Forum Index » GEAR » Longer lasting alternative to Vivobarefoot Breatho? Traction a must.


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Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Longer lasting alternative to Vivobarefoot Breatho? Traction a must. on 07/14/2013 08:29:16 MDT Print View

I love the Vivo Breathos...and was very happy to have found a shoe like them. I can't justify a shoe I can only get 75 miles out of though before the lugs are gone....and that's mostly on trails with little rock! I emailed Vivobarefoot about this long ago and never got a response.

Anything out there close to this shoe that I'm overlooking? I had a pair of Trailgloves but they didn't work out....and I prefer more traction. I would like something thin (sole) with no heel rise too. The Breatho would be almost perfect for my tastes if the sole was more durable.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Longer lasting alternative to Vivobarefoot Breatho? Traction a must. on 07/14/2013 09:02:31 MDT Print View

Have you tried the regular neo trails? I haven't been using them for long but they seem very durable. The uppers are made from a really tough material, I chose them for off trail stuff. Of course they don't dry quickly.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Longer lasting alternative to Vivobarefoot Breatho? Traction a must. on 07/14/2013 10:25:52 MDT Print View

just 75 miles? Never had a shoe that would die so quickly. Have you tried a second pair to verify that it wasn't a one time issue. I would be tempted to send vivo a physical note indicating your experience, tell them that if this the the durability of the shoes you will have to switch to another company, and then ask them to send you a replacement pair to demonstrate that they will last longer than 75 miles.

As to alternatives, I would recommend checking out the Inov-8 TrailRoc 150. I only have 200 miles on mine so far (got them at the same time as some Luna Sandals which have been getting most of my feet time). Based on wear so far, and experience with other Inov-8 shoes I expect them to last between 400-600 miles.

--mark

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: Longer lasting alternative to Vivobarefoot Breatho? Traction a must. on 07/14/2013 14:07:08 MDT Print View

Justin,

Haven't tried the Neo Trails. They appear to have the same rubber compound. They were a tad heavier than I wanted too....plus I like the idea of having something more breathable.

Mark,

My first pair still appear to have lots more life left in the shoe itself.....but the sole's heal are bare. Smooth. No lugs left. What's left of the sole is extremely thin. The lugs on the rest of the sole are very worn...particularly on the balls of my feet. Some lugs ripped right off. I have less than 25 miles on my second pair and many of the lugs are beginning to tear away from the sole. At least one has ripped off entirely. I might get 75 miles out of this second pair...or maybe 100. I don't know.

I sent Vivo an email explaining this. No response. I may be going to the summer OR show in SLC in a few wks. If I do, I will talk to them then.

Thank you for pointing out the Inov-8 TrailRoc 150s. They look promising....though the colors loud. Whoa! :-) The Bare-Grip 200 looks good too...maybe too much height on the lugs though.?...?? Wow, they look like cleats!

What do you think of the toe box on the Bare-Grip 150s? Good room or more like a conventional running shoe?

Sean Passanisi
(passanis) - MLife
Breatho vs. Neotrail on 07/26/2013 11:00:02 MDT Print View

I was just about to pull the trigger on the Breatho. I'd be happy to try the Neotrail if the durability is better.

Does anyone have any longterm experience with the Neotrail?

Edit: FYI, I'm looking for an all purpose on/off road minimalist travel shoe in black.

Edited by passanis on 07/26/2013 11:07:54 MDT.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Breatho vs. Neotrail on 07/26/2013 11:19:44 MDT Print View

.

Edited by justin_baker on 09/08/2013 14:16:29 MDT.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Longer lasting alternative to Vivobarefoot Breatho? Traction a must. on 09/08/2013 14:19:32 MDT Print View

I've put about 100 miles in my neo trails.
Yep, the lugs are wearing off super fast.
Such a shame, hopefully they fix this is the future.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: Longer lasting alternative to Vivobarefoot Breatho? Traction a must. on 09/09/2013 08:11:41 MDT Print View

I finally spoke with Vivo and showed them my worn soles. They told me I had earlier models with soles made partially of recycled rubber and that the new models were made of a more durable compound.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Re: Longer lasting alternative to Vivobarefoot Breatho? Traction a must. on 09/10/2013 18:48:32 MDT Print View

I remember some talk about the recycled rubber trails. If I remember right, the recycled rubber had a speckled pattern. That was a while ago, it sounds like vivo is stringing you along here. If there really is a new, new model that is more durable then I would be happy. I'm very hesitant to buy anything from vivobarefoot now other than their sew-on soled leather shoes which have held up for a long time of casual use.

If they have really fixed the problem, I would appreciate a free replacement from them. It's the least they can do for selling a $100+ shoe that becomes unusable after less than 100 miles.


Either way the lug design is bad. I would like to see the trailroc lugs on the trails.

