Vivobarefoot Tracker Review – Barefoot Hiking Boots

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The Vivobarefoot Tracker is one of the best barefoot hiking boots around. Traction, durability AND a flat, flexible sole make them a shoe that can do it all. Read on for my full review of this minimalist boot.

*Get 10% off your purchase with code VIVOANYA

Meet the Tracker

The Vivobarefoot Tracker is a serious hiking boot that makes no compromises on functionality and is one of the best barefoot hiking boots currently available.

Specs

1/4 inch lugs, hard-wearing leather upper, and fully waterproofed exterior make these one hell of a boot. Thick laces slide through the metal grommets easily and speed hooks make getting the Trackers on and off a breeze. The tongue is fully gusseted (attached) so you don’t get debris or water in through the creases. It also has an accordion design so that the shoe can expand for higher volume feet or thick socks.

Vivobarefoot Tracker Review
Vivobarefoot Tracker Review
Vivobarefoot Tracker Review
Vivobarefoot Tracker Review
Vivobarefoot Tracker Review
Vivobarefoot Tracker Review
Vivobarefoot Tracker Review
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The interior is padded so you can hike in them without blisters and they come with a removable thermal insole. This is a boot by any standard, whether you use it for hiking or as a work boot. But what makes them truly great is that they also meet my standards for healthy footwear.

Barefoot Qualities

In addition to all the functionality of a hiking boot, the Tracker is also completely flat, flexible enough to roll into a ball, and spacious around the toes. This is a minimum requirement for me in footwear and what makes this a barefoot shoe.

While they are stiffer than I prefer in my day-to-day shoe, for an adventure boot these are very flexible. My husband has been wearing his as a snow boot in addition to hiking and they really live up to the hype. The fact that you can get the durability and traction needed for high-adventure and still be able to roll your shoe up into a ball is quite impressive.

Weatherproof?

So far this shoe has held up to its claim to be waterproof. It’s pretty wet and snowy where we live, so it’s been tested many times in real weather. No water has come in and we haven’t had any problems slipping in rain or snow. We’ve had these for about a year now.

The one complaint we have is that the thermal insoles do not keep our feet very warm. Last winter we swapped it for a thicker insole from NorthSole. A sheepskin insole would also work well (that is what I use in the winter)

This has been my experience with all my Vivobarefoot boots, I simply freeze in winter with their thermal insoles. So if you plan to wear these boots in a really cold climate I would use a better insole with them. If you plan to wear them in warmer weather, you might want to ditch the insoles all together.

Sizing

We have many Vivobarefoot shoes in our house. In general, Vivo sizing is slightly small but usually you can expect to wear your normal size. In the Tracker however I recommend sizing up, because the padding on the inside takes up space.

My husband typically wears a 13 in barefoot shoes. In the Tracker he got a size 14 and they fit him well. He alternates between pairs of medium weight socks and thick wool sicks with his, and he uses a 6mm insole from NorthSole. If he wore them barefoot and with a thinner insole he might get away with a 13, but for a cold weather boot he wanted to make sure he could put in the thicker insole and socks.

My husband also has the Vivobarefoot Addis sneaker in a size 13, but the Addis is built on a wider last and has a roomier fit than most other Vivo shoes. You can see the comparison here:

Vivobarefoot Addis sneaker review and Tracker close up shot
Size 14 Tracker: Longer but more slanted at the toes. Size 13 Addis: Shorter but a rounder toe box

Ordering

The Tracker costs $240 (but you can get 10% off with the code VIVOANYA) and is available year round from Vivobarefoot, but if they are ever out of your size check out their Amazon shop as they often carry different stock. Vivo offers free shipping, free returns, AND a 100 day return policy. That means you can actually test these to see if they work for you. You can also check out the Revivo site to see if you can get a good deal on a lightly worn pair!

