Different people have had different experiences with the Vivobarefoot Stealth 3, mainly due to the fact that not everyone is used to barefoot shoes. Even those who are, aren’t necessarily used to exercising with it.
In my Vivobarefoot Stealth 3 Review, I’ll give you more insight on the most intricate of details that go into the pair, hopefully helping you make the final decision of whether you should make the purchase or not.
At a Glance
Being the third in the series, the Vivobarefoot Stealth 3 is quite an amazing pair of barefoot shoes sporting a minimalist design that suits most active users. However, that’s not the case for those who don’t like running as that’s not where it shines the brightest.
Vivobarefoot Stealth 3 Review
Now that I’ve given you the bottom line of what the Vivobarefoot Stealth 3 is all about, let’s delve deeper into the specifics.
Featuring a fully black or red and black combination, the Vivobarefoot Stealth 3 is one of the sleekest-looking barefoot shoes out there. It comes with a high degree of reflectivity, where the tongue, entire toe bumper, and whole heel area are reflective.
This means that you can wear it to run or cycle at night without worrying about any safety-related accidents as you’ll be quite visible.
Not only does it look cool, but the Stealth 3 has excellent performance. It’s quite flexible and breathable, which is why it’s an awesome barefoot road pair. It could also suit road running, but doesn’t go as far as off-trail use.
The toe box is quite wide, leaving you with plenty of room to flex and bend your feet and makes you feel secure at the heel. However, I have to mention that the Stealth 3 is a little expensive considering its relative rigidity and stiffness compared to other barefoot-style shoes.
Moreover, with a 3mm sole, the shoes are quite supple and soft, giving you the feeling of walking barefoot for real. Not only that, but the underfoot is also quite supple, yet the upper might be a little rigid and prevent you from freely raising your toes.
The reason I said these shoes aren’t meant for running is that you’ll notice hinge at the metatarsals, or the knuckles of your feet, being the part responsible for bending. This might result in the unpleasant feeling of pinching around your toes. However, they do make an excellent pair for hitting the gym or urban walking, for example.
Weighing only 16 ounces, the Vivobarefoot Stealth 3 is a lightweight option by and large, though it’s a little heavier than most barefoot-style shoes you’ll find around. If you’re looking to commute all day around town, these shoes would be an excellent choice.
And though they’re flexible and lightweight overall, the rigid upper takes away from the barefoot feeling, making them an almost-barefoot pair.
Being so light and flexible, you can also pack these shoes quite easily, making them excellent for hiking or camping trips, as long as you don’t plan on going off the trail.
If you’re concerned with cushioning, you’re looking in the wrong place. The Vivobarefoot Stealth 3 virtually has no sole or heel, which is why it’s so packable to the extent that you can simply roll the pair up and stuff it in your bag.
That doesn’t mean they don’t provide you with enough comfort for long walks or even some running on a treadmill. However, with excessive activity, your feet may feel slightly strained as the barefoot design leaves plenty of room for sensitivity.
After all, the “walking before you can run” slogan has a lot to say about the time required for you to get used to the degree of flexibility and different muscles you engage while wearing this pair of barefoot shoes.
This is why the company advises going for more cushioned choices if you’re planning on running or jogging; activities that are well-known for heel-striking strides and plenty of impacts.
The durability of the Vivobarefoot Stealth 3 is enhanced with the top-notch toe rand. Combine that with the breathable V-Web Hex mesh uppers, and you get a pair that’s both durable and resists abrasion. Not to mention, the hexagonal EVA structure and mesh centers make it comfortable and flexible.
Suitability for Weather
Using breathable mesh for the uppers, the Stealth 3 offer you top-notch breathability. This is why they’re a superb choice for warm summer days where you commute with your bike or days when you’ll be out from morning to night.
However, they don’t suit cooler temperatures as they might become drafty and will definitely wet your feet if it rains.
The sole of the Stealth 3 comes with honeycomb-like patterns that provide it with excellent traction on slick surfaces. And that’s where they’re most suitable to use, as opposed to off-road use, so stay in urban areas. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t provide enough grip for some moderate trailing.
Value for the Money
Compared to the average barefoot-style shoes on the market, the Stealth 3 is quite pricey. However, this could be justified by the fact that it’s completely vegan, making it a guilt-free and environmentally-friendly choice.
Being a guilt-free purchase, along with the fact that it’s durable and highly flexible, makes it worth the vegan shoppers’ money. However, if you’re not vegan, it might not be the best bang for your buck.
If you’re looking for a minimalist shoe that’s still stylish and suits casual use, I’d highly recommend the Vivobarefoot Stealth 3. Combining a thin 3mm sole and a spacious toe box, you’ll get all the flexibility you need and be able to bend your feet even on smooth terrain.
Also, with good traction, you’ll be able to get some versatility from these shoes, though you shouldn’t go off-trail with them. Vigorous activities aren’t the Stealth 3’s best suit as its hinge point isn’t so comfortable at the toes, so running, for example, might be a little challenging.
It’s worth mentioning that the pair is also stiffer than most minimalist shoes when it comes to the uppers, which takes away from the barefoot element, but it’s still a great, almost-barefoot road pair.