Is this the END of hiking boots?


Hiking boots generally suck, you know it, I know it. It’s time for a change. Switching to barefoot minimal footwear for everyday use will more than likely help you stay on the trail for longer and avoid injury – so why not wear them on the trail too?

There are a growing number of experts and researchers that believe that the foot already has everything it needs in terms of support, particularly around the ankle and I tend to agree with them.

Science has spoken! all the links to all of the research articles I found will be listed below so you can read the research and decide for yourself…which I encourage you to do!

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// 📆 SOME INTERESTING RESEARCH:

1. Walking in Minimalist Shoes Is Effective for Strengthening Foot Muscles.

2. Walking barefoot decreases loading on the lower extremity joints in knee osteoarthritis

3. Can minimalist shoes protect against injury by increasing foot-muscle thickness?

4. The functional importance of human foot muscles for bipedal locomotion

DISCLAIMER
Don’t start by barefoot running.
Start by integrating 5% of time footwear to barefoot/minimal walking… then build slowly from there. Aim for a 6-12 month transition to running. If you have questions about barefoot running connect with me below

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33 comments

  • Boots or Trail runners – which camp are you in?

  • Less material and less structure but more expensive??? 🤔 don't mind me I'm just complaining. I've gone barefoot and its helped my chronic plantar fasciitis. I got Merrill barefoot and xeroshoes but currently looking into vivo. Does anyone know if barefoot is still good while carrying a load or long distance?

  • I absolutely love my Merrell boots. I have had all 3 types. The tall boot, the mid boot and the short boot "which is styled just like a tennis shoe". I have found nothing as comfortable for me but you have to realize every shoe/boot has different uses and some are better in different applications. My go to are the tennis shoe styled for everyday use and the mid boot for general hiking. But thats my preference.

  • Seriously happy with my Vivos! Had them for over a year & are easily the best boot I've ever owned.

  • I've had a pair of these for around 3 years or so now and they're easily the most comfortable boot I've ever owned. However, as comfy as they are they do seem to have a weakness; some of the leather stiching has come undone. Last year I had to return my original pair of trackers as the seam between leather and sole was coming apart. Vivo barefoot were really good about and replaced the boots for free. However these issues developed despite me regularly cleaning and waxing the boots. I do have size 14 feet and I weigh 15 stone so perhaps it was just the extra weight and strain due to my size. My missus had a pair of trackers and had had no problems at all.

  • Love your video!

    How well does this work for people with flat feet or have a plantar fasciitis?

  • Chase, there's a very important point you left out of your presentation: The lightweight flexible zero-drop shoes you are recommending may be suited for people who are within their BMI, fit and in shape. However, most hikers represent the typical population of overweight guys. The more fat you're carrying, the more stress on your feet and legs. If you're going on a 3-5 day hike, add to that the gear, water and supplies you need to carry — and you're putting a lot of weight and stress while depending on lightweight shoes. Lightweight trail runners or barefoot designs do not have the supporting structure needed to avoid injury or painful discomfort. A sudden change to zero drop shoes while carrying a pack will lead to back problems, as well.
    These injuries and/or discomforts are enough to put beginner hikers off hiking. Should they wait until they are within their BMI before they take up the sport? I'm 275 lbs and have used hiking boots with sturdy soles on the PCT. While you can say "To each his own", you need to emphasize that a choice of footwear is not a philosophical decision. It needs to based on actual existing health and body condition. If you've worn standard shoes with typical drops and heals all your life, 5 days on the trail is not the time to change to barefoot zero drop.

  • I have just used Inov8 Roclite 400s for a 1000km thru hike and they worked well. They are basically very lightweight boots/sturdy trail runners. I like to have hiking shoes with an ankle not for stability (a myth in my opinion) but simply as protection for my ankles from rocks/abrasion. I also like thinner, grippy soles as I feel more sure footed whereas in heavy boots I stumble around and tire quicker. If footwear is too lightweight there is a risk for most people of injuring your toes and bruising the soles of your feet. If you are very agile, sure footed and fit then that is much less of a problem. That is why I am always wary of very fit and experienced hikers advocating very lightweight footwear without caveats – it might be fine for them but not so suitable for the average hiker.

