Decathlon Bivouac Sandals Trek 500 | Barefoot Sandal Review

April 21, 2022
Inside this article:

The summer is arriving and that can only mean one thing... it’s sandal season.

Barefoot sandals had been the final frontier for me in terms of turning all my footwear minimalist. If you take a look through our barefoot shoe directory you can see there are a lot of brands making ‘Barefoot Sandals’ like Xero, Luna, Shamma and Earth Runners, but ehat about a more budget option?

... Enter the Decathlon Bivouac Sandals Trek 500.

Tech Spec

Stack height: 5mm

Heel-to-toe drop: 0mm (zero-drop)

Actual weight: 6.3 oz per sandal / 12.6 oz per pair

Flexibility: Very high

Width: 102mm

Toe spacer compatible: Yes

Review

The Decathlon Bivouac Sandals are not marketed as barefoot shoes but after taking a look in the shop and the reviews, they appear to be a minimalist zero-drop sandal... for $29.99!

Decathlon even says...

These sandals were co-designed with backpacking enthusiasts, who each contributed their own special skills. For example, one of our co-designers is a chiropodist who helps us fulfil the physiological needs of people's feet and make sure they are comfortable and safe during treks.

Before buying, I read some reviews that the toe box should be wider and it’s this feature that stops this sandal from being a true barefoot sandal. I agree with the other reviewers and also wish the toe box was bigger but it’s certainly not a deal-breaker for me.

For some, the smaller toe box causes the front strap to rub on the little toe, but this didn’t happen for me and apparently, you can stretch the strap to make it more comfortable.

These sandals are very minimalistic looking and super flexible. They easily pass the barefoot fold and in my opinion, look great. This makes them very packable in your backpack.

They are also very thin. They are probably the thinnest pair of shoes I own and even after being fully committed to barefoot shoes for the past 3 years, the ground feel took a little getting used to. You really feel everything with these. The soles are just enough to protect the feet and nothing more. My feet adapted to the increased ground feel pretty quickly.

Coming from flip flops, I loved having my foot held in place with the ankle and toe strap, it felt a lot more secure and allowed me to move more naturally.

For the price tag, I’m very happy with Bivouac Trek Sandals.

Shoe Materials

These minimalist sandals are made from recycled materials and really feel durable and solid. Decathlon states they are of European origin and are made in Portugal and they come with a 2-year guarantee.

Sole - 100% Rubber - Natural rubber - Latex

Upper - 100% Polyester cationic

Straps - 100% Polyester cationic

Sizing

Some report the toe box to be small and this causes rubbing on the little toe. Consider sizing up if possible for more comfort.

Pricing

The Decathlon Bivouac Sandals Trek 500 are $29.99.

The bottom line...

Would I spend the money on buying the same pair again?: Yes ☑️

What the community has to say...

I've been looking for a flexible, zero-drop, low profile sandal. The shoe and sandal companies that advertise having these features are super expensive! I somehow stumbled on Decathlon's website from my online searches and am so glad I took a chance on these sandals. There were only two sizes left, size 4 and size 5. The sandals came and (hooray!) the size 5 I ordered are the equivalent of an EU size 37. Perfect! The sandals are adjustable across both the ankle area and around the metatarsal area. The straps are very soft and do not chafe. I hope Decathlon will continue this style and get more inventory
Very recent convert to barefoot running - only been on two barefoot runs so far. I was interested to try some sandals, for times when I need to wear shoes. Didn't want to spend a lot so bought these ones from Decathlon, which aren't advertised as minimalist but they tick all the boxes. Ran over 11km and they were surprisingly comfortable. Was worried that the front stuck out too far and would trip me up (I'd have got the next size down if it had been in stock) but it was fine. I did feel the front moving around a bit - I could have tightened up the toe strap but that would have pushed my toes together ... now I understand why a lot of running sandals have a toe post. Took them off to run the final stretch barefoot.
Never expected to find a minimalist/barefoot sandal like this outside a specialist store or brand. It feels solid and is definitely value for money. Would definitely buy this again, and hoping to see another minimalist/barefoot footwear on Decathlon in the future.