Xero Shoes vs Vivobarefoot – Which is Best for Barefoot?


Xero Shoes and Vivobarefoot are two of the top barefoot shoe brands. While both brands prioritize natural foot movement, they are different. 

And today, we’ll compare two of the best Xero Shoes vs Vivobarefoot!


Recent studies have shown that these shoes have numerous health benefits, including better posture, better balance, and stronger feet and legs.

 So, let’s get started and find out which brand will make your twinkle toes happy!

Benefits of Wearing Barefoot Shoes

Wearing barefoot shoes gives many benefits. Including-

Balance and stability 

Barefoot shoes provide several benefits, including improved stability and balance. 

This is due to increased proprioception, which allows the body to sense its position and movement in space. With greater sensory feedback, the risk of falls and injuries is reduced.

Flexibility and strength of the foot

Barefoot shoes also promote natural foot movement, leading to increased foot strength and flexibility.  This can improve overall foot health and reduce the risk of foot problems such as plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis.

Better Posture

Barefoot shoes can also promote a better posture by allowing for a more natural gait.  As a result, the risk of back, hip, and knee problems that may stem from poor posture is reduced.

Reducing Foot pain

Moreover, barefoot shoes can alleviate foot pain by reducing pressure on specific foot areas. This is especially useful for those suffering from foot problems such as bunions, hammertoes, and metatarsalgia. 

All in all, barefoot shoes offer a natural and healthy alternative to traditional footwear, promoting optimal foot health and comfort.

What Are These Shoes?

Xero Shoes is a well-known US brand that specializes in barefoot shoes, sandals, and boots. More information can be found in the Xero Shoes Review.

The brand prides itself on its minimalist design, which provides natural foot movement and sensory feedback to the wearer.

The shoes are designed to be lightweight, flexible, and durable, making them suitable for various activities such as jogging, hiking, and everyday wear. 

These features allow for maximum comfort and freedom of movement while promoting foot health. 

Xero Shoes’ diverse selection of styles and designs ensures a perfect shoe for everyone.

Vivobarefoot is a UK-based brand offering barefoot shoes for men, women, and kids

The brand focuses on creating footwear that imitates the pleasure of walking barefoot, providing natural and unrestricted motion for the feet.

The shoes are made from sustainable materials, making them an eco-friendly choice for consumers. 

Vivobarefoot’s thin, flexible sole design also allows for higher sensory feedback and foot strength development, promoting optimal foot health. 

These features ensure the wearer can enjoy maximum comfort while keeping their feet healthy and strong.

Comparison Between: Xero Shoes vs Vivobarefoot Shoes


Sole Thickness

There are a few key differences regarding the sole thickness of Xero Shoes vs Vivobarefoot Shoes. Here are some points to keep in mind:

  • Both brands are known for offering relatively thin and flexible soles that allow for natural foot movement and sensory feedback.
  • Xero Shoes tend to have even thinner soles than Vivobarefoot shoes. Some models offer soles as little as 5mm thick. This can make Xero Shoes feel more like barefoot walking or running and may be preferred by those who want a minimal or “grounded” feeling beneath their feet.
  • Vivobarefoot shoes often have slightly thicker soles, typically ranging from 3mm to 4mm. While still considered minimal, this extra bit of cushioning can provide some added comfort and protection without sacrificing the natural feel of the shoe.
  • Several models are available with various sole thicknesses, from both Xero Shoes and Vivobarefoot Shoes, so choosing a shoe that meets your needs and preferences is important.

Upper Materials

  • Both brands prioritize using high-quality, lightweight materials for natural foot movement and breathability.
  • Hemp and canvas are two common materials used by Xero Shoes, which also use leather and mesh. Some models even feature recycled plastic bottles in the upper material.
  • Vivobarefoot Shoes also use various materials, including recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate) mesh, eco suede, and vegetable-tanned leather.
  • Both brands use materials that are designed to be durable and long-lasting while still allowing for flexibility and comfort.
  • There is a wide range of materials used in different models of shoes from each brand, so it is worthwhile to research to find a shoe that suits your needs and preferences.
  • Xero Shoes vs Vivobarefoot Shoes are known for offering comfortable, breathable uppers that allow for natural foot movement and provide a secure fit.

