Vivo Primus Trail II FG Mens Barefoot Shoes


What switch from boots to barefoot shoes?

Why the shift from my favourite boots to barefoot shoes? I have (as you may already know) been a massive fan of the Lowa GTX8 boots. Still am. If you want a lightweight boot for kicking around in most sub-alpine off-track spots, I would still suggest these. However, when it comes to on-trail hiking and ‘easier terrain’ hunting, I’ve realised that full-sized boots might be an overkill. Not to mention heavy. Here’s where the barefoot shoes come in. Since making the switch, I’ve noticed some definite benefits. The barefoot design, like that of the Vivo Primus Trail II FG, is lighter, closer to the ground, and surprisingly comfortable. It might sound counter-intuitive, but shedding the boot bulk has done wonders for my agility and speed on and off the trail.

As we tread down the twisted trails of the great outdoors, the thump of hefty boots on the ground has been the soundtrack for many of us. Here’s the thing, though – the times, they are a-changin’. Let me introduce you to barefoot hiking shoes, a burgeoning market with some true game-changers. On my journey, I moved from the bulky, binding sensation of boots to the feeling of the ground beneath my feet, barely filtered, delivered by the Vivo Primus Trail II FG Mens in the resplendent Moonstone variety. 

In the world of outdoor footwear, less is now more. The bare, minimal, featherweight Vivo Primus Trail II FG has been my partner-in-crime on recent hiking adventures.

Why did I make the switch, you ask? It’s a question of versatility and natural movement. But, possibly, the rush of liberation one gets with each footfall. You’d think I’d miss the sturdy, old-fashioned boot, wouldn’t you? Not a chance. In saying that – how many Sika hunters have you read about that ditch the boots and hunt in socks? While the noise of the sole itself is a factor – the feel of the ground under your feet and the resulting ability and tendency to walk more carefully is another significant part.

Also – I am aware the colourway I got this shoe in (Moonstone) – is probably not the best option for muddy/off-track work. In hindsight, I should have gotten something a little more muted – but it is an excellent excuse to try another model soon!

Key features of the Vivo Primus Trail FG

Upon first glance, the Vivo Primus Trail II FG Mens Moonstone might seem like any ordinary outdoor compatible shoe. However, don’t let its deceptive simplicity fool you; this barefoot runner is jam-packed with state-of-the-art features that are anything but ordinary. You don’t just have to take my word for it – I’ll walk you through some of its key features. 

Outsole Design 

The Vivo Primus Trail II FG boasts a so-called ‘Firm Ground’ outsole with low profile, multi-directional lugs. These lugs provide superb traction, keeping you steady on trail and pavement. Plus – and here’s the kicker – these are designed with a somewhat rigid sole that retains an excellent ground feel, bridging the gap between traditional shoes and an actual barefoot experience. No mean feat, I assure you! The 4mm lugs form part of the overall ‘height’ of 6.5mm – but the drop from heel to toe, in true barefoot fashion, is 0mm.

The outsole is slightly ‘firmer’ than some other barefoot options out there. But – if you are planning on going off track with these, that’s a good thing. In addition, the firmer, thicker outsole adds a little to the weight – this is on the ‘heavy’ end of the barefoot spectrum – but again, also means this shoe is a little more versatile.

Innovative Upper Material 

The upper material of these shoes is made from a quick-drain and durable mesh, coupled with a no-sew support structure. This combination allows the shoes to remain light, even when they inevitably get wet in the great outdoors -gone are the days of hiking about with water-loaded shoes post-stream crossing -and provides admirable durability.

Barefoot Comfort 

The shoe’s design closely mimics the natural foot shape, allowing your feet to move as nature intended -it’s like giving your toes a vacation! It also features a Pro5 patented, ultra-thin, puncture-resistant layer. It is an excellent feature for hiking and hunting, allowing you to tackle rugged terrain without fear of a sharp object ruining your day.

