• barefootshoereview

Episode 64: Freet Ibex

Updated: Jul 26




As an avid hiker and outdoorsy person, I'm always on the search for the perfect hiking boot. With its nice aesthetic, water resistance, and amazing grip, the Freet Ibex checks off all the right boxes for a serious hiker. We actually got it after realizing that their Mudee, which we also love, did not provide enough traction for very muddy and slippery terrain. The Ibex sits a bit higher on the ankle like a true hiking boot yet is still way more flexible than a conventional one. Compared to other high ankle hiking boots, it has the best grip and is well worth its price.


You can use our Code TBSR for 10% off the Freet Ibex


Disclaimer: We received these shoes at a reduced cost in exchange for a review. However the opinions expressed in this blog are ours alone. This post contains affiliate links which allow us to get a small commission at no additional cost to you.


Price: Sells for $225. (€170)


Sizes: The Freet Ibex is available in sizes EU 37-48.


Color: Brown


Material: Full grain leather upper for durable, ultra-breathable, & water resistant performance


It is completely waterproof like the company claims and this was rigorously tested by stepping in rivers and hiking in the pouring rain.




Company Overview

Freets are a barefoot shoe company specializing in kids and adults footwear, including a range of boots and split toe socks. They’re based in the UK and began making shoes in 2011. Freet barefoot stand out for their comfort and uber wide toe boxes.


Manufacturing:


  • All our shoes are fully flexible, have a roomy toebox and are zero drop (same height at front and heel) to allow natural movement

  • Full grain leather upper for durable, ultra-breathable & water resistant performance

  • ConnectMax EVA 2mm midsole for excellent ground connectivity when worn without insole

  • Flexile removable 2.5mm insole can be removed for more ‘barefoot’ feel. For further shock absorption, for prolonged use on hard, flat surfaces, 6mm Ortholite insoles can be purchased separately

  • Freet 5in1 asymmetric forefoot for natural foot shape allowing toes to spread naturally

  • Conventional brown lace

  • HillGrip performance outsole for tougher, wetter trails and off track

  • Brown

  • Stack height: 9/11mm with Flexile insole; 6.5 mm without insole

UK Shipping:


DPD courier:1 to 2* days £4.50


*Shoes ordered by 12 p.m are normally dispatched to arrive the next day.


USA Shipping:


If your delivery address is outside UK, 20 % VAT (sales tax) will be automatically removed at checkout so you do not pay it. You are responsible for paying any local sales tax / duties / handling fees if applicable.


Your shoes will be dispatched within 1 to 2 working days. Shipped by DHL which is a fast and reliable service (5-7 days). You will pay £15 per 2 pairs of shoes, £7 if just socks or insoles.


International Shipping:


Shoes – £35 for every 2 pairs of shoes. Socks, insoles, rock plates & laces – £7. If you purchase shoes and socks, you will only pay shoes postage.

Your shoes will be dispatched 1 to 2 days after ordering using DHL.

For more shipping and returns info check out their website https://freetbarefoot.com/shipping-and-returns



After receiving the boots, I fell in love with the fresh leather smell, the pleasing aesthetic, and the look of a true hiking boot. The hillgrip outsole looked like it could handle the roughest of terrains, and after hiking in rough terrain it was definitely true to its look.


The Freet Ibex is probably the closest thing to a true barefoot hiking boot that I own.


Pros

  • The shoe comes with an Ortholite insole if you need more cushion

  • The sole itself is 6.5 mm without the insole ( 9 mm/11mm W' insole/lugs ) which makes this one of the thinnest soles on the market for hiking.

  • Holds the foot very well and its lacing system makes it fit well around the ankle as well.

  • Has phenomenal traction on even the most slippery and muddy of surfaces, think downhill in the rain, muddy, wet surfaces.


Cons

  • The shoe is narrower than their other models, while it does fit my wide foot well, other people may find it a tad bit narrow.

  • The higher ankle can generally restrict ankle mobility a tiny bit. With that being said, Freet has videos explaining how to tie the laces so they don't restrict ankle mobility at all.

  • While I am a die hard fan of the shoe and it ranks 3rd place in my barefoot shoe collection, many people do not like the aesthetic of it. If you were to compare it to a shoe like the Vivo Tracker, it is a less aesthetically pretty to some people but much more functional in my opinion.



Sizing

**I'm generally a men's size EU 42 and a US 8. My foot length is 26.1 cm and width is 10 cm, high volume feet.**

  • It fits true to size

  • It is a bit narrower than the Mudee model

  • Fits a high volume foot very well.

Stocks Size 37-48


Colors

  • The Ibex comes in a pleasant brown leather.

  • Looks like a conventional hiking boot ( and performs like one as well)

See below Ibex & Mudee


Performance


  • I was astounded by how grippy this hillgrip outsole is and how much it can put up with. Think 3 kilometers downhill in a muddy river bed while it is raining.

  • The toe box like all Freet shoes is uber wide and very square shaped, this leaves plenty of room even for the widest foot. The Mudee as I mentioned is even slightly more wider than the Ibex.

  • It stayed quite dry even when hiking in the rain. It only got wet when water poured in from the top.

See flexibility of Mudee (above) to the Ibex (below).



Upper and Lining:

  • The leather outer has a pleasing aesthetic, looks and performs well.

  • High top can be annoying if sensitive to boots that sit on the ankle, but if laced correctly is fine.

  • Quite warm

  • Sits slightly higher on ankle than other options

Below: Ibex pictured left and Mudee pictured right.


Sole:

  • The sole being so thin allows for a great ground feel, yet no moisture will seep through. If you wear the insole you will add just enough thickness to make it great for longer duration hikes as well.

  • Removing the insole makes for one of the most minimalist hiking shoes out there with just 6.5 mm between you and the ground.


Sole on left is the Ibex hillgrip sole compared to the Mudee sole on the right.


Weight and Movement:

  • Size 42 weighs 660 grams making it an extremely light, flexible, and an easily packable boot.

Care Instructions:

  • The premium leather can be cleaned with warm water and a cloth and treated with a ‘nubuck’ conditioning & water proofing spray/cream.

  • I made the mistake of not cleaning the dirt and mud off right away after a long muddy hike and the mud caked and stiffened the boot a bit. But this is my fault and I accept responsibility for it. I plan to treat the leather to reintroduce moisture.



Conclusion:

In conclusion, the Freet Ibex is my most highly recommended true hiking boot. Its waterproofing and its all terrain ability makes it my #1 minimalist boot for hiking, ranch work, gardening, or anything that requires a good grip and ruggedness. Things I would improve would be a slightly lower ankle and possibly more color options. It is also available in a Vegan option called the Tundra.


To access the Freet website click here

Discount Code is TBSR for 10% off.



Enjoy your future hikes,


Sean



Adventures of mine with the Ibex

  • 120k Sea (of Galilea) to (Mediterranean) Sea Hike in Israel


  • The Ancient Water Pathway in the surrounding Jerusalem Hills.



Can use Discount Code TBSR for 10% off

Website can be found here