Vivobarefoot Motus Strength Review

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Vivobarefoot is a footwear brand that challenges the conventional wisdom of traditional shoe design. Founded in 2012, this company has been at the forefront of the barefoot movement, advocating for a more natural and minimalist approach to footwear. Their mission is to create shoes that allow our feet to move and function as nature intended, promoting better posture, balance, and overall foot health.

As an advocate of barefoot living for well over a decade, I have seamlessly integrated barefoot shoes, including Vivobarefoot shoes, into my daily routine. Vivobarefoot’s philosophy resonates with me, as their shoes are meticulously crafted to replicate the feeling of walking barefoot. The thin, flexible soles of their shoes enable my feet to intimately experience the earth beneath, emphasizing the importance of this connection for optimal foot development and overall body alignment.

But Vivobarefoot isn’t just about barefoot fashion; they’ve also ventured into the world of strength training with their Motus Strength line. As an avid weightlifter, I was excited to try out these shoes and see if they could enhance my lifting experience while staying true to the barefoot principles.

Why Going Barefoot is Healthy

Before we dive into the specifics of the Vivobarefoot Motus Strength, let’s explore the benefits of going barefoot – or as close to it as possible. Our feet are remarkably complex structures, housing a quarter of the bones in our entire body. They’re designed to flex, grip, and adapt to the terrain beneath them, allowing for efficient movement and shock absorption.

Unfortunately, many modern shoes restrict this natural foot function, leading to a host of potential issues:

  1. Muscle Atrophy: Shoes that provide excessive cushioning and support can cause the intrinsic foot muscles to weaken over time, reducing stability and increasing the risk of injury.
  2. Impaired Proprioception: Proprioception is our body’s ability to sense its position and movement in space. Thick, rigid soles can diminish this crucial sense, leading to poor balance and coordination.
  3. Unnatural Gait: Traditional shoes often have elevated heels and rigid arches, forcing our feet into an unnatural position and altering our gait patterns.

By embracing a more minimalist approach, we allow our feet to function as they were designed, promoting stronger, more flexible feet and improved overall body mechanics.

Benefits to Weightlifting Barefoot

Now, you might be wondering, “Why would I want to lift weights barefoot?” Well, there are several compelling reasons:

  1. Improved Balance and Stability: When your feet can fully engage with the ground, you’ll experience better balance and stability during lifts. This can lead to more efficient and safer lifting mechanics.
  2. Enhanced Proprioception: As mentioned earlier, barefoot training enhances your body’s awareness of its position in space, which is crucial for maintaining proper form during complex lifts.
  3. Increased Grip: Bare feet provide superior grip on the floor, reducing the risk of slipping or sliding during lifts.
  4. Natural Foot Positioning: Without the constraints of rigid shoes, your feet can naturally splay and grip the floor, promoting optimal force transfer and reducing the risk of injury.

Of course, lifting barefoot isn’t without its challenges. You’ll need to be mindful of the gym’s policies and hygiene considerations. Additionally, it may take some time to adapt to the new sensations and build up the strength in your intrinsic foot muscles.

Vivobarefoot Motus Strength Outsole

Enter the Vivobarefoot Motus Strength, a shoe designed specifically for strength training while embracing the barefoot philosophy. One of the standout features of this shoe is its outsole, which is engineered to provide the perfect balance of grip, flexibility, and protection.

The outsole is constructed from a high-performance rubber compound that offers exceptional traction on various surfaces, including gym floors, weightlifting platforms, and even outdoor terrain. This delivers a secure footing during even the most demanding lifts, reducing the risk of slips or slides.

But what truly sets the Motus Strength apart is its ultra-thin, flexible design. With a mere 2mm sole with raised 1.5mm lugs of thickness, it allows for a remarkable connection to the ground, mimicking the sensation of lifting barefoot while still providing a protective barrier against abrasions or sharp objects.

This minimal sole also promotes natural foot movement and flexibility, enabling feet to splay and grip the floor as they would when truly barefoot. This, in turn, enhances proprioception, balance, and overall lifting mechanics.

