Second Wind

Second Wind
"Run With Purpose!"

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Review: VIVOBAREFOOT Off Road Hi Minimalist (and waterproof) BOOTS

Levi Dodd
November 2011

This will mark my 3rd pair of VIVOBAREFOOT (/Terra Plana) shoes that I personally own and I am very impressed with the company’s direction.  They have had their VIVOBAREFOOT line for going on 8 years now (certainly ahead of the curve).  What I really like is that with each new shoe they put out, they are listening to minimalist minded people and addressing their concerns – getting better each time.

First impressions were great and the boots look good.  I am a minimalist shoe and barefoot runner and let’s be honest… the good shoes typically ARE going to get you all kinds of attention, but the not the attention a fashion minded individual may want… 

The boots feel great – to me they feel like a perfectly broke in pair of hiking boots right out of the box!

·         The ~4.5mm multidirectional lugs on the bottom provide traction that I found Very impressive, while the unique ‘v’ design of the lugs sheds mud quite well also. 
·         The leather is very nice, good looking, and I found it to be quite abrasion resistant
·         The polyurethane mudguard around the edge (overlapping the sole to the leather upper) provides excellent protection against nicks, cuts, and scratches while also helping provide an added layer of protection from the elements (in rain proofing).
·         The tongue/collar is gusseted for water proofing and is padded on the back against your instep which I loved!
·         Standard speed lacing hooks provide stability and varied level of tension
·         The 3mm sole is extremely flexible  - just what you would want and expect in a minimalist shoe of any kind.  The boot will roll up toe to heel and will also roll and torque side to side.  There are no stiff points, no stability webs or the like
·         The sole is very thin (the sole itself is between 2.5mm and 3mm) but with the combination of the lugs (somewhere between 4mm and 5mm) you get no ground feel.  What I mean by this is that you won’t feel pricks of individual rocks underfoot.
·         There is, of course, no heel-to-toe drop (zero drop).  This is the only mass produced ‘boot’ that I’m aware of that offers a zero drop.
·         The boots are very light weight, weighing in at only 1 pound!  For reference, my Vasque Sundowners weigh in at just under 3 ½ pounds.
·         One of the most important features of this boot to me is the fact that they are waterproof – and they really are!  There are so many times where I require a waterproof platform but can’t stand my traditional (heavy, stabilized, and substantial heel drop) boots and these offer me a completely waterproof platform to fit my needs.

Final Thoughts:

I love minimalist shoes.  That’s all I use, no… really.  At work, while running, dress shoes, hiking, working out, around the house, mowing the lawn, every shoe I wear is a zero drop minimalist shoe.  That being said, I love to hike, I love to hunt, and I love to camp and there are times where I really miss my boots!  There are times where solid leather, a hi-top, and (most importantly for me) waterproof become extremely important.  I’ve long waited for a company to come out with true minimalist boot to fill this void and I am pleased to say that VIVOBAREFOOT have done just that.  I am thrilled at their marriage of “minimalism” and “boot” and will thoroughly enjoy these new Off-Road Hi boots.


  1. I really appreciate your post. It gives an outstanding idea that is very helpful for all the people on the web. Thanks for sharing this information and I'll love to read your next post too.
    Keen shoes

  2. Very interesting. I do worry about these soles, being so thin, wearing out quickly. I'll be walking over the Alps in the summer, 870kms, and don't want boots that drop to bits. Have you done any real mileage in yours yet?

  3. Hey Colin, I honestly haven't put a lot of real mileage on them yet. I'll tell you one thing I just did where they genuinely impressed me though: I went up to Indiana a couple of weeks ago with a team to do tornado relief for the Henryville area and I decided to give these a whirl (taking a back up pair - just in case). I wore these boots all week, 10 hours a day tromping through knee deep mud, clearing through debris, and running a chainsaw through the clearing areas for about 16 hours and the boots held up unbelievably well. I was so pleased that I never used my back up pair, these felt amazing, the lightweight made a huge difference, I never saw any sign of damage (pulling/tearing/separating), and they never leaked a drop.

    Let me know what you end up going with for your trip and how they do!

  4. Sometime few educational blogs become very helpful while getting relevant and new information related to your targeted area. As I found this blog and appreciate the information delivered to my database.
    สเปรย์ กันน้ำ