Comment from: [Member]

I'm a big fan of the way VivoBarefoot shoes fit and feel, and I have to say I'm really disappointed with my aqua lites. They feel awesome, almost like a slipper, but the toe spring tapers and really narrows the toe box depth vertically. The upper is practically touching the tops of my toes and normal toe extension while walking is restricted. My toes just feel really trapped compared to all my other Vivo shoes. Are yours not like that? From the pictures, it definitely looks shallow like mine. It amazes me that Saxby would pick these as his favorite with an issue like that. My Evo's and Neos have way more vertical room than these. I really want to like them, but I shouldn't constantly be thinking of how my toes can't move upward freely. For a brand that's been smart about barefoot designs, this is a disappointing oversight.

07/24/12 @ 11:58
Comment from: Mr. Leigh [Visitor]
Mr. Leigh

I like the blue ones. These are decent and look cool. Definitely more minimal than previous offerings. I will be keeping an eye out for these if they ever make it to the Clymb, as I don't see myself paying $115 for them.

07/24/12 @ 13:23
Comment from: [Member]


Interesting comment. I didn't notice and do not notice this at all with mine. To the extent that there's not a lot of vertical volume in the toe box, it's about "just right" for me -- basically when I dorsiflex, my toes immediately catch the upper and lift it up (comparatively the Altra Adams don't do this well).

I wonder if it's a difference in feet or a difference in the pairs -- did you size up for your Aqua Lites?

07/24/12 @ 13:56
Comment from: Sharon [Visitor]

Soon I will be heading back to a respectable job. I am interested in these because I want a barefoot shoe that will pass muster in a semi professional setting. Any other "work" shoes that may be good? Interested in trying them on. Thanks for the review.

07/24/12 @ 14:10
Comment from: Ze Kohl [Visitor]
Ze Kohl

I have found the Aqua lites to be far too flat for my big feet, i loved the splay, but having pressure on the top of your big toe was no fun at all. Unfortunately they did not expand with use so i had to get rid of them :( I really liked their looks.

07/24/12 @ 14:34
Comment from: [Member]


I didn't size up, and there's plenty of room in the length. I don't think it's too much a difference in feet as much as it might be more of a difference in "pickiness" on my part. Most people probably wouldn't even notice, or would be okay with it. I'm just really used to being able to wiggle my toes up and down freely in my other Vivos. With these I just feel trapped. You mention that your toes immediately catch the upper when dorsiflexing, so it sounds like the same for me. I just don't like that it's so close to my toes to immediately touch as I lift them. And, although the shoe as a whole flexes upward, for me this upper is less flexible and just feels more restricting. Also, the toe box depth is definitely less compared to their other styles. Just standing there, I want to wiggle freely.

I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. One of the customer reviews on the Vivo website said their toes "felt trapped, like they were in a coffin, even though they had a wide toe box and did everything else right." I feel the same and would suggest they raise the height of the toe box shape or choose a more flexible upper material.

I usually can't find a bad thing to say about Vivos, as they do all the little things right when it comes to "barefoot shoes." I'm glad these work well for you, and they should for many people. I'm really trying to like these, but I don't know if I can get over this "restricted" feeling. Just want other people to be aware it might be an issue.

07/24/12 @ 14:57
Comment from: [Member]

@Ze Kohl,

Yeah pressure on your big toe would be no good.


I guess I just don't have a problem with the roof being "right there" on the Aqua Lites ... I'd say I feel about the opposite -- I sorta like it. Perhaps it could be a little less stiff, but as is I don't mind it at all. I figure it helps the shoe adhere to my foot.

Have you tried the Oaks? Just curious.

07/24/12 @ 15:59
Comment from: [Member]


I haven't tried the Oaks. I have had this issue with the Dharma, so I definitely have to wear it without the insert to make more room. It might be the last associated with this specific sole, as all the models with this sole look a bit shallower at the tip. Makes me nervous now to get the Ra. I guess it's something I'll just have to deal with.

Have you worn the Evo or Neo? Wondering if you'd notice a difference.

Anybody else out there notice this?

07/24/12 @ 16:09
Comment from: Andrew [Visitor]

I've owned loads of pairs of minimalist shoes now and for me, these are the closest to perfect that I've ever come across.

Absolutely love 'em. Haven't noticed an issue with the sock liner at all myself. I just loooove the sole, i think it offers the best ground feel and flexibility that I’ve ever experienced in a shoe. I've had them for months and months and wear them pretty much all day every day and they are showing hardly any deterioration. I really can't praise them highly enough.

If I have one gripe, it's that I don't think that they breath too good. Feet can get a bit hot and sweaty from time to time.

