Comment from: Noah [Visitor]

As much as I love Vivobarefoot and would love to own all Vivo shoes... these take ugly to a whole new level for me.

It's too bad, cause I'm interested in barefoot sandals, but these are pretty weird looking.. like take VFF weird to a whole new level.

06/20/11 @ 12:08
Comment from: will d [Visitor]
will d

Those are ninja-riffic!

06/20/11 @ 12:13
Comment from: Brett Bumeter [Visitor]
Brett Bumeter

Yeah, those look like they would work for me. They are weird enough, simple enough, and advanced enough to probably do the job. I've been running in vibrams for 2 years with some occasional barefoot runs too. I've been intrigued by the huaraches but I'm simply not that handy. At $60 this might be my next pair of sandals regardless of running possibilities. I can definitely see how the toes could rub. For long runs, might have to hack a pair of injinji's down for just the first two toes. Something like underwear for toes. ;)

06/20/11 @ 12:17
Comment from: Mr. Leigh [Visitor]
Mr. Leigh

Thanks for the comprehensive review. I love sandals in the summer, and actually thought about adding these to my line up. I chose not too, based on the camel-toe design. I do not care for the look of it, regardless of how functional it may be.

06/20/11 @ 12:19
Comment from: Alissa [Visitor]

Great review. As soon as I saw these I was reminded of my beloved Nike Air Rift, who also share the split-toe design. Nike's reasoning behind a split-toe design was for a stronger push-off for runners. However, the split isn't as extreme as these - I think the material used in the Achilles is much thicker than the fabric used in the Rifts, hence why there is more separation - just thicker/more material.

Not really into wearing sandals, however if I did I would defo consider these - at least recommend them to my best friend, a fellow VFFer and fan of not having to wear shoes if at all possible in life!

06/20/11 @ 13:01
Comment from: dirk verelst [Visitor]
dirk verelst

I haven't tried them on, but my guess is the toe split is too wide for about everyone to be comfortable. A friend of mine tried them out and was categorical about it as well.

06/20/11 @ 13:52
Comment from: Rich [Visitor]

call me shallow if you must, but I'm sorry, those are just to ugly to get past. I just can't imagine what the designers were thinking.

06/20/11 @ 14:53
Comment from: James [Visitor]  

Vivobarefoot could have easily accomplished the same functionality without the controversial design and the unnaturally large toe separation. Hopefully they will learn from the feedback and version 2 will be even better.

06/20/11 @ 15:52
Comment from: wilberfan [Visitor]

Holy crap. I thought I'd never see a shoe any uglier than the Five Fingers... Didn't think it was possible!

06/20/11 @ 17:20
Comment from: Leslie [Visitor]

Uh,no. They do not look comfortable at all to me.

06/20/11 @ 18:30
Comment from: Claude [Visitor]  

I have finally matured to a point where I can wear my Vibram classics everywhere. The Achielles are just a little to goofy looking for me. Why can't anyone make sandal that doesn't look so odd?

06/20/11 @ 19:39
Comment from: Nicol [Visitor]

Ugly! UGHHHH! why?

06/20/11 @ 20:25
Comment from: Phocion Timon [Visitor]
Phocion Timon

LOL LOL LMFAO. As soon as I saw the picture, "camel toe" came to mind; I laughed harder when I came across your camel toe comment. My second thought was that the shoes look like an alien's hand in a really bad 1960s sci-fi movie.

I don't mind weird--I was an early purchaser of VFFs--but I'm afraid my above mentioned mental images have ruined any probablility of my having purchased them.

06/20/11 @ 21:26
Comment from: Zephyr [Visitor]  

Those people who think that that this toe separation is unnatural are totally wrong, just have a look at any person who has grown up without shoes, their big toes is quite apart from the 2nd digit and misaligned respect to the other toes. Wearing restrictive shoes for so many years has make you believe that the most common foot deformities are the default shape of the foot when they're is not.
If Vibram wanted to improve the foot health of their customers they could start designing their FiveFingers soles with the shape of the human foot in unshod populations.

06/21/11 @ 04:16
Comment from: patrick [Visitor]

No thanks Vivo Barefoot. The look of the forced spacing between the big toe and the next toe looks uncomfortable and somewhat unnatural in relation to the lack of spacing on the other toes.

06/21/11 @ 13:01
Comment from: Rich [Visitor]

@ Zephyr:

Maybe so, but if you've been shod your whole life, suddenly forcing the toes into that position is not going to be comfortable at all. A theory about what's natural is all well and good, but in reality, people aren't going to buy what's not comfortable.

