Vivobarefoot Magna Trail review – athlete & outdoormans perspective.

I’m a big fan of barefoot life now. I bought the Vivobarefoot Magna Trail as a shoe for hiking, outdoors, and casual life. I’ll go over all the important details such a sizing, durability, water-proofness, and more in this complete Vivobarefoot Magna Trail review.

View current price of Magna FG here

Check out my Vivobarefoot buyers guide to see all my favorite Vivobarefoot shoes.

Review: Vivobarefoot Magna Trail

Durability of the Magna Trails

The Magna Trails I have in particular are the Cordura model. They hold up quite well to abrasion and the daily tasks of life, however they will show their wear after a while.

In particular, the laces on mine have started to fray at the top eyelets. Not just fray – they’ve started to split. The eyelets seem to have worn down on them a lot and while they still work, after 4 months of frequent use I can’t help but think that’s a weak point.

The bottom tread and lugs have held up fairly well as I’ve went up a few mountains, use them daily for meandering the city, and done other outdoor adventures in them. I’d say they’re fairly rugged and will last a couple years with casual/regular use – save for the laces.

Magna Trail broken laces
Laces fraying after 3 months and eyelets wearing

Vivobarefoot Magna Trail comfort

The break-in period of the Magna Trails is not nice. The Cordura feels very stiff, it’s quite hard to get on, and you may even get a blister. I rarely get blisters and even got one near my ankle bone on my first hike with them.

The Magna Trails make a ‘flip-flop’ sound near the toe box for the first while of wearing them which can be annoying as well. At first, not so good.


Now that I’ve worn them in, they’re very comfortable! Granted, not as much as my Primus Trails or the leather & wool Magna Trails, however my feet have zero complaints. They’re spacious, warm, and dig into my foot nowhere.

If you’re having comfort problems with the Magna Trail at first just bear with it – it’s worth it and you’ll get past the break-in period.

Magna Trail sizing Vivobarefoot
How the Magna Trail look on your feet

Are the Magna Trails waterproof?

At first they were. Sadly they’re not quite so anymore. I’d say water resistant, but after the break-in period they wet out quickly. However in rainy Berlin weather I’ve not had them soak my feet while cycling, so it’s ehhh. Not great but not bad. Go for leather shoes if you want waterproof.

Good for snow hiking!

Magna Trail sizing

The sizing on the Vivobarefoot Magna Trails is a common point of annoyance. They fit 0.5-1 size bigger than other Vivobarefoot shoes I’ve tried, like my beloved Primus Trails (RIP).

Check out my Vivobarefoot sizing guide here for more info

Try them on in the store if you can, if not, order a size half too small. They’ll be tough to get on at first and the break-in period isn’t great regardless, but they’ll feel a little more snug. As long as you have a thumb-width amount of room between your toe and the toe-box, you’ll be happy.

Magna Trail vs other barefoot shoes

Magna Trail MTB barefoot shoes
The tread profile on the Magna Trails is pretty great though

The Magna Trails are in my eyes made for winter, spring, and fall. They’re substantially warmer than most barefoot shoes out there which is either a blessing or a curse.

A warm summer hike? Prepare for damp, sweaty feet.

Adventure in fall with cool weather? Perfect!

I wouldn’t at all pick the Magna Trails as the best barefoot trail running shoe – they’re a little clunky and hefty feeling for that. For me, they’re a perfect city/nightlife/fall weather shoe. Going outside in the mud, an upper body workout at the park, or nightclub is what these shoes are great for.

Leather and wool Magna Trail vs Cordura

Just get the leather and wool Manga Trails. Trust me. I didn’t buy them as I already have the Cordura Magna Trails, however I wish I waited for this next gen to come out. After a quick test in the store I was mind boggled – they feel like completely different shoes.

The comfort, the feeling, the materials, the water-proofness. For sure my next buy will be the Leather & Wool Magna Trails once these wear out (after a few years).

Other things worth mentioning

Magna Trail on person style
Magna Trails in person before the Devils Head Alberta hike

Style and aesthetics

I think the Magna Trails are the best looking barefoot shoes out there. I come from a sport leisure perspective when I say this – other Vivobarefoot shoes are classy and elegant looking. If you’re a streetwear casual kind of person, the high-top style of these will match you best.

