I love these shoes. There I said it. Was I given these shoes to test? Yes. Was I given these shoes by VIVOBAREFOOT? No. Have these shoes been classified as women’s running shoes on Natureshop’s website since I’ve had them? Yes. Have I delayed writing this review because I’ve been enjoying these shoes too much? YES!!!!
Here is the bombshell folks: they look normal!!! I have been wearing these shoes at work or out and about, when barefoot won’t cut it and they don’t evoke the strange “what an earth do you have on your feet’ response. Looking at the pictures on the website it seems like the white part of the sole comes quite high, but in actual fact its barely recognisable.
Super light. I think they officially weigh in at 162g with the insole. I ditched the insole after a month or 2 and that reduced the weight to 147g. Again like most of the VIVOBAREFOOT shoes they have nice wide toe-box for splaying your toes and the sole is flat. You have amazing feel in these shoes and get very good sensory feedback. They helped facilitate a barefoot running style and high cadence (more than the VIVOBAREFOOT Ultras but less than my Vibram 5-fingers). I do find them more comfortable though than my Vibrams and actually the sole is more flexible – check the pic.
I ran on all kinds of surfaces (trails, paved roads, grass etc) in these shoes and wore them practically every day and on a recent extended holiday in Europe and America. In-fact I even wore them for 120km of the Camino De Santiago that I walked. The Camino ranged from rugged paths/trails to paved roads and it was probably a bit of a stretch using these shoes for the walk as I struggled at times on the most rugged parts once I was fatigued (though I didn’t suffer any blisters like one of my companions who had hiking boots on!). In terms of wear these shoes have proven to be a real hit. I’ve had them since April and as I’ve mentioned they’ve been used extensively (largely without the insert), only signs of wear that are now coming through are inside underneath my heel (see pic).
It does seem that VIVOBAREFOOT have extended the NEO series to include trail running shoes and have updated the title of the new NEO’s to ‘NEO Hydro Phobic Mesh’ and I will certainly be getting another pair. Curiously, on the NatureShop website, the NEO’s can now only be found under ‘Womens’s Barefoot Shoes’. What makes them a women’s shoe I’m not sure, I’d still take em! Plus they’re currently priced at $80! Bargain.
Get these shoes from Natureshop!