Verdict from 2 experts and 32 user reviews

5 reasons to buy

  • A few comments have highlighted the non-irritating interior environment of the upper unit.
  • The Vivobarefoot Stealth IIIis welcomed as a suitably lightweight running shoe for all-day wear.
  • Flexibility is a trait that is said to be easily appreciated from this product.
  • The general durability of this product is welcomed by those who like long-lasting shoes.
  • According to several comments, the outsole unit is able to provide a dependable surface grip.

2 reasons not to buy

  • A few testers have noted that the forefoot section is a bit restrictive.
  • A couple of users have complained that the shoelaces are quick to unravel by themselves.

Bottom line

The Stealth III is an everyday partner for any activity. People can wear this Vivobarefoot running shoe for their speed training sessions and regular strolls. The versatile and flexible design of this product allows it to become an extension of the foot, offering mild protection from impact and surface debris. Barefoot runners can enjoy this close-to-the-ground offering.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

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Good to know

The 3rd iteration of the Vivobarefoot Stealth series initially doesn’t look any different from its predecessor, the Stealth II. But the changes applied to the most recent one, though subtle, are meant to further the sense of being one with the foot. The upper unit sees the use of flat shoelaces and a reduction of the hex-mesh thickness, both of which aren’t present in the previous version.

The standard sizing scheme is used for the Vivobarefoot Stealth III. The true-to-size distinction allows the potential purchaser to use the usual sizing expectations to achieve an in-shoe feel that is agreeable. Still, vigilance is still favorable, so testing the shoe prior to purchase can mitigate any concerns about the sizing aspect of this product.

The natural shape of the human foot is the target shape of this product, so a semi-curved platform with a relatively broad forefoot construction serves as the foundation of the overall creation. Also, the form-welcoming upper accommodates the outline of the wearer’s foot like a second skin.

The outsole unit of the Vivobarefoot Stealth III is made of a traction-ready barefoot sole. This layer is meant to simulate a supportive platform that takes the shape of the pad of the underfoot. Hexagonal patterns serve as the sources of traction and flexibility.

A wide forefoot construction allows the foot to stay relaxed while inside the chamber of this minimalist running shoe. The toes can splay and help with the attainment of natural balance because of this forgiving space at the front.

A traditional midsole is not present in the Stealth III because it aims to mimic the performance and control associated with barefoot running. Instead of a hefty cushioning system, an Algae Bloom Performance Insole is used to deliver some softness for the underfoot. This technology is made from algae that can potentially release toxins to humans if left to bloom and fester. This sustainable technology can become the next milestone in sustainable mainstream footwear-crafting.

The upper unit features the V-Web HEX mesh. This material is basically a hexagon-patterned mesh that reinforces a thinner fabric. Its purpose is to wrap the foot securely without sacrificing weight and flexibility. It has tiny holes for breathability. Breathable uppers also adorn other minimalist shoe series like the Merrell Trail Glove.

Printed overlays grace the heel, the sides, and the front of this shoe. These synthetic prints hug the foot and protect it from abrasion.

Thin shoelaces snake through discreet eyelets on the bridge of the upper unit. These strings allow the wearer to adjust the tightness or looseness of the coverage, thereby giving a custom wrap that can follow personal preferences.

The inner lining is made of recycled plastic. Like regular textiles, the resulting material is meant to be similarly soft and stretchy.

How Stealth III compares

This shoe: 64
All shoes average: 82
56 95
This shoe: $135
All shoes average: $119
$40 $300
This shoe: 0mm
All shoes average: 8mm
0mm 11mm+
Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
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.

jens@runrepeat.com