Vivobarefoot Gobi III Suede Review

By Alin Ciocan | December 8, 2023

Vivobarefoot GOBI III SuedE barefoot shoes product photo

Discover the unique intersection of natural sensation and contemporary design with the Vivobarefoot Gobi III Suede. This review unpacks its standout features – from the ground-feel enhancing 3mm sole to the generously spacious toe box – and examines how these elements contribute to a superior barefoot experience.

My hands-on experience reveals the shoe’s versatile performance from city streets to natural trails, all while scrutinizing its value proposition against the $190 price tag. Join me in exploring whether the Gobi III Suede truly sets a new benchmark in minimalist footwear.

Barefoot Comfort




Style / Design




Last Updated on December 12, 2023

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Vivobarefoot Gobi III Suede: Elevating the Barefoot Experience

As a long-time advocate and wearer of barefoot shoes, I have eagerly awaited the release of the Vivobarefoot Gobi III Suede. Having extensively worn and reviewed the previous Gobi II model, I was curious to see how this latest iteration would enhance the already impressive line.

First Impressions

Unboxing the Gobi III, the immediate standout feature is its updated aesthetic. Moving away from the traditional desert boot style of the Gobi II, the Gobi III introduces a more modern, ankle-height silhouette with a contrasting sole, giving it a fresh and contemporary look.

Vivobarefoot Gobi III Suede side

The color adds to its stylish appeal, making it versatile for various outfits.

Pros and Cons


Ultra-thin 3mm sole provides maximum ground feel and barefoot flexibility

Durable suede leather upper with protective rubber rand

Soft and comfortable interior lining

Wide toe box allows natural toe spread

Sleek, eye-catching design with contrasting details (


Expensive price point at $190 USD

Suede may be less durable than smooth leather

Can be tricky to size properly

Not as quick/easy to put on as typical shoes

Barefoot Feel and Comfort

The hallmark of Vivobarefoot shoes is their commitment to a true barefoot feel, and the Gobi III Suede does not disappoint.

The ultra-thin 3mm sole, thinner than its predecessor, offers an even closer connection to the ground, enhancing sensory feedback.

This is complemented by the wide toe box, a consistent feature from the Gobi II, allowing for natural toe splay and movement.

The upper, made of buttery suede, feels supple and offers a level of comfort surpassing the durable hemp of the Gobi II. This softness, however, does not compromise the shoe’s structure, ensuring a snug fit and ample support.

Materials and Design

Handcrafted in Portugal, the Gobi III Suede takes sustainability seriously.

The Vivobarefoot Gobi III is hand crafted in Portugal

The use of metal-free suede, organic cotton, and a puncture-resistant Pro5 layer, along with recycled PU and cork insoles, reflects Vivobarefoot’s commitment to eco-friendly practices.

The sole’s design, while maintaining a minimalist approach, ensures protection and durability.

Performance in Various Conditions

Wearing the Gobi III Suede across different environments, from urban streets to light nature trails, I found them to perform admirably. The sole’s flexibility and the shoe’s overall lightweight design make them suitable for everyday use. The water-resistant properties of the suede leather also held up well in light rain, though they are not designed for extreme weather conditions.

Sizing and Fit

The Gobi III Suede fits true to size, with enough room for socks or an additional insole. People with slim feet might find the heel slightly wide, but the lace-up design accommodates a range of foot shapes comfortably.

Comparison to the Ra III

The Gobi III shares similarities to Vivobarefoot’s highly rated Ra III line in terms of barefoot design ethos. Both feature wide toe boxes, thin flexible soles, and quality materials sourced ethically.

The Ra III leans more towards a classy look while the Gobi III takes inspiration from desert boots for a lifestyle aesthetic. Ultimately, those who appreciate the Ra III but want something more fashionable and versatile can find their match with the Gobi III.

It retains the barefoot benefits while having a style suitable for both trails and streets. The ankle support also makes the Gobi III easier to wear for long periods compared to the Ra III’s low cut silhouette.

Price and Value

Priced at around $190, the Gobi III Suede is at the higher end of the market. However, considering the quality of materials, design, and the barefoot experience it offers, I believe the price is justified. The boots are a solid investment for those seeking a combination of style, comfort, and the benefits of natural foot movement.


For fans of the minimalist barefoot lifestyle, the Vivobarefoot Gobi III Suede is a significant step up from its predecessors. It retains the core principles of barefoot footwear while introducing style updates and enhanced comfort. Whether you’re a barefoot veteran or new to the concept, the Gobi III Suede is a compelling option for those who seek to combine fashion with the health benefits of natural foot movement.

Enhanced Durability

The Gobi III Suede builds on the durability of past Gobi models with enhancements like puncture-resistant soles and quality suede that can better withstand scuffs. This makes them suitable for everyday wear while retaining a minimalist barefoot design. The added durability broadens the scenarios where you can comfortably wear Gobis for both lifestyle and light trails.

Value Proposition

While the $190 price tag is steep, the Gobi III justifies it through quality materials and workmanship with ethical sourcing and manufacturing. The value comes from the potential health benefits of barefoot shoes over years of wear plus the versatility to transition from city streets to trails. Ultimately, view the Gobi III as an investment into your foot health.