My Bare Feet. Vibram Five Fingers Review

“What are you wearing? Some kind of aqua shoes?”

That’s a common reaction I get to my Vibram Five Fingers. Others include, “Hey can you run in those?” (Yes). Or, “Do they feel weird? Is it hard to adjust to them?” (Not really and No — its like being barefoot!). And of course, “What are those? And where can I get them?”

Five Fingers are shoes. Or slippers. Or socks with flexible Vibram rubber soles on the bottom. Or go simpler: they’re “Toe Shoes.” They have five toe cutouts (or pockets) and absolutely no arch support or traditional foam padding in the soles. They come in a few varieties (some providing more foot coverage, one intended for aquatic uses, a couple with straps, or the simplest, the “classic”, which has a bungie type operation that keeps them from falling off when used in more engaging activities (Update: As of 2010 there were 8 Five Fingers models available).

I’ve been using my Five Fingers for about three months now. So far, I’ve used them for:

  • Kettlebell lifting 
  • All varieties of CrossFit workouts, which often include doing squats, dead lifts, cleans, jerks, pull-ups, dips, presses, etc.
  • Rowing on an Ergometer (Concept 2)
  • Getting around a dock and boat
  • Going for walks
  • running (probably the most popularized use)
  • Hill sprints (pic)
  • Frisbee throwing
  • Grocery shopping!
  • Lounging around in the house, grilling outside on the deck
  • Hacky-sacking
  • Much, much more

Five Fingers have helped me be a kid again: as a kid, I never wore shoes, preferring always to be barefoot everywhere. Even today, I rarely wear shoes, preferring Birkenstock sandals in the summer or clogs in the winter (or just wearing flip-flops). Five Fingers are great in that they allow me to do all sorts of active things outside, no matter what the surface while still protecting my feet against wayward sharp objects on the ground.

Five Fingers take my feet back to basics. I wasn’t born with shoes on my feet. From an evolutionary perspective, human beings existed for countless millenia hunting and gathering, running from prey, lifting and carrying loads — all without the latest brand of Nike’s. It stands to reason that our feet evolved over time to withstand the freedoms (both good and bad) that result from going barefoot everywhere.

Our ancient ancestors likely had tough, calloused feet, ready to withstand sprints (or walking) across all sorts of terrain. Furthermore, they likely ran lightly on their feet (and almost certainly had little reason to ever “go for a jog”). Shoeless running would necessarily minimize contact between the foot and the ground. Just imagine a cat or dog sprinting and you get the idea. Contrast running on the balls of your feet with the pervasive long-stride, heel-striking (inherently inefficient), sneaker-clad foot-roll. This style is clumsy, and the by-product of the thick-soles of modern sneakers, which mute important feedback between foot and ground (See You Walk Wrong, referenced below).

Kicking back in a pair of Classic Vibram FiveFingers.

Vibram Five Fingers minimize feedback-interference by having an almost insignifnicant rubber sole. When I wear my Five Fingers outside, I feel the curvature of the grass-covered ground. I feel rocks under my heels and get a real sense of the varying textures beneath me.

When I do olympic-lifts, I feel all the stabilizers in my feet activate (Like you might encounter in CrossFit). I feel reconnected to the ground, an empowering feeling when you’re trying to squat 275 pounds or stabilize whilst doing 1.5 pood kettlebell swings. For more on weight lifting, read this fans account of powerlifting in Vibram FiveFingers.

When I do hill sprints in my Five Fingers, I am considerably less likely to roll my ankle upon hitting a dip in the ground — meanwhile, it feels fantastic to be so light on your feet as you fly (sprint) up a hill or across a field!

Going about “virtually barefoot” may seem odd to our sneaker-crazed modern world, but why not take a break from restrictive, clunky shoes and sneakers and traverse the earth as evolution intended (Well, as close as you can get while still maintaining some protection!)? Plus, being active and “barefoot” will build stronger ankles and leg muscles and improve your agility.

Mind, the day after running “barefoot” for the first time (virtually so with Five Fingers), you’re bound to be sore in all sorts of previously forgotten ankle, foot and calve muscles. So be prepared. However, this general foot/ankle weakness should tell you something about how much your regular footwear has been subsidizing your strength.

The bottom line: if you like being active and barefoot, you’re almost certainly going to like Five Fingers.

Finally, there are a few other benefits of Five Fingers I thought I’d share:

  • Five Fingers are incredibly light and compact. This makes them supremely packable for traveling (Often you can even get through airport security without taking them off though its a bit of a gamble!).
  • They are machine washable! Yeah, you can just throw them in the washing machine, then hang them out to dry (I have freakishly non-stinky feet, but they can get stinky, so you might check out these Vibram Five Fingers cleaning tips.
  • Wet sports. This goes hand in hand with their machine wash-ability. Doing something in wet grass? Regular sneakers will get soaking wet and could end up smelling of mold. With my Five Fingers, if they get wet, its okay! They’ll dry fast. If they get muddy? Just wash them off and throw them in the washing machine. Easy.

Okay, you’ve sold me. So what now?

If you’re interested in picking up a pair, I’ve got some good news and some bad news and they’re both the same: there are a ton of models to choose from — 20+! That makes for a lot of options, which is great, but also means you could get a little overwhelmed trying to pick a style. Go with your instinct and just have fun (don’t get overwhelmed).

Otherwise, you could end up like me: in the 3+ years since I first wrote this review, I’ve dived feet-first into the whole barefoot-style footwear thing by founding a blog dedicated to this emerging way to reconnect with our humanity — it’s called and has received over 2 million unique visitors. I’ve now tried and reviewed virtually every Vibram model out there as well as all the other new minimalist/barefoot shoes. That’s over 50 other shoe models (I’ve lost count, honestly). If you’re planning on buying online, you need to read this. I’m afraid to say that a rash of fake Five Fingers have shown up on the internet (and in Google search results). By “rash,” I mean there are over 600 fake fivefingers online retailers masquerading as the real deal. You can learn more about this unfortunate phenomenon here. The gist is that if you’re on a site with “vibram” or “fivefingers” or some variant thereof that claims crazy discounts (60% off!) and isn’t — or if you’re looking on ebay (not a good sign) — you very well could be looking at a fakes retailer.

On style and sizing — Back in 2008 when I got my first pair of Vibrams, I figured I’d start simply so I just got the simplest model available, the Classic; I bought two sizes that were the closest to my measurements and just returned the wrong size. Simple enough. The thing is that sizing Vibrams is confusing because the FiveFingers sizing doesn’t (necessarily) correlate to any standard sizes (American or European). By pure chance, my FiveFingers size happens to be the same as my Birkenstocks size (European 43 — I’m a 10.5 US size). To really get a handle on sizing, you should see this wiki on Vibram Five Fingers sizing.

Update February 2012: One last note on the above-mentioned likelihood of getting Overwhelmed by just how many options there are. These days, I now have probably 40 or more pairs of FiveFingers including all the newest/hottest models with the fancier soles and uppers; however, I still go back to my Classic FiveFingers as a “go to” pair assuming the weather permits. That’s because they’re just that comfortable. However, if you’re just going to get one pair for all occasions, I might recommend the KSO if you want to kick it “old school” in one of the original, most popular Vibrams; or if you want something more recent, go with the KomodoSport LS or Bikila LS as both are exceptionally comfort and fit the widest range of feet due to the laced uppers. Ahh there are pros and cons to all of them and it’s not easy to decide on “just one pair!” I don’t envy your position. Truth be told, you should know that there’s a high likelihood your first pair of toe shoes won’t be your last; I can’t tell you how many folks I know who now have multiple pairs (like 5+) of FiveFingers. Seriously.

Buyer beware: friends and family might chide your weird-looking footwear, but don’t be surprised when they order their own pair shortly thereafter (To date: I know two CrossFitters who are looking to buy them after seeing me use them, and one CrossFitter who has already taken the plunge).

If you have any questions about anything I didn’t cover, let me know!

Further reading:

225 replies on “My Bare Feet. Vibram Five Fingers Review”

I’ve got a feeling you’re wondering specifically if these would work with capoeira. My hunch is they would work well with it. They grip well to the ground, but if you were to do turns on the balls of your feet, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t have any problems at all. The FF website notes that even the strapless Classic style (what I have) can be used for yoga and martial arts.

Actually trying them out might be the only way to really say, but in my use, which includes hacky sacking, I’ve never had a problem with them sliding around on my feet in any capacity. I strongly doubt it’d be a problem, in other words.

Great post! ARen’t these things amazing? I trail run in mine almost daily, kick around the house, wear them to work, etc…

Seriously, once your start sporting these, over time, all the over padded and “feature” ridden shoes look offensive on the shelf in the shoe store.

I wear the KSOs and really have enjoyed them more than my Sprints. Keep up the posts!

I was lucky enough to randomly run into a pair of these in Ruidoso NM at a great store there. When I saw them, my first reaction was “Are these real shoes? and are they for sale?” The guy smiled and said yes, what size? and then of course I heard the Hal-le-lu-jah choir of angels rejoicing as I slipped my feet into the KSO’s. Wow and Amazing are not words that are even come close enough to compare to this great invention. I can relate with this review very closely because, since way back when I was a child I literally threw my shoes away and just ran around the backwoods of Tennessee barefoot. Now living in Texas, I’ve found that kid again through these shoes. Since wearing them a few months, I’ve decided to order the Sprints. Can’t wait! Thanks for this review, it’s good to hear others who share the same love for being barefoot.

Ha no … but I do like these um … shoes? Clearly enough to share my joy with the blogosphere.

Seeing as this post is one of the top 10 on google for “vibram five fingers review,” I probably should be getting some kind of kickback though.

i got some of these and i can’t tell if they’re too small or just feel weird since they’re so different. do your 43s have any room between the toe and ‘shoe?’ mine have NONE, but i’m not sure if that’s by design to give you the barefoot feel or if they’re just too small.


I’d be inclined to “stick it out” on these (particularly if you got the classics), even as they might feel slightly snug. So long as they aren’t uncomfortably tight, I think you’re better off without any space. The more snug the five fingers, the less likely they are to slip off with more strenuous exercise. Mine fit me pretty well, but I bet if I wanted I could go down a size and still be ok — maybe even better!

If you do decided to stick it out, after you’ve gotten some exercise/use out of them, I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on how they’ve worn in — i.e. did you get used to the snugness.

Ultimately, go with your gut – even if you go up a size, you’ll probably be just fine.

I first saw a pair of these at Whole Earth and just had to try them on. The
experience was one that has kept my interest to the point that I’ve just
decided to get my first pair. I tend to like things that are peculiar but
beyond that (and this is going to sound odd) it’s almost like my feet crave
the feeling that I got from wearing them. So here’s a question I have; when
I tested them out in the store I found myself planting my feet toe first
(like when you’re sprinting). Do you end up walking toe first, heel first
or what? I’m curious to know how people run in these. Thanks for all the
good info.


What I’d advise is to go outside barefooted and walk around — maybe even run a bit (just be careful for sharp objects on the ground). This will very closely approximate how you will walk/run in the Five Fingers.

One of the most common questions I get is “how do they feel when you’re walking around in them?” -or- “Do they take awhile to get used to them?” My response is a bit basic, but true — I feel like I’m barefoot! Assuming you do plenty of walking around barefoot (in the house, for example), the “break-in” period is virtually non-existent. There may be some adjustment to the feeling of having your individual toes wrapped in fabric, but that odd sensation quickly disappears.

Perhaps the only learning curve is that you have to re-learn how to do high impact activities barefoot — i.e. jumping or landing from a jump on concrete is going to hurt if you do it the same way as you would wearing sneakers. So keep that in mind.

Does that make sense?

Justin, thanks for the response. I should have just waited a few more days before asking my questions. I got too impatient waiting for an internet order to arrive and went downtown Houston and found a place that had a great selection of them. I originally thought I was going to get the Sprints but the KSOs ended up winning me over. Like a 33 year old kid I walked out of the store with them on! I figured I took the time putting them on (which takes much less after a little adjustment) I might as well keep them on.

