.
I don’t usually like to use insoles in barefoot running shoes, because they diminish the ground feel that the shoe provides, however, the fixed insole and heel area of the Stealth become pretty gross after just minimal use.
The supplementary insoles do not accumulate sweat and dirt like the fixed insoles do. Therefore, I recommend using them.
One of this shoes' strengths is its high levels of reflectivity.
The entire heel area, the entire toe bumper, and the tongue are all reflective. You will always be seen whilst running at night.
There is no midsole.
There are three main criteria for any barefoot running shoe outsole: It must be flexible, durable and provide good traction.
The Stealth’s outsole is made of a single sheet of durable carbon rubber.
After about 100 miles of use, my pair of Stealths did not show too much wear.
This is partially because when people run barefoot, they tread lightly, but also because the Stealth has a durable outsole. The carbon rubber provides very good traction on roads. I never felt unsteady or felt as If I was losing power due to a lack of traction.
Finally, the outsole has exceptional flexibility. The outsole is engraved with a pattern of many small hexagons. These hexagons flex in all directions with ease.
My feet never felt restricted in this shoe in terms of flexibility. This outsole excels in all three areas.
The Stealth is a good barefoot road running shoe. It also works well on the treadmill.
Since the Stealth is so breathable, it works well for summer running. For the same reason, I would not recommend the Stealth for winter running.
The Stealth is a true Barefoot shoe, it will only be comfortable for runners who have a smooth and efficient gait.
Vivobarefoot Stealth II Vs. Vivobarefoot Primus Lite
The Primus Lite is the little brother of the Stealth. It is lighter and more nimble than the Stealth.
In an effort to keep down the weight of the Primus Lite, they use a less comfortable upper than in the Stealth. Apart from these features, the two shoes are very similar. They both have the iconic Vivobarefoot hexagonal outsole.
Vivobarefoot Stealth II Vs. Merrell Vapor Glove 3
The Merrell Vapor Glove does everything that the Stealth does, except better.
The Vapor Glove has a more comfortable upper, a better fit, a more adept outsole, and is lighter. The Vapor Glove can also handle trails better than the Stealth. Additionally, it is almost half the price of the Stealth.
Vivobarefoot Stealth II VS. Salomon S-Lab Carbon Skate
Well…one is a barefoot running shoe and the other is a nordic ski boot.
Overall, the Vivobarefoot Stealth II is a high quality barefoot running shoe. There are certainly aspects of this shoe that could be improved, such as the fit and the shoe’s inner lining material.
I have enjoyed my time running in the Stealth, but I always felt that I would have preferred to be running in the Merrell Vapor Glove.
The Stealth is a strong barefoot running shoe, so I recommend it to anyone who finds that they don’t like the Merrell Vapor Glove.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
A New Way of Running Barefoot
With all of the talk about how barefoot running is beneficial for any runner, the publishing of the book “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall, and Kenyans continually dominating the elite field of runners, Vivobarefoot Stealth II is a great shoe for runners to run barefoot without the risk of landing on a detrimental object.
The aesthetics of the minimalistic shoe is appealing in every way. Be warned, it takes some time getting used to its lack of cushion.
In order to review this shoe, I had to ultimately transition from my Adidas Energy Boost, 10 mm heel-to-toe drop with a great deal of cushion, to the Stealth II’s patiently to prevent injury and gradually adjust my gait and stride.
For me, it took roughly a month to be able to run 5-6 miles in these shoes and wear them for every run.
According to the VivoBarefoot site, the outsole is “5x more puncture resistant than a standard sole of the same thickness,” and this shoe lives up to those standards.
However, this sole does not prevent you from the uncomfortable pressure of a rock or acorn which may lead to a whole run of a tingling feeling (a say this from experience).
This shoe is ideal for those who are wanting to run on the road, not necessarily the sidewalk, or else you would need to focus on landing on the cement slabs and not the wooden spaces between it (again, from experience).
The traction on this shoe is minimal: whenever it rains and you wear this shoe, expect to focus on not slipping instead of running.
Durable outsole that protects the feet from most, if not all, hazards a barefoot runner can possibly RUN into (oh boy, that’s a good one).
With the purchase of the shoe, VivoBarefoot Stealth II comes with a removable footbed that is a great addition to the shoe.
Whenever I needed more cushion for my longer runs, I just put in the footbed and made my long runs more comfortable and smooth. It doesn’t deform the shape of the shoe or slide out, it performs like it is stitched to the shoe.
Also, this footbed helped me transition from my other shoes to these ones because the footbed, although it looks minimal, adds needed cushion to help support my feet.
