These KSOs are amazing. I bought mine and tested them out immediately. I went to Castlewood State Park and hiked 3 miles on both rough and smooth terrain. Although the rough terrain was a bit uncomfortable, the KSOs did great with gripping the rocks. The KSOs felt perfect on grass and soft dirt. I also did a bit of rock climbing on the bluffs at the park. They gripped the crevasses perfectly and I felt I had complete control of my feet and the KSOs performed beautifully. Later I walked a mile on pavement. Although the walk left my feet sore, I figure some time to adjust to the new thin sole would help relieve the soreness. I would recommend these shoes to any avid athlete.
I love the five-fingered shoes! My feet, ankles, and calves have gotten stronger, and my knees feel better. I wear these for walking and running whenever possible. I still can't run as fast as I can with regular running shoes, but I'll get there soon. I have done several hikes, including in the snow, and cross country on approach for a climb and these performed really well. They do build up a smell, where my other shoes don't, and need to be cleaned regularly.
I can't imagine footwear getting any better. I love these and don't want to wear anything else. I have had the Classic and KSO for 3 months and wear them whenever I can. With the KSOs especially, it feels like they are molded to my feet.
Had to go 100 miles to get these in my size as all other retailers were sold out. I had them set aside the last pair which turned out to be the display model. I have nerver had a pair of shoes that felt so great to wear. Took the out for a walk through a creek and they had great grip. Strange to feel all of the rocks under foot. The only thing negative I can say about them is that they should have designed them after my foot. I have very long 2nd and 3rd toes and a short pinky toe, so this causes them not to fit just right. My little toe doesn't fully seat into the pocket. Other then my silly looking feet these are just what i wanted. Try them on and you won't be sorry.
feel great. super light weight.
KSO's are the best shoe on the planet. I have put almost 600 miles on my pair this year trail running. I also hike in them and wear them around town.
Be careful! When I first bought these shoes I was in love but that love declined when I started to hike on trails. (for those out west) In Malaga Cove, in Palos Verdes, descending down a steep trail I started to have my doubts about the traction. This doubt was reinforced on Hermits Trail at the Grand Canyon, even with a pair of walking sticks, my confidence went to zero. The only light at the end of the tunnel, for this product, is the new KSO Trek (which I just bought two hours ago) since it has traction on the sole. The KSO Trek also slips on very nicely. The former product, the standard KSO, even after a year of use feels like a wet suit but the new KSO Trek feels like a glove.
I recieved these as a gift after hearing my brother in law go on and on about how great they are for the past couple of years. I can tell that from day one they havent' left my feet. I feel wonderful, after years of lower back pain. I had noticed a while back that my gait and posture were a little off and was having lots of discomfort in my back. Now my gait is true, posture is greatly improved, and I'm a much better dancer. It's not hype, these shoes really do allow your body to work the way it was designed to and mine is thanking me for setting it free. I friggin love these things!
I bought these last year as everyone was raving about it. Unfortunately I find these overrated and over priced. First of all, it's NOT that comfortable and takes a lot of getting use to. Sure they feel like walking bare foot, but you got to like it first. The materials used are pretty good, but on one toe, the stitching broke.
I'll just second what everyone else has already said. I can see why they are the most popular type of Five Fingers. They are probably the most versatile and the black on black color scheme is best looking and can be used for casual wear. The only cons to these I've experienced are that since the soles are so thin, I need to watch my step around pointy rocks lest I bruise my feet. And I really feel the heat on hot trails. This could simply be because my feet have not toughened up yet which is expected for people new to the barefoot concept. I don't blame the shoes for this. Wearing Injinji socks does provide a bit more protection and comfort though. For real trail running, I recommend the KSO Treks.
despite being the poor traction, constantly stubbing my toes, and my toes getting soaked and/or cold when there's any moisture on the ground, these shoes are great for my legs and hips because they make me walk the way my body is intended. it has loosened up my hip muscles, taken away my shin splints and has been much easier on my knees. in the past, when i ran in conventional running shoes, i developed too many problems with those areas that i gave up jogging.
I've had this shoe for over a year now, and I don't wear anything else for 3 out of 4 seasons. It's good for temperatures down to about 40 deg which is surprising for such a light weight shoe.
First off, it takes your feet a couple of weeks to get used to these shoes. You have muscles below your knees that you don't use in the more common shoe design. But after you get through that stage it is amazing. my right knee and my back hurts considerably less when i run, hike, and all other strenuous activities. These are also the best boat shoes i have ever used in my life. I have been wearing my KSOs everyday since Christmas, and i am very active. These guys go for 3 mile runs everyday and haven't shown any sign of deteriorating. Buy these shoes! You won't regret it.
Over the past 5 years I've taken to all my trail hiking and running in Teva sandels. In "regular" running I used conventional running shoes. I've never had any foot problems. I'd heard such great reviews of these I thought I would give them a try. I kept my running slow and short for the first two weeks. I definitely noticed some soreness in my calves and quads. On my sixth run in these my foot started hurting after about a mile so I stopped and walked home. It turns out I fractured three bones in my foot. They might be good for hiking but I'll never run in them again.
My family doesn't want to be seen with me when I have them on. They feel different and are different from traditional footwear.
I am a Marine and have been running exclusively in my Fivefingers KSOs for about three months now. Since we are not allowed to do physical training without shoes this was a great way for me to get the benefits of barefoot running while being in regulations. I took the advice to start slow and after a while my feet and calves caught up. Now I can run indefinately in the Vibrams. I no longer have shin splints and knee problems from running and my arches look and feel stronger and healthier. My calves are also noticibly larger and stronger. I recommend barfoot running to any bodybuilder that has trouble building their calves. The only cons were that it was a bit difficult getting the sizing right at first. [...]
I DIG these!!! I wear them just about every day, even in the winter, but for added warmth I have bought some injinji socks. The 5 fingers are the best present I have ever got,i can't wait for summer to wear them EVERY day
Just got mine and went running. They worked great. Very snug and perfect fit. Follow the sizing chart - measure your foot in inches from heel to longest toe and then go get your size.
[...] Put on and jogged around the block. Definitely need to get used to the barefoot feel. I'm a distance runner and bought these to improve foot strength. Ran 4 miles on the treadmill and could feel the toes working. The snug fit would probably work for rock climbing too.Note: I have fat toes and it was hard to get on at first. Then I used some chafing glide on my toes and the shoes went on no problem. I look forward to trying these on the track. I would recommend trying the five finger socks to wick sweat away. I would recommend this product and thanks REI.
I have been waiting to get these for about a year now since they are always back ordered in my size/style. I finally got them and broke them in for about a week and a half then took them with me on a backwoods hiking trip into the Olympic National Rain Forest. They worked great for day hiking, along/through the river, and for scrambling over boulders.
I have been looking at these for some time now and got them about 1 month ago. I have done a few hikes in them and I love them. You do notice the rocks on the trail much more but the grip is much better then I expected. I would stay away from mud in them as they slip and slide much more then a boot. If you need or like the ankle support of a boot these are not for you. The one real issue that I have had with them is on oover grown trails, you end up getting stuck in the side of the toes with sticks and twigs. If you like to walk barefoot and are looking for a new shoe I would get them. Nice and light weight, good feel and fit. I did notice that if you are just standing around they tend to get a little warm on the feet.
I LOVE THESE THINGS!!! This is my first pair of VFF. I have to say I am VERY impressed. They feel great, look great, and so far, preform great.
Knee and hip pain sidelined me every time I tried running more than 15 miles a week in traditional running shoes. I switched to Vibram 5-Fingers (KSO model) last spring, and haven't had any issue with joint pain since. I recently spent several days in Glacier National Park, and did all my day hikes in my KSOs. I never felt like I needed more ankle or arch support; if any thing I felt more secure in them than I would have in a hiking shoe. The sole was thick enough to protect my feet from rocks/sticks, but thin enough for me to know exactly what was underfoot, how secure my footing was, and where my balance was. Climbing up the last couple hundred feet of Mt Reynolds was actually quite fun, despite my partner's insistence that I looked like a scrambling monkey in them.
What a spectacular product! I absolutely love these shoes! They're incredibly comfortable for walking, running, hiking, working out, or whatever active adventures you choose to partake of in them. I simply can't believe how great they feel and how much more sure-footed I feel with them on. They literally feel like a part of me. I don't even want to take them off at night. Buying them at REI makes them an even better deal because of their awesome 100% Guarantee. The only negative I can think of about these things is the limited and lackluster colors that they are available in. Other than that minor grievance, these things are perfect and are one of the best products I've invested in the last 3 years. Super shoes!!
i purchased these with Christmas gift cards. I've been dying for warm weather to wear them outside. During the winter, i wore them around the house and at work. i agree with other reviews on the part that i and others can definitely smell when i take these off. other than a small break in period to get use to the feel, these have been wonderful. walking around outside, i tend to avoid sidewalks cause you can really feel the softness of grass with these. i have recommended them to all my friends and now wish that sidewalks were no longer made out of concrete : )
I'm the proud owner of a pair of KSO's for the past year now. I pretty much do everything in them and because of that, I've had some wear and tear. But I'm hear to address the toe wear specifically, the tiny holes that "happen" from use. I've also had a few blowouts on the top from playing soccer. But back to the toes...What you'll need for this simple flat repair is; bike tire repair patch, aqualseal (contact cement, or shoegoo, users preference), plastic wrap, and a tissue. Hope this helps others prolong the use of their liberating barefoot lifestyle![@]
I recently read "Born to Run" and decided to give minimalist shoes a go. I've been running in them for approximately six weeks, including a 7-mile trail run race, and so far I haven't been disappointed. They definitely work different muscles, so don't give up because different muscles in your feet and legs will ache when you start. For me, by the second week I was used to it all and felt that they had already strengthened the muscles that had atrophied through decades of wearing padded shoes. Best thing: My sciatica is gone and my back no longer hurts!
-Very comfortable, gives your exercises a much more natural feel. The extra work you need to apply to balance and stability can be felt throughout the foot and legs that a shoe cannot provide
I bought these thinking I'd wear them occasionally. I wear them every day and wish I could wear them for work! I've been running in them for a solid two months and they have completely changed my stride...for the better.
I have always gotten chronic shin splints. That changed after owning my first pair of Vibram Fivefingers (my first pair were the original). I then bought the KSO model and although I thought they couldn't get any better...I was wrong. KSOs are the King of Fiverfingers. They fit like a glove, I have no pain when running/hiking/climbing/walking, I can feel everything beneath my toes (without hurting myself) and I can wear them for hours on end with no discomfort. I hike in these up in Lake Tahoe, use them as water shoes in the American River and Lake Tahoe, run in them on concrete, grass, and the treadmill at the gym, I lift weights in them, go to class in them, and literally do everything I can while wearing them. They are fantastic.
