Comment from: sensei [Visitor]

How do these compare looks and comfort wise to the portos? They seem similar. I'm curious if you think the portos are worth the hefty price tag. I have the hopewells and they are starting to break in. Interested in the portos, but not sure how much different they are. Thanks!

11/20/14 @ 11:33
Comment from: Nicolas Hagner [Visitor]  
Nicolas Hagner

I am a big buyer of Vivo Barefoot shoes specifically because I have very wide feet with high inseam and volume and this brand is making one of the only shoes I can actually put on (with the insole removed).
I realize that Vivo wants to expand their market, but I dislike that it is at the expense of people like me.
I have bought a pair of Gobi 2 and I can hardly fit in them (width and volume wise).
Oh well, time to stock up on Gobi 1 I guess..

11/20/14 @ 12:01
Comment from: Turangi [Visitor]  

Have you tested how these go in the wet? The Vivobarefoot website talks of an ion-mask treatment to the outer. Have you tried conditioning the leather at all?

11/20/14 @ 20:52
Comment from: Turangi [Visitor]  

Is the white stitiching on the sole (on the border of the black and brown rubber) the same stitching that we see on the inside of the shoe? Seems like it would wick water in pretty easily?

11/20/14 @ 20:55
Comment from: Juha [Visitor]

Not much has changed since I started with barefoot and minimalist running stuff. Back then there were only vivos and vibrams and all other shoes were too narrow or too thick. Now vivos are also too narrow, so it's pretty much fivefingers only for minimalist shoes. There are tons of bit too thick and/or bit too narrow minimalist shoes. Atleast huaraches are getting better - not so hard to adjust anymore.

11/21/14 @ 06:52
Comment from: [Member]


I'd say that lookswise, the Portos win — just a much more expensive-looking, dressy shoe. This is driven by the sole but also by the simplicity of the Porto design, which is cleancut and stylish. That said, the Gobi II is definitely more comfortable. It's comfy right out of the box, pretty much. That said, just talking about Gobis, I'd go with the suede Gobi over the Gobi 2 Hopewell for max comfort.


At least you can get the original Gobis still — and at a hefty discount.


I haven't tested them wet so it's hard to speak to that water-resistance. I don't think the stitching is quite the same and I believe the wicking wouldn't be a problem.


Interesting thoughts/analysis. It is fascinating to reflect on the emergence of minimalist shoes and how they have evolved over the last 5-6 years. VFFs were the only gig in town in the beginning. Over time, there were true minimalist shoes but as people wore them, I think they forgot the amazing simplicity of VFFs—though there are drawbacks to toe separation/toe pockets (driven mostly, I think, by the strain created by flexing toes upward), there are a lot of sensational benefits (it's a much greater sensory experience).

A lot of the pros of "barefoot shoes" (call it, less than 8mm soles) gets lost when you go to "minimalist shoes" that have, call it, 8+mm soles or greater. So then consumers think, "well if I'm at 8mm, why not try 12mm? More?"

11/21/14 @ 10:17
Comment from: Juha [Visitor]

With low and more narrow toebox Vivo is probably trying to imitate that locked on feeling of fivefingers that you get from toepockets - foot can't move inside the shoe and sole of shoe is glued into sole of foot, which causes shoes to feel quite agile. Some vivos feel bit jarring on hard surfaces, I would guess it comes from looseness, when there's bit of room between sole of shoe and sole of foot.. It just can't be about thinnes of sole, because there are other, even thinner shoes that don't feel like that. Barefoot doesn't feel that jarring. But lower toebox has side effects, it seems to resurrect that old first generation evo's problem, upper that draws blood from big toe during push off phase. I have stealth, and it does that (I haven't exactly run until seeing the blood coloring the upper, but they feel like evo and I did that bloody thing with them). One reason is rigid toe bumber they use, so upper can flex easily from just one point. If you have shortish toes, then that point is probably right on top of the big toe's "flexing upward joint" and there's no problem. But with longer toes they flex on front of that point causing upper's flexing crease on top of toe.. They just probably don't have any long toed people on vivo's shoe testing team, so it's bit hard to see that flaw on design...

