A Comfortable, Casual Cross-trainer for Any Woman
It’s not often I am blown-away impressed by a minimalist shoe but the Lucy Lite has far exceeded my expectations in comfort, versatility, barefoot feel, and styling. VIVOBAREFOOT has made some incredible models in the past but this model obviously incorporates all the accumulated knowledge this company has accrued in their shoe-making experience. This is a shoe that is as comfortable on urban adventures as it is running a road race.
The VIVOBAREFOOT Lucy was the first minimalist shoe review I wrote for Living Barefoot back in August of 2009. What a difference experience makes—not only in the improvements made in the new and improved Lucy Lite but also in my confidence in reviewing minimalist shoes.
The Lucy Lite is the epitome of comfort. The inside of the upper is lined with a super soft nylon and polyester material and has just the right amount of padding against the skin. I cannot feel any seams on the inside of the shoe with my feet or my hands other than where the tongue meets the rest of the upper and even that is unobtrusive. They are comfortable with or without socks. I have sensitive skin so this is definitely a plus for me.
They also stay on well without any binding or slippage. The heel cup remains in place while walking or running.
The extra wide last is wonderful. I’m finding it increasingly difficult to find shoes that are wide enough for me after almost three years of strictly being barefoot and wearing minimalist shoes. There is plenty of room for my toes and metatarsals to splay in these shoes. If you have average width feet, the lacing system should easily accommodate a narrower fit. If you have narrow feet, these might be a little wide but I don’t know as I can’t test it myself.
The outsole is VIVOBAREFOOT’s patented, puncture-resistant TPU 3 mm on road sole. It has a uniform grip depth along the entire length of the shoe, allowing an even transfer of body weight along the length of your stride.
This shoe is amazingly flexible! The sole flexes easily in any direction. It’s a huge improvement over the flexibility of the original Lucy, which I found a little stiff in some directions, particularly bending my toes upward. In the Lucy Lites, the shoe follows where my foot bends with next-to-no effort. There is no uncomfortable crease along my toes when they bend upward either (a problem occasionally encountered in some VIVOBAREFOOT models).
Each size 39 Lucy Lite weighs 5 5/8 ounces or 159 grams without the insole and 6 1/8 ounces or 174 grams with the insole. These measurements are well within the range of lightweight for a minimalist shoe. While walking or running, they feel extremely light and unemcumbering.
As with all VIVOBAREFOOT footwear, there is no support designed in the shoe or insole. The 3.0 mm press EVA insole is removable and provides only a modicum of cushioning.
The barefoot feel of the Lucy Lites is simply phenomenal. They are so flexible that even the smallest rocks are felt through the outsole. The puncture-resistant sole lends a feeling of safety and some comfort while walking on rougher terrain. In addition to the great ground feel, my feet also feel free to splay as wide as they need with the new extra wide last, which I think contributes to their excellent barefoot feel.
The on road sole is for just that, on road. These are not made for off road or trail purposes. For on road or indoor surfaces, they have more than enough grip if wet or dry.
The Lucy Lites do not have the most breathable of upper materials. If your feet are generally cold (like mine), these shoes are great. If your feet are generally hot, you might find that these can be a little stifling in warmer temperatures. From my own experience, my feet have not felt too hot even while running indoors.
Quality of Materials/Manufacturing
The quality of materials appears to be excellent. The materials look quite durable and will likely last a long time. The quality of manufacturing could be improved as there are a few visible glue marks on the upper where the outsole and upper meet. These are very small and you need to be looking very close up to see them. All the seams and other aspects of construction appear flawless.
The Lucy Lite upper is made of hydrophobic mesh and microfiber that water beads right off. There is even a hydrophobic collar within the shoe at the beginning of the tongue so if you step in water below about three quarters of the height of the shoe, your feet will still remain dry. This is a great feature for road running through puddles.
The Lucy Lite runs short so I recommend ordering a size up from your normal size. I generally fit a U.S. women’s size 8 and the Lucy Lite size 39 fits perfectly. I had the opportunity to fit a size 38 and 40 so I know that 39 is the right size for me. If you are familiar with VIVOBAREFOOT products, they fit similarly to the original Lucy, Evo, and Neo.
They are priced at $115 USD on the company website. For a durable, attractive, comfortable, versatile, casual and/or running shoe, this is well worth the price.
The Lucy Lites have a bit of a retro look to them that I like quite a bit. People have noticed them and commented on how cool they look and have been amazed when I tell them the Lucy Lites are a minimalist shoe. Perhaps they don’t look like most peoples’ idea of minimalist footwear? The newly designed upper is a cleaner, simpler design that works well with any casual outfit. The toe cap is a nice touch that isn’t obtrusive and adds extra toe protection if you’re going to be running in them. White is an interesting choice for the outsole but on the review pair colourway, it seems to work. I love the blend of colours used in the Dark Grey model and they also come in Black and Crimson.
There is no break-in period for these shoes. They are soft, flexible, and comfortable right out of the box.
I don’t think I’d put these in the washing machine to clean them. Most water beads off so if they get dirty, cleaning with a wet cloth is a breeze. I’ve worn these many times exercising and running indoors and they surprisingly do not smell bad despite their lack of breathability.
The Lucy Lites have become my go-to shoes for errands, walking, running, exercising—pretty much anything indoors or outdoors on roads when it’s dry. The only time I don’t wear them is on snow or trails. They are the perfect, casual, urban adventure shoe.
Every once in a while, the minimalist shoe bar is raised by a new product model; the Lucy Lite is one of those shoes. They excel in both fashion and function. They are one of the most comfortable minimalist shoes, with or without socks, I have ever had the pleasure of reviewing. They are wonderfully wide but with a lacing system that could easily accommodate an average width foot. Their flexibility and barefoot feel are incredible. Their casual styling works well for running errands or running a road race. Their only downside is that the upper is not that breathable so may not work well in warmer temperatures for people whose feet are generally hot. This is a plus for me, though, as my feet are generally cold. The Lucy Lites truly surpassed all my minimalist footwear expectations.
For more information, take a look at the VIVOBAREFOOT website.
Originally posted on LivingBarefoot.info