So i have had these things almost a month now. I love them. They are everything they were advertised to be and peer reviews claimed they were. I have taken them bike riding, running, and trail hiking. They have performed to my highest expectations. I even got by wearing them on casual friday, though they created quite the stir around the office.
Fantastic shoes. Vibram has been making soles for other companies for years, and their expertise shows. I've used these 3-5x/week for 6 months and they are still in great shape. Throw them in the washer and hang dry if they start to smell.
I absolutely love these shoes! While I'm not much of a runner, I enjoy being barefoot. These shoes completely convey the barefoot experience without the worry of what you're going to step on or potentially hurt your foot. I've worn them from everything from a day at the office to hiking and whitewater rafting, and they've been great for all of it. And when I'm done or they start to get an oder, I can just toss them in the washing machine and they come out smelling great again!
I bought these at the suggestion of a friend who has trained runners and other fitness related ventures after the doc I have to see, not by my choice, keeps telling me I have shinsplints and told me they might help get rid of some of the leg pain by helping change my running stride to a forefoot or midfoot strike. So far it has relieved a lot of the issues that I have while running. They are the best shoes I have ever owned and will certainly continue to run in them and am looking to buy another pair or 2. They fit great and feel even better.
I love the shoes, and have been using them for 5 months now. Mostly used for trail running and light wall climbing.
I bought my Five Fingers for trail-running, but then I became a whitewater raft guide and found them to be very useful for that purpose. I saw that a canoe and kayak shop was listed on Vibram's site as an official retailer, so I figured that even in the water they would hold up for at least a season. Almost immediately after the 90 day warranty expired the seams along the rubber sole, as well as the seams along the spandex uppers began to disintegrate and fall apart.
At this point I have four pair of fivefingers, and eagerly waiting for the KSO Trek to become available in my size (38). The standard KSO is, for me, the most comfortable shoe I have ever owned. Cool, breathable upper, and with the all-important heel and instep straps for water-play (not all models have these)... it lets my toes spread and move freely, and the nerves of my feet feel ALIVE. The sensations you will feel when wearing these shoes are indescribable. Walking on grass has the same sensuous feel that walking barefoot on it does. Coolness and warmth, smooth and rough, wet and dry... the sensations are all there somehow, despite the protection of the vibram rubber soles. I don't know how they did it, but I am soooooo hooked on these shoes!
RUN! That's the best way to feel the benefit of these shoes. I have a number of running shoes of various brands and I get knee pains on ALL of them EXCEPT on these.
I only just got mine yesterday, so I'm not looking to write a full review. Except I will say I am gradually getting used to these and I went in with high expectations and so far I am not too disappointed.
I wore these shoes to go kayaking in Nepal and they were brilliant. They stayed on me feet in even the most turbulent water plus they offered great traction on smooth wet surfaces. The only downside I can mention is the fact that I broke a toe almost immediately due to my own clumsiness (i.e., Don't stumble while hiking the river bank). Also, don't wear these if you don't like attention. People will stare a bit. With that said, these are great feeling, functional, tough, and weirdly like being barefoot -- in the best possible way.
I love the KSO's for around the house, around the town, and even for short runs. I ran the Detroit Turkey Trot 10K this year in these and did quite well. That being said, for runs greater than 6 miles, I feel like the shoes don't have quite enough padding. You really have to becareful of rocks and things on the ground, cuz you'll feel everything. If you are an avid runner I recomend the Bikila instead. The Bikila has 4mm of sole and these only have 2 mm. I still love my KSO's, I just use them for more casual purposes now.
These are not the fivefingers i had intended to buy, however[...] I opted for the KSO instead, very good choice. I put them on yesterday to wander around in, they are the most comfortable 'shoe' i have ever owned. One issue i found is that as i was running trails this morning, thin soles on these don't protect from rocks, so be careful. Also, after running for about 45 minutes in these, then trying to switch back to another minimalist running shoe I noticed that my gait was much more sloppy and my feet were all over the place.
I bought the KSOs more out of curiosity than anything. I absolutely hate wearing shoes but keep cutting up or burning my feet outside, so I thought I would try these out. Now, the hardest thing is to convince me to not wear them somewhere. When it comes to comfort, they are amazing! If you like random conversation starters, they are good for that too. Definitely follow the operating instructions and work yourself into them if you do not normally go bearfoot for long time periods, but I certainly plan on continuing to purchase these. The only downfall is that they are a little tricky to get on. Sometimes a couple toes try to work themselves into the same toe pocket. All things considered, that is an inconvenience I can work past. I love these things!
I saw all of the great reviews and bought some. I used them as my camp shoes on a week long trip in the BWCA and another week long backpacking trip. They are kind of fun, but honestly I didn't think they were much better than other camp shoes I have used (e.g. Crocks). Certainly they are very different. I found it nice on large rock outcrops, but problematic in rocky areas where you had to be careful where you step so a rock doesn't end up in your arch. For the price I just thought they were OK. Nothing really special.
If you want to strengthen your foot to strengthen your run, try a pair. I was inspired to try these after reading the book "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall. You can use these for every day hanging out, in the woods or even on the pavement, which is where I use mine most. I run 5Ks in them and go out some days on the road for 10 miles without any pain for fatigue. Its a natural feel, and it helps to fix bad posture and make the body stronger. These are better than any running/cross fitness I have ever bought. Get some!
I have been using my KSOs for running and hanging out at home. I experienced the same muscle fatigue after running as the other reviewers. I also some significant blistering in the medial aspect of my forefoot due to the rubber sole. I was my own fault for not properly increasing my mileage in a gradual manner to toughen my feet. Putting on the KSOs barefoot is sometimes a challenge but once they're on you don't want to take them off. I just ran 3 miles today using the Injinji toe socks, no blisters and KSOs slid right on.
I've used the Five Finger KSOs for almost 3 years now, and have just bought my second pair. If you're on the fence about barefoot running I urge you to buy these shoes and give it a try.
I really love these shoes and will buy another pair, in the hope that the tear in my first pair was a fluke. After owning them for about a month, I stubbed my toe on asphalt while running. My toe was fine, but it caused a rip in the fabric just above my big toe, where the rubber padding meets the fabric.
Purchased KSO's for general purpose use (e.g. walking, light climbing, beach, etc.) but after first use in which I walked less than a mile, and boogie boarded, my insteps bleed because of the friction from the seams and my big toe had a blister. Torturous to say the least...better off barefooted.
These are wonderful, perfect for kayaking or canoeing in a river or stream. I use them when i fish from a canoe in a stream during the summer. The material is waterproof meaning it wont keep your feet dry, but they will not be damaged by water. They also dry extremely fast and are comfortable. After a while you don't even realize you have shoes on. Unless you don't want to use regular running shoes ever again, I would not recommend using the KSOs as running shoes. But just walking around in them is fantastic
I found the woman's shoe did not fit well so I returned those for a man's 40. Would have preferred a 39 - but loved them so much I live with the sizing.
Ive had these shoes (black) for about 4 days. I can say they are awesome. They are ridiculously goofy looking but very comfortable. Im a big fan of how much of the trail I can feel. I think Im going to have to toughen up my feet prior to any serous hiking. Pretty tough to get on the first few times and I felt like my pinky toe was being forced out to the side, thats normal I guess. All in all I am very pleased with them and just have to build up my confidence to wear them around people. Great shoe!!
this is the first pair i ever wore and the seem good on my feet i walked 2 10 mile trails consisting of mulch dirt and bare trails i think these shoes are comfy and have a better grip on trails with falling leaves then a standard hiking boot. [...] my overall experience awesome shoe its almost like being barefoot.there was one comment about gravel walking and my answer is gravel doesn't feel great barefoot or with five finger it provides some comfort from the feeling.the shoe is very close to walking bare.
You will love these shoes! The only con I could come up with is that they are somewhat hard to get on/off but only when you first start wearing them. After a while it is second nature.
I had mine about 1 week and they are already coming apart at the velcro on the top foot strap.I have only used them inside and not gotten them wet or any thing like that.Will return and try the lace up model.Other than not lasting more than a week I like them.
Love to go barefoot but could never find a light shoe/sandal that could keep up. Tried these for weight-lifting and now use them for everything. The only exception is running on pavement with a lot of loose pebbles - the pebbles dig right through. Otherwise stands up to all other running and hiking surfaces I have tried in the two months I have had them: loose dirt loaded with cactus burrs, sharp stones, wet surfaces, underwater stone/algae surfaces. Prepare for your foot muscles to be sore at first.
I just got my new KSOs today. I have a pair of the KSO treks and had a pair of Sprints. I got the KSOs to replace the old Sprints. Right out of the box I was able to do a half hour of yoga and then a 6 mile run without the usual break in period of normal shoes.
These are absolutely the best shoes I have ever worn. Prior to switching to these about 4 months ago, I had near-constant foot pain. It took a few weeks to get used to these and about the same amount of time to strengthen my calves and lower-legs, but the payoff is so worth it. I'm more of an elliptical fanatic, but I started running again a few weeks ago and the first couple of days were rough, but after that it was so liberating.
I've had these for a week and they are the best shoe I've owned. I'm using them for everything from short sprints to an uphill mile to crossfit to power lifting. Since you have to "ease" into these shoes, I haven't been able to run for an extended distance, but a mile feels pretty good. Lifting in them is just great. Especially squats and hang cleans--you have increased proprioception. The 1st 5 days, my calfs/feet were totally fine after .5 mile runs in grass and lifting. Then I ran up and down a hill. Felt fine but my soleus felt it the next day! Not a bad pain, just muscle soreness. For running, I've noticed I naturally run fast in these since it almost forces you to run without a heelstrike. I prefer to fun in grass, but pavement isn't bad once your feet get used to the impact.
I purchased a pair of these using our dividend, and the 20% off members discount. I didn't want to lay out my money on something this strange. Today I wore them running, and planned on just a mile or so to see how the felt. I ended up doing 3 miles, and wanted to do more. The strange thing is that I have no discomfort - anywhere. My knees, leg muscles, and feet all feel great. And people turned their heads to see the weirdo running by in socks. Yup, weird. That's me, and these shoes are great.
I found the KSO to be the most comfortable of all the Five Fingers products. Although KSO means "Keep Stuff Out", after all day at Great Sand Dune NP, there were enough sands between my toes to built a sand castle.
Several people I know have purchased these and love them. I am excited to try them, but the sizing chart seems to be off. I measured my feet several times to get the right size. I ordered the corresponding size and found it was too small. I exchanged it for the next size larger and found I could get my foot in the shoe, but it practically cut off blood circulation. I am now exchanging them for the second time. I definitely suggest ordering a larger size than the chart would recommend.
