These are amazing
Let me start by saying these shoes are amazing! I have never owned any of the VFF line. Four years ago at 29 years old, after having been an avid athlete and completing the Seattle to Portland bicycle event(204 miles) in ten and a half hours in one day, I started having back problems. It got so bad that I couldn't walk without a cane. The drs kept telling me I needed to walk everyday and try to keep the weight off that I was putting on from this injury. I had my first back surgery after that, which seemed to help for about six months. I was able to run again and lost 16 of the 30 pounds I had put on. Then disaster struck. My back flared up again. The dr told me that running was aggravating it and causing swelling in the lower back that was pinching the spinal cord. About a year and a half ago I was told by my back dr at OHSU that I would need to have a second back surgery. This one was to fuse the L5 S1. After the surgery and 8 months of trying to recover I still had pain that radiated down my legs to my feet and was told that I probably would never be able to run again. I was heartbroken and felt like I was less than a man. I started trying to run again anyway despite being told not to. I immediately hurt the arch of my foot, of all things. I saw a dr and he took xrays that were inconclusive, so he sent me for an mri. The mri didn't show much except that I MAYBE was developing early onset degenerative arthritis and needed custom orthotics. After several months of wearing the orthotics and not running the pain never went away. I finally started running again a couple months ago and was doing great, even with the pain in my foot, until another injury hit me. This time it was a pulled muscle in my calf. Ugh, I was really feeling like my body had failed me again and that I was a 33 year old in an eighty year old's body. I decided to research and find out why I kept getting injured and was having all these problems. I found a lot of information that contradicted everything all these drs were telling me. Here is a link to a bunch of peer reviewed articles from runners world in case anyone is interested, [@].I found that barefoot running may be my solution. I decided to buy these VFF Komodo Sports shoes and let me tell you, I do not regret it at all. At first I just wore them everywhere, with no running. After several days of only going barefoot or in the Komodo Sports I decided to try running in them. Let me tell you, I was terrified. What if I hurt myself worse, what if I put myself into a wheel chair for the rest of my life? I ran for a mile and a half. It felt amazing! I never had the pain in my arch, my normal knee pain didn't start up, and most importantly, my back didn't hurt and actually felt great! The next day my calves burned and were a little stiff so I went for a walk with my wife. 3/4 of a mile into the walk my calves worked themselves out so I ran for 3/4 of a mile or so and then finished the walk with my wife. Still no pain, only an amazing feeling of accomplishment. I felt maybe I could get to where I may be able to lose the forty pounds that I now had put on since the back surgeries. Maybe I will be able to enjoy running again. I have now run numerous runs, each one getting better than the last, and have none of the pain that I had just a couple months ago. My supposed arthritis is gone and has not comeback. I don't know if I will ever get back to my old five minute miles, but I know I should be able to get back to at least eight minute miles which I will be happy with. It seems so effortless running this way, instead of landing on the heel. Thank you Vibram! If I keep improving like this I owe you more than the hundred that I paid for the shoes.
Best Thing on Earth
I have had these shoes for about 6-9 Months which I use for biking/running/walking/anything. I use them a lot. I have also the Bikila LS. The thing that would differentiate the Bikila vs Komodos are that the sole is a bit nicer and removable on this model (komodo) vs the Bikila. On the bikilas, the sole is sewn in, and I did not notice that this was the reason for hot spots and blisters when running (on my right foot). I though it was just me getting used to them. This shoe has a removable and soft gel like inner.
These are some of the best shoes you can get. Comfortable, light, (you will get attention in these so caveat emptor), agile shoes.
The only drawbacks I can find are these:
1. After washing the shoes a dozen times, the straps feel like they have migrated a little bit, specifically the rear strap on the heal, which feels like the shoe will slip off (which never has), but its one of those sensations you cant shake unless full throttle/running.
2. The inner sole has a tenancy to migrate at times in a run. By this I mean that the rear of the sole will move or end up on the side of the shoe in mid run. Usually this happens when you don't wear socks, and or most friction occurs. A little glue can fix it just right. You might find this happening on your dominant foot.
3. If you wear the shoe all day long like I do, and go for runs and or biking between that time, you will notice that after a few weeks (being brand new) that a bad odor will start to linger in the shoe. And when washing the shoe, it does not get rid of the smell. This will happen with almost all. I believe this is because how thick the sides are on this shoe, causes it to be a bit warmer than usual. Letting them sit (few hours) in a bucket/or wash machine with a few cups of baking soda will help neutralize it for some time. But not permanent. Lack of socks will intensify this odor and the time it appears.
