Over the last couple of years, I’ve reviewed a variety of barefoot-style boots and shoes. While I’ve had some definite favorites, one that has worked great in the summer was the Vivovbarefoot Tracker FG. Come warm weather, however, you want something a bit more breathable. That’s where the Vivobarefoot Magna Trail comes into play.
Now, I will say, when I got the Vivobarefoot Magna Trail in, it was actually not the best weather, and things were quite cold and damp. On the days it was dry, I did wear them in to the office (telling you when this was by that detail) as the included thermal insoles – paired with wool socks – did a decent job of foot warmth. Since the lockdown, we’ve had warmer weather, and I’ve had a chance to get out for walks and such with the boots, and can give you a better idea of what they’re all about.
In terms of styling, at first the Vivobarefoot Magna Trail looks similar to the Tracker. Here, rather than a waterproof leather, you’ve instead got water-resistant Cordura nylon, topped with a neoprene sock-style cuff to hold things in place. The neoprene does make it a bit trickier to get the boots on, but once on, hold things in place. And of course, that Cordura – while not being a wide open weave – does allow air in and out of the boot.
If you’re planning on hiking with the Vivobarefoot Magna Trail, you of course have the grippy and knobbly tread for plenty of grip, and there’s a little additional protection over the big toe – just don’t try kicking any boulders with it. Also, it’s worth noting that this is more of a mid boot – it comes up to about the ankle bone (but not over it), so you’re not going to be getting extra ankle stabilization like you might be used to with a more traditional hiking boot.
Then again, that’s probably ok if you’re going in for the barefoot style. As with their other designs, the Vivobarefoot Magna Trail has a zero-drop style, and a wider toebox, allowing your foot to move and your toes to splay within the shoe, giving you a more natural style of movement.
In terms of cushioning and overall foot comfort, I’d put them between the Lems and the Xero – not so thin that you’ll feel every root and stone, but still allowing you to feel what’s underfoot as the sole grips on to the surface of the trail.
Now, for the not-so-great news. As of this writing, the Vivobarefoot Magna Trail is sold out on their site (even in the very cool blue, which wasn’t available when we were looking at review options). That said, a quick web search shows a variety of retailers with it still, with pricing looking to start around $125 (which is below MSRP if memory serves) and going up a bit from there. They do have other outdoors options as well, with the Primus Trail giving you a low-top formfactor, and the new ESC Tempest keeping a mid-boot style with something more ready to go into the water. vivobarefoot.com
Details from Vivobarefoot
- Removable Thermal Insole ? 4-season protection
- No-Sew Construction ? durable, flexible, minimal design
- Water Repellent Nylon