I use these mainly for swimming and trail running if there is a possibility of going swimming during/after the run. I love the barefoot feel, and my original pair helped me change my running style to a mid-foot strike and helped me overcome repetitive motion running injures. Bilkia are my go-to running and crossfit shoe because they have softer yet sturdier material and hold up better
I bought these yesterday and put them on right when i got out of the store and was amazed. It felt as if i was walking completely barefoot. So i decided to take them out for a test run today and went for a hike in hidden falls regional park and they performed perfectly. I never slipped once even when i went walking in the stream on slippery rocks. The only thing i don't like is how hard they are to get on and off but i hope that will change the more i wear them and get used to them.
FIRST GOT THE CLASSIC, THOUGHT IT WOULD BE AWKWARD TO HAVE 'COZ OF THE WAY IT LOOKS BUT THE LOVE OF BEING BAREFOOT PUSHED ME TO BUY ONE.AND I WAS SO HAPPY THAT I MADE THAT CHOICE...I'M NO ATHLETE BUT I LOVE TO WALK WITH IT,GRASS,PAVEMENT...DOESN'T MATTER I HAVE THE PROTECTION BUT STILL FEEL THE EARTH UNDERNEATH IT ALL....[...] I GOT ME THE KSO AND I CAN'T WAIT TO USE IT,TRIED IT ON AND IT FITS JUST RIGHT.I HOPE MY FRIEND GETS HER PAIR SOON [...].I KNOW SHE WILL ENJOY IT TOO.:)
I love it its really comfortable and so far I havent really had a problem with it. At first it was hard to put on but once you do it a few times you get used to it and then its easy. And I like it because it fits just perfect and it helps me stand taller and run better on whatever im running. Like the trails or pavement and even in the woods and stuff. I tried them with the socks and I personalty like it better with the socks on just because its a little more comfortable.
I love these shoes, the "stink " is easily washed out by washing in the washing machine. You will feel every rock, acorn,or bump you step on but you do get used to it. I have ran 3 toughmudders in them and will not run that race in anything but. I have gone rock climbing, hiking in the mountains and desert with no complaints. They drain water like no other shoe. They are great for water use aswell, I have had no issue swimming with them either. Great all around shoe.
I love these shoes. I spent about 5 months living in the jungle on the Big Island when I was younger and went about 2 1/2 of those months without shoes. I began noticing a big difference in how I walked and my trail running was soooo fast. I always knew these shoes would come out and they finally did and I had to get a pair.
Great shoes, I've used them for just about everything from bouldering to light biking to running and they do well at them all, not so great for cold weather (obviously) or wet weather unless you dont care about wet feet, but they are great water shoes for the lake. I've had trouble with a bone that sticks down further than others on the ball of my right foot a it receives a lot of impact running, and these shoes definitely work different muscles, but it feels great!
The KSOs are my second pair of Vibram Fivefingers. I have had a pair of KSO Treks for about 6 months. I use both for water sports, hiking, camping and just around the house. They are simply the most comfortable shoes I've ever had on my feet.
i got my vibrams about two weeks ago and i love them but for those of u who want to get them bc they look cool here r some reminders :its like running around barefoot u do feel almost everything u walk on and they do not keep out water AT ALL so beware in wet ereas but on the plus side they r really cool and for those of u who like being barefoot (like myself) they r great i took them trail running yesterday and the rocky parts were kinda tough so still becarefull
I did a lot of research on shoes that are good for your spine. These shoes kept coming up. I took the plunge and spent the cash. I have not been let down. I wear them everywhere I can. Kind of hard on your heel coming down in pavement, gravel is not good either. Everywhere else has been awesome. I feel like I am wearing comfy bedroom slippers every step. I can't say enough great things, they look wierd, but they are worth the strange looks you will get.
These were the first minimalist shoes I purchased, and I fell in love with them right away. As a child, you couldn't keep shoes on me - my friends and I would go barefoot everywhere, and we had some seriously tough feet as a result.
My wife and I bought these on a lark. But we now wear them almost all the time. She had to stop running a few years ago because of knee and back problems. With Five Fingers shoes, she is now able to run again without pain. You need to gradually build up the time you spend in them. You will feel new muscles. Better stability on the earth (really!), and your toes and feet will get a workout that feels great. Throw them in the washer and hang them to dry.
I had heard a lot about these things so I figured I'd see what all the hype was about. I have a pretty major bunnion on one of my feet so I wasnt even sure if I could wear them if I wanted to. I was trying them on and having major difficulties so I gave up and assumed they weren't for me. The REI lady told me that everyone has trouble at first and to take my time. She was right, you just have to slowly work your toes into each "toe" of the "shoe". It gets easier each time but still not quick on and off footwear. I doesnt matter. Once you have them on you feel barefoot with armored feet, bionic feet even! I hopped around on the hiking boot testera bit and i had to have a pair. Sure my wife laughs and says theyre hideous but i swear if she trys them on shes going to want some too. The only problem is REI cant keep them on the shelves.
This is my goto shoe for water sports. If you have sharp jaggy granite rocks in your favorite stream or have portages then maybe this isn't the best choice because the soles are thin and those sharp spots can feel like they are bruising your feet. My most favorite thing about the shoe is that those pesky pebbles stay out! Fine sand can still make it through, but that has not been a huge problem. I've used them from Canada to the Gulf.
I've got 5 different pairs of Fivefingers but prefer the KSO above all others for running. This will make my second pair of KSO's as I've worn down my first pair to almost nothing.
Was excited to run in these after reading Born to Run, etc. Walked around in them for a few days and everything was fine, went for an easy 3 mile run and came home with both feet cut up where the vibram meets the fabric at the knuckle at the base of the big toe. Not a little blister, cut. Haven't seen any other reviews that mention this, but I find that remarkable. Can't imagine how that seam doesn't always cause damage. Returned.
Just got these at my local REI and they are one of the most unique shoes (if you can call them that) I've ever owned. They feel like a second skin which is the point of them and you definitely don't lose the feel of being barefoot even though you have a Vibram sole on your feet. I would definitely recommend them to anyone who is wanting to go barefoot and feel the world around them without the cuts, scrapes and bruises of course!
I have had the Vibram KSO's for a couple months now for running. I have used other minimalist shoes for running over the past couple years, but these are truly barefoot running.
I've had the KSO's for about 2 months now and they just keep getting better. I have been running in them and they are great! Though you do want to cut your running down a good deal at first and work your way back up to normal. They really work your calves over while running. They are good for anywhere I have been so far. Canoeing, hiking, running, and just going to the store! I love them and look forward to getting another pair!
Ordered two pairs of these based on the sizing and foot measurement instructions on this website. Both were too small, so I ordered the next size up and returned the others to REI which has an excellent return policy.
I ran a mile for the first time since I was twelve because of these shoes. They forced me to get interested, and involved in the barefoot running movement, simply because I wanted to be able to pick things up with my toes when I was in civilized society.
I have been dealing with PF for nearly 18 months. I was hesitant to buy a minimalist shoe thinking I would just be buying a pair of over priced slippers. I couldn't have been more wrong. These shoes not only eliminated my PF but has given me a new determination to get back running and enjoy the outdoors once again. I was kicking myself wondering why I waited so long. Vibrams are incredible and would recommend them to anyone.
I run on a daily basis and they feel great. In the beginning my feet where getting use to the realistic feel of running barefoot. So i was a little sore because i wasn't use to them but after wearing then everyday they felt amazing. I'm wearing then in an event this weekend called the Warrior Dash. Its a three mile obstacle course so it should be fun to test them out even more. Grab a pair there pretty great. - Jose Torres
I have had flat feet all of my life. I have worn orthotics for 25 years and have run in motion control shoes. The toll on my body was getting to be too much: shin splints, sore knees, tight hamstrings. My friend suggested these and decided to give them a try. I had some trepidation, fearing that running without my orthotics would return me to sleepless nights with leg cramps.
I am going to put this in one simple way. When I die I only hope I am lost in the woods with my Vibrams.
These were exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to try these out because I heard they strengthen your feet more than a regular tennis shoe. They're fantastic! I would advise you to really make sure you're buying the right size. I went into my local REI to get a good fit. My only complaint is that they do take some getting used to. Take it slow with these when you first get them or else you'll be sore for a week!
These were my first pair of fivefingers. After wearing them for several weeks I am convinced that I will be a fivefinger wearer for life. I have worn these for everyday walking in an urban environment through parks and all around campus and have found them to be comfortable almost feeling like your barefoot. I did have a sizing issue initially but after returning them I was able to find the perfect size for my feet.
I've had the KSO's for about two weeks now and so far I am very excited about them. I too have experienced the calf soreness and also some back soreness, but this is due to using muscles that I haven't used before due to the more natural form these shoes force you to run with.
These are the stupidest [*] things, but I love them. After about a 2 week adjustment, I don't want to run in anything else. I run 20 miles a week, 3-4 days a week and the experience is just simply better. My gait is now, and probably for the first time, correct. It seems to put my body in alignment and makes my runs more efficient. Running up hills in these things is a breeze. I simply can't recommend them enough.
These are pretty much spectacular. It was tough to get them on the first few times, but that's because my toes are so used to being forced together! I've spent years missing out on my favorite activities (walking/running/hiking barefoot) because an uncapped syringe on the ground [gross] ruined the activity for me in college. But it's back! And these shoes feel great. I may buy 100 pairs... or... at least 1 more.
I got a pair of these for kayaking/hiking and ended up sending them back....the big toe seam came apart at the Charlotte Whitewater Center in the water! As much as they cost, and they are designed for use in the water...I was very disappointed. Got laughed at on the driving range one day as well when I wanted to try them golfing. One guy chuckled "Look at this dudes Gorilla Feet!" REI gave me a full refund tho.
I remember seeing these when they first came out (2006?), marketed more for water sports, and I wanted them for kayaking. Well I ended up selling my kayak and never bought them. Until now, as I'm transitioning to barefoot running, and I wish I had bought these a long time ago! They are super comfortable, I go everywhere in them, and running has been great. If you're on the fence climb on over they are worth it!
These have become my running shoes. I have a history of ankle injuries where my ankles roll over very easily in traditional running shoes. I read that these shoes could help strengthen my feet and ankles. I can confirm that this is true. I've been running between 3 & 5 miles 2-4 days a week in these for close to 6 months now and my lower legs and ankles are stronger and more stable then they've been in years.
I wear these shoes on a daily basis. From working 8 hours a day on granite floors, to jogging on trails, they are the best option. Lightweight, comfortable, and a decent price, you cannot go wrong with any pair of five fingers. I honestly cannot say that I own a better pair of shoes. They aren't water-resistant, but to be honest, it's not really a con because majority of day's outdoors, it doesn't matter.