Then I tried them out at the most high class mall in Houston, The Galleria Mall. It was great! I hadn’t had them one hour and already people were asking me where I got them. I found myself noticing things like outlet covers and seams on the floor and couldn’t help but step on them just to see what it was like. I also found myself worried about stepping on gum and gunk puddles of who knows what. It’s hard to get it in your head that there shoes and it’s ok.

I get the idea now of walking in them and I shouldn’t have been surprised that as you said, “Go outside barefooted and walk around.” There really is no difference. I probably wore them 9 hours on my first day and walked several miles in them. And I only noticed my calf muscles ache just a bit this morning. Not bad for such a difference.

I’m excited to take them out for a run, but I’ll sooner be trying them out for my P90X workout. I think they’ll really help on some of the routines.

The Good: Feel great. Get back to nature. Quick break-in. …and I could go on and on and on.

The Bad: Bulbous heal (as I’ve heard it said in other posts)

The Ugly: …well, the shoes actually. My wife will never get used to me wearing them in public I’m afraid. Kids think they’re the coolest things they’ve ever seen though…

justin– excellent post about these amazing shoes!
i bought a pair of Surges about two months ago for paddling use and they worked exceptionally well… so i then, of course, “had” to have another pair and recently ordered the Classics! they are perfect! perfect for outdoor pilates (as well as indoor) as well as caving, canyoneering, bouldering and climbing.

both pairs make for interesting conversation at the grocery and other public places but get mixed reviews… some think they are hilarious but would never wear them while others cannot wait to get home and order a pair (because southern Missouri does not have a store that offers FF).

good review! even better shoes!

Thanks for the props on our Vibram Five Fingers. They are fun shoes for sure. We brought them in originally for kayaking – because you can fit them in to small spaces (kayaks)and they are super grippy. Turns out most folks are buying them to work out in, Run in, and just general use. I’ve had people from all over the world rave about how they have ‘changed their lives’. A bit dramatic? Well maybe, however I do feel they have a liberating feel that helps put us back to how our bodies are used to working 100’s or 1000’s of years ago. In any event they are fun and well why not have fun?
Thanks John

Excellent review on the shoes- you present the shoes better than the company selling them- and you should get some sort of commission! Tomorrow I am going to try to hunt down a pair myself ļ
I work as a personal trainer and I am a dedicated runner enthusiast- but have always felt that my running technique is somehow incorrect- or rather, unnatural. I¡¦m naturally fast and have a high drive, but my legs feel heavy and I¡¦ve noticed I more than often land on my heel. My gym doesn¡¦t allow barefoot running- and running barefoot outdoor poses the problem, what should I do with my shoes while I run?
I have a question, have you taken them out for a long distance run? How does that feel compared to sprint work?


Thanks for the compliment! Incidentally, I am working on a more promiment “promotion” of five fingers — my “birthday shoes.” See

As for a more long distance run, unfortunately, I am not the person to ask. I am not a runner — I have run a mile or so in five fingers, and that isn’t a problem (either on concrete or on a treadmill). I imagine a longer distance run would be ok — see the resources page on for a review by a runner!

I saw some one wearing these on the streets of downtown, and naturally my curiosity got the best of me. As soon as I got home, off to the internet for a search I went. I’ve found a couple of different sources on it, including Vibram’s own website, but I love the attention and detail in your review. Thanks!

One question, though – my first thought at seeing these things was “blisters”. Is that an issue with excessive use? You definately seem to put them through their paces. Also, with that “wear and tear”, how are they holding up? Do they demonstrate a long-life…?

I have been running barefoot (on a treadmill) since 2006. In November I started running in a pair of the Vibram Five Fingers. However, I am just now noticing that I have lost some of the padding on the bottom of my feet. Could this be a result of running in the Vibrams rather than actually barefoot? Any thoughts?


I’ve experienced blisters with my Classics on one or two occasions after some jogging/running use. However, this was in the early stages of using them, and I’ve since had no repeats. I think there is a bit of foot break-in period with VFFs. I need to write a long-term use review of the Classics (likely will post it at


Very interesting comment – this makes sense to me, actually, as I’ve heard that regular full-fledged barefooting will result in very leathery foot soles. Thus, if you switch to using the rubber Vibram soles instead, I’d expect these callouses to reduce in size as they become less necessary.

Does that jive with your experience?

I got a pair of Sprints, and I loved ’em. Til they began smelling like stank. I washed em like 3 times, and they still acquire a rancid stank after a week of use. How often do you wash yours?


That is crazy – just to be clear: they don’t smell immediately after you wash them, right? I assume they smell after you’ve worn them at least once after a recent wash.

Maybe try some baking powder? I’ve never had this problem, and I confess: I don’t wash mine nearly as often as I probably should. But then again, I’ve never had a problem with smelly feet or socks — I have 10 year old Birkenstock clogs that still have no smell to them at all (And they’ve NEVER been washed, re-soled twice, and worn through to the leather).

Apologies for asking a somewhat personal question: have you ever had athlete’s foot or any other foot smelliness problems?

I love my pair (got them last year) but just recently that stink has really started to take hold. The smell does go away after a wash, but it comes RIGHT back. I don’t mind offending someone’s aesthetics with the appearance, but offending their sense of smell is another thing! Still looking for a good solution. Note: the smell seems to be in the RUBBER, at least that’s my current theory. Any ideas are welcome!


Your smell-in-the-rubber theory is interesting, and it also jives with Dane’s comments — you guys are having some serious smell problems.

I wonder if there are any more drastic solutions out there to eradicate the smell, which must be coming from some sort of fungus or bacteria that has taken hold in the VFFs. That is really weird though, and I’m curious if others have encountered this problem and what they have done to fix it.

You might also see about posting it to the facebook group and see if anyone there has had this problem/figured out a solution (here’s a link).

Back at Justin: They smell fine after I wash ’em. After about a week of use, they acquire the smell again. Maybe it’s because I wear them to school, which is 8 hours and includes gym class, then an hour in the gym, and another hour training martial arts?

And no, I haven’t had athlete’s foot or other ‘foot smelliness’ problems. Nice wording though. 😛 Unless wearing shoes without socks when I was a kid, causing them to smell like used martial arts equipment.

The smelliness is bacterial build-up. Caused by simply wearing them extended hours or when wet. (think sweaty, especially in hot humid climates) There are several antibacterial products on the market that you can spray in the shoes to kill the bacteria, I get mine from The Walking Company. Best suggestion though is get a second (or third) pair and switch them out every other day so they can really dry out before you wear them for 12 straight hours. Also make sure your feet are clean (you haven’t walked around barefoot on dirty floors) when you put the shoes on to reduce the amount of bacteria you are introducing into the shoe.

I just purchased the classics. My right foot is a “little” bigger than the left. The right measured 11″ exactly on a ruler. The left was 10 1/2. The Vibram guide said 44 was the size for an 11″ foot & that 42 would be the size for the 10 1/2″ foot. I made a compromise & ordered the 43. The left foot feels great in the 43. The right foot feels a little too short in the big toe. I’m not sure if I just need to get used to it. I know that if I ordered a 44, then the left foot would definitely be too small. Any thoughts?

i cant believe my classic green toeshoe’s sole got a hole since i used it for running on stony pathments. Now my grey white sprint one has a rip in both big toes and i had to sew it up for my 10k race, did it in 50min and 6 sec thanks to them, but the sole razor imprints are dissappearing too and i am afraid another hole will appear.

The shoes are really good.
They’re comfortable, let you sense the ground, and allow you to move more quickly, but sadly they aren’t perfect. The durability is poor. The velcro isn’t too durable, small rocks get caught in the razor sizing, and already, within one and a half weeks, there’s a small hole on one of the toes. Also, the KSos are not anywhere near water proof, infact, if you step in mud or a puddle 1cm deep, water will seep in. If you’re gonna buy them, keep that in mind.

Depending upon where you bought them, you should have been able to return them for a replacement pair. REI will simply replace them if you’re a member, and SportChalet has a program where if you pay ten dollars ‘insurance’, if they have issues such as you describe in the first year, they will gladly give you replacements.

And they’re not intended to be waterproof. They’re designed to feel what’s out there. That said, they have this amazing ability to dry. And I must add that the majority of shoes out there aren’t waterproof. Just put on your Nikes and jump in a puddle.

WOW, Just bought my first pair o classics it took about 30mins & it felt absolutely great.I am not one for wearing shoes when relaxing, but its great not worrying where you put your feet

I just got my pair of Sprints 2 days ago. They feel great, except for one thing. My left foot has no discomfort at all. With my right foot though I get a burning type feeling in the distal joint of my 2nd and 3rd toes. I’m not sure if this is just me having to get used to them or it beeing too tight around my toes and needing to bump up a size. Any suggestions? And to answer questions I’m sure will be asked: My 2nd toe is longer than my first and I measured both feet and have no large discrepancies. Anybody else have a similar issue?


It’s interesting you should ask this because 24 hours ago I wouldn’t have had a clue, but yesterday I received an email from Mike, who was asking about Morton’s Toe and fivefingers. In learning briefly about Morton’s Toe, I saw mention of Morton’s neuroma, and I think that may be what you are experiencing.

Check this:

I think it may be (unfortunately) a common problem for those who have longer second toes.

@ Justin,

Thanks for that. I was thinking it could be that, but was hoping it wasn’t. Have you heard of any suggestions with that? I LOVE the vibrams and would HATE having to not wear them. Do you think going up one size would help? Maybe trying the same size in the KSO (since you are susposed to go down a size when going from Sprint to KSO)?

I bought a pair of classics about a month ago, specifically for the purpose of running. I don’t run very far– my average runs are about three miles. But I was working under the idea that 1) running barefoot changes your gait (it does—you tend to land on the ball of your foot versus the heel), 2) you land more lightly, and 3) the difference in gait and landing more lightly might spare my joints in the long run.

I got them, put them on, and loved them instantly. I went out for a run and was amazed. It did change my gait and it felt wonderful. I loved them so much and was having such a great time running in them, I blasted through my three miles faster than ever before and arrived home a happy, sweaty mess.

And the next day I couldn’t walk. Seriously. I limped for a week. If you find when you try them out that it really does change the way you run, go with a little caution. I ran on my toes the entire way, and my calves were just not able to cope.

The funny thing is that I love the feel of running in them so much, that as soon as I healed, I was out on them again. Just slowing increasing my distance this time.

@Dane (and anyone with the smell problem)

I regularly had bad foot odor because my feet would sweat a lot. It wasn’t athletes foot, but the odor gets pretty bad. The solution I found was using a crystal stick (mineral salt deodorant). They sell them at a lot of health food places (whole foods, farmer markets). I even saw Vitamin World start to carry them. If I apply the crystal stick before putting on shoes, my feet don’t stink even after a good sweat. Use a little hot water on the stick, or dampen your feet, and rub liberally over both the bottom and top of the foot.

How have the soles of your VFFs held up so far? This is the only concern of mine. I bought a pair of VSO, and I walked around an Outlet today for a couple of hours. Seems like the soles won’t last too long. Maybe it’s just the way they look after breaking them in.

Hello all,

Just wanted to share an experience I had with Vibram today.

First off, let me say that the company’s customer service is outstanding!

I’m based out of Canada and recently placed an order online for a pair of women’s Classics. Unfortunately, when the shoes arrived, they were about an inch too long. I’d already measured my feet three times and had none of the “fit issues” addressed on the website (e.g. one foot longer than the other, second/third toes larger than big toe). Furthermore, the size that I’d ordered was the one recommended by the fit guide online. Needless to say, I was puzzled!

Unfortunately, economic impediments to trade at the Canada-U.S. border meant that import and customs duties amounted to nearly half of my initial purchase price. This made an exchange and re-ship uneconomical for me.

I contacted customer service, and a pleasant and helpful agent (Carrie Valentine) quickly offered to ship me two other sizes–at no cost to me–to ensure that I could find a proper fit, no strings attached.

Even before finding the correct shoe fit for me, I’m so impressed with Vibram’s exemplary customer service that I’d like to repay the company with some positive word of mouth. The shoe concept is such a novel one, I truly hope it takes off for Vibram.