Edited by justin_baker on 09/10/2013 19:00:43 MDT.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: Re: Re: Longer lasting alternative to Vivobarefoot Breatho? Traction a must. on 09/11/2013 08:39:31 MDT Print View

"...sounds like vivo is stringing you along here. I'm very hesitant to buy anything from vivobarefoot now other than their sew-on soled leather shoes which have held up for a long time of casual use. If they have really fixed the problem, I would appreciate a free replacement from them. It's the least they can do for selling a $100+ shoe that becomes unusable after less than 100 miles."

I hear ya on all accounts! I'm more than a little put off by Vivo. However, I will give them the benefit of the doubt and try them one more time. I spoke with and showed two people at Vivo my worn shoes. One said to contact him later and he'd give me a "screaming deal" on another pair. Since there was no offer to replace, I'm hoping it's a genuine "screaming deal"! Otherwise, it's off to the Inov-8 TrailRoc 150. Not exactly what I'd like but they're the closest thing next to the Vivo's.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Longer lasting alternative to Vivobarefoot Breatho? Traction a must. on 09/13/2013 15:43:11 MDT Print View

If you try them out again, I would love to hear how they hold up. If they fixed the problem I would be very, very happy. They are my favorite shoes besides the durability issue.

I have a merrel trail glove and new balance minimus (both were discontinued models for screaming deals on ebay) coming in the mail which should hold me off for now.

I've felt the trailroc 150 and it seems like an awesome shoe. If only they made them in different colors.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Longer lasting alternative to Vivobarefoot Breatho? Traction a must. on 09/13/2013 16:40:19 MDT Print View

Yes, if I get another pair, I will post how they hold up. It might be a while though as my summer/fall plans have had a curve ball thrown in.

Re the colors on the Trailrocs, the new Breatho colors are very similarly hideous. Seems to be the trend in shoes right now. Gack!

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Trailroc 235 on 09/13/2013 16:47:58 MDT Print View

I have a pair of the Trailroc 235s, and like them a lot. The traction is excellent, and I'm confident the upper will die before the lugs wear down. If anything, I'd like a stickier rubber. Traction on wet rocks is merely passable.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Trailroc 235 on 09/13/2013 17:36:40 MDT Print View

Hmm...I'm not sure why I don't recall seeing the 235s at the OR show. They look to be the 150s but with a thicker footbed (6mm vs 3mm). Is that correct, David?

Edited by rustyb on 09/13/2013 17:38:24 MDT.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Trailroc 235 on 09/13/2013 17:53:09 MDT Print View

On birthdayshoes they have a comparison between the vivobarefoot neo trails and 235's so they must be similar.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: Trailroc 235s on 09/13/2013 20:43:39 MDT Print View

The sole thickness is different, and I think the mesh is a bit different than the 150 (I think).

Quite taken with them thus far.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: re: Trailroc 235s on 09/13/2013 20:54:03 MDT Print View

Thanks, guys.

Justin....I didn't see the comparison you were referring to. I probably just overlooked it.

David.....have you tried the Vivo Breatho and if so, how does the thickness of its sole compare to that of the 235? I tried on the 150s and they felt thinner than even the Breathos without the insole.

Brendan Swihart
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: Re: re: Trailroc 235s on 09/16/2013 23:52:22 MDT Print View

I don't have any experience with the Vivos or 150s but I've been using the 235s and while not ideal, they're probably the best shoes I've used. The key is getting the newer blue ones (rather than the yellow ones), which is a completely different and much better mesh (unless things have changed). Like Dave says, the rubber kinda sucks. Unfortunately it's neither very sticky nor very durable. I'm kinda over thinking that the perfect shoe is out there (although it seems so obvious and easy--just put the damn roclite sole on them) so I'm settled on them for the time being...

Edited by brendans on 09/16/2013 23:54:12 MDT.

Lars Laird Iversen
(larslaird) - M
Inov-8 150 on 09/17/2013 04:08:40 MDT Print View

I've got the Inov-8 150, and they are a good shoe - but with narrow toe box. If it fits you, go for it. Personally I would have liked them wider.

Javan Dempsey
(jdempsey)

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Re: Re: re: Trailroc 235s on 09/18/2013 15:12:07 MDT Print View

I agree, the Trailroc 235s are the best option out there right now.


I bought two pairs of Breathos and I hated them. I had to hike out a couple miles barefoot because they raped my feet so bad. The curved bottoms cause me to hyper pronate like crazy, and the footbeds feel like concrete on them.

Chris Wallace turned me onto the Trailroc 235s, and I've always hated Inov-8's Geisha foot optimized "perfromance" last, so I was hesitant, and the toe box looked narrow, but the mesh has a lot of stretch, and once broken in, I find these to be the most comfortable high traction zero drop shoe on the market.

