Vivobarefoot Hiker FG Review Facts
It makes perfect sense that the Vivobarefoot brand would make a hiking shoe. They follow the strict belief that we are connected to our ancestors and we were made to run the way they did, barefoot. Additionally, the company thinks that because the foot has millions of nerve endings, it is important that the runner can feel the road below them and if a shoe packs on a ton of cushioning and unnecessary stability features they won’t be able to respond to the road the way nature intended. Another unique element that Vivobarefoot provides to its runners is that they create shoes that are different and unique to the needs of men and women. Both the men and women’s version of the Hike FG features a stylish outer. Vivobarefoot makes lots of trail running models but this is a product that offers the ankle and full foot support for longer, intense trail hikes. This boot is lightweight, waterproof, and even certified vegan.
Any hiker knows that a good trail shoe is built from the outsole up. The outsole of the Vivobarefoot Hiker FG is durable and provides superior grip. The lugs are 4.5mm and are more aggressive than some other styles of the Vivobarefoot brand, but this adds superior traction to this shoe. Additionally, the material used in the outsole is Vivobarefoot's patented Pro5. This is a material that is five times more puncture proof than other outsole materials. Even though it is powerful at resisting punctures, it is still super thin and lightweight. It doesn' sacrifice the zero drop, natural feel of the shoe.
The key features of the Vivobarefoot brand
and this hiking boot are that while the vast majority of zero drop shoes have no added cushioning or support features in the midsole. The Hiker FG has just enough cushioning to make them perfect for long distances. The boot features a thermal insole that is 3.5mm thick and is designed to offer insulation to the runner and keep the foot warm during cold weather hikes. It's still thin enough that it doesn't interfere with the zero drop feel that runners are looking for.
The upper of this trail shoe
is one of the features that athletes really loved. The material of the upper is a hydrophobic mesh, which is water resistant and high quality but is actually lower in cost than similar materials. Not only is the upper of the shoe water resistant
, it also adds a water-resistant band around the sole of the shoe to protect it in one of its weakest areas. Finally, to reinforce the upper even more, the entire section is coated in a PU Wax material that seals the shoe and protects it from moisture. While the material protects against water entering the shoe, it still provides a breathable feel to the athlete. Reviewers reported that their feet never felt too hot or constrained. Another important feature is the durable toe guard around the front of the shoe. This protects the hiker from the hurting their feet on trail debris and surprise rocks and roots and also protects the shoe from wear and tear. This boot features a wider toe box that allows the toes to splay naturally and promotes a natural movement
throughout the foot.
A key feature of this shoe is that it is lightweight. This is one of the key elements that sets this hiking boot apart from others in this field. Those who reviewed this product praised the Hiker FG's ability to be both lightweight and protective to the trail runner.
The upper of this shoe is made from a hydrophobic mesh material. This allows airflow to enter the shoe and eliminate blisters, hot spots, and irritation. The breathability is a key comfort component because it allows the hiker to go longer with needing to stop due to a suffocating foot.
Individuals raved about the overall comfort of these shoes. Vivobarefoot
made thoughtful changes to some of the earlier models of their trail shoes to create a very comfortable ride in the Hiker FG. The upper provides great breathability while at the same time managing temperature control through the thermal insole. This insole is soft and provides some added cushioning for the runner. The key comfort element though is that the Hiker FG still feels like the zero drop shoe that it is while simultaneously affording the trail explorer enough cushioning and comfort to take them across long distances.
The VIvobarefoot Hiker FG is a stylish trail shoe. The upper is constructed using earthy tones like browns, grays, greens, and maroon for the laces. This is a quality shoe for the hiker who cares not just about fit and durability but also style. Unfortunately, it does only come in one color combination which could be a problem for the customer who likes a selection. Its lightweight nature keeps it looking and feeling sleek and streamlined.
An early trail shoe created by Vivobarefoot
, the Tracker, is the less durable, less extreme version of this shoe. Athletes who wanted more durability, grip, and traction than offered by the Tracker are going to love the Hiker FG. The outsole of these boots features a more aggressive lug system to protect against wear and tear. Another durability feature that resonated with runners was the powerful toe guard. This helped eliminate breakdown in one of the most vulnerable places. The upper, though flexible and breathable is still very durable and protects the foot from the harmful debris of the trail.