P.S. If you’re also tired of paying ridiculous customs and import duties, please write to your appropriate political representative to complain. Trade barriers prevent good businesses, like Vibram, from growing and offering their products to a wide audience of customers. Similarly, customers are left footing yet another unnecessary tax bill.

Great write up on these “shoes”. I’m in the Army and run a lot and have always had problems with shin splints and more recently left knee pain related to running. I always have problems finding shoes that don’t hurt my legs when i run. I always felt like there was too much pounding on my heel when i ran. I recently started wearing flip flops and going barefoot a lot. I am enjoying the feeling of going barefoot or with minimalistic shoes (flip flops). I found a place near my current duty station that sells them and I will be trying them in the next few days. Hopefully these are what I have been looking for these past few years

1. I’m a flat footed pronator. What happens to people like me?

2. Where do I put my Nike+ Ipod sensor for running?

Justin, thanks for setting up this site.

Thinking about doing the BareFoot Ted and start trail running in a pair of Five Fingers. But have a problem. Am a male with small feet. 9 1/2 inch right and 93/8 inch left, medium width but relatively narrow heel. So in the KSO it’s a womens 38. Classic either a mens 38 or womens 39. Are the womens and mens model outside of color combos significantly different?


OK, great shoes, but they don’t float! Lost one over the past week in a lake when it came off. Expensive loss.


Re: 1; you should be totally fine. There are lots of flat-footed pronators using VFFs. However, you might want to take it slow in rehabilitating your foot to barefootedness — but that really goes for everyone.

Re: 2; No clue!


The women’s VFFs are slightly more narrow than the mens (so I hear). I imagine the difference is not very appreciable though. Also, wide feet have no problems at all with VFFs.

One of the worst investments I ever made. Popped them on yesterday and went for a six-mile walk, with a 1/2-mile run at the midpoint. Result: blisters all over my feet, burst blood vessel in one toe, and I’m in so much pain I can hardly walk! I MIGHT recommend these for short walks on sand or grass, but for anything else, forget it.

@morey- You can buy little pockets for the nike + sensor and if you have the VFF with a strap, you can stick it on there.

A note about sizing- I received my shoes today which I ordered one size bigger than my Birkenstocks in accord with the sizing measurements. The toes felt uncomfortably tight, especially in the right foot even though my feet are the same size…perhaps just my toes are longer. Anyways, I was wiggling my toes around before I even walked in them and a huge hole ripped in the right second toe. Now I have to return them and I never got to wear them. I think I’ll ask for one more size up this time.

Hey everyone,
I too got sucked in to buying a pair of these. But I have a question, which ones does everyone prefer? I’m thinking that I should get the classics. Everything else looks more complicated/uncomfortable than I need. Any thoughts?

Well, seems like you got two mentions on our blog post on the best reviews and information on the Vibram FiveFIngers post that we just did. I included a link to birthdayshoes as well. Nice job!

I have foot drop in my right leg, nerve damage to toes which cross over when I swim. I did not read any posts as to which style is best for swimming. My podiatrist recommended Vibram but was not sure which is best for swimming. I also need a size 45 for my left foot and 44 for my right foot but REI store can’t let me split a pair. Your help is very much appreciated.

I have had my KSO’S for about 3 weeks and I love them. I have used them for the store,work,going to the mall.I have used them on the treadmill for 5 miles. I have even completed a 6 mile run in them. I have had some calve soreness after running from my body trying to adjust to the more forward running position.I think they are the best thing ever!

DJB- You didn’t wear them long enough to just go out and do 6 miles.

I have a red/black VFF sprint, although in most ways I like these shoes a lot, and the fact that I wear them every day is a testament to that fact. However I feel that certain aspects of the shoe are overhyped.

This is not a negative review, I agree with allthe positive points raised before me. However I feel that a lot of VFF fans are evangelical with their choice to go bare foot, and don’t give enough coverage on the negatives which I feel is necessiry for the average reader to make a fair assessment of these shoes beofore buying them.

Here are the negatives.
* If you live in a high concrete are (like I do in London), I don’t think your feet will ever adapt to the hardness of the concrete, You simply have to deal with this buy balancing on different parts of your foot to alleviate the pain from the hardness. I’ve worn VFF for over 3 weeks now, full time, which is plenty of time for my feet to get used to it. Sometimes the ball of my feet become sore so I have to take a rest, the other day, I was in the train (couldn’t get a seat), and my heels were aching really bad, so to alleviate the pain I had to tip-toe for a while.

*Waterproof, I think the amphibious nature of these shoes are highly overstated, the sprint takes a while to get dry, it’s certainly NOT made from water resistant materials like how my speedo’s are. at 35 degrees celcious it will take a whole day to dry, in italy it was 35 degrees and it did dry in the midday sun pretty fast though.

*VFF will smell from getting wet, my feet smell really bad at the moment,

*The VFF dont give your foot as much freedom as what a lot of people make out. Maybe it’s because my toes are slightly longer than the average person so not all of my toes fit in perfectly to each pocket. I find that my toes dont have full flexibility and the rubber solem whilst being quite soft and thin, still is hard enough to prevent total free movment of the toes.


I hope no one read your post and took it seriously as a reason not to buy these shoes, as this is the blind leading the blind. In many reviews, in the little booklet that comes with the shoes, and even by the person who sold me the shoes, I was told to take it slow and only walk around for about 2 hours the first day with these unless I was used to being barefoot most of the day, and to gradually build up until I learned how to walk in them and my feet became more used to them.

A six-mile walk with 1/2 mile sprint is not taking it slow in the slightest.

I have worked out walking/running on treadmills with no problem after getting used to how to wear these shoes. I own a pair of Classics and 2 KSOs (the first pair I bought, which was the same size as my classics, turned out to be a size too big and severely hurt my toes on my left foot from them not fitting correctly – try on every pair you buy!). These are some of the best investments I have ever made… ankle/foot pain I had for a long time is gone and I have better posture. The Classics have been a little less durable as far as the cloth staying glued to the sole material, and even without that happening, the KSO are by far my favorite model.

I’m pretty anxious to see the new models coming out too. Glad these have started taking off in popularity and that they are successful with no signs of slowing down, otherwise I’d be dumping thousands of dollars into buying extra pairs for years to come just in case.

Great write up with very informative comments.

I am curious as to how the shoes compensate for the variety in toe lengths. My toes are fairly long, with the 2nd and 3rd toe being just as long as my big toe. Guess I’ll have to try to find a place to try them on.

I have the classics and absolutely love them…however…they have this rubber tab on the heels that causes incredible chaffing on my achilles after just a few miles of walking or running.

Anyone else have this problem?

Looks like the other models of VFFs don’t have this rubber heel tab….so I’m looking to get a different model now.

I have been asked by several people about distance running in these. The reviewer here said that there is no breaking in period but if you are running 5 miles plus then you should go up in increments. I ran ten miles on Saturday no problem but I have had them for more than a month. Why? You run differently barefoot. Your calves will work harder and ache more. You will land more middle-footed than on your heel. It is different to say the least. For a reference to running with a more natural posture see “Chi Running” or the “Pose Method” of running.

Just bought a pair of sprint’s loved them in the store. Seem to fit great. Wore them walking around about 1/2 hour and had chafing at the heel. Will they break in? Or do I have wrong size?

I work mostly on my feet in a hospital and I was curious about everyone’s input as far as wearing these as an everyday work shoe. I don’t plan on running in these at all. My feet always ache at the end of the work day and when I get to spend some time in our office I tend to occasionally walk around without my shoes (much to my co-workers’ dismay. They think it’s gross b/c I’m taking germs home with me, which I argue happens with shoes too) I know people keep saying they can feel everything they were stepping on. I was wondering how absorbent they are. If I would happen to step in any sort of fluid at work, would my feet be fairly protected from it? Thanks in advance for your replies!

I have worn out one pair of classics, and ran (jogged) 3 miles with my Siberian Husky on a windy trail with lots of roots and unevenness almost everyday this summer past (I am down to three days now that school has started). I wouldn’t think wearing anything on your feet on a treadmill is necessary except for hygiene if it is a public machine. I stil use the old pair of FiveFingers on occasion even on concrete, but the fabric is tearing between the toes and the padding getting a little thin, especially at the back of the heel. I spent 5 months barefoot on a elliptical besides going barefoot outdoors whenever possible, and it took several months to work up to running 5 or 6 miles in fivefingers. 5 miles or more on asphalt results in short term discomfort (knees and ankles), but after 5 miles on a trail I am ready to do it again. Much more concentration and attention to foot placement is needed with fivefingers and I run slower than with say Nike Free’s, but with very much more enjoyment. I have a pair of sprints too, but don’t use them often. The classics are just freerer feeling and I like the closer fit.

hey ive been checking these things out fr a while and thought they were awsome, the concept the look , everything. and so i wondered if you can weight lift in them? cause my knees are a little jacked up and hurt so i wear a heavily cushoned shoe to prevent pain while working out and there is none on these and s would that be a problem cause throughout my workout ill e carrying 80lbs dumbell in each hand and thats alot of extra weight on the knees so are these shoes up to it? the idea that these shoes strengthen your lower legs is what gave me this idea.

any info would be greatly appreciated,

kyle 🙂

Well, I purchased a pair of five fingers yesterday and being young and foolhardy, decided to go out for a six mile run in them. My feet and calves hurt quite a lot today, but the benefits were immediately apparent when I was running. My over-pronation ceased immediately, I started taking shorted and more rapid strides, the normal aches and pains that I get from running didn’t occur, etc. The oddest thing that I noticed is that my abs are sore! I guess that my core was a little more engaged in stabilizing my body and that my posture changed.

Incidentally, I live on an old dock in London, so ran over the following surfaces and debris: cobbles, concrete paving, asphalt, loose dirt, grass, broken glass and loose pebbles. None of these surfaces caused any problems, though a couple of small bits of grit did find their way into the FFs and felt a bit sore when I finally came to rest.

Anyway, after less than 24 hours of use I am a convert…

I do not have anything to say that has not already been covered. FF are hands down the best investment I have ever made. I have been wearing my Sprints for a little over a year now for every engagement from the office, to backpacking to kayaking. Now as an Ohio Fall moves in, I can’t help but lament as I make the effort to ease the transition back into “normal” footwear for the coming cold weather months. My shoes all feel awkward and cumbersome. I can now feel every imperfection in my stride and with each step it is amplified. I guess I will have to try the new KSO Trek (kangaroo leather)and some Injinjis for winter.

I’ve had my Sprints for about 3 weeks now, and the tops of my feet are just ever so slightly starting to recover faster from being sore and exercising in them. It does say a lot about how out of touch my feet were with the ground. But here’s the kicker…..Achille’s Tendonitis is GONE!!!!!!!! I have no more muscle tightness and no overworking of my muscles. I learned the hard way though, when they say start off slow. But it’s hard when you find something as exciting as this to not jump out of your seat and take off down the block 10 miles. My next challenge is to perfect POSE running.

hey justin, how long does it take for you to wear out those shoes with heavy use? really curious.. i wanna see how much money i really have to spend a year on them if I am a total convert to barefoot running shoes!


It really depends on how well your form is – assuming you don’t drag your feet too much, they can last for a long, long time. Some have reported putting a couple thousand miles on a pair (running).

I’ve yet to wear through any of my pairs.

