I really enjoy my five finger KSO. I just started using them running and they really give a feel for the road. My feet haven't adjusted yet and are still a bit sensitive. You can feel everything on the road. They aren't just great for running and I find I grab them when I do everything. The thing I like about them the most is they allow my foot to breath. It's not cramped in a show and wrapped in a sock, but feels almost like I'm walking barefoot.
I recently went to the national zoo and decided to wear my KSO's. It was a great idea! There is just enough support to give me the protection and comfort I needed while walking around for four hours. My arches or heels did not get sore at all, but I think its probably because my feet are used to them. There was about a two week period where my feet adjusted to the rubbing of the strap, but I don't notice it at all anywhere. The little book that comes with them says to wear them for two hours a day until your feet adjust and you should do it. I also use the five fingers around the gym and for yoga. The thin rubber bottom is perfect because it gives enough grip to hold you in place, but keeps you light on your feet.
The only quip I have is the durability. I've had them for about a month and notice an area which might turn into a hole around the big toe. I haven't been hard on them, but just normal wearing. The sizing is another issue. Make sure you know your getting the right size. I have a size 9 foot and bought a 40 and it fits like a glove. I don't know if its my funky pinky toes or they aren't strong enough, but they seem really squished in there. My brother tried them on and had the same problem so maybe I'll get a 41 because they are a bit tight. Maybe they are supposed to be that way though. I did get some blisters on the bottom of my big toes when I first started using them. I think it was from the seem where the sole turns to nylon because I felt it while I was running. They really fit like a glove so don't see it being from the shoe. Haven't noticed anything once my feet adjusted though..
I used a gift certificate my brother gave me for Christmas to buy these.
Glad I followed advice from this and other forums and went to a store, tried some on for correct sizing. These "shoes" fit literally like a glove. They are so cool. Knew I needed to get some when I started dreaming about them before I owned a pair; last time that happened I started telemarking. Started slowly, wearing them around the house, outside some, cookouts, etc. After two weeks I ran around the yard w/ some nephews and nieces. Did some trail running past two days; feet ankles sore but in a good way. I consider myself a runner, enjoy running anyway, have completed a marathon (in running shoes). These "shoes" may well change everything. Take us back to a more natural run, anyway. The "poor stability" rating is not really a negative at all; if anything, it's positive. This is a totally non-traditional shoe for the 21st century. This is basically a shell to protect your foot some and to give you some traction. Very close to being barefoot. They forced me to stay present during run, aware of each step, effecting posture, gait, motion, where on foot I landed. At first this bothered me as I appreciate the "daydream" factor on the run, but I think maybe these "shoes" are so cool because in so many ways, for real, they keep it REAL. Great product.
Back to Nature
I do a lot of things in the outdoors and enjoy the organic elements of nature; I respect the environment. I'm not an extreme adventurer (although I've had many adventures). I wanted to try these because of the novelty and my view that simple and more natural is better. These are fun and I enjoy walking in them. I've only had them for a few weeks. I walk around in the fields and woods behind my house and use them canoeing. I don't know if I would back pack with them. I quickly learned how to insert my toes and have had no foot or leg muscle soreness. I loop a lace through the tab attached to the heel to pull them over my heel. The only thing I don't like is that my feet get clammy. I tried the toed socks in the hope they would wick moisture away (like pile poly liners do in my neoprene waders), but they bunch up and are uncomfortable (these fit me almost perfectly and perhaps bunching wouldn't be a problem with a larger size). These would be improved and I'd wear them for longer periods of time if they didn't make my feet clammy.
Best Shoes Ever
I bought these because all my life I have hated wearing shoes. I saw these and thought that there couldn't be a cooler thing. I started doing some research and uncovered alot of neat stuff about barefoot and minimalist running. I love these things.
I've been wearing them for about 6 months and haven't let me down yet. Great to be able to just throw them in the washing machine and have a clean pair of shoes.
After about a month I stopped noticing them even being on my feet. The first month though, my legs and feet hurt in places i didnt know existed. You need to ease into using these.
I run about 35 miles a week on top of hiking and all sorts of other stuff, and would highly recommend them to anyone to do anything in. I also do crossfit and they've proven to be great in that aspect too.
They're all gonna laugh at me!!!
Kind of like wearing a kilt for the first time, you've just got to man-up and get over it. People are going to think you're weird - you'll have to live with it, or run at night. Other than that the main issue I have with them is that my three little toes are determined not to go in without a fight. Otherwise, I can tell they are going to give me some ripped calves. However, I think taking it easy when first using these is key, otherwise injury seems pretty likely. Also, unlike regular running shoes, you can stub your toe - watch out. Not sure I would recommend these for trail running for that reason. Overall the feeling is really cool and they are super comfortable (once on). Make sure you try them on in the store first though, since a close fit is much more important than in a regular shoe.
This is my second set of Vibrams 5 fingers, and I love them to death. They are super lightweight, durable, and most of all, extremely comfortable. Although Vibrams advertises that they are good for rock climbing, they're really not. They're better than a tennis shoe, but if you're looking for that use, this is not for you. But for freerunning, occasionally climbing up something on your way to class, and just for everyday comfort and style (they start a LOT of conversations), these shoes are perfect.
My first set lasted over a year with many miles put on them, some hard use doing XC running through some mountains, and rock climbing a little, so I replaced them with the same exact kind. When these finally fall apart, I'll buy another set. That should give you an idea of how I feel about them.
Don't just go run your normal mileage!
These are great shoes, especially if you're looking into the "barefoot" running movement. Just be aware that barefoot running is different than what you're used to with running sneakers, even if you think you're a forefoot striker, Pose runner, etc. You're not, until you get used to running without the pillowy support of a running sneaker. I got my KSOs in the mail and went out and ran about two miles until I got "skin" pain under my big toes. I walked home, took them off, and found that I had created and blown out blood blisters on both of my big toes. I healed quickly and can now run with medical tape as my skin "roughens". Just don't go gung ho right off the bat, you may be in for a surprise!!
It took my toes, especially the smallest little piggies a few wears to get used to being separated from each other. The 1st few times I put them on they were hard to get on, but it's just a matter of getting used to. I only wear them in GX classes, haven't run in them yet inside or out, a bit nervous about the results having worn sneakers for so long. Overall I like them and will probably buy another pair. They are a good conversation piece as well. I teach aqua classes - but I've no plans to wear them in the pool.
Unique and Practical Outdoor shoes
One of the activities I use these shoes for is for runs up to 3 miles, although I would suggest getting the five-finger socks to absorb moisture and cushion your feet from creating too much friction against the shoe liner. But if you tie them tight enough without cutting off circulation, that doesn't become too much of an issue. Where these shoes really shine is any kind of activity in or around water. You can enjoy jumping in without worrying about your shoes and when you get out you're immediately ready to run over pretty much any rough terrain without bloodying your feet.
Vibram's Rock! P90X lovers
I use this pair of shoes for several things. I am an avid P90X fan. They are great traction for working out and just make my feet feel great! I am also in the military and have a great outdoor track near my work. These are the shoes that I always wished for on that track. They feel great and I have increased my short distance speed as well as my long distance speed since using them. I also kite board and they work great for protecting your feet from sharp rocks while still giving you that barefoot feel.