This footbed was stable and did not move at all on all of my runs! The addition of a removable footbed raises the bar for this shoe and this incorporation in general.
The thin-seamless hexagonal upper on the VivoBarefoot Stealth II’s makes this shoe extremely breathable that conformed to my foot over time. From experience and from other experiences I have read, whenever it rains, the color bleeds onto the foot and will stain socks, if worn.
At the beginning of testing this shoe, the crease made when landing on my midfoot made the run uncomfortable, but manageable. The shoelaces on these are decent, nothing special about them but they do their job.
The best part of the shoe is format/composition of the shoe is…the toe box! A majority of running shoes nowadays have a tight toe box that can lead to foot deformation, turf toe, bunions, etc.
The toe box is wide and roomy for the expansion of the feet when landing while being comforting and supporting when lifting off.
Furthermore, VivoBarefoot recognizes morning or evening runners by adding reflective material on the heel.
The benefits of barefoot running shoes, like the VivoBarefoot Stealth II, is explained on their site that 200,000 nerve endings are in the foot that has been restricted by over-cushioned shoes.
Their goal is to retrain the nerve endings in the foot to work together and allow the brain and foot to communicate naturally.
The VivoBarefoot Stealth II is a great shoe for barefoot runners, with the sleek “stitch-less” mesh and provides great features without compromising the shoe, and a great shoe for a novice, with added padding from the removable footbed but needs to ease into the runs for injury-prevention.
Great breathability, flexibility, comfort exists in this shoe; however, traction is neglected and color-bleeding is present that makes this shoe not ideal for wet or smooth conditions.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
Vivobarefoot Stealth 2 - comfort beyond comfortable!
I have thoroughly enjoyed wearing my Vivobarefoot Stealth II.
I've put them through their paces on everything from road to mud and even the beach! I've run about 45 miles in these shoes and walked about 15.
They have become my go-to shoe for almost every situation and I can't see anything taking their place anytime soon. When I have them on, all I want to do is bounce about the place.
They've also been an awesome shoe to transition to barefoot/minimalist running in, so much so that I almost wish I could rewind and do it all again!
Weight - Size 45 EU weighing in at 225g per shoe (without insole in… I weighed them myself!)
Sole - PRO5
Patented, ultra-thin (3mm), puncture resistant layer. 5x more puncture resistant than a standard sole of the same thickness.
Vegan - Produced using animal free products and processes.
Upper -Breathable Mesh
Synthetic multiply materials, to deliver optimum lightweight breathability and comfort.
Multi-layer honeycomb constructed upper, engineered with foam and mesh.
Heat fused together for lightweight structure and stitchless durability.
Super thin, lightweight and incredibly durable for maximum underfoot sensory clarity.
Outlast® technology, originally developed for NASA, utilizes phase change materials (PCM) that absorb, store and release heat for optimal thermal comfort.
I've not only used the Stealth II for running in but also as my everyday toe-house and they've certainly turned a few heads… but mostly not in a good way.
They definitely look quite odd and if you're the kind of person who cares about how you look or how other people view you then these probably aren't for you. I'm not saying that I hate how they look but these minimalist beasts definitely weren't designed with looks as the primary concern.
The reflective and protective toe, heel and tongue parts are great for adding to night-time visibility as well as offering that little bit of extra safety and foot security.
The heel cup especially helps to keep your foot locked in, which is great! But in the daytime they make the shoes look more like plimsolls than I'd like them to, I've also had a few comments to that effect.
The honeycomb pattern in the upper although fantastically functional also adds to the strangeness in appearance. Most people that have seen me wearing them just aren't sure what to make of them.
But you know what… I couldn't care less!
These shoes are brilliantly comfortable! I'd go as far to say that (only just) behind the Vibram FiveFinger KSO’s they are the most comfortable footwear I have ever worn!
The 3mm sole is flexible yet resistant and it offers more than adequate protection from the road whilst running. It also doesn't feel too hard on your feet, even without the insole in. (And I'm only just transitioning to barefoot/minimalist at the moment).
The heat fused, multi-layer upper offers great flexibility and breathability.
On cold days (down to -1°C) my feet don't feel cold despite how thin the upper is. The high-tech Outlast inner really is fantastic and does what it says it should.
I can't wait to see how these shoes perform in the summer to disperse the heat on those heat-wave run days.
I wish I had gone a size up with these.
I went for my usual size 45EU with these shoes and although I have decent room for my toes I think a size up would have given that little bit more for these shoes to feel even better.