I bought my VFF KSO’s 2 weeks ago. They are the best thing I’ve ever put on my feet. I’m not a runner or a lifter, i just like the idea of them. I have found myself taking longer ‘more interesting’ paths just to feel the texture. Yes, you are more likely to notice the disgusting floor in a bathroom. After getting them totally soaked a few days ago, they developed the ‘VFF Funk’. A vinegar soak and rinse seems to have done the job. they will be added to the laundry every other week going forward.

they stick like glue to most any surface. you know that brown smooth pebbly rock surface they use for sidewalks and such, challenges the traction of all shoes … the VFF’s are solid.

it took a couple days to get used to walkin in them. arch and calves were sore from actually having to work. i also noticed some core abdominal muscles were speaking up after long walks.

i had prepared myself to deal with folks having comments about my shoes. the lack of reaction has surprised me. mostly folks react with amused suprise and interest. only the insecure clones seem to find anything truly funny with the VFF’s. and folks that hate feet seem to find the idea of VFF’s disgusting. both groups of folks have their own issues to work out before commenting on my shoes. 😉

– i wear them to work. i wear jeans. i don’t like walking on my pant legs. the VFF’s don’t have the same bulk as my old Vans so i find myself giving my pant legs a shake so that the cuff lands on the finger tab as a shelf. doesn’t last very long tho. and no, i don’t want to roll up my cuffs. 🙂

– a model designed for day to day business wear. perhaps some sort of cover mesh over the toes so that they don’t stand out as much. it hasn’t been an issue for me but after reading some of the posts, i think a more business designed shoe would help many folks.

– i don’t have a desire to wear socks with them. but perhaps some kinda absorbent insert can be devised that can be washed may help with the ‘VFF Funk’. i think a washable insert type thing would be preferential to a disposable type…not only for the cost of replacement but also for the ‘green folks’ amongst us.

Just got the VFF KSO’s for my birthday. had been wanting them for some time, and i have to say, my feet think i’m awesome. these are the best feeling things i’ve ever walked in. having read all these comments, I get the feeling that my enjoyment of them is only going to get stronger.

I have read that a few people were “upset” that their feet get wet when they walk into small puddles. This seemed a bit ridiculous to think that a thin piece of rubber and breathable cloth will keep all water out. Even though this does occur, I see it as part of the barefoot experience (without being barefoot). I don’t believe this should keep you from purchasing a pair. If you are that worried about your feet getting wet DON’T WEAR THEM IN THE RAIN!!! its a simple fix!

I have read some reviews saying that they’re VFF’s tend to smell after running through water and what not. I have not had any previous accounts of my shoes smelling so I cannot test this, but I would think rinsing your VFF’s with clean water after your run it would help keep them from smelling so bad.

I have had a pair of FiveFingers for about two years now. They have been my primary hiking/camping shoe in mountains, badlands and state parks since day-one.
The break-in period was a painful week of foot and toe cramps after 1 or 2 hours of wear around the house. After that they just felt great! I wear them just about everywhere from March to October – light snow, slush, rain, mud, through streams, as a water shoe while snorkeling and over both wet and dry rocks and whatever else is on the ground. You are so right – you find yourself walking over things just to see how it feels. Have you noticed how people sway back and forth while standing still? I used to, now I stand straight ( with improved posture, I might add ) and wiggle my toes.
Love these things!
Steve M.

Are these wonder shoes suitable for Senior Ladies Aquafit classes at the local pool? How will they stand up to chlorine twice a week?

I saw the comment above about Morton’s Toe, but Morton’s Toe and Morton’s Neuroma are two different things. My second toe is not extra/abnormally long, but between my third and fourth metatarsal I have a Morton’s Neuroma which is extremely painful if I move my foot just right and sometimes no matter what I do, its painful. I was just wondering if anyone’s tried FiveFingers with my condition. I work in retail and have to be on my feet for 8 hours (sometimes more) per day. I’ve tried extra supportive Nike’s with orthotics to no avail. I finally tried a cortisone/lidocaine injection in it, also to no avail. Now my MD suggested surgery to actually remove the neuroma. So I’ve been doing a lot of research for thing to try to make it better without surgery. Please get back to me if you know anything about it!!

I just pick up a pair of FLOW’s from the website. My first impressions are that they feel quite tight (in the toes), but that may be just because my feet aren’t used to them, plus, the neoprene may need time to stretch. My foot size is almost exactly 27, which is the size of shoe I bought, so I’m not sure if I should’ve bought one size larger. Also, I almost never go barefoot, so this is a major change for me, which may also affect my feet adjusting to them. Any comments?

I’ll mainly be using them at work as I am a security guard, which involves LOTS of walking (8 hours straight indoor & outdoor to be exact) and I have tried many shoes and shoe types, but all of them eventually end up being uncomfortable by the end of the day. Hopefully these Fivefingers will be my solution.

I have just gotten started completely barefoot running in the past few weeks and love it – I’m up to three barefoot miles, and I run rear round in Houston. In two weeks I’m moving to Idaho and it is absolutely freezing there! Are the VFFs going to allow me to keep running despite the freezing temps or do I need to figure out an alternative? If so , what should I do? I have never heard any reviews from anyone in a cold climate.

I have 2 questions.

1. I normally wear a size 9.5 – 10, and I bought size 40(10 1/4) for KSOs. As I ran around my block today:
A. the left ring toe kinda hurt, I felt as if the shoe mightve been too small?
B. I felt the balls of my feet in pain

Should I get a bigger size?
Will the pain subside after a week or so?

I just recieved my first pair of fivefingers yesterday, and I am already a convert! I don’t want to ever take them off! I live in a very small community, and everyone that has noticed them has asked every question you could think of. They are going to be worn a lot – that’s for sure! I just wanted to say how great my sprints are, and that I would recommend them to anyone!

I currently own 4 pair of Vibrams. 2 pair are rotated for work, 1 pair is worn on the weekends while the others are drying after their weekly wash and my most recent pair was received today (Thanks kayakshed!).
I don’t run, or exercise at all. They have become my everyday shoes. My Sprints are the ones for work (red and blue) and recently took me through an 8 day European vacation. No issues walking on the concrete in London (cobblestone alleys are another issues, don’t recommend walking long distances on stones or cobblestones), tours through England and France.
I live in the Pacific NW and we are just coming into the rainy season. I have “waterproofed” my sprints and it seems to be holding. Of course, I don’t walk through puddles if I can help it, but so far nothing has seeped in through the toe areas. Toe socks do help keep my feet warm as I can feel the coolness of the concrete through the bottoms.
They have been a big hit here, constantly having folks stop me and ask about them. I am happy to tell everyone I know about them! (even the British were interested 🙂 )
I can’t imagine wearing anything else!

I’ve had my Vibram Five Finger Classic for about 3 weeks now. I love them. Even wore them to the store. On the roof to clean the gutters. And on 3.5 mile runs on asphalt and trails. I’ve always hated running. But there’s something about doing it barefoot. I love it now. The VFF Classics give the feel of barefoot, without scrapes or the discomfort of stepping on rocks and acorns. Now, beware, because you have a level of protection with the VFF’s, they allow you to cheat, where true barefoot would not. Like landing on your heal, or dragging a step or two when tired. So try to practice good form, read up on true barefoot running form. Practice if you can doing real barefoot running to learn the technique.

Now, there’s pain. Ankle and instep if not careful. Your feet are not used to exercising this way. I’ve had the pain (at first), it’s not that bad (for me)…stretch. Use good form. Take a few days between runs. It gets better. Don’t run hurt.

So, I have very flat feet. Doesn’t seem to matter. Running barefoot feels great.

Anyways, I love the VFF’s… Now, how to attach that Nike+ sensor?

I have flat feet as well and used orthotics in my thick sole running shoes until I learned about VFF. I have been running with my VFF Bikila and loving every minute of it. And I do agree with you, gradually get your body used to wearing them and strethch after running.

UPDATE to my posting above:

We’re having a very cold week here in Oregon. I’ve worn my new KSO treks with some socks and feet haven’t been cold at all. Cant feel the cold ground at all through the bottoms! YAY! 🙂

I just bought a pair of classic five fingers. The left foot feels amazing, however the little toe on my right foot is uncomfotable/painful. I tried on 3 different sizes and ended up getting the biggest as it was less painful. Do you think my toe will adapt to the shoe, or am I a lost cause?

I was wondering when trail running or just running in five finger sprints, is it a problem for sand or small rocks getting in them?

These are amazing! I’m in ROTC for the Marine Corps and thus have to run long distances regularly. I had been suffering from really painful shin splints for a while and had hit what I thought was a plateau in my running performance.

I got the FF’s and the new way I run has totally eliminated the pain in my shins. The soreness was ridiculous the first time I wore them but they really are addictive to wear. My times have improved dramatically since wearing them and even when I’m in regular shoes now I feel lighter on my feet and more agile. I’ve been using the sprints but from reading this I think I want to try the KSO’s next. Thanks for the site!

Too bad these don’t come in XL sizes, like size 14 and up. Male foot sizes have increased, the past 20 years. Stores have had to order shoe sizes 13 and up, as some teen/young male adults wear those sizes. Those sizes aren’t so uncommon anymore.

I’m curious how these work on rolling on the inside of the foot. I used to fence and want to take it up again, and there used to be fencing shoes that had tread running up the inside of the foot because you roll on it in a deep lunge (Nike discontinued them years ago). One thought I had seeing these was they would be excellent for fencing because most shoes leave you kind of falling off a ledge if you try to roll sideways.

@ CLINT – I have a pair of the KSO’s in their largest size, 48. I wear a size 15 shoe and agree with your point about the last 20 years. Go get fitted, they measure your foot. mine is about 12.5″ and the 48’s feel great. they stretch a bit too, so don’t worry. not to mention, BareFoot Ted, who they sponsor, had his shoe size shrink from running barefoot so you might get lucky after a year or two. 🙂

I’m a slightly overweight 20 year old male with wide feet. I’ve seen these around, and every time I see them I think that I really want a pair. I’m desperate to get myself moving and exercising more, but I can’t get motivated to do it.

One thing I do out of pure enjoyment is I go for bike rides, 15-30 miles. Not too much, but I enjoy it to the point where I start to have to really push to keep going. Would these shoes work well for that?

As I said, I’m looking to get motivated to be more active. Would purchasing a pair of nice expensive novelty shoes help? I’d like to do some outdoor running, but I want to lose some weight first so I’m not so miserable. I figure maybe I can drop some lbs by biking and eating right, and then when I’m more comfortable I can start running and lifting and whatnot.

I also would be wearing these casually, because they’re cool as hell and I love going barefoot, but I feel like I need the protection of a sole.

Would these be a good buy for me?

Five Fingers are amazing! I’ve been wearing them for about a month and a half and they’re now the only “shoes” I wear! I started running in them (the KSO model)about a month ago and I’m now extremely used to the feel and they really do allow for greater speed and agility. The furthest I’ve ran in them so far is 13 miles and I intend on running 16 miles in them tomorrow. I also just got a pair of the five fingers FLOW which are absolutely perfect for winter running!You can run through snow and water with no problem at all! Running in my five fingers is so natural to me now that I often forget I’m even wearing anything on my feet at all! I had pain every now and then when I used to run in running shoes but now I haven’t had any sign of any knee or shin pain wearing my five fingers. Five fingers are definitely the way to go! I just wish more people would be more open to the idea of five fingers. All the people that see me wearing them think they’re the weirdest things. Anyways, I absolutely recommend five fingers to anyone because they are the best things you could possibly wear on your feet!

I just received my Vibrams (claassics) yesterday I thought
at first that they were too tight but after running for an
hour I never felt better no pain in my back or knees and it
is true what they say ( they adjust your gait ) I thought it
strange that I didn’t fall back into my old habit of hitting
the ground with my heel first I was actually striking the
ground midfoot, it was great and so much more comfortable,
and efficient. GREAT PROUDUCT I’ll never go back to shoes.

Terrible design flaw. It takes forever to get you toes into the slots. I have been wearing mine just around the house because I cannot get the small toes to slide into the last two opening. They are comfortable for walking around the house. I would not want to run with them if my toes are not in the proper slots for fear of getting blisters. I think a better design would be for the two small toes to have one common opening. I don’t have a half hour to put my shoes on. I just want to slip them on and go.
I’m very disappointed.

I have been running (training for a marathon) in my Vibram KSOs since fall. I have done up to 10 miles at a time in them and love them. I’m faster in them than in sneakers. And I definitely run on my forefoot more consistently, which a Harvard study shows changes the impact on your body a lot. My only regret is that once I was up to the 10 mile distance, I did pop a couple blisters on the sides of my feet and under one big toe. I have heard, though, that there are socks that fit with these that can solve the problem, in which case, I’m all about doing the rest of my training in these excellent, if really weird-looking, shoes.

