Vivobarefoot Motus

joetennisact

New User
As reported in the First Real Minimalist Shoe thread, the first real "Real Minimalist Tennis Shoe" has been announced. Unfortunately, the flury of messages about it coincided with the bulletin board transition and has been apparently lost. I thought it deserved its own thread anyway.

It is the Vivobarefoot Motus.

<<http://www.vivobarefoot.com/us/collections/shoes/motus>>

It is much more minimalist than the MC60, being closer to the ground with no mid sole so you have more of the low to the ground, feel of the ground feeling with the Motus than you would have with the MC60. (credit to Paul Christensen, our local vivobarefoot expert who I'm sure I misspelled but I hope will incent him to rewrite his thoughts on the Motus here)

Another minimalist advantage of the Motus and the most important from my perspective is that it has a true foot shaped toe box that will allow proper toe splay. In my opinion the MC60 was no better or even slightly worse than the Prince T22 or Babolat SFX in the toe box area. If the Motus is anything like other Vivobarefoots, we will actually be able to wear Correct Toes while playing Tennis. Yay!

The Motus unfortunately as of today is sold out and when it does go back on sale, the list price is $150 which is a fortune, 2/3 more than the MC60 and it doesn't come with an outsole guarantee (beyond the basic Vivibarefoot guarantee) so it's pretty expensive. The outsole pattern, being lug dots looks nothing like herringbone so there are doubts if it would be suitable for clay or even hardcourt.

Well, those are my thoughts. I did take a deep breath, plunked down $150 and preordered a pair as I salivate at the thought of playing pain free high quality (for me!) tennis with Correct Toes!
 

WildVolley

Legend
Thanks for the update.

I have a pair of NB MC60s, but still haven't got the court time on them to give a fair review. I'll try to do so in the future. My thoughts on trying them on around the house got dumped in the forum transition. But I agree with you that the last shape and toe box room is not what you typically expect on a shoe made for the minimalist market.

$150 seems a bit much, but it is nice to see that a true minimalist shoe company is perhaps going to make a tennis product.
 

JohnB

Rookie
Really looking forward to reading about your experience with the motus. I am not sure whether a thin sole is a real healthy option for the body. Humans used to be barefoot chasing animals on all kinds of surfaces, but humans were not jumping up and down and sideways on hardcourt or gravel. During my vacation I played recreational tennis on huaraches. While movement felt great, the landings and changes of direction were defenitely felt in my knees and not so in my feet. It wasn't painful, but more a feel as if my knees had a workout also.
 

Lukhas

Legend
Well I threw my thoughts in the previous forum. The upper doesn't seem that durable or reinforced. The softness of the shoe despite the rather thick outsole for its design as well as the thread pattern indicates to me that it's more of a indoors sports shoe (Handball, Volleyball, you name it) rather than a outdoor shoe. So I have indeed suite a bit of scepticism towards this offering in regards to playing tennis especially outdoors. Other than that, maybe a bit expensive but that's it.
 

WildVolley

Legend
Seems like an awful idea and a shoe that won't generate much attention aside from rec & NTRP rated players. No professional player would trust that flimsy and unsupportive silhouette for a 5 set match.
The minimalist market is a profitable niche market at this point - nothing more. But it is a legitimate market even after the 'hype' has worn off.

I don't think anyone thinks that professional players will transition to a true minimal shoe, as the demands on professional players are extreme. However, I find it interesting you find that some major brand shoes are already too "minimalist" at least in terms of cushioning.

The issue with minimal shoes usually isn't a matter of being 'flimsy' but rather that they haven't been made with durable outsole material or even instep material designed to resist toe dragging and sliding on hard courts.

The NB MC60 is a partial step in that direction. But with the midsole, it is just a slightly less padded version of the shoes that bother you.

I'll report back to you about my experience in the future. But I'm admittedly just a decent rec-player and weekend warrior who just plays for fun, with health being a secondary consideration.
 

gino

Hall of Fame
The minimalist market is a profitable niche market at this point - nothing more. But it is a legitimate market even after the 'hype' has worn off.

I don't think anyone thinks that professional players will transition to a true minimal shoe, as the demands on professional players are extreme. However, I find it interesting you find that some major brand shoes are already too "minimalist" at least in terms of cushioning.

