Vivobarefoot Test: Primus Trail Firm Ground

I have now seen a lot of advertisements on YouTube for the Vivobarefoot brand. So I was wondering if the advertisement lives up to its promise. That you can walk across fields and meadows in your shoes. I wanted to get to the bottom of this. Since I was going on holiday in the Alps again, I chose an offroad shoe. Here the Primus Trail Firm Ground in the Vivobarefoot Test.


  • Simple appearance
  • Good processing
  • Very good for wide feet
  • Tidy barefoot feeling
  • Safely away from the beaten track
  • Breathable fabric
  • More than just a sports shoe

First impression of the Vivobarefoot Primus Trail Firm Ground

The shoe made a very tidy impression on me. I prefer rather simple designs with inconspicuous colours anyway. That’s why the Primus Trail Firm Ground meets my taste exactly.

The shoe looks like an ordinary sports shoe with a quick release fastener instead of normal laces. This makes the tight lacing a bit faster and gives the shoe a more sporty look.

When you hold the shoe against the light, the transparent fabric on the sides catches the eye. This is especially important later on for wearing comfort. But you cannot see the socks through when wearing them.

A pair of Performance soles was included in the package. These also look chic, but don’t play a role in everyday life. Usually no one gets to see them.

Processing: Robust for long durability

Vivobarefoot has done a great job with the processing. The shoes are extremely good in their quality. All seams fit and everything is neatly glued. It made a very robust impression at the beginning. This shoe looks as if it was made for heavy use.

I have tried the shoe for over 3/4 of a year. It was tested in all possible situations. I went hiking in high alpine terrain, I slid over gravel with them, but they also had to withstand normal everyday life.

In this time the shoe has hardly changed. No seam has come loose and also the sole is still properly glued. Especially in the area of the metatarsophalangeal joints, where the sole is bent with every step, I expected the sole to come loose. Fortunately I was disappointed. No sign of the sole coming off.

Fit and wearing comfort: sits, fits and has air

The shoe seems made for me. Ordered in my size, put on, fits. Ideal for my wider feet. My toes have enough room to stretch with every step. There is nothing pressing or rubbing.

As mentioned above, the fabric is transparent. This makes the climate inside the shoe very pleasant. Sweaty feet are directly prevented. If the feet start to sweat, the sweat is quickly transported away again.

The Performance Sole also benefits the climate. This is covered with numerous air holes. This increases the breathability of the shoe.

My girlfriend and I went on 10 hours hiking tours in our shoes. Our feet stayed fit and felt light. No swelling, no blisters, no cramps. I took some fascia balls with me on holiday to massage our feet after the long walks. This turned out to be unnecessary because our feet were not tired.

We were also walking in the snow with our shoes. As long as we kept moving, our feet were warm. But as soon as we took a short break, we noticed that it became unpleasantly cool. But it was predictable with the thin fabric.

Barefoot feeling

In this point the Vivobarefoot Primus Trail Firm Ground is a little disappointing. Due to the very robust and abrasion-resistant sole, the barefoot feeling is a little lost. The sole is still more flexible than any conventional shoe. But in comparison to the Leguano aktiv or the Sole Runner Trainer FX the flexibility is a bit missing.

My feet also get a good feedback from the ground. I also have to balance the ground. But I feel much less of the ground than I would prefer. I would have wished for more flexibility. A little more barefoot in the Vivo.

Slip resistance: The Vivobarefoot test in alpine terrain

The sole of the Primus Trail Firm Ground is actually not designed for every terrain. It is designed for firm ground. That means firm hiking trails, because for soft ground the company Vivobarefoot has designed the Primus Trail Soft Ground. This has a deeper profile.

In my opinion, the Firm Ground can handle any terrain. It has a profile depth of 3 mm, which is completely sufficient.

The best way to test it was on a hiking trail where everything happened once. I started on asphalt, which was not a challenge for any shoe. I continued on a fixed hiking trail with gravel, which worked very well.

At one point of the trail it got a bit more dangerous. Because a part of the path had been affected by last winter. Parts of the path were only soft earth on a steep slope. I literally had the feeling that my shoes would cling to the ground.

Further it went on over sections with small watercourses. We had to jump over them. From smooth, wet rock to wet, smooth rock. Not a single slip.

Partly we had to walk through shallow rivers. But even here we had to hold on to the smooth stones.
After 1000 m ascent we had to pass through snow. I had the same feeling as with the soft earth. The profile of the shoe buries itself in the snow and I always have a safe step.

On slippery ice surfaces the shoe weakens then nevertheless. You can lose your footing there.

All in all, I am thrilled with the non-slip properties of the Primus Trail Firm Ground.

Material: dry feet after 8 hours hike

The upper material of the Primus Trail Firm Ground is a laminated mesh fabric. This is very breathable and light. The breathability is noticeable after long wearing. Even after a 10 hour working day your feet are dry.

The material also dries very quickly. When we walked through a river, the shoes were dry again after less than 2 hours. And that during the hike. Even after 8 hours of hiking the feet were dry.

The outer sole is an abrasion resistant rubber. I have yet to see any abrasion on my vivos. They have been in use with me since May 2017. According to the manufacturer the sole is also puncture resistant. Now I always look where I step, so I can’t tell yet if it’s right. In any case, nothing has happened yet.

Another plus point for the shoe is that the manufacturer uses partially recycled material.

Possible uses

The possible applications are as diverse as with the Leguano aktiv. Only that the Vivo looks more like a sports shoe. Therefore I think twice whether I put on the Vivo or the Leguano. Mostly I reach for the Leguano in the evening, because it looks a little more chic.

The Primus Trail Firm Ground is more suitable for everyday life and sports. Daily shopping and walking are possible as well as many sports. Among other things strength and endurance sports.

At work, it is also very comfortable to wear. So if you have the opportunity, use it at work. Your feet will enjoy the climate inside the shoe.

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