Overall I love these shoes and I was just informed that there is a LS (lace) update for this model, and I may be getting them.
I gave you the bad, and the good. Overall these shoes have gotten rid of knee, hip and back pains. I can run further with less effort, and longer, and my balance has been improved substantially. For those worrying about arch support, there is more than you think. I have low-archs and weak ankles, well, I used to. Haven't suffered any ankle/arch pains since I moved to these. :D
I have gotten about 10 people to buy them and they all love them. I would recommend them to everyone to give them a try.
Now w/ extra padding and adj heel strap
This replaces my TrekSports for running. Sizing of KomodoSports similar to TrekSports as Bikilas of same size feel a little too snug.
- adjustable heel strap. Heel support seems to be a little more rigid vs TrekSport. Making it too tight causes my foot to fall asleep past 5 miles so I'm not sure I find it useful in my situation.
- wider base. These feel like EEE width! This may work against me as I can feel my heel shifting at times during runs which will probably cause hotspots for 20K+ runs. Allowance for higher instep vs TrekSports and Bikilas. My left instep is higher and I notice this as snugness in the Trek and Bikilas--not so with KomodoSports. The ankle hole is much wider making it more comfortable vs Bikilas / KSOs where you have the "turtleneck" effect and it feels like it's choking the top of my feet. My big toes can breathe in these vs Bikilas where I have split the outer fabric from base due to my fatter big toes.
- actual sole padding. Description says something like 4mm of padding. You definitely feel that padding making it feel closer to closed-toe shoes vs all other VFF types. Minimalists may not like this but I feel it will be a non-issue after 100 miles of usage. May cause an issue running in muddy conditions adding water weight and a cushioned footbed for the "funk" to grow in.
- less exposed seams than Bikila/TrekSports. I was disappointed with the KSOs and Bikilas as the seam along the big toe metatarsals would cause blisters. I would also feel the seam in the big toes in both TrekSports and Bikilas models during running. So far no friction/blisters due to seams in the KomodoSports.
- yellow color doesn't match promo picure. The yellow resembles more of a mustard yellow than it does in the product picture which is as bright as a lemon. Not so in real life. That made me a bit sad but they due seem to glow in the nightlight. Thankfully these have the safety reflective straps just like the Bikilas.
- durability. This applies to all VFF on road/asphalt use. My TrekSports are worn down to the "grays" on the heel and forefoot after 5 months of use. Bikilas have same wear in addition to the toe dots being worn out and I used those even less. I expect these to last about the same of at least 250 miles.
Summary: If you're a first time VFF user, then KomodoSports would be a great introduction to minimalist running with a padded sole like regular shoes and adjust heel and instep straps for those with wider feet. A great addition to current VFF users as this version is designed for cross-training (e.g. lateral movements).
Feels great, but parts wear quickly
Bottom line: I love these. Komodo's are my first Vibram product.
These are my first minimalist shoe and I absolutely love them and will own at least one VFF for a long time.
I purchased the Komodo's because they are good for stopping and starting quickly. The treads allow quicker directional transitions than the standard soles. They had a thicker sole than the classics/sprints/KSO while still providing more feel than the TrekSports.
I use these hiking/jogging some small mountain trails after work and as normal shoes that I'd wear to stores. They provide adequate protection against rocks and pebbles but on rockier portions where it has jagged rocks I need to watch where I step. Also if jogging downhill I have to be especially careful. The only other type of VFF I would get for this use are the Treksports.
First con is that I had my foot sized at the store and these feel almost a half-size too small. Be sure to measure your foot from your longest toe (mine is my second toe, rather than my big toe). After that measurement give yourself 2mm or so. Read the sizing measurements online about these shoes, not all sizes in each shoe are the same, so adjust accordingly. If I wear them all day after about 4 hours or so my toes feel cramped.
I'll be ending up returning my Komodo's after about a month because I believe I need one size bigger (41 rather than a 40). I have rather wide feet and these fit well in that regard, though. I usually wear about a 9.5 or 10 in a Nike.
I will also say while these perform excellently in the water, they do not dry out quickly at all. If you get them wet they will stay wet. They breathe better than any of my shoes I use for work, but they don't breathe as well as most of my running shoes. It's acceptable breathing for the hot and humid southern summer that I'm in, but I wish it was better.
My biggest complaint on the Komodo's that I have is that the silver reflective striping on top of the black model that I have has been peeling rather badly. It leaves behind a very nasty residue that collects dirt and grime. I hope this is just a fluke, but both the left and the right shoe do this and the right has very little of the reflective striping left.
