Picture the scene - a cool, breezy morning, the sun just beginning to peek through the clouds. You slip your feet into a pair of toe socks, feeling the cotton threading slot perfectly between your toes, resulting in a sensation that can only be described as several miniature hugs for your feet. Then, you put on your barefoot shoes - the icing on your foot-comfort cake. Suddenly, your feet feel like they've pranced into a different realm, one where they are unhampered by tight shoes, stuck in a standard shape that your feet are supposed to conform to. No, your feet are liberated, flexible, and enjoying freedom in this happy realm.
Why the shift from my favourite boots to barefoot shoes? I have (as you may already know) been a massive fan of the Lowa GTX8 boots. Still am. If you want a lightweight boot for kicking around in most sub-alpine off-track spots, I would still suggest these. However, when it comes to on-trail hiking and 'easier terrain' hunting, I've realised that full-sized boots might be an overkill. Not to mention heavy. Here's where the barefoot shoes come in. Since making the switch, I've noticed some definite benefits. The barefoot design, like that of the Vivo Primus Trail II FG, is lighter, closer to the ground, and surprisingly comfortable. It might sound counter-intuitive, but shedding the boot bulk has done wonders for my agility and speed on the trail.