Vivobarefoot vs Xero Shoes: Which Brand Is Better?

Perhaps you are pondering on one of this world’s toughest questions. What should you get between these two shoe brands? Rest easy, we have put Vivobarefoot vs Xero Shoes in an attempt to give you the key details that you need to make a good decision.

Before we dive deep into it, we will start with making sure that you actually know what we are talking about. 

What are Vivobarefoot shoes?

For years in ancient times, people went about their business barefoot. As the centuries went on, protection for the feet was developed in the name of shoes.

It was all well and good as the shoes served their intended purpose but would still give the wearer the feeling of being as close to the ground as possible. They had thin soles.

Today, most regular shoes have hard soles that do not mould to the foot and that cramp the toes. This impedes the foot from sending information to the brain on how to handle the terrain. 

Vivobarefoot shoe company has revolutionized the way shoes are made. Along with other shoe companies, the barefoot experience is being given to people all over the world in the form of minimalist shoes.

Vivobarefoot shoes are minimalist and will allow your feet to adapt to the ground naturally. The unique design allows the toes to splay wider in regular shoes. Wearing Vivobarefoot shoes gives the feeling of walking as close to the ground as possible. They give the wearer stability and also help correct posture.

What are Xero shoes?

Xero shoes first appeared on Shark Tank and were invented by a husband and wife duo who were looking to reduce their running injuries.  The shoes were invented as a way to marry the feel and natural gait of running barefoot without leaving themselves liable to debris.

They are also great in that they offer a smooth transition from trail to the city. Xero shoes offer different advantages like being made of vegan-friendly material, just like Vivo barefoot shoes, and also being very comfortable to wear. 

The shoe company also offers different shoes for different occasions. From performance shoes to sandals. They are versatile enough to be worn for daily use as well as on the trail.

When they were first made, they went by the name of invisible shoes. This is because the shoes were made to give the impression of walking as close to the ground as possible.

Products Overview

Xero Shoes are great for moving from the trail to city walking. They provide you with everything you love about being barefoot, without leaving your feet vulnerable to the injuries the ground can cause.

They allow you to feel the freedom of natural movement. Just like Vivo barefoot shoes and other minimalist shoes, you will not get much arch support with these shoes. 

Vivo barefoot shoes, also allow you to mimic walking as close to the ground as possible. They have a wide toe box and this allows your toes to splay and grab the ground under your feet more effectively.

Sandal Picks

Vivobarefoot Duo Sandal

Some days are just suitable for open shoes. This some summer day is that just require that you feed have the freedom to breathe without the cover of the shoe. For some of us, depending on which part of the world you live in that’s only a few months of the year.

As such you want to make the most of it. This is what makes picking the right sandals for yourself quite critical. You can have a go wrong with the Duo sandals.

They are the sandals borrow their inspiration from sports clothing. They allow you to maintain the same sort of movement that you would generally get from wearing compact tight-fitting sports shoes.

You may already recognise comfort when you see it from the pictures the sandals are very comfortable. Durability goes without saying. They are made out of wild hide leather.

It is naturally scarred to enhance this durability. The footbed is also made of leather. It allows your foot to be moulded and fit perfectly within the sandal. The back strap is elastic which is very important for getting a saddle that fits you well.

Average Rating 4.2 out of 5.0 stars

Xero Shoes Z-Trek

Xero Shoes Z-Trek

Perhaps leather isn’t quite what you’re after. These ones offer you the same sort of comfort and breathability that you get from the Vivobarefoot ones. They are just as lightweight and built for performance.

You also be happy to find that they come with a 5000-mile warranty. That is quite an interesting warranty seeing as it would be quite difficult to prove that one has or hasn’t used them for that sort of distance.

Another similarity between these and the Vivobarefoot ones is that they are also zero drop. This is to say that there is zero elevation between the forefoot and a hindfoot.

According to the manufacturers, the sandals are about 70% lighter than the average support sandals. They have a thickness of just 5.5 mm which makes them easy to pack away when travelling. That may mean the difference between buying sandals on holiday or carrying your trust the ones with you.