07/25/12 @ 04:05
Comment from: Maciej [Visitor]  

Mine broke after ONE run!!!
The sole delaminated on both sides of the toebox, in both shoes. Also the insoles are sliding out as you walk, they just appear from the back of the shoe! The toebox is wide but still my big toe is pushed outwards as the top of the shoe is too much in the middle of the foot for me.

My kid's Vivobarefoot Rooty also broke very fast, I avoid this company from now on.

07/25/12 @ 07:37
Comment from: [Member]


It sounds like many people had problems with them deteriorating quickly. This may have been an early batch/material problem, and is not at all typical of the brand (from what I've experienced). You should send photos of the damaged shoes to [email protected] and explain your issue. They'll help you out!

I have 7 different styles from them and some of them are going on 3 years now with no issues. I wouldn't give up just yet. Although I don't like the aqua lites, I love my other styles. So if you like how they feel, definitely give some other styles a try.

07/25/12 @ 12:58
Comment from: don [Visitor]

Interesting to see how discriminating people can be with shoe fit. I own Vivo Dharmas, Oaks and Ra's which I wear to work in a professional environment. They are all comfy, but the Oak fits me the best and it's super fast on/off at airport security! If my closet weren't already full of VFFs, Vivos, and Merrells, I'd try a pair of these for casual play.

07/26/12 @ 19:05
Comment from: Jon [Visitor]  

i'm looking at buying some aqua lites now, but sizing is driving me crazy. my only shoes are fivefinger KSOs and KSO treks (for the winter) in W40, and depending on where i look i'm told to get between a 7-10. the vivobarefoot people, based on a foot length of 9 7/8" told me to get a 43, which doesn't make sense to me since most shoes i've ever worn (i haven't owned normal shoes since i got fivefingers 2-3 years ago) are between 8-9. any help?

08/07/12 @ 12:36
Comment from: [Member]


A 43 for your length foot sounds wrong to me -- I wear a 44 in Aqua Lites (which is sizing up 1 from 43 for me) and my feet are 10 7/8" -- I'd not expect an inch in foot length would only mean one size difference.

08/07/12 @ 15:15
Comment from: Keisan [Visitor]

I am thinking of buying a pair of these right now however you did not mention whether or not these are water proof. Could I wear these on a rainy day, not intentionally walking through mud or anything but if I were travelling and got caught in rain how would it stand up?

08/07/12 @ 16:02
Comment from: Maciej [Visitor]

Yes, you can walk in a rainy day. Particularly the suede-like top is not letting the water too easily. The fabric is also not letting the water right through.

08/08/12 @ 09:20
Comment from: E [Visitor]

Hi Justin,

Thanks for the great article! I was wondering what shoes you would recommend for long-distance walking on city streets. I'd like to be in better shape to participate in the The Great Los Angeles Walk ( or at least minimize damage and pain walking on city streets for extended periods. Thanks for your suggestions!

10/16/12 @ 14:50
Comment from: [Member]


I think you should look into just about any minimalist shoe (that fits your foot/and you like how it feels) and start retraining your gait so that it's lighter and has less impact. This is really the key to making a positive change in your health and minimizing the damage/pain of walking on any surface. Just be aware it's going to take time -- and ultimately, you'll have to take responsibility for the process. Listen to your body and be patient!

10/16/12 @ 15:27
Comment from: Ana [Visitor]

have just tried on my pair and after the second day I got a painful pop on my 4th toe. It happens that the shoe is designed for a roman like foot so if you happen to have a greek foot, the toebox slopes way too much after the middle finger. I think this can be fixed going one size up though the shoe will become too slack, but still, it's a point to consider.
I also don't like the fact that the upper is a tad stiff. or perhaps that's because I've been wearing the leather vivobarefoots with are about as soft as a sock!

10/25/12 @ 13:48
Comment from: Dave [Visitor]

I got a pair of these 2 weeks ago. Like the fit and feel. I have worn Merrel trail gloves, true gloves and tough gloves since they were introduced, but their narrowness were causing me severe pain in my right mid-foot.

The vivo aqua lites are much better with their additional width. After only wearing them for about 6-7 days, though, the inside edge of each shoe where the fake suede overlaps and is glued separated. I contacted amazon where I got them and they sent me a new pair. I'm now on day 3 with these and they're OK so far.

I'm a bit leery of the quality now, after reading many complaints of the same thing...

I'm running out of alternatives, though. These seem to have the widest toe box of all the minimalist shoes. I tried Leming, but their mid foot is still more snug, and I can feel the upturn of the rubber sole on the outside edge of the midsole pushing into my foot.

The only other brand that I know of with such a wide mid-foot area would be soft star shoes, but they are probably the most "clown shoe" of all the minimalist options.

11/08/12 @ 09:16
Comment from: Migs [Visitor]

Hi, i already own a pair of Evo's. How does the sizing compare? Safe going for the same size?

05/11/13 @ 16:57

Form is loading...