Summary

We spent 6.7 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

6 reasons to buy

  • The Ultra 3 Bloom was surprisingly relaxing to wear, a satisfied wearer said. Another one mentioned the comfort level was like that of a second skin.
  • The shoe was very easy to take on or off, even with a wet foot, according to a user.
  • One runner liked how the algae-based foam upper was very supple.
  • Several buyers were pleased with the brilliant lacing system of the Ultra 3 Bloom.
  • Some customers praised the shoe for using vegan materials.
  • A few buyers stated the shoe was affordable.

2 reasons not to buy

  • A couple of runners felt the shoe needed a break-in period.
  • One customer thought the sizing was inaccurate.

Bottom line

Many of the comments received by the Vivobarefoot Ultra 3 Bloom were leaning towards the positive – users liked the ingenious construction and competent features. While some encountered issues about fit and sizing, it was, overall, a success for the Ultra 3 Bloom, as runners felt the shoe was worth the purchase.

Facts

Base model: Vivobarefoot Ultra 3
Terrain: Trail
Arch support: Neutral
Weight: Men: 6.7oz | Women: 5.3oz
Heel to toe drop: Men: 0mm | Women: 0mm
Pronation: Neutral Pronation
Arch type: High arch
Features: Slip-on
Strike Pattern: Forefoot strike
Distance: Competition
Brand: Vivobarefoot
Type: Low drop | Zero drop
Width: Men: Normal | Women: Normal, Wide
Price: $80
Colorways: Black, Blue, Green, Grey
Size
Small True to size Large
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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87 / 100 based on 1 expert reviews

  • 87 / 100 | Science Focus | | Level 1 expert

    If you’re going on holiday, these are a handy addition to your wardrobe as they’re perfect for pottering round town, splashing in the sea, or even for offering extra grip when paddleboarding. Those with sturdy knees might be fine to use them for running, but I’m not convinced I’ll be doing a 5K in them any time soon.

Become an expert

  • The Vivobarefoot Ultra 3 gets a revamp through the brand’s partnership with Bloom®, a manufacturer of plant-based foam. In this release, the shoe gets an ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) foam upper that is formulated with algae biomass. This innovation aims for two things: First, to reduce the use of fossil fuels, as well as other petroleum ingredients, which are utilized in the creation of traditional EVA foam. Second, the use of algae will help control its uncontrollable bloom in water ecosystems, which threatens marine life by blocking sunlight and oxygen, not to mention polluting the water.
  • With the formation of the Ultra 3 Bloom, at least 57 gallons of water are filtered and recirculated back into aquatic habitats. It also prevents and reduces carbon dioxide by being released into the atmosphere.
  • The algae-based EVA aside, the rest of the shoe is mostly the same as its predecessor, the Ultra 3 – barefoot-type structure for excellent ground feel, hex grip outsole for flexibility and traction on any surface, and a unique lacing system for a convenient wearing method.

The special version of the Vivobarefoot Ultra 3 fits true to size. Its overall construction will cater to runners with narrow to moderate foot volumes. The shoe is available for purchase in medium width for the versions of both men’s and women’s.

The hex grip outsole of the Ultra 3 Bloom is made from sticky rubber. This unit is designed to avert slipping and sliding, especially when running on wet surfaces, such as mud, or even watery ground like streams and swamps.

Because it aims for the ultimate durability, the outsole of the Ultra 3 Bloom is also resistant to both punctures and abrasions. It also intends to withstand much more impact compared to the regular rubber compounds used in outsoles.

As a barefoot running shoe, the Ultra 3 Bloom does not employ any midsole element. Instead, the outsole serves as the cushioning, offering the foot the right combination of comfort, protection, and ground feel.

The Bloom® EVA foam upper is meant to be lightweight, therefore allowing maximum airflow and comfort while running. The unique material also enables the most efficient water drainage system.

A unique lacing method gives the finishing touch to the shoe’s upper design. It is a flexible and sturdy fiber cord that permits to be adjusted and tightened using an easy pulling technique.

Comparison

Author
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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