Review: VIVOBAREFOOT Ultra – minimalist on land and water

VIVOBAREFOOT have recently release The Ultra that is truly the first of its kind in the minimalist shoe market. Incredibly light-weight this running shoeis design to go in and out of water easily and can be worn in three different ways. You can choose to wear the upper-outsole on it’s own, the sock liner with its puncture resistant sole or the two combined. It’s also surprising  comfortable. VIVOBAREFOOT suggests it is suitable for light trail running, water sports, long runs, or any urban exploration and I would totally agree.


The Ultras have three parts: the outer cage, a sock-like piece, and a removable tongue. The sock has two “buttons,” a large hexagonal one on the heel and a smaller rectangular one on the top. These hold the sock in place; if you remove the sock then the tongue pops into place with the rectangular button. The sock is sort of a light neoprene mesh with a thin leather-ish sole.


The Ultra have a zero drop, The upper-outsole is a fully moulded and anatomically shaped made from Dual density, abrasion resistant ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA). The sole part of the outsole is a higher density material than the upper part for better durability. The puncture resistant part of the shoe is embedded in the sole of the sock liner. The outsole has a thickness of about 6mm whereas the puncture resistance sock liner (Nylon/Airpene/Neoprene) is about 2mm thick which is a good thickness for light trail running while still allowing for adequate ground feel for urban walking or running.


The cage is designed for use on land and water the holes drains out water easily and since it is made out of rubber the Ultras will not gets soaked. The inner sock can be inserted for use in cooler weather or just if you prefer the feel.  However I personally feel that wearing the whole thing in our local climate can get a bit warm. Good thing about the design is that it is well ventilated due to the cage design. Running sockless and without the sock liner, sometimes allow a few small rocks and pebbles to get in but fortunelty they are easily removed


The Ultras have similar characteristic of the rest of the Vivo Barefoot line, whereby they have very thin sole, no arch support or cushion padding on them. With just 6mm off the ground, you can feel the ground more than ever. The logic behind this is so that runners can go barefoot as much as possible, while having a layer of puncture resistance protection for your feet.

Whether wearing just the cage, sock or combination, The Ultra’s allows you to conquer both land and sea. The 3D upper-outsole is a combination of a perforated upper and a dual density, high-abrasion, hex-flex outsole.



Similar to the other VIVOBAREFOOT shoes line, the toe box provides plenty of room for the toes to move naturally. The elastic cord and lock-lacing system fasten quickly and securely providing a personalize fit. No matter how you wear the Ultra, the ultra-thin sole will provide maximum protection and engage one senses during your run regardless on water, coastal, light trail or road.

Final Thought

Running in them feels like running with crocs as they are made of similar material, when try with the sock liner it does feels a little warm and if you have sweaty feet my suggestion is to wear socks along with it. They Great for wet activities and light trail running especially when running through puddles of mud or water. It makes an awesome adventure race shoe as you can go from running to cycling and then Kayaking without changing shoe.

To Sum up

  • The Ultra is uniquely versatile shoe that is amphibious and well-ventilated
  • They are easy to put on and put off and provide a personalize fit due to its elastic quick lacing
  • They are great for travel and every day, as well as for running

The Ultra comes in a variety of colors for men and women, a is a little cheaper than the typical Vivo Barefoot shoes and it should be selling in Singapore in months to come. Meanwhile you can get them at Amazon via this link at US$59.

Go Ultra awesome with the Vivobarefoot ULTRA!!!

Cheers! (: 

11 thoughts on “Review: VIVOBAREFOOT Ultra – minimalist on land and water

  1. These shoes look great! I’m definitely looking to buy a pair when they come to Singapore. Do you happen to know where I can get a pair? Apparently (according to posts by people on their FB) Terra Plana at Mandarin Gallery is closed down…

  2. Hey! Do you know guys where is Vivobarefoot available in Singapore? I went through entire city to no avail. I checked Mandarin Galery and ion B3 level, they’re not there anymore. At ion there is now Nixon shop, an they told me Vivobarefoot is not available in SG at all! 😦

      • Yup, They are on their way to Running Lab. Not very sure how much it will cost here in Singapore and if the full range of colorway would be brought in as well.

  3. Is the sizing of the shoe consistent with your other running shoes? Need to size up or down? Am thinking of ordering online too since seem like not avail locally. Thanks in advance.

  4. Got a pair for quite a while now, previously purchased it from Terra Planna at Mandarin Gallery but think they have ceased operation. My experience on the shoe, it not going to last long as the sole will wear out pretty fast. But overall, it very light and it feels as if you not putting them on. Understand that Vivobarefoot is also selling the ultras pure (basically without the inner sockin), you folks might want to get that instead.

  5. Level 4 , Centrepoint – Orchard. I guess the name of the shop is loft. Its to the right side of Premier Football. Not sure if there are selling the model you have shown here but I did see a couple of these brand’s shoes.
    Recently, I guess a week back this was on sale on singsale as well.

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