Vibram FiveFingers - Barefoot Running Shoes
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!
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 Trail Runner, Black/Gr...|
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.
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.
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.
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 at Amazon
|Vibram Men's V Trail Runner, Black/Gr...|
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.
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.
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
|Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen|
The astonishing national bestseller and hugely entertaining story that completely changed the way we run.An epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot ...
|Barefoot Running: How to Run Light and Free by Getting in Touch with the Earth|
How could something we have for free—our bare feet—be better for running than $150 shoes? The truth is that running in shoes is high-impact, unstable, and inflexible. Shoes prom...
Three Rivers Press
|Barefoot Running Step by Step: Barefoot Ken Bob, the Guru of Shoeless Running, Shares His Persona...|
Barefoot running has garnered lots of attention due to the mega-bestseller Born to Run while products like the Vibram® FiveFinger Shoes have tripled in sales and top athletic co...
Fair Winds Press
|The Cool Impossible: The Running Coach from Born to Run Shows How to Get the Most from Your Miles...|
Featured in the book Born to Run, running coach Eric Orton offers a guide for every runner... Natural running is more than barefoot running. It’s about the joy of running that w...
|Running Rewired: Reinvent Your Run for Stability, Strength, and Speed|
In Running Rewired, America’s leading endurance sports physical therapist and coach shares a program for runners to become stronger, faster, and more durable. Jay Dicharry disti...
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.
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.