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Vibram FiveFingers KSO Treks Review
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Vibram FiveFingers KSO Treks Review on 01/11/2011 14:26:39 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Vibram FiveFingers KSO Treks Review

Sanad Toukhly
(Red_Fox) - MLife

Locale: South Florida
Vibram FiveFingers on 01/11/2011 18:29:12 MST Print View

I have the regular version of the KSOs. These things area actually a lot more durable than they seem. Last labor day weekend I did 70 miles of the Appalachian Trail through the Great Smoky Mountains. The shoes actually held up well after all the abuse of the rocky terrain I encountered. Although, most of the tread on them is now gone. I will say that my feet were bruised and very swollen by the end of the trip due to repeated hard contact with the rocks. However, they did do a fine job of preventing any serious injury to my feet. For terrain as rocky as I encountered in the Smokies, I suspect the KSO Treks might have provided just the right amount of extra cushion and tread I needed to keep my feet from bruising and swelling.


Michael Oppegaard
(mike_o) - F

Locale: Coastal NC
treks on 01/12/2011 08:02:06 MST Print View

I broke my 5th metatarsal last summer and had to wear a boot for about 8 weeks. After I was out of the boot I still had some ligament damage in the adjoning toes. Doctor friend suggested that I try wearing them that by letting the toes move seperately I could stetch out the ligaments giving me problems.

I can't believe how comfortable these things are, I wear them all the time now. You have talked about using them for stream crossings I wonder how they would work for fishing?

Steofan The Apostate
(simaulius) - F

Locale: Bohemian Alps
VFF on 01/12/2011 09:16:07 MST Print View

I did a lot of hiking and overnights in VFF Sprints at YNP last year. They did great through obsidian grit, rocks, stream crossings and machine washings. I'll have to try some KSO Treks. A little extra tread would be nice.C:\Users\Steven\Pictures\2010-08-22\Trail hazard.JPG

Chris Randall
(cfrandall) - MLife
Nice review - I use 'em too. on 01/12/2011 14:11:58 MST Print View

Last summer, I spent a few weekend overnights backpacking into Wild Basin in Rocky Mountain National Park - I brought my VFF Treks as camp shoes, but wound up doing my day hikes and fishing in them. I also run in other models, completing 3 half marathons last year in VFFs.

Jeremy Platt
(jeremy089786) - F

Locale: Sydney
Toe Cover on 01/12/2011 15:59:04 MST Print View

Does anyone make a toe cover for these things, like some sort of material strip that could go over the toes? This may be able to stop the build up of sticks and things between the toes when off track (may also tone down the image for those not into the toe shoe look).

Chris Hanson
(ChrisHanson) - F

Locale: Eastern Wyoming
Too Good To Be True? on 01/12/2011 19:54:10 MST Print View

I Googled the KSO Treks to see what the best price I could find and came up with a place called: and they have them for $39.95! They are a foreign website so I'm guessing fakes or a scam. Anyone ever bought anything from them?

Steofan The Apostate
(simaulius) - F

Locale: Bohemian Alps
Too good to be true? on 01/12/2011 20:20:19 MST Print View

The color schemes and treads don't look quite right. I'm thinking VFF-Fakes.

Praveen M
(prav66) - MLife

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Fake VFF on 01/12/2011 20:26:48 MST Print View

There are a lot of fake VFF floating around, many with nearly similar looks vibram soles until you examine the stitching. Don't expect to get a small niche product like this at deep discount, anything outside the mainstream websites at reduced prices is automatically suspect. If you want to get them cheap, wait for REI to have 30% sale. Unlike trail shoes, the thread on the KSO lasts a LONG time so you get what you pay for.

Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Suggested reading on 01/13/2011 10:56:51 MST Print View

Added a backlink to an ORSM2010 article on Barefoot/Minimalist Footwear.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

5Fingers on 01/13/2011 15:11:30 MST Print View

I've got a pair of the KSO's and I don't really like them. I imagine this varies a lot depending on the shape of your feet, but mine are a huge pain to get on. It takes several minutes to wiggle all of my (apparently fat) toes into their places. Not good at all for sneaking out for a late night pee.

Once they are on, they work well for what they are. On technical trails I stub my pinky toe regularly, so I only use mine on day hikes on easy trails.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: 5Fingers on 01/13/2011 15:28:23 MST Print View

Dan, that supposedly gets better with time. If you've worn non-anatomical (or traditional) footwear your entire life, the problem is more likely that you lack the toe spread necessary for the Five Fingers to slip on easily.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Re: 5Fingers on 01/13/2011 16:42:18 MST Print View

+1 on toe spread.

excellent on pita bread.

