It is a different kind of running shoe that is more sneaker like, trendy, retro, but still has the same technology as the Evo and Evo II but fits wider (I love it!) due to the air mesh and microfiber upper.
The lightweight performance upper design is made from 75% recycle polyester air mesh and 55% recycled nylon-based microfiber.
The lacing system is also a little different than the Evo and Evo II. It uses the more traditional computer stitched reinforced eyelets instead of fabric loops.
As with all VIVOBAREFOOT shoes, there is a sweat absorbing anti-bacterial lining. The insole is a 100% recycled memory foam and the 4mm performance sole is made of latex rubber and is a TPU abrasion resistant sole – grip and durability insured. The rapid dry moisture-control bamboo charcoal insole is removable so you can run in the Neo sockless. The sole is identical to the Evo II and is a high-abrasion soft puncture resistant rubber outsole with hex-flex directional grip control.
Weighing in at 8.8 ounces (US size 10) and with a stack height of 9.3 mm, it is almost exactly the weight and stack height same as my Evo II.
NOTE: Stack Height is the total height from the bottom of the foot to the ground including outsole, midsole, insert and additional materials for lasting/lining.
The Neo (and Evo II) is meant to be worn without the insert (insole) so the effective stack height (running sockless) for the Neo is less than 6mm.
The Neo also has the same anatomical performance last – barefoot fit, feel, and response.
You may notice the same toe spring on the Neo as in the Evo II but the shoe is soft and flexible enough that it made no difference to my walking and running gait.
It turns out that I liked running in the Neo more than the Evo II. I think the wider toe box made a significant difference for me. It was snug fitting with my wide foot on the Evo II (my pinky was touching the uppers) and I did not feel as constricted with the Neo and no worries about getting blisters on long runs.
The ground feel and my running form is unaltered just like the Evo II. If this is your first pair of VIVOBAREFOOT minimal shoe, you will FEEL the ground immediately with your first foot strike and you may have to adjust your running form (unless you came from barefoot running) – run lightly. If not, you will hear your shoes striking the ground in a loud and noticeable noise. Listen to your foot strike and tread lightly. Once you correct that, you’ll appreciate the Neo even more!
A note about sizing
I’m a US Size 9.5 (2E) and I sized down to a EU 42 (US Size 9) for the Evo II as they ran slightly larger when it first came out. For the Neo, I chose a EU 43 (US Size 10) and it was a little loose as I don’t wear socks with them. Since there is no half-size, I would still recommend sizing up a half-size. According to Phil Maffetone, most people don’t have a shoe that fits perfectly, probably a size too small. So always size up until you’re really comfortable with it.
And another bonus – the Neo is $40 cheaper than the Evo II. The Neo works just as well on trails (it will be a while before the Neo Trail become available) as on the roads like the Evo II. You can now have an affordable minimalist running AND walking shoe with the latest and greatest VIVOBAREFOOT technologies!
Available in 4 colorways – Black/Yellow, White/Green, White/Red, and White/Black.
*Product provided by VIVOBAREFOOT (MSRP $120). CMP.LY/1 Review
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