Barefoot, Durable, Comfortable, Grippy Trail-runner
Walking through life, one of the things that piqued my interest is the relationship between the human body and the earth beneath our feet. As a seeker of the raw and unfiltered, it's this fundamental connection that led me to the Breatho Trail shoe by Vivobarefoot.
The charm of this shoe lies in its apparent simplicity. From the outset, the Breatho does not scream for attention with flashy logos or groundbreaking design. Its aesthetic appeal, for me, is rooted in its practicality and no-nonsense character. It's a shoe that's designed for the path less trodden, the untamed wilderness, and the sheer joy of exploration.
Weighing in at 9.6 oz, with a zero heel-to-toe drop, these shoes bring your feet closer to the earth. Their stack height of 10mm might make them less inviting for hardcore minimalist runners, but for the rest of us who desire an authentic connection with the terrain, they offer an excellent balance between sensitivity and protection.
The shoe's breathable mesh upper coupled with synthetic overlays is comfortable and quick-drying, a real bonus during those impromptu creek crossings. I have to say, I was slightly apprehensive when I first saw the snug design, but the shoes have a surprising ability to wrap around your feet, offering a secure fit.
The defining aspect of the Breatho Trail is its off-road sole. With 5mm lugs, the shoe offers superior grip on a variety of surfaces – trails, dirt, mud, gravel, train rocks, you name it. The puncture-resistant outsole ensures that your feet are protected from sharp objects. It's like having an extra layer of tough skin that lets you step boldly on the trail.
Speaking of protection, the TPU toe guard is another thoughtful addition. It protects your toes and adds an extra layer of durability to the shoes. I appreciated the lock-lacing system too. It's practical and ensures that your foot remains secure in the shoe, even during a rugged downhill dash.
However, every pair of shoes has its Achilles' heel. For the Breatho, it is its performance on wet surfaces. The shoes seem less sure-footed on wet rock, concrete, and tiles, a point worth noting for those who find themselves frequently in rainy or slippery conditions.
The Breatho comes in a range of colorways, although some might find the palette a bit limiting. It's not necessarily a deal-breaker for me, given that these shoes are built for function over fashion.
The Breatho Trails might not be the lightest on the market, but their robust construction ensures they can withstand a fair amount of punishment. The shoe's weight and certain design elements like the wide midfoot and smaller toe box might not be everyone's cup of tea, but they ticked the right boxes for me.
In the realm of barefoot trail running, these shoes are a potent contender. They do not compromise on protection, yet offer a palpable sense of connection with the ground beneath. I believe they are a strong choice for seasoned off-roaders who are ready to run with minimal restraint and embrace the full, raw sensation of the terrain.
So, here's the bottom line – if you're someone who thrives in the wilderness, who seeks the thrill of exploration, who desires a shoe that will let you feel the earth, yet offer a degree of protection, the Breatho Trail by Vivobarefoot might just be the companion you're looking for.
- Outstanding Traction: The aggressive 5mm lugs on the outsole are excellent for tackling trails, mud, and gravel, providing superior barefoot traction.
- Comfortable Fit: Despite its snug design, the shoe comfortably wraps around your foot, offering a secure fit.
- Breathable and Quick-drying: The breathable mesh upper coupled with synthetic overlays aids in quick drying of the shoe, a bonus during creek crossings or in wet conditions.
- Durability: The Breatho is built to withstand the rough and tumble of outdoor trails, with a puncture-resistant outsole and a protective TPU toe guard.
- Secure Lock-Lacing System: The zigzag webbing eyelets ensure your foot is secure in the shoe, even on rugged terrain.
- Barefoot Experience: With a zero heel-to-toe drop, these shoes bring you closer to the earth, enhancing the barefoot running experience.
- Price: At an MSRP of $95, it offers a balance between affordability and quality.
- Slips on Wet Surfaces: The shoe's performance can be subpar on wet rock, concrete, and tiles, proving less secure in rainy or slippery conditions.
- Aesthetics: The available color choices may not appeal to everyone.
- Weight: Weighing 9.6 oz, the Breatho Trail is slightly heavier than most minimalist offerings.
- Small Toe Box: The design features a smaller toe box, which might not be comfortable for everyone.
- Not Ideal for Urban Areas: Due to the high lugs, the shoe might not provide the desired barefoot experience in urban environments.
This was an incredible shoe, a true companion for any adventurer. Although it may no longer be available, fear not, for there are always new horizons to explore. I would highly recommend checking out the latest offerings from Vivobarefoot, as they continually strive to improve and innovate. Embrace the journey, my friends, and may your feet find solace in the wonders of these new creations. Bon appétit, and happy trails!