Just got some Vivobarefoot Neo Trails

Well I finally got a chance to try on a pair of Vivobarefoot Off Road Mids, and found them a bit stiff - I guess that's what people look for in trekking boots/shoes, but not me...

So I then tried on some completely black Neo Trails in a 41, and liked them better. The first pair seemed to have something strange going on with the toebox as it was cavernous above the toes, I could flex my big toe up to catch on the seams at the top of the toebox...! As much as I like room for my toes that was just a bit odd. I tried on one size smaller, found those too small, then tried on a different pair of 41's - these were better, so I bought them.

They've been on a few trial trails  ::) already as I work in the countryside I get chance to amble up hills at lunchtimes, on grit and gravel tracks, I ran up and then downhill on a track in them, and I'm pretty pleased with the grip they offer. They aren't so good on concrete surfaces in the rain, however. Tarmac, again, not amazing but I guess they're not meant for running on the road.

Ground feel is...different to what I'm used to. Two years of Vivobarefoot's thinnest soles (Lucys/Aquas)  and feedback in the Neo Trails is muted - the soles have become more flexible after a week's wear, and though you can tell when you are on gravel or grass, you don't feel so much. The sole is 2.5mm plus 4mm lugs - I'm wearing them with the 3mm insole in too. Where stepping on a chunk of gravel would cause me to limp onto my other foot in my Lucys, I can quite happily bear weight in the Neos, feeling my foot curl a little around it.

I've seen similar comments on what it's like to wear them for longer periods - yes they are quite warm and after some hours can cause the feet to get a bit hot. (I should imagine this will be a good thing in the Winter as I can suffer from cold feet) I've been out for half an hour walks in the rain and they're not bad at keeping the water out (much better than my Lucys/Aquas) - you can paddle a bit in shallow puddles without fear of getting wet toe. They've also got mud on them and so far that's wiping off okay.

One thing I would say is that they seemed to need a bit of wearing in compared to all the other VB  shoes I have - probably because of the stiffer material used. The hinge/crease where the toebox bends did seem to press on my little toe for a while, it seems to be loosening though. I'm currently wearing them to work every day in order to wear them in a bit - which I can get away with as they are black and actually look quite smart for a trail shoe!  ;D


  • Eek! You're not spying on me are you? I got a pair of Merrell Tough Gloves in the post today (black, size 46). They seem to fit well (not taken the tags off yet), but there are a few little quibbles with them:

      [li]Stiff sole – I assume that will break in[/li]
      [li]Off-centre laces. Well, they
    look like they're off-centre.[/li]
    [li]Poor finishing – there's a bit of clear plastic poking through in the seam that's at the base of the tongue.[/li]
  • Nope, just needed to replace my veteran pair of black Lucys, which have gone through the stitching  at the top of the toebox!  :D

    I've been wanting some Off Road Mids in black since January, was watching and watching Amazon for offers, but nothing, so I thought soddit and paid full price!

    Oh, there's one thing that annoys me about the Neo Trails - the laces. Why manufacturers assume we require 20 miles of laces in order to do up a shoe is beyond me - these things need a double knot at minimum or they keep coming undone!

    I think if I ever bought a pair of Merrell's I'd quite like the Sonic Glove.
  • on 1334845787:

    I think if I ever bought a pair of Merrell's I'd quite like the Sonic Glove.

    Nice! They look like conventional trainers. I wanted the Tough Glove as a stealth minimalist shoe for more formal situations and for wet days (which we get a lot of round here).
  • The Tough glove looks great for low-profile wearing.

    Ugh, Merrell's colours for ladies barefoot shoes are rancid... (with exception of the dark purple maybe...)  :-\ and not a stealthy black or brown colour in sight! Glad I fit in men's sizes, frankly!
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