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Tolos Archetype 2.0 Review | Strong for the Gym and Walking?

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The Tolos Archetype 2.0 is a barefoot shoe designed for working out and day-to-day use. This model is a continuation of the popular Archetype 1.0 barefoot shoe, and it features multiple key upgrades.

I was a big fan of the Tolos Archetype 1.0 so I was super excited to buy and test the Archetype 2.0 to see how they compare. For me, I wanted to know if the Tolos Archetype 2.0’s updates would make it an all-around stronger shoe.

I currently use my Archetype 1.0 for casual wear and athletic-focused workouts and that’s exactly how I’ve used and tested the Archetype 2.0. Consistency is key for recognizing the nuance between different barefoot shoes.

Report Card: Get the Quick Facts

Tolos Archetype 2.0

Tolos Archetype 2.0 Pros and Cons
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 0mm
  • Stack Height: 5.5mm
  • Removable Insole: No Insole (comes with 1)
  • Sizing: True to Size for Most
  • Width: Wide

Quick Performance Stats In This Shoe

  • Max Lifts: 405 lb Hatfield Squat, 545 lb Deadlift
  • Max Run: 2-Miles (Tempo Run, Explained Below)
  • Cross-Training: Box Jumps, Sled Pushes/Pulls, Skater Strides
  • Walking Mileage: 60-Miles and Counting!

Pros

  1. The Tolos Archetype 2.0 is a dual-functionality barefoot shoe for anyone wanting a model for working out and for casual use.
  2. If you like minimalist branding then you’ll enjoy how few brand markings are on this shoe and how it’s easy to style with most outfits.
  3. The reworked bootie and toe box are a lot more comfortable with more padding around the boot and less material to have creasing issues with at the forefoot.

Cons

  1. If you have notably high-volume feet then you may still find this shoe to be a little snug or tough to get on.
  2. The upper in this shoe doesn’t have the most breathability so if your feet are prone to running excessively hot then you’ll want to go barefoot or wear thin no-show socks in these.
  3. The tread pattern has remained consistent so if you weren’t a fan of the Archetype 1.0’s sole tread then you’ll likely feel similar with this model.

The Tolos Archetype 2.0 delivers a well-rounded performance for daily wear and lifting. This shoe gives you a lot of ground feel, it articulates well, and it has a nice casual appearance.

Who Should Buy the Tolos Archetype 2.0?

After all of my tests, I’ve narrowed down three contexts where I think the Tolos Archetype 2.0 makes a lot of sense.

1. You Want a “Do It All” Barefoot Shoe

If you’re not wanting to spend on multiple barefoot shoes for working out and casual use, then I think the Tolos Archetype 2.0 makes a lot of sense for your barefoot shoe asks.

This model is exceptional in the gym and it’s been great for casual use due to its minimalist branding. I find that this shoe is easy to pair with a wide range of outfits which is awesome for day-to-day wear.

Tolos Archetype 2.0 Review

If you want barefoot shoes for business casual settings and commuting, for example, then I think you’ll be happy with this model. Not to mention all of the colorways are really solid for this scenario.

I also like that you can train in the Tolos Archetype 2.0 and they’ll give you a strong performance across the board for lifting, cross-training, and athletic-focused workouts.

2. Your Training Has a Large Athletic Bias

I think one of the main things that draw me to the Tolos Archetype 2.0 for working out is that it’s stellar for workouts that I deem as being more “athletic”. Basically, sessions where I’m blending explosive exercises with heavy lifting.

The Archetype 2.0’s sock-like fit gives it a seamless feel on the feet when jumping and doing multi-directional work and its flexible sole moves well with the feet.

Tolos Archetype 2.0 for Deadlifts

I also appreciate the grip of this shoe’s sole. I think for most lifters this shoe should provide plenty of traction for different lifting contexts on different surfaces.

There’s a reason I have the Tolos Archetype 1.0 in my best deadlift shoes list, and I can confidently say that the Archetype 2.0 is going to land itself as well because the sole is consistent.

3. You Want An Affordable Barefoot Shoe

Don’t get me wrong, I love Vivobarefoot shoes and most of the models they produce but they’re not the most cost-efficient. This always gives me pause when recommending models that cost $150+ for everyone.

Tolos Archetype 2.0 Sole Flexibility

The Tolos Archetype 2.0 costs around $120 and you can save a little bit of money on them if you use 10% codes which makes them even more affordable. For example, when I buy my pairs for review I’ll use my “thatfitfriend” code to bring the price down.

If you want a well-rounded shoe for a fair price then I think you’ll like the Tolos Archetype 2.0. Plus, if you use my code it does help support my brand and allow me to produce more content and you’re supporting Tolos which is also a small business.

