Vivobarefoot Primus Trail Knit FG: Hike and Trail Run Shoes

April 3, 2024Barefoot trail shoe with a breathable knit upper and 5.5mm firm ground sole for hike and run.

Hello, my name’s Andrew and these are the Vivobarefoot Primus Trail Knit FG, a lightweight barefoot shoe with a slip-on upper and rugged tread for hiking and trail running.


Last summer I reviewed the original Vivobarefoot Primus Trail FG, which has an excellent blend of agility and protection for off-road adventures, but even with the drawstring, it was a bit slower for taking on and off.

So I asked Vivobarefoot for a pair of Primus Trail Knit’s to test and they’re kind of like a comfy house slipper that can also handle a rocky twelve mile trail run to the kitchen fridge.

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Because the Trail Knit’s have a wide foot-shaped toebox with a soft knit upper that expands with movement for better airflow, plus thicker lace loops for adjusting tension, a lightweight drawstring, and 360º reinforcement panels to prevent tear-outs and increase water resistance.

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Inside you’ve got a minimal slip-on collar that’s sculpted to prevent rubbing, as well as a smooth vegan lining, padded heel for a solid lockdown, and removable insole for extra padding.

Vivobarefoot Primus Trail Knit Fg Collar Desk


Underneath the Primus Trail Knit’s have a 5.5mm zero-drop sole with a medium amount of flexibility in all directions, along with a semi-aggressive tread that’s spaced in the front for grip, denser at the heel for protection, micro-cut with a hexagonal pattern for extra range of motion.

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While my Vivobarefoot Primus Trail FG’s are one of the most versatile barefoot shoes I own, the tough mesh upper did limit toe splay somewhat.


But slipping the Trail Knit’s on they immediately felt more natural and going out for a walk on roads the lighter upper actually improved the flexibility of the sole, as well, so they were slightly better suited for cruising along pavement.

Vivobarefoot Primus Trail Knit Fg Walk Road Heel


Branching off onto trails the Primus Trail’s wraparound tread, reinforcement panels, and tightly woven side knit created some great water resistance for tromping through muddy fields, although water can still splash in through the looser top fabric.

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Hiking on packed dirt the 5.5mm tread was thin enough to provide a good amount of ground feel but still plenty rugged for handling roots and rocks, although Vivobarefoot’s heavier boots, like the Tracker Forest ESC, are more protective for extreme terrain.

Vivobarefoot Primus Trail Knit Fg Tread Heel Hiking Trail

Trail Running

Doing some hill sprints the Trail Knit FG’s front lugs dug in nicely to pull me forward and picking my way down gravely slopes the denser back lugs prevented sharp stones from jabbing me in the heel, but they did trap a bit more mud than Vivobarefoot’s FG2 sole.

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Also, the thin knit upper was great for both cold and warm weather and in general it did a nice job of keeping out little pebbles although when they did get in it was super quick to slip the shoe off and on again.

Vivobarefoot Primus Trail Knit Fg Trail Run Side


Overall the Vivobarefoot Primus Trail Knit FG is an excellent option for anyone who wants the convenience of a slip-on design with the protection and versatility of a medium thick sole.

Vivobarefoot Primus Trail Knit Fg Review Andrew Folts


Because the Primus Trail’s knit upper is cozy and versatile for multiple climates, the reinforcement panels and wraparound sole add some great durability, and the 5.5mm tread can take you from hiking up dirt paths to bombing down rocky slopes.

Vivobarefoot Primus Trail Knit Fg Toe Protection Trail Hiking Pov

However, the extra drawstring could use a better storage method, the knit upper can soak through more easily in wet conditions, and Vivobarefoot’s SG tread is better suited for handling steep muddy hills, while their thinner 4mm road tread is more comfortable for long miles on pavement.

Vivobarefoot Primus Trail Knit Fg Mud Fg2 Desk


In terms of similar barefoot trail shoes…

  • Freet Howgill: wide toebox, slip-on vegan upper, water-resistant membrane, highly flexible 7.5mm sole, and beefy tread for hiking and trail running on rough/wet terrain.
  • Vibram V-Trek: extra-wide toebox, separate toes, breathable wool blend upper, extremely flexible 4mm sole, and hybrid tread for hiking and running on roads and trails.
  • Be Lenka Trailwalker: extra-wide toebox, water-resistant leather upper, highly flexible 4mm sole, and minimal tread for casual hiking and trail running.
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    If you’d like to support the channel, you can use the code FOLTSY10 for 10% off Vivobarefoot, but you can also browse and filter more products at or watch my Zero-Drop Transition video to learn more about barefooting.

    Finally, if you have a question about the VIvobarefoot Primus Trail Knit FG, 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.