Altras work pretty good for me also, but I dislike the huge stack height. The Inov-8s without the insoles are the perfect combination of cushion flexibility for me, with just enough insulation to be viable most of the year.


I'm pretty pissed at TerraPlana, the original Aquas are some of the most comfortable shoes ever made IMHO, but they seem to constantly be trying to reinvent the wheel, instead of figuring out what works and evolving it.

It's going to be a long time before I give any Vivo's a try again. My feet are still hurting.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Re: Re: re: Trailroc 235s on 09/18/2013 15:23:36 MDT Print View

"I'm pretty pissed at TerraPlana, the original Aquas are some of the most comfortable shoes ever made IMHO, but they seem to constantly be trying to reinvent the wheel, instead of figuring out what works and evolving it."

+1 I have a pair of the old school suede aquas that I've almost worn into the ground. They are like wearing socks now.
I can't hike in them anymore because the traction is worn off. I really liked their sewn on soles. You would never have an issue with the sole delaminating and you could repair the stitching.

Terra/vivo has really gone downhill. Their casual shoes are still great though (ra's gobies, ect.)

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Trails on 09/21/2013 13:25:56 MDT Print View

On vivo's UK site they have a new neo trail selection with 2 new colors (the old ones are on sale right now). I wonder if these are the new ones that are supposed to be more durable?
I've also been seeing the trails on steep and cheap lately, maybe the are finally phasing out their old shoes to bring in improved models. I can only hope.

James Ayres
(scrivner) - F

Locale: Southern Turkey
Vivo & others on 09/21/2013 14:23:44 MDT Print View

I have a pair of Vivo 'The One.' These fit me better than any other shoe I have found, wide toe box, and no rocker, actually flat. However, mine too are falling apart with less than 60 miles on them. After reading the comments above I'm hesitant to buy another pair. And, like others, Vivo has not replied to my email message informing them of this problem.

Can anyone suggest a shoe with a similar fit: wide toe box, no rocker, and with a tad more cushion under the foot. These are fine when I'm not carrying a pack. But with even 15 pounds on my back sharp rocks make themselves felt, even not so sharp ones.

The Inov 8s are WAY too narrow in the toe box for me. The Merrill Trail Glove has a rocker that feels like...I don't know, a rocking horse? Can't get toes and whole foot on the ground for solid stance. These are the only other zero drop shoes I've tried. An yeah, traction is a good thing.

Any suggestions much appreciated.

Javan Dempsey
(jdempsey)

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Vivo & others on 09/22/2013 13:46:14 MDT Print View

James, have you tried the TrailRoc 235s? They're based on a different last than all other Inov 8s, and while they don't look as wide in the toe box as the Vivos, they break in extremely well and stretch as much as necessary due to the mesh uppers. There are the *only* Inov-8's that are even remotely wearable for my feet, but they're exceptionally good.


Believe me, I'm the biggest stickler for wide toe box, any toe compression causes me to have major knee problems. I've never been able to use Inov8s previously, and was *VERY* skeptical about these, but after trying them out, I'm very happy.

FWIW, these are zero drop, medium cushion, low stack height, great traction (but the rubber is slippy on some things, fine on wet rocks, horrible on wet wood), super quick drying.


I also can't stand the Merrells, the first thing I noticed was the arch crap.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Vivo & others on 09/22/2013 14:26:06 MDT Print View

My issue with a lot of minimalist shoes is they are too tight around the midfoot and I have a ton of room in the toe box. I must have wide feet. And I can't fit anything more than a thin liner sock in some of them which sucks for winter hiking when I want to stick in heavy wool socks, neoprene socks, or goretex socks.

Edited by justin_baker on 09/22/2013 14:37:47 MDT.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Re: Re: Re: Vivo & others on 09/22/2013 14:46:20 MDT Print View

Same. I have room for a 6th toe with my paddleboard feet. Midfoot is always tight, toe box is always roomy.

Javan Dempsey
(jdempsey)

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Re: Re: Re: Vivo & others on 09/22/2013 14:58:04 MDT Print View

You guys just need wide sizing then. Try anything in a EEEE and I'm guessing you'll be comfy. Unfortunately, not much exists in the minimal shoe space with wide overall widths. Other than New Balance's offerings, which are lacking. Chris W gave me a pair of MT00s in EEEE, which I found very comfy. Unfortunately, these are too minimal for heavy use IMHO, and the spaces between the foot cushioning pieces, are dangerous.

I have wide feet also, but the mid-foot feel doesn't affect my body the way the toebox does, as long as there isn't any arch. I've got very wide forefoot.


Altras for example are usable, but not ideal for me, since they focus the width on the inside of the forefoot, at the big toe area, which still compresses my little toe, which seems to be directly linked to my knee pain.