Personally I love the olive colored ones my friend has and the burgundy/wine colored one his girlfriend uses, however the full-black ones which I sport are sleek and work with any outfit I have. Even jeans (which I never wear)!

Even my buddy who is a sneaker-head and hates barefoot shoes saw these and said “what kicks are those??” – Thinking that they’re regular shoes. Hah hah, fooled you – they’re actually barefoot shoes!

These are the best looking barefoot shoes in my opinion for streetwear and casual use.

Trail running

Meh. In my original Vivobarefoot Magna Trail Reddit review I didn’t really care for them on the trail. I still hold that sentiment. I feel slow, a little sluggy, and they’re not my pick. For walking and stuff yeah, they’re great. Running? I suggest the Vivobarefoot Primus Trails


Hiking shoes vs Magna Trail barefoot shoes
Hiking shoes vs Magna Trail barefoot shoes – the Magnas win for grip!

I couldn’t see myself needing any more grip unless on deep snow or mud. I’ve done some free climbing, bouldering, mountaineering, and more stuff which required a level of grip. The Magna Trails did exactly what I needed to.

Those lugs are shallow enough to allow for enough ‘barefoot feel’ during daily life, but deep and sticky enough for grip on dirt, snow, mud, rain, gravel, and rock.


I very much like these shoes. I’d definitely spring for the Magna Trail leather and wool variety if I had to choose again, however these are just fine. They work great for biking around the city, dancing in the park, nightclub shenanigans, and even advanced mountain stuff. Again, here’s the Magna Trail product page if you want to look at em.

View current price of Magna FG here

Check out my Vivobarefoot Magna Trail review video right down below for a full rundown and in real life test on how these shoes perform.

If you’ve got questions about the best Vivobarefoot shoe for you, then please just drop a comment and I’ll be glad to hit you up ASAP! Barefoot running changed my life in terrific ways and I’m very happy to help out.

Also hit up my Vivobarefoot buyers guide to see my complete rundown on all the Vivobarefoot shoes. Until next time, peace!

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Vivobarefoot Magna Trail II FG
Vivobarefoot Magna Trail review

Great mid-cut barefoot hiking shoes with some minor break-in period discomfort. Robust and capable shoes overall!

Product Brand: Vivobarefoot

Editor's Rating:


  • Comfortable
  • Aesthetics
  • Grip


  • Not waterproof
  • Forefoot wear

8 thoughts on “Vivobarefoot Magna Trail review – athlete & outdoormans perspective.”

  1. Hi, I have a new VIVOBAREFOOT MAGNA LITE WR SG MENS CHARCOAL. My shoes also make a pretty loud sound when they bend. What are your experiences? Does this sound go away? I am tempted to return the shoes because of this sound.

  2. Hi there! I recently purchased the Magna FG (with wool and leather) and after initially putting them on, I thought they were super comfortable. I followed the sizing guide on the website, so the fit seemed good. However after wearing them the first time for a walk, I noticed the crease at the base of the toes where they bend really rubbing against my big toe knuckle, making it uncomfortable and I got blisters. At first I thought this might be because I got the sizing wrong but I got my friend (who is 2 sizes smaller than me) to try and she had the same issue. Then after reading some reviews online, I read that others had similar issues with their Magnas. Just wondering how long your break in period was and if you had this problem as well? I’m hoping the leather will soften over time. Thanks

  3. Thanks for the review! By far the most extensive analysis of the nylon Magna I’ve found so far — and the comparison with the leather and wool version is much appreciated. I’ve actually been using a gray wool pair of Magnas for my walking commute, and I was considering getting a black nylon pair for more dirty/inclement conditions. But now I think I’ll wait until the black wool get back in stock.

      • Vivobarefoot recently made a recycled version called the Magna Trail II FG in both a mens and woman’s version which is pretty awesome!

        I’ve never really thought about it before, but lately been trying to buy shoes that use recycled materials instead of animal skin/hair (like leather and wool). Better for the planet and if the animals could talk, I’m sure they’d appreciate not being killed prematurely for a pair of shoes 😊.

        With wool, sheep farming is not sustainable (big contributor to greenhouse gasses), it often hurts sheep, and all the sheep end up going to slaughter when their wool quality goes down (about 5 years in.. as opposed to the 10-12 years they should live).

        Been thinking a lot about that lately, but seems like Vivo is heading in the right direction with the recycled version!


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