The Vivobarefoot Tracker Forest ESC’s barefoot technology might not be to everyone’s taste, but our reviewer reaches for them time and again.

The Vivobarefoot Tracker Forest ESC is probably the most technical ‘barefoot’ walking boot in the UK, and it has performed wonderfully on all terrains which is why it has in the past featured in our guide to the best hiking boots.

Price: £210 | Weight: 1200g | Materials: Wild hide leather | Features: Michelin ESC sole, Renapur leather balsam for waterproofing, natural materials | Sizes: UK 3-9 | Men’s version: Yes

The Michelin sole has well-designed lugs and offers great grip on wet rocks. Being a barefoot-style boot, there is no midsole for cushioning or protection, but I felt the sole did a good job of protecting against sharp or spiky objects. There is also zero drop between the heel and toe, which takes some time to develop the muscles for if you aren’t used to it.

The upper is made from wild hide leather, and softness and flexibility are immediately obvious. This provides the main waterproofing of the boot, as there is no lining, but it does come with Renapur balsam for protecting the leather. Between this and the mesh lining inside the boot, I had dry feet even after multi-day trips through boggy ground.

The shape of the boot looks a little different with a wide toe box and forefoot, which gives space for the toes to spread. There is little padding throughout the boot, including the ankle collar and tongue, and I felt some discomfort at the hooks after a while.

The laces are through metal eyelets with two hooks at the ankle collar. There is a rolling ball at the base of the ankle, which I found has rusted into place, but this doesn’t seem to affect the use.

This boot might not be to everyone’s taste, but I find myself reaching for it most often, as its balance of comfort and support is just right.