  • I like barefoot/ minimal, but hate the cold😔. Are these waterproof

  • It's amazing that after a few thousand years of improving everything, a stoner in cheap flat wearthin shoes thinks he's found the secret that all the daft technologist dint know, that paying a premium for something with low production values supercedes all other values in a hiking boot.

    It has a lot less material because a. They want you to buy quicker b. They want to spend the smallest amount possible in the tangible c. They want to maximise their profits, and reduce their transport costs..so you'll then fall for all the intangible stuff like low carbon etc, and spend $300 on something that should cost £8.99

  • Pretty ehpensive tho. I like to use my old mojitos, they are becoming more and more like barefoot xD

  • Such a thorough and balanced look at barefoot shoes and boots. A last by the way is the wooden or plastic mold, the foot shape that the shoe is built on. The pattern for the ‘upper’ is designed on the last.. the other thing I notice about the design is the lack of seams, so less possibility of rubbing 👍😎💪

  • Are there any good boots, like these. Not made in China?

  • Have you tried Xero hiking boots? What is your opinion if you have please

  • The Native Americans had to be amongst the first to use minimalist boots.

  • I switched over to the barefoot shoes a year ago but now that’s it’s winter how to keep my feet warm. I feel so much better since I switched over but but I’m 75 and my footsies get cold. Can you recommend a waterproof sock or boot? Great video and this is all I wear now!

  • What about rainy weather, snow? I kept mine for the winter

  • So far these are the best boots for me, most durable minimalist – I’ve had others that just crumble within a couple months .

  • In the Andes they hike with abarcas (tire sandals) I basically have been hiking mainly with sandals since the mid 90s…except with mountaineering boots for above like 5,000 meters…I think Luna sandals are good enough with a Vibram resole of Sierra soles or Kletterlift

  • Prepare my feet for "a trial"? What trial? My feet are innocent!

  • J B

    Barefoot shoes are so uncomfortable. I like the extra toe room. But that's it. I wear Birkenstocks everyday and those are great. The arch supports take all the pressure off your heel and toes. I've never had barefoot shoes that do that for me.

    Honestly, if somebody's having problems wearing regular boots. They probably need better quality boots or better fitting boots.
    No one's ever injured themselves from having good arch support.

  • I`ve been looking for some "ground-feeling" shoe`s for years. Thank`s for this tip`s ! Loved my Ecco moccasin shoe`s!

  • sky

    yeah, step on a sharp rock or branch. no thanks

  • What’s the durability like on these? That’s my biggest concern with how thin the outsole is.

  • Thank you. Why did you say that it is better to have the rigid boots for higher, steep elevations? I would think that the opposite would be true as per your vid at 8:15 where it is steep but you wear barefoot.

  • K G

    I started wearing barefoot shoes about 15 years ago. Still have them & they were actually created with barefoot Kenyan runners in mind. BUT when I hike, I prefer hiking boots. Having hiked in Alaska (Denali) & the desert, I feel my hiking boots have protected my feet against inclement weather & potential snake bites/cacti.

  • there are hidden gems in the military boot world. check out the Tactical Research MiniMil TR105's. I'm on my 2nd pair now and have been using these for over 8 years

  • Trekking boots all the way for me. Avid Himalayan lover. Trail runners never worked and injuries were caused, too cold over 5000m. Never come back.

  • Cheers to twisting your feet.

  • Yes, jungle boots have been able to do this for years. Look at the Salomon Jungle XO Forces.

  • I love light, flexible shoes, that feel more like a sock than a shoe…

    But your favorite shoe would absolutely not work on the mountain where I live and have my farm.
    Its not how steep it is, but how watery, muddy, slippery and rocky it is, all at the same time!
    A solid sole, that keeps its shape seems to be the only thing to keep me from sliding or swapping my head with my feet, as gravity seems to fail ;D

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