Vivo Barefoot Tracker Decon Low FG2 Walking Shoes | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Vivo Barefoot Tracker Decon Low FG2 Walking Shoes | Review

Get that barefoot hiking feel with added warmth, style and water resistance, all in a sturdy yet lightweight package

Why We Chose It: Eco-friendly, well-crafted, unique

The Vivo Barefoot Tracker Decon FG2s are a shorter and more compact version of the original Tracker hiking boots. In true Vivo fashion, they’re designed to give their wearers as much of a sensory experience as possible while still protecting their feet from the lumps and bumps of the trail.

They’re part of a wider genre of footwear known as ‘barefoot’ shoes which are designed to encourage a more natural and intuitive style of walking, in turn producing less impact on your muscles and joints. Whilst this style of shoe isn’t for everyone – and you might prefer something a little more cushioned – there’s certainly a lot to like about the Tracker Decon FG2s. From the woolly lightweight upper to the sticky rubber outsole; we reckon these could make a neat addition to your walking shoe collection this year.

What Is the Tracker Decon Best Suited To?

If you’re looking to really shake up your walking/running experience, the Decon FG2s will do the job. Compared to your average walking shoe, they’re thin enough to help you feel more beneath your feet while still maintaining a level of protection using Vivo’s Firm Ground Sole rubber compound.

Though perhaps not for squelchy bog walking, there’s a solid amount of water resistance here for most stoney paths and grassy trails here in the UK. We reckon they’d work best on spring and summer walks, though the Woolmark-knitted sock design should keep you toasty enough on some warmer Autumn days too.

Eco Credentials

One great eco factor here is the use of Woolmark merino wool in the upper. In a move away from the use of synthetic fabrics, Woolmark produces natural, renewable and biodegradable wool. In this sense it’s a circular fibre that doesn’t contribute to microplastic pollution in our oceans or on our lands. The Woolmark certification additionally provides ethical sourcing assurance, as well as a top-notch quality guarantee. 

Merino wool itself is also a pretty durable fabric. With natural breathability, temperature regulation and sweat wicking properties; it tends to cost more than your synthetic alternatives, however, that’s the trade-off for a longer-lasting garment with a more carbon-friendly footprint. 

Wildhide leather is also used in the upper, and – in this instance – is made from free-roaming cattle sourced from small scale farmers. This provides that rugged yet flexible feel to the shoe, including natural water-resistance and a more supportive fit.

If, however, the time comes, and your Vivos reach the end of their walking careers. Fear not – the end is just the beginning. Thanks to Vivos ‘ReVivo’ initiative, you can send your shoes away to be reused and reconstructed into new ‘Reconditioned’ shoes at a lower price. This also applies to some returned footwear and unsold stock from previous seasons. In that respect, much less waste ends up in landfill sites and more people can access pre-loved footwear at an affordable price. 

Vivo additionally operates a 100-day trial wherein you can return your shoes within 100 days with a full refund if you change your mind. Like ReVivo, this helps reduce landfill waste whilst also taking the pressure off if you’re thinking of taking the barefoot plunge for the first time.

Construction and Performance

As mentioned earlier, the primary ingredients of the upper here include the Woolmark wool and the wildhide leather. Together these combine to produce a breathable and lightweight upper with enough flexibility to enable natural movement in your step.

The outsole, on the other hand, uses Vivo’s sticky rubber Firm Ground Sole with a 2.5mm base and a 4mm lug height. This helps with grip on wet and rocky terrains, whilst still maximising that down-to-earth barefoot feel. 

The Outlast thermal insole is similarly smart, and can absorb, store and release heat to accommodate your feet’s changing temperatures throughout the day. This, coupled with the merino wool sock-like upper, should keep you nice and cosy on your next adventure. 

Like most ‘barefoot’ shoes, the fit itself is foot shaped rather than shoe shaped. They’re additionally wide enough to allow for your foot’s natural spread and stability, yet thin enough to help you feel the terrain beneath you.

OM tester Jordan (left) sporting the Tracker Low FG2s in the Lakes.

With a metal hardware finish and side-stitching on the outsole for extra durability – we’re big fans of the Tracker Decon FG2s this year. 

Vivo Barefoot Tracker Decon Low FG2s

Selected for our Green Gear Guide 2023
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