It’s no secret. I have fallen in love with an inanimate object. A brand of shoes called VIVOBAREFOOT to be more specific. As someone who does 90% of their training on the trails, I need a great shoe that does the job in any situation, just like the Trailfreak Shaun and I have recently trialed. But what about the other 10% of the time when I am running on the hard stuff, like road or sealed paths? The lugs on the bottom of the Trailfreaks are great for trail, but for any reasonable distance on the road, not so ideal. Here’s where the latest addition to my VIVOBAREFOOT shoe rack comes in. The Evo Pure.
The First thing you notice about the Evo Pure, is the weight of them. They are seriously a featherweight shoe at just 172 grams. Which even for this brand that have a reputation for light weight, this is seriously light weight. The whole upper is basically light, breathable fabric design with a hexagonal mesh to reinforce it. It is winter here at the moment, so issues with the foot heating up has not been an issue, but I couldn’t imagine you getting overly warm in these on even the hottest days.
The sole is also very typical of the brand being an anatomically designed, fully flexible, 3mm puncture resistant sole with zero drop form heel to forefoot. Exactly the way any “barefoot” shoe should be. For anyone who has reasonable experience in zero drop shoes, this is perfect, and anyone looking to transition to the barefoot running lifestyle, they would be great initially as a casual shoe while you make the transition. Just a word of warning though, 3mm is not a lot of insulation if wearing these things casually. I would highly recommend wearing an innersole (which your VIVOBAREFOOT outlet can supply) just to stop the cold getting to your feet. For running though, this is not an issue.
Anyone who has had a pair of VIVO’s in the past would have noticed that the highest wearing point on the shoe is near the back of the toes. Where any fully flexible running shoe will flex the most as you push off. All the VIVO’s I have had in the past have had this issue. It is not a major problem for me, but it is there. The new Trailfreaks and the Evo Pures have addressed this issue and they now come reinforced at these points, without sacrificing any flexibility through the forefoot. From what I have seen so far, I think they now have it right.
Most of the time when you see reviews on runners, they talk about all the technology that goes into them. But due to the fact that there is very little “technology” in this brand means there is not a lot to say. Shaun, myself and the people at VIVOBAREFOOT, all agree that the foot has all the technology it needs to do the job, so the less technology in the shoe, the better. Recently there have been studies done in sports medicine journals and the like, with most of them saying that any running shoe should be anatomically designed, with a wide toe box, minimal to no cushioning, zero drop from heel to forefoot and a puncture resistant sole to protect from any sharp objects you may find. The Evo Pures tick all the boxes.
The only negative I can find with this shoe, is not really a negative. Like anyone, I vary my training from light recovery runs, to tempos and speedwork. But every time I have headed out in the Evo’s, even to do an easy run, I have ended up doing a tempo session. The reason being, that the faster I run in these things, the better they feel. They feel great when just cruising at a slow pace, but once you start pushing and get up onto your toes with the legs turning over nicely underneath you, they feel like nothing I have ever tried. Just so natural. They really feel like you are wearing nothing, apart from the fact you are not tearing up the soles of your feet! Which in my opinion, is all any shoe should be designed to do.
Give them a try and I’m sure you will love them as much as I do.