Comparing the 4 vivobarefoot swimrun shoes
There are several key things that one expects from a swimrun shoe. For starters, it has to be able to hold its own in and out of water. Perhaps that is an overly simplistic, yet true way of looking at it. If you were in store looking to purchase a vivobarefoot shoe for let’s say, a triathlon. What are some of the things that would matter to you? Granted, these would differ from one individual to another. The principles are the same though.
We have set a benchmark for the swimrun shoes that we will be comparing. We will pit them against one another on the following criteria:
- Grip in & out of water
- Quickness to dry
- Features mentioned by manufacturer
- Environmental / Ethical Green points
Barefoot Swimrun :Grip In & Out of Water
The Primus swimrun boot SG offers the most grip both in and out of water, due to the elongated high-profile lugs tread soles. It has an extra sticky soft ground sole that enhances its ability to grip onto surfaces. This of course means more balance for the person wearing it.
The Primus trail swimrun trails behind the boot version in this race. It offer lower profile tugs, which would have less grip than that of the boot. However it holds its own. It comes with a sticky ground sole, just as the boot does.
The Stealth II Otillo Swimrun is third in this criterion. The lugs are not as prominent. There is more of an emphasis on the out of water grip, as the shoe is marketed as a long distance running shoe.
At the bottom of this criterion is the Gobi II swimrun. The sole’s lugs are less prominent than the rest of the shoes. That alone is a telling sign. They do great for on road grip, although behind the competitors.
VivoBarefoot Swimrun: Water Drainage
Water drainage is important for swimrun shoes. Imagine being in a triathlon and coming out of the water only to drag along a pair of soggy shoes for the running. That is failing to plan, which is planning to fail. You want a pair that lets water out as quickly as possible.
The winning pair in this category is the Primus swimrun SG. This is because the shoes are made with quick drain zones. There is a clear emphasis on getting water out promptly. The breathable mesh also offer no resistance to water being ejected. The pressure generated from your foot stride is used to ejected water.
In close second is Primus Trail swimrun. This time the water is ejected via the mesh, which works by using your movement as well.
The Stealth II Otillo uses the same mechanism as the Primus trail swimrun. You would likely get about the same result for water drainage.
The Gobi II Swimrun is last. The canvas is slower at releasing water than the mesh on the other shoes.
Manufacturer Defined Features
- The Gobi II swimrun offers more warmth than the other shoes that it is competing against in this review. The thermal insole+the weather tight canvas facilitate this. The slow ejection of water comes in handy in this case, as it also means that water comes in slower as well.
- The Primus Swimrun Boot SG has a neoprene ankle socks offers great ankle mobility, which the others offer less of.
- The Stealth II Otillo comes with the V-Web HEX Mesh Upper, which allows you to stretch more freely as you run.
- The Primus trail swimrun is foot-shaped offering you unrestricted foot freedom.
Vivobarefoot Swimrun: Aesthetics
Footwear looks are a difficult benchmark to define. We all have different preferences. Moreover, when it comes to swimrun shoes, who is looking at what the shoes look like when we are out in the water or running. Based on personal preference I would list choose them this way if I had to buy one at a time:
Overall User Experience
The overall user experience is based on what we think, as well as what the general consensus is among users who own this shoe.
Environmental / Ethical Points
The ethical metric is based on here is simpler. We just look at the impact that the shoe’s manufacturing has on the environment. In this case we have a 3 way tie. The Gobi II Swimrun, Primus Swimrun Boot SG and the Primus Trail swimrun. All three are made with recycled PET plastic bottles which would have ended up in our seas or in landfill. Each pair is one step in the right direction for our planet.
Finally the shoe weight:
- STEALTH II OTILLO SWIMRUN at 119 grams
- PRIMUS TRAIL SWIMRUN at 141 grams
- PRIMUS SWIMRUN BOOT SG at 197 grams
- GOBI II SWIMRUN at 244 grams
I would love to know which one of these is your preferred one. If you already one any of them, I would also love to hear what your experience has been so far, what do you use the shoes for the most? Are you a swim runner? Are you a triathlete or just getting fit. As well as what you have found to be the best feature of your zero drop barefoot shoe.