06/21/11 @ 13:51
Comment from: Zizzy [Visitor]

I look forward to trying the women's sizes when they come out! Unfortunately, the term "camel toe" is not going to be uttered by me in reference to my shoes! The term brings something totally different to mind hahaha.

06/21/11 @ 14:01
Comment from: foenix [Visitor]

whao! those things are FUGLY!!!

06/21/11 @ 18:37
Comment from: Zephyr [Visitor]  


Then many people should never replace their shoes with high heels with zero drop minimalist shoes since with the latter they will feel some discomfort in their already shortened Achilles tendons, specially if they try to run in them.

06/22/11 @ 05:57
Comment from: Zephyr [Visitor]  

As for sizing, there're actually 4 different options:

S = 41-42
M = 43-44
L = 45-46
XL = 47-48

06/22/11 @ 09:05
Comment from: Jeepman [Visitor]

Too ugly for me. I give them credit for trying something new, but I will NEVER buy a pair of those things. Those are worse than a bad joke. I'll stick with my VFFs; thank you very much!

06/22/11 @ 10:10
Comment from: Dana Roueche [Visitor]
Dana Roueche

The problem I have with running on trails in any sandals no matter who makes them is that they let in sand, pebbles, stones, debris, twigs, whatever. I find landing on anything that happens to get between my foot and the sole of the the sandal to be extremely uncomfortable if not painful. Vibram was right on with the KSO concept...Keeps Stuff Out.


06/22/11 @ 12:28
Comment from: Bill [Visitor]

Thank goodness they didn't call them "Camel toes"... despite looking like them...

06/22/11 @ 13:58
Comment from: d_monic [Visitor]

I have been running quite a bit in Vivobarefoot's Ultras, which were released about the same time as these, and I think they actually would fit the bill a bit better for many who want an "open" minimalist running shoe and are turned off by the design of the Achilles.

They have zero drop, 4mm soles, are light as hell, and when worn without the performance sock, let in as much air and water as a sandal. Check them out.

06/22/11 @ 14:25
Comment from: Rich [Visitor]


most people find zero drop shoes quite comfortable from the get go, unless they do TMTS. With these, there will be discomfort just from putting them on.

06/22/11 @ 14:25
Comment from: n.vodden [Visitor]

Nice idea, but dont like the split design. They remind me of those Dopie sandals and make it look like you are walking around on cloven hooves.

Saw somebody in sandals like these in Cardiff town a little while back and they looked like pigs trotters.

06/22/11 @ 16:36
Comment from: ashegam [Visitor]

There is FUGLY and then there are these sandals.

06/22/11 @ 20:57
Comment from: Max [Visitor]

I'm a huge fan of barefoot shoes and especially of VIVOBAREFOOTs. But the look of the achilles is ... ohm ... special Oo
I think it's even stranger than the look of the Fivefingers from Vibram - So it's surely no alternative for me.

But thanks for the review, I enjoyed reading it even though i won't buy them :)


06/29/11 @ 06:27
Comment from: Thomas [Visitor]

I had a crazy amount of chafing on my middle toe (beside the big one) from these. The grid pattern on the bottom of the sandals also cause a lot of chaffing on the bottom of my toes. I am really wondering about the design of these shoes.

07/03/11 @ 18:07
Comment from: Paul M [Visitor]
Paul M

If you spend 2 minutes looking at
then you'll understand why a big toe spread is something you (and I) should want to be working towards.

07/20/11 @ 17:12
Comment from: Ben Farmer [Visitor]
Ben Farmer

I spent $60 dollars on these and found it to be a complete waste of money. Along with causing blisters on my middle toes I found that the synthetic rubber upper folds into my foot and can hurt my upper foot muscles. If they Replaced all of the upper rubber and the rubber in-between the toes with something softer like leather or cloth I think it would solve this problem and make them a decent running sandal.

07/25/11 @ 17:46
Comment from: nathan [Visitor]

Is the toe split as brutal as the Dopie's toe split? That was the most painful thing ever to happen to my feet. It took months to recover from those things and they were just for walking! I would recommend staying away from anything with this design. The Dopie tore multiple holes in places I didn't know that shoes could screw up. I love my other Vivobarefoot shoes but I had to throw my Dopie's away. I hope they have learned from their mistakes.

