Primus Lite Knit: The Best Vivobarefoot’s For Cross-Training

August 10, 2023Barefoot cross-training shoe with 4mm road sole, slip-on flyknit upper, and wide toebox.

Hello, my name’s Andrew, and these are the Primus Lite Knit, the most comfortable Vivobarefoot shoes for cross-training.


Back in 2017 I started my barefoot journey with the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite’s, and they worked so well that I didn’t buy another pair of road shoes for over six years and 4,000 miles.

But everyone keeps asking me to review the Primus Lite Knit, so I had Vivobarefoot send me a pair to test…

…and basically they’re the perfect all-day cross-trainer!

Vivobarefoot Primus Lite Knit Toebox Desk


Because the Primus Lite Knit’s have a foot-shaped toebox but with a stretchy toebox that’s wider than other Vivobarefoot shoes and perforated for breathability.

Around the side you’ve got reinforcement panels to prevent tear-outs, lace locks for a snug fit, and ultra-thin slip-on tongue, and a removable insole for extra padding.


Underneath there’s a minimal 4mm road that’s flexible in all directions with denser panels at the key wear spots and a wraparound guard for structure.

While mine are obsidian, the Primus Lite Knit also comes in white, yellow, flame, and other refurbished styles that you can find for a discount at

Vivobarefoot Primus Lite Knit Sole


Initially the Primus Lite Knit’s felt similar to my regular Primus Lites, but other than looking cool, the major difference was that the knit upper hugged my foot and felt a bit more natural.


So they were great for walking around all day without my feet getting cramped, and if I was still working as a shoe salesman on concrete, the slip on/off tongue would have been nice for sneaking some barefoot massage time between customers.

Also, the Primus Lite Knit’s definitely have a high-end vibe, which is perfect for casual, unlike the Primus Lit’s, which are clearly look like a barefoot training shoe.

Vivobarefoot Primus Lite Knit Front Side Style Floor

Road Running

Performance-wise both Primus Lite’s are excellent for road running and they have one of the best ground feel’s of any barefoot shoe I’ve tried, which makes them ideal for long runs along with speed work and racing.

Although the mesh lights are more breathable for hot days, and the knit’s give you more coverage for colder weather.

Vivobarefoot Primus Lite Knit Run Side Road Closeup


Ever since I quit going to the gym during the pandemic I’ve been doing a lot more calisthenic exercises, which totally feels like the Primus Lite Knit’s natural habitat.

Because the wraparound guard gives you protection, while the thin sole and knit upper can mold to your feet at any angle, like doing pushups on your toes, balancing for pistol squats, and landing box jumps.

Finally, it seems counterintuitive, but back when I was leg-pressing 500 lbs I found my thin Primus Lite’s a lot more “supportive” than my squishy cushion shoes.

Vivobarefoot Primus Lite Knit Pstol Squat


Overall the Primus Lite Knit’s are definitely more expensive, but you kind of get two shoes in one with their casual vibes and hardcore performance.


Because the knit upper feels wider and more comfortable for wearing all day, the slip-in tongue is super convenient for a busy life, and the 4mm sole packs enough flexibility and toughness to handle thousands of miles of walking, running, and cross-training at the gym.

However, the Primus Lite Knit’s aren’t roomy enough for extra-wide feet, the knit upper isn’t quite as breathable as mesh, and the 4mm sole is too minimal to work on trails.

Vivobarefoot Primus Lite Knit Voiceover Sole Upper


In terms of similar barefoot shoes…

  • Freet Vibe: more affordable with a wide toebox, padded knit upper, and 4mm hybrid sole for roads and trails.
  • Xero HFS: works for medium budgets with a wide toebox, reinforced mesh upper, and 4mm hybrid sole for roads/trails.
  • BeLenka Dash: more premium with an extra-wide toebox, minimal mesh upper, and thinner 4mm road sole for max flexibility but less support.
  • Vivobarefoot Primus Lite Knit Side Back Desk


    If you’d like to support the channel, you can shop with the referral links above/below, or watch my Zero-Drop transition video to learn more about barefooting…

    …and if you have a question about the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite Knit’s, or about barefoot shoes in general, let me know in the comments.

    Thanks for reading. 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.