One big plus point with these is that I didn't have to break them in at all. They haven't once given me a blister and they're as comfortable now as they were the first day I stuck them on.
My toes occasionally hit the end on downhills which is a bit annoying. That could have to do with my downhill technique more than the shoes being too small. (I'm trying to learn how to run downhill like a child but it's hard letting go).
I think these probably fit as expected but if you're the kind of person (like me) that's sometimes a bigger size then I would definitely suggest going bigger.
My one slight critique of the design in terms of fit goes is that I don't understand the weird flappy bits that surround the tongue. It's almost like they forgot to cut off half a centimeter of excess material from the thing, only it's definitely meant to be there.
It doesn't cause any discomfort but it bugs me a bit that it is there, especially when I'm putting them on.
Maybe it has a function I don't know about but what that could be I have no idea! The tongue also feels like it's slightly too short, maybe just a few millimeters extra on there and it'd be absolutely banging on for me.
Just looking at the soles on the Stealths you'd think that they would only be any good on nice smooth, dry pavements (there must only be about half a mm of tread grip on them after all).
But you'd be wrong all day long! I still can't quite get my head around how well these things grip the road.
I've run on wet, dry and icy roads, groomed trails, the beach (both wet and dry sand) and even on wet, muddy grass.
The only times I felt as though I wasn't in control was on the muddy grass and it was a little hairy on the ice (hah!) but the shoe really impressed me in every other instance.
Obviously, you're not going to get a super grip in a lot of places with these but they are pretty amazing.
As I've mentioned before the heel cup on these shoes offers decent support for your feet. The lacing system is simple yet effective and your feet snug and locked in place when all done up.
For the most part, these shoes just allow your feet to act for themselves and don't really need to offer a load of support. They let your feet work things out for themselves and I'm quickly getting used to how great that feels. Not just with the Vivobarefoot's but barefoot in general.
Where the Stealth II really shines is when you take the insoles out! They're really responsive.
I've found that when I hit that point in a run where usually my legs would be tired and feeling heavy that isn't the case when I'm wearing these.
I've still feel light on my feet and my legs although tired don't feel drained. I've also found that my running pace is way more consistent in these. I can only put it down to how these shoes have altered my running form, from heel striking to forefoot running.
On top of how responsive they are the Stealth 2’s support is great. As I mentioned above in regards to support they essentially teach your feet how to look after themselves.
For years I've had a problem where my left foot has overpronated and early this year I started suffering from really bad shin splints. Since wearing these shoes I haven't felt any shin pain at all. It's incredible!
I do have to say that a couple of times I have slightly over-done it and my feet, or more the tendons on the tops of my feet have really hurt for a couple of days after running but perseverance has been the key.
I really cannot rate these highly enough.
No, the Vivobarefoot Stealth II is not perfect but they come closer to perfection than any other shoe I've worn before.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
Vivobarefoot Stealth II - Own the City
As a barefoot/minimalist runner, I’ve been eyeing several Vivobarefoot shoe models for quite a long time.
All the friends who had experience with them were excited about the brand but at the same time, it seems like Stealth II model and therefore I was curious about it.
I, myself had owned a pair of Vivobarefoot office shoes before I got my feet in Stealths and so I had some expectations and worries at the same time.
My worry was that while the wide toe-box sounds great, it can also provide enough wiggle room for your foot inside the shoe. I thought that during faster paces, I could potentially get blisters or even injure my foot because of that.
Oh boy, was I wrong! The moment I put my foot into the shoe, I understood.
First, the Stealth II has a completely different fitting compared to my office model. The shoe holds snug just under your ankle, like a sock. A very comfortable, plush sock.
The toes, on the other hand, have enough space to spread. Actually the combination of the space in the toe-box and a snug, comfortable fit will make you forget that you are even wearing anything. Bravo!
Besides that, I’ve never understood when reading reviews, about breaking in the shoes. My experience with barefoot shoes are exactly the opposite and the Stealths were not different. I put them on and I run. Simple as that.
Like all Vivobarefoot models, you can expect a thin sole.
In the end, these are barefoot shoes that will let your feet feel the ground, while also protecting them from the urban dangers like stepping on glass.
The sole itself is 3mm thick. This allows it to twist side to side as well as front to back. There is also a sports insole included in the package that you can put inside of them.
It has been improved over time to provide the maximum comfort while not interfering with the perception of the ground. It also allows drains water fast as it is perforated.
The same removable insole is used in their trail models and can be purchased separately if you want to.
If you are worried about stepping on glass or a nail, the sole is made of a puncture resistant material. And while you cannot expect to be jumping on nails without a scratch, I hope you will not do that, I have not during the testing period.