The issue with minimal shoes usually isn't a matter of being 'flimsy' but rather that they haven't been made with durable outsole material or even instep material designed to resist toe dragging and sliding on hard courts.

The NB MC60 is a partial step in that direction. But with the midsole, it is just a slightly less padded version of the shoes that bother you.

I'll report back to you about my experience in the future. But I'm admittedly just a decent rec-player and weekend warrior who just plays for fun, with health being a secondary consideration.

Looking forward to your review WV. I actually think the traction of the Motus is very promising. The nodules look really thick and provides a durable multi-surface offering.
 

WildVolley

Legend
Looking forward to your review WV. I actually think the traction of the Motus is very promising. The nodules look really thick and provides a durable multi-surface offering.
While it isn't really "minimalism" you might actually support the minimalist concept of a flat soled or "zero-drop" shoe.

I noted in your other thread that you think there isn't enough forefoot cushion in some of the newer shoes. Many times, these shoes tend to have a fairly substantial drop: lots of cushioning in the heel and not as much in the forefoot. It would be possible to level some of these shoes out by dropping the heel cushion a little and transferring more cushioning to the forefoot. The forefoot would sit slightly higher off the ground but that might be offset in terms of shoe stability by having a lower heel.

The NB MC60 does this to some extent, but clearly the midsole cushioning is also not as thick as on most competing shoes.
 
One thing I can say is that Vivo Barefoots outer sole material is very durable, compared to the thinnes of them. But ofcourse, a hard court surface certainly takes its toll.
 

WildVolley

Legend
One thing I can say is that Vivo Barefoots outer sole material is very durable, compared to the thinnes of them. But of course, a hard court surface certainly takes its toll.
The NB MC60 seems to be made of a good compound, but the herringbone pattern does look designed for clay being a bit open for good long-term durability on hard courts. I'll probably end up using my pair primarily as match-day shoes.

My Lem shoes have a soft compound that is fairly durable in straight-forward running, but I consider it too soft for the cutting and quick stopping in tennis. With my Altra Sampson's, I found the material to be moderately durable, but the shoe's upper material too weak to legitimately function as a tennis shoe.

I've played tennis on hard courts with a guy wearing what I think were a red pair of VB Evos. He said he loved them on hardcourts but I don't know how long he had been playing in them. They looked rather new.
 

galain

Hall of Fame
I like my minimalist shoes but I'm not sure a minimalist shoe for tennis is that great an idea. For running, i can understand, but there is so much more lateral and heel to toe movement in tennis I can't imagine that they'd be a viable option for most people.
 
I like my minimalist shoes but I'm not sure a minimalist shoe for tennis is that great an idea. For running, i can understand, but there is so much more lateral and heel to toe movement in tennis I can't imagine that they'd be a viable option for most people.
I play squash all the time in Vivo Barefoots. You can not get more acceleration, direction shifts than that. No problem. Ofcourse I have also used them for tennis. The thing is, being so low to the ground gives you sort of instant stability.
 

JohnB

Rookie
I play squash all the time in Vivo Barefoots. You can not get more acceleration, direction shifts than that. No problem. Ofcourse I have also used them for tennis. The thing is, being so low to the ground gives you sort of instant stability.
Povl, what about sliding sideways inside the shoes when reaching for a ball in the corner? Is that happening in vivo barefoots? And how do you feel about jumping and landing? Is that hard on the body?
 

joetennisact

New User
My Lem shoes have a soft compound that is fairly durable in straight-forward running, but I consider it too soft for the cutting and quick stopping in tennis. With my Altra Sampson's, I found the material to be moderately durable, but the shoe's upper material too weak to legitimately function as a tennis shoe.
.
On playing Tennis with Altras: I've tried it with the Olympus and Superior and did not get good results at all. After research, I chalked it up to these shoes not being stable enough due to its (relatively) high stack height of 36 and 24 mm.

I would like to at least try playing tennis in Altras as I love walking in them but alas I don't believe they make the Samson or similar type shoe any more with a stack height of under 10mm.

