The Neo Trail By VIVOBAREFOOT – Get A Grip!

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I found out about VIVOBAREFOOT about a year ago while questing to find the best minimalist running shoe on the market – a shoe that would be practical enough for walking to the grocery store, and durable enough for physical activities like Parkour. I found these qualities in the Evo II and subsequent Neo running shoes, but what about a shoe for trail running?

Given the vastly different types of materials that one encounters on the trails as opposed to within the city, a person would need a very different kind of shoe. Thankfully VIVOBAREFOOT thought of that too when they designed their Neo Trail shoe.

The Neo Trail is very similar to the Neo running shoe that I reviewed earlier this year, but with a few significant changes, mainly related to the tread. Here’s what I like about it…

What I Like About the VIVOBAREFOOT Neo Trail

  • The Neo Trail comes in a wider range of colours than earlier generations of Terra Plana or VIVOBAREFOOT shoes. When the Evo IIs shoes launched, there were only a few colours – few of which really interested me. I picked up a pair of the Light Grey/Red Neo Trails, and they look fantastic, especially for a trail running shoe.
  • The soles are extremely tough and puncture resistant, and the tread is well-defined and grips well with any materials you’ll encounter on the trails. Rocks, mud, loose gravel, and even rotting wood were no match for the tread on these soles.
  • An extremely thin and flexible sole means that you’ll feel every contour of the trail, and more importantly, you’ll be able to spread and flex your toes in a full range of motion. The combination of box toe and thin flexible soles make these shoes ideal for people who want to spread their toes and run on the balls of their feet.
  • The entire shoe is extremely light, weighing in at just 9.2oz with insert, or 8.7oz without. I’ve never enjoyed lugging around heavy shoes, especially when running around on the trails or in the city for Parkour. These shoes are light enough that I hardly notice I’m wearing them.
  • There are pull tabs on both the back of the shoe and on the tongue. It’s a small feature, but one that I find very useful, especially when pulling the shoe on. I find that I rake my cuticles up when trying to put on shoes that don’t have pull tabs, as I need to jam my fingers into the back of the shoe.
If you’re looking for a performance trail running shoe that combines all the great features that VIVOBAREFOOT is known for – such as thin durable treads – and adds in the necessity of greater grip for trail running, then you’re in for a real treat. At $130 USD these shoes aren’t inexpensive, but I promise you that this is one example of paying a little extra and getting a whole lot more.

You can purchase the Neo Trail on the official VIVOBAREFOOT website for $130 USD.

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Comments

  1. gabe says

    Chad I was wondering what you think of the width of these shoes? I’ve been wanting to transition to a barefoot/minimalist shoe for a while but I have wide feet. From the photos I have seen these shoes look like they would do the trick but I dont have a store near me that carries them for me to try them on.

    • Chad says

      I would consider myself a wide-footed individual as well, so I’m guessing you’ll be fine. The toe area also has ample room, as it’s a box toe.

      I hope that helps!

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