Vibram FiveFingers - Barefoot Running Shoes

by theherbivorehippie

It's easy to become overwhelmed by the various styles of Vibram FiveFingers. Whether you are transitioning to barefoot running or not, choosing the right pair for you is important

Which Style of Vibram FiveFingers is Right for You?

Here's a Helpful Vibram Five Finger Comparison






Although barefoot running has caused Vibram FiveFingers to explode in popularity, these shoes are perfect for a wide range of sports and activities. I fell in love with them many years ago and by looking at my collection, you could say that they've become a bit of a secret obsession. I not only use them for running everyday, they are ideal for walking the dogs, kayaking, whitewater rafting, mowing the lawn, Zumba class, water-skiing, jet -skiing and just wearing around in general. Vibram FiveFingers are shoes that go from one activity to another without missing a beat.


Whether you are buying your first pair or if you are just looking for an additional pair to add to your collection, there's always a question (and often confusion) over which pair to buy. Can one pair do it all? In a nutshell, yes! However, there are certainly styles that are better made for certain activities. The great thing about Vibram FiveFingers is that they are machine washable. Could you ask for anything better? Seriously, go hit the muddy trails on your walk or run and then pop them in the washing machine when you get home. Life couldn't be simpler!


Photos are compliments of FootwearEtc., where Vibram FiveFingers qualify for free shipping!

Vibram Treksport

Vibram Treksport
Vibram Treksport

Vibram Treksport

I have to start with the Vibram Treksport because quite honestly, they are my favorite. These are my all-purpose shoe so if I don't know if I'm going to hit trails at the park or stay on a paved path, these are the ones I turn too. Of all the Vibram FiveFingers, these are the ones geared toward the rugged outdoors. The sole is a bit harder than some others so those little rocks and tree roots you're pounding over aren't going to become so bothersome.


The upper on the Vibram Treksport is made of Coconut Active Carbon for breathability. My feet have never gotten overheated in these and the fact that they cover your entire foot means you won't have tiny pebbles and debris getting in your shoes. This style has a 4mm lightly-cleated rubber outsole which gives you traction on a wide variety of terrain.

Vibram Treksport at Amazon

Vibram Men's V 2.0 Trail Running Shoe...
$119.95  $119.7

Vibram Bikila

Vibram Bikila
Vibram Bikila

Vibram Bikila

The Vibram Bikila was designed specifically to promote a natural, more efficient forefoot strike. These are the shoes made specifically with runners in mind. If I’m staying on paved surfaces, I love these shoes! I will say that I feel as though my feet get warmer in this style. It could be my imagination or it could be because I'm used to the other varieties but they are still certainly cooler than wearing traditional running shoes.


The Vibram Bikila features a 3mm polyurethane insole under the ball of your foot to really help with the forefoot strike. If you are a beginner runner, I recommend these. Transitioning to barefoot running is hard! There are a lot of new muscles to build up and a lot of nerve endings in the bottom of your feet. These make it a bit easier without compromising the barefoot feel.


Vibram Bikila at Amazon

Vibram Men's El-x Cross Training Shoe...
Vibram Mens Shoes
$89.95  $76.53
Vibram Men's V Running Shoe, Black/Ye...
Vibram Shoes
$130.0  $124.84
Vibram FiveFingers Women's 'Bikila' W...
Vibram FiveFingers
Only $137.19

Vibram KSO

Vibram KSO
Vibram KSO

Vibram KSO

The Vibram KSO is the style most people vote as being most versatile. They really fit snug up around your ankle to keep stuff out! The upper is made from breathable mesh and an abrasion-resistant stretch polyamide. The rubber outsole is perfectly razor-siped which offers flexibility and an unbelievable grip on the most slippery surfaces.


I will admit, I have a lot of friends who vote these as their favorite but this is not my favorite to run in. I have ran in mine for a few miles at a time at a time but they are more versatile when you need to go from land to water and back. I love these for kayaking, whitewater rafting and virtually any other activity but they aren't typically the pair I grab for a long run.

Vibram KSO at Amazon

Vibram Men's KSO Trail Running Shoe, ...
Vibram Shoes
Only $84.95
Vibram Men's KSO EVO Cross Training S...
Vibram Mens Shoes
Only $99.95
Vibram Men's KSO Trail Running Shoe, ...
Vibram Shoes
Only $84.95

Vibram KomodoSport

I love the Vibram KomodoSport! Probably the only reason the Treksport beats them out as being my favorite is I'm partial to the Coconut Carbon Fiber upper of the Treksport but quite honestly as far as fit and performance are concerned, they are a definite tie.


The Vibram KomodoSport features a seamless 2mm footbed which reduces friction and the hoop-and-loop closures help the stretch nylon upper feel like second skin. The outsole is the great 4mm rubber that provides protection and grip, another preferred choice for trekking or running trails.


Vibram KomodoSport

Vibram KomodoSport
Vibram KomodoSport

Vibram KomodoSport at Amazon

Vibram Men's KSO Trail Running Shoe, ...
Vibram Shoes
Only $84.95
Vibram Men's V Running Shoe, Black/Ye...
Vibram Shoes
$130.0  $129.75
WHITIN Men's Trail Running Shoes Mini...
Only $38.99

Vibram Sprint

I just can't say enough about the Vibram Sprint! I used to run in them all the time but now they only get thrown into the rotation about once a week. If you want a true barefoot feel, these are the shoes for you. My only complaint with these is that debris can get in your shoes while you're running because of the low cut.


