Sunday, December 4, 2011


This review is long over due.  I was planning on reviewing the EVO I and II much sooner. However, once I decided that the EVO would be on my feet for my first marathon, I decided to wait to write the review after it was complete. I finished in 3:34:54. I am pretty happy with my time for my first attempt.

Mile 26. Notice the heel strikers
behind me as I am still able to land
on my midfoot in the EVO
Choosing which shoe to wear during your first marathon, in my opinion, is as complex and important as choosing a mate (I hope the future Mrs. Obsessive Runner doesn't read this).  Is there really a more intimate relationship than the one you spend with your shoe over 26.2 miles?  Maybe between a mother and her child over 9 months of pregnancy, but only just maybe!  Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit but the wrong shoe choice could make for a very painful and miserable 26.2 mile run. There really isn't a more important decision you will make for your marathon.  Yes, wearing the right clothing and choosing which and how many gels to consume is important, but for over 40,000 steps, your shoe choice is what matters most.  That is why after trying several different shoes, I finally decided to break down and try the EVO. After my first 10+ mile run, I knew that I had found the ONE!  THE SHOE! The shoe to get me through my longest run to date.  Our training together wasn't always a perfect relationship, but it was very productive and fruitful one.  Now onto the review.

EVO I on left EVO II on right
The fit of the EVO is its greatest strength and also its biggest drawback.  For me the EVO fits perfectly.  Especially after I added some Yankz laces to them.  I add these to just about all of my shoes as I believe they holds the foot securly in the shoe, but the elastic component allows the foot to flex where regular laces can be restrictive. The EVO is just wide enough, but not too wide to make them feel sloppy.  The upper of the EVO is very unique. VIVOBAREFOOT calls the outer material aTPU Hex Flex Cage.  I like to think of it as the shoe's exoskeleton. Under that is a thin mesh material.  This is where others have had problems with this shoe.  When the shoe flexes, the upper material can and does press on the big toe which may lead to abrasions.  I tend to wear socks with my EVOs and thus don't have any problems with this.  The upper is really the only difference between the EVO I and EVO II.  The EVO II has the interior liner that extends all the way to the toe box where as the EVO I liner stops around the midfoot.  This makes the EVO II a bit more comfortable sockless, but also a bit heavier and warmer.  I generally where the EVO I during warmer months and the EVO II as the weather turns colder.  

Ground Feel
The ground feel of the EVO is very good with its unique hexagon outsole.  It is a very firm durable outsole that transmits ground contact very well.  Without the removable insole the EVO's ground feel is probably on par with the VFF Bikila or Komodosport.  It is not as good as say the KSO or Altra Adam but it is better than the Merrell Trail Glove.  The EVO is also extremely flexible.  Again not as flexible as say the Altra Adam, but much more flexible than most other shoes. There are runners who have claimed to have gotten 1,000 miles or more out of a single pair of EVOs and I tend to believe them.  I have several hundred miles on mine and could easily get several hundred more.

It is really tough for me to find any real areas of improvements for this shoe. The issue with the upper rubbing on the big toe is probably the only area that needs improvement and from what I have heard, the newer "version" of the EVO have eliminated this problem.  The only other area of improvement is possibly to lighten the shoe, but to be honest the EVO has never felt heavy to me even rain soaked at the end of my marathon. 

It is tough to give a shoe a bigger compliment then choosing it for your first marathon and that is how strongly I feel about the EVO.  It is my go to long distance road shoe.  It provides me just enough protection and amount of ground feel for those 20+ mile road runs.  I have not taken the EVO on the trails a lot but I'm sure they would do well in most conditions.  VIVOBAREFOOT has really produced an exceptional shoe that I believe all runners need to have at their disposal. 

Weight: 8.4oz EVO I / 9.3oz EVO II
Toe Box: Wide
Heel to Toe: 0mm
Flexibility: Very Flexible


  1. If you have to pick between the Evo or the Evo II, which would it be? And how do they fit compared to the Merrell's? Do they fit the same?

  2. I think the Evo II is a bit more versatile in terms of being more comfortable sockless and warmer in the winter. They tend to get pretty warm in the summer though so if you are in a warmer climate I would go with the EVO I.

  3. Thank for the review. I agree completely it is a great shoe. Freezing cold in winter though, even with socks. Definitely a summer shoe, depending on where you live.


  4. Bought II. It rocks as reviewed!