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Vivobarefoot a Truly Functional Shoe

About Vivobarefoot Primus Knit Review – An Urban Functional Shoe

tested By Adam Sinicki on June 7, 2019

See more about this amazing shoe at bioneer.com

The Vivobarefoot Primus Knit is a new minimalist shoe from Vivobarefoot, that can help improve overall foot strength and mobility, while also improving numerous other aspects of your general health and your performance.

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In this Vivobarefoot Primus Knit review, I’ll be discussing the Vivobarefoot Primus Knit itself, while also talking slightly more broadly once again on the topic of barefoot training and minimal footwear in general.

The Shoe

To start then, the Primus Knit is a shoe with all the trappings of a good minimal trainer. That means you’re getting a near non-existent heel-toe drop, a wide toe box, and a very slim sole. The Knit does not skimp on any of these things and instead opts to go all-in. While I couldn’t find an official number, it appears that there is absolutely zero heel here, greatly encouraging forefoot running.

Likewise, there is a ‘performance’ insole which is 3mm, but this is hardly noticeable and can also be removed entirely if you want to get even more feedback from the ground. And the toebox is also huge, giving you plenty of room for toe separation and splaying.

You’re getting a near non-existent heel-toe drop, a wide toe box, and a very slim sole

To wear, the Knit is extremely comfortable. The stretchy fabric hugs the ankles in a way that is almost as enjoyable as wearing slippers. I often get in after a day out and don’t feel any need to take them off. Likewise, when going for long walks I’ve had no complaints – no chaffing, rubbing, or blisters even when trekking several miles uphill in the boiling sun on a recent team-building trip to Bath with Android Authority. The knitted ‘sock upper’ keeps your feet cool too.

Perhaps the only slight complaint is that the inner sole can occasionally feel a bit rough on the bottom of your foot. You do have the option of removing that though, and honestly I tend to forget about it after the first few minutes.

So, these are great to wear, but from what I can gather that’s not really the main emphasis of this shoe. Rather, what is unique about the Knit among other minimal shoes, is that it also looks pretty good – and not like a weird glove on the foot. What’s not knit is leather, and this gives it a more premium feel that looks great with smart jeans or even smart trousers. The white soles and brand reputation though means it feels equally stylish in the gym, ensuring that you can wear these throughout the day and feel classy doing so. That’s quite an achievement for a shoe that is built primarily for performance.

Perhaps the only slight complaint is that the inner sole can occasionally feel a bit rough on the bottom of your foo

It also suits me perfectly, as someone who like to stay in trainers all day so I’m ready to hurdle a railing on a whim, or hit the gym without needing to change. It’s why I liked my previous Adidas Pure Boosts so much, and the leather makes this even better suited to the job.

Performance

The PTO5 ulra-thin puncture resistant layer found on many of Vivobarefoot’s is present and correct here, meaning that while you might feel as though your foot is much freer, you still aren’t in any danger of cutting your foot on glass or sharp stones.

But that freedom is really liberating. The first time I wore a minimalist shoe (the Five Finger shoe, also from Vivobarefoot), I was blown away by how much it helped my parkour. Balancing along a beam is so much easier when your foot wraps around the surface, and when you can feel each contraction in your foot.

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But even when you’re not monkeying around, feeling different textures under foot provides more information about your surroundings that’s just interesting. And the way your foot contorts around anything you step on, means that your odds of twsting an ankle are markedly reduced.

Walking like this is a little more tiring for your feet at first, but this is a very good thing. It means your feet are working as nature intended, and with more muscle developing down there, you can also expect to enjoy a healthier gait and improved metabolism.

I posted to Patreon recently, discussing the difference of launching off your big toe versus your other toes during a jump – how this actually utilized slightly different muscles. These are things that don’t matter when it feels like there’s a wedge of foam between your foot and the tarmac.

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For running and training, the Knit performs similarly well, though this perhaps isn’t it’s absolute forte. Minimal shoes of course force you to hit the ground with the ball of your foot, which is a more correct technique and more useful for preventing injury. When lifting weights, being able to dig your toes into the ground actually does make a difference, and can even help you to improve glute activation among other things.

I should point out that it’s important to build up to minimal footware. I went sprinting in my first pair years ago and ended up busting my knee. This is easy to do when you’re hitting your foot on tarmac and you’re used to having a ‘cushioned ride’ when running. Having more gradually eased myself in following my recovery, I am having no issues now. Make sure you take your time with it, and this shoe should ultimately prove therapeutic in a wide number of ways.

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But it’s not the perfect shoe for performance and health. The toe box here is not only wide, but long. And that means that there’s a bit of empty shoe at the end which could potentially get in the way. This would be especially true when trail running, where it’s easy to imagine the shoe getting caught under a root leading to a nasty fall.

Moreover, I’m not sure I’d feel comfortable running through thick mud in this shoe. The leather is just too pretty for that, and there’s no waterproofing to speak of.

Vivobarefoot Primus Knit Review

That’s fine though really. This is marketed as an urban shoe, so that’s precisely the function it performs. And in all honesty, it’s not training that forms habits: it’s everything you do in-between. It’s how you spend the 90% of your time when you’re not working out. A shoe like the Primus Knit is primarily for those times, but doubles nicely as something you can bring to the gym and occasionally on a run.

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My only advice is that if you want something that is primarily for training, you might do better with the Primus Trail (which I may purchase in future). Or perhaps you could save yourself a lot of money by getting a pair of Feiyues to wear while training and some regular trainers the rest of the time.

For those that want to go all in on minimal footware as a lifestyle choice though? The Primus Knit is an awesome shoe.

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If you found this Vivobarefoot Primus Knit review helpful, and you like the sounds of the shoe, then you can order a pair from this link. He’ll earn a little commission and it will help out the site… so thanks!

Hope you try out the Vivobarefoot shoe while enjoying becoming Boundaryless!

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