Nothing beats the exhilaration of running full pelt down a mountain. There is something animalistic about the immediacy of foot placement and the occasional steadying hand to ensure I don’t take a potentially lethal stumble. Everything happens so fast there is no time for your mind to be distracted, it’s one of my favourite ways to anchor myself in the utterly absorbing right now.
Vivobarefoot’s Tracker Forest ESC is a boot I’ve been looking forward to getting my feet into for a while now. In my current series of survival shows for Discovery Channel, First Man Out is a multi-day race between me and different survival experts through some of the planet’s most hostile environments. We’re talking high altitude deserts, swamps, mountains and deep jungle; the demands on my feet are huge.
I’ve worn Vivos for almost a decade now and love the way they allow me to run naturally, with my feet feeling the ground. What the Tracker Forest ESC now adds is a collaboration with Michelin, creating a sole designed for slippery hills and muddy banks. Traditional, heavy heeled hiking boots use a rigid sole to “edge” into the side of steep ground. But this doesn’t fit with the minimalist, barefoot ethos. So the new sole has ingeniously engineered lugs in the heel and sides specifically to perform on slippery and steep ground, keeping that grounded feeling but letting us barefoot hikers get to even wilder terrains!