I got a pair a while ago, and have not had a chance to get fully accustomed to barefoot running, the most I have done with these is about 2.5 miles. That being said, you will notice your running style change almost immediately. They are like wearing slippers, I love them. I did take them for a 10 mile trail hike/rock climb in Red Rock Canyon out by Vegas, and they were great for "gripping" the rocks.
I use these Vibram for walking and working out at the gym,i am about to get a knee replacement,so i needed something flat and comfortable and light,they were also on sale,i bought a pair of Fila,like night and day,these vibram make you feel like you just want to take off and fly,and the shipping,super fast and free,i am impressed with that kind of service,it means they really appreciate your business.
These "shoes" are great. I normally research products over and over again until I am sick of looking at reviews, so I was happy when I purchased these. They take a little while to get used to, but they are amazing. Lightweight, comfortable, airy and they dry in about a day if they were completely submerged in water.
Bought these last winter after seeing them online. Was dubious because I have chronic knee, hip and back pain from old injuries that usually requires a good sneaker or use of orthotics & a strong arch support. I'm also overweight. These have none-of-the-above and I've been AMAZED at how well my body feels while and after wearing them! I can feel the ground again and not pay for it with additional pain. These are not a soft walk, but my feet and legs adapted very quickly & I have less than usual discomfort. Have worn them all over Alaska and Hawaii, including beachcombing and ocean/pool swimming. They launder well and remain in good shape after several months and numerous washings. My only complaint: my women's 10.5W foot required purchase of men's size 42 and the toes are slightly too long for a "perfect" fit. Otherwise, they are terrific. Thinking of a warmer pair for winter!
I've had these for a month and have walked most days about 3 miles on pavement and been on a few hikes on the weekend. I can't run because of missing cartilage in a knee but for the walking I do on pavement and trails I didn't require any muscular adaption that I was aware of. I've had ball of foot pain (Morton's neuroma or whatever) for years that shows up after a few miles and while it still happens it takes longer to set in with these than with anything else I have worn. I did have some heel pain after hiking on old logging roads made of big gravel: no matter how I placed my forefoot sometimes a rock would be where my heel had to go (I may carry sandals in the future just in case) but for normal trails they felt great. I also don't think I am sweating as much, not just my feet but overall! maybe my feet are functioning as radiators or I am moving more deliberately, I don't know.
I love these things. I had always loved running and playing soccer as a kid, but after joining the Marine Corps and injuring my knee, all that went out the window. After 5 years of trying my best to run with the pain, finally I find these miracles, ever since I started on theses babies, my friends ask how I can magically run with my knee hurting so bad and I just respond with "What knee pain?"
I sooooo wanted these to fit right because they felt great on my feet... except for my high volume ankles. Also there was a ***size difference*** between on-line and my local REI store.
I really love these shoes. They are extremely comfortable on my feet. They feel like wearing socks with a sole. The velcro pulls in on your heel when you tighten them, which is good because it pushes your toes forward into their slots. It doesn't dig into your heel at all, even when you walk up a steep hill and the shoe bends, it sticks right to your feet. I feel like I could walk forever in them without getting blisters. Go easy in them at first, it's easy to strain your leg muscles at first. Some cons, which really aren't a big deal, are: the bottom inside stays wet several days. Dabbing a towel on it repeatedly helps. Also, my pinky toe does not fit in very far into its slot, even though the big toe fits in to the end. Everyone's foot is different though so this is probably the best they can do to universalize it. Overall great shoe, highly recommended. Very lightweight, easy to jog/hike in.
46 year old male, avid weight lifter and runner, just transitioning to new "barefoot" running. Experienced knee and hip pain running marathons and other long-distance events in regular shoes. New running dynamic with the KSOs has taken away all joint pain and forces me to run naturally as the body is designed to do. Up to 3 miles now and intend on doing a half-marathon and more in my KSOs.
Like most newbies, I was really skeptical of the whole premise of VFF's. Looking at them, I couldn't imagine they could be comfortable, and considered them just a silly "fad". After reading reviews and doing a little web research, I tried a on a pair at my local REI (KSO's; gray camo), and was immediately hooked. I followed the advice of reviewers, and got used to the feel over several days of home wear, itching to give them a good testing. One of my favorite exercises is to walk dry beach sand, and boy, do these VFF's rock! Much better foot/ankle training than the running shoes I'd been used to. Walked about 1.5 miles on the beach in my new KSO's today, with no problem whatsoever. With conventional shoes, there's always the risk of rolling an ankle, but I get much more stability with the VFF's. They are the perfect combination of foot protection and bare foot "connection" to any surface.
These shoes are amazing. I have had them for about a year and a half. I use them daily as a river guide, camp leader, camping, one backpacking trip, and more. Although the first two pair I got ripped at the seams, vibram took them back because of the factory defect. The third and final pair that I have have lasted for a year and a half. All in all, great shoes and a great company--vibram.
I've been an avid barefoot hiker for several years. While they aren't quite the same feeling as barefoot they are as close as I've come while keeping my feet protected.
If you have narrow feet, think twice or try them on first. The heel cups are way too large for me and even after tightening the strap there is too much play- my heel really moves around, especially when wet or in water. If they ever make a narrow fit five fingers I'd be all over it. For now these are resigned to float trips and short hikes. Aside from the fit on my narrow, odd feet, they are pretty comfy. I did a few runs in them and got some blisters (again because of my narrow feet). They really give you more control in technical terrain, but this model is not very sturdy and protective underfoot- little rocks or jagged rocks will make you yelp. Also, for me they aren't like shoes that you can just slip on- it taks about a minute per foot to get my toes all lined up in the right holes. Overall, if you have normal feet, I'd recommend them, if you have narrower or skinny feet try them on first.
The best footwear ever to grace my feet. I just got these a couple days ago and absolutely love them. I took them to the gym for the first time yesterday and my calves are extremely sore from just a short warm-up run. I consider this a good thing.From the reviews and research I have done with the 'natural walking" style, I expected my calves to be quite sore after wearing these. I look forward to getting over this stage.They fit like a glove. The sizing is hit or miss...guess I was lucky. [...]. I would highly suggest the KSO model due to the full coverage of the foot, keeping out rocks and debris while hiking. Can't wait to hit the trails with these things. If you are into being one with nature and to actually be a part of what you walk on, as apposed to simply seeing what you're walking on, these are the shoes for you.My only gripe is I'm not allowed to wear them to work. Can't have it all!
After reading all the great reviews, I decided to purchase a pair. They take an absurd amount of time to put on. They actually have to include instructions on how to put on the sandal. My small toe is very difficult to move into it's toe pocket. The barefoot feel is great, but all toes are uncomfortable in their toe pockets. I'd like the same sandal without the toe pockets.
Heed the warnings, you really need to break these shoes in slowly. I bought mine and never used them. Then I wore them for a 6 mile run. Both of my feet ended up with cuts where the vibram meets the fabric near the knuckle of my big toe. The rubber was digging into my skin. And one of the shoes split along the seam at my large toe. My calves also ached for days. Yet despite my errors in using these shoes for too much too soon, I do love them. I returned the split KSOs and ordered a pair of Bikilas, which appear to have a lower profile regarding vibram on the big toe. I hope that will help avoid the rubber digging into my flesh. The Bikilas also have more aggressive tread on the bottom, rather than the relatively smooth bottoms of the KSOs. I also think I will appreciate the lacing on the Bikilas vs no laces on the KSOs. Long story short, take the time to break-in these shoes. Your body will thank you for it.
I use these lap swimming. They are holding up well. On the wet floors of the pool and shower, the traction is good. When they are dry, I sometimes use them to walk around town or for gym workouts. What's better is I can pop them off my feet and toss them along with the rest of my laundry. Can't do that with my Brooks running shoes! The chlorine and sweat are washed away!
I use these for trail and road running and hiking. They feel so natural, but give enough protection for almost any surface, and they do a good job of keeping rocks and other stuff out.
i am a photographer and wildlife biologist. i usually have a hard time finding equipment that keeps up but these shoes enable me to go places i would have previously not considered. superior traction on any type of surface, wet or dry. they weigh next to nothing and improve bio-mechanics enabling longer walks with less fatigue.
this is quite possible the best thing to have been on my feet ever. it is like not wearing shoes without the pesky problem of sharp rocks and sticks. the are light, versatile, machine washable. although i do have to talk to people all day about the shoe because everyone is interested in them so be prepared to explain yourself again and again for wearing them out and about.
The tactile feel when walking on all surfaces is like nothing else available. These are by far my most favorite pair of shoes.
I bought this exactly a week ago, and I wanted to wait a week to write my review. At first, the shoes was really hard to even walk in. However, after a day or two, my feet started to acclimate. I will be waiting for a month before I will run in them. Overall, the shoes is a great shoes. At the moment, I use it a lot during gym time, and it is pretty comfortable.
I tried the 5-fingers now on the trails at a park (orienteering, moderate number of rocks) and at the beach. Beach running is perfect, one gets as close to the bare foot running as one can get without getting blisters. Trail running is tricky, especially if your mind is occupied with other things rather than where to plant your foot.
I have been debating on buying these for the better part of a year now, and after talking to some people at work who have them I finally pulled the trigger.
I am a BIG guy, so bending over is not something I do easily. That would be the only problem I have with these shoes, it takes some work to get them on.
Bought these for my teenage son who "just had to have them" He loves them and wears them almost everyday as his "regular" tennis shoe replacement. His only complaint is that his feet get wet when he walks through a puddle (because a teenage boy cannot walk around a puddle)I am probably going to purchase a pair for myself since he has had so much fun with his.
I had given up running for a few years due to knee pain until a friend suggested I try a pair of vibram five fingers. At first, my calves and the bottoms of my feet were pretty sore, but the five fingers encourage a forefoot strike which has relieved stress from my knees.
I have horrible ankle's but wearing these shoes have restrengthened them. It takes a couple of days for your calfs and ankles to quit being sore. While hiking you have to be careful not to take a jagged rock in the middle of the sole or you can bruise your foot. I love these shoe's but they will stink after a while so after a couple of uses washing is a MUST.
I bought the KSO's as a replacement for my regular daily shoes in hopes they might relieve the arthritic pain in my big toes. I used to ice my toes at the end of the day, but from the first day I wore these my toes have been pain-free and my feet haven't felt sore nor tired at the end of the day. I'll never go back to regular shoes (until winter, anyway...)
I'm not sure i can add anything that every one else hasn't already added. The one problem that my wife has with them is she says they begin to smell pretty bad (I don't have a sense of smell). I've found bringing water to near boil and some baking soda, soak them for maybe 15 minutes. The wife is happy again and I have, like new feeling, five fingers.
