Should I be hiking in a boot or should I be hiking in a shoe? This is a question we get often, and my answer is always the same, “it depends”.

At Vivobarefoot, we promote natural movement and giving you the ability to interact with your surroundings as freely as possible. Therefore in my personal opinion, a shoe such as the Primus Trail FG is the way to go in most circumstances. It allows for maximum sensory feedback while providing protection to the soul of your feet in rough conditions. The lack of a collar help keep you cooler on those hotter summer days, and in general you feel less restricted.

There are however times when a boot like the Tracker comes into its own, places where a boot would be apricated. If you are hiking off-trail where sticks, rocks and the likes tend to pop out of nowhere and jab you in the ankle, or in colder, wetter and snowy conditions (think Matroosberg) then the additional insulation does come in handy. Additionally a boot just looks flat out mean.

There is also a perception that when carrying a large pack for multi day hikes you need the extra support given by a boot. Again, my feeling is this is not entirely needed. For one, with the correct amount of training and conditioning the muscles supporting the ankles will be able to support the load. But, once again if you are off trail with a heavy pack, then a boot would be better suited to the situation. The best addition to your hiking kit, other than your Vivo’s of course, is a good set of hiking poles. These will take some of the load off your joints and give you some extra stability when carrying a load.

In short, it all depends