08/14/11 @ 19:14
Comment from: PaulM [Visitor]

Nathan. Toe splits are very much related to one's toe spread. I'm wearing my dopies as I type and they never give me any trouble. However the Achilles are designed for running and they do give me a problem, primarily on my left foot. I'm using a 'gel toe cover' on that toe for now and it solves the problem. All in all I see Ben's point and I think these are a risky purchase because until you try them you won't know if they work for you. That said it sure is good to run in sandals in summer.

08/28/11 @ 04:40
Comment from: James [Visitor]

I've been putting many mile on my Achilles, and I can report that I've gotten used to the spit-toe design. I don't get any irritation after 6-7 mile runs. These are my favorite sandals for rocky terrain.

09/09/11 @ 19:29
Comment from: Dr.Strangelove [Visitor]

I'm sorry, but that looks like a grey vagina.

06/28/12 @ 22:14
Comment from: Carol Maxwell [Visitor]
Carol Maxwell

I also found the toe split too wide, otherwise I like the feel of the sandal. Unfortunately the strap was too short for me and they are not useful as flip flops. The final problem I found was that small stones, dirt and twigs get caught in the toe guard.

08/10/12 @ 19:59
Comment from: Cody R. [Visitor]
Cody R.

coming back to this as i stumbled upon an email from vivobarefoot with this advertised...

looking at reviews and ratings...i've never seen a minimalist sandal/shoe/boot either be loved or hated..heck, a ton of vivobarefoot reviews on their site is either 5 stars or 1 lol

so strange, really curious about these...

07/31/13 @ 15:10
Comment from: Jeff [Visitor]

This was a pretty accurate review, and while my friends love to comment on how strange the sandals look, I love them for running. I bought some of these 6 months ago. The toe spread wasn't even a problem, but my issue was the toe separator chafing my toe crotch on the first outing. Rubbed some petroleum jelly between my toes for the next few weeks when I ran in these and it was fine!

01/16/15 @ 14:43
Comment from: Sandalsrock [Visitor]

These are super useful sandals for driving, as anyone who has worn them will know. They are super thin and light so you have great feel for the pedals. The partially closed front is great to protect your toesies as you slide your feet around between the pedals. I'm a bit out of practice with a standard and keep banging my toes into the pedals. I learned to drive standard in flip flops (tried bare feet, but yikes! really hard on the toes!)Wish I had these back then.

06/19/15 @ 14:58
Comment from: Sandalsrock [Visitor]

Find these look totally weird but they very good if you are a bit out of practice driving a standard, like me. The moulded front end keeps my toes happy as they are not banging into the pedals as I slide my feet around. I tried to torture test these by taking them for a hotfoot walk on freshly laid 300 degree asphalt. Because they are so low and my feet sank into the molten surface a bit, I found my toes and heel were feeling the heat pretty fast. The ultra thin sole also transmits the heat to your soles very fast (not great to find out when you're right in the middle of the hot stuff and it's a long way to get off) by the time I got off my shoes were too hot to keep on. The top soles were steaming when I took them off. After cooling down they were still like new, othe r than having to pick off some rocks that had stuck on the soles. I've done the same endurance test in Vibram Bikilas and was able to last 5 minutes before the shoes got too hot to keep on (though the closed mesh sides keep your toes and heels comfortable longer)
Not that many barefoot runners will risk 300 degree molten pavement, but it was a neat experiment to try.

06/19/15 @ 23:06
Comment from: flokon [Visitor]  

Hi there,
little late to the party but maybe you can answer my question: VB has been offering the Achilles II for quite some time now, and I cannot seem to find a breakdown of what's changed vs the first Achilles. Have they addressed the issues with too far apart first, and second toes? I'm a long-time VB wearer, and know that they change details with shoes, even same models, quite regularly. Do you happen to have any experience with their second iteration of those sandals? I'm reluctant because of the toe split.

Cheers, and thanks for your great site! It's a vault for us minimalist/barefoot urban dwellers.

07/15/15 @ 07:56
Comment from: Rolfen [Visitor]

Thank you,

These are selling for 10 pounds (sale) on some website I came across. That's less than 15 dollars. I thought about getting one, but I looked at that separation between the big toe, and thought that my toes would not agree with that. I have a slight bunion. My big toe stays very close to the next toe, even overlaps a bit on my right foot. I can wear Vibrams because the separation is a thin and stretchy fabric. It does not seem to be the case here!

You seem to be confirming my doubts, and it's relieving somehow.

In my opinion that "innovation" wastes the whole shoe. But they had to do it! They could not have just done a regular, time-tested sandal

03/25/17 @ 19:40

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