The Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III is foot-shaped, not shoe-shaped, and so lightweight and minimalistic you’ll forget you’re even wearing it…

For a full roundup, check out the best gym shoes for 2023

Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III 


$160 / £130 /


  • Extremely lightweight
  • Nice and roomy


  • Minimalist foot-shaped design isn’t for everyone
  • Not the sturdiest

Fit: 4.5/5
Comfort: 5/5
Performance: 3.5/5

Rather than being shaped like a typical gym shoe, the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III is designed to match the shape of a foot. That does look a little unusual, and if you’ve never worn ‘barefoot’ shoes before, it takes a bit of getting used to. However, it’s a design feature that’s there for a reason – to make you as agile and light on your feet as possible – as if you were wearing no footwear at all.

Related: 5 Of The Best Specialist Weightlifting Shoes

With a plimsoll-like feel, it’s incredibly lightweight, with an upper that’s made almost entirely of a fine mesh material. Like most barefoot shoes, the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III is highly flexible, with zero drop and a wide toe box.

It’s roomy all over, but shaped to fit snug around your foot. As a result, this shoe gives you the freedom to move around with speed and intensity when performing fast-paced workouts.

Sole of Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III gym shoes

The Vivobarefoot is surprisingly strong and stable for a barefoot shoe

However, don’t be fooled by the lightness of this shoe they give you plenty of support, too. If you’re incorporating weights into your workout, it provides more than enough stability and power.

Green credentials

The thin, flexible, minimalist design lets your feet move naturally, while sustainable materials and Vivo’s return-for-recycling policy ensure that the Primus Lite III’s environmental impact is as low as possible.

Related: Best Running Shoes For Smashing Your 5K PB

If you’re a fan of barefoot shoes that feel super lightweight and natural on your feet, this is the gym shoe for you. And it’s stable and robust enough to cope with the dynamic movements that make up a typical HIIT workout.

However, barefoot shoes aren’t for everyone. If you want more stability, power and durability, you’d be better off going for one of the other gym shoes we reviewed.

Used pair of Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III gym shoes

If barely-there design is your priority, Vivobarefoot can’t be beaten

Words: Fred Garratt-Stanley

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