@john deluna,

It sounds to me like you may have gotten too large a size –or– the curve of your toes from big to little is so great that the big toe is flush but the little toes just are too far set back.

If that later point describes you, that is a bummer, but that doesn’t make the VFFs flawed by design — they are just designed to cater to the average foot shape. This won’t make you feel any better, but you’re the first person I’ve ever heard of who has had their smallest two toes both sliding out. Sometimes people’s “pinky toe” will be poorly seated in the toe slot (occasionally slipping out) but I’ve never seen both.

Hopefully you just need a smaller size though —


Picked up my KSOs early this week and spent a day in them. All in all I spent about an hour and a half walking on concrete during my commute (the rest was indoors). Loved the feeling on my feet, the comfort etc. but my problem was with the heel of my left foot. I can feel that I’m landing pretty heavily on it as I walk. I’d love to know whether its just part of the bedding in process, or should I be looking to change how I walk in the VFFs? Any advice would be splendid.



You might check out this post on how to walk barefoot over at birthdayshoes. In short, you’re going to want to take shorter strides and either land midfoot (forefoot and heel simultaneously hitting) or forefoot first. It takes some practice getting used to this, but in time it becomes second nature.

How do you measure your correct fivefingers size. My feet is 26cm, 10.23 inches (i am 187cm tall, i have a short foot i think) , in their table it is a 40-41, but in my country , Spain, i use a 43-44. In a page where sell vibrafingers it recommends me to buy the vibrafingers more near to my country measuremennts, a 43-44.

But i doubt, do you used the inches table and worked?

Thx friends, greetings from spain.

Great write up on these fabulous shoes. I have the gray KSO’s and love them. I’m about to get my second pair. They have good soles, but mine ripped at the top of the toes.

I was just wondering if these shoes would be good for just walking around in? I’m a martial artist and I’ve heard wonderful reviews about this product for the sport. But I also stage manage plays and wearing shoes backstage can equal alot of noise which is a big no-no during shows. I’ve been considering getting a pair of KSO’s but I don’t want to be limited to wearing them only during rehearsals and training.

Personally I think they are awesome for just walking around in. I do more walking in mine than anything else for that matter.

I just stopped into a shoe store yesterday and I was not surprised to hear “We’re getting more Five Fingers in stock next month.” They sound like great shoes. My main concern is not how they fit, but how they WEAR. I plan to purchase KSOs for regular running (or wait for the new model). How long would KSOs last by someone who runs in the street?

Just picked up the black classics

I really dislike the black slipper look but REI has the best warranty, way better then vibrams. Any else think the black looks the worst?

Ive read this a few times any one agree? Mt left foot feels great but the right is tight only in the 4th toe. Weird i know. I was wondering since the feel is perfect in the left than my right is out of luck and I should just return them. Ive been wearing them for hours at home and still the right 4th toe is tight. Im hoping that this will work itself out but im not holding my breath.

im in love with the design on this but if my right foot dosent get better soon then its the new balance mt100’s for me which sucks because the feeling the ground under my feet is sublime.

I have been wearing these for about 6 months. They are my favorite pair of shoes. I got to class in them, go to the store, I do everything in them. They are great for walking around in. In the winter I wear them with a pair of socks and it works great. I would say go for it if you are thinking about buying them. The KSOs are hard to get on at first, but gets a lot easier over time. I don’t even have to work at getting my toes in anymore. I m looking at getting another pair. Maybe the classics this time.

I love my vibrams but i have one little problem. They hurt my big toes, mainly on the left foot. It feels like it is digging into my toenail. I keep my toenails short so I know it’s not the length of them. What could it be? Do i need to go up a size?


You may need to go up a size or you may need to stretch the upper rubber on the Vibrams — some have had success by heating up the rubber with an iron and then bending it and cooling it.

Just a thought!


I’ve been in the Sprints for about two months now and I’m really enjoying them-they’re flexible, light and well-fitting to the point of playing tricks with my senses. My foot size measured out to the 43, so I just made the order and hoped that my feet (which are wider than most) fit accordingly. When I first tried them on it was a little tight and still rigid where seams joined. I’d heard they take a little bit of time to loosen up so I didn’t jump to any conclusions, the first week or two I had some difficult getting my toes to go in right when putting them on but after the shoe took to the form of my foot they slid on butter smooth. I went about my normal day to day activities which include a few miles of walking expecting the much mentioned soreness in getting used to no arch support, to my pleasure it never came. If anything I’ve been more comfortable walking longer distances as my form and deliberation in movement has noticeably benefited from the change. I’ve walked with them in cold climate (snow) recently as I’ve been visiting my father back east and the temperature was chill but not as bad as I thought, especially as I began walking. One thing I did do on a particularly cold day was cut individual toe holes in a pair of socks (as opposed to spending 11 dollars on a pair of those annoyingly overpriced Ininjis that REI markets), worked well save that the toes, being separated from each other and further from the main heat of my feet were naturally the most sensitive to the cooler climate, I spent a lot of time wiggling them as I walked. So I think I might grudgingly grab a pair of those aforementioned toe socks if I ever want to take them out to a desert party for the when the night chill sweeps over.

Choosing Your Model
Personal opinion:
I would say go with the Sprint. I thought about siding with the KSO thinking I might get a lot of pebbles in while on the trail but the shoes fit so well It’s yet to happen. I’m glad I didn’t because one of my favorite things about the shoe is that a large portion of my foot is exposed to the fresh air. I wouldn’t go with the original just because the fit isn’t as perfect without the addition of the top and back velcro straps. Sorry for the life story, good luck people in whatever you choose!

I have been wearing the Vibram Five Fingers going on 2 years now. I live in IL so the weather does not allow me to wear them all year. But i sure wish it did. I run in them and wear them on concrete all day at work. They are the only shoe that I have been able to where at a trade show or at an event that I am on my feet all day. It takes a little time to let your feet muscles get used to them but once they do they are great. The worst thing about them is when it gets cold out and I have to go back to regular shoes. But they are coming out with smart wool ones this fall. =)

I am currently searching for my first pair f VFFs and I am quite certain I will love them. I have never been able to run because at about 1/2 a mile I get horrible knee pains. Since I will be easing into both, the shoes and the activity, I was wondering what style everyone recommends. Looks-wise I really like the sprint, but I hear that they’re pretty difficult to get into. What does everyone think? what style do you prefer/recommend to me?

I do love my five fingers. They are great!
But not for running for me, oh how i wish they were.

I have run over 20 miles a week for 10 years. Because of tight NIKE shoes, I developed a bunion, ok a lil hereditay. It hurt, I had the cortisones, which were awesome, and finally surgery. I am back to running in WIDER SHOES (finally) my bad!

I wanted these to be my runners, but after two attempts of running, one on treadmill, and one on track, the ball of my foot SCREAM, it wanted CUSH! It was the scream I felt proior to knowing about my bunion.
Soooo…no running in them for me 🙁
But I were them for EVERYTHING ELSE!

Just got my (first?) pair of KSO’s a few days ago. I’m at the “breaking in” process and finally took them outside. My main concern is DURABILITY and the owner of the shoe store said he has not had any returns in the past 9 months due to excessive wear. I realize it is hard to use the term “average” running, but under average conditions I’m curious to see how long others’ pairs have lasted.

Has anyone had to deal with Vibram on service issue or defect with the product? The company is awful “oh 90 day warranty too bad, so sad the stitching came undone on low use shoes. 90 Days is barely enough time to acclimate your foot to using them. They were extremely unresponsive to any service issue. I hope that other companies will follow suit in offering a minimalist shoe with some service concerns.

I live in AZ. During the summer, the weather is a least 105 degrees. How do the Vibram rubber bottoms hold up on the very hot ground when running?

Does anyone have or had a pair of the fivefinger’s Flow shoe? I’ve been thinking of getting a pair for when I go out on the jetski and the water is colder. And if you wear them when its warm out do they make your feet to hot and sweat more from the thicker insulation. Also do the Flow’s do a better job of keeping water out of the shoe than the KSO?


Probably the KSO or the Sprint. Here’s a guide to the KSO (with lots of user photo stories on marathon running in KSOs):


Your feet will still get wet with the Flows — but they’ll *retain* that water. For that reason (plus the insulation), in warmer climes, your feet will definitely get sweaty in Flows. KSOs work fine for waterwear (see the above link for that too!).

Do you know of any stores i can go to in ohio and try these on. Because my french teacher has a pair and says they are amazing. iv got to try them on and see if i want to get a pair.

me podrian ayudar con informacion como los podria comprar soy de ecuador y aca no hay ese tipo de calzado gracias

i have yet to buy these shoes. after reading these comments i am wondering if they will holed up i plan to run on trails and rock climb with them. will they holed up?


They hold up great for running — hard to say on long-term use climbing though.


Mixed bag — casual football they’d be ok. Soccer — hard to say as I know from playing kickball in KSOs (covered top) that kicking can hurt! And cuts are a bit difficult without spikes in the soles.

As a child I went barefoot whenever there wasn’t snow on the Wisconsin ground. In highschool I ran 2 mile and 5K events barefoot.

Now, after 40 years in shoes, I’m intrigued by this Vibram concept, but when I went to try on a pair of these at REI I couldn’t even fit all my toes into one of the things. Granted, it was a busy day at REI and I couldn’t get much help, but do some feet become so screwed up after years in shoes, that a guy just can’t even slide into a 5 finger Vibram. I’d like them for hiking and trail running–I think.

Bill H

Just wondering. I walk on a treadmill at 1.5 MPH for several hours a day. Will VFFs work on a treadmill?

Also, occasionally I jog on pavement. Will VFFs work on pavement?

Is there a video that will teach me how to use them?

Thanks in advance!

well yesterday i was walking in the mall saw the vibrams and was OMG they actually have them here. i bought the KSO. now they fit good and i was able to cut in them and stop hard in them and they didnt fall off. i fell in love. now i bought them slightly big my heel is maybe half a centimeter away from the back. (i didnt realize this until i got home) I got the size 43. im 17 and still growing. would it be alright to have this space or should i go back and get a smaller pair. the next size down is 41 there. im planning on doing parkour in them basketball etc… what should i do?

I wish I had known about these shoes alot sooner. I am not sure how long they have been around but I have missed being able to run barefoot like I used to when I was younger. I got tired of stepping on random sharp objects or little bits of gavel that was just painful. I don’t have a pair of these shoes yet I can’t wait I just hope they fit my feet correctly. I have a rather large foot I am pretty much right at the end of the chart.

I also hope they work KSO Trek works well with hiking because I usually have very sore feet after a good day hike that I hope these shoes will help with.

I thought I’d leave my experience in Sizing in case someone is looking for a reference in Sizing. According to the Chart for the Women’s Classic. My foot measures 10 Inches. The chart for the Classic says I should be between a 41 & 42. I went to the Store & tried shoes on. I bought a Size 39. They fit snug but my toes have plenty of room. You have to work to get your toes in place…but once they’re there they feel Great! I wore them home from the store & didn’t find any need to pull them off when I got home! Love Them!

I just did my first HASH HOUSE run with my new KSO’s before we started i got
a lot of ribbing but there were a few people that asked how they felt after the run was over i think there might be a few more people in HONG KONG with KSO in the neer futer running over rocks, on the beach and in the high brush i never felt better. then after the run i had no problem just running wright into the water for a cooldown. these are the best thing ever.

I’m not exactly a runner but I’ve always felt like I was in a battle with my shoe’s. I saw the five fingers and read the reviews and was just hooked. I’ve always been a natural born barefoot runner and have always tried walking/running barefoot style with shoes so I feel already half trained to wear them! These shoe’s are the greastest invention since sliced bread!

I am in the military and deployed I was wondering what model is the most durable and how they would feel on say uneven surfaces and rocks I was thinking if your more in touch with the ground and it feels as if your barefoot then I would assume walking on stones would hurt

I was wondering how would it be to use them as golf shoes. they say the closer to the ground the better you strike the ball. E mail me back if you know any thing about this. thanks

since I have been wearing my VFF’s I have been having incredible toe and lower leg cramps. Has anyone had the same problem?

im in the military and am stationed out at 29 palms california. i was wondering if the new bikila five fingers are good for running in the rocky terrian out here?

