The Best Vibram FiveFingers Running Shoes Reviewed
While the best Vibram Five Fingers running shoes may look a little funny at first since each toe individually gloved, once you put them on you will find that they are quite comfortable and supportive—and once you get them on you will fall in love with the style and never want to go back.
So, if you want a minimalistic running experience every time you hit the road or trail, then check out our list of the top 10 best Vibram FiveFingers running shoes below!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research
Great traction on various surfaces
Shed water quickly
Strong toe grip for climbing or parkour
Thin sole for flexibility and natural foot movement
XS TREK technology for stability and comfort
- KSO EVO
- Trek Ascent
- KMD LS
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best Vibram FiveFingers Running Shoes
1. KSO EVO
Great traction on various surfaces
Shed water quickly
Strong toe grip for climbing or parkour
Thin sole for flexibility and natural foot movement
XS TREK technology for stability and comfort
Takes some time getting used to the way the toes feel
If you thought Vibrams couldn’t get any more lightweight, prepare yourself for the KSO EVO. These babies are a shocking 3.5 oz. (W) and 4.1 oz. (M). If you feel like running on air with minimalist arch support and zero heel-to-toe drop, your near-barefoot running experience is just waiting for you here. These are one of the best Vibram FiveFingers running shoes because they allow the foot to move naturally while still providing stability and comfort. All of this combines to push the KSO EVO to number one on our list.Read more
There are some reviews that complain about the toes being a little too tight, resulting in an uncomfortable fit. However, this seems to be an issue reported by a relatively small number of wearers.
Pretty comfortable and great fit if you get the right size.
Likely due to the lightweight and low profile minimalist construction, these shoes also reportedly have some issues with durability when put to heavy duty use, with the bottoms wearing thin. Keep in mind however that lower durability is part of the trade-off with this type of footwear and you may need to adjust your running habits accordingly.
These shoes are really lightweight and low profile--but they are still just as effective.
These come at a pretty average price
Easy on, easy off
One of Vibram’s thinnest soles for great feedback
Simple and comfortable
The thin material of the sole may wear more quickly than some others over rougher terrain
These shoes are multifunctional and can easily move from the trails to the streets. The XS Trek Outsole keeps the foot well-protected while the lightweight and zero-drop features keep this shoe perfectly minimalistic. In particular, the El-X cross-training shoes have been lauded for their comfort, ease of use, and highly minimalistic feel.Read more
Very flexible and perfect for barefoot runners.
With minimalistic type shoes in general, they are not known for being filled with a lot of cushioning so please keep this in mind as you make the transition.
Maybe having something to do with the minimal design and construction of the shoes, they seem to have some issues with durability and longevity.
As these shoes have very thin soles, allowing a much more barefoot feeling, the comfort would really be more relative to the runner who is wearing the shoes.
The price tag on the EL-X varies widely, depending on where you find them. They are usually able to be found at a reasonably decent price on Amazon.
Great for trails
• Vibram 3d Cocoon technology
• Great traction
Need to be broken in
If you love hitting the trails, then these are the perfect pick for you. They provide you with a comfortable, minimalistic, and secure fit that will allow you to push yourself without having to worry about issues with your footwear. They also provide you with the protection and durability you need when facing the outdoor elements.Read more
These shoes will definitely allow for full range and ensure that you feel every bit of your run.
These are really comfortable and stable considering the terrain they are designed for. They are highly breathable and their Vibram 3d cocoon technology provides excellent protection against rocks and debris.
These are highly durable and built to last through use in rough terrain. Their multi-directional lug design allows for optimal traction as well as additional protection. They are made of high-quality materials that allow them to be both flexible and durable.
Lightweight and perfect for barefoot running that allows you to feel every inch of the ground you are running on.
These are newer on the scene so they are a bit pricey.
4. Trek Ascent
4-mm EVA midsole
Not great for intense running—more for hiking and light running and walking
The Trek Ascent is the new and improved version of the TrekSport (which is number three on our list). They are perfect for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts looking for a minimalistic shoe that is durable enough to withstand their favorite terrain.Read more
We recognize that runners engage in activities other than running, so we wanted to incorporate these on our list because they are an excellent pair of hiking or light running shoes.
