Vivobarefoot Stealth Iii Mens, Breathable Vegan Workout Shoe with Barefoot Sole
- No frills, no fuss, Stealth II it's as low maintenance as a minimalist movement shoe should be
- Durable hex-mesh upper, constructed with support and stretch zones to assure responsive foot control and an adaptive fit
- Men's Exercise Shoes
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Perfect for running and everyday wear, the durable hex-mesh upper is constructed with support and stretch zones to assure responsive foot control and an adaptive fit. Stealth II features our signature 3mm barefoot sole for maximum sensory feedback and minimum interference.
- Package Dimensions : 12.44 x 7.32 x 5.04 inches; 1.72 Pounds
- Item model number : 300119
- Department : Mens
- Date First Available : September 25, 2019
- Manufacturer : Vivobarefoot
- ASIN : B07XSMPBH4
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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When I first got the shoe I was immediately disappointed. So much so that I started going through Vivo's AWFUL new returns process. By the way, if you are going to buy Vivo shoes, just buy through amazon in case you have to return them. Vivo's returns are the worst thing ever now since they go through a 3rd party company.
The main thing I hated when I first got the shoe was that these have sewn in laces. The Stealth 2 laces were like a regular shoe, but on the III the laces are actually fake, they are just there for decoration. I have a tall forefoot and when I first tried the shoes around the house they were very stiff and put a lot of pressure on the top of my foot. With the fixed laces you have no adjustability. Either the shoe fits or it doesn't, and when you tie the laces it's basically just for cosmetic reasons because the laces do nothing to loosen or tighten the shoe the way you want.
So I started the returns process with their 3rd party company and ultimately it fell through because DHL couldn't pick up my package and I said "F it" and kept the shoes because I was sick of calling customer support. I tried to make them work. Well I'm glad I did, because now these are my favorite vivo shoes. So what happened that made me change my mind?
Once I started wearing the shoes around I realized two things. 1) These really need to be fully broken in, moreso than any other vivos I have tried. When you first try them on they feel stiff and heavy and tight, but once you break them in for a couple weeks they become much more pliable and they lose the pressure points as they stretch. 2) These shoes need to be treated as slip-ons. Like I said, the laces do nothing, and the upper of the shoe is tight enough to secure your foot without any help from the laces. So what I do is very loosely tie the laces into a double knot, and then I just slip the shoe on and off and never untie the laces. This has become a game changer for this shoe. I have done 10ks, crossfit workouts, heavy powerlifting, hiking, soccer, etc. in these shoes and the upper is tight and firm enough to keep your fit secure without the help of the laces. But there is enough stretch that you can slip them off and on. Once I learned this it was a game changer.
As far as appearance, I think vivo has made strides here. The Stealth 2 still looked a bit "weird" for the casual observer. I've had people ask me if they were some kind of special climbing shoes or something. They look mostly normal (and far better than other barefoot shoe companies) but they still looked slightly different than a typical shoe. I would say the Stealth III in comparison is much more mainstream friendly. There is a very large tongue on these shoes that can either pop out straight or be tucked into the sides, and it gives this shoe a soccer shoe look and feel. They give me vibes of the Adidas Samba Classic with the bigger tongue, and that's a good thing. They feel modern and fresh and urban and I don't get any weird looks or comments about them.
The fit on these is very similar to the Stealth 2, and they fit true to size as long as you are expecting a wider shoe. I normally wear 9s with Vivo and these were 9 as well and fit great. They have one of the widest toe boxes of all vivo shoes but without looking like clown shoes. No issues with the toe box at all, and they have fixed the issue from the Stealth 2's where your toenail can occasionally catch on the material. None of that here. There is significantly more stiff padding around the heel than the Stealth 2 which prevents the effect some vivos have where the heel starts to collapse/bend, and it holds your foot secure along with the stretchy upper.
For durability, I am also super impressed with the Stealth III. The 2's had an issue where the fabric around the heel would start to wear out and would develop holes, however this shoe has a much stiffer, stronger material around the heel. I have been wearing them for nearly 6 months and they still look completely brand new and super clean. So far they seem to be the most durable, most solidly constructed vivo shoes I have tried. That being said, one downside is that they are a little heavier than some of the other Vivo models. Significantly heavier than the Primus Lite, and heavier even than the Stealth 2, but still plenty light and breathable. Just don't expect to feel like they disappear on your feet.
Overall I am just super impressed with this shoe after I got past the initial impressions and realized the best way to wear them. I am writing this in-depth review mainly because I want Vivo to keep making the Stealth line, and I will keep buying them. The one thing I ask is that they come out with some more interesting colors. The all-black is super boring to me, and at least I got the ones with the white/orange accents which look pretty good. They need to bring back other colors. The original Stealth and Stealth 2 had all kinds of funky bright colorways over the years but in later years they started simplifying to all black which I find super boring.
Definitely give these a shot!
For five months.
Now these are falling to pieces, and I've been only walking and doing basic footwork drills in them due to Covid.
Normally I'd let something like this go, but the fact that the company is charging the same amount of money you'd pay for a good pair of marathon running shoes is ridiculous. The quality just doesn't deserve that price tag. Don't buy these unless you're wanting to pay over $100 for something that could maybe handle the occasional dog walk or trip to the grocery store, and even then probably only last a year.
That was seven months ago. Since then, I have done a lot of walking, but only rarely in the Stealth IIIs. A number of questionable design choices were made that, to me, make them worse than the Stealth IIs, and I find them ok, but not great to walk in. Below are my issues with the Stealth III (in comparison to the Stealth II):
- It is a heavier shoe, and seems less flexible.
- The heel comes up further and has a more solid construction.
- The tongue of the shoe is sewn onto the sides of the shoe. This means that if you want to tighten the laces, you end up with folds and wrinkles that dig into the tops of your feet. Essentially, the shoe will only fit those people well who have feet that happen to be the precise width of the shoe, i.e., it is not truly adjustable. Why the decision was made to do this I do not know.
- The tongue of the shoe also has an exaggerated square top. I guess this is meant to stand up in front of your leg and show off the branding? It certainly doesn't tuck into the shoe or lay flat well, even with different types of lacing.
- Speaking of lacing, there are a number of extraneous holes at the top that start going behind where the ankle sits above the shoe. Again, this may be for style, but I tried a few lacing options that incorporated these holes and found them all impractical and uncomfortable. Both of these more style-oriented features make me question the marketing of these as a workout shoe, as the features seem much more like a branded sneaker intended to accentuate an outfit.
- The sole inset that the shoe comes with has many medium oval holes punched into it. My guess is that these are for cushioning or airflow, but for me personally, they are one of the worst features. Maybe they are just positioned strangely on the sole of my foot, but it feels like being poked in lots of little pressure points. By the end of a walk, the soles of my feet have that pins-and-needles sensation you get when your feet fall asleep, except somehow it has been externally applied.
Finally, for me, the fit has ended up just not being that good. The toebox is as wide as I want it to be, but it is somewhat exaggeratedly swept inward, giving the whole shoe a bit of a twist when laced tighter. I have ended up wearing them laced fairly loosely (see also lacing issues, above), and as the rest of the shoe is wide too, going downhill can be a bit of a slippy affair.
I am mildly optimistic that I can make changes to improve these, such as using a different insole, hence the rather excessive two stars. In addition, for some of these issues, it is hard for me to say whether they are issues with the shoe, with how well I had worn in my Stealth IIIs, or with these shoes being intended for men's feet. At the moment, this shoe just misses the mark in so many ways.