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Author Topic: Opinions on Vivobarefoot's Off Road Mid?  (Read 1549 times)
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somnapathy
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« on: January 24, 2012, 11:11:29 PM »

There is a pretty outstanding deal on the Off Road Mids right now.  And it happens to coincide with a trip we're planning to take up into Sequoia National Park this winter.  I'm wondering if anybody has these and has any thoughts?  I've hiked in the snow before in KSO Treks, but that's generally been in higher elevations during late spring or summer.  I suspect early March to be a different story entirely.  Plus, after freezing in Bikilas during a stargazing outing in Joshua Tree over Thanksgiving in Bikilas, I'm thinking of getting something warmer and waterproof.  This seems like it might be the ticket.

Current reservations:

1) This review thinks they're too narrow.  My feet are a bit narrow, but I like some room around my toes regardless.  Slightly concerned!

2) I also understand that they aren't intended to be worn without the insole, unlike other Vivobarefoot models.  Which is weird.  Does this mean the interior is sort of like the KomodoSport minus its insole?  Could I manage anyway?

3) I seem to run into problems every time I try to take advantage of one of Vivobarefoot's deals!  Usually it's a sizing thing.  Some of their shoes run true to size, some don't, and it gets confusing!  If any of you has a pair of these, how would you say the sizing compares to, say, a pair of VFFs?

Thanks!
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« on: January 24, 2012, 11:11:29 PM »

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PB Junkie
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« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2012, 12:24:32 PM »

I have the off-road highs and I like them. I haven't worn them without the insole, but I wouldn't think it would be a problem. I've only used them for casual wear though, not for hiking. I did not find them to be narrow, but I have fairly average width feet. 

I normally wear a W40 in VFFs and got the W41 in the off road highs. They fit fine.
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VFFs: KSO W40, Treksport W40, Bikila W40, Jaya LR W41, Komodosport LS W40, KSO Trek W40, Spyridon LS W40, Bikila LS W40
Other:Merrell Trail Glove M 7.5, Merrell Sonic Glove M 7.5, VB Neo W41, VB Off Road Hi W41, Merrell Delight W9, VB Breatho Trail W40, Runamoc Dash U9, Merrell Road Glove M7.5
somnapathy
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« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2012, 01:44:19 PM »

Thanks for the reply!  That brings me to another question, actually.  The reason I've been skeptical about the high tops is, I worry that locking my ankle in one position too long is going to change my gait and cause me to twist my ankle more frequently (a problem I had a lot before switching to minimal shoes, and which has since completely disappeared).  But my wife is possibly interested in a pair.  How is the ankle movement?  Would you go so far as to call it ankle support?
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PB Junkie
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« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2012, 06:35:59 PM »

Thanks for the reply!  That brings me to another question, actually.  The reason I've been skeptical about the high tops is, I worry that locking my ankle in one position too long is going to change my gait and cause me to twist my ankle more frequently (a problem I had a lot before switching to minimal shoes, and which has since completely disappeared).  But my wife is possibly interested in a pair.  How is the ankle movement?  Would you go so far as to call it ankle support?

I think it does feel like ankle support. It isn't very flexible on the padded ankle part.  It hasn't bothered me just walking around and shoveling snow, though.

I should add that I haven't tried to break in or soften the ankle area at all.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2012, 06:39:16 PM by PB Junkie » Logged

VFFs: KSO W40, Treksport W40, Bikila W40, Jaya LR W41, Komodosport LS W40, KSO Trek W40, Spyridon LS W40, Bikila LS W40
Other:Merrell Trail Glove M 7.5, Merrell Sonic Glove M 7.5, VB Neo W41, VB Off Road Hi W41, Merrell Delight W9, VB Breatho Trail W40, Runamoc Dash U9, Merrell Road Glove M7.5
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« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2012, 06:35:59 PM »

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Peter
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2012, 05:47:15 PM »


I have a pair of Off-Road Hi's as well.  I got them because I wanted something minimalist to wear in the snow here in Colorado.  Evaluating them from that perspective, they are fantastic.  They're waterproof, they're well-made and rugged as heck, they have great tread/traction, they are high enough to keep the snow out, and they look cool.  For wearing around town on a snowy day, they're all I could ask for. 

That said, I'd be hesitant to take them on a hike.  They are a bit narrower than I'd like, and I think that would lead to some irritation if I did a lot of miles in them.  I love hiking in my KSO treks.  If it's dry enough, that's what I'm wearing hiking.  If I knew it was going to be snowy or muddy, I'd think about wearing Off Roads ... but I'd want to see how they felt on some shorter hikes first.

I hadn't heard before that they're not intended to be worn without the insole.  I wear mine without and they're fine.  I suppose my feet might get a bit colder because there's less between them and the cold ground.  As long as I'm wearing nu-wool or smart wool socks though, coldness really hasn't been a problem. 

The ankle constriction is definitely there, but I don't find it too troublesome.  Besides, I want high boots for the snow so I was willing to make that comfort sacrifice from the beginning.   

Lastly, I think they size a bit small.  If I was intending to use mine for hiking, I might have exchanged them. For casual wear they're a-ok.   
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somnapathy
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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2012, 09:09:25 PM »

Thanks to both of you.  But now I'm starting to want the hi's instead of the mid's.  And the hi's aren't on sale in mens' sizes.  As somebody who is worried about snow, who encounters it as rarely as I do, the mids are probably just fine.