I'm hoping that my next pair does not have this issue.
Bought mine April, 2011, and have worn often.
FIRST ADVICE: Do NOT order online first pair. The US to Metric size conversion chart (from Vibram according to sales person) had me in much too small size. Being metric sized, it is easy - and important - to get the best fit. So, go to a brick-and-mortar store like REI to be fitted for your first pair. I've not had slippage or pain from them, but it does take a few wearings of increasing time to break-in both your feet and shoes.
Mine are the first edition of what is shown here as the KomoSport. Only difference is slightly different graphics.
Have worn them many hours, after eventually working up to full days, and despite my high arches these things are fantasticly comfortable.
The stability is amazing... feel completely stable and planted to the ground whether standing, walking or jogging.
Oh yeah, while not specialized for it, I used them for simple rock-wall climbing several times during a vacation and was much more successful compared to the walking or jogging shoes that I tried first.
Only two drawbacks I've noticed:
> Medium sized rocks can occasionaly hurt the sole of my foot when I come down the wrong way, and larger gravel can occasionally lodge between toes which is quickly noticed due to instant pain.
Otherwise, they are amazingly protective with good traction on a variety of rough and smooth surfaces, wet and dry.
> They do get "odorific" after 3 or 4 full days of sweaty wear. I use Gold Bond powder which helps a little, and helps a lot for slipping into them (putting them on takes some practice and patience at first, so the help is appreciated).
Even better trick For the odor; a friend who spent quite a bit of time in the Army in swampy coniditions taught me a great trick: Put the shoes in a ziplock, and place in freezer overnight... bacteria killed and odor gone!
If dirty, just toss in clothes dryer on warm water, and dry.
One warning: these things are still conversation pieces. Wear them in a public place for long and you'll be asked about them. Doesn't bother me a bit... just fair warning :)
Best running shoes I've ever owned
Bottom line, the KomodoSports are the best running shoes I've ever owned.
I'm a true believer in the barefoot/minimalist running revolution. I gave up running 25 years ago because I bought into the assertion that Clydesdales like myself (6'4", 200#+) were not built for running, confirmed by a seemingly endless string of injuries. However, after hearing about the Harvard University research on barefoot running and reading Christopher McDougall's book "Born to Run", I decided to give running another try.
I started running barefoot indoors on a treadmill, and was amazed to find that I didn't have the hip and knee pain that plagued me in the past. Not willing to expose my bare tootsies to city streets, gravel, broken glass, etc., I decided on a pair of Vibram KSO's as my first minimalist shoes. Again, I was thrilled to discover I could run without the injuries--a life changing event, really.
As great as the KSO's are, I have three specific complaints about them. For starters, I experienced painful rubs and blisters from seams around the inside of my feet by the big toe and sometimes the arch, though taping my feet would help. Secondly, the sole provided very little protection from "stone bruising" from sharp rocks. Finally, after two or three runs, the KSO's would get very stinky! Good thing they are machine washable.
Thankfully, the KomodoSports address all the issues I had with the KSO's. Comfort is exceptional, and I always wear them with bare feet (no socks). The sole is more substantial--I do not experience the stone bruising like the KSO's, and while they give up a little ground feel, I believe the trade-off is worth it. Finally, the odor issue seems to be resolved by the antimicrobial foot bed. The shoes smell fine after a month and forty miles of summer running, and have not had to wash them yet.
With regards to sizing, I went by the Vibram sizing chart, and the shoes fit me perfectly. Also, my wife has a pair of KomodoSports, and she loves them as well.
Wont go back
first off REI is great about handling return and making sure you are satisfied. that being said i've owned a pair of KMD sports and used them for just about everything ex: sparring on pavement, outdoor and indoor handball, running on pavement and through trails, around the house, and driving. They were awesome hands down. only con, dont use them for pavement sports it will eat them up in no time. Now I'm in the Bikila LS and right from the start they feel super comfortable. hugs my feet nice and snug. During the brief time of my switch from the KMD sports and the Bikila i was forced to run in my reg running shoes, it was not happening. after using the KMD sport for about 6 months i could not stand running in my reg running shoes. Pros: super comfy great for running and just about everything else. Cons: i would not use them if you are thinking about doing outside sports on pavement. after 2 months of sparring 3 times a week on pavement running 3 miles, steep up and downhill between a 18-19min time and outdoor handball sessions it took a month and a half to eat them up almost to my bare feet. Sparring on pavement and outdoor handball probably are not the best uses for them. as far a running on the pavement they were great my previous pair of KMD sports were holding up very well for the first 5 months until my brother and i had to use pavement for sparring due to other field activities that limited our use of the field. overall they are a great shoe for runners interested in going the barefoot route takes a bit to stop the heel striking but is well worth it. Running the hills hard will be very tough i would suggest easy on the downhill push it on the uphill. Best bet is to get all the info about them and see if they apply to your physical activities and give them a shot for yourself.