BTW, thanks to the board, I have recently tried Vibram Five Fingers on clay and it was definitely doable. (albeit that I do wear them pretty regularly) I was able to slide a little and felt stable enough. However, the lack of any toe protection was annoying and I doubt they would hold up after a lot of use.
 

mhkeuns

Hall of Fame
Seems like an awful idea and a shoe that won't generate much attention aside from rec & NTRP rated players. No professional player would trust that flimsy and unsupportive silhouette for a 5 set match.

See my thread on the decline of proper cushioning in tennis shoes:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=502040
This would be my concern as well. The minimalist shoes sounds nice, but playing on hard surface needs both stability and cushioning. Maybe it will be a nice shoe for the clay courts.
 

dvh

New User
Did anyone try these?

Some of the colors are on sale for $90 right now at vivobarefoot site, so I ordered a pair. Quite a few sizes available in womens,
limited in mens... The description says they are wide - I hope so. Can't wait to try them!

I actually really like my NB60s. However, I do wish the toe box were a little wider and am concerned about durability - the sole's showing wear even though I haven't been playing much this year. Also, I had to try on like 10 pairs in different sizes , both men's and womens, to find a pair that fit. Some of the sizes were obviously wrong. But if Motus don't work out will probably get another pair of NB60 as they don't cause me obvious pain like other tennis shoes do and are more suitable for tennis than other minimalist shoes I've tried.
 

joetennisact

New User
Sorry for the obvious double post i'm about to do in the next message. I wrote a review on the Motus in another thread and I should have put it here.

The Motus definately has a wider toebox, similar to a Lem's shoe. It feels wider than other Vivobarefoot shoes like the Trailfreak as well to me. If you were asking about overall width, i'm not sure as i have the medial strap on pretty tight. With that, i don't feel that my foot is constricted and at the same time, I don't feel my foot is swimming around.
 

joetennisact

New User
I've been wearing the Vivobarefoot Motus on the tennis courts for six months now. I absolutely love them and wouldn't play in anything else now. The transition took only a couple of weeks. I found out immediately that even though I've been minimalist for about a year before, I heel striked a lot in tennis. I got immediate (and painfull) feedback. But I've now changed how I play tennis for the better. Unlike the other shoes mentioned in this thread, the Motus is a Minimalist show, with zero drop, no cushioning and wide toe box to promote proper toe spray on midfoot impact. I first tried them on hardcourt which was a mistake as the hard impact made them painfull and I came down on my ankle wrong once. Fortunately, I play on carpet a lot, so that afforded me the ability to get used to the shoe without undue impact stress. Now, I do play on hardcourts with them. They are extremely stable and I love the grip they give me on the court. The strap is not a gimmick as it adds a lot more torsional stability than one might expect. I play on carpet alot, so it's not as punishing as other surfaces, but my sole looks hardly worn at all whilst a T22 for example would definately be showing some wear and tear over 6 months. I highly reccomend the Motus IF you walk and run in minimalist shoes year round. If you play on hard court, transition slow. If you play on carpet or clay, go full bore. My feet and legs are much stronger and healthier than before and I have way more stability and control than I ever had with traditional tennis shoes. I am now able to wear correct toes 24 hours now which is great too.
So that's what i wrote in that other thread. Just yesterday when running forward and stretching or a drop shot I had what I would call a "heal stinger". Painful but it goes away after 10 minutes or so. That's the downside of playing with this type of shoe for me, but i still love it overall and perhaps I will report back in a year or so and let you all know if my tennis gait/ technique has changed to the point where I am not susceptible to "heal stingers"
 

dvh

New User
Sounds great! Thanks for reposting.

I hadn't thought about the strap, but totally makes sense with a wide toe box - it's the worst to be sliding around inside tennis shoes (and a good way to lose toe nails).

Great to hear toebox is similar to Lems as that's ideal. I've been wearing minimalist shoes for about 5 years and haven't had a lot of luck with vivobarefoot fit in past but hoping these are different. Will report back how the heel goes for me!

