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Alf Alderson reviews the Vivo Barefoot Synth Hiker hiking boots, lightweight footwear for less demanding trail conditions

Overall Score
Lightweight, instant comfort
Take a while to get used to if you're used to regular hiking boots

VivoBarefoot shoes are designed to work ‘with’ your feet, with the design utilising what is called ‘Pure Barefoot Technology’ to incorporate shock control, motion control and sensory feedback into the shoes to give you a more comfortable hiking experience.

So does it? Well for me the jury is still out, although that’s largely on account of not yet having had sufficient time to test the shoes out as thoroughly as I’d like. 

That said however the Synth Hiker is undoubtedly light and comfy straight out of the box. The uppers feature a hydrophobic mesh and perforated polyurethane with nylon webbing which is breathable, lightweight and very flexible.

It doesn’t provide the kind of weight and protection that you’d get from heavy hiking boots, which can take a bit of getting used to, but that’s the whole point of these shoes – that you’re not clomping around in heavy boots.

The soles are aggressively lugged for good traction but once again don’t feel at all heavy thanks to their ultra-thin design; yet at the same time it’s puncture resistant and your feet are well protected from rocks and rough ground underfoot.

The look of the Synth Hiker is very different to most hiking boots/shoes and may not appeal to everyone (and I can see them being popular for urban use too), but if travelling fast and light is important to you, you should check them out.



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