Vivobarefoot Ultra Running Shoe Review

Minimalist shoes makes your biomechanics more functionally optimal because the paper-thin sole feeds extra sensory information from the ground, producing deep, more quick-acting reflexes in the form of a forefoot strike and lighter footsteps when running. These shoes are actually the best way, aside from running barefoot, to help adjust your heel strike to a forefoot strike, while bulking up your feet in muscular and functional strength! 

This is why I love minimalist running shoes, like Vivobarefoot Ultra, which do a great job at flooding the foot with sensory input while curating the formation of stronger, more tolerant feet.

Vivobarefoot Ultra Running Shoe Review
Thanks to the sole’s reliable ground-feel and grippy rubber, the Vivobarefoot Ultra allows you to go full-speed ahead with more confidence in the rain. The Ultra’s can be completely immersed in water without losing comfort.

Vivobarefoot Ultra Running Shoe Review

As you can see, the Vivobarefoot Ultra looks similar to Crocs, but are tremendously better on so many levels, like being more flexible and agile with no inhibition to the movement of our feet!

The Ultra is excellent for light trails, cross training, water sports, long runs, or general beach-side and urban barefoot exploration!

Vivobarefoot Ultra Running Shoe Review
You will gain cooler ground during a heatwave in the Vivobarefoot Ultra because the upper’s large perforations offers an entirely new degree of openness and airflow!

Even though the Ultra’s are tailored for water sports and beach activities,  they are great for running longer distances on the roads, especially in the summer because the holes throughout the top exposes the foot to surrounding air and cooling is more efficient, no matter how hot it is!

As compard with the Vibram FiveFingers, the Ultra have more cushioning but are lighter.

Vivobarefoot Ultra Running Shoe Review
The Ultra also has a removable inner sock-liner that provides exceptional comfort and doesn’t lose its comfort over longer runs.

Vivobarefoot Ultra Running Shoe Review
The speed-lacing system allows for quick, convenient removal and placement of the shoe.

Notable Features of the Ultra:

  • Excellent ‘barefoot’ feel, wears like a water-sock
  • Outer material made of soft, flexible silicon
  • Super light and easy to pack
  • Good traction for pavement
  • Sock-liner keeps debris out
  • Durable, tough for trail running, nothing penetrates through the sole
  • Very roomy toe box
  • Never experienced blistering in them
  • Helps reduce knee loading by encouraging a forefoot strike when running
  • Considered to be the absolute best alternative to going barefoot
  • Bungee laces allow for a tighter or looser fit
  • Ultra thin sole allows you to feel ground surface characteristics with greater sensory detail
  • Removable sock-liner is easy to wash
  • Ventilates well and doesn’t smell bad either!

Vivobarefoot Ultra Running Shoe Review

  • The Ultra has a durable, puncture-resistant outsole that provides just enough protection to take the sting out of stepping on rock, root or acorn.

Ultimately, the best feature of the Vivobarefoot Ultra is its barefoot design that shapes the contours of your foot and allows the foot to move in its natural motion, more independently, which makes it more beneficial than running in cushioned, restrictive running shoes. With that said, here is the research showing how thick cushioned running shoes creates nearly all the forms of impact linked to injury!

I also did a video version of the review of the Ultra:

If you’ve enjoyed this review, you’ll love my other reviews on barefoot shoes here!

Bretta Riches

"I believe the forefoot strike is the engine of endurance running..."

BSc Neurobiology; MSc Biomechanics candidate, ultra minimalist runner & founder of RunForefoot. I was a heel striker, always injured. I was inspired by the great Tirunesh Dibaba to try forefoot running. Now, I'm injury free. This is why I launched Run Forefoot, to advocate the health & performance benefits of forefoot running and to raise awareness on the dangers of heel striking, because the world needs to know.
Bretta Riches

P.S. Don't forget to check out the Run Forefoot Facebook Page, it's a terrific place to ask questions about forefoot running, barefoot running and injury. I'm always happy to help!

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