Arch Support

  • Xero Shoes and Vivobarefoot Shoes are minimalist footwear brands prioritizing natural foot movement.
  • Both brands focus on allowing the foot to move and function as it would without shoes, which can help improve overall foot health and strength.
  • Some models of Vivobarefoot Shoes may have a slightly more structured sole that provides a bit of arch support. However, this is not a core brand feature and is not present in all models.
  • Xero Shoes are designed with a wide toe box that enables natural toe splay, allowing the foot to expand and spread out comfortably.

Traction And Grip

  • Xero Shoes are known for their “FeelTrue” rubber sole, which offers durability and flexibility. The soles have a natural feel and provide excellent traction. It reduces the risk of slipping.
  • Vivobarefoot Shoes also offer high-quality rubber soles that enable natural foot movement and provide excellent grip on various terrains. Many models of Vivobarefoot Shoes feature a sticky outsole that provides superior traction on slick surfaces.



Xero Shoes vs Vivobarefoot Shoes are known for their high-quality construction and durable materials.

  • Xero Shoes are designed to withstand heavy use, with many models featuring a 5,000-mile sole warranty. It offers long-lasting wear without sacrificing natural foot movement thanks to its durable and flexible rubber sole.
  • Vivobarefoot Shoes also use durable materials that are designed to stand up to heavy use. Many models feature a puncture-resistant sole. It protects against sharp objects and extends the shoe’s life.

Fit And Size

  • Xero Shoes have wide toe boxes that allow for natural toe splay. They are designed to fit true to size and offer half sizes for more precise sizing.
  • Shoes from Vivobarefoot promote natural movement with a snug, close-to-the-foot fit. Although they have a wider toe box than traditional shoes, some models fit narrower at the heel or midfoot.
  • According to some reviews, Xero Shoes run slightly larger than expected, while Vivobarefoot Shoes run slightly smaller. It’s always a good idea to double-check sizing charts and consider ordering multiple sizes if you need clarification on the fit


Vivobarefoot and Xero both prioritize breathability to keep feet cool and comfortable. 

They achieve this by using breathable materials in their shoe uppers, which promote airflow and prevent excessive sweating. 

This not only reduces the chances of discomfort but also helps to prevent odor buildup.

Range Of Xero Shoes Styles And Designs


Xero Shoes has become a major player in the barefoot shoe market through various styles and designs. Let’s explore the three main categories of Xero Shoes’ collection:

  1. Running Shoes: Xero Shoes offers minimalist running shoes designed specifically for runners. Lightweight materials and low-profile soles provide a close-to-the-ground sensation while offering enough protection against rough surfaces in their running shoes. This popular shoe model has a breathable mesh upper, a thin but durable sole, and a wide toe box allowing for natural toe splay.
  2. Sandals: A variety of minimalist sandals are available from Xero Shoes. They offer a DIY sandal package with rubber soles and lacing options. Xero Shoes also offers ready-to-wear sandals like the Z-Trek and Z-Trail models. The Z-Trek features a webbing system for a secure fit, while the Z-Trail has a tougher sole for improved grip and durability.
  3. Casual Footwear: Our casual shoe collection is comfortable and stylish. It allows you to walk barefoot anywhere. It comes in casual and formal styles, with a minimalist design and a flexible sole.

Vivobarefoot’s Shoe Collection For Various Activities


Vivobarefoot’s shoes fit different lifestyles and activities, such as running, hiking, and everyday wear. Listed below are their shoe collections:

  • Running Shoes: Vivobarefoot offers lightweight, minimalist shoes that provide a natural running experience. It allows the foot to move naturally, making it ideal for short and long-distance running. A wide toe box helps promote natural foot alignment and enhance overall comfort and stability.
  • Trail Running Shoes: Primus Trail shoes provide superior traction and durability with an aggressive, multi-terrain sole. They are designed to withstand challenging terrain, promoting natural movement and foot health.
  • Hiking Boots: Vivobarefoot’s hiking boots feature durable materials, rugged outsoles, and good protection for outdoor adventures. Keeping your feet dry and warm is easy with the Tracker FG hiking boot’s waterproof lining and thermal insulation.
  • Everyday Shoes: Vivobarefoot offers stylish, comfortable, and barefoot-friendly lifestyle shoes. The Gobi II is a popular choice for everyday wear. It features a timeless design and a minimalist sole that supports natural foot function.