They are durable, comfortable, and protective--while still remaining lightweight and minimalistic. They utilize 4-mm EVA midsole for adequate cushioning. They also provide a secure and comfortable fit that will ensure rocks and debris do not enter your shoe.
These are meant for hiking and rocky outdoor terrain, so they are definitely durable. They provide adequate traction and ensure you are protected from rocks and debris.
Staying true to what Vibram provides, you can believe that these shoes are lightweight and won't weigh you down one bit--without sacrifice durability!
These come at a great price and are a great way to get started with barefoot-style running.
MegaGrip for great traction
Balance of stability and flexibility
A bit less breathable than some of the other options from this brand
Like the KMDs, Spyridons have a lot of the classic attributes that are found in common with many of the other FiveFingers shoes – they are super lightweight and the heel-to-toe drop is zero. Also, the shoe contains mid-sole armor plating which effectively protects the foot from some pretty rough terrain, as well as fairly significant impacts. Because of this, they’re an awesome choice for those who venture out on exciting mountain treks, and even for doing parkour in the city.Read more
Like all of Vibram's shoes, these shoes are super flexible and allow for a full range of motion so you can run anywhere.
These shoes are frequently chosen by mud runners because of their good traction and stability in rough terrain. There aren’t many major comfort issues except for those who have wide feet may find them a bit narrow.
The quality and durability of this model tends to be what attracts the obstacle racers and mud runners. They seem to hold up pretty well.
Really lightweight so they won't weigh you down. Users report they can spend miles in these shoes.
As mentioned above, they are comparatively more expensive than others, however, they can be found for a decent price on Amazon.
Rope traction lugs
The V-train shoes are not just good for running, but for everything. These cross training shoes are perfect for versatile athletes looking for a pair of shoes they can use for all of their activities. These shoes are great for running, CrossFit, lifting, and much more.Read more
They are extremely flexible and allow for a full range of motion for your feet and ankles.
As far as comfort and stability, these shoes have it in spades. They are an updated version of the KMD Sport so they have all the same benefits as well as rope traction lugs for additional grip during those rope climbs. Their comfortable and secure fit will ensure you get the most out of your workouts.
These are made of high quality and durable materials, so they are built to last. While we don't recommend taking them out on rocky terrain, they will definitely last if you use them where they are intended to be used.
These shoes wouldn't be great minimalistic shoes if they weren't lightweight. And these are incredibly lightweight and perfect for those of you who need a lightweight pair of shoes that you can take anywhere.
These come at an average price, but can get expensive if you are looking for a specific color pattern.
Stitching placement may be bothersome
Vibram Fivefingers running shoes are all about providing an amazing product with a minimalist design, epitomizing the idea of getting a lot for a little. The Mens V Running Shoe will keep you running while helping orient your stride to a more natural state.Read more
Super flexible and perfect for those of you who need a pair of shoes that allows for full range of motion.
The V Running Shoe is guaranteed to provide a comfortable run. While the V Running Shoe will help you get your movement in line with the standards of barefoot running with its zero point drop it will still be able to provide the support most runners will need.
These shoes are tough and versatile. While some runners had issues with thicker stitch placement, most were very satisfied with the results they got from using the shoe. We found a lot of repeat buyers in our research, which says it all.
This lightweight shoe will make you feel like you are wearing nothing at all, especially with the mesh breathable design to emphasize the barefoot feeling, so get ready to feel the wind on your toes.
While they may be a bit pricier than the cost of your average running shoe, their quality makes it well worth the investment.
Has reflective features
Not as durable as other options on the list
The Vibram SeeYa toe running shoes are designed to be the perfect pair of shoes for minimalistic runners. So, if you love the barefoot feel, then these are the perfect pair of Vibram shoes for you. Not only are these shoes lightweight and flexible, but they are also really breathable and durable--so you can count on them for many miles to come.Read more
The outsole of these shoes has minimal rubber, which ensures that they are really flexible an deliver a "barely there" feel when you are running in them. This allows them to provide your foot with the ability to follow its natural movement with every stride.
