Review: VIVOBAREFOOT Hybrid Golf Shoe

Barefoot shoes that look good too.
Golf shoes, like the rest of the shoe industry have started embracing the barefoot movement.  While there are many who desire to go full barefoot, no shoes or socks, there are still many of us who are not ready (nor tough enough) to go without shoes.  Most recently shoe manufactures have found ways to design shoes that are soft, supple and are amazingly thin; creating a close to barefoot sensation.  VIVOBAREFOOT has been making barefoot shoes for almost 10 years now.  Over that time they have earned great respect within the barefoot movement because of their patented puncture proof outsoles and other minimalist design features.

In 2011 the barefoot movement finally made its way to the golfing world.  Multiple companies introduced shoes that were thinner and more flexible.  The benefits were not just for walking, but also for swing mechanics.  I’ve been wearing these type of shoes for almost the whole 2011 season.  The only problem with most of those shoes were that they looked a little on the strange side.   I had either gorilla feet comments or clown feet comments.  I have been hoping that someone would make a “barefoot” shoe that looked good too.

VIVOBAREFOOT did just that with their hybrid shoe.  They know how to make a barefoot shoe as well as anyone, but they also made one that looked good for golf.  I didn’t get any of those strange looks or joking comments, but just positive comments like “those look really sharp”, “those a some stylish shoes”, and “those look really low to the ground.” 

VIVOBAREFOOT knows how to make a barefoot shoe, but do they know what they are doing when it comes to a golf shoe?  They sure do.  Their Hybrid shoe offers excellent traction on the course and is the closest to the ground shoe I have. The almost tire-like tread on the bottom really gripped securely to the ground.   I didn’t slip on side-hills, wet grass or damp pavement.  They also didn’t clog up with grass and dirt, although they did collect snow in the treads during a winter round I played.  (but let’s be honest, I shouldn’t have been playing golf in the snow.)  I did notice that the production models have a black outsole compared to mine which came with a grey outsole.

I have tried on a different so called barefoot shoe (not ones I have reviewed) and I felt about an inch taller in those compared to the VIVOBAREFOOT Hybrids.    While they do size them using the European numbers, I was happy that the equivalent fit perfectly.  I am a 9.5 US size and these fit perfectly in 43.

The only minor issue I had initially was the insole wanted to keep sliding back toward the heel.  It was gradually slide throughout the round and by the end, I could feel the front edge of the liner with my toes.  I put a little piece of double sided tape under the heel and they haven’t moved since.  So you might just want to check that out if you have the same problem.  Maybe they have that fixed since these were an early release pair.

They also offer great water resistance too. They are not waterproof, but water resistant; even so, I didn’t have wet feet while playing in wet conditions.  Just remember that you are really close to the ground so you won’t have an extra depth to walk through even thin puddles. 

If you want to play golf barefoot, these are the best and safest option.  These are golf shoes made by people who know barefoot shoes. The VIVOBAREFOOT Hybrid is minimal, comfortable, has a puncture proof sole and the treads offer amazing traction for golf.

Check the price online here

For more information:

Quick Hits
+Barefoot platform
+Very comfortable
+Excellent Traction
+Good looks

–Limited to NYC for US customers or internet purchasing

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