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Vibram 5 Finger "shoe"


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Any of you geocache/hike in these? Im on my second pair of Keen Newports and was wanting to try out the Vibram sandal. I went and tried on a pair and my lil toe barely went in lol. The other toes did just fine but I really like the feel of the KSO (see below).

 

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I love mine, especially for water work. To me they feel essentially like walking barefoot, only my feet are protected. I am not terribly fond of hiking long distances in them, I prefer more support, but they are always in my pack for stream crossings, swimming and camp wear. I also like them for climbing around on boulders, they have a nice grippy feel and I can use my toes. I did find during a camping trip last February that they do not insulate you at all from frozen ground, so they were no good for use in camp during the winter. They do take a little getting used to, but in my opinion they are well worth the money.

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I have a pair of the KSOs and I LOVE them. Yes the website says an hour at a time around your house, but that is not for breaking in. That is so that your feet can get used to wearing them. Walking around with minimal to no support is a lot different than wearing footwear that supports your foot. Like I said, I love these things. It feels like you are barefoot. I have gone on an all day caching expedition over rocks and up and down bluffs in these. Not once did I even think about wearing something else. I would carry with you a pair of shoes or boots for the first couple of times out. So, you can change into them if you think you need more support, but once you get used to walking "barefoot" you will never take them off. As for your little toe barely making it into the spot, don't worry, mine dosen't either and I still wouldn't trade these for anything. Just make sure you measure your foot according to the directions and you will be fine. Bottom line: they are well worth the money, you will not be disappointed.

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Haha, we just went backpacking last month in yellowstone/grand tetons, and my cousin brought a pair of vibrams. I tried them out too, they're great for walking around in a lake, and they work fine for hiking.

 

In fact, that's how my cousin found out about geocaching - he saw a video about the vibrams and the person in the video said he was going to find a geocache.

Edited by Drewboy64
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I've got a pair of sprints. They're great for hiking, like others have said the 1 hour is not really a break-in period, it's just for you to get used to them. They are brutally ugly... worse than crocs even I'd say... but I still wear them; they're that awesome.

 

In terms of hiking/geocaching, find that I walk differently in them than in regular shoes. With regular shoes my feet tend to land heel first where as with the fivefingers my feet land blade-first. Don't know which is the "correct" way of walking; however, I do this because if I land heel-first with the fivefingers on my heel starts hurting after long periods of walking. Especially since a lot of the time I'm walking on concrete sidewalks.

 

One thing I've noticed is that the river valley in my area has lots of thistles and low-growing prickly things and they tend to get annoying with shorts and fivefingers on.

 

They are super comfortable overall but I would say they are best for walking around on anything other than concrete for a long time (if you're slamming your heel down) and through thorny bushes. In terms of what they feel like, it's the same as being barefoot but without the cuts and scrapes you'd get without them on. I've actually found it fun to walk on different things that I wouldn't normally be barefoot on...

 

grass is fluffy and comfy...

gardening rocks feel awesome (like a foot massage)...

peat moss (went through a bog with them on) felt good but wet and squishy... weirdest thing I've walked through

sand is just sandy...

 

edit: I also run in them, the soles are super durable... however, again you cannot run by striking your heel to the ground... go with a mid-foot strike type of running. It'll work your calves, but you use less energy overall and can run farther!

Edited by geebers
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These intrigued me last year and I've always kept my eye out for them. I recently noticed that Bivouac in downtown Ann Arbor became a distributor so I went right over and bought a pair of the Black KSOs. The pair I got were smaller than I thought I needed but the guy working there was right on the money...a tighter fit is better with these. They literally fit like a glove and I really like 'em.

 

My intentions were to use them as a watershoe, since I hate my Keens (gravel always got in the Keens and was really annoying), and for some mild hiking. I used them for a day at work to "break them in" (get a feel for them)...but they were extremely comfortable right out of the box...I don't think I needed a "break in period". The more I wear them, the more I fall in love with them.

