Barefoot running isn’t for everybody, but for those who like the feeling of their feet on the ground, running without additional support or padding, there’s no better way to feel free. For those of us who like the feeling of little bulky padding on their feet but prefer to have some kind of protection against the elements and rough ground, there are barefoot shoes. Yes, technically that can’t exist, but that doesn’t they don’t make them. Case in point: the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite are as good as it gets when it comes to barefoot shoes – a set of ultralight, flexible shoes that follow the natural shape and flex of your feet for a freer, lighter running experience.

Made from an unlined, breathable mesh upper and super-thin synthetic sole (only 3mm thick!) the Primus weigh a barely-there 6.5 ounces. They use zero stitching in the construction, eliminating seams for both durability and bulk, instead using heat-fused layers. They also feature a PRO5 layer on the sole – a patented, ultra-thin, puncture-resistant layer.

These shoes are so thin, you can fold them up, bend them, twist them into whatever shape you’d like, whether for storage and portability or just because you feel like it. The soles grip onto rock and dirt with ease, and these “shoes” chew up trails without chewing up your feet, giving you that free barefoot feeling that keeps you light on your toes and actually lets you build strength in the tendons of your feet and ankles. So maybe you won’t get that grass-through-your-toes feeling with a pair of Vivobarefoot shoes, but close enough.

Vivobarefoot Primus Lite Vivobarefoot Primus Lite-Side-2 Vivobarefoot Primus Lite-Side-3 Vivobarefoot Primus Lite-Side-5