Tolos Archetype 2.0

$120

Tolos Archetype 2.0 Product Image
4.8
Stability
4.8
Versatility
4.9
Durability
4.6
Quality
4.8

Best For

  • Casual Wear
  • Cross-Training
  • Athletic Workouts
  • Strength Training
  • Sprints

Falls Short

  • For Breathability
  • For Longer Runs

Who Shouldn’t Buy the Tolos Archetype 2.0?

For the most part, I don’t think there are a ton of populations that should definitely pass on the Tolos Archetype 2.0. However, there are some contexts where you might want to tread lightly.

1. You Have a Super Volumous Foot

Similar to the Tolos Archetype 1.0, the 2.0 has a slight bias towards a lower in-step. This can give this shoe a somewhat limiting feeling for thicker high-volume feet.

The reworked bootie construction and material make this model easier to get on compared to the Tolos Archetype 1.0 no doubt, but it’s still not the most seamless model in this specific sizing context.

In-step and sizing

If the Archetype 1.0 was a hard pass for you regarding this sizing caveat, then I’d suggest trying on the 2.0 in a clean setting so you can return or exchange if this shoe’s reworked construction still gives you issues.

2. You Want a Barefoot Shoe for Long Runs

If you’re sprinting and doing shorter intervals, then the Tolos Archetype 2.0 should be fine for those running asks. However, for longer runs, you may want to find a shoe that’s a little more specific for those demands.

The polymesh upper isn’t the heaviest material in the game, but for running, its lack of breathability and ventilation could be a problem for some. More specifically, if you plan to use your shoes for 5ks and longer.

Archetype 2.0 Upper

On top of its breathability, I think you’ll get a longer life out of your Tolos if you limit their long-run use. If you want a barefoot shoe built for that ask, then I’d suggest looking at shoes like the Xero Shoes Zelen or Vivobarefoot Geo Racer Knit.

Performance Assessment

To test the Tolos Archetype 2.0, I tried to keep my tests consistent with the first model so I could assess the differences and nuances between the two iterations.

Testing the Tolos Archetype 2.0 for Lifting

For lifting, the Tolos Archetype 2.0 has done a good job for three key reasons. First, the sole is as grippy as the first iteration which should be perfect for most lifting demands.

Testing the Archetype 2.0 for Lifting

When deadlifting and squatting, I have yet to have slip issues in this model, and it’s done a good job on different surfaces. Thus far, I’ve deadlifted well over 400 lbs in this shoe and they’ve been great for my needs.

The second reason why this model has been stellar for lifting is the ground feel that you get this shoe. If you like minimalist soles and having as much ground feel as possible then you’ll vibe with the Archetype 2.0, especially for leg days.

Third and lastly, I like the articulation of this model’s sole. This shoe has a ton of flexibility which helps feed into giving you more ground feel when doing exercises like RDLs, squats, split squats, and lunges.

Testing the Archetype 2.0 for Leg Day

If you’re new to barefoot shoes and want a first pair for lifting then I don’t think you can go wrong with the Tolo Archetype 2.0. They deliver what you need for strength work and have the essentials regarding their construction.

Testing the Tolos Archetype 2.0 for Cross-Training

In the context of cross-training and athletic-focused workouts that’s where I think the Tolos archetype 2.0 really excels. This shoe’s sock-like fit gives it a very seamless feel for transitioning through different training modalities.

When doing broad jumps and box jumps, this model excelled in helping me grip the floor for propulsion and it was flexible enough to feel snappy on the feet when transitioning into landing phases.

Testing the Archetype 2.0 for cross-training

I also like that the Tolos Archetype 2.0 has a wider lacing construction and that it feels a little more secure regarding its fit. The reworked TPU layer around the toe box is also a subtle perk to help prevent creasing and discomfort for certain foot anatomies.

My main gripe with this model is that despite the reworked material around the bootie having more stretch this shoe can still be somewhat of a hassle for thicker and sweatier feet. Prepare to use both the tongue and boot loops for these contexts.

This shoe also features internal TPU layers to support security when doing multi-directional exercises which I did notice when doing lateral shuffles and skater strides.

Testing the Tolos Archetype 2.0 for Running and Casual Wear

For running, I’ve used the Tolos Archetype 2.0 for workouts where I did sprints (20-30 meters), and for workouts where I did 400-meter intervals for 4-6 rounds.

Tolos Sole Tread

In these settings, this shoe worked fine, however, I do wish it had more breathability. This is also why I don’t recommend this model for my barefoot shoe-running folks who plan to tackle some serious running mileage in their shoes.

