I’ve been wanting to do this comparison for a long time and it’s finally time! Today I’m comparing the Vivobarefoot Tracker boot and the Lems Boulder Boot. These are my two favorite minimalist boot options. They’re both great in their own ways. I’ll share how they stack up against each other from my experience using each one.
Comparing The Tracker And The Boulder Boot
These two minimalist boots are my favorites. I’ve been using the Boulder Boots for a little over 4 years now and I’ve had the Trackers for about a year. They both have good points and it’s going to come down to your needs and personal preferences.
I compared the boots for durability, comfort, fit, tread, and price. Admittedly these boots have slightly different intended purposes and the Vivobarefoot Scott is a closer comparison to the Boulder Boot. But since it’s the same price as the Tracker I doubt I’d buy it over the Tracker.
Hands down the Tracker is more durable. It uses much thicker leather than the Boulder Boot. If you don’t spring for the all leather Boulder Boot the Tracker is leaps and bounds ahead in durability. But don’t worry, the boot still flexes and moves with your foot with no problems.
Comfort is going to be more of a personal preference. The Lems sole has more cushion than the Vivobarefoot. This can be a blessing if you’re spending a lot of time standing or walking on concrete. The Tracker sole feels much thinner and offers better ground feel. Both do a decent job shielding the cold down to about 25 depending on your cold threshold.
Comparing the fit of both of these, I very slightly prefer the Tracker. The toe box just works better for my feet. My fourth and fifth toes don’t get smashed into the end of the shoe as much. This may not be a concern for you. Sizing on the Tracker runs a little larger than the Boulder Boot. I wear a 12 in the Tracker and a 13 in the Boulder Boot.
The tread will depend a lot on your needs from the boot. The tread on the Boulder Boots is geared much more toward city use. They just don’t do very well on muddy or loose terrain. The difference is that the Tracker is designed as a hiking boot. They have performed great on all of my hikes both on-trail and off-trail. The downside I’ve found to this tread pattern is that it wears relatively quickly on pavement.
So far it looks like a slam dunk for the Trackers. But here’s where things change big time. The price difference between the two options is significant. You can pick up a pair of boulder boots on sale for $50. That’s not the all leather option which is around $140. The Trackers rarely go on sale and cost around $240. That’s a massive price difference.
Overall, I prefer the Vivobarefoot Trackers. However, the hefty price tag kept me from buying a pair for a long time. The all-leather Boulder Boot is a great compromise option and the standard Boulder Boot can be a great bargain!