Anyone tried the Evo's?

Looking out for a new pair of minimal/barefoot type trainers, have a few months yet till my current pairs are dead but I like to know what I'm moving towards.

Have been wearing Nike Free TR+ and think they are great, however I'd like to try something even more barefoot and reduce that bit more. I've seen the Vibrams but I'm not there yet, so its between the Merrells and the Evos.

Has anyone tried both? Or even just one pair? How do they compare and are there any negatives to watch out for?


  • SqueakzSqueakz ✭✭✭
    I've got merrell trail gloves, think they are pretty reasonable if your looking for this type of shoe and i prefer them to my vibrams.

    Negatives can be injury, most noticeably stress fractures which are increasing in line with increase popularity of minimalist footwear
  • Thanks- I've been running in Nike Frees (TR+ which are much lighter and flexible then the normal Nike Free's) for nearly a year now and been OK. I had been wearing Asic Foundation 8 which are maximum support and I had a stress fracture which took a long time to go away- they went away when I took up the Nike Frees and looked seriously into the whole barefoot deal (shorter stride, lighter footing etc) I'd say for me the barefoot thing hasn't caused me stress fractures but the support running did, can see how it could easily be different for others if they didn't look at the technique differently and make changes.

    Have seen the Merrells for £80+ but the Evos for closer to £50. I'm wondering how much better £30 is but know you can't put a price on your health (or lack of injuries!!)

  • SqueakzSqueakz ✭✭✭

    ive not to much experience with the EVO's but I think they look horrible which turns me off them straight away, the Merrells are a cloth shoe as such they breathe really well.
    The other think I support Merrell for is that they are not blinded as much as other shoe companies regarding the virtues of minimalist shoes, the box contains warnings about changing to this type of shoe and although exceptionally flexible, the soles are slightly thicker than the competition which helps reduce impact and intrusion of stones, etc.
    I think they have produced a reasonable shoe of this type, its a reasonable minimalist product aimed at a more natural running experience. My experience of shoes such as Vibrams is that the soles are a little to thin as such when you step on a stone, it feels like its coming through your foot, you do not get this sensation with the Merrells.
    If your looking for a barefoort experience I would simply find somewhere to actually run barefoot, thats what I do.. if your looking for a minimalst shoe which is versitile and decent quality I think the Merrell is a pretty good product.
    Personally I think the Merrells are a far better product than VFF and vastly cheaper.

  • Ran my last half in my Evo II's; pretty damn cool they are too :¬) I also have a pair of Aqua Lites. Both models are nice and weigh practically nothing.

    Funny thing, In contrast to Squeakz I found the Merrell soles to be too thick!

    I think VFFs are ghastly (how they feel on my feet AND the look).

    Anyway, both Merrell and VivoB' have loads of great reviews and, as Squeakz says, do take the warnings seriously. Make sure to read LOTS on how to start (slowly).
  • Hmmm, I can see I'm going to need to do some more research and go try them on! I know the Evos will let you test instore but it would be good to test them side by side. I've only ever seen the Merrells online and when I emailed them last year to see if it was possible to try them on I got an automated message telling me about all the stockests which listed everyone from Amazon through to Office and Sole Trader, many of which were the last sorts of stores to seel them! I'm hoping someone has them somewhere for me to test drive.

    The experiences above though are really helpful- I need the soles to be flexible almost above all else. I like the way the Nike Frees will ben if I as much as flex my toes which coming from living in mortion/stability control for years is more then novel and a year on its not worn off yet! Thicker soles on the Merrells would worry me, though the Nikes are likely thicker they have so many grooves which allow the sole to flex. They are though still a bit to thick for me. I have heard stuff about certain styles of  evo barefoot style shoes rubbing even through socks and this would also worry me so was looking for more good /bad experiences on that but as no ones mentioned it I'm going to assume there are none and its a Virbam only issue.

  • Don't forget to try the Terra Plana (Vivo Barefoot) Neos as well as the Evos. The Evos are just a little too narrow in the toe box for me, but the Neos are a bit wider and are just right! The sole is really flexible and they're designed to be comfortable with or without the insole, so you have a choice on amount of cushioning. I've not had any problem with rubbing (not tried them without the insole). The upper is mesh, more like many running shoes rather than the funky Evo design. Not tried the Merrells so I can't give you a comparison.
  • I use Evo's for my track work and short distances. As I have increased the distance found a bit of a design floor in them. The hexagonal rubber detail around the toes box has starts to rub on you toes. After a 7 mile track session on of the toes was bleeding.

    Could just be me but I think you need something softer around the toe box. Neo's look a better design.
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