VivoBarefoot Neo

The Neo ticks a lot of boxes, providing a nice natural fit, it’s not too sloppy and has a good balance of protection vs. ground feel.

The Neo makes no claims to be a trail shoe if you are looking for something with more grip then the Neo Trail, or Bretho Trail is a better offering from Vivo.  So far I’ve only had experience with this one  and as such have only used them for light trail running.

It lacks in the grip department but it certainly makes up for this in spirit – the shoe is definitely a running shoe, its light and responsive, good-looking and very flexible allowing the foot to do its thing.  It’s zero drop, zero cushion and has a 4mm rubber sole which gives outstanding ground feel, you have the option of a 3mm compressed EVA insole, but if you’re like me this will get pulled out and shoved in the carrier bag that houses your insole collection.  If you have normal not too freakish feet there is plenty of room for the toes to splay and to hinder sizing confusion the shoe runs true to size, my size UK10 fits me extremely well.

During training for a 50 mile ultra at the beginning of 2011 I ran in these quite a lot – the longest run being a pacey 20 miles, which, with the value of hindsight was perhaps a bit too much for me.  I used the Neo’s in rotation with my KSO’s and inov 8 285’s for a few months and they [the Neo’s] had a good 100 or so miles of mainly dry trail use. 

Like I said before; the grip is non-existent, but they have their place as a good multi-terrainer,  but perhaps erring on the side of road more than trail.


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