 

I used them on a kayaking geocaching picnic trip a few weeks ago and they were absolutely awesome. Hiking across the islands thru mud was such an awesome experience...you HAVE GOT TO try it! One thing that I noticed with them...the soles are a bit thin (but are nice and flexy and grippy) and you feel the larger rocks you step on...especially the single ones you hit right in the middle of your sole...it takes a little getting used to. For keeping the leeches out from between your toes...awesome! Wading...nothing is better. Keeping rocks out of your shoes...they are the bomb! And then there is the wierd-factor...nothing is better as a conversation starter. Oh...and they are extremely light compared to my Keens...great for backpacking and fording. $85? Yeah, definately worth it.

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I'm so glad that I've just found this Topic!

 

These Vibram 5 finger shoes have just reached the UK. The first time I saw them anywhere was last month in my copy of Country Life magazine where they had a give-away freebie of two pairs - Just send in a postcard to the draw and you might be lucky - I sent in 4 postcards, one from each in the family, because I think they look soooooo cool and I'd love to try some - it's good to read your comments about them.

 

I haven't heard anything yet... it would be great to win a pair :)

 

They're retailing from £85 - £130 here (US$135 - 200) so I won't be rushing out to buy a pair just yet. :lol:

 

MrsB

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i have sprints and I love them.

the don't fit me really well (M45 fit my toes perfect but then there is about 1cm room behind my heel) but when I am walking it really doesn't matter.

 

after the first 25km walk my lower legs quite hurt, but after a while... GREAT

 

even incold weather (10°C) my feet for some reason didn't get cold

 

strongly recommended, mabe I buy some kso too.

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I went to a local outdoor store to buy some waterproof casual shoes that will hopefully last a whole fall/winter yesterday. I noticed that the girl helping me had what looked like toe socks on. But they looked more like shoes than socks. I never did ask her what they were, but now I think they were these. They look like they would make awesome water shoes. I usually have to buy a cheap set of water shoes every year. I need a shoe, but I want to be barefoot. I may have to look into these.

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Some of the comments about bruising due to rocks is a bit off-putting...but I see that there is a sturdier version: the KSO Treks.

 

:ph34r:

 

KSO Treks

 

Alas, it is NOT made is smaller men's sizes or women's sizes.

 

Here is a discussion of the lack of women's sizes.

 

And here is the petition to ask Vibram to make women's sizes.

 

I would be interested in these if I could get them.

 

Anyone up for signing the petition?

Edited by ATMouse
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Was told that your feet will hurt for a month to get used to them.

 

I have custom insoles for a plantar fascitis, and actually had to use a golfball to break my arch muscles down fro a month and rebuild them to wear my insoles, so I can just imagine the pain would be from your arches having no support.

 

No thanks.

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After thinking about VFF's for over a year I finally came off the bucks and bought a pair of KSO's last month as my primary shoe for backpacking. I just got back from a 25 mile section of the AT and have to report that they performed flawlessly! As someone who likes to hike barefoot, VFF's are not really all that minimal. Their sole is substantially thicker than I'd hoped and they do feel somewhat confining. But they are flexible and you can feel the earth without the fear of puncture wounds. Since I hardly ever wear shoes to begin with there was no period of getting used to them as others have reported - no soreness. I would say they are well worth the money but please watch out for the glut of fakes hitting the market! If you see any VFF's "discounted" below the full price then they are not real Vibrams and will not have the quality you want.

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I hike in KSO Treks. I've had them a couple months and have taken them on all the usual trails in VA and WV (rigorous day hikes - the App trail and less well groomed, not around town). They have a slightly heavier sole than the straight KSO, but they are a dream. I never thought I would like the feel of every rock and root but the earthy feel is wonderful. I feel like part of the earth instead of crushing over it. My legs and feet responded very quickly to the initial conditioning (body does need to adapt - my calves complained a little at first but quickly adapted). I ordered a pair of classics yesterday to wear around town on a regular basis. I've done some jogging in the KSO Treks, and they are great. I plan to do trail running in them. For backpacks, I will take them as my camp shoe (haven't tried them out with a heavy pack, but with day pack they are still the thing!). I want to test their limits, but they are now my day-hike standard. I have definitely been over-booted in my life. These will take anything the terrain dishes and feel great doing it. My concern for heavier load is gimpy knees, and for backpack loads over 20lbs (my guess at a reasonable threshhold) I'll stick to my boots (for now, but I will test it.....).