Vivobarefoot Motus Strength Ortholite Insole

While the outsole provides the necessary grip and protection, the Motus Strength’s insole is equally impressive. Featuring an Active Ortholite Performance, this insole offers just a slight amount of cushioning and moisture management, ensuring your feet remain comfortable and dry even during the most intense training sessions.

Ortholite is a highly breathable, open-cell foam that actively wicks away moisture, keeping your feet fresh and preventing the buildup of odor-causing bacteria. This is particularly crucial for weightlifting, where sweaty feet can lead to slipping and discomfort.

But the benefits of the Ortholite insole don’t stop there. It also provides just the right amount of cushioning, striking a perfect balance between impact protection and ground feel. This subtle cushioning helps absorb the shock of heavy lifts, reducing the strain on your joints and muscles, while still allowing for a natural, barefoot-like experience.

Vivobarefoot Motus Strength Breathable Mesh

Complementing the outsole and insole is the Motus Strength’s breathable mesh upper. This lightweight and highly ventilated material ensures optimal airflow, keeping feet cool and comfortable even during the most intense workouts.

The mesh construction not only promotes breathability but also allows for natural foot movement and flexibility. As your feet swell and expand during exercise, the mesh upper accommodates this natural expansion, preventing any restrictive or constricting sensations.

Additionally, the mesh upper is designed to be durable and long-lasting, withstanding the rigors of weightlifting without compromising its breathability or flexibility.

Vivobarefoot Motus Strength Performance – Fit, Feel, Flex

Now, let’s dive into the real-world performance of the Vivobarefoot Motus Strength. As someone who has tried numerous weightlifting shoes, I can confidently say that these barefoot trainers are in a league of their own.


The Motus Strength offers a snug, secure fit that hugs your foot without restricting its natural movement. The lacing system allows for a customizable fit, ensuring a locked-in feel during lifts while still allowing your toes to splay and grip the floor.


When you first step into the Motus Strength, you’ll be struck by the remarkable ground feel. It’s as if you’re lifting barefoot, with every texture and contour of the floor being transmitted through the ultra-thin sole. This heightened proprioception and connection to the ground is amazing for lifting mechanics and overall stability.


The flexibility of the Motus Strength is truly impressive. The shoe bends and flexes with the foot, allowing for natural movement patterns and unrestricted range of motion. Whether you’re squatting, deadlifting, or performing any other compound lift, the Motus Strength moves with you, never hindering your performance.

Final Thoughts on the Vivobarefoot Motus Strength

After testing the Vivobarefoot Motus Strength, I can confidently say that it has improved my weightlifting experience. These shoes strike the perfect balance between the benefits of barefoot training and the protection and support required for intense strength training.

But beyond the Motus Strength itself, I’ve become a firm believer in the merits of barefoot weightlifting. By allowing our feet to function as nature intended, we can unlock a whole new level of stability, proprioception, and overall lifting mechanics.

Of course, transitioning to barefoot weightlifting isn’t something to be taken lightly. It requires patience, gradual adaptation, and a willingness to embrace the discomfort of strengthening those oft-neglected intrinsic foot muscles.

However, the rewards are well worth the effort. From improved balance and stability to enhanced grip and natural foot positioning, barefoot weightlifting can take your lifting game to new heights while promoting overall foot health and body alignment.

If you’re ready to experience the power of barefoot strength training, I highly recommend giving the Vivobarefoot Motus Strength a try. With its exceptional grip, breathability, and minimalist design, it’s the perfect companion for your barefoot lifting journey. Trust me, once you experience the connection to the ground and the freedom of movement these shoes provide, you’ll never want to go back to traditional weightlifting shoes again. For more info on the Motus Strength or to check out Vivo’s other barefoot offerings, visit

Mark Ranum: Mark is an outdoor adventure seeker, living in the beautiful state of Michigan. He loves trekking hundreds of miles through the wilderness, whether on two feet or two wheels, always looking for the next new trail or road to see where it will take him.
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