In regards to the Morton’s Neuroma…I recently had Cryosurgery and am at least able to fit back into normal shoes again. I own a pair of 41 KSO’s (just got them). I can walk with them just great on grass and carpet areas, but any type of concrete/tile, etc.. sets it off a bit and I can feel almost like a stone bruise still between my 2nd/3rd toe. I don’t have the tingling like I used to and will probably do a 2nd cryosurgery in about a month. My plan is to try and walk in a field close to my house in the mornings with the five fingers on to see if it will help establish some foot muscles and get my joints going again from not walking normal due to my foot pain/battle with Morton’s Neuroma. If anyone has stories or help with MN I’d be interested to hear them!!

So I have a new pair of bikila five fingers. On one foot it feels great and just overall awesome. But the other foot feels pretty tight. theres a ton of room at the end of all the toes, but my big toe is scrunched up at the end, and each step i fell the tightness of the shoe and the comforts not great, but this was only a few steps.
Many people have told me to just wait and break them in and theyll stretch a little and contour to my feet, but I ‘m not sure if I should return and bigger, (even though it feels great on one foot). I obviously would love to get started wearing them but then again dont wana wast 100 bucks, what do you think? return? or wait and risk?

We were in Wisconsin this weekend and my youngest Son pointed out Five Fingers products. I tried on a pair of KSO’s and immediately fell in love with them.

The salesman said “I don’t believe – I just sold a pair to a customer in cowboy boots!”

BTW, my youngest Son is 27 & I’m 50. I bought him a pair too.

Justin, thank you for the link with good news about plantar faciatis. I actually got emotional when I read it. I grew up in the south and I was always either barefoot or in Keds (remember those?). I have had a case of PF for about 3 years now that has varied in degree but has gotten progressively and significantly worse in the past year. Nothing I’ve tried has done much. Most information I have found about it stresses the importance of NEVER going barefoot. But that goes against my childhood experiences and my instincts. I was so relieved to read that others had strengthened their feet to the point of eliminating problems like PF and there was hope for being able to run again. I’m looking for a pair of KSOs this weekend.

I am looking into getting a pair of these for walking (and then working my way up to running). I have tried several pairs of running shoes with custom orthodics. I have problems with my metatarsal area and am still having sharp shooting pain in my middle toes on my left foot when walking or running any distance. I’m not sure if this is tied into the metatarsal area or a nerve issue (neuroma). My Crocs and Birkenstocks are the only shoes that are comfortable. I wear Crocs indoors (we have hard floors) and am barefoot outdoors on the grass. Otherwise shoes cause pain in my toes even with orthodics. Would the VFF be a good option or do I need to find a new podiatrist? Thanks for any advice.

I do not see the point in these shoes. If you wanna run barefoot, why would you get shoes to help you run barefoot? Just take off the shoes…I run or walk barefoot on a daily basis and by now the soles of my feet ARE shoes. That’s what their whole purpose is. Glass, nails, rocks…nothing gets through them. Every problem I have ever had with my feet was caused by shoes. You all are idiots.

I loathed five fingers. I thought people were wore them were just trying to look athletic and hip. I thought people who raved about them were running junkies trying to get caught up in the new fad.

But then I bought a pair…

Five fingers are absolutely amazing. The first run, I didn’t even feel that much of a difference. The next couple days, I ran in tennis shoes (becaues the vibrams made my calves so sore), and my whole body was stiff. Then today I ran a mile in my normal tennis shoes, felt tight and uncomfortable and tired. I decided to try to walk a bit in my five fingers, and ended up running 3 miles. I could have kept going if I didn’t have errands to run.

The difference? I feel like I can’t quite explain it to the fullest. Wearing them allowed me to fully use my muscles. I was able to stretch out and run… well, naturally. It felt like I was made to run that way. Tennis shoes are awkward now. If you love running, or WANT to love running, you should definitely get these shoes.

I love the shoes, they were comfortable and supportive, unfortunately I would not recommend against buying them. I spent $100 only to have the sewing around the toes come undone after a few months, it was very sad.

I cant wait to get a pair its a investment but i feel in love with these shoes….feet haha i had to convice my mom that i was not wasting my money and your blog helped a lot thank you sooooo much and some on neds to start a facebook fan page.

Greetings from Minnesota. Looking at KSOs as possible footgear for Discgolf. I cant help but wonder how long the soles will last on the teeboxes (usually slabs of concrete). There is a certain amount of twisting on the ball of the foot when throwing a drive. Just curious if there are any other discers out there using these..

Thanks all.

Just was reading a bunch of posts and I thought I would leave a comment since I bought a pair of KSO’s about four months ago for running. I am an avid runner and have sustained injuries in the past and I am always looking for ways to avoid injury. I initially started reading about running barefoot about 3 years ago but I guess I kinda dismissed the idea since I live in Milwaukee and it can get rather cold through the course of the year. Anyways, back to the VFF. I definitely recommend picking a pair of these up and trying them out. If you are unable to try them out in person order a couple of pairs if you are able to return them to get an optimum fit. (I bought through REI) Okay… Now for some very solid advice especially for those of you who are already runners. START SLOW!!! In my experience the stride and foot strikes were very different than my body was used to and I was extremely sore after my first run. (I went about 9 miles which may sound like a lot or a little… I run about 40 miles a week) Running outside on any surface is optimal in the VFF. I still get blisters while running on the treadmill. I guess I could go on but if you are thinking about getting a pair for running just remember to start out slow if you are not accustomed to barefoot style running since you will be using a lot of different muscles in comparison to running with shoes with a lot of support. Hope this helps.

i just ordered a pair of these yesterday and am expecting them in a week. i first heard about these from my neighbor and thought,’wow those are some wierd looking shoes’.i did a little research and instantly wanted a pair. I can’t wait to first try them on.

have had my five finger vibrams for about 4 months now…. ran through lava fields in maui and surf and sand … walked the moab desert in them.. and pretty much have worn them constantly over the last 4 months.. only problem i did have was a smell that emenated from them.. i filled a bucket with water from a hot tub at a hotel.. and dropped them into the heavily chlorinated water for about an hour and let them dry over night..the smell was gone.. but you have to be sure to get the sand grit and dirt clear… after that the smell was gone.. you may try that as a solution…

i can see the value of foot leg strengthening with limited use barefooting, and have participated in these exercises over the last 20 years. However, the “our foot evolved to function barefoot” argument is silly. run barefoot because humans 10000’s years ago did? The average life expectancy was 20-30 years old – LOL. more than half the rationale stated above in support of this fad does not pass a straightforward critical sniff test. Much of the so-called support “research” takes the original scholarly papers out of context to drive unsupported conclusions.



>However, the “our foot evolved to function barefoot” argument is silly.

Why? Evolution passes on traits that are beneficial to survival. The human foot evolved to function under fairly exacting conditions (sprinting, walking, running, standing) over many hundreds of thousands of years. From that perspective, slapping hugely padded, constricting shoes onto a body part that evolved to function without them seems silly.

>The average life expectancy was 20-30 years old – LOL.

What does this have to do with barefoot running? Barefoot movement? You’re taking the lifespan of hunter-gatherers out of context as it’s unlikely that hunter-gatherers were dying because they moved about with bare feet. H-Gs had low lifespans on average because of many reasons, including babies dying extremely young and a complete lack of basic medical care was not available.

Anyway, bottom line is that H-G lifespan isn’t a good way to argue against evolutionary “design” being supportive of barefoot movement as compared to “shod” movement.

>Much of the so-called support “research” takes the original scholarly papers out of context to drive unsupported conclusions.

The only research even mentioned in this review is Daniel Lieberman’s heel-strike vs. forefoot strike research, which was done specifically to look at which style of running results in more impact on the human body. Not sure how this could be taken out of context here.

Hey – thanks for your review on these. I’ve been looking at them for quite a while and finally was able to buy my first pair yesterday. A birthday present to myself. I’ve been wearing them ever since I bought them on my lunch break.

I have had plantar fasciitis since I was 17, which needless to say has been a few years ago. It didn’t matter what shoes I wore, my feet always hurt. My dr. has been wanting to do cortizone shots but I just refuse to have a needle stuck in the bottoms of my feet. Anyway – these shoes are AWESOME. My feet have not hurt since I put them on. Everyone talks about a 1-2 week period where you have to get used to them but I think my feet were just so ready that it really only took 1-2 hours. I can already tell that I’m walking better and I don’t have the foot pain that I normally do. I wore them all afternoon yesterday and when it was finally time to take them off I didn’t want to.

Well, long story short, I think these are the best shoes and I’m definitely going to be buying more. I will probably transition to wearing these and not much else – unless I absolutely have to wear a pair of heels for something – ugh.

Thanks again for the review and the place to write a little comment. I LOVE my VFF’s!

I’ve been thinking about buying a pair of the VFF’s, but I have read many places that they really wear out quickly. The stitching wears out quickly is the thing I’ve mostly been reading. What do y’all think about that?

I have the KSO and as far as comfort they are fine but I’ve had a few issues. I’ve run in them, and there is a seam on the inside near the front of the arch by the ball of the my foot that rubs a blister. I wore them for a 26 mile ultra like hike in the Appalachian Mtn…(Duncan Ridge Trail, section 2) and about wore a whole in my foot. I’ve got pictures. Sent them to Vibram with no response. Hiking in the wild not their best use…although comfort (minus the seam) was fine, the separation of the toes causes them to collect vegitation. Every time I looked down I looked like I was carrying a salad on my feet. Toe stumbs could really break a toe. They have no traction and damp rock and muddy down hills are dicey. They soar easily really bad.

I needed a good pair of ‘water shoes’ for a week long canoe trip to the Boundary Waters in Minnesota. After seeing a review for the VFF shoes on a forum, I decided to try the KSO and purchased a pair a couple weeks prior to my trip. They were very comfortable and worked great for everything I threw them into. I wondered about the thin sole on a rocky trail while carrying gear, but you appropriately re-learn how to walk with these! I found a pair of KSO-Treks and took them on the trip as well. I preferred the ‘more aggressive’ sole on the Trek for the rocky portage trails while carrying the canoe. No slipping what-so-ever on my feet with the KSO or the KSO-Trek even while wet and muddy. Both worked well and were very comfortable; I never had any issues with blisters like I’ve experienced with standard shoes and hiking boots. They dry fast and with two pairs I always had dry feet at the camp site! I wear the Treks all over town and while traveling through the airport. I’ve had them for about 3 months now and even after several cycles through the washing machine they are holding up just like new. These are great! I now have a pair of Bikilas and the Moc!

I recently bought a pair of “foot gloves” and love them…i no longer have a girlfriend because i love these “shoes” more than her. I have no social life now because all I want to do is walk around town in my “foot gloves”. Thanks for this cool invention…


Just received my first pair of VFF Sprints. I was a little nervous about the fit as I have a ‘Morton’s toe’, the second toe is quite a bit longer than the big toe. Also, I had to order online, as there are no retailers in my state.
Well, my careful measuring paid off because they fit perfectly! I have been trying to loose my super-supportive running shoes for a while now, as they gave me nothing but fatigue and knee pain.
I have been walking around the house and doing my bootcamp barefoot. My goal is to transition into running by re-learning the correct forefoot strike with the help of my VVFs

I just bought my first pair of Vibram Classics today, 8/10/2010. I had to settle for all black. I wanted the green ones. They didn’t have them in my size.

I have to say I fell in love with them.

I like the freedom of no shoes. They feel like your shoeless but wearing just a sole on your foot. I think it’s great.

I thought they would be awkward, but they are actually comfortable.

I bought them because I seen a commercial on the news about them 8/9/2010.

I am so glad I did.