(cuzzettj) - MLife

Locale: NorCal - South Bay
RE: "Vibram FiveFingers KSO Treks Review" on 01/13/2011 17:32:45 MST Print View

I have had these for about three months now. I love them. I had the same problem sliding them on originally. But after a few weeks they slipped on easily. My fit isn't 100% because of the shape of my foot. But over all these are great.

I just hiked in the French Guiana jungle over the holidays and they were great. My footing was good. I just had to be careful where I stepped. But that is a good idea anyway.

I have used them in wet weather here in California and just for general walking around. My knee felt better and so did my hip. It is a much more natural feeling.

I get some funny looks in the airports because they are my favorite go to shoe (yes I where the sox). But I have never been more comfortable on a plane. My feet don't feel all sweaty and nasty even after several days traveling. The french were laughing at my shoes when I went through customs. But who cares. I just smile and not worry about it.


Frank Deland

Locale: On the AT in VA
break in time? on 01/13/2011 20:58:01 MST Print View

To those of you that like them, was there a breaking in time to get used to wearing them? Were they painful at first, or were they comfortable right from the first few steps? How are they when you step on a small stone or pebble. Don't they get really hot?

Steofan The Apostate
(simaulius) - F

Locale: Bohemian Alps
Had VFF's for a couple of years. on 01/13/2011 22:56:46 MST Print View

I was always a barefoot person, putting shoes on last and taking them off first. Getting my little toes in place is still a struggle, much easier with socks as the toes just slip right in. Some folks have a week or so of adjustment while the tendons get used to the difference in movement and slight change in gait.
The biggest adjustment was with my office manager's attitude. She took one look at my Sprints and said that I could not wear them to our casually dressed office. She reminded us of the policy that we could only wear sandals or closed toe shoes. Everyone laughed and she stormed off. I suppose that I could buy some black leather KSO Treks to wear with black dress slacks for those shirt and tie days.
I was very careful walking for the first month or so, but not any more. You just adapt to rocks, rain, mud and snow. The oddest thing is that my feet feel cool, no longer warm and clammy or cold and damp from being closed inside of shoes.
It's not a cult; just walking, running and hiking the real way.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Had VFF's for a couple of years. on 01/14/2011 01:20:36 MST Print View

I've had a pair of KSOs for about 18 months. They are a struggle to get on at first, the problem is getting each toe into its proper toe condom. But with a little practice is gets pretty quick.

It does take a while for your legs to get into shape, as most people are used to a heel strike, this is especially true if you run in them. Your brain is going to force a front of the foot strike, without your permission. If you want to run in them, go slow, unless you have been running barefooted.

I no longer hike off-trail in them or in rocky areas, as my little toe kicks the occasional rock or out-cropping. I like to do short runs in them. It is almost barefoot running, without the need to toughen up the bottom of your feet. You will feel most little things like pebbles and such. I can run/hike on fine gravel roads without discomfort, but it is a funny feeling that takes a while to get used to.

If you do not like to stop to talk every hiker you meet on the trail or stop and talk to strangers around town, then these are not for you! Everyone wants to ask questions.

They do get stinky after a fairly short time. They have to be washed periodically. For really light shoes, I prefer XC racing flats, which are generally lighter than these. I am using flats less and less, because they do not last long in the terrain I frequent. For most hiking I always go back to my Salomon trail runners. I am pretty much done experimenting with shoes, overall the Salomon's do everything I need. The KSO's are nice for running (not on asphalt).

William Cefalu

Locale: Louisiana
What is the weight? did I miss this in the article? on 01/15/2011 16:20:59 MST Print View


Frank Deland

Locale: On the AT in VA
not convinced on 01/16/2011 21:28:31 MST Print View

Sanad notes above: "I will say that my feet were bruised and very swollen by the end of the trip due to repeated hard contact with the rocks. However, they did do a fine job of preventing any serious injury."

My feet might be swollen after a long hike, but bruised? That does not sound good to me!

Damien Tougas
(dtougas) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Gaspé Peninsula
Training and Time on 01/16/2011 21:41:12 MST Print View

How well minimalist footwear will work for you largely depends on the amount of training and time you spend in them on a regular basis. If you are used to wearing structured footwear with significant cushioning, it will take time for your body to adapt. When you get used to shoes deadening the rough edges of the environment, you tend to be less aware of how you are stepping and hence walk a lot rougher than you would with less on your feet. Having worn minimalist footwear for many years now, it has changed the way I walk, I am much more aware of each step I take and I rarely get any kind of bruising.