Vivobarefoot Sensus: Minimal Shoes For Casual and Training

June 16, 2024Barefoot shoes with a wide toebox, thin leather upper, and thin 3mm sole for urban casual.

Hello, my name’s Andrew, and these are the Vivobarefoot Sensus, a lightweight barefoot shoe with a breathable leather upper and ultra thin 3mm sole for casual and cross-training.

Vivobarefoot Sensus Review By Andrew Folts


Seven years ago when I transitioned to zero-drop one of my first shoes was the original Vivobarefoot Primus Lite, which had a 3mm sole that was fantastic for road running and gym workouts, but the upper was a little too technical for casual use.

So I asked Vivobarefoot for a pair of Sensus to test, and with the sleek tan leather and split toe design…

They’re basically a zero-drop Star Wars speeder bike made for rebelling against the evil Cushion Shoe Empire.

Vivobarefoot Features Showcase Desk


Because the Sensus has a wide foot-shaped toebox with a double-stitched wild hide leather upper that’s micro-cut on the sides for breathability, open down the middle for natural movement, sculpted on top to prevent crimping, and tied off with organic cotton flat laces.

Vivobarefoot Sensus Review Desk Toebox

Inside there’s soft leather lining that’s padded around the ankle for lockdown, as well as a minimal suede tongue and smooth leather base for excellent temperature regulation and moisture wicking.

Vivobarefoot Sensus Review Footbed Desk


Underneath you’ve got an ultra thin 3mm zero-drop sole that’s extremely flexible in all directions, plus a minimal sole for roads that’s stitched for durability and inspired by the first 3.7 million year-old human footprint found in Africa.

Vivobarefoot Sensus Review Tread Desk


Recently, I’ve been wearing the Vivobarefoot Ababa non-stop as my go-to slipper and road shoe for casual barefooting, but, impressively, in some ways, the Sensus ended up being even more versatile.

Vivobarefoot Sensus Review Feet On Desk Pov


Heading out for a walk the 3mm sole provided some stellar sensitivity and kind of felt like a pair of Vibram FiveFingers, thanks to the footprint tread, which was both non-slip and so light that it practically vanished under my foot.

Vivobarefoot Sensus Review Walk Road Side

Also, venturing off onto some light trails the Sensus communicated the tinniest details, as if the ground was a hi-def vinyl record, although, unlike going full barefoot, it still offered a good amount of protection, so that I could enjoy the scenery without constantly having to scan for thorns and glass.

Vivobarefoot Sensus Review Tread Trail Heel


For slower runs the wild hide leather wrapped around my feet like a glove and the ten rows of air slits kept my feet cool and dry up into the eighties without socks, although a pair of thin merino wool Injinji’s were nice for keeping the Sensus clean and improving moisture wicking between my toes.

Vivobarefoot Sensus Review Run Curve Sidewalk Road


Cranking out pushups, powering through pistol squats, and racking up stair workouts, plus running some 400’s at the track and even biking in the summer breeze, the leather upper flowed with my movements like second skin and I found myself asking…

“What CAN’T the Sensus do?”

Vivobarefoot Sensus Review Track Start Sprinting
Vivobarefoot Sensus Review Sprinting Track Side
Vivobarefoot Sensus Review Biking


Technically, it’s not a slip-on shoe, like the Vivobarefoot Ababa, although the smooth heel made it easy to slide on if I tied the laces a bit looser, and the 3mm sole felt even more slipper-esque padding around indoors.

Vivobarefoot Sensus Review Slip On Front Door

For colder days the leather upper also kept my feet warm down near forty degrees, so I could probably go even lower with a wool felt insole and thicker socks, and in general it was super convenient to have training shoe that was also classy enough to work for business and formal.

Vivobarefoot Sensus Review Injinji Merino Wool Toe Socks Pov Trail


Overall the Vivobarefoot Sensus is the closest thing to a perfect everyday barefoot shoe I’ve ever tested and it’s the only one I can think of that can transition effortlessly from workouts to weddings.

Vivobarefoot Sensus Review Floor Front Style


Because the leather upper is wide and temperature-regulating, the split toebox and wavy cuts bend fluidly with all kinds of movement, and the ultra thin 3mm sole offers a mind-expanding level of sensitivity, while still providing some minimal protection.

Vivobarefoot Sensus Review Balance Beam Front

However, the toebox may not be roomy enough for extra-wide feet, the softer materials are more suited for casual workouts than hardcore training, and, while somewhat water-resistant, the perforated leather upper can get wet more easily in heavy rain or deep puddles.

Vivobarefoot Sensus Review Wet Toebox Water Resistant Trail Pov


In terms of similar barefoot casual shoes…

  • Ahinsa Vida: extra-wide toebox, hemp canvas upper, minimal 4mm zero-drop sole with excellent flexibility, and minimal tread for urban casual.
  • Mukishoes Duna: extra-wide toebox, hemp/cotton canvas upper, minimal 3.5mm zero-drop sole with superb flexibility, and minimal tread for urban causl.
  • Vibram KSO ECO: extra-wide separate toes, hemp or wool upper, minimal 3mm zero-drop-sole with superb flexibility, and rugged tread for running and hiking on all-terrain.
  • Vivobarefoot Sensus Review Tread Front Road


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

    Finally, if you have a question about the Vivobarefoot Sensus, or about barefoot shoes 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.