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 ANYA20 for 20% off

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 ANYA20 for 20% off) 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

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Victor Martínez

    Hola, yo utilizo merrel tracker, que tienen suela quantum grip, y en terreno húmedo ( sobre todo en roca ) no tienen buen agarre. La vivobarefoot tracker puede decirme si tiene más agarre.
    También estoy valorando la forest.
    Muchas gracias por todo

  4. Hello,

    Thank you for this helpful review. Are the shoes pictured in the style called ‘Bracken’?

    Thanks again

    1. Thanks for the review! How do you find vivos fit your plateau feet? I also have a more plateau shape at full splay and I worry that their last shape would cut in just a little too early for my pinky toe.

  5. Hi Anya,

    Thank you for your reviews! I’ve recently bought a pair of the Vivobarefoot Tracker IIs. I love the idea of them, but I’ve been having trouble with comfort, particularly around my ankle. The top hooks for the laces apply some uncomfortable pressure around my ankle when I lace up. I’m wondering if your husband experienced this pressure, and if so, does this goes away once the boots are broken in more? Do you have any specific recommendations for breaking them in other than wearing them frequently?

    Thanks,
    Will

    1. Hey Will! Since I first wrote this review a few years back now I also got a pair. Justin still wears his a ton every winter, I wear mine also but not as frequently (I’m almost always testing pairs for reviews so, I rotate). Justin was never bothered by the heel/ankle area, but I felt it like you do. I put some padding in that area behind my foot and that helped while the shoe was breaking in. For padding you can use a tongue pad or an old insole cut up. I also use this simple hack for loosening new shoes as well.

  6. Hi Anya! Absolutely love your reviews – I’ve learned so much over the last couple years transitioning into zero-drop shoes and most of it has been from here!
    I’ve been mulling over getting a pair of Tracker FGs and I’m curious how your husband’s pair have held up over the last couple years – it would be great to get a long-term update! Have you had to re-waterproof them at all? I live in a particularly rainy region, with the occasional immense snowfall. So gore-tex has traditionally been a must, but I haven’t been able to find any zero-drop / barefoot / minimalist boots that are fully waterproof. Thanks!

    1. Hey there! Hard to believe it’s been more than two years since writing this review. They still are getting regular use here, they are Justin’s primary snow/hiking/work boot to this day. The lace on one boot broke recently and he had to order some new ones (I really wish Vivo sold replacement laces), other than that no issues. They just look a lot more worn nowadays. We’ve not had any problem with the waterproofing not working, but I would still plan on touching them up as needed with your climate.

  7. How long does it take to break these in? I just tried on a 38 and 39 today to see which was better – 39 was too long, 38 was too tight in width but perfect length. Would the 38 stretch out to be comfortable? I love these boots but they felt so stiff, whats your experience?

    1. Justin didn’t find them too troublesome to break in, but I found my pair to be pretty stiff and tight for a while. They loosened slowly over several wears and then just continued to soften more and more over time. It’s hard to know if they’re going to be right when they’re brand new because they change quite a bit as they break in. If they’re snug on your foot that should be ok, but if you can’t hardly wear them they’re so tight then the 39 might be better.

  8. I’m amazed at how yours look after use. We bought two pairs of Trackers recently (a pair as a Christmas present and a pair for my husband a couple months earlier, in October). Both pairs are absolutely crumbling. The soles on both have peeled away from the leather and the rubber material that wraps up and around the boot is crumbling. In Canada, we pay over $400 for these boots and we are incredibly disappointed.

    We’ve been wearing barefoot shoes for years and the search for a durable boot continues. If you are someone that needs boots for work or trade, these are not them. Maybe they function well for a hike or walk around town, but one of our pairs is for a carpenter (not that aggressive a job physically but definitely on your feet all day) and the other for a farmer (forget it). We are presently going through the incredibly arduous and frustrating back and forth with Vivo to have the warranties honoured. It looks like they just hired a new company to solve their warranty issues. Hoping this makes a difference.

    Overall, there is either a new way these are being made or we got a bad lot or… I don’t know, but after spending close to $1000 for two pairs of boots, I doubt very much I would do it again (unless the replacement pairs proved to be dramatically different).

    Love your work. I recommend your site to everyone I know who’s interested in getting their feet (and bodies) sorted out. 🙂

    1. That is frustrating! Since writing this review a few years ago Justin has continued to wear his religiously. The leather looks very worn in and he had to replace the laces, but they are still functioning great! I don’t believe anything has changed about their manufacturing, but it is weird that the sole is crumbling on both of yours. We have recent pairs of other Vivobarefoot shoes with the same outsole (my son is a huge Primus Trail fan) and they’ve also held up well. You might want to check out my Facebook group for suggestions on heartier alternatives for farming, there are a number in the group who would be able to share what has worked for them.
      https://www.facebook.com/groups/677722582951840

  9. Hi Anya. I’m looking to trade in my Keens! I think I am high volume Plateau, normally a size 5.5 US, 35 euro. But when I do the pic sizing on vivobarefoot.com, they say a 7 so I’m a bit concerned to order them. I need waterproof, lugs, and speedhooks. Prepping for a wet hiking/photography trip to Scotland. 🙂 Any advice on a good option for my foot would be most appreciated!

    1. Hi Nicci, it’s totally in the realm of possibility that a 37 is a good choice for you if you are used to wearing shoes that might be a little small for you. The Tracker FG also fits a little snug. Another option is to measure your feet and then use their size charts to double check the sizing.

      For your foot type I also like the Freet Tundra. Have you seen my article on barefoot hiking boots?

      1. Thanks Anya. I’ve read your article in detail – it’s great. I had ruled out the Freet because it said water resistant and I definitely need proof – will be standing in water at times. I’m going to measure one more time and pull the cord on the Tracker FG. Really appreciate all of your information!

  10. Hi Anya. Do you use womens shoes in vivobarefoot? Have you ever heard about men who buys their womens shoes instead of mens? I just got the tracker 2:s in size 41 and 42 and I believe that they could be too wide. 25,5/25 cm long feet. 10,2 cm width with high arches. It feels like I have to tighten them extremely much to not move around. I don´t get a good heel lock. I´m so confused.

    1. Hi Matt, yes I have heard of men buying women’s vivobarefoot shoes. They’re really the same shoe, just slimmer by several millimeters. For your foot length, your width is definitely on the narrower side. It would be worth a try!

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Picture of 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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