It took about two days of wearing my chili pepper/orange Springs in the house before it all of a sudden happened – they loosened up and really FELT like a glove. Before that, I was having a LOT of pain because it felt like the dividers dug between my 2nd and 3rd toes (I have short toes). I almost thought it wasn’t going to work, when all of a sudden, I could move all my toes freely, it no longer felt like there were aliens between my toes, and I could really imagine them being comfortable. Took of the tag and ran outside to feel the ground! Whoo-hoo! Now I really want the Speed, which is only available from Europe.

I run track, and i thought these would be good shoes to use, I run the 200 and 400, but I was wondering WHICH TYPE I SHOULD GET, I’m really confused, on what the best pair would be.

I ran the Boston Marathon last year and developed plantar fascitis as a result and only a couple of months ago finally got over it. I just bought a new pair of running shoes today and at the advice of my doctor I did not get my usual stability running shoe. Needless to stay, the plantar fascitis reared its ugly head again on my run today and I thought to myself, that’s it! I’m going to go read online about running barefoot!
This website is INCREDIBLY convincing, but I am very nervous about buying a pair of FF. I live in New England and thus I deal with cold, snow, ice, sleet, slush, puddles, etc for about 5 months of the year. Does anyone use their FF’s in the cold and snow?
Also, I am wondering about distance running. I would like to eventually build up to a marathon again. Is this feasible in these types of “shoes”?

I love my VFF’s BUT…..I bought a pair of KSO’s last Oct. I’m a 64-year old female who’s been on a shoe quest for many years (Earth Shoes, Birk’s, flip flops, numerous running shoes, etc.) and thought I had found the hidden secret with my VFF’s. I wear the shoes on paths mowed in the fields of my 20 acre farm. I’m typically in the shoes an hour a day in the winter and a few hours a day in warmer weather. So what’s the problem?? After logging in maybe 300 hours on a $100 pair of shoes, they are falling apart. I emailed the company – no response. I contacted the retailer who sold them to me (I live in the country and drove 3 hours to get the shoes), no response. Very disappointing – not like I’m running through the canyons of Mexico with the Tarahumara people – just walking on grass an hour or two a day. At this point, I’m not sure I’ll buy another pair as much as I’ve enjoyed them. Barefoot Ted’s website has listed other barefoot type shoes that may get my vote.

Topless Sandals are so much cooler. About 30 or so years ago there was a topless shoe called Cheap Charlie’s Sole Suckers, which I dearly loved. Now a company has come out with Topless Sandals. Just do a Google search. These shoes are so neat. No thong, no straps, just the sole – like barefoot only better. And, inexpensive to boot. (No I don’t work for the company, I just wear them and like them.)

I love these shoes, Currently have 2 pair of the bikila, 2 KSO, 2 classic. I first saw these in a magazine on a flight. Went to REI to try them on and purchased my first pair. I am a surgeon and am on my feet for extended periods of time. I have purchased numerous clogs, sneakers etc over the years and always find the need to take my shoes off because of some type of pain or burning. I hate to wear shoes for any extended period of time. Never wear shoes in the house. The vibrams are liberating to my feet. Once I leave in the morning with a pair on, I don’t have to take them off until I get home at least 10 hours later. Like others, I get mixed comments about the shoes. Doesn’t matter to me, my feet are very happy. I do everything in these shoes, bike, run on a track, gym workout, run errands, wear to the office, hospital, etc. Last Saturday evening, wore them to church for the first time. It takes a minute to adjust feeling the pavement, but it just feels natural. Looking to get more. Will never run in a pair of tennis shoes again.

I just picked up a pair of VFF’s yesterday and must I say, They’re AWESOME! I do have one question though. In all the pictures that I see of people wearing their VFF’s the toes of the shoes look very full, like they’re nice and tight on the wearers toes. Mine feel snug, and my toes fit nicely, but don’t look like the pictures I keep seeing? They seem to have extra material around my toes, like the toe inserts are too big. The shoes fit great and are nice and snug everywhere else, I was properly fitted and I can’t imagine the shoes being a size smaller because they’re already a snug fit. Maybe I’m just being too picky? Anyways I love them and plan on taking them to the gym tonight!

i just got my vibram KSO they have great feel i can do anything in them, i am 15 years old i really like the outdoors, they look cool they weren’t cheap but i don’t regret buying them i have only had them for a week and i haven’t worn any of my other shoes and i probably wont were them again. GET VIBRAM SHOES THEY ARE THE BEST!

Great review, so now I want a pair (just started CF yesterday!). But I’m an overpronator (flat-footed) with vampire feet…my second toe is nearly a full 1/4″ longer than my big toe. According to VFF’s size chart, any variation between the big and second toe greater than 1/6″ is problematic, and makes finding a precise fit very difficult.

What is my next step? I would really hate to miss out on these babies over such a miniscule margin.

@ people inquiring about using these in Fall/Winter…check out Vibram’s Fall/Winter line. From what I saw, they appear to have “beefier” soles and more coverage up top.

I really liked my vibram sprints…at first. I loved the way I felt walking in them. I walked in them for three months after the birth of my baby girl. Once I was cleared to begin exercise I started running in my sprints. I have extremely high arches and felt an uncomfortable pull in my arches at first but I ran through the pain and the pain faded. I thought this meant my body was adapting to the shoes. But after a month of running in them on my treadmill (I was leary to run on sidewalk with them) I started getting ingrown toenails on my second and third toes, where i’ve never had them before. I gave it a week and was able to run in them again. Then I started having pain in my heel and arch. First thing in the morning my heel hurt really bad and now I have a hard/painful knot forming on my heel. I haven’t seen a dictor yet so I can’t be sure what it is, but from online research I suspect plantar fascitis. After reading vibram reviews which are all overwhlmingly positive I was left wondering what my problem was. Why is no one else having problems with these shoes? Finally I came across an article that said PF accounts for 15% of foot injuries. But for barefoot runners it accounts for 90% of foot injuries. I love the idea of the vibram shoes and am sorry they didn’t work out for me. I thought I’d post this for anyone else who might be having problems like me.

First, I LOVE my VFFs. I bought a pair last year and have worn them pretty much every day since. My problem? I now need a doctor’s note to wear them to school.

Let me back-track…I am a music teacher and spend my day singing, dancing and moving around my classroom. Since wearing my VFFs, I have seen a significant decrease in body aches and pains. Unfortunately, school policy has changed that we may not wear “any shoes with parts in-between the toes”. This was written to get rid of flip flops or flip-flop sandals in the workplace. But what about my VFFs???!!! I have been asked to get a doctor’s note to be allowed to continue to wear them.

However, it has been VERY difficult to find a doctor willing to endorse them (or my desire/need to wear them.) It is quickly becoming an obsession, as I am VERY unhappy when my feet are unhappy.

Any suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated!

I emailed the customer service to ask a simple question, they didn’t respond. I emailed them a second time just to say their customer service is lousy, not responding to my first email. Again, they never responded. I judge a company on their customer service, which in my experience sucks.

I am an avid Mtn. climber and I have been reading mixed thoughts about using these on the mtn. Does anyone in this forum climb or intense hike. Please let me know if these are still good for these activities.

Hey Justin:

I wore my new classics for the first time today on campus, but the back of the Vibram is rubbing the back of my tendon raw. Did this happen to you as well?
Also, there seems to be a lot of room in the heals of the classics, unlike the bikilas. Are the closed top vibrams more form fitting?

I’m really interested in these shoes, but i don’t know if they’re good to play basketball in them.
Can anyone answer this question?

I recently bought a pair of of Vibram’s KSO specifically for running. I’ve been experiencing a lot of shin splints and knee pain after running. I ran 4 miles in them for the first time and was in so much pain before I was halfway through the run. I felt extreme pain in my left foot, near where the strap begins. It
Seemed to be digging into my skin and eventually my skin peeled off which caused me to bleed through through the shoe. I then got painful blisters on the side of my big
Toes which made me want to run on the sides of my feet. The only advantage of this shoe was not having any shin splints or knee pain. It’s alleviated the pain and replaced it with a different kind of pain. I’m tried wearing them a second time on a light run but again, the same pain. I don’t know if it’s my running style or the shoe, or maybe I just need to give
Them some more time. Anyone else experiencing the same problems?

I’ve recently bought a pair of KSOs in New York – they’re so much more expensive here in the UK, so I took advantage while I was there. I tried the Classic, but had that uncomfortable feeling of the heel slipping off my foot (I can’t wear ballet pumps either). I would have tried the Sprint, but they didn’t have them in my size.

Anyway – I’m not a runner, so I can’t comment on that, but I do have Morton’s Neuroma and these shoes are sooooo fantastic for that. No pinching, no burning. It’s wonderful. The right heel does rub a little, but not as badly as some other shoos. I’ve worn them all day, in and out of the house. People do give you wierd looks, especially if you’re an otherwise normal looking woman of a certain age! But so what! My feet feel happy for the first time in years. I’ve always preferred walking barefoot anyway, so my feet didn’t need to adjust at all.
Next month I’ll try them walking in the mountains.

I didn’t choose the Trek type shoes because I wondered if the thicker soles would cancel out the wonderful feeling of being barefoot and just feel more like normal shoes?

I look forward to the day when these shoes are considered normal wear – and surely this must happen soon, when people realise how incredible they feel.

I’ve been wearing Vibram Five Fingers for 3 years now. I had the KSO’s first. Comfortable, feet never broke a sweat and they air dry in 4 hours tops. Mileage out of them is about 80 miles before you wear a hole into your pivot foot, about 120 miles the toes will start to wear a hole in them. The soles are thin, so you will feel the grass you are walking on as well as rocks. Comfortable walking distance in one shot was about 6 miles. Living in the Florida Keys, the water shoe tends to be popular as the rain down here leaves deep puddles to cross.

Then I went for the Trek model as they had thicker soles as I was hoping for more mileage out of the shoes. The leather tops do make your feet slightly warm but not enough to cause your feet to sweat. I ended up getting 120 miles out of them before the pivot hole appeared. I took this pair for a 30 mile hike, my feet stayed comfy up to about 8 miles before they started to get sore. If these shoes get wet, they will take about 7 hours to air dry.

I am currently trying out the Bikila model as they were primarily built for running. I am hoping that since they are running shoes, I may get even more mileage out of them. So far, these are the most comfortable model that I have tried! Very soft & very light! One month of having them on has logged 45 miles so far.

I do a lot of walking in my shoes averaging about 12 miles a week minimum as I wear them as my primary pair of shoes. I have been on long hikes over asphalt, gone dancing in a dance club, gone running, crossed deep puddles, grocery shopping and just about every other daily task I do. When I first got these shoes I was only using them on the weekends and managed to get a years usage out of them. Now that I have been wearing them daily, I end up wearing them out within 3 months easily. At a $90 – $125 a pop, its an expensive deal to replace every 3 months, but these shoes are so comfy that I think it is well worth the price to keep my feet happy!

I got a pair of the bikila model, and am sorely dissapointed. They are incredibly overpriced, and have very annoying features such as toes that don’t even touch the ground. For a “barefoot-feeling” shoe, that is not very nice. Running on concrete barefoot (as I do on normal 10 mile runs) is much softer and more comfortable than these shoes. Save your money and don’t buy these overpriced, overhyped shoes. I can’t understand why there are so many positive reviews of these shoes, because they certainly do not rival barefoot running, or even the Nike Free which is by far better. Having said that about their running shoes, I still assume that these shoes might be good for other purposes, but the bottom line is: don’t buy vibrams for running. Go barefoot, get racing flats, or Nike Frees.

I currently run/sprint on a tread mail, can these shoes be used on it? is it easier on your feet and knees using these shoes versus sneakers. I’m very interested on getting me a pair, which ones would you recommend?

I hate to wear shoes and i also have almost no arch in my feet wich causes some pain later in the day. Do you think thoes would be a bad investment because of my arches?

hi, I just want to ask 1 more question. How hot these can stand out without any feeling? 40 degrees C ? because I want to buy them and travel in a tropical country , its hot over there and I have to ride a motorbike , too. I please help me with this.
Thank you

its been a few years since you posted these. can you tell me how long they last? i am thinking about getting a pair but i have heard they dont last well with the running

Yo Justin!

