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We review the Primus Trek Leather from VivoBarefoot to test its capabilities for the active traveller.
vivo primus trek
Best for...
For re-connecting with the ground we love to walk on
Overall Score
Great balance of material underfoot, tactile yet secure tread
Off-the-wall looks

Vivo are one of the pioneers of the barefoot movement - radically redesigning footwear to promote the natural movement of the foot - and the Primus Trek Leather is their flagship model for hikers. Features include a 3mm lug pattern for off-road traction, a neoprene inner sock and a thermal insole for winter-proofing.

These features in particular are testament to the design ethos of Vivo, and are aspects which protect from the elements without compromising the connection to nature which is after all one of the selling points of barefoot shoes. The sole lugs do inspire confidence on rough ground while still allowing the foot to feel its way, and the thermal insole is removable for warmer weather use (which further increases the tactile effect).

The neoprene sock is simply superb. For anyone new to barefoot shoes, the fit of the Primus Trek might be unnerving; splayed toes are a feature of natural movement, so the cavernous forefoot in the Primus Trek feels like it won't be able to hold the foot in place. The neoprene is the answer to that concern, and combined with the close fit around the ankle prevents the foot from sliding around on the footbed, while allowing huge freedom for the toes.

For anyone new to barefoot, the Primus Trek is a great place to start; off-road terrain is a tactile place to dip a toe, and this shoe will give the confidence to embrace the idea. For converts, this model adds all-terrain chops without compromising the philosophy. A bonus for travellers is that the Primus Trek rolls up very neatly for packing.

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