Breatho Barefoot Running Shoes Review
Running shoes that feel too heavy are one of my biggest pet peeves. I enjoy running a lot, I run in the woods and parks near to where I live, so I look for shoes that can handle getting dirty, don’t get heavy when they’re wet and are just comfortable all around. I’ve not found it very easy to find the best barefoot running shoes that tick all of those boxes, I’ve tried a few different styles over the years but many of them haven’t lived up to their promises.
With my current pair giving up the ghost due to their many years of service, it was time for me to find a new pair. After searching for a good while, I was kind of ready to just give up on finding what I was looking for, but I then came across these ‘Breatho’ trail shoes.
Barefoot Running Shoes – The Search
Although I had set out to look for ‘running shoes’ I chose to go for these because they are advertised as being trail shoes, meaning they are built to handle different terrains and not just flat road surfaces. As I run in the woods I felt these would be more suited.
I did a bit of research and read through customer reviews before making the decision to make the purchase. I read on Vivobarefoot.com that these shoes have a ‘Breathable Duo Mesh’ that allows airflow and ventilation around your foot while you run. Marketing babble? I planned to try them and find out for myself.
A good thing about when I ordered these is the ‘how will it fit’ feature on the ordering page. This feature is cool because it has a large library of all of the running shoes out there so you basically select what shoe you are currently use to wearing and in what size, and their ‘How Will it Fit’ thing will work it’s numbers then ask you how your current shoes fit, and then tell you how the Vivobarefoot shoes you’re thinking of buying will fit compared to your current shoes. Now that’s pretty damn cool! (See image below)
When I first put them on it felt as though a cloud was hugging my feet! They were very soft and comfortable and I was excited to start using them and trying them out. So over the next week I changed my hiking route to a more varied and difficult one so that I could really put these shoes to the test.
My First Week With The Breathos
I ran through creeks, stepped in huge piles of mud and scaled up some hillsides amongst hundreds of trees. There was plenty of greenery on the ground to work around but these shoes never got tangled up. Even on slippery surfaces, I had great grip and was able to continue trekking right through everything.
The barefoot running shoes feeling is like not wearing any shoes at all. I guess that’s what barefoot running is all about and I guess if I was to actually run barefoot I would come home covered in bruises and cuts.
The Barefoot Feeling
Given the fact that these barefoot running shoes make you feel like you’re walking barefooted on the ground, it was easy to grip the earth and push forward when both walking and climbing over things. When you plant your foot down go through the motion of walking in these it is like you can feel every area of your foot that makes contact with whatever thing is beneath it. All I can liken it to is being barefoot walking around the house, that feeling of closeness to the floor only with a bit of added protection from sharp objects and the like thanks to the puncture resistant sole.
I figured it was time to try them on a dry surface, so while out with friends for the afternoon. We walked over a hot pavement and on cool, treated floors inside the local mall. I felt a little warmth coming through from the pavement but it was actually rather inviting. The mall floor surfaces tend to be a bit slick but I never lost traction once also a slight squeak from the rubber gripping the floor but I guess these aren’t designed to be worn in the mall.
Keeping It Clean
After my first week with the ‘Breatho Trails’, I ran them through the washing machine and let them hang dry, they needed it. I had given them a very tough first week and they seemingly took it rather well. I really hoped that after they had dried they didn’t suffer that loss of elasticity that sometimes can occur when you wash something. I have fallen in love with the comfort of these shoes and I was afraid that putting them to wash would mean that I would lose that feeling I felt when I first put them on.
Washed, dried and I can confirm they feel fine. I’m kind of happy that I didn’t buy the ones that have leather materials in them because in my experience leather doesn’t seem to fair so well when it comes to washing.
My Lasting Impressions of the Breathos
I must say that these shoes are barefoot running shoes are rather impressive. The breathable mesh on the exterior keeps my feet feeling dry on hot days and allows them to get a little wet when walking through water, but are never irritated from the fabric. I can wear these with or without socks, although I find the comfort is far better without socks, without having any rubbing irritation or smelly musky feet. These shoes move with your feet, with every curve and twist while keeping them balanced, secure and comfortable.
- Comfortable – From the first moment I put these on (without socks) I was surprised at the level of comfort.
- The ‘How Will it Fit’ feature – On the Vivobarefoot website order page. Very innovative and good at helping you find the perfect size to order.
- That barefoot feeling – I Really like the response you get from the terrain you walk on in these. Be it on a hike or just walking on a normal pavement.
- Good protection from sharp prickly things – On a trail or a run your foot can brush against a lot of sharp prickly things that can in fact give the stitching and materials a beating and of course theres the risk of stepping on a sharp stone or other material. After my first week with these I can say that they have stood up well to this.
- Easily washed – There wasn’t any loss of elasticity after being put in the washing machine.
- Very light – Just what I expected barefoot running shoes to feel like.
- That flap/loop thing on the tongue – One thing that really annoyed me is the tongue has this extra flap of material which keeps brushing against my foot when I walk. I’ve since taken some scissors and cut it off. I might not be as annoying for you but it was for me.
- A slight squeak – When I walk on newly polished floors there is a slight squeak with the rubber gripping the floor. This could be a good thing I guess because it shows that the soles have really good grip and I guess they aren’t designed to be worn on newly polished floors.
My one concern would be if I had bought the leather version of these that maybe after being put in the wash the leather materials wouldn’t stand up so well and maybe have had a weird smell and texture after drying. But without having used them I cannot confirm that to be the case.
Where to buy
The Breathos are available from Vivobarefoot.com