James Ayres
(scrivner) - F

Locale: Southern Turkey
minimal shoes on 09/22/2013 16:01:57 MDT Print View

Javan,

Thanks for the suggestion. I haven't tired any Inov8 in a couple of years, but I will now. The last ones I tried had a two box like Jimmy Choo spikes. Merrills, yes, I don't know what's up with their arch thing, feels like foot binding.

I can understand how you would get knee pain from ill fitting shoes. During decades of running at least 30 miles a week, usually more, I never had a injury due to running, till I tried a pair of the latest wizz bang Nikes with heels like wedgies, and wound up with a stress fracture of a metatarsal and spinal problems. Took months to sort it out. Went back to flats, kung fu shoes, custom made moccasins, etc, no problems since.

I gotta say, the fir in these Vivos is the best, closest to the actual shape of my foot, that I've ever had in a 'running' shoe. But I will try those Inov8s. I hate it that these shoes are already falling apart and there doesn't seem to be any company support.

Cheers,

James

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: Re: Re: re: Trailroc 235s on 09/22/2013 17:25:54 MDT Print View

Javan,

Could you compare the sole thickness and ground feel of the 235s compared to the Breathos? Can you also state if you had the insoles in or out of the Breathos?

Thanks,
r

Javan Dempsey
(jdempsey)

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: re: Trailroc 235s on 09/22/2013 18:26:35 MDT Print View

I tried the Breathos with and without insoles, but I usually prefer not to use them, and I don't use them in the Trailrocs.


I'd say the 235s are a little thicker, but it's more of a dense (but flexible) foam material than the very hard dense rubber type material used on the Breathos.

Ground feel might be better on the Breathos without insoles, but both being heavily lugged negates the ground feel pretty significantly, however, the hardness of the sole material and the shape and stiffness of the lugs on the Breathos, to me, negated any useful perception of ground feel other than pain. On short (2-3 mile) hikes they seemed fine for the most part, but I never felt "comfortable" in them. I kept waiting for them to break in, when I finally did a longer hike (20ish miles) it was hellish.


The Trailrocs to me, were instantly comfortable. Keep in mind, I'm not a minimal shoe novice either. I grew up in Central America, was barefoot most of my child hood, wore flat soled skate type shoes through the rest of my younger years, and never had any problems until I got tricked into "performance" footwear. I needed no adjustment period to switch to VFFs, and found the original KSOs to be the most comfortable, so it's not like I'm not used to extremely minimal.

Currently I'm wearing Sodhopper Stealth Trackers as my day to day shoe, including in the shop, and wore Soft Star mocs primarily, before that. Used the original Altra Instincts last winter for the insulation, but destroyed them, and they were far from ideal. Hated the high stack height and *zero* ground feel.


If the Breathos work for you, I don't want to talk you out of them. Damien Tougas seemed to really like them, and I usually take his word for it. They just didn't work for me. I think it's probably related to the fact that my feet aren't adjusting from years of problematic footwear, and I'm used to what I'm used to.

I will add however, that I tried 4 different pairs in two different sizes, and every one had major fit differences. I think the QC over at TerraPlana isn't that high.

Like I said though, the original Aquas were some of my all time favorite shoes.

James Ayres
(scrivner) - F

Locale: Southern Turkey
Phone Number for Vivo? on 09/24/2013 23:59:19 MDT Print View

Does anyone have a phone number for Vivo?

I've received no response to my emails, but in spite of the lack of service and the poor durability of the Vivo shoes I have I would like to buy a pair of the Neo Trails. I've tried the Inov 8, Merrills and NB, and the Vivo fit is the most comfortable fit I've found in a shoe of this type.

I'll live with limited durability to get the fit. However, considering the lack of service I'd like to make sure there is actually a person there who will ship these shoes to me quickly - I'm about to leave the country. Can't find them in stock in LA, or online.

Thanks in advance.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Phone Number for Vivo? on 09/25/2013 09:21:50 MDT Print View

Sorry, I have no phone number but....if you do make contact with them, it might serve us all well to mention that there are some unhappy customers out there. Good luck!

Also a note to Javon: Thanks for your imput/info.

James Ayres
(scrivner) - F

Locale: Southern Turkey
More on Vivo on 09/25/2013 13:20:11 MDT Print View

Below is a copy of an email I sent to Vivo today. And yes, thanks again to Javon.

Dear Vivo Folks,

Is it possible to speak to a person at your company? I’ve been trying to order another pair of your shoes for days with no success. Your website ordering function doesn’t function. The local stores are out of stock. The coupon link you sent me doesn’t work. I’ve never received a response to my previous email regarding the first pair of Vivos I purchased.

I like your shoes very much, but am very frustrated by my attempts to buy more of them, and the lack of response from your company. So are many others in the very large running and outdoor community. You might like to see some of the comments in this thread:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=79628&disable_pagination=1

Best regards,

James Morgan Ayres