Xero VS Vivobarefoot: Pros and Cons

Here are some pros and cons for Xero Shoes vs Vivobarefoot:

Xero Shoes Pros: 

  • Flexibility
  • Lightweight
  • Customizable
  • Breathable
  • Natural movement
  • Wide toe box
  • Versatile

Xero Shoe Cons: 

  • Minimal cushioning
  • Limited arch support
  • Durability varies

Vivobarefoot Pros:

  • Stylish
  • Sustainable
  • Wide range
  • Comfortable
  • Foot shape adaptation
  • Good traction
  • Durable

Vivobarefoot Cons: 

  • Limited half sizes
  • Pricey
  • Limited cushioning

The Similarities Between Vivobarefoot and Xero Shoes

Vivobarefoot vs Xero Shoes shares some similarities in their approach to footwear design and philosophy:

  • Barefoot Philosophy: The two brands promote better foot health and wellness by focusing on natural movement.
  • Wide Toe Box: Both shoe designs offer a wide-toe box. It allows for natural toe splay and improved comfort.
  • Lightweight Design: Lightweight footwear enables greater flexibility and natural movement.
  • Versatility: There are a variety of shoes available from both companies for different activities, such as running, hiking, casual wear, and more.
  • Customization: Users can tailor the shoe’s fit and feel to their specific preferences with both brands.


Vivobarefoot and Xero Shoe’s price varies according to the shoe model, material, and customization level. 

Vivobarefoot’s prices generally range from $100 to $250, with some of their more technical models priced higher. The level of customization can affect the price.

The price of Xero Shoes varies from $60 to $150, depending on the shoe type and customization options. A DIY kit is also available for people who want to make sandals.

How to decide between Xero and Vivobarefoot?


The following factors should be considered when choosing between Xero Shoes vs Vivobarefoot shoes:

  • Foot Shape: Xero Shoes may be a better fit if you have a high arch or wider feet, while Vivobarefoot shoes are more shallow.
  • Minimalist Design: Xero Shoes and Vivobarefoot prioritize minimalist shoe designs promoting natural foot movement. Decide which provides maximum ground feel and flexibility or more cushioning.
  • Breathability: Ensure that your shoes allow ample airflow to prevent excessive sweating and keep your feet cool and comfortable.
  • Temperature Control: If you plan to wear your shoes in colder weather, consider the insulation and warmth ratings of the shoes. Xero Shoes, for example, offer boots that can handle temperatures as low as -25°/-32°C.
  • Aesthetics: Lastly, consider the overall look and style of the shoes and how they fit with your personal preferences and wardrobe.

By considering these factors, choose the perfect pair of Xero Shoes or Vivobarefoot shoes.

Final Verdict

Choosing between Xero Shoes vs Vivobarefoot shoes ultimately depends on personal preference and what works best for each individual. 

You need to consider several factors when choosing a shoe, including the cushioning level, weight, and ride feel. 

Before you make a decision, you should research and try both brands’ products. Barefoot shoes from both companies prioritize natural foot movement without compromising comfort or stability. 

It doesn’t matter what brand you choose. You can be confident you’ll have a quality shoe that will last.



Do you think Xero Shoes are suitable for your feet?

Due to their minimalist design, Xero Shoes promote foot health by allowing your feet to move naturally and function without restrictions. You can stretch and splay your toes naturally, improving foot strength and alignment over time.

Do Xero Shoes have a wider fit than Vivobarefoot?

No. Compared to Vivobarefoot, Xero Shoes tend to have a snug, form-fitting design.

Is it better to wear barefoot shoes?

It is beneficial to wear barefoot shoes if you value a more natural way of moving your feet, enhanced sensory feedback, and improve foot strength. Ultimately depends on individual preferences, foot health, and the specific activities and conditions in which they are worn.

Are Xero shoes warm?

As per Xero Shoes, their Alpine boots have a temperature rating of -25°/-32°C. This indicates that the boots have excellent insulation and can keep your feet warm in even the most extreme conditions during your outdoor adventures.

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