 

I highly recommend the five fingers. Some may not be able to get a good fit, and may not be able to wear them. My little toe also barely fits in, when I put them on I sort of have to guide it in its slot, but once on, they fit very literally like a glove.

Edited by kokodoug
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My roommate at Army BNCOC talked me into these. Still haven't had much of a chance to put them to use, but they seem to have many advantages. The way he spoke about them seem that they follow a human's natural physiology much better. When you run in them, instead of striking with your heel, they teach you to strike with the ball of your foot so as to absorb the shock with your leg muscles as opposed to the heel cushioning that other shoes provide. After getting used to them, support shouldn't be too much of an issue as he uses them when he runs marathons. I'd love to take them hiking, except I know that on some of the desert trails here in Southern Arizona, the cholla will have a field day ripping through the bottoms and sides.

Edited by SKBeatdown
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My wife has a pair of them, and so long as you aren't Bushwacking thru a dense woody forest(i.e. MO) and watch where you are going, you will LOVE them.

 

They aren't that good in SNOW though.

 

I will be getting a set of them in the next few weeks. Of course, my Boss won't let me wear them at work*Leather Steeltoes req'd*.

 

The Steaks

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My Five-Fingers mainly get used at the end of a hike for the drive home. You feel like you're driving barefoot!

Have gone to run errands wearing them every now and then.

Yes, perfect for wading in water.

 

I bought my first set in 2005 while living in Iowa. Would meet up for friends to hang out on a patio of a restaurant and people-watch, so I'd often wear the five-fingers after a day standing on my feet at work. They were considered quite unusual at the time, since the product was pretty new.

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I've had a pair of V5F Sprints for 2 years and have tested them out in a variety of situations. Here's what I've found:

 

Awesome for:

Kayaking

Yoga

Weightlifting

Doing stuff around the house and yard

 

Good for:

Walking

Jogging < 2 miles

Lower terrain hikes - i.e. not a lot of rocks, and in better weather

 

Poor for:

Anything in winter

Rock climbing (I thought the grip was terrible)

Strenuous hiking and high terrain hiking

Running > 2 miles (I spent a month trying to "break" my feet in on long runs in these and OUCH, not good.)

 

The shoes hold up remarkably well and are definitely worth the high price tag. Unfortunately they don't fare well for hiking here in Pennsylvania (er...Rocksylvania) and may leave your feet crying out in pain after the first few uses. They are, however, seriously amazing for kayaking.

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I too am going to be getting a pair soon... just not sure which ones to get. I am stuck between the KSO MultiSport, the TrekSport and the KomodoSport Guess I'll hav eto go try them on and see which ones feel bet. I plan on using them for out and about shoes, water shoes, walking the dogs shoes... etc. Just want them to be a versitile that can do just about anyhting in. I wear flip-flops most of the warmer season and even some in the winter too. THese jsut seem to protect my feet better while providing better grip.

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Went with KSOs. Been wearing them non-stop since Friday afternoon and havent had any aches or pains. Thet are comfortable and a great conversation starter. Ive had random strangers come up to me and ask to touch my feet and ask what they are.

 

edited bc I suck at typing

Edited by DanTheMan81
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KSO's are amazing shoes! I've yet to really have any major issues with them just yet. The only minor problem was that I caught a rock while swimming and it w=tore a small hole in the fabric above my big toe. That was just under a year ago and the hole has yet to expand!

 

Aside from that I have yet to hike anything over 8 miles roundtrip in them. I wear them as just a shoe at work, school, errands, etc. They are really great to run in as an alternative to shoes. I can pull six miles running/jogging before I really start to feel any strain on my feet. They are all upsides in my opinion, just make sure to follow the sizing rules IN THE WEBSITE before you go and buy a pair.

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Just a maintenance note: If your VFF start to get the "VFF Stank" - Efferdent; one tablet per foot soak 15 minutes in warm water. Rinse and let air dry. Best results after a normal washer or hand washing session. They practically smell brand new.

 

Have tried this with both black and white VFF - neither were tinted or stained as you might read on other blogs - but please beware its a small possibility.

Edited by BSomms3
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