Conclusion

The Vivobarefoot Tracker is a solid boot. I can confidently recommend it to someone looking for an all-purpose, all-weather shoe that can take a beating. Besides hiking, the Tracker is also great for snow and as a work shoe.

These are the first barefoot hikers we have owned, but this fall I am going to be testing out several more! If you are interested in the most durable, sturdy, and waterproof barefoot hiking boots be sure to subscribe below for my future posts! And you can see regular updates and mini reviews on Instagram.

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Comments

27 thoughts on “Vivobarefoot Tracker Review – Barefoot Hiking Boots”

  1. Found your website after about two hours of research for winterproof barefoot shoes. This is the best review in terms of information on the specific shoe, the shoe compared to other shoes within the same company, and also the BEST information on how it actually fares in winter. I am shocked at the amount of reviews that do not mention anything about snow or temperature, so this is amazing. I really wish there was a way for your reviews to be higher on the search results! This would have saved me SO much time! My only suggestion is to type out full names of the shoes, or to specify the name of the shoe series, just because companies are constantly making different variations of their shoes, or upgrading a successful series of their shoes, so it’s hard for me to cross reference the shoes in your review with what is currently available on their websites. Thank you for helping me finally cement my decision on a good winter shoe!

  2. Hello, thank you for your reviews. I have worn VivoBarefoot Tracker for a number of years now and I find them to be the best hiking boots I’ve ever had. The only downside is not one pair has proved to be waterproof, on a number of occasions my feet have been soaked. I walked yesterday in heavy rain wearing a newish pair and my feet were very wet at the end of a two hour walk. It’s a great shame because other than that they are perfect.
    Thanks again, Angela UK

    1. That is a real shame! Sounds like that’s been the case with multiple pairs for you too. I haven’t had any issue with that yet, my husband and I both have a pair we wear often. There are some products you can apply to shoes, I believe Aquaseal is one that is supposed to do an excellent job of sealing up shoes. Might be worth a try!

  3. Hello! Thanks for your great reviews. I entered the discount code you indicated and it didn’t work. Has the code been updated? If so, may I know the new code please? The shoes are pricey so a 10% discount would be welcome 🙂

    Thanks again!

    1. I think it must have run out of uses. I’ve already sent them an e-mail and they’re usually pretty fast about resetting it! Hopefully it’ll be up and running again by the morning.

  4. Hi and thanks a lot for this great review.

    As a lot of people, I’m really concerned by the waterproof point : it seems it’s variable from one pair to another, when I read the comments on distincts reviews.
    I suppose at the end that the only choice is to try directly, or wait for a new model.

    Another point I have different informations is the durability. Some reviews point the fact that the sole can be quickly damaged, and had some issues with lacing eyelets.
    Did you had the same question about durability with some of your pairs of shoes ?

    Thanks a lot for your answer

    1. Hi Patrick! My husband’s pair that has been used heavily for 2 years is still going strong and waterproof. He has noticed that at the crease where his big toe bends the sole looks like it might come undone soon, but nothing yet. My pair hasn’t been used quite as much as his, but still no issues for me. I can’t account for other people’s experiences, but they’ve been great for us.

  5. Hi Anya, I’m sure I saw somewhere that you were testing out the new Tracker Forest Esc but I can’t find a review. I’m wondering how it compares to these for ground feel, how water resistant it is and whether it fits larger than the tracker? I have shallow roman feet with wide toe spread and long 3rd toe so Vivos are not usually great for me but I read somewhere that the forest esc has a wider toe box – is that the case? If you’ve already reviewed it please can you point me in the right direction, and if not I’d be really grateful for any info you can share. Thanks. 🙂

    1. Hey! I just wore them on their first hike today! Sizing is nearly the same as the Tracker FG, maybe slightly roomier (Or it just feels like it because the upper is a lot softer). No ground feel – they have deep lugs for traction, and I sized up one in them just like I did in the FG. My husband is like you, and the Trackers are the only Vivobarefoot shoe that has worked for him in the next size up.

