• barefootshoereview

Episode 66: Ultra III Bloom


Vivobarefoot's popular Ultra Bloom III are back in their third design update. This 'barefoot' shoe brand creates footwear designed to feel as though you're walking with no shoes on at all, and the Ultra Bloom is accordingly lightweight, freeing and with a flexible sole designed to help you explore in the water without extra drag but still let you romp around the city in them. We think they're the best water shoe for water based activities on the market right now.

I was initially attracted to this shoe because i was searching for a quick slip-on that was airy enough to be like a sandal but had a fully closed upper. Needless to say I was quite impressed.


Disclaimer: These shoes were given to me to review, however my opinion is my own. This page uses affiliate links, and by purchasing from an affiliate link, I will receive a small commission which doesn't cost you anything. Thank you, and enjoy the read!


To access the Vivobarefoot site click here. Discount Code is TBSR10

To access Vivobarefoot Israel click here.




Company Overview:


Vivobarefoot Limited manufactures and sells shoes for men, women, and kids. The company offers casual wear, court sports, golf, gym, hiking, indoor sports, lifestyle, road running, trail running, walking, winterproof, and work shoes for men, as well as watersports shoes for women; and play, school, and watersports for kids. Its shoes are available online and through stores in the United Kingdom and internationally. Vivobarefoot Limited was formerly known as Terra Plana international Ltd. and changed its name to Vivobarefoot Limited in December 2015. The company was founded in 1997 and is based in London, United Kingdom.


Galahad Clark, a 7th generation descendant of the Clark Shoes Company founded VIVOBAREFOOT with his cousin Asher Clark. Their mission is to change the footwear industry based on one simple insight—shoes should let your feet do their natural thing. Every shoe features a patented, ultra-thin, puncture-resistant sole that protects the foot and allows maximum sensory feedback.


Vivobarefoot Israel- Barefoot Life Israel is one of the few stores in the world offering a wide variety of minimalist shoe brands as well being a center for barefoot education.





First Impressions

  • They have a similar aesthetic to Crocs shoes, and initially I thought I'd only wear them for certain water based or beach activities, however they're actually quite nice when worn and I've been taking them out and about for local hikes as well

  • My usual size of 42 was a tad big on me but the elastic lacing system really allows you to tighten the shoe and make it a true extension of your foot.

  • I was worried the shoe would be sweaty when hot and I would slip because it is rubber. I did not slip at all but I would of sized down.

  • Very different materiel then other Vivobarefoot models

  • The shoe runs larger than other VivoBarefoot models.

  • The outsole has a cool has a cool sleek camo rugged look




Sizing and fit

I am a 26cm length with a 10.1 width, I am a 42/8 in nearly every brand. i have a high volume muscular foot.

  • I'm usually a size 42 in most VivoBarefoot models, however this was the first model I found that sizing wasn't consistent. The sizes run big, and I recommend getting a size smaller. In my case a size 41 would've been perfect.

  • Their is plenty of space both width and volume wise making this suitable for high volume feet. There is also some extra toe space but this is largely due to it being a tad big on me

Materials

  • The hexagonally shaped foam upper is partly made from Bloom foam, which is created using algae that is toxic in waterways but harmless when used as a shoe material. The honeycomb design allows water and debris to pass through, making you more nimble underwater without sacrificing overland stability.

  • The sole is really grippy and has extra traction on points of contact on the floor.

  • Elastic lacing system is extremely easy to adjust, you can tuck in or slip knot the excess elastic around itself. If you find the shoe loose just give the elastic a good tug and push the slip lock down.

  • Because they are made from a flexible materiel they can easily lose shape if left outside in the sun or just dumped in the corner, haven't found it to be an issue when wearing though



Performance:


  • With it's amphibious properties, the Ultra bloom 3 excels in activities that are water based. It feels as though it's a second skin, has an elastic lace up system to allow for easier use and has the best drainage/breathability/cleaning properties I've seen in a shoe. I cant wait to swim in these.

  • You can easily splash around in mud, wet terrain and clean them off with a quick rinse.

  • I've used them for running and easy hiking and have had no problems.

  • Attempting to play frisbee in them was more difficult as I noticed sliding in the shoe during deacceleration and change of direction

  • I already took these on a camping trip and they are very airy and comfortable on hotter days, easy to slip on and superior to flip flops. After some rigorous hiking i was picking thorns out of the sole so I'm unsure if I would take it on rugged terrain




Technical Specifications: Outsole: Patented, ultra-thin, puncture resistant layer. 5x more puncture resistant than a standard sole of the same thickness (100% Vegan)


Upper: Honeycomb shaped pattern in BLOOM® foam material (100% Vegan) which removes harmful algae blooms from waterways to reverse the damage of water pollution.


Drop: 0 mm


Stack Height: 7mm (no insole available in the Ultra)


Weight: 100g per shoe (size 42)


Lacing: Elastic lacing and toggle


Cleaning:

The easiest to clean just wash down with a hose or in your bathtub and all the mud slides off



Conclusion:


I would first and foremost size recommend sizing down one size. Overall this is a unique shoe with a niche use, they look and perform like water shoes but I like rocking them out and about town and short day hikes. They make for a great easy to slip on shoe in a world of hot and sweaty slip-ons. It also is a huge plus for me knowing what I'm wearing on my feet is sustainably made and is good for the environment.


To access the Vivobarefoot site click here.

To access Vivobarefoot Israel click here.



Sean and Charlie <3