These feature some of the wider toe boxes out there – Kiwi’s trend towards having some of the wider feet. Is this a match made in heaven? Maybe.

Simple Lacing System 

No one wants to be frustrated by complicated lacing systems when they are about to hit the trail, and Vivo gets this. The Vivo Primus Trail II FG features a speed lace-up system with a toggle, which makes getting in and out of these shoes a breeze. I am still figuring out why/how to tuck those laces – but – it’s nothing major.


If you’re a fan of ethical products, this shoe covers you. Vivo is committed to building shoes that are good for both the feet and the earth. Their sustainably sourced materials and processes make them a winner not only in performance but in ethos, too. 

The Vivo Primus Trail II FG men’s moonstone is a thoughtfully designed shoe, incorporating practical and innovative features that make it a strong contender in hiking and running circuits.

How does the Vivo Primus Trail II FG compare?

Let’s get something straight – comparing the Vivo Primus Trail II FG to traditional hiking boots is like comparing apples to oranges. Or, more specifically, comparing a panther to a grizzly bear. Both are formidable in their own right, but they offer wildly different experiences. And in this instance, the Vivo Primus Trail II FG is our nimble ‘jungle cat’, if you will. 

First off, traditional hiking boots are designed to be sturdy and firm to protect your feet from the elements. They often have a robust exterior with a thick, rigid sole, which doesn’t necessarily sit well with the ‘barefoot’ ethos of the Vivo Primus Trail II FG. Instead of constricting your foot to provide support, Vivo’s barefoot shoes encourage your feet to move naturally.

Think of it this way – it’s like removing the training wheels from your bicycle. Initially, giving up the structured bulk of traditional hiking boots might seem scary. But, freeing your feet to adapt to different terrains naturally, as you do with the Vivo Primus Trail II FG, can be quite a thrilling ride.

The Vivo Primus Trail II FG also scores over traditional boots in terms of versatility. These wonders can hold their own on roads and trails, something that most hiking boots can’t claim. They also lend themselves well to cross-training capacities, again scoring brownie points over traditional boots. 

Finally, let’s discuss the weight (or the lack thereof) factor. Traditional hiking boots, unfortunately, tend to tip the scales on the heavier side (my Lowa’s are 1450g), whilst the Vivo Primus Trail II FG (250g) is as light as a feather. Consider this – that is sitting on the end of one of the longest levers in the body – being constantly swung back and forth.

To summarise, traditional boots and the Vivo Primus Trail II FG offer different ways to explore the terrain under our feet. Where one offers a high-guard protection bubble, the other facilitates a natural, svelte, and connected experience, allowing the adventurer in you to bond with the great outdoors. Whether you’re a bear or a panther kind of explorer, I suppose, is a choice you must make yourself! 

Are the Vivo Primus Trail II FG suitable for all terrains?

Many outdoor enthusiasts often grapple with whether a one-size-fits-all approach works when it comes to footwear. In the case of the Vivo Primus Trail II FG, the answer is a resounding yes! 

These revolutionary shoes, from muddy trails to polished pavements, prove their mettle in all terrains. The marvel lies in the outsole design – a firm grip that handles versatility like a piece of cake. Whether tackling rocky inclines with ninja-like agility or sprinting across the smooth concrete of urban jungles, these shoes stand by you. 

Off-road, the Vivo Primus Trail II FG come into its own. The firm ground sole, with lugs designed to provide maximal grip and sensory feedback, is ideal for trail running or off-path adventuring. Don’t believe it? Just tread on a few pebbles and bask in the surreal experience of feeling the earth beneath your feet while keeping your feet cosy – no twisted ankles or painful pokey stones in sight. The soles happily grip to muddy and wet rocks yet still let you feel the undulations underneath.

On-road, it’s a pretty similar tale. Whether concrete or tarmac, these shoes don’t shy away from a challenge. They perform just as well on the roads as on the trails, making them an excellent cross-over option. 