These shoes are great for kayaking. The ankle straps keep them in place better than regular water shoes in rough water. They dry quickly, don't let in much sand or grit, and are very comfortable. They are great for transitioning from land to water. I hate the way traditional water shoes feel when you have to hike in them. These are great for that.
These shoes (and non heel strike running) have re-kindled the childhood joy of running through the woods barefoot! I literally wore them out of the REI store, and only wear "normal" shoes to shovel snow or cut grass. (or at work, where uniform is white...) I have hiked in the snow at 35 degrees, and run in the slushy mud at 40 degrees. Yes my feet were cold, but not unpleasantly so...I guess do to increased circulation allowed by non-restrictive footwear! The freedom they offer your toes to actually grab the ground and feel what's underfoot makes up for the lack of real tread when in mud or snow. These shoes are beautiful to some (me) and hideous to others (my wife) but I think anyone who wiggles their toes into a pair will fall in love with these "unusual" shoes! For daily (non trail) wear, I just leave the velcro straps loose, as the stretchy upper is enough to hold them snug to my foot. I can't say enough good things about fivefingers!
VFF's are quite possibly the best thing you can put on your feet. Extremely comfortable for walking, running, swimming, and even driving. The only downside I have come across is when on the beach grains of sand can get trapped in the shoe and cause some friction with skin. It hurts a bit if that happens but thankfully they are easy to clean.
I've ordered the model for running as well now because I didn't really like how these felt for distance running.But the lack of a raised heel and the toe design make deadlifts and similar leg based workouts much more effective. I can feel the muscles in my feet and legs growing stronger in areas I've never felt with traditional gym shoes.
I like these shoes but they did cause some minor damage to my feet around the big toe, a small blister on the left, and a small cut on the right.
While they are difficult to get on the first time, with a little use, your toes find their holes quickly. Not much padding, so it really is like being barefoot but with out burning your feet or stepping on a sharp rock. Their soles really conform to the flex of your foot. I absolutely love them! If I could only wear them with a suit!
I love these. These are by far my favorite Vibrams that I own. They are very comfortable, and took no breaking in. These feel gross in wet conditions, but that's to be expected. They stink quite badly and need regular washing. Those are the ONLY two cons of the shoes, and the pros far outweigh them. Awesome shoes. I wear them every day.
There's so much to say about the Vibram FiveFingers and it's all positive. For starters, when I initially put them on, they awakened a child-like joy in me that made me want to run for miles just to experience running like I've never known it before. And now that I've been wearing them for a couple of weeks I can say that the novelty has not worn off. Being able to feel the textures of grass, rocks, metal grates, bricks, mud, twigs and everything is sensational!
I had seen people with these on my local mountain and was left dumb-struck..how could this kind of footwear work up there? REI had a sweet sale on these so I figured it was time to try them. Got size 41 but needed a 43 and once they were on I didn't take 'em off for 7 hours. My feet are shaped like these, but I'm a little flat-footed, however, the fit is perfect and very natural. My salesperson warned me of various issues I might run into but I had none, and they certainly work as advertised. I feel like I'm utilizing the potential of my foot when doing any activity and my posture has felt the benefit as well. The soles transmit a lot of info regarless of the terrain but nothing has gotten through them yet and I was really impressed by the durability it displays. It is unusual looking footwear, but the results in my case were amazing, so if you're undecided I can only recommend that you try them out for yourself. I am compelled to get another pair...
I just finished hiking a good bit of the Black Mountain Trail here in NC, and did about 13 miles of very rugged trail in my KSO's, with a 35lb pack. Honestly, my feet were sore due to the thinner sole, but the stability and balance I gained was a great tradeoff. I think the Treks would have been just perfect for this adventure!
My brother used this shoe to descend Phantom Canyon with a full backpack for 3 miles in the Grand Canyon. The sole absolutely did not hold the rocks. In fact, he slipped and damaged a shoulder ligiment. I would only use them in a kayak and watch out when walking on rocks. They are definately not made for hiking or creek walking.
After dawning my first pair of five finger shoes I will never go back to sneakers when it comes to working out at the gym. From lifting to elliptical trainers (and other cardio machines), I rock the 5-toes without question.
I've worn 3 times now - first was a long walk around the block and got a couple of hotspots up between big toe and 2nd toe. After giving a break, and then wearing casually all day Saturday, no problems, and then wore again for long walk, no hotspots, no soreness. Walked on 50/50 mixture of concrete / grass for most of the time.
I wore mine around the house for about a week before I ran in them. They take some getting used to. The first time you struggle to get them on, you will be thinking about sending them back...wait and leave them on for a couple hours. Remember how different everyone's feet are and spend some time getting your toes in there!
The Vibram KSO shoes save wear and tear on my feet every time I head to the beach with my kids. Great for running through the rocks both on land and in the water. Only downside is comfort while walking over long distances. Highly recommend these shoes for protecting the feet while allowing free mobility with barefoot feel.
Had car accident, with surgery to rt foot, feet scream when wearing tennis and prescribed orthodics had to stop wearing both. The vibrams are closest to being barefoot but still get protection for skin. Vibrams helped to drastically decrease foot pain.
These are by far the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned for both walking and running. I purchased the VFF KSO's mainly for Crossfit, but have seen the results from just wearing them to walk around the city, usually with a backpack filled with books. My calves have increased in size and strength and my feet are much stronger. My feet used to be very flat and now they are only kind of flat. Imagine that, using my arch actually made them better. I feel like I have better control of my body.
My advice is to but these shoes and break them in slowly. they take some getting used to but it is well worth it. wearing them at first will make muscles sore at first but once you have become conditioned to these you will not want to wear anything else. at first i had problems with comfort of my big toe but this was due to an improperly clipped nail. keep em short. Also but these so they are tighter rather than looser for the best fit. getting them on is a llitle difficult at first but once your pair is broken in they are easy to put on the traction is great and you can do just about anything in them. not so hot for colder weather and you should take care not to get your feet wet if its cool outside however they do dry quickly and when it is warm out wet feet are not an issue. if you do plyometrics pose running yoga or even weight lifting these shoes will definitiley be on your side. i have notice i can run faster and am more nimble after using this product.
these things are Awesome! they are great for just about anything! im a big fan of rock climbing and bouldering and it does it great! the only thing is if you dont ever walk barefoot on occasion, it could hurt your feet from not using those muscles. other than that i seriously dont want to wear any other shoe besides these.
I love these shoes- how they fit, how they feel and especially how they look. When I bike to work I shove them in my bag to wear around. The only downside is that they smell. You obviously cant wear socks with them but the smell is well worth the smell! Buy in the store in at least get fitted there for an optimum fit.
I use this shoe for everything but zub-zero activities. Long story short: it's the perfect shoe for everything simply because... What can't you do in your bare feet? (besides walk through freezing snow melts and Patagonian tundra xD)
I consider myself very lucky. My feet fit Vibrams perfectly. I purchased my first pair of KSO (Camo) last year. I loved these shoes so much (actually my feet love them) I've totally abandon my other shoes. This is the only negative for me since I work in an office. I wore them to work once and brought the office to a halt with all the attention. Since then, I've purchased Komodo's and Trek's. They all feel wonderful on my feet, although the KSO's are my favorites. The feel on the KSO's are unmatched. A strong word of advise for would be purchasers; it's best to try several pair on at a store. I've tried on at least three pair of each model I've ended up purchasing. Why? Because the intricate nature of the shoe. One other thing; I think if you have to like to go barefoot to like these shoes. BTW: my solution to office footwear was to purchase a couple of pairs of "Softstar" shoes. They aren't Vibrams but they're better than wearing those darn Johnson and Murphy type shoes.
I've been age-group and somewhat heavier triathlete for the last 5 years. I run 4-5 days/week. Last July I started having knee issues...ITB Syndrome. I bought my Vibrams shortly after being diagnosed and began running in them, switching between my Newtons every other run. A strong suggestion is to start with low miles at first and slowly build. Your calves are gonna be sore the first few runs, but eventually goes away. Since I started using Vibrams (and foam roller), my knee pain has subsided, and my runs feel more efficient. I have 2 pairs now and I'm waiting for my size to come in stock for another. I haven't run on wet surfaces yet, but I've heard/read other reviews that they can be a little slippery. I've run barefoot in them, but got some nasty blisters so I started wearing the Injinji socks. Have had no issues when wearing socks. Be sure to follow the size chart or watch the video before purchasing. If you're a Pose or Chi runner, these shoes are for you.
I love walking barefoot and these shoes let me do it without worrying about injury! I'd wear these just about anyplace that you'd wear sneakers. You might get some funny looks from other folks, but that's the great thing out being an "old guy"....you no longer give a (fill in the blank) what anyone thinks!
I have been running 20+ miles a week in KSOs for 3 years. They have completely changed how I run, and helped me in my transition to a more explosive athlete. I use them for everything from long runs to track workouts. In contrast to another reviewer's experience, my pairs tend to hold up for 400-500 miles.
I bought these should for sailing as I needed a lot of traction along with a waterproof shoe. These shoes are excellent! Quick drying and incredible traction while sailing even on very wet surfaces. I also ended up using these shoes for kayaking and rafting. All around great awaterproof multi-purpose shoe.
i just got my shoes yeterday so i dont know everything but i like the way they gfeel very close to being barefoot but if u step in a puddel ur gonna get WET but vrey comfortable even if u do get the odd look once in a while:)over all i would recomend this shoe to a freind thanx for considering my opinion
These are the best barefoot trainers I've used. They help you develop all the muscles in your feet and they protect them if they are tender, like mine. The only complains I have is that you have to buy the socks or wash them regularly and the mesh WILL let sand through and isn't fun while on a run later.
Omce you get the sizing correct VFF's are great. They are SOOOO comfortable you'll soon onvert to these. The only downside is that some (my wife) don't like the looks. If you are going to wear an item for fashion, these are not the ideal. If, however you are going for comfort, then slip a pair on.
I get comments on these shoes anywhere I go. It takes a few days to a week to get accalamated to wearing them. After that, enjoy the freedom of almost being barefooted. I tell everyone that freaks out about them to just go out and buy a pair. If you like being barefooted, this is the next best thing.
If you are aivd traceur than these shoes are for you. I've had these shoes for almost 5 months and they haven't worn thru, my last pair of parkour shoes (which were not this brand) wore thru in just over 3 months. Great pair of shoes for anyone who wants to get that close-to-the-ground-feel.
I've had mine for 2 years and I coninuously fall more in love with them. It took a while for me to be able to wear them more than just casually for a few hours. The first couple of times I tried wearing them running were beatings, but I have adapted and I can't say enough good about them.
