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.
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.