The non-marking 3.5mm sole is razor-siped to give you grip and flexibility. You will feel rocks and branches when you step on them more than other styles. This is the most popular woman's style because they are cute, perfect for yoga, Pilates, wearing on the boat, etc. I wear mine running errands all the time.


Vibram Sprint

Vibram Sprint
Vibram Sprint
Footwear Etc

Vibram Speed

If anyone has the Vibram Speed yet, please feel free to comment on them! This is a brand new style! If I hadn't bought a brand new pair of Treksport last month I would have already bought these but I will be buying them before fall. These offer everything you love about Vibram Five Fingers only they look like a pair of running shoes. From what I understand, the Vibram Speed is made more for casual wear, traveling, shopping and just hanging out.

Vibram Classic




I have to admit, I have never ran in the Vibram Classic however, they are my shoes of choice to walk the dogs every morning. They are easy to just slip on while I'm half asleep and these are an excellent choice for water-skiing, jet-skiing, etc. They are really the next best thing to being barefoot. The upper on the Vibram Classic is made of nylon stretch fabric and the bottom is also a 3.5mm rubber sole like the Sprint.

Vibram Flow

I've worn the Vibram Flow in the winter with Injinji socks and managed to not freeze. The upper features 2mm neoprene for thermal insulation. If you run in the cold weather or surf, water ski, etc., in cold water, these are the shoes to have! It is important to note that the IdroGrip performance rubber black sole on the Vibram Flow does offer the most grip but it also marks! Keep that in mind if you think about wearing them on your buddy's new sailboat.


Barefoot Running Books at Amazon

Running Barefoot

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
$12.99  $4.86
Barefoot Running Step by Step: Barefoot Ken Bob, the Guru of Shoeless Running, Shares His Persona...

Fair Winds Press
$19.39  $10.0
Barefoot and Running: Poems

Morgan Liphart
Only $12.0
Barefoot Running: How to Run Light and Free by Getting in Touch with the Earth

$20.0  $15.15
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
$9.99  $5.99

Injinji Socks

The only time I wear Injinji Toe Socks is in the colder months however, I know people who wear them throughout the summer. They are made from Coolmax durable nylon to wick away moisture and they contour to even part of your foot and toes.


Vibram Sizing

Please pay attention to sizing when ordering Vibram FiveFingers online. Not all styles run the same but if you follow the guide of the handy chart that's available you will do just fine! I have never had a pair not fit like glove and I wear different sizes in various styles.


Sizing in Vibram FiveFingers is done by measuring heel-to-toe with a ruler. The easiest way to do this is to place a piece of paper on the ground against a wall and stand on this paper with your heels against the wall. Bend over and mark your big toe on both feet. Make sure that you have your weight evenly distributed, not just on your heels because your toes spread when weight is applied whether walking or running. Use the longest measurement if there is a difference and compare it to the size chart.


For a full selection of Vibram FiveFingers and free shipping, visit FootwearEtc.


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Updated: 10/28/2011, theherbivorehippie
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theherbivorehippie on 10/28/2011

Hi keitter - I run in them everyday! I was so skeptical at first...especially not wearing socks. I thought I would get blisters from sweating but nope...they absorb moisture and even if I go through muddy paths or puddles, they dry quickly and then you just toss them in the washing machine when you get home. You do get a few odd looks but they've become so popular nearly everyone knows what they are now. Most people just ask the same question you did and I say they are awesome! I wear them everywhere now...not just running. Now that winter's coming I just ordered some of the injinji socks and ran this morning and even though it was only 32 degrees here in feet stayed surprisingly warm.

mulberry on 08/18/2011

Shew, I had the same questions about how hard they are to put on in the first place. I'm not sure they would provide the arch support I need, but I know I've heard everyone rave about them.

theherbivorehippie on 07/21/2011

Oh noooo not at all. The tops are so soft and flexible they sort of bunch right up like you're sliding on a sock, then you just pull it over your heel. The toughest part is making sure all the toes get in their own separate spot. lol

mivvy on 07/20/2011

These shoes look fun. Is it difficult to squeeze your feet in? Five finger socks are easier to put on, I think.

theherbivorehippie on 07/12/2011

lol...that's so funny...I remember I felt the same way. I wanted to "wear" out my first pair but to tell you the truth..I STILL have that first pair I use to mow the lawn. I've yet to actually wear a pair out. Come back and tell me what kind you end up getting whenever you get another pair!

Meagan on 07/11/2011

Oooh, I can't wait to buy a pair! I first discovered Vibram FiveFingers right after I bought my last pair of running shoes. I feel like I should wear them out before I buy more... I had no idea there were so many different kinds - this is going to be such a useful guide when I finally come to buy!

theherbivorehippie on 07/10/2011

You are absolutely right!

petunia on 07/10/2011

I have to admit I had never seen these before, but it seems so logical and more in tune with the way our feet are made!

theherbivorehippie on 07/06/2011

@ ohcaroline - they feel wonderful wonderful on your toes! This is one of the reasons I love them. I am one of those people who HATES seams of any sort rubbing from socks or shoes...I just can't deal with it. These are made so perfectly you forget u have them on.

@ tssfacts - I agree, they do look bizarre. It took me a while to buy my first pair even though I was interested because they just looked so weird to me but then I fell in love. I used to get a LOT of really strange looks but now they're so popular, people are more used to them. No one's covering their mouth and pointing at my feet anymore anyway! :)

ohcaroline on 07/06/2011

I cannot imagine how they would feel on your toes. They are truly unique though.

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