Today I’ll be reviewing one of my favorite barefoot boots—the Feelmax Kuuva for their latest version, the Feelmax Kuuva 6. Alongside this Feelmax Kuuva 6 is huge update to the Kuuva Trek 2!
Are these still the lightest waterproof boots in the world?
Let’s get to it. First a word about the shoes from the manufacturer:
Feelmax Kuuva 6:
Introducing the Kuuva 6 barefoot boots – the perfect footwear for cold and wet weather. Designed with a spacious toe box and a waterproof SympaTex® membrane, these boots keep your feet dry and warm.
Featuring an outsole with “lugs” for better grip, the Kuuva 6 provides excellent stability on any surface. The 2.5mm thickness of the outsole offers flexibility and ground feel, while the 4mm “lugs” provide superior traction.
If you’re searching for barefoot shoes that can handle winter weather, the Kuuva 6 barefoot winter boots are a great choice. Keep your feet warm and dry while maintaining natural foot function and balance with the Kuuva 6.
Feelmax Kuuva Trek 2
Introducing the Kuuva Trek 2 barefoot shoe, a lightweight and flexible mid-height shoe that’s perfect for outdoor activities.
These water-repellent shoes are made of microfiber and leather with a canvas trim. The NatuRun Sierra outsole provides exceptional traction and durability with harder rubber under the heel and toes and softer rubber elsewhere .
The Kuuva Trek 2 barefoot shoe is designed to be incredibly lightweight, providing you with the sensation of being barefoot and allowing you the freedom to move with ease. The mid-height design of the shoe also provides additional support and protection for your ankles on uneven terrain, making it an excellent choice for long hikes and treks.
Both the Kuuva 6 and the Kuuva Trek 2 use the same “NatuRun” 2.5mm “Sierra” sole from Feelmax sole that is used from the previous generations of the Kuuva and Kuuva Trek.
This sole was upgraded a few generations ago, but remains unchanged for the newest models.
This sole is very thin and helps with keeping the boots lightweight. The amount of ground feel and dexterity that exceeds other minimalist lifestyle shoes and is the absolute thinnest waterproof and winter boot sole on the market.
Despite being 2.5mm, there is enough protection for most uses, and the thin sole requires that you should be quite deliberate with where you step while hiking. A huge benefit of having a thin sole itis easy to apply pressure on one part of your foot for traction that is impossible in a thicker sole. You have a lot of control with this sole and can feel when you are about to slip much sooner than a thicker boot.
However, because the boots are so thin, there is less space between you and a cold ground, so you may have colder feet than other boots. The uppers are improved over the prior generation, so insulation is overall better than before, but the soles remain the same. You can always wear thicker socks in the winter to counteract this issue.
The lugs are pretty shallow for a winter boot. There are running shoes out there with deeper lugs than the ones on the Feelmax sole, but in an effort to create the most dexterous winter boots, Feelmax definitely succeeds with the Kuuva 6 and Kuuva Trek 2. For me, the benefits of having a thinner sole and more flexible boot outweighs aggressive lugs for most of my needs.
Having a waterproof boot also allows for much more adventurous choices like hiking through snow or trying out a snow skate (basically a skateboard snowboard that you can ride with your normal boots!) and even the mundane things, like helping family shovel snow is a more enjoyable experience with a flexible sole.
Aesthetics and Materials
In the prior versions, the Kuuva was the waterproof winter boot and the Kuuva Trek was the most laidback hiking boot that was “water resistant”, but more breathable and lighter.
New for this year, the Trek 2 gets the waterproof treatment, but keeps its softer outer materials—actually more soft fabrics throughout–while the Kuuva 6 is still a mostly leather boot.
I assume both boots now use the waterproof SympaTex membrane of the larger Kuuva series.
There are numerous small improvements for both boots this year.
The Kuuva Trek 2 has a cleaner design that the first Trek. While the original Trek had a leather aesthetic from the heel to the cowl on the rear of the shoe, the Trek 2 mixes up its looks with suede and this fabric upper. It is a simpler and less messy design that gives the Trek 2 a more attractive appearance than its predecessor.
The Kuuva 6 has subtle improvements in terms of thicker cowl padding, a roomier toebox, and overall a more substantial feel. The toebox has a bolder, more squared off shape that contributes to a more robust looking boot, while providing a toebox with more dimensions in all directions. While the previous Kuuva 5 had a very comfortable padded cowl, the Kuuva 6 uses more material so that you can keep snow out better than before.
In terms of waterproofing, the Kuuva Trek 2 definitely is improved over the original. This time around, the Trek 2 is labeled as a waterproof boot, rather than simply a water resistant boot. Typically, even something was breathable as canvas will be labeled as water resistant, which basically means it will repel water for a moment, but then absorb.
The uppers, are actually pretty water repellent on the Trek 2, but the actual boot is waterproof. There is definitely a waterproof layer involved, but I cannot confirm if it is the exact same as the Kuuva 6.
The Kuuva 6, however, is improved from its prior versions. Each iteration becomes more waterproof with subtle changes to the membrane application, reinforcement of weak points, improvements to stitching, and now with more substantial uppers.
In fact, both the Trek 2 and the Kuuva 6 are roughly 2 oz heavier than their predecessors. This contributes to them being more insulated from the cold and aids in making them more waterproof than before, but I cannot help but feel like these formerly ultralight waterproof boots are becoming a bit too heavy. As I look back on the years of Kuuva boots (all still kicking and with plenty of life in them!), they have become more robust-looking and more boot-like, while still maintaining that, now classic, Kuuva shape and look. They just look more capable over time.
The same can be said with the Trek 2 as well. It’s an overall smoother and more handsome boot than the first Trek, but one carryover is its pull tab, which is just a little hanging bit of fabric without a proper loop. It is better than nothing, but I would have preferred adding the Kuuva pull tab to make it easier to put on and remove the boot, especially after a long hike or if you are wearing thick socks.
The Kuuva 6 and Trek 2 have made iterative improvements over their previous generations. They are more substantial, waterproof, and handsome than ever!
I would still like to revisit the sole with a new lug design that has deeper lugs for especially tough situations. Paradoxically, I would like this while maintaining the weight, and upgrading the pull tab on the Trek 2.
My favorite winter boots got even better with the addition of waterproofing in the Trek 2 and an updated look, while the Kuuva 6 gets more comfort, snow protection, and waterproofing.
I appreciate the Feelmax continues to update their designs with feedback in mind. I feel in love with my first Kuuva’s (Kuuva 3), and fell in love with them and each subsequent update has continued to make this series a better boot!