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Vibram Five Fingers in KS
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Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
Vibram Five Fingers in KS on 01/25/2008 12:11:13 MST Print View

Ha! Just a note to mention that I'm stoked that my local Backwoods is carrying the Five Fingers here in KS now (still doesn't show on the five fingers website).

I've been anxiously waiting to try these until I could fit some in person.

Of course when I ran over and picked some up last night my wife scowled at me and began to lecture me on how ugly they were... ah, well.

Darren McClintock
(Darren) - MLife
Five Fingers on 01/25/2008 17:43:42 MST Print View

I wore mine on a 3 day backpacking trip over New Year's weekend for the first time and found out that they weren't that great for backpacking trips. I first wore them around the house for a couple days and felt like they were the most comfortable shoes or sandals that I've ever worn. That's around the house on carpet and wooden floors. In the backcountry though I found that they provided next to no cushion under my foot, and I had to be careful of my steps and walk slowly. They pack down small and will fit in your pack instead of on the outside like most crocs type shoes, but at least crocs give you plenty of cushion. Needless to say I spent $75 and now I only wear them around the house. I had the same experience "car camping" with them. But if you are looking for extremely comfortable sandals for regular terrain and wear then go for it.

Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
Re: Five Fingers on 01/25/2008 20:47:35 MST Print View

See, I actually like walking barefoot around camp and outdoors areas... it stretches out my feet and rocks provides a bit of shiatsu-type pressure... I'm just always worried about stepping on a particularly sharp stick... or sharp rock... or, god-forbid, an ember from the boy scout campfire... or worse, in public campsites a piece of glass or soda can...

Then again, I'm also the guy who nearly needs his wife to lift herself up on her elbows to work the knots out of his back on the off times she gives me a back rub.

Edited by jdmitch on 01/25/2008 20:49:17 MST.

Darren McClintock
(Darren) - MLife
Five Fingers on 01/26/2008 07:31:18 MST Print View

Give them a try Joshua. I actually had to try on several different sizes at the store before I found a good fit for me. The five fingers are in European sizes, which was something new for me. They also should fit like a glove, you don't want any extra room at all in front of your big toe. I was thinking in the store that the pair I bought might be too small, but again you want that fit.

Josh Leavitt
(Joshleavitt) - F

Locale: Ruta Locura
Five fingers on 01/27/2008 19:40:43 MST Print View

I've had a pair since August and love them. I havn't done any serious hiking with them yet, but have been pretty impressed outdoors so far. To date most of thier outdoor use has been hauling sprinkler and fixing fence out in the pasture, I'd never even consider wearing crocks out there. They are great to run in, and you have to love the looks you get in public when you wear them. Just wiggle your toes when you catch some one staring, or I guess if your talented enough you could give them the toe.

Tim Heckel
(ThinAir) - M

Locale: 6237' - Manitou Springs
Re: Five Fingers on 01/28/2008 08:32:15 MST Print View

Darren et al,
Be sure to read and understand the instructions that come with your Five Fingers. Your feet must become conditioned to them before you can expect to use them comfortably.

Clint Hewitt
(WalkSoftly33) - F

Locale: New England
VFF KSO TREK on 02/03/2010 12:26:13 MST Print View

As stated above, attention must pe paid to condition your feet, going out on a 3day hike with out getting your feet used to the demands you will be asking of it, is asking for a poor experience.

Modern foot wear is essentially causing muscles in your feet and ankles to atrophy, It takes time to build these back up.

I wear VFF KSO TREK, they are perfect for hiking it has more of a hiking shoe bottom allowing for grip up those steap trails or slippery logs and slightly more cushion then the other models.

Care must be taken how and where you step as well.

Heal striking is a no no. (The way we all walk in modern shoes) You will naturally find a walking stlye that is comftorable for you while wearing VFF, a tip is to land in your mid fore foot with your feet under you more, and pushing your heal down behind you. Find what works for you!

Also Be sure to place your foot on things that make sense avoiding sharp objects when possible. And walking in mud when possible (feels great!)

All in all I love my experince with these shoes and have thought about going "full monty" with my feet but have yet to, maybe this summer.

Clint Hewitt
(WalkSoftly33) - F

Locale: New England
KSO TREK WEIGHT on 02/03/2010 12:34:06 MST Print View

Also I have not weighed these but they are around 13oz for the pair (size 41) Other models are lighter, these are the heaviest.

I have noticed very little wear in these as well, The way you pick up and place each foot I think cause less abrasion.

I have done two 25+mile trips and multiple day hikes as well as the gym, and around town... basically everywhere except work! (for some reason there not acceptable! haha)

I will post a pic if I can find my cammera

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: KSO TREK WEIGHT on 02/03/2010 14:07:11 MST Print View

My size 43 weigh 13.4 oz.

They are fine for maintained trails. Since I do a lot of cross country hiking they don't work well in that environment. I do run in them in the desert, and even on crushed rock (fine gravel) they don't hurt my feet. But you do have to get used to the feeling of running on surfaces and being able to feel everything you step on.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: VFF KSO TREK on 02/03/2010 16:23:40 MST Print View

Are these things pretty cool? (as in temp) The Treks intrigue me but my feet get HOT so I am nervous about getting them, and the leather being too hot.