The only potential downside is that they might not be the best option in very wet conditions – they’re not waterproof. But then, every shoe is limited in this regard – they have a giant hole on the top of them. However, because they are essentially mesh, they drain quick and dry even quicker. No one likes the inevitable wet boots from regular stream crossings.

So, regarding terrain, the Vivo Primus Trail II FG is like those rare all-rounder friends who thrive wherever they go. Boggy marshes, check; rocky mountaintops, check; concrete city streets, double-check. What more could a foot ask for?

How does the barefoot design of the Vivo Primus Trail II FG affect stability and support?

Now, talk about stability and support – essential factors when weighing up your choice of footwear for the great outdoors. You might wonder how something termed ‘barefoot’ could offer enough of both to compete with your trusty hiking boots.

Firstly, let’s shed some light on barefoot design philosophy. The mantra is this – less is more. Strip away unnecessary padding and support, encourage your foot to move naturally, and you have a barefoot shoe. Sounds precarious, right? Not quite. It’s all about allowing your feet to do their job – move flexibly, provide natural shock absorption, and deliver on the sensory front. Trust me, your feet are more capable than you think! 

When it comes to the Vivo Primus Trail II FG’s stability, it’s all about the outsole design. With optimal grip and pattering, these shoes easily handle various terrains. The shoes are designed to mimic the natural movement of your foot, which results in better balance and reduced risk of ankle twists and spills.

The support aspect is interesting – these shoes won’t cradle your foot like a traditional hiking boot. Instead, they’ll allow your foot to react naturally and as it’s supposed to – adjusting to uneven ground, balancing the body, and absorbing impact. A barefoot shoe like the Primus Trail understands this and gives your foot the freedom to do its job effectively. 

So, in the grand scheme of outdoor adventures, the Vivo Primus Trail II FG offers stability and support, but in a very different way. It takes some getting used to – and your feet (and legs) will need time to strengthen up – but once your feet discover their newfound freedom, traditional boots might seem as restricted as a Victorian corset!

Do the Vivo Primus Trail II FG provide enough protection for hiking and hunting activities?

I hear you, fellow outdoor enthusiast – you’re wondering, “Will these minimalistic Vivo Primus Trail II FG shoes protect my precious toes from rogue roots and sneaky stones when I’m playing Davy Crockett?” Not to keep you in suspense, let me tell you firmly – yes, they do. 

Despite their lightweight features, don’t be mistaken for thinking these barefoot trail shoes have scrimped-on protection. Yes, they’re both small, but one has significantly more bite. 

The innovative upper material offers excellent durability against the abrasiveness of rocks and branches that might conspire to stub your toes or graze your ankles. Added to the tough compound used in the construction, these shoes have a persona of durability that any hardcore adventurer is bound to appreciate.

Moreover, the outsole design of the Vivo Primus Trail II FG is something of a quiet marvel. It features a firm grip that clings to the terrain as if it’s been taught mountaineering by a rugged old sherpa. The lugs on the sole protect against sharp objects while allowing you to engage with the terrain underfoot. 

It’s no secret that these aren’t your typical ham-fisted boots. They respect natural foot anatomy with their thin soles, which might seem counter-intuitive when looking for protection. However, they don’t skimp on protecting you from potential puncture hazards, making sure you can navigate safely and naturally. 

So, whether you’re stalking a deer through the undergrowth or trekking through mountain trails, rest assured – the Vivo Primus Trail II FG have your back or your feet.

Understandably – a shoe is never going to protect your ankles as much as a boot will. So – if you are regularly hopping across rolling scree – a boot might be a better option (barefoot boots exist).

Are the Vivo Primus Trail II FG suitable for long-distance hiking or hunting trips?

If you’re used to strapping on chunky boots for those long-distance hiking or hunting trips, shifting to barefoot shoes may seem like a leap of faith.

