This is my review of Vibram’s Five Finger KSO Trek’s
There was a time when I discussed how cool the Vibram Five Finger shoes were, but didn’t have a pair for myself. Well about 6 months ago, I finally did get a pair of the goofy looking Vibram Five Finger shoes, and I haven’t looked back! Goofy can be cool, right?!
Check them out at Amazon.com: Vibram Fivefingers KSO Treksport
From the very first moment that I wiggled my toes into the snug toe holes of the Vibram Five Fingers I knew that these shoes were a good thing. Right off the bat my toes were forced to spread out due to the separation of the individual toe holes in the Vibram Five Fingers, and for me this was bliss! All I can say is that my feet immediately felt good! And it’s not that my feet have ever really felt bad (except on mile 30 or 40 of a 50 mile ultra marathon), but it was apparent that this was more along the lines of where my toes should be, rather than crammed into the toe box of a shoe.
The Vibram Five Fingers fit my feet like a glove and feel like wearing a super duty rubber coated sock (with toe holes of course). When first getting used to the Fives, it can be hard to get all your toes in the correct toe slots, but after a few wears, and getting used to having the toes spread out, it feels good. Once my foot is in the Vibram Five Fingers, the fit is perfect and I give the fit a 10 out of 10!
The Vibram Five Fingers Road Ride
This is where the Vibram Five Fingers can make or break you (literally). When running with minimalist shoes it’s important that you DON’T HEEL STRIKE!!! For me (and most people that I’ve talked to), running with the Five Fingers on pavement causes my body to intuitively shift to landing on the front half of my foot to increase shock absorption. The truth is that running on the front of our feet and allowing the calves and feet to work property is the way our bodies were meant to run and is an easy way to stay injury free (yes I’m saying that heel striking causes injuries and shouldn’t be done–ever). Because there is a chance that people will hurt themselves by continuing to heel strike while running in Five Fingers, I’m giving them a 9 out of 10 for The Road Ride, but there’s really nothing that Vibram can do about how people choose to run.
The Vibram Five Fingers CrossFit Ride
Boom! The CrossFit Ride in Vibram Five Fingers is off the hook! You can feel the ground like no other while doing heavy barbell work and can really condition your feet to be strong and ready for anything. The only downside is that, because there’s not any cushioning, doing jumping movements like box jumps does put extra strain on your Achilles tendons, especially if you’re used to wearing shoes with elevated heels. Because of this I switch between my Vibram Five Fingers, Inov-8 f-lite 230’s (read my review here), and NewBalance Minimus Life (read my review here) shoes for CrossFit. The CrossFit Ride is a 9 out of 10, only losing a point because I don’t think they’re the best for every movement (ex rope climbs), and it takes a while to get your feet conditioned enough to wear them all the time.
Just Chilling with the Vibram Five Fingers
Although Vibram Five Fingers are super comfortable, and really bridge the gap of having a barefoot experience all the time, they aren’t my favorite shoes for Just Chilling. I figure that if I’m Just Chilling and want the barefoot feeling, I’ll take my shoes off. Ya know? So they are totally comfortable for Just Chilling, but it’s not my thing, so they’re getting a 5 out of 10.
One last thing… Ever since I started wearing the Vibram Fingers on a regular basis I’ve notices a dramatic decrease in hip tightness and resulting lower back pain. I attribute this to my feet getting stronger and working better with the rest of my body. Having strong feet is a major factor in having a strong body as a whole, and I would recommend these shoes to everyone!
*When first wearing your new Vibram Five Fingers (or any other very minimalist shoe), make sure to ease your body into it. Most of us have de-conditioned our feet for years by wearing traditional running and fitness shoes, and we need to give our bodies time to ease into this new environment. I recommend starting out only wearing the shoes a few hours a week and adding a few hours each week until your feet can handle the barefoot workload full time.
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Now get outside and have fun by working hard! 🙂