Vivobarefoot Achilles Review

The Vivobarefoot Achilles sandal is a performance sandal that allows you to run comfortably, even downhill. The sandal splits your toes in two ways and allows you to feel the ground more accurately, as a good barefoot sandal should. Your toes will splay in the same way as if you were running barefoot. 

You will get comfort and control in one go. When you are walking or running on rugged terrain, you need to have control otherwise you can injure yourself. For extra control, this sandal comes with an extra removable nylon strap and this can be adjusted according to your preference. 

This sandal has a 3mm outsole and can be worn on various terrain, which is more than can be said about a lot of outdoor sandals. It has a supple TPU upper, that adds to the flexibility of the entire sandal. The sole is flat and wide enough to give you great shock absorption.

Aesthetics

First things first, let us talk about how these sandals look. Before we think about how it serves its purpose, can you wear it going out of the house with a clear conscience? I certainly could not. I think they look like martian’s toes if ever we had evidence of their existence. 

At first glance, they looked like a regular pair of sandals with the support needed to go on a run. But then you look at the toe piece, and my eyes just can’t get used to seeing that split toe. The sandal splits your toes in two directions. The Vivobarefoot Achilles sandal has a toe guard that is put in place to protect your toes. 

The sole is very thin and at first glance, it looks like the sole and the upper are the same material that is molded to cup your foot. Ignoring the toe split, the sandal looks like some liquid mold, and to be honest, it is quite inviting to step into. The footbed is wide but snug. 

The straps come up from the sole and extend over the foot, keeping it firmly in place, but also without having to restrict your natural foot movement. The sandals also have a removable nylon velcro strap. You can choose how you wear them.

The shoes come in yellow, dark grey, blue, black and white. When they do not have the strap on, they look like regular flip flops.

Sizes

The Vivo barefoot sandal is available from a UK size 6 to a UK size 14. Some user reviews say that the shoes are not as wide as other products from VivoBarefoot, whilst others say they had to take it smaller. It is always wise to follow the Vivobarefoot sizing chart. If you can, go try them on to be sure. They fit 70% as expected. Physical sizing is important.

Feel

The Achilles sandal is very comfortable and has a super soft footbed. The sole is very thin and so this gives you a feeling of walking barefoot. However, the bridge that divides the toes, has been said to be more than a little uncomfortable. Some say that it is abrasive and runs too high. 

This may depend on how your feet are shaped, but this is honestly one of the flaws of the Achilles’ design. The outer material is synthetic and the sandal has dual-density materials that help you run better. Some runners say it feels like you are not wearing shoes.

The footbed sometimes comes in vibrant colors and it also has the hexagonal Vivo barefoot signature. This gives you extra grip as you run or walk. 

Durability

They are very durable as they have the iconic Vivo barefoot rubber outsole. It is puncture resistant and also slip-resistant. This is why a lot of people find these sandals a perfect fit for wearing whilst running, which can be hard on any shoe.

But these sandals are made to withstand harsh trails. They can flex and conform to the ground without breaking or cracking, thanks o the complex compounds with which the shoes are made.

Price

You can get these sandals at about 40 pounds depending on where you get them. This is an affordable price, given that these are not just poolside flip flops. If they were then this may be an exorbitant price.

However, you get so much more from these sandals. You can go on your hike in these, thanks to the excellent traction and durability of the sandals. The Achilles are made for walking and climbing alike.  

Pros

  • They stick true to the mandate of being a barefoot sandal
  • The adjustable velcro nylon strap allows you to adjust as you want. 
  • You can walk and also navigate rugged terrain in these sandals. 
  • The split design helps to improve stability and helps you run better in the sandals. 
  • You can use them in wet areas as well as on land thanks to their waterproof nature. 

Cons

The separation of the toes can be very uncomfortable at first. Some wearers don’t even get accustomed to it. 

Verdict

Try them on before you buy them. They may be your size but you may not like the way they fit you, especially around the toes. Vivo barefoot Achilles sandals are a good bet if you are looking for a sandal to wear out on the trail.

However, the unique design may not be your speed. There arent many shoes that are made like this sandal, so it is important that you know if your feet can be comfortable in them. 

I don’t like the way they look, and how they force the toes apart. For me, this is enough reason not to buy them. They are comfortable and they are extremely minimalist.

It will feel like you are not wearing shoes, but you will still have the protection that you need. If you cant get past the toe design, this is not your shoe. Look for something that will be kinder on your toes. Happy shopping!

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Hi there. This is Clare. Dave and I manage this site. We are outdoor enthusiasts. Most of the content is about products that we love using or have researched.

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