Long-distance hiking and hunting require endurance, and what can aid better than footwear that’s comfortable and impeccably lightweight? And that’s precisely what Vivo Primus Trail II FG brings. Whether it’s a long trek across a national park or a hunting expedition in remote woods, this pair promises to be your best adventure buddy without making you feel like you’re carrying two bricks tied to your ankles. 

There are, however, a few things to keep in mind. Much like any new endeavour, transitioning from traditional hiking boots to barefoot shoes for long distances can be a bit of a journey. Barefoot shoes give your feet more freedom to move and adapt to the terrain, which is great for muscle development and natural movement, but it might take some getting used to. Consider a bit of a ‘breaking-in’ period. Start with shorter distances and gradually increase your mileage. Much like you wouldn’t run a marathon without training, right? 

Also, Vivo Primus Trail II FG has been specially created to handle varied, demanding terrains. With an innovative outsole that provides excellent grip, you won’t be sliding around like a toddler on ice—no matter how wet or muddy the trail gets. But always remember, with a thinner sole than traditional boots, you’ll feel more of the ground beneath you. 

In terms of durability, the Vivo Primus Trail II FG stands strong. With its ethically built construction that balances flexibility and toughness, this Moonstone model is a champ in the rough and tumble world of long-distance outdoor activities. 

Can the Vivo Primus Trail II FG be used for outdoor activities besides hiking and hunting?

The Vivo Primus Trail II FG isn’t a one-trick pony by any means – oh, no! These trainers are as versatile as they come. Their barefoot design, endurance, and sturdy build make them an excellent companion for outdoor activities besides the typical hiking and hunting. 

Where to start? Well, first off-trail running. These babies are just as impressive on light trails as on rocky terrains. Thanks to their first-rate traction, running on uneven surfaces is a breeze. So, for those in the mood for an excellent ol’ sprint across woodland trails, rolling hills, or gravel paths – you’re in good hands. 

Remember the ethically built note? Well, it serves more than just moral goodness – the innovative material is quick to dry and breathable. That’s good news for all you aqua addicts. Whether it’s river trekking or canyoning– these shoes won’t shy away from a bit of moist madness. Not to mention, the lightweight design makes them a doddle to swim with! 

Look no further if you’re looking for an all-rounder pair to join you for your outdoor yoga or CrossFit sessions. The wide toe box allows your toes to spread out for balance and stability – essential for many fitness activities. Yoga in the park, perhaps? 

Finally, the Vivo Primus Trail II FG is just the ticket for the everyday adventurer. Whether walking the dog, trotting around town, or running to the shops, these shoes have your back. And, of course, your feet. 

So, my outdoorsy pals – let’s not box these shoes in with just the hiking and hunting tag. The Vivo Primus Trail II FG is like that multi-talented mate who can, quite frankly, do it all. Better yet, they do it all well. And in some style, might I add!

I am happy training in them in the morning, working in them during the day and heading out in a walk in them off-track on the weekends.

In Summary

These things are great. I probably could have got them in a different colour – but – have been bit by the barefoot bug – and am considering a pair of ankle-covering boot options in the near future. Will be interesting to see if they bring the best of both worlds. In the meantime, the Vivo Primus Trail II FG is a true cross-trainer and a good option if you are looking at getting into the world of barefoot shoes.

LightweightLess weight at the end of your legsAbility to travel longer distances with ease
Natural foot shape designEmulates barefoot walking, giving a natural feelImproved gait and foot health
Eco rubber treadProvides secure grip and control even on slippery surfacesSafety and reliability during all weathers and terrains
Quick drain zones & breathable meshFast drying and aids in better ventilationComfortable for extended use and reduces foot odour
Vegan construction using recycled materialsEnvironmentally friendly with minimal carbon footprintContribute to sustainability and environmental preservation
Value For Money


What switch from boots to barefoot shoes? Why the shift from my favourite boots to barefoot shoes? I have (as you may already know) been a massive fan of the Lowa GTX8 boots. Still am. If you want a lightweight boot for kicking around in...Vivo Primus Trail II FG Mens Barefoot Shoes