Well, atleast gobi 2 don't have that toebumber, but I wouldn't trust it to flex on right point without testing, so no internet vivobarefoot new models shopping for me.

11/21/14 @ 13:28
Comment from: Rollo [Visitor]

I bought a pair of Gobi IIs. I think. I don't see mine as being as narrow as the they look in the pictures. The sole does look the same though. Could the Hopewell be narrower than the regular black Gobi II?

If I do have Gobi IIs then some people must have seriously wide feet to complain!

About the Porto. I said before that I think the Porto is too wide for a dress shoe. This is made worse by the fact that the sole extends out. A dress shoe is not used for running or jumping so some performance characteristics can be sacrificed to looks. I wrote an e-mail, respectful, I hope, to Asher Clarke the designer at Vivo explaining why I returned my Portos. If Vivo comes out with a redesigned dress shoe--ie narrower--I'll jump on the. Otherwise Primal Pros have several new models and colors

11/21/14 @ 20:56
Comment from: Brandon [Visitor]  

Hey anyone, a couple years ago I wore KSOs but I didn't like the feeling of being watched or people asking about them. It's like having an accent, as an American living in Australia which is enough for me.

I was wondering if there's a shoe that has the toe pockets, articulation and groundfeel of VFF but with the toes not noticable. Maybe covered with mesh?

Also this would help because when I was wearing them I constantly had to stop and pick dandelions out of my toes.

12/08/14 @ 20:09
Comment from: Ergonomic Erik [Visitor]
Ergonomic Erik

I thought the old toe box was too narroe ant pointy, not happy with the change of last. :(
90 % of my shoes are vivos, now I'm looking into ANI or even Russell moccassins.
Perceptions of what looks good have changed in the past and will in the future. Most women don't wear corsets anymore...

12/19/14 @ 12:20
Comment from: Rollo the Cat [Visitor]
Rollo the Cat

I got a pair of these two weeks ago. Fabulous! Better looking in person and they break in beautifully with a subtle two tone look. They are not as good looking as the Porto but at half the price, the Hopewell leather RAII wins.

Also, the new Vivobarefoot mail order service is first rate. I am still trying to forget my experience with the old third party distributor here in the US.

05/01/15 @ 22:45
Comment from: Ada [Visitor]  

Hi! I have the portos and am considering getting another pair of Gobis. I usually am a UK 5/38 for most shoes, but wear a 37 for the Portos. Would you say the sizing for the Gobi is the same as for the Porto (I.e running a bit large?) Or is the Gobi narrower compared to the Porto? Thanks, appreciate your advice!

06/10/15 @ 06:27
Comment from: [Member]

Hey Ada,

I'd say the Portos size a little larger/wider than the Gobi IIs. Definitely a little bit of a different last.

06/10/15 @ 11:04
Comment from: Rollo [Visitor]


I was wondering what you use, if anything, to polish or protect the leather. I wrote to Vivo to ask and they told me they use nubuck cleaners. Is Hopwell leather nubuck? I suspect they confused this model with the suede one.

06/22/15 @ 21:35
Comment from: [Member]

Hmm I have not used a polish on the Gobi 2. That said, my brother has them now (paid them forward ;) ) and he has used Leather Honey on them -- apparently he likes it!

06/23/15 @ 12:36
Comment from: Rollo [Visitor]

Thanks for that Justin. Does your brother have the tobacco color and did the Leather Honey change the color much. It is said to do that with lighter colored leather and I would hate to have that happen to my pair.

06/25/15 @ 22:29
Comment from: jeff [Visitor]  

have you had any experience conditioning the vivo ra? I bought a pair that is tobacco in color and the smooth leather finish, but they seem to scratch or scuff rather easily. any advice?


12/10/15 @ 21:40

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