After waiting over a month and driving to countless stores I finally got my pair and it was definitely worth the wait. I just got back from my first four mile run in my KSOs and it was great. I had to start out running slow because my feet weren't used to the lack of cushion but by the end of the run I was at my normal pace. I didn't experience any extreme soreness or muscle fatigue. I did have to watch every step I took because I had to avoid rocks which I could feel through the thin sole. Although, I am not complaining. My pinky toes were a little uncomfortable due to the rubber on the side. I'm expecting that the shoe will break in and that shouldn't be a problem. Overall, it felt great to run in them. I felt that my calves and feet had to work harder than when I run in Nikes or military boots.
I wear these shoes everywhere. It took a small amount of time to adjust but once you do, its impossible to resist. I use them especially training with my P90X and I cannot describe the difference of the performance that these shoes deliver. The KSOs are my first pair and plan on more.
I absolutely love these. They are the greatest fitness item I have ever purchased. I was the second person to purchase these stationed at my base. Now, thanks to myself and the couple others who took the risk, there are now Vibrams everywhere during Physical Training and more. [...]
These shoes are amazing at every single thing I've used them for. I've had them for a year now, so I can really attest to their durability, comfort, and versatility.
I was skeptical when I ordered these, but they are great! Very comfortable and fit perfectly - just follow the sizing chart and measure your feet before buying.
These things are the best! I absolutely love mine. I wear them all the time, and they can be used anywhere. I have ran some trails, hiked, went through creeks, and worked out a lot in them, and I have to say that they are a must buy. I love fivefingers, and i HIGHLY suggest them.
Well these feel great, it feels natural and they fit great. But the quality I'm not sure is up to snuff. The soles seem to do Ok, but today I ran on a bit of gravel and it put a hole on the canvas toe(on top). I've had them 3 days and Im disappointed, I expected a higher quality.
I'd been eyeballing these for a year now. They are my first pair and so far I'm really enjoying them. I have wide feet and it isn't a problem.. My second toe is longer than my big toe and I did have to go up one size but they still fit well. Now both my kids want them too.
This is my second pair of Vibram FiveFingers. I accidentally bought a size too big at first and got some blisters when I wore them, but as soon as I got them swapped for the right size they fit perfectly. (Note: do not buy them too big, make sure they are very snug fit.)
It is awesome to see these amazing shoes at REI. I been using mine for several years now. I wear them for anything from mountain biking, jogging, bouldering, at the gym and they feel so comfy just to wear around the house.
I have had these for a month now. I love them. It took me a couple times to get use to putting them on, But once mastered pretty easy. I use them for martial arts they are my favorite, great traction, very comfortable. I recommended them to every one.
the only downside to these shoes are 2 things, it takes a little while to adjust to them, and you can't wear them when you are doing certain labor tasks like digging, and mowing the lawn.
I had seen a couple adds and got caught shopping with my wife. Looked at them and then saw them. The most comfortable shoes!!!!you can feel the heat from the pavement and not get burned.
Got my shoes yesterday, ran four miles today...I have never had that great a calf workout in my entire life!! Totally redesigned my workout!!
The single velcro strap design doesn't allow for a good fit at all. It's either too loose or too tight around the ankle to allow free movement. It's just a poor design. I have Vibrams that have lace up fit and they just feel and perform much better.
these are my favorite shoes!! use them for everything...very comfortable. i love them over my nike free 5.0 and 7.0. my nike free's where hurting my feet and now that is all gone thanks to my kso's!! they also work great for the insanity workouts.
Its a amazing product! I have hiked,swam,kayaked with them and they have never failed me. They dry fast and are super comfortable and gripy. They last for ever to (i would recomend airing them out or washing them often or else they get smelly)
Best multisport shoes ever!
Great shoes use them from everything from walking the dogs to to PT. The only issue is that they are hard to get off when it is cold out and if you wear them often they tend to need to be washed often due to there ability to retain smell.
i purchased the KSO's after hearing about the benefits of minimalist footwear. I broke my left ankle a few years back and had major surgery (screws holding it together) since the surgery i had atrophy in my left leg....not anymore!! i have since had a huge reduction in daily pain from arthritis(due to ankle injury) as well . I went to my orthopedic surgeon for a four year follow up and the difference in mobilty and my pain threshold have gone way up. Cant believe something so simple could make such a huge impact on my daily life.I do a lot of hiking and walking and other outdoor activities and these NEVER leave my feet!!! My wife also bought a pair of the KSO's too and she doesnt take them off at all but to go to bed,LOL.
Don't be bothered by the funky look. They fit like a glove.......drum roll. Anyway, they are way more comfortable than shoes and definitely make you pay attention to the way you walk. Its like going barefoot all day, its awesome!
I followed the sizing chart but it was too small in my "pinkie" toe. All the other toes were perfect but I could not wear the shoe because it was too small on my smallest toes. Recommend getting 1 size larger or a different shoe.
I use it for hiking running .. pretty much everything this shoes is amazing its like wearing nothing at all. It also gets really easy to put on and take off the more you wear it.
I learned of the Five Fingers & did days worth of research, from speaking with other owners, to studying the reason behind their design, to speaking in depth to knowledgable REI reps to following the SET GUIDELINES by Vibram & can say, with confidence they are worth the price & a great benifit to the sport & shoe enthusiast in general.
Love these things. Would wear them to work everyday if I could get away with it. I have always had a low arch (over pronate), but wearing these for a year seems to have strengthened my foot and I seem to pronate less.
These shoes are great I have always had bad foot problems and since I got the KSO my feet feel better and I do much more and have lost thirty pounds because I have been out and about over all these shoes are amazing
Awesome, innovative product that I use everyday at the gym. I have had excellent functionality and maneuverability with these unique shoes on and continue to appreciate the natural feeling these shoes provide. [...]
I just got them and went out and ran 2 miles. They were great without any trouble. I use them for climbing,scuba diving,running and walking on the trails. Driving was very interesting because it felt so comfortable.
These shoes allow my feet to breathe. I can be up on my feet all day and not even feel it. I had an issue with part of the shoe wearing off in a strange area, but it was just a fluke and the next pair was PERFECT!
I walk in these shoes everyday and they feel amazing. I never had to break them in, it just felt natural to start. Running in them will take some getting used to but other than that, i highly recomend these shoes.
I use these shoes for everything between fishing (wading through the water) to playing ultimate frisbee and hiking. My dream came true to have the freedom of being barefoot while having the protection of shoes.
love them but they were realy hard to get on the first few times after a few days it gets much better tho got them for kayaking and to clim duns river falls in feb but i think im goin to be warein them a lot
I have 4 pairs of five finger shoes and they are the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. I need orthotics in my regular shoes and with five fingers I can wear them all day with no discomfort at all.
Great shoe to work out in, takes some time to get on and off in the start. Adds strength to your lower leg and all stabilizer muscles. A must have for anyone that wants to PT with stronger legs and feet.
I didn't get these from REI [...] but I'm happy to post a review here. I have been wearing these nonstop for a full week now and have done a lot of things in them. Running in the KSOs does take a period of adjustment as they say. Sometimes it's a little painful, initially. It seems like my foot muscles were maybe weak or a bit atrophied the whole time I was running in conventional runners shoes. I can feel my arches toughen up and absorb shock with the KSOs. This past weekend I was moving out of my house and throwing stuff into storage and some junk into the dumpster, going up and downstairs with heavy loads, in 90 degrees(F) heat. All the time I was wearing the KSOs. By the end of the second day my feet were a little sore. Understandable. But this morning (the day after) I woke up with no pain in my feet. I would normally expect to have sore feet for the next few days but I got nothing. Nada. These shoes also are priced very well. Last years shoes from the specialty shop cost me 25 bucks more than these. I like these shoes so much that I keep a blog on facebook about them.
I love these things, I am going into my third true week of wearing them. My wife hates how they look, but I love the barefoot feeling and how it allows me to get stronger.
I use these shoes mainly at beach & water parks. I can leave the pool and go right into store or any other establishment without worrying about slipping. The shoes have very good traction..
My 29 year old son requested these so I purchased them for him. He just loved them until after only 3 months of infrequent use they developed holes in the top, neoprene type fabric.
I like to use this in the gym for yoga, running, cross training, and lifting. I have only had them for an hour. I look forward to trying them out in many different venues!
I tried. Several pairs. But my feet are just too sweaty for these. After a few days, they smelled, and washing the shoes every few days just was not a good use of time.
I have ran in these for couple of short trail runs around the park. I did notice my achilles, calf and back soreness. I felt very connected to the ground, very zen.
These things are cool! Got them for the "Funky" factor and I like walking barefoot, but with the excellent grip they're perfect for surf fishing or slippery rocks.
What everyone else says is true. These shows are fantastic and it's so incredible to feel the terrain under your feet, just like we were meant to! If you are thinking this is a hippie fad then let me offer you a test: Take off your shoe, lift one leg and strike the ground with the ball of your foot. Now, with the same force, strike the ground with your heel. Feel a difference? I'm sure do. You can tell we are not supposed to hit the ground heel first and over time the added impact wreaks havoc on our joints. Our feet are the missing shock absorbers we need to prevent our joints from wearing out.
On the suggestion of a relative who runs marathons, I took a closer look at these and boy am I glad I did. [...] I ended up picking them up elsewhere, but since I am a longtime REI member and read a lot of helpful reviews on this site, I need to post a review here as well. These are pretty weird looking. I thought I wouldn't care about that as much as I do now that I wear them. They look like ninja shoes. As long as you can get past that, these shoes are very good. It is a different experience wearing them. You have to move in new ways because there is no padding on the soles. The balls of my feet were slightly achy after wearing them for 3-4 hours on the first day, but I plan on using them to work out and work my way up to jogging. Even though you can easily read and see that there isn't padding on the shoe, you will still walk as if there is padding, and your feet will be in pain. So you have to adjust how to you walk. It immediately increases your awareness; the sensation is hard to describe. If you enjoy walking barefoot, just wait until you take these for a stroll outside. It feels good. Only downside is that they look funny.
The best kayaking footwear I have ever owned. They provide excellent traction in the water and allow you to feel the bottom without hurting your feet.
The pains in my feet brought about by my normal shoes (sneakers) have subsided and I can get out of bed without the limping that has become normal.
While wearing these I have hiked, jogged, worked out, trained in martial arts, kayaked, river hiked (wading, etc),and just worn them around town for a few months.Pros: They work well for traction on most rock surfaces. They are comfy to wear around. While you get used to them, the foot fatigue indicates strength gains. Cons: KSO does not Keep Stuff Out. Unless you are walking on groomed grass or pavement you will get all sorts of stuff in there. Sand, bits of foliage, whatever you are in. Also they are EXPENSIVE. "Vibram" is RUBBER. Not a magical compound. You are paying for popularity and the name. I hope another company comes up with their own shoe soon and undercuts Vibram just to bring the price down to a reasonable level. The Fivefinger classics were [$] just a few years ago. There is nothing special about the shoes other than the concept. Odor is another problem. I have never had stinky shoes. These have to be washed every other time I wear them before they become offensive. Bottom line: I recommend them only because they are unique in concept/design. Once another shoe comes out that is reasonably priced I will switch to that brand.