For casual use, I do like the Tolos Archetype 2.0 better than the original iteration. The main reason why I like the 2.0 better is its lack of branding on the side of the shoe.

For me, less is more in the context of shoes for business casual settings and daily wear so I appreciate this change to a more minimalist-feeling shoe. I also like that this shoe comes with a textured insole in the event you want a little more cushion in your shoe.

Tolos 2.0 for Daily Wear

The longer laces are also a nice touch to give you more length when it comes to tying your shoes. In the 1.0, the laces were shorter and I’d wear them loose casually, but that’s not always the best look for office settings so the longer laces are a nice subtle change.

Tolos Archetype 2.0 Sizing and Width

When it comes to sizing, most individuals should be safe going true to size in the Tolos Archetype 2.0. This model’s length runs true and its width is wide and comparable to shoes like the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III.

For context, I have an E-width foot and find that the Tolos Archetype 2.0 fits my foot anatomy really well. I can wear thin no-show socks in this model and have room or go barefoot in them and not swim around.

Tolos 2.0 Width

Tolos Archetype 2.0 Sizing Thoughts and Tips

  • These will size true to size for most foot anatomies.
  • If you have the Archetype 1.0, then opt for the same size in the 2.0.
  • The reworked TPU makes the toe break a lot less aggressive for smaller sizes.
  • These feel similar regarding width to Vivobarefoot shoes.
  • If you have high-volume feet, then I’d try on in a clean setting so you can return if you need to.

Archetype 2.0 Sizing

If you have additional sizing and fit questions about the Tolos Archetype 2.0, drop a comment below. Let me know your size along with what barefoot shoes you currently wear and in what size.

Construction Details

The Tolos Archetype 2.0 has a lot of similarities to the original model, but there are a few features and subtle updates to know before buying this shoe.

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 0mm
  • Stack Height: 5.5mm
  • Weight: 8.7 oz (size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: No (but it comes with one)
  • Polymesh Upper
  • Rubber Outsole
  • 3.5mm Thick Tread
  • 3/4 Polymesh Sock Bootie
  • Internal TPU Reinforcement
  • 5 Core Eyelets

Tolos Archetype 2.0

$120

Tolos Archetype 2.0 Product Image
4.8
Stability
4.8
Versatility
4.9
Durability
4.6
Quality
4.8

Best For

  • Casual Wear
  • Cross-Training
  • Athletic Workouts
  • Strength Training
  • Sprints

Falls Short

  • For Breathability
  • For Longer Runs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q:
Do the Tolos Archetype 2.0 run TTS?

A:
Most individuals should be safe going true to size in the Tolos Archetype 2.0. This model's length runs true and their have a fairly wide last construction.

Q:
Are Tolos good for lifting?

A:
Tolos barefoot shoes can be an awesome pick for lifting. This shoe has a high degree of flexibility so you get a lot of ground feel and its sole grips exceptionally well for different lifting contexts.

Takeaway Thoughts

Once again, Tolos has built a really solid barefoot shoe with the Archetype 2.0. This shoe feels like a nice upgraded continuation from the original model which was a strong shoe to begin with.

For lifting, cross-training, and casual use, I think you’ll enjoy what the Tolos Archetype 2.0 has to offer. It also has a pretty fair price point for its well-rounded performance.

If you have additional questions about this shoe, drop a comment below or reach out to me via Instagram (@jake_boly or @that_fit_friend) and I can help you out.

Jake Boly

Jake Boly

Jake Boly is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of That Fit Friend. He's often regarded to as a go-to resource in various performance shoe communities. He’s been formally reviewing shoes and training gear for over 7 years and has hand-tested over 400 pairs of shoes. Jake is known on the internet and YouTube for blending his review process with his educational, strength sports, and personal training background.

Jake has a Masters in Sports Science, a Bachelors in Exercise Science, a CSCS, and he's been personal training for over 10 years helping hundreds of clients get stronger, lose weight, and accomplish their goals. He uses his exercise science brain and personal training background to make curated and thoughtful review content on the fitness gear he's testing.

3 thoughts on “Tolos Archetype 2.0 Review | Strong for the Gym and Walking?”

  1. Hey Jake, watched your videos on these on your YT channel. As an all-around minimalist shoe that are great for sprinting and weight lifting, does this take the mantle from the 210-XF, which you also rated as 4.8?

    1. Eh, not necessarily — but they’ll work for most, imo. Tolos will be less breathable, but I like their fit better. Their 4.8s are for different reasons and each shoe excels really well in particular areas. I have a few shoes rated at that and it generally reflect for different reasons and not just a singular performance attribute unless I make mention of that.

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