Vivobarefoot Tracker Decon JJF: Agile Barefoot Hiking Boots

March 28, 2024Barefoot hiking boot with a soft leather, wool blend collar, and 7mm firm/soft ground sole.

Hello, my name’s Andrew and these are the Vivobarefoot Tracker Decon JJF, a lightweight barefoot hiking boot with a flexible leather upper, wool blend collar, and versatile tread for all terrain.

Vivobarefoot Tracker Decon Jjf Features Showcase Desk


Last year I tried the Vivobarefoot’s FG2 sole for the first time with their Tracker Textile boot, and while it had some great protection for challenging terrain, the tread wasn’t as flexible as the original FG for faster hikes.

So I asked Vivobarefoot for a pair of their Tracker Decon JJF’s to test and with the softer upper, improved agility, and design collaboration with legendary surfer John John Florence, they’re sort of like a high-tech combat boot for hitting the trails at double time!

Vivobarefoot Tracker Decon Jjf Toebox Desk


Because the Tracker Decon’s have a wide foot-shaped toebox with a water-resistant leather upper, side grommets for adjusting tension, top hooks for quick on/off, reflective laces, and a stretchy wool blend upper that’s ribbed for padding and breathability.

Around back there’s a reinforced heel and cutaway ankle strap for support and a sculpted heel for improved range of motion that are both triple stitched at key wear points, and Vivobarefoot also includes a removable heat reflective insole.

Vivobarefoot Tracker Decon Jjf Laces Desk


Underneath you’ve the Tracker Decon has a 7mm zero-drop tread with excellent flexibility in all directions, plus a hybrid tread that’s spaced in the front for grip on wet terrain, denser in the back for protection on firm ground, slanted to prevent mud collection, and stitched all around for durability.

Vivobarefoot Tracker Decon Jjf Tread Desk


When I first tested the FG2 sole with the Vivobarefoot Tracker Textile, I kind of wrote it off for heavy duty trekking only, but when I tried it again the Tracker Decon’s more flexible upper literally made the FG2 feel like a completely different tread.


So going out for a walk the Decon’s rolled a lot more smoothly on pavement and while the original FG tread would still be my first pick for a trail shoe that can handle roads, the flatter FG2 lugs worked well enough for running a few errands.

Vivobarefoot Tracker Decon Jjf Flex Front Road


Switching over to trails the leather upper was water-resistant enough to keep me dry hiking across muddy fields and the suede type fabric felt much more agile that thicker boots, like the Vivobarefoot Tracker FG, although it did soak through more easily in deeper puddles.

Vivobarefoot Tracker Decon Jjf Walk Away Trail Hike Road

Climbing up hills the more open front tread gripped well on dirt and the slanted lugs were much less prone to getting clogged up than Vivobarefoot’s SG sole, and while the denser heel was great for handling larger rocks, the flexible midsole still provided some excellent ground feel.

It’s crazy, because even though the lugs are 4mm, the midsole is only 3mm, which is thinner than the Primus Lite, so what you get is the toughness of a pack boot with the sensation of a trail running shoe…genius!

Vivobarefoot Tracker Decon Jjf Mud Down Hill Hike


For longer hikes I found the Tracker Decon’s ankle to be a bit narrow, but adding a second layer of socks for padding helped and in warmer weather I made some DIY ankle wraps by cutting the bottoms off of some old socks.

Also, the wool blend upper was great for both breathability up into the low seventies (around 20º C) and insulation down near freezing, or even colder if I layered some Injinji merino wool toe socks with a pair of thick Smartwool’s and a wool felt insole, or Vivobarefoot’s heat reflective insole for some extra water resistance.

Vivobarefoot Tracker Decon Jjf Rocks Heel Trail Hike


Overall the Vivobarefoot Tracker Decon JJF is an excellent option for anyone who wants a lightweight barefoot hiking boot with a wide temperature range and versatile tread for faster hiking on multiple types of terrain.

Vivobarefoot Tracker Decon Jjf Review Andrew Folts


Because the leather upper is comfortable and roomy, the wool blend collar is temperature regulating for both cold and warm weather, and the hybrid 7mm tread offers an excellent combination of grip, ground feel, and flexibility for both firm and soft ground.

However, the Tracker Decon’s toebox may not be spacious enough for extra-wide feet, the softer leather isn’t completely waterproof, and with less surface area the FG2 tread does wear faster on roads and provides less protection on sharp rocks than Vivobarefoot’s original FG or ESC soles.

Vivobarefoot Tracker Decon Jjf Front Trail Mud


In terms of similar barefoot hiking boots…

  • Vivobarefoot Magna Lite WR SG: wide toebox, water-resistant vegan upper, slip-on collar, and highly flexible 7.5mm aggressive tread for hiking and trail running on soft ground in all seasons.
  • Xero Denver: wide toebox, lightweight water-resistant canvas or leather upper, synthetic insulation, and flexible 6.5mm semi-aggressive tread for hiking on firm ground in colder weather.
  • Softstar Switchback: wide or extra-wide toebox, lightweight water-resistant leather upper, merino wool insulation, and flexible 9.5mm Vibram Megagrip tread for hiking on firm and soft ground in colder weather.
  • Vivobarefoot Tracker Decon Jjf Side Mud Trail Hike


    If you’d like to support the channel you can use the code FOLTSY10 for 10% off Vivobarefoot, browse and filter more products at my website, or watch my zero-drop transition video to learn more about barefooting.

    Finally, if you have a question about the Vivobarefoot Tracker Decon JJF, or about barefoot shoes in general, let me know in the comments.

    Thanks for reading, catch ya next time. Peace!

    Andrew Folts

    Andrew is a writer/filmmaker who creates video guides and reviews for a community of 25K+ creative rebels on YouTube.