Saturday, September 26, 2015

Fly your Freak Flag! Vivobarefoot Trail Freak Review

Ok... now that the big summer races are over, time to get back to some reviews!

First up, a belated review on the Vivobarefoot Trail Freaks!  I say belated because I've had them close to a year now, but have had a tough time getting miles logged on the shoes I need to review etc.

But, better late than never so here we go!

If you are a fan of Vivobarefoot, you are probably already familiar with their collection of trail running shoes.  The Vivobarefoot Neo Trail was my FIRST pair of minimalist shoes, after first running in Xeroshoes sandals (at that time Invisible Shoes).   Similar to the Neo's, I also have run in the Breatho Trails from Vivobarefoot as well.

Similar to the Neo and Breatho models, the Freaks utilize the same sole (2.5mm, with 4.5 mm lugs, 3mm insole) and tread pattern.  As with the other Vivo's, I ended up removing the insoles to stick with the 7mm stack for the best proprioception.   Also, my size 44's came in at 9.8 oz, very close to the Breatho, and a tad lighter than the Neo's.

If you are familiar with the Neo/Breatho, or have read my reviews, the Freak is truly a hybrid between those two models.  Not as light and breathable as the Breatho's, but certainly not as sealed up or hydrophobic as the Neo's.   The Freaks provide a nice compromise between the two.  They sport a 3M mesh and laminated upper, along with a Lycra collar and Dri-Lex lining.

The Freaks also utilize the gusseted tongue (like the Breatho's) with speed laces.  Maybe I'm old school, but I am not crazy about speed laces... I like good old fashioned tie up ones :-).

Anyway, if you like the other Vivobarefoot trail models, you won't be disappointed with the Freaks.  The have terrific traction, and great ground feel/feedback and just a really comfortable minimalist shoe.

Above (from left to right), are the Neo Trails, Breatho Trail, Trail Freak, and Winterproof Trail Freak.  Something for everyone!  However, as of today, it looks like the Winterproof is no longer available, but has been replaced with a Trail Freak II Waterproof.  I've not tried either, so I can't say much about those. Also, the Neo and Breatho have been discontinued, but you can still probably find them on sites like Leftlane Sports or Sierra Tradng Post etc.   If you want to see the latest available in off road shoes from Vivobarefoot, click HERE.

As always, if you have any questions/comments, or if I didn't mention something, let me know! Email, leave a comment, or drop a line of the Facebook page..

Thanks.. and happy trails!