Vivobarefoot Stealth L

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Today we’re taking another look at the Stealth L from VivobarefootAs you may recall, Vivobarefoot is a trail and running shoe company that specializes in barefoot running – minimally padded, flexible shoes that let your feet do your own thing.  We were lucky enough to get our hands on a pair, and asked our friend and experienced runner Pooja to test out a pair.  More after the jump…

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Our very gracious model athlete is not a strictly barefoot runner, but she has done a good bit of running with minimalist shoes in the past.  After she received the Stealth, she trained in them for a number of weeks, and ran a 5K.  They took a little while to get used to.  Without as much padding in the sole, you become more sensitive to heel landings, so you end up relying more on the muscles in the forefoot.  Those muscles and tendons are stressed more than normal.  She wasn’t able to run as much, or as fast as she normally would at first.  But after training in these for about a month, her foot felt stronger, and she was using certain muscles in her calves much more.  While they felt strained initially, they were conditioned and strengthened after a few weeks.

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Vivobarefoot was a brand Pooja heard good things about, and they didn’t disappoint.  The fit was great right out the box, she didn’t even have to break them in.  As you can see, these are thin soled, low cut shoes with a very breathable mesh upper.  she was getting a lot more feedback on every stride, but since they are puncture proof, she didn’t have any problems with sharp or hard objects.  Her only issue was she couldn’t wear them without socks – even though the fit was good, there was a still a good deal of friction.  So if you are thinking about actually wearing these barefoot, you might want to think again and size them accordingly.   Overall, these are a pair of extremely comfortable and breathable shoes.  If you’re looking for a pair of minimalist, barefoot style running shoes, check these out.

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The Stealth L is available at Zappos.  If these aren’t your bag, check out a dedicated list of vegan running shoes by Vivobarefoot.  The entire Vivobarefoot line is also available at Zappos.

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