Our stock of the VivoBarefoot Neo Trail arrived today and I think they will prove pretty popular. We have always been fans of the road orientated Neo but to some they look a bit quirky and certainly look very different to a conventional running shoe.
Over the last few months we’ve seen substantial sales of the Merrell Train Glove and New Balance Minimus which suggests to me that people favour shoes that look like traditional running shoes which both of these do.
The Neo Trail has one major advantage over the Trail Glove and the Minimus, it has a thin minimally cushioned sole that offers maximum levels of proprioception. There is a tendency for shoe brands to make barefoot shoes that are rather conservative with a moderate amount of cushioning to offer an easy transition into barefoot running. VivoBarefoot do not subscribe to this approach and only offer shoes with minimal cushioning. So if you want minimal cushioned soles the Neo Trail will be an ideal choice.
The cushioning of the VivoBarefoot Neo Trail is quite interesting. To give the grip required for off-road use, the soles have 4mm rubber lugs. These are moulded onto a thin 2.5mm thick sole. The lugs themselves are made of hard rubber so they provide minimal cushioning and enable the sole to react to the ground surface with negligible interference. So although the sole is effectively 6.5mm it behaves more like a 2.5mm sole in terms of proprioception.