Gobi Winterized: Best Vivobarefoot Boots For Winter Casual

November 30, 2023Winter barefoot boot with a thin 3.7mm road sole, leather upper, and faux wool insulation.

Hello, my name’s Andrew, and these are the Gobi Winterized, the best Vivobarefoot boots for cold weather casual.


One of my favorite winter barefoot boots of all time is the Ahinsa Jaya, because it’s incredibly light and flexible, but there’s not much insulation and the softer rubber can get punctured more easily on rough terrain.

So I asked Vivobarefoot for a pair of their Gobi Winterized boots to test and they’ve got the agility of a lightweight barefoot shoe, but with the warmth and coziness of a full-blown winter boot.


Because the Gobi’s have a wide, foot-shaped toebox that’s roomier than any Vivobarefoot’s I’ve tried and a water-resistant leather upper that’s stitched to the sole for durability and double layered for extra protection.

Above that the flat laces blend into the leather for a modern minimalist vibe and the two tongue slits hold the laces in place, while the top hooks allow for a quick release and the pull tab makes the boot easy to slip on.

Inside the Gobi Winterized is lined with a warm faux wool shearling that’s puffed up for breathability, along with a removable heat-reflective insole.


Underneath you’ve got a thin 3.7mm sole that’s highly flexible in all directions, plus a hexagonal tread for traction on roads and light trails, which can easily be replaced through Revivo after it wears out.


At 429 grams the Vivobarefoot Gobi Winterized weighs about 160 grams more than the Ahinsa Jaya, but it’s still only half the weight of a traditional snow boot.


So going out for a walk the ground feel was fantastic and the minimal 3.7mm sole made the pavement seem soft, like padding along in a cozy slipper.

For cold days Vivobarefoot’s thermal insole worked really well, but I also love using a wool felt insole, because they’re super warm and flexible, and by stacking a couple layers of Injinji merino wool toe socks I was able to wear the Gobi’s out down near fifteen degrees, as long as I kept moving.

Obviously, the tread isn’t designed for going up and down icy hills, but it was great for walking through snow and light gravel, although literally nothing short of spikes can save you from slipping on black ice, so it’s important to stay mindful.


Stylistically, the Gobi Winterized is one of my all-time favorite barefoot shoe designs, because it’s simple and classic, while having a few modern touches, like the flat laces and wavy sole/stitch lines.

Because the leather is glossy it was quite good at shedding parking lot slush, but it’s not fully waterproof, so you want to give it time to dry between uses and make sure to treat it regularly with wax or sprays, which you can find at Vivo’s website.

Also, while the Gobi’s were great for walking (and even a bit of running!) they tended to get cold if I was sitting or standing for a long time, so I had to stack a couple of wool insoles and some thick Smartwool’s over my Injinji’s.


Overall the Vivobarefoot Gobi Winterized is great lightweight boot that’s warm and agile enough to get you through the colder months in style.


Because the upper is wide and flexible, the water-resistant leather and faux shearling are super cozy, and the lightweight sole provides a solid balance of ground feel and durability.

However, the Gobi’s may not be roomy enough for extra-wide feet, upper can eventually soak through if it stays wet too long, and the minimal tread isn’t robust enough for slipper hills or standing around in near-zero temperatures.


In terms of similar winter barefoot boots…

  • Ahinsa Jaya: softer 4mm sole, medium-wide toebox, vegan leather upper, higher cut, and minimal tread.
  • Realfoot Farmer: tough 4mm sole, extra-wide toebox, sanded leather upper, and minimal tread.
  • Magical Alaskan: tough 4mm sole, wide toebox, soft leather upper, side zip, and minimal tread.
  • Resources

    If you’d like to support the channel, you can shop with the referral links above/below, browse products at barefootwear.org, or watch my Zero-Drop Transition video to learn more about barefooting.

    Finally, if you have a question about the Vivobarefoot Gobi Winterized, or about winter barefoot boots in general, let me know in the comments.

    Thanks for watching, catch ya next time. Peace!

    Andrew Folts

    Andrew is a writer/filmmaker who creates video guides and reviews for a community of 25K+ creative rebels on YouTube.