Runners and hikers know that anything can and will happen on the trail. It is great to know that your hiking shoe has your back. This hiking boot offers layers of protection to the athlete who wears them on their adventures in nature
. To begin, the outsole of the shoe offers an aggressive lug pattern. This keeps you safe from slipping even on steep uphill climbs or sharp downhill descents. Another area of protection is in the thermal insole. This special, removable insole helps regulate the temperature inside the shoe. It adds warmth when the outside temperature drops. This shoe is covered in a waterproof PU Wax and in addition to this, Vivobarefoot added a band of water proof
material around the sole of the shoe to double the protection against wetness. The design features a taller cuff around the ankle to protect against rolled and sprained ankles
. Finally, the upper of the two features a durable toe guard. This protects the runners from avoiding the pain of a stubbed toe from surprise elements on the trail.
One of the special elements of the Vivobarefoot brand and the Hiker FG is that it is specifically designed without added supports. Vivobarefoot believes that adding extra support and cushioning to shoes, especially in the heel cripples the muscles and tendons in the foot from fully developing and reaching their full strength and potential. For this reason, you won't find a plush midsole foam and extra arch supports
for pronation in the Hiker FG.
One of the primary pluses of a zero drop running experience is the connection you feel to the road or trail below you. The Vivobarefoot Hiker FG works hard to protect the foot of the runner but still give them full freedom of movement on the trail. Testers of these shoes expressed that the responsiveness provided by the Hiker FG is unparallel. It is so important on the trail to be able to respond quickly to changes in the terrain, speed, and incline to stay safe. This trail shoe provides that to hikers without feeling too flimsy or lightweight in the outsole area.
These are designed for the trail! While Vivobarefoot has made earlier versions like the Tracker, they weren't made for the intensity of the adventures that the Hiker FG is made for. Due to the extra lugs provided on the outsole and the puncture proof material that protects the foot and the rest of the shoe from damage, this is a shoe that can go with you on your most intense adventures. Athletes also commented that the durability and flexibility of these boots made them a great choice for adventure races too.
While there are many great shoes and boots on the market for the runner or hiker who is looking for the lowest price possible
, this is not that boot. The Vivobarefoot line does a great job of providing superior durability and value to its athletes. While the Hiker FG is on the higher end of the price spectrum, it is an amazing value that trail runners and hikers view as an investment. In addition to this, all Vivobarefoot shoes and boots come with a 100-day free test run. If you don't love your shoes after that, return it for no questions asked. Athletes loved that they could try a product risk-free before committing to it.
The outsole of this shoe provides great flexibility. The Vivobarefoot brand wants its athletes to feel like the natural movement of their foot is not stifled in any way. This outsole provides great puncture proof protection, but it isn't weighed down with unnecessary stiff material or bulky padding.
The Vivobarefoot Hiker FG meets all of your traction needs. All you have to do is flip the shoe upside down to see that the unique design of this shoe is covered in three-point lugs that are perfect for gripping and holding on tight to a tricky terrain. The outsole is made from a powerful rubber material that helps the hiker feel safe and confident on steep inclines, sharp declines, and over slippery rocks and trail. Even in snow or rain, runners reported that they felt totally protected in these shoes.
Like added support and cushioning, zero drop shoes are known for their lack of stability features. There are lots of great stability shoes on the market like the Hoka
brand, but this is not a shoe for the athlete that is looking for stability features to help "improve" gait and support issues with over or under pronation. Barefoot running shoes like Vivobarefoot believe that the runner, or hiker, is better off without the added stability features that a more traditional running shoe offers.
Athletes purchase this shoe because they are fans of the zero drop feel and benefits of a shoe with a zero heel drop. The Vivobarefoot Hiker FG is unique in the barefoot world because it does offer some added cushioning than a more traditional zero drop shoe. It still maintains the superior feel of the natural shoe, but it has just the right amount of cushioning to take the runner or hiker on longer adventures without prematurely feeling fatigued.
- PU wax material
- Thermal Insole
- Lugged outsole
- Zero heel drop
The Vivobarefoot Hiker FG is for the hiker who is looking for a trail companion that can take them across any terrain, no matter how difficult. This shoe is water resistant through the upper and outsole. It is also breathable to keep the foot cool and dry on longer hikes. The inner of the shoe features a removable thermal insole that works to regulate temperature and keep the foot warm even on chilly hikes through the snow. The boot is a zero drop, flexible hiking companion that promotes the natural movement of the foot. Hikers love the sleek, stylish look, and really loved the 100-day money back guarantee.