I use these for gym and cross training and find them to be really comfortable. Also travel a lot and they are easier to pack than running shoes
I got a pair of these direct from [...], before REI started selling them, but I will review them here so others will know how fabulous they are.I use these for every-day walking around, and for trail running a few times a week in warmer weather. They do let in water, so cold-weather trails can be unpleasant. The feel that these shoes give is unbelievable. It took a few days for my feet to get used to life without padding, but after that it was pure joy. The condition of my feet improved dramatically, and end-of-day foot aches became a thing of the past. I also noticed a big improvement in the overall condition of my legs. Running trails without foam pads on the bottoms of your feet forces you to do all the shock absorbing with your legs. It can be quite a workout.My only complaint about these, and the only reason I do not give them five stars, is that they are designed for a very specific foot shape. Because my feet curve back a bit, my little toes do not reach the ends of their pockets. However, as the rest of my toes fit snugly in place, I rarely notice this minor imperfection.Bottom line: I love these. When they wear out, I will buy more.
I LOVE THESE!!! I wear them everywhere....yes even to the mall. The performed wonderfully for me on a 6 mile hike in Angeles Crest.
This is my first time wear KSO. It's is just awesome!! It made me speechless. I'd recommend this for anyone who needs perfect shoes.
recommended by friend
I have been running with these for the last 3 months, outside on the pavement. I went from primarily swimming to now only running. I was told, and didn't listen, that you need to go slow with these at first. Let me tell you, YOU MUST GO SLOW to break your feet and legs in. Short distances and a slow pace. Warm up and stretch well too. I went from not running at all 3 months ago to running about 4 miles at a time 3-4 times a week. This morning for the first time I took them off with about 1/2 a mile to finish. Let me tell you that the only thing better than wearing vibrams is not wearing any shoes. I enjoyed the run barefoot so much that I am going to alternate my vibrams on and off from now on. I tried to run barefoot when I got these shoes but it was so painful I couldn't do it. Now my feet are strong. I can tell that I have better balance, more strength, and better energy. I went ahead and decided to run a half marathon this year. Not bad for a guy who smoked cigarettes for 10 years! These shoes are a miracle. I have almost talked my wife into getting a pair too. Enjoy, and GO SLOW. I want to get either the sprints or the classics next, not sure which would be better to run in.
I purchased these in July of 2010 and have absolutely loved them. I have hiked mountains, waded rivers, whitewater rafted, run, and walked around in them. I wash mine about once a week to keep the smell down and it works like a charm.
I run in them, I walk and use them for casual wear and really anything that is above 0 Celsius
Great Shoes... Take it easy running at first! You have to build your feet up to the pounding.
These shoes will provide the wearer with a nice introduction to "barefoot" walking/running.
As good as people say they are! I want to wear them all the time - even when not running.
I love the Vibram. They are like walking barefooted. I wish I could wear them everyday.
I use these for running. they feel so natural. I will use these for a long time.
I am using this product because I like the premise of the barefoot running crowd. Wearing these, I do realize that traditional shoes have shortened my calves, and I had some pain 3 miles into a run that I expected to be 10 miles. I have heard the same from others who have transitioned to flat, minimalist footgear.
These things are great, only thing the are not good for is riding a bike.
well worth the money. go to store to get properly sized, though.
I started running almost two years ago.
I've had the Vibram KSOs for two months now and have logged about 70 miles running in them.
Alright, here's the deal... I have been toying with the whole minimal running shoe deal for a while now. Last year I got some NB racing flats and have been running in those until now. The REI sales girl convinced me to give the Vibrams a try, which I reluctantly did. My wife thinks I'm nuts but I have to say I really enjoy running in these so far. They didn't have the black KSO in my size so I got the grey palm and now prefer this color.
I purchased these "shoes" about 3 weeks ago and was able to take them camping this past weekend. I had conditioned my feet a little bit prior, but decided to wear them anyhow during a portion of the trip to test them out. I was pretty satisfied. They held up great in the wet weather, as it rained all three days. They also feel as though you have almost nothing on at all, but still have way more protection that if barefoot.
Converting to a "barefoot" running technique has significantly increased my endurance. Switching from heavily engineered running shoes to simple canvas sneakers tended to enforce the smoother "barefoot" technique so I figured that this very minimalist shoe would be ideal. For the first kilometer or two, these shoes met my expectations. After I had settled into an easy jog, however, my big toes occasionally tended to brush the road surface as I brought my foot forward. The Vibram sole material has a very high coefficient of friction. The part covering the front of my big toes tended to catch on the road surface and several times caused me to stumble. On some occasions when they tripped me, the toe cap pulled back from covering the front of my toe and the stumble would drive my toe into the road surface with only the thin fabric between my toe and the road. This tore the fabric over the top of the toe and bloodied my big toes.
These are great. For the past 4 years I have struggled with ITB and planter fascia problems resulting from running. These, in concert with a foam roller, have completely alleviated my problem.
I have two pairs of Fivefingers so I can alternate days with them. I use them mainly for trail-running and when it's wet outside, I jog on the road.
Fantastic idea by Vibram, these shoes aren't your typical "healthy" shoe. They aren't meant to support your feet in the way other running brands or athletic shoes do. The Five Fingers are here to strengthen and re-train your feet to perform as they were built to perform!
This is my first pair of 5-fingered light weight running shoes, so my observations are particular to the type of shoes, and not to the Vibram in comparison to other brands. In short, I way over did it on the first run. The clerk at REI had cautioned me that a slow start was advisable, but I thought the fact that I run with a forefoot strike meant my feet and legs were pretty well conditioned to barefoot running. I was wrong. My first run was a 5-mile run, mostly on streets and a little bit on turf. The run was fun, because barefoot running feels good. But a couple days later my ankle swelled and the inside of the arch was very tender. It has been several weeks since then, mostly with no running, and my feet are just beginning to recover. What I am learning is that there is a whole new set of muscles and ligaments that are used in barefoot running, not just in your feet but in your legs as well. I don't have any advice on a good 'break in' regimen, but I would advise going into barefoot running carefully and with full attention to how your feet and legs react. I've found it helpful to wear the shoes as much as possible in normal life, preferably outdoors. I've also found that running on turf, with its uneven surface, is surprisingly pleasant and seems to strengthen the feet and legs better than the predictable and unvarying (and hard)surface of a road.
These outdoor shoes (although they fit more like slippers) are great. I've had them for about eight weeks and wear them daily when I'm not at work or inside.
First of all, great idea!
Uppers are similar . . . the KSO lacks the plastic toe protector of the TrekSport, but otherwise they're almost the same
This product was great when i first tried it on, and while walking around. However, after several runs in the KSO, several blisters followed. The KSO is great if it fits you, I on the other hand, is basing this rating on pure personal experience, they gave me blisters on both of my arch area.
I bought my first pair of FiveFingers 3 days ago. I opted for a pair of the KSOs. [...] Other, much smaller retailers in San Francisco carry the full line in their stores. Get with it!I've been wearing my KSOs everyday since I bought them. Many people speak to how much fun, how comfortable, and how much more alive their FiveFingers make them feel. While I definitely agree with all this, let me speak to something I haven't read yet here.Fivefingers make your feet stronger -- stronger than you ever thought possible. I'm only on day 4, and I've already seen huge gains in foot strength. When thinking of strength, my feet have never really been something I've thought of. That's changing. Ever seen people at the gym working their calves? I won't have to do that ever again. FiveFingers footwear forces you to walk toe-to-heal, instead of the typical heal-to-toe, the calves are getting an amazing workout with every step.Strength improvements aside, new studies are popping up everywhere demonstrating the joint problems conventional shoes cause. My advice: Look up the studies yourself. Want the short answer? Short answer is that walking heel to toe increases impact, and conventional shoes encourage this poor body mechanics by padding the shoe. Shoe padding masks the impact by softening the blow to the feet. However, the impact is still felt by your joints. FiveFingers are nothing short of a revolution in footwear. Ironic though, isn't it that this revolutionary approach is a technological regression.
I got these recently after using the NB minimus (which vibram also makes a good chunk of) for a few months to work into minimalist shoes. These have a much better ground feel, are light, and really comfortable.
For about two years now I've been the proud owner of these great finger shoes. I wanted to wait till I had the chance to truly test these babies out before only owning them for one week and saying how much I love them. The only reason why I don't give this product 5 stars is because the discomfort I've experienced wearing these shoes.
These shoes are as comfortable as they are unique. And because they are different from standard footwear, expect people to stare and ask questions.
I bought these shoes to run in and play around on the boat with. I've never been much of a runner but I started last year to start losing weight and just stay healthier. I was 265 lbs and after a few months I got down to 230. That is when I found out about these shoes and decided to give them a try. I've always been a flip flop or barefoot person so my feet are pretty tough. Because of my size and running 5-6 miles a day I tend to blow out the bottom of good running shoes in 2 months. I figured there is no way I can blow these out. They do take some getting use to and you want to build up the muscles in your feet and your calves for a couple weeks before taking off on any runs. I waited about 3 weeks before getting in a couple miles on the treadmill. I did wear them to the gym to help break my feet in and work on my balance. Once I started running in them they really helped improve my running technique. They help you concentrate on striking the ground with the middle to front part of your foot instead of your heel. My form was really bad before I got these shoes which would cause a lost of knee and lower back problems because of the hard pounding I was doing on my heels. If you don't already have strong calf muscles you will definitely build them up wearing these shoes. At first you will have some problems getting them on and off but you do learn to do it quickly. They could use a little more traction but the newer models out offer that feature now. I have two pairs of these and I also bought a pair of the TrekSport when they came out. These have been converted to mostly a water shoe now while I do my running and trekking in my TrekSport.
After 2 years of little exercise, my decision to get in shape centered around training for my first marathon. Fitting the 5 fingers was the a challenge; after trying the men's smallest size I found my small foot needed a woman's size. The sizing guidelines in the product description are spot-on, but the first time putting on is time consuming. Patience counts, because these are meant to fit snugly, so it takes a couple minutes to get all the toes in the correct pockets. Over time, the shoes become quicker to put on.The shoe fits snugly, without feeling constricting. That means the shoe snugness never compromises running speed, even going around high speed curves, dry or soaking wet. Running on wet pavement, even covered with fallen leaves, traction was outstanding.