Oh, and have you been able to use Correct Toes with the Motus??
 

dvh

New User
Woops, I missed the last sentence about wearing correct toes 24 hours now. Cool! How long have you been using them and do you think you'll stop at some point or wear them indefinitely?
 

joetennisact

New User
i've been using correct toes for about a year now. My plans are to wear them indefinately. To give my toes a break, I do take them off at night sometimes. I wear them nearly every day, all day when I'm up.
 

speed101

New User
I bought these when they first came out and used them for a while on hardcourt. It's pretty good if you have strong feet and wear minimalist shoes already. It comes with an insole, but it slides around and makes the shoe feel slippery so I took it out. I can not comfortably fit my size large correct toes in there. I wasn't impressed with the durability on hardcourts. The little nubs on the bottom wear down pretty quickly and it looks like a hole is about to appear under one big toe.

Lately I've been playing in my vff. This is now my first choice. But the seams eventually tear so they also do not last long. But the cost of replacing them every few months is worth it to me for the comfort. Going back to motus after vff feels very restrictive on my toes, like it's preventing me from spreading them comfortably. I may have abnormally wide forefoot and toe splay though.

The motus is now my backup shoe and in my opinion the second best minimalist shoe for tennis after vff.
 

joetennisact

New User
I've found that as long as the tongue is pulled up completely, the insert does not move at all. If i just quickly shrug my foot into the shoe so that the tongue is scrunched up, the insert does move around quite a bit.

I too have worn the vibram five fingers and honestly, I don't find them comparable at all. The difference is the Motus's medial strap. With the Motus, I feel very confident pushing off laterally and stopping suddenly. On clay and carpet, i actually can slide laterally as well, something i could not do as well with the VFF. Playing in the VFF would be similar to playing in a Lems in this regard. I would say the difference between playing in a Motus vs VFF is on the same scale as the difference between a tennis shoe and a running shoe in this regard.
 

joetennisact

New User
I just took out the insoles for both the Motus and Lems. The Lems is wider in the toebox by almost a centimeter. I wear size medium Correct toes so i can see how size large Correct Toes might not fit so comfortably. (but then again is anything ever as confortable as a Lems!?)

One more thought on the VFF. Obviously the VFF has almost no toe protection while the Motus does have a toe guard. So if you drag your foot at all, the Motus would be a better choice for that reason as well.
 

HacknSlash

New User
Any help,with sizing on these?
Couldn't find anything online to give me an estimate.
My experience with minimalist shoes is 3 or 4 types, all centered around running.

I'm a 13 in almost all shoes.
VFF is NOT a 13...

Are these like vibrams with a very different size than "normal"?
 

speed101

New User
Agreed that you can not slide or put much lateral force with vff. Footwork took some getting used to for me. More small steps. I also don't drag my toe too much. It's a very unique feel to play in vff and is def not for everyone. I think I just got addicted to the ground feel and freedom of toe movement.

Vff and motus are european sizes. I wear 45 vff and 44 motus. From what I remember the motus runs a bit large. I used to wear 11.5 barricade 7's and 11 babolat sfx (also runs large).
 

dvh

New User
Motus definitely runs large compared to other Vivobarefoot. Finally received them 3 weeks after ordering (took forever!), and they're too big. :(

In size 42 Motus* my heel slides out and they feel clownish. Seem to have much wider toe box and completely different shape than other VB styles, which is probably good for me since their athletic shoes never work. With the wrong fit can't tell if these will be comfortable for tennis yet...They're kind of weird looking, but I still want to try the 41. Sure wish I could go to a shoe store and try them on!!!!!!!! Along with about 5 styles of Lems I can't decide on.

Lems is actually launching a nice new one tomorrow, without the fabric panels they normally put in there: http://www.lemsshoes.com/mens-mariner-walnut. Perfect for sliding on tired feet after a long tennis match!

*I normally need a 42/10.5 womens in Vivobarefoot for enough room to relax my toes. In other shoes I wear 10-11, depending.
 

Isca

Rookie
I know this is 4 years later, but what did you folks using minimalist shoes for tennis do in the long run? I wear Lems, Freet and Xero minimalist shoes for everyday, work, running and hiking, and tennis is the last activity I haven't transitioned to minimalist for. Sadly the Motus appears to be discontinued...
 
I also exclusively use minimal shoes, or go barefoot. I use Vivo Barefoot. They have a newer tennisrelated model out, which I used a couple of times indoor, it was ok. Outside, on clay, I play without shoes. Without or in minimal shoes, I have never been close to spraying an ankle, which I did in more traditional shoes.
 