Skeptic pleasantly suprised!
First off, I have been very skeptical about these shoes, I always thought they were a gimmicky, silly looking shoe. My wife bought a pair in the summer of 2010 and has absolutely loved them. She finally convinced me to try a pair on and they were not all that bad. I looked them up online and saw these new Komodo Sports that had a much better appearance than previous offerings and an insole that might just make them bearable for someone that wanted to transition into Vibram FF's.
I received my shoes today and immediately put them on. First thing I noticed were that they were softer and 'cushier' than the normal kso's I had tried on. Not being used to these types of shoes this was a very welcomed feel. After wearing them indoors for about an hour I noticed how warm these are. I have heard some complaints about other models being cold, but my feet were toasty in these. Obviously when I stepped outside into the 41 degree cold, my feet did get a bit cold, but nothing unbearable. Two hours into wearing them and they felt so good I decided I would wear them to a Crossfit workout. Today was a heavy squat day and I never noticed these shoes at all, they were comfortable and stayed in place perfectly.
In conclusion I am very happy I gave these shoes a chance and if the claims are true that they will improve the way I walk then an added bonus. These shoes are perfect for walking, running, or gym activities, just make sure to wear the injinji socks if the temperature gets down into the 40's or below! At this point I highly recommend this shoe especially if you are looking to try FF's for the first time. If the durability is good I will definitely be adding more to the collection.
One of the best Vibram's on the market
Love the Komodosports. They are very comfortable. Lets start with the basics
I wear a 10.5 in most standard shoes. In my VFF Classics, I wear a 43 and they fit perfect. I have a low arch, so my foot is a bit wider than average. I ordered 3 sizes because I knew the Komodo's likely fit different (41, 42, 43). My guess was right, i thought the 42s would be best and they were. The 41s fit me, but were a bit tight and could not be used with socks. The 43s werent bad and i was contemplating, but felt they would stretch and get sloppy. Just as Goldilocks had to try all 3, I finally came to the consensus the 42s were just right, both with and without socks.
I did a 6 mile city run last week and they were awesome. Super light and comfortable, I had so much fun running in these. It was raining pretty hard, and my feet stayed pretty drive. The bottom soles are completely sealed off, but between the toes there is no rubber. Thus, if you dont run in puddles, your feet will stay dry. But if you stepped in a puddle, ran through muddy/wet grass, or the water on the trail/streets is over an inch high, these shoes will not stay dry.
That was the only con, but the trade off would have been a much hotter, less ventilated VFF. So my feeling is the design is NOT flawed, its just not meant to be 100% waterproof for running in the rain.
Overall, i really like the design and comfort. Havent ran more than 20 miles in them yet, so while they seem durable and i marked "durable", its based on observations and limited use. I love these
Great for intended use!
I have owned and run/worked out in VFF KSOs and TrekSports for years now...that said:
-The Komodosport is VERY well built. The design and build quality is excellent. The only issues for me are the ankle opening is too big and it feels just a tad too wide. Those with slightly narrow feet or a less than medium arch will probably have similar issues. I cannot go down a size though because lengthwise I am just right. The heel strap is nice to snug some lengthwise but does not help snug the heel width wise. While my KSOs and Treks fit snug all the way around, it does bother me to feel loose around the ankle opening and heel. The ankle opening is considerably larger on the Komodos than either my KSOs or Treks as Im sure they intended for those with wider feet or higher instep.
-They are well suited for crosstraining (Crossfit) style activity. They absorbs impact well (ex: box jumps) and feel more laterally stable when doing power-lifts or squats or sprints.
-They will NOT replace a pair of KSOs or Trek for THEIR intended uses. You definitely lose ground feel with the extra padding and I certainly prefer my KSOs for leisure or treadmill, etc. They are not built for trails and although they offer great support for rough surfaces, do not grip like the Treks or feel as home on rugged trails.
-If you Crossift (glad to see a lot of reviewers do!) then these are AWESOME! If you are looking for a VFF to transition to BF running or minimalist style then these are a GREAT option.
-They get a 4/5 for fit issues but otherwise being exactly what they intended to be!