The salt on the sandals is non-marking. It is the fuel true sole which is water-resistant. True to its nature it is also quick to dry once you get wet. It provides you with a good amount of traction when you’re on the go.

To hold your feet in place they use is that style wedding that you quite secure. It also makes it easy to slide in and out of the sandals.

Average Rating 4.0 out of 5.0 stars

Hiking Boots Picks

Vivobarefoot Men’s Tracker FG M Leather Walking Shoe 

Vivobarefoot Men's Tracker FG M Leather Walking Shoe

 It never feels fair when you compare the tracker FG to most other boots. It is very beautiful I hiking boot that is made out of high-quality leather. The design is suitable to take on all sorts of rough terrain that you can put it through.

It is fitted with a firm ground so hence the FG in the name. This firm ground is always responsible for ensuring that your feet are well protected when you are walking on this rough to rain.

For the colder days, you will appreciate the thermal protection that is provided by a thermal insole is one of them as the general structure of the shoe.

There is a waterproof lining that ensures that your feet are kept dry. Breathability is delivered by a mesh lining that is made out of recycled RPET. It’s always a great feeling to ensure that there is less plastic going to landfill.

We already mention the removable insoles. What we have left out is the fact that it makes it a more versatile shoe. You can change insoles to any of the other ones that we will have in store. All in all, this is a waterproof, winterproof boot. 

Average Rating 4.1 out of 5.0 stars

Xero Shoes Xcursion

Xero Shoes Xcursion

Xero does not have that many hiking boots that come to mind in comparison to the Vivobarefoot one that we have already mentioned. The Xcursion is the only one that comes to mind really.

It is not quite a like-to-like comparison. Please bear this in mind when passing judgement. This is a lightweight but that is built for performance and comfort. It is not quite barefoot as you would’ve noticed from the name perhaps.

However, it was designed based on inspiration from the barefoot shoes. They have used the Feeltrue rubber soles to provide you with traction. You may be surprised to find that these boots are fully waterproof.

They also feature out wide toe box that is very comfortable and spacious. Most items I want to stand the need for this after a few miles of hiking. You’ll start to appreciate the weight as well or lack thereof.

The heels on these shoes are zero drop, or non-elevated as some would say. They allow your feet to move as naturally as they would without shoes on.

The idea up behind barefoot inspired is that you get the stimulation from the close contact that you get from the ground with the protection of us all. As with other products from this brand.

These ones come with a 5000-mile sole warranty. If that doesn’t say durability nothing will.

Average Rating 4.0 out of 5.0 stars

Running Shoe Picks

Xero Shoes TerraFlex

Xero Shoes TerraFlex

The TeraFlex is another minimalist barefoot inspired shoe. It is not quite barefoot but is quite close to it. The design in the shape of the shoe mimics that off before choosing.

Having said that you will not be surprised to find that these shoes are indeed lightweight and build for performance and comfort.

The most prominent feature on these shoes are the lugs underneath the sole they are 4 mm which A lot of lug for traction. Whether you’re going uphill, running or facing all sorts terrains.

This is the sort of lug that will keep you balanced. The manufacturer takes foot first approach to designing shoes. This is to say that they make shoes that are comfortable for the foot first before focusing on other aspects of the shoe.

The tire so is 6 mm thick; it is made out of the field true rubber. This is where a layer of 3 mm be a form comes into play; it is placed on there to ensure that all the rough spots that come from manufacturing a smooth and out.

An elastic string runs from the rear end of the shoe across the top on both sides and the back. This is a feature that is elastic and designed to ensure that the shoes are more compact.

This feature allows you more natural motion and gives you a natural feel to the shoe. We should also mention that these shoes are vegan-friendly.

Average Rating 4.3 out of 5.0 stars

Vivobarefoot Primus FG M Mesh Trail Runner 

Vivobarefoot Primus FG

The Primus FG is somewhat similar in the sense that it is equipped with 3 mm lugs that provide you with a lot of traction whether you’re on the Trail Or on more treacherous terrain. It is made with durability in mind.

To give back to the environment they have made use of PET to make the yarn. This is plastic material that comes from bottles that would’ve otherwise going to landfill. The upper part of the shoes is made out of it. The textile lining is made from recycled RPET.