Isca

Rookie
I also exclusively use minimal shoes, or go barefoot. I use Vivo Barefoot. They have a newer tennisrelated model out, which I used a couple of times indoor, it was ok. Outside, on clay, I play without shoes. Without or in minimal shoes, I have never been close to spraying an ankle, which I did in more traditional shoes.
Thanks for your response. Those look OK, but £115 seems excessive for such a simple shoe! Vivo have always seemed a bit overpriced to me compared to the competition, and the only pair I tried were actually not as wide in the toebox as my other minimalist/zero drop shoes.

How is the sole on the Court in terms of durability? That's one of my main worries with minimalist shoes.

I've found Freet's soles really great for hiking - they're very grippy and seem durable - but haven't tried their shoes for tennis yet.

I might pick up a pair of these on sale to test:

FREET STRIDE

 
I only got to play it a few times before the outdoor season started. I have been playing indoor barefoot for years also (Rebound Ace). But this winter, after a lay off, I developed a small blister, it burst, and I spread some droplets of blood on the court. So the club ordered me into shoes. Damn.
Yes, Vivo are a bit expensive. But I get three years use out of a winter or summer shoe for everyday use.
 

Brian H

New User
I only got to play it a few times before the outdoor season started. I have been playing indoor barefoot for years also (Rebound Ace). But this winter, after a lay off, I developed a small blister, it burst, and I spread some droplets of blood on the court. So the club ordered me into shoes. Damn.
Yes, Vivo are a bit expensive. But I get three years use out of a winter or summer shoe for everyday use.
I'm surprised they accommodated your barefootedness in the first place!

I'm wearing the Xero Prios right now, but after three months they're ready for a warranty replacement. Tread is completely bald and the inside fabric (I remove insoles) is gone and the bare rubber of the outsole is in direct contact with my feet causing callouses. I'm going to try the HFS shoes next.
 

Sardines

Hall of Fame
I'm surprised they accommodated your barefootedness in the first place!

I'm wearing the Xero Prios right now, but after three months they're ready for a warranty replacement. Tread is completely bald and the inside fabric (I remove insoles) is gone and the bare rubber of the outsole is in direct contact with my feet causing callouses. I'm going to try the HFS shoes next.
The HFS is nice for running. But now I've found Merrell Vapor Gloves, which have thinner outsoles, but are cheaper, and more importantly, is as breathable! Vivo I use to like, but their QC was horrible.
 

Brian H

New User
The HFS is nice for running. But now I've found Merrell Vapor Gloves, which have thinner outsoles, but are cheaper, and more importantly, is as breathable! Vivo I use to like, but their QC was horrible.
Vapor Gloves, for me, are the best at mimicking barefoot. It’s my go to shoe for running, hiking, paddle boarding, etc. I have a tough time using them for tennis though because the sole wears too quickly and lateral support is nonexistent. Quite often the shoe would rotate when making a quick stop or directional change! How’d you like the HFS for activities beyond running?


As the small and relatively new company they are, I think VB has gotten better at avoiding quality issues. Just my impression
I have the Geocourts and concur. I bought a pair for tennis, and while it worked ok, the shoes were too heavy and I wore through the soles within a month. However, they have a 100 day no questions asked warranty and gave me a brand new pair. The shoes are very stylish and I’m happy to wear them when going out. For some reason my gf hates it when I wear my Vapor Gloves to nice restaurants :unsure:
 

Sardines

Hall of Fame
Vapor Gloves, for me, are the best at mimicking barefoot. It’s my go to shoe for running, hiking, paddle boarding, etc. I have a tough time using them for tennis though because the sole wears too quickly and lateral support is nonexistent. Quite often the shoe would rotate when making a quick stop or directional change! How’d you like the HFS for activities beyond running?
The HFS was nice and breathable, and definitely feels more comfy in the heel area when laced up properly. Traction is even with the Vapor Glove 4 on road, durability is superior to the VG4, but the VG4 beats it on dirt trails, and fit my D width feet better. If it's traction and support you want, have a look at the Merrell Trail Glove 5, which is a bit narrower in the arch area, and the sole is more rigid for support due to the sole protection. I use them for rocky trails, since the VG4 I can feel sharp rocks.
 
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