I've done a lot of barefoot trekking and hiking in my 47 years, and my feet have taken some serious abuse from time to time. Not any more!
Are they ridiculous looking? Yes. Will your friends make fun of you? Yes. Do they take 10 minutes to get on the first time? Yes. Do any of the above matter? No. These things are awesome. I bought them mainly for river fishing out of a kayak but I've been wearing them on a pretty regular basis too. While some say they feel like you are barefoot, that's a bit misleading... Nothing feels barefoot except for being barefoot.... That said, there is a minimalist feeling to them. You feel connected to the ground while maintaining a level of protection. The individual toes, the natural arch, and the lightweight nature add to the feeling of agility and balance. While walking in the woods or the river, you feel yourself taking deliberate and meaningful steps as opposed to simply plodding along as if you were wearing "regular" shoes or boots. That said, I find that the bottoms of my feet, heel especially, begin to feel sore if I wear them for long periods on pavement or other hard "unnatural" surfaces. Combine that and the fact that I am not a runner, I can't speak to their performance as a barefoot running shoe. I also must note that while they are great in the water, giving you plenty of traction as well as draining well, they are a bit slow to dry. If it's chilly out and these are your only pair of shoes, this could be pretty uncomfortable.
I bought these a year ago after reading reviews and articles about the barefoot running craze and its pros and cons. I broke them in SLOWLY as directed by the instructions in the box and by all of the research I had done prior to purchase. I did experience some soreness in my calves and feet, as expected, but after several uses this was no longer an issue. After a few months I was running a few miles in them every other day and after about 6 months I was running 6 and 7 miles in them with no problems. I don't wear them for every run but rather as a training tool to build up other muscles that aren't used when running in a traditional running shoe. These shoes are suprisingly comfortable and the feeling of running practically barefoot is great! I didn't run much this winter and hardly at all in the VFFs so now I am slowly easing back into them. I ran on trails (single track with roots and ruts, chipped wood, and sand rock) and on the road with the shoes and while I prefer running in the woods I am very careful and mindful of rolling my ankle on a trail; I am also careful to watch that I don't step on a sharp root or rock, as it is painful in these. With that being said I prefer the roads for the VFFs because of the predictable surface. I have ran 200 - 250 miles in the shoes and have found that the sole is becoming thin where the ball of my foot strikes the ground and pushes off again. I might try to build up the area again with some shoe goo before a hole wears through the bottom. With that being said it is still quite impressive that a shoe this light will hold up to the pounding of the road for this long but I still wish that it was a little more durable. That is the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars. I highly recommend getting a pair of toe socks to wear with these to keep the stench down.
I tried the sprints on in the store and ordered the KSO in the same size. I wish I would have been able to try on the KSO, because the same size (41) in both has a slightly different feel. Were I to do it again, I'd get 42s.
I bought these shoes about 6 months ago. I walk around barefoot in my house and in the yard so it seemed a perfect fit. This review pertains only to using these shoes for running as that's all I use them for. For a run under 3 miles these shoes are perfectly fine. I noticed my running style changing a little bit almost immediately and yes they do take a little getting used to but they were pretty comfy. after you get around 3 miles or more I suggest buying the Injinji socks to avoid blisters because if you're anything like me I guarantee you'll get blisters from all the rubbing these shoes cause. Once I get up to around a 12 mile run the pain really starts to be too much. Not pain in my heel or my arch but in the balls of my feet and toes. because these shoes force you to put more emphasis on that part of your feet it gets quite painful on longer runs. Alot of 5 fingers lovers say that humans were not meant to wear modern running shoes but the problem I have with that statement is that humans weren't really meant to run on man made streets and sidewalks either. Doing that barefoot is just too painful. Another issue I have is that I got my first hole the other day(in the seem) and when you get holes in these shoes you immediately get a hole in your socks as well because your feet are now on the ground. I feel like Vibram should extend the rubber sole a little further up the toes so that when you do get a hole at least your socks won't also be ruined. On the plus side these shoes are extremely light and super easy to pack since you can just squish'em in anywhere if you're taking them on a trip. And as I said for really short distances they're great. Once you consider the price of the shoes and socks I don't think they're really worth it. Maybe you try'em and love'em but for me I will be going back to a more traditional running shoe. Hope this was helpful.
I use these bad boys just about every day it is warm enough. I wear them to class, on hikes,climbing trees, around the house, to the store, wherever. They of course take a little getting used to, but once that is over it is hard going back to clunky "normal" shoes. When people ask me how they feel I would say it is like being barefoot, except better. The rubber is thick enough to protect the dogs from the sharp stuff, but still light enough for you to forget they are on. I also like the security of this model with the full foot coverage and the strap. In my case, it took a while for muscles in my feet and calves to be sufficiently strong in order to go all day in them, but it is well worth it once you get there. My calves are noticeably stronger, and I can tell my stride has developed in a way that lessens the impact on my heel and foot.
OK, got these a few weeks ago. The sizing can be tricky, don't try to mail order them until you have found a pair in the style you want and have figured out the right size! Otherwise, you can pretty much count on exchanging them a couple of times to get the fit right.
The KSO is touted as Vibram's most popular VFF for a number of reasons but, in my opinion, there is one reason in particular that underlies all the rest: superior design.
I bought these a few months ago and wear them once in a while. For the winter they've been sitting anxiously for the weather to improve so they could be worn again. Lately I've been wearing them around the house as a slipper. Even in cold weather they're comfortable because they keep the foot warm without it feeling muggy inside the shoe.
This was my first time ever trying toe shoes so I was a little nervous. Everyone I knew that used them loved them, but I also read so many stories about how much they can hurt to get used to wearing. I always wore shoes that were more flat soled and simple as opposed to big padded tennis shoes or what not, and always walked around barefoot around the house. I hoped this might help ease the adjustment period for me. I'm not a runner so I wasn't needing to adjust from that side of things.
I am a 5'11", 32 y/o male with US size 10.5 - 11 feet (and I usually buy both left and right foot the same size), 165 lbs, I'm in generally good shape. I have the black VFF KSO, size M42. I have generally good ankles/feet/legs - no old injuries/problems. I have had mine for about 2 months, and wore them roughly 20 days. I would strongly recommend going to a store that has the pair you are considering and try them on, as well as a 1/2 size up and down, walk around, compare. Different styles can fit differently! I was close to a size M43, and I am generally happy I got the smaller M42. My big toenails do seem to rub a little on the inner/upper surface where the spandex-like material and the rubbery material connect. Also, my little toe, especially on the left side, is almost too short to even go in its toe slot. However, these things have not affected the performance/comfort of the shoe, and even with the extra bit of toe flopping off the end of my little toes it never seems to get in the way or trip me up (I don't even notice). I had no "get used to" time or sore legs, but I also go barefoot or wear flip-flops/sandals often. Putting them on does take some getting used to, but it does get easier each time. They are called "Keep Stuff Out", which I would change to KMSO - "Keeps Most Stuff Out". I used mine for rafting/kayaking in MT and ID, and silty beach sand did get into them pretty easy, and then liked to hang out in there. I was worried about chaffing/irritation from this, but was surprised that I could walk in them with the sand and it didn't bother me. (We did 1-2 mile hikes over moderate terrain into hot springs after boating.) It is a pain in the butt to get things (like pebbles) out of them if they do get inside, as you have to remove the entire shoe, but this rarely happens. My feet did get a little chilly after a full day on the water (mountain runoff). I would recommend getting the neoprene "Flow" version if your primary use will be in cool/cold water. I love that they are low volume, and thus easily go into small kayak cockpits and rest of foot pegs nicely. They have surprisingly great traction on all but the most slippery of sloped, water and moss covered logs. For being "soft" soled I was surprised that I had no problems with all but the pointiest of rocks underfoot. Mostly I love that I can go from driving, to boating, to loading gear, to hiking, to sitting in hot springs, to eating out at a restaurant to, etc, etc with only one pair of shoes! I enjoy the more positive "feel" for the ground under me. Warning - people will comment on them! I give 4/5 because of the above mentioned concerns, and only because I would consider a 5/5 to be the perfect holy grail of shoes.
I love walking along rocks/climbing rocks at the beach. Being barefoot is ideal but is pretty painful on the sharper rocks, sandals are slippery and require a conscious effort to keep them on my feet, and as for shoes…well, if you're wearing shoes at the beach you're lame! Let's back up a bit. When I first saw the VFF's a couple of years ago I thought they looked ridiculous. I was immediately reminded of "God's Shoes" (for those of you who didn't watch "Married with Children", there was an episode where Al Bundy died and met God, then when Al came back to life, he designed and sold the shoes he saw God wearing). I wrote the VFF's off as a novelty and never really gave them any thought after that. Recently I was at REI and saw that the VFF's had come a long way, and I thought they would be ideal for traversing rocks at the beach…after doing some research I concluded the KSO's would be the ones for me. These things are great! They basically give you super-feet allowing you to feel practically barefoot but with improved traction and without the pain; plus no risk of cuts. The soles are pretty thin so really jagged and/or super-narrow rocks can still be a bit painful…but the pain is definitely less than being barefoot, and for a majority of rocks these are wonderful. A stiffer sole would likely eliminate this problem BUT then the barefoot-feeling would be reduced so I think overall these are the ideal thickness. Also, I suspect that over time my feet will become less sensitive. The first time I really used these I walked along rocks/climbed rocks for a few hours and given how rough/gnarly/jagged a lot of the rocks were I was honestly afraid that, at the end of the day when I looked at the bottom of the KSO, I would see lots of wear/gouges/cuts/etc.; I truly thought I subjected them to more than they were designed to handle. But I was very impressed to find no noticeable wear AT ALL…these things are a lot more durable than they appear to be.Couple of cons I would like to note however. First, I feel these are somewhat overpriced. The rubber is thin and so is the fabric…there really isn't much "shoe" here. Couple that with the fact that they're made in [*] and the price seems kinda steep. Having said that, I feel very confident that when these wear out I will purchase another pair; so the price isn't so high that I won't pay it, but it is high enough to complain about. Also, these things aren't exactly fun to put on. They've loosened up a bit and I'm getting better at it but they're still somewhat of a [*]…if these had a zipper or something down the middle they would be a lot easier to don.One last thing to note, I have Morton's toe (second toe is longer than my big toe). I tugged on the second toe on the VFF's to loosen it up somewhat and although the KSOs are still pretty tight on that toe, I didn't notice any pain or lack of mobility…so unless you have a really long Morton's toe these shouldn't give you any problems.Overall I am impressed with these and as skeptical as I was when the VFF's first came out, I have been converted. The fit is great, the ground-feel is cool, these give you great precision/impressive traction, and they're tough little dudes. Get a pair! Then sound-off like you got a pair!!