Jeremy Greene
(tippymcstagger) - F

Locale: North Texas
barefoot first on 02/03/2010 16:35:19 MST Print View

I have the KSO but not the trek. I'm a barefooter first and a Vibram wearer 2nd. I strongly rec' following that approach. Read the book barefoot hiking. Read Barefoot Ted's discussion board. It is a lot easier to learn to walk/hike barefoot first than to learn in Vibrams. This comes up a lot on Ted's board.

My reason for getting the Vibrams was for some minimal protection from thorns and for hiking in the lower 40's and bit under. If I get a chance for daytime hiking temps below freezing, I'll buy the neoprene model. (I'm not sure of the purpose of the Trek.) If I have an opportunity for even colder weather I'll opt for some kind of mukluk.

I'm done with shoes with shanks and have removed them from my casual shoes. I only use my boots now for stomping a shovel.

Edit: Answering a couple ?s I'd missed:

Cool? I have the non-leather, and yes they are pretty cool and they drain excellently.

Weight? 354g in a men's 42. Considering lightening because I wear the velcro so loose it needn't be there. Probably wait until after my upcoming 30mile weekend on steep and rocky terrain to see if I use it.

Edited by tippymcstagger on 02/03/2010 17:02:22 MST.

Brian Strong
(bmstrong) - F
Love them... on 02/03/2010 18:11:58 MST Print View

I've a pair of Brown Trek's on my feet as we speak.

ben wood

Locale: flatlands of MO
Re: Vibram Five Fingers in KS on 02/04/2010 10:45:46 MST Print View

joshua, where are you from in kansas? are you refering to the backwoods in overland park?

John A
(JohnA) - F

Locale: Great Lakes State
Conditioning on 02/04/2010 13:12:09 MST Print View

With most new backpacking footwear you're told to break in the boots before you go; with these you're advised to break yourself in first. Based on my experience so far I'd say definitely take that advice.

I've done quite a bit of biking for the past few years, but only started running (strictly treadmill stuff) last September. I've never liked even the thought of running, but was surprised to find myself on there 5 days a week doing 5Ks, 10Ks, and 13.1 miles on Fridays, about once a week with a small backpack. This was all in running shoes. Well, "regular" shoes -- nothing fancy, just what I had lying around.

After mail ordering 2 separate orders for a total of 3 pairs of KSOs from REI I settled on the 43s with Injinji socks and started running in those. While I was waiting for those to come in I consciously started walking around the house barefoot more often, trying to toughen up my soft feet a little.

I wish I had done some documentation to better track the process of getting myself used to them, but it went something like this. I started running in the KSOs mid-November, knowing beforehand I would be cutting back on the mileage; The skin on my feet threatened to blister, something deeper in the soles of my feet was sore, the muscles in my feet were sore, and my calves were killing me. That was probably after only a 5K. Needless to say I didn't rush to up the mileage much.

I think it was after about a week the threats of blistering went away, and about 2 or 3 weeks after that the soreness in the soles disappeared. At that point, 10Ks were again no problem, and I started adding an 18lb pack once or twice a week, which brought back a little of the sole pain, but not for long. Surprisingly (to me, anyway), my calves adjusted the the new running style (more forward on the foot) before my foot muscles have; I'd say they stopped being any more sore than normal after a run sometime just after the 1-month mark.

It's been about 2 and a half months of pretty consistent running in them and my feet still sometimes feel like they've had their own little workout, independent of my heart and legs, but it's getting less and less. I haven't done any half-marathons in them yet, concentrating more on adding hills and weight, but have managed 10 miles a couple of times in the past month.

A few points potentially worth consideration:

1 - This is all indoor work; there aren't many ankle-twisting obstacles on the treadmill belt.

2 - The treadmill surface is softer to run on than concrete, but most of us don't backpack on sidewalks much anyway.

3 - My experience so far has only included fairly low miles with a fairly low load; I'm not sure yet what 25 miles with 25 pounds would feel like in these (anyone?).

4 - Little rocks and sticks underfoot under load could be a whole 'nother ballgame. I've only day-hiked with about 10 pounds so far (no problem).

It's just my limited experience, but I hope it helps someone. If not -- hey, I'm an unemployed automotive engineer in Michigan; what else do I have to do besides write long posts and stare at a white basement wall for 13 miles?

John A

Clint Hewitt
(WalkSoftly33) - F

Locale: New England
25 miles 25lbs on 02/22/2010 09:50:55 MST Print View

I have done 25 miles with 25lbs over two days. The first time my feet were not fully conditioned for it either. The result was much of what you felt with in the first month of training.

My feet were sore and tired but in a way it felt great to use my feet in a new way. (I have never expeirenced blisters, I wear Quarter crew Injinji* Outdoor Isoblend toe socks)

The second time I had been wearing my Treks around alot more, going to the gym and doing short day hikes. I found that my feet still became tired but not nearly as sore. A side note it was raining and 40* out, which was fine to hike in but once I stopped at camp My feet were in some pain (cold) before I could dry them out by the fire. I think I may MYOG or purchase some feather friends down booties for camp use to ameliorate that problem.

Also there is a version available in Europe that is basically a Flow with a Trek Bottom. That would work for colder weather except they are +$225 to have them shipped State side. little to expensive for my blood

I only wish I could go on trips all the time to really build up foot strength