Just to top it off the out the form and insoles are made out of algae. The outsoles are built to be highly abrasive and durable enough to take on all sorts of surfaces. There are no animals or animal products used in the manufacturing of the shoe.

It is quite a surprisingly robust show considering the material that is used to make it. The only other aspect with mention is the lacing system; it is a pull-tab one that makes it easy to slip into the shoes and tighten

Average Rating 4.0 out of 5.0 stars

Comparison Criteria

We get to explore and dissect the differences between Vivo barefoot shoes and Xero minimalistic shoes. The differences come in the construction, the material, and the shape of the shoes. People have their preferences, and these are usually based on the intended use of the shoes.

General Pricing Comparison

Xero shoes are considerably cheaper than Vivobarefoot shoes. They are priced in such a way that more people can afford them. Vivobarefoot shoes may not be totally out of reach, but they are more expensive. Ultimately it boils down to what you are looking for in a great minimalist shoe.

General Quality Comparison

If you are looking for shoes with a  wide variety including vegan products, then Vivobarefoot shoes are what you should be looking for. Xero shoes come with a 5 000 mile warranty.

This attests to the quality the shoes have. Both Vivo barefoot shoes and Xero shoes can be worn every day. They both have different products that you can wear in various circumstances. Xero promises that if you manage to war the soles out on your shoes, they will replace them at a nominal cost.

General Durability Comparison

You can wear your Vivo barefoot daily. If they are worn properly and for the right use, they will serve you well. Use hiking shoes for hiking and everyday shoes for your daily business.

They are comfortable either way; however, using daily shoes on the trail can wear them out sooner than they should. Xero shoes have a warranty on their soles that guarantees that you will get 5 000 miles out of them. They are strong and durable.

General Design Comparison

Xero shoes don’t do too bad in the looks department. Wearers have reviewed them as one of the best shoes to transition from the track or trail to city walking. They are made with this transition in mind.

The creators made them with the idea of wearing shoes throughout the day. They swear by the comfort and ease of walking that the shoes give you. With  VivoBarefoot shoes, you are spoilt for choice as the shoes come in various styles.

Key Features of each brand

Xero shoes come in different lines. You can get performance shoes, sandals, and casual shoes. They each offer great advantages. They offer natural movement and natural motion. They also offer great versatility and comfort.

They are lightweight and give the wearer the feeling of being barefoot. They also have a zero drop and this serves to enhance the barefoot experience. You just need to work out your fit and the rest is easy. These shoes have neutral arch support.

They are also made of vegan material just like Vivo barefoot shoes. Another key feature of Xero shoes is that you can wear them without socks.

Both Vivobarefoot and Xero shoes have a wide toe box. Vivobarefoot has a sole that is thin and flexible as well. The shoes have an abrasive resistant TPU and puncture-resistant Duratex layer.

Vivobarefoot shoes also have antibacterial properties that keep your feet odor-free for much longer. They have removable insoles as well, and this makes them easier to wash. These shoes allow your feet to remain as natural as possible.

Pros and Cons of each brand

Vivobarefoot shoes Pros

  • They help reduce injuries
  • They strengthen your gait
  • They have a thin sole
  • They have antibacterial properties
  • They are flexible

VivoBarefoot shoes Cons

  • They can be pricey
  • Some of the shoes are not waterproof

Xero shoes pros

  • They are affordable
  • They are versatile
  • They are comfortable

Xero shoes cons

  • Some do not like the way the shoes look
  • The outsole does not always effectively shed mud


Minimalist shoes are great for giving the wearer a feeling of walking barefoot. This is a great feature to have in your shoes especially when running. The less sole the less likely you are to twist your ankle.

However, wearing minimalist shoes does take some getting used to. Take some time to slowly adjust to your new shoes. Most wearers say once you go minimalist, it is tough to go back.

Vivo barefoot and Xero shoes both have their great features and the not so great features. Single out what is most important for you in a minimalist shoe and how much you are willing to spend.

This will guide you in choosing the right shoes. Also, determine where you will be using the shoes and how versatile you will need them to be. We hope our comparison helps you find the best fit. Happy shopping!

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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