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Vivobarefoot Tracker FG Walking Boot
I’ve always had a love hate relationship with walking boots, only finding one pair in my entire walking life that I enjoyed. My old pair of Asolo Powermatics are now reduced to gardening duties but they were in my opinion the best boots I had owned.
Upon searching for new hiking boots I tried on several pairs and nothing seemed to work well for me, that was until I decided to give the marketing hype of Vivobarefoot a look.
Initially I was a sceptic of barefoot style shoes, feeling that I really needed that foot support, but after spending several months in their everyday barefoot trainers, I noticed my bad posture and back problems vanished. I no longer walked on the inside of me feet and my toes actually widened as apparently they should.
SO it was time to give their boots a go. Can you go barefoot in the great outdoors? Well apparently you can.
Lets take a look at these shoes. The Vivobarefoot Tracker FG is a full leather ankle height boot, which at first glance looks just like a normal boot. It’s waterproof throughout, as shown in the photo below. It features a simple hook and loop lace system, with a thick, durable red lace along with comfortable soft padding around the shoe.
Being a barefoot shoe, there is more space in the boot, and therefore less stability on fine edges as you may find in a normal boot, but honestly, the sole is not as soft and bendy as other shoes in the range. You don’t generally tend to feel smaller stones under your feet, and the insole (optional) does a fine job at providing some padding. I have kept the insole in as I cannot go the full mile to really reduce these down to true barefoot shoes.
The sole is a bendy, sticky shallow lugged design, which does not have a heel step, but instead a singular shape throughout. The luggs have not worn down as of yet which is encouraging for overall durability.
What we loved
I love the overall design, weight and look of the shoe. They feel really nice on.
Because to boots are spacious inside, they don’t get too hot either. This is an issue I have had with all other boots but not with these shoes.
Finally, I’m really impressed with how supportive they feel. Despite the fact that the shoes are ‘barefoot’ they don’t feel floppy and lacking foot support. Instead my ankle is held in place, with minimal heel slip.
what we would improve
There is quite a big cut out at the back of the boot to allow for movement when walking but its a little too deep in my opinion. Water came in via the top of the boot at this entry point when submerged.
Moreover, the laces can be a little fiddly as they are only hook and loop. For the price, I would have liked to see roller laces for ease of use.
Finally, I have found that the sole has peele of just on the inside bend of the boot. I kind of see why this has happened, but I would expect there to be a design consideration here so this doesn’t happen as dirt has now worked its way into this gap.
UK 6 - UK 14
Vivos own patented sole
Vivos own 360 fabric
Long Distance Hiker Suitability
I am confident to recommend this for long distance hiking use. I do have some long term durability worries regarding the sole coming away from the shoe where it meets the bend of the foot, but I cannot see that escalating further than it has.
Overall, this is a great boot for year round hiking on hills, morrlands and some higher ground. You will need to get used to the ‘barefoot’ style of walking. It does take a little while for your feet to re-adjust to walking without conventional shoes but once you adjust, it feels great.
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