Durability seems to be on spot. So far, I have run about 50 miles in them and I wear them casually as well, without any sign of wear. My hopes are that the shoe will get you through a lot of mileage.
I can compare them to my Vibram FiveFingers V-Run because I feel the same about the sole. So far, VFF’s carried me over 1800 km’s and I am confident they will last just above 2k!!!
The upper of the Stealth II is made of a two-layer, synthetic material.
On the top is the V-Web hex mesh that allows for effective evaporation of sweat, which will be beneficial at higher temperatures. It also stretches a bit providing the sock-like quality.
The inner material fits like a sock and feels a little bit thicker than the outside mesh. It is made from a kind of soft foam that is responsible for the super comfortable shoe from the inside.
What you will also notice is that there is no stitching. That means no possibility of friction.
Worthy to note is that I was using them outdoors during a dry winter for running as well as casually. While your feet warm up during a run and you don’t mind lower temperatures even with so a thin upper, you might feel on the cold side when just walking around, especially when the wind starts blowing.
For me personally, I haven’t noticed any discomfort until temperatures fell below 0°C. That is when walking.
A nice feature for the urban environment is a reflective surface around the shoe on the front, back, and the tongue of the shoe.
The white surface in the photo is the reflective coating.
- Lightweight 240g
- Super comfortable
- For casual wearing and running
- Reflective material for safety
- I don’t want to wear anything else
- They don’t fit with suits. No, they don’t!
- Price - although the price is on the higher side, I believe it is reasonable for the quality. (There are many models and brands that come nowhere as close with the same price tag.)
Guys at Vivobarefoot know exactly what they do. The intention behind this shoe is for running as well as for wearing them on the move and they deliver!
Vivobarefoot Stealth II have become like the best friend in an urban environment to me. It is a super comfortable city shoe with a punch of style!
You can use them for training and wear them for a date right after.
I take them out for a coffee, shopping, and we even go to work together. It is a shoe you will love spending time with!
Just the other day as I was walking to a shop I decided to run instead of walk and ended up running to the shop and back, feeling amazing!
It reminded me of child-like playfulness that the shoe allows you to live through again. Run when you feel like without restriction.
Updates to Vivobarefoot Stealth II
- The Stealth II is a road running shoe that is ideal for seasoned barefoot runners. It is built to withstand long-distance running on roads, treadmills, and gym floors. The design and structure of the shoe are aimed towards neutral pronators.
- At 3 mm, the sole unit is thin enough to let the foot experience the most natural environment possible.
- The upper consists of an engineered hex-shaped laminated mesh that provides support and allows for a comfortable stretch.
Vivobarefoot Stealth II size and fit
As a minimalist running shoe, the Stealth II provides plenty of room for the foot to move naturally and comfortably. However, while it fits true to size, runners with a high-volume foot might want to wear half a size up to accommodate their forefoot. The width profiles are D – Medium for men and B – Medium for women.
A 3-mm V Road rubber outsole is present in the Stealth II to deliver flexible traction in both wet and dry conditions. There are no deep lugs as the shoe is made for running on pavements and similar surfaces. Instead, it has rubberized V-tread grips that guard against slipping.
The Stealth II encourages a natural foot movement with its zero-drop profile.
As a minimalist running shoe, the midsole of the Stealth II is built to be ultra-thin and puncture-resistant for maximum proprioception. It features natural sensory feedback, which engages the foot’s natural running gait as it allows the arch and toes to load, splay, and recoil. This results in a natural shock absorption and a clearer foot sensation.
A footbed insert is included to provide additional cushioning and protection to the foot. It can be removed for an even better ground feel.
Made from a lightweight EVA cage with a thin mesh, the upper of the Stealth II aims to deliver optimum breathability and comfort. With this, it aims to keep the foot cool even in a 90°F weather. It also encourages a responsive foot control and an adaptive fit so that the foot can endure long-distance running.
The structure of the upper is heat-fused together to eliminate the need for stitching. This contributes to the durability of the shoe.
The lightweight material prevents rubbing and chafing so that the shoe can be worn even without socks.
The interior lining of the shoe is made from Dri-Lex to promote moisture wicking and superior comfort. Dri-Lex works by transporting moisture away from the foot. Another layer under the Dri-Lex ensures that the interior of the shoe remains breathable so that the skin of the foot remains cool and dry.
Both the tongue and heel collar are slightly padded to provide comfort and protection to the foot.
It also features the HI-VIZ reflective PU, which allows visibility in low-light conditions.