Glad to hear about them being just fine without the insole.  I find it curious that neither of you seem to use them for hiking, when they look to me like stereotypical hiking boots!
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PB Junkie
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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2012, 09:48:06 PM »

As far as price, you might want to sign up for e-mails from online shoes.com. They have a lot of sales and the sales generally include the vivobarefoot shoes/boots. They do send a lot of e-mails though.

I bought mine for use in snow during the winter. I'm not a hiker, but a runner.
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VFFs: KSO W40, Treksport W40, Bikila W40, Jaya LR W41, Komodosport LS W40, KSO Trek W40, Spyridon LS W40, Bikila LS W40
Other:Merrell Trail Glove M 7.5, Merrell Sonic Glove M 7.5, VB Neo W41, VB Off Road Hi W41, Merrell Delight W9, VB Breatho Trail W40, Runamoc Dash U9, Merrell Road Glove M7.5
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« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2012, 10:00:27 PM »

I guess I can't complain about people using their shoes for other purposes than their primary ones; I've been hiking in running shoes for a couple years now!

I took the plunge, as did my wife.  They sold out of my size on VivoBarefoot, so I missed out on the insane deal they were having.  Zappos wasn't too bad though.  Crossing my fingers on the sizing!
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JustinB
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« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2012, 12:04:44 AM »

I guess I can't complain about people using their shoes for other purposes than their primary ones; I've been hiking in running shoes for a couple years now!

I took the plunge, as did my wife.  They sold out of my size on VivoBarefoot, so I missed out on the insane deal they were having.  Zappos wasn't too bad though.  Crossing my fingers on the sizing!

sizing doesn't matter with zappos... it's free shipping both ways.  That's why people will order 2 or 3 pairs from there just to find the right size.
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42 Grey/Palm/Clay KSO, 43 Black Classic, 44 Black Moc, 43 Black/White Speed,43 Grey/Green Bikila LS, 43 Black/Day Glow SeeYa
44 Black/White Vivobarefoot Neo, 43 Black Vivobarefoot Ra
somnapathy
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« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2012, 12:09:11 AM »

Too true, Justin!  I did that with my Ultras.  But (a) it's still a bit of a hassle, especially since I only ordered the one pair this time, and (b) my wife's off road hi's are from VivoBarefoot directly, and if hers are the wrong size, she might not be as patient with their (terrible) customer service as I have been in the past!
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somnapathy
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« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2012, 12:32:25 AM »

Okay, now that I have them I actually have some substantiated opinions!

1) They're so stiff!  They feel like they can be broken in though.  Have y'alls broken in in the time you've had them?
2) The toe box IS narrow.  I don't even have super wide feet, but I like toe splay and this is a step backward from VivoBarefoot's usual offerings.
3) Not a fan of the toe spring.

All that aside, I think these have a purpose.  I'm leaning toward keeping them.  And I think they're still probably better than Vibram's fall line-up for snow, without being able to substantiate that one yet.
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The_Dingman
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« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2012, 01:58:20 AM »

I'm curious how they'll wear...  My Merrell Toughgloves are pretty much shot (no tread left at forefoot and almost gone at heel) after 9 months of wearing them 50 hours a week for work.  Do you think these might hold up better?
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Shoes with toes all year, and mittens on my hands in the winter.  Screw your sense of "normal".
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« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2012, 09:30:08 PM »

I can only guess about the wear!  I've had a pair of Aquas for two years and worn those probably more consistently than any other shoe I own.  The sole on those is still fine.  But those don't have a tread to speak of, and I'm not sure if the sole is the same material in those as these Off Roads anyhow.  Perhaps somebody who's had them longer can help you out!
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« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2012, 04:53:47 PM »

I just received my Off Road Hi last night and walked to work on pavement, snow and slush in them without the insole. The insole adds an other 3 mm to the 4 mm sole and 4 mm cleats, so I prefer taking it off, although when hiking for long periods in the snow it might go back in ( I bought them mostly to hike and walk to work). They will do a great winter job I think, the ground feel is suprisingly good even though the sole is quite stiff. Contrary to many others I did not find them narrow at all, my toes are almost swimming in the front. I might have been ok with the 39, while in the Evo's it has to be 40. They look real good too, not clunky, and they look well made.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 05:02:33 PM by Horse Rider » Logged

Treksport Pink
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Classic Stormy Sea,Chili,Grey/Orange,Mauvex2,Lilac,Khaki,Suomy,Yellow/Grey,Sand/Dusty Blue,SW Charcoal
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Stems,Lems,EvoII,Off Rd Hi,Boxing Boot,Lucy Lite,Konvinesx2
somnapathy
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« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2012, 08:37:34 PM »

re: narrowness.

So I went back and forth for a while and I decided that the pair I had was indeed way to narrow to hike in.  I wanted something warm and waterproof.  But it is incredibly hard to go back to hiking without toe splay.  I wavered.  And then I finally bought the next size up to 42.

Amazing decision!  They're not super wide, but they fit way better.  I think this is one of those times where VivoBarefoot's suggestion to go a size up on their shoes was accurate (this has been hit or miss for me.  It was a good suggestion on these and my Aquas, for example.  But not a very good suggestion on my Ultras or the Oaks I attempted to buy).

They feel pretty great!  The sole isn't super flexible, but there is some groundfeel.  And I do expect the soles to loosen up, at least a little.  Now I just gotta ship my 41s back to Zappos!
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