Thank you for making this blog and for your in depth review of the FiveFingers. I feel like I had all the information I needed before buying my first pair of FiveFingers. I chose the KSO’s which are on their way in the mail right now, Wooo! Thanks to all the commentors too as your feedback was very informative to my buying decision. I have been running and trying to walk with a forefoot strike in preparation to getting the FiveFingers. That will hopefully minimize the transition period between regular shoes and my FiveFingers.

One thing that I have noticed though is the lack of information on the durability of the shoes (except for a handful of reviews). So I have decided that I will keep a detailed journal with pictures and description of all the miles I put on my KSO for everyone’s future betterment. I plan to use my KSO’s for running, weight lifting, rock climbing, and maybe even Capoeira (if I have enough freedom to pivot on the ball of foot that is). So I should get a great idea of of the durability of these shoes within a few months. Can’t wait to let you guys know how it goes!

I have suffered with plantar faciitis for years, I am a runner and my feet just feel like I am walking on fire. I have used my vibrams for 1 month, and we are down to a dull ache. I am excited! They seem to be building the muscles in my feet, therefore eliminating the pain I have felt with traditional shoes! I will never switch back!

I am having a similar issue as some others with one of my big toes. It seems that, ideally, my left foot wants to be in a 46 and my right a 45. Vibram is unwilling to sell split pairs, which I think is insane- considering the loot these guys bring in with these things. I have read about heating and stretching the neoprene, and also people who have talked about them stretching out after a bit. I love them, and am still optimistic, but I would hate to have this slight discomfort in my left big toe to ruin such a wonderful pair of “not” shoes.

– anybody know how to go about splitting and/ or trading individual shoes? I have kmodosport grey and black with the yellow vibram logos.

great shoes but wear out in 3 months…can’t afford that! Will have to go back to regular shoes…too bad. Hope they find stronger materials for the soles.

I’m trying to find a pair of pool shoes for my mom for a birthday present. She does a lot of pool-running exercises and her feet are starting to get torn up from the rough bottom of the pool. I wanted to get her some VFFs but I’m not sure if these will hold up in chlorine on a daily basis. Does anyone have any thoughts??
The VFF site mentions that some kinds are good for water sports but never mentions pool activities…does it matter? Also, has anyone purchased the VFF water shoes? If so, which kind is best?

Some info:
my mom usually wears a size 7.5 in womens and tends to like WIDER shoes. Shes got a bunion on the inside of both her feet from wearing high heels when she was younger. Would these shoes be a good fit for her? And what size would work??


Justin, great review! Thank you so much for doing this! I just have some questions about the shoes.

How are they for hiking? You mention how you can feel everything when you walk, does it hurt?

Second question is I participate in my schools JROTC Raider program, we do a LOT of running for practice (This includes anywhere from a brisk mile jog to a 3 mile run with a 5o lbs ruck on my back) Would these shoes be good for that type of training?

Thanks for the help!

They’re great for hiking – as for hurting; you get a lot of feedback, so yes, if you’re not used to stepping gently, it could “hurt” or be sensational, but that goes away in time as you learn to be lighter on your feet. Pain from walking on rocks etc. is really more about bad walking/hiking form. I recently did a one mile hike in very minimalist shoes with my 25 lb. 2.5 year old strapped to my back; didn’t hurt a bit.

As for the JROTC training, I think you’d need to acclimate your feet to those demands (similar to hiking). That means you’re going to have to:

Optimize your form so you’re running as gently as possible (minimizing impact/landing lightly) and also rehabilitate your feet/tendons/leg muscles to work with your new “bare form” running. It’s physical and a neurological thing in the end — retrain your brain and rebuild your body to work in a new (or old, as it were) way.

In the long run, you’re better off for making this shift sooner rather than later, but assume there will be some growing pains.

im doing a tough mudder and i was thinking that the five fingers would be the best for that. But, the race is ten miles long are these shoes a good idea.

As far as maximizing ground feel and dialing in form, yes — but there are times and reasons when you might not want to be barefoot for running. Or perhaps you actually prefer a little less sensations while running. FWIW I go back and forth between running barefoot and running in Vibrams, depending on how good my form is at the time (barefoot helps me regain proper form).

Hey thanks for your reply, one more question, I’ve read a hundred reviews but still can’t make up my mind: is wearing the KomodoSports (probably LS) similar to going barefoot or is the sole a bit too thick?

Well it sorta depends on what you define as “similar” to barefoot — it’s way more barefoot than most shoes but you still have a rubber sole with a little bit of foam under your foot – so it’s not the same as being barefoot. I think you’ll just have to try it to know what I mean, but rest assured you’re likely to find it hugely refreshing relative to wearing normal shoes.

Thanks. I’ve read loads from and some other sites and have decided I’m definitely getting a pair but can’t decide which! And where I live there’s nowhere I can actually try them on unfortunately. I like the look of the Jaya LR but seeing as I’d be using them mainly for running (up to half-marathon distance) I guess I’m better off with KomodoSport LS or possibly Bikilas. Though I intend to use them mainly as backup for when/if I can’t go fully barefoot for some reason.

I do capoeira barefoot, even outside, but my first fully barefoot run (a few minutes ago) was harder than I thought – calves aching and balls of feet a bit raw – but got through 2.5km in 13:49 (then had to put my shoes on to run the 2.5km back home!) so will just have to build that up now I guess 🙂


I’d say you might have gone a little too far too early on your first fully barefoot run. You really gotta take it slow IMO and build up your mileage over time. Realize that you actually are rewiring your brain to run differently barefoot — and that means repetition and some conscious attention to your form. Just bear these things in mind!

My husband wants to buy some of these because he thinks they are fascinating…
His feet sweat..he is worried about the breathability in these shoes…
Any suggestions?

Most models are surprisingly breathable — particularly the open-topped versions. I might steer clear of the leather varieties b/c they probably breath the least well. That said, the leather actually seems to have some antimicrobial benefits. I’d say just throw caution to the wind and get him a pair — just take special care to keep cleaniing them regularly so they don’t get the dread fivefingers funk (a guide to cleaning them can be found here:

This is an awesome review! I have been wanting a pair of FiveFingers for years as I’ve always heard great things about these shoes, but would get side tracked and eventually forget about them altogether. I live right on the New River and a lot of the river and canopy guides (and friends) wear these, so I actually just ordered my son and I our first pair yesterday.. I’m eager to find out how the Treksport feels on my feet. Have you tried them? If so, what do you think?

30 minutes in to my first pair, hooked. most comfy shoes ever, soooo happy I went for them. I’ll see how they stand up with training later ;D

Hi Justin,
I see that your latest comment here was from 2008. Hope u see mine message. This summer I read Born to run and decided to try VFF. Started using them last October, so 6 months ago. True that my runs were irregular, and can’t really say that I started as they recommend (5% of my usual run to wear them, that each day slightly increase). Instead I did as I felt, it was gradual. Now I do fairly often 6km runs in them and have sore ankles and weird feeling around my heel. Was just looking for similar experiences and found your blog. Could u tell me what u think my problem might be and how can I reduce it? I know it’s hard to tell only by reading this but any info will be helpful. Thanks.



It seems to me that you might be running with more of a heel strike than you think — it’s okay for your heel to touch down but you might be doing more than that. I’d really suggest going full barefoot for at least some of your runs to help train your brain a bit more on the barefoot form. FiveFingers, as great as they are, still mute a lot of feedback and can mask bad running form.

hey all!

justin, awesome article and great comments all.

justin, i live in spain and after reading up on vibram I scored a few pairs (bikila ls and kso) via and had my mom send them to me here in madrid.

I LOVE my vibrams. been walking and cross-training with them and they rock! still adjusting a bit and dealing with the new calf pain but I expected that as I have woken up muscles that I did it use before = a good thing in the long run.

back to my point/question. I went via amazon because the vibrams at stores here cost like 140 euros ($187)! ouch!!! for example at this store near my apartment…

as much as I would live to support the local aconomy I’m afraid my personal aconomy won’t allow for it.

after looking deeper I found this online shop at vibramfivefingerespana .eu and they have the same vibrams for 62 euros HOWEVER I read your warning about the fake resellers and beware the big % discount offers.

so, as legit as the vibrams look at that site, do you think they are for real?
see vibramfivefingerespana .eu. for that price I’m VERY tempted to order there!!!

btw, @ “al” who posted above from spain. if it helps, I’m a 11.75 inch foot (size 12 usa conventional sneaker) and I got the kso model in a 45 which fits like a glove, perfect!!! I got the bikila ls in a 46 and they fit very well but there is some (although very little) space at the end of some of my toes.
are you in madrid? if so, try a fitting at the store on ribera de curtidores (main rastro street) and get your size. if your not in madrid, google to find a store where you live.



First off, it’s really unfortunate, but it seems FiveFingers are pretty absurdly priced in Europe. I don’t know why this is — wish it weren’t that way!

For that reason, you can assume that almost anyone else selling at prices much cheaper are selling counterfeits — is definitely selling counterfeits.

thanks a lot for your response Justin. after writing my post above I went to the vibram shop here in madrid to look around and chatted with the owner a bit after he saw the yellow & black KSOs I was wearing and wanted to see them. apparently he had not gotten them in yet, too new. anyway, he mentioned that they always complain to vibram about the high cost of their shoes here but that’s just the way it is. yes, a shame they are so expensive here.

as for that .eu site, I showed the owner their site on my phone and he also said they are fakes because his wholesale cost is fa above the 62€ retail pice they sell at.

he also asked where i had read about the possible counterfeit site and when i told him on a bloggers site he aske which. I started to say your name and he beat me to your last name 🙂 guess he knows about your site like so many onus do. keep up the good work!


Hi Justin,

Excellent work creating this site, amazing!

OK I want 5 fingers.

I over pronate because of fallen arches.

Will I feel lower back pain with this style?

Does this style put more pressure on my knee ligaments etc?

I intend to walk / run 4 to 5 times per week in addition to my kick boxing training which I do 4 times per week for an hour at a time. I will be walking at times because I am trying to reduce my fat to around 8 percent, it’s high at the moment at 16.7%. I’m 6ft 1.5inches and 82.5kg if that tells you anything.

One other thing, I live in Mijas Pueblo, Malaga and I cannot find any stockists nearby, any ideas please?

Thank you very much in advance.


Please give me a few to choose from based upon queries.


You may overpronate because of your shoes (which also may have caused … probably caused your arches to “fall”). I think FiveFingers would be great for you but you’re going to want to introduce barefoot-like activity very slowly because it’s going to take some time to rebuild your muscles and ligaments and retrain your brain to move differently — you just want to be patient.

As for your training, you should check out!


Any idea which models are wide fitting, have a bunion on my foot?
On the 5fingers website chat / blog a lot of people are saying how bad the Bikilas range is, do you have an opinion Justin?

hey barry. i’m in madrid and when i was sourcing some vibrams for my first purchase i looked into getting them from as they have a wide variety of models. if you choose one that offers free delivery that will save you some € as well.

for your foot and the running you plan to do i would say (and justin will correct me if i’m wrong) that the bikila ls would be best.

for example, look at

they are not the coolest looking ones but the laces would probably adapt best to you foot.

for me, the coolest ones are the yellow and black KSOs –>

i have both the bikilas and the KSOs and i love them both!!!

good luck,

OK, so my question is this….I just bought a pair of Vibram Five Finger Classics in ORANGE/GRAY…just like the picture of the Classics you’re wearing on this website…but I don’t have the VIBRAM written in yellow on either of the shoes and according to some subject matter experts, that’s a sign of the shoe being a fake…;however, I’m pretty sure you’d know the difference and I noticed that there isn’t VIBRAM written on your pair either…they fit fine but I just hate supporting fakes…any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

The tell is going to be – where did you buy them from? If it was online, I’d bet they are fakes. From a local store? Probably just very very old inventory.

I have my VFF Bikila for three weeks now. I run with them and gradually put a mile or two and built the miles from there. I have since increased the miles. My pace has improved since I have been running with VFF; the miles have increased as well. From 3 miles Monday-Friday, I now run 7 miles Monday-Thursday. I wear them on weekends when I am out and about.

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