      1. That’s great to know, thanks! I’ve ordered a pair to try – I sized up and went over to mens for extra width in the front. Should be arriving today so fingers crossed…

      2. Hi,
        Thanks fir the review. I just bought some of these boots but on first outing the backs of my heels are blistered and raw. There is a seam that runs across the back of the heel that is extremely painful. I wonder if you have heard of anyone else who had this experience?
        Thanks again.

        1. The heel bothers me too and I wrap an old insole in the heel cup to protect my foot. You can also put a tongue pad. I have pretty sensitive heels and am used to doing this with my hiking boots, it really helps!

  6. I have a pair and while I love the idea, they have begun to delaminate – the sole is pulling off the boot after only three years. That is super frustrating.

  7. Thanks a lot for you numerous and extensive reviews.

    I have just thrown out my third pair of completely worn out Tracker, and it is by far the best walking/hiking shoes I have ever had. And my previously favorite was their older model…

    My only reservation is the price seems to get higher with each iteration, and the durability is not really what I would expect from this kind of price range.
    I use them almost every day from Fall to Spring, I would say around 1’200 – 1’500 km?
    No idea if it is a “normal” life expectancy for hiking shoes, but I do notice that the stitch/glue rips every time at the same place, around where the foot folds.

    I keep looking for more robust alternative that does not feel like ski boots (Birkenstock “Jackson” seem nice but I am afraid of getting back to a rigid sole after all this time, and I am seriously considering getting a quote for custom barefoot leather boots from an artisan), but so far the Tracker really seem to be the best there is…

    1. Glad you’ve been enjoying your Trackers! They are solid boots. I’ve heard about the delamination from a few people – it seems to be the first place they break down. If you’re in the UK they have a repair service and can resole them, otherwise I don’t think there is much you can do. It’d be nice to get a hiking boot that could be resoled – Softstar is going to release a new hiking boot in a week or so that will have that capability.

  8. Hi Anya, when you replaced the thermal insole with sheepskin insole for Soft Star, which insole did you purchase from them? They have a standard and a primal. I want to make sure I get the one you had success with fitting well in the tracker.

  9. I have had a pair of these for around 4 years and they have completely lost their waterproofness – I’ve already tried using aquasure on the seams and sole/upper joins, plus nikwax waterproofing spray on the leather but they still are compromised in a dewey field or 30 mins rain. Anyone else had this or come up with a solution? I really don’t want to bin £180 shoes after 4 years with not particularly heavy use, they should last longer than that..

    1. Name *Julia Ridgman

      I have exactly these issues. I’ve had them for about 4years and recently got them revived. Disappointed that the sole was letting in water. A run round with Aquasure sorted that but they have never been very waterproof. I was out today in heavy rain and my feet were pretty wet after a couple of hours. They’ve never coped with having to cross boggy ground. As they have a fairly new sole I’m loath to replace them yet.

  10. I wore mine on and off for one year, the glue has come off, the leather is torn, the red tag on the back fell off. These shoes are no more durable than any common, inexpensive shoe. They are comfortable but the poor build quality has me feeling ripped off.

  11. Hi Anya, thank you for all your wonderful reviews! I have found them extremely helpful. I have just tried to use the discount code for vivobarefoot and it doesn’t appear to be working. Wasn’t sure if it required resetting? Thanks again!

    1. Hi Tarryn! I just checked it and it’s working for me. It won’t work on top of sale items, and it only works on Vivo-owned sites (there are some Vivobarefoot franchises out there that don’t accept my coupon). It should be good for .com, the UK, EU, and a few others.

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Hi. I'm Anya.

Hi. I'm Anya.

I first discovered barefoot shoes after a long history of foot issues. By changing my footwear and strengthening my body I was able to completely transform my life. Anya’s Reviews is my way of sharing with the world that healthy feet are happy feet!

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