These shoes are made of Polyester Fabric and Nylon Mesh. They have a hook and loop closure that allows them to provide a secure and comfortable fit--so you stay comfortable every step of the way.
As far as durability, these shoes are definitely built to last. In fact, they are even machine washable for easy cleaning--although you do need them to air dry and avoid tossing them in the dryer.
At about 6.7 ounces each shoe, the pair together weigh less than a pound. As you can see, they are really lightweight and perfect for minimalist runners.
A little pricey, but pretty standard for new Vibram shoes.
Stretch-mesh panels for breathability and protection from debris
Excellent ground contact
The fit is strange at first if you are not used to this style of shoe
These are extremely light, comfortable, and affordable for a neutral running shoe. Treksports have a simple and quick upper Velcro fastening system for a good, secure fit. The insole is just thick enough to protect the foot from the elements and hard terrain.Read more
These are really flexible shoes and allow for full range of motion. They are perfect for those of you who like to feel every step of the way.
It is recommended to purchase this shoe in a size larger than what you would usually wear. Overall, the general comfort and stability of the Treksport is pretty good.
There have been issues reported by users regarding their durability, stating that they tend to break down quickly. In all, the general reviews regarding this issue seem to be pretty mixed. It may depend on the specific activities that these shoes are worn for, so once again we encourage you to remember that barefoot-style running shoes just aren't as durable as traditional ones and you may need to adjust your running habits accordingly.
Really lightweight and perfect for those of you who don't want your shoes to weight you down one bit.
Especially if purchased on Amazon, the cost of these shoes is really affordable.
10. KMD LS
AEGIS Microbe Shield helps prevents odor and athlete’s foot
Decreased underfoot friction thanks to polyurethane footbeds
Quick lacing system for a custom fit
XS TREK compound for flexibility and stability
The upper could be more breathable
Vibrams can be minimalistic in their design as well as, unfortunately, their color options, but the brand has proven that they can spruce things up with the introduction of the KMD LS Cross Training Shoe. These shoes keep the well loved minimalistic design, but add splashes of much needed colors such as blue and lime green, making them some of the best choice of Vibram FiveFingers running shoes out there for someone looking for style and quality alike. Just a glance at the KMDs and you can tell they’re really quite minimalistic, but in a good way, (5 oz. W, 6.7 oz. M, zero heel-to-toe drop). Here’s what these have going for them that makes them a popular choice for many.Read more
Comfort and Stability
The slightly thicker sole offers a little extra support, without taking too much away from the minimalistic experience that these shoes are meant to provide. Overall the KMDs have excellent reviews with regards to their comfort and stability. There are a few complaints about their lack of breathability.
Quality and Durability
There are mixed reviews, however, some of which suggest that the overall durability of these shoe isn't great. That may be related to the type of activities that they are used for, so remember that avid trail runners may want to stick to traditional running shoes.
They are available with a reasonable price tag.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Flexibility is important because it allows us to avoid injuries and ensures we have a full range of motion. Minimalistic, barefoot shoes need to allow for our natural movement, which includes our full range of motion. We all strike differently when our feet hit the ground, have a unique gait, and have our own shape and type of arch in our feet. Barefoot and natural style running shoes need to be flexible enough to ensure that all of our needs are met while also allowing for different types of runners to be able to use their shoes. So in a nutshell, for these types of shoes flexibility is hugely important. We analyzed each product on our list for flexibility by looking at the materials it's made of as well as scouring over 1500 customer reviews from real-world buyers who have used the shoe and had something to say about it. Based on these things we then assigned the product a score from 0-100 based on how flexible they are, the higher the number the more flexibility a shoe offers the runner using it. Remember however that for some runners starting out with barefoot-style running an extremely flexible shoe might not be the best fit, and they'd be better off choosing a shoe with a mid-range of flexibility until their feet and stride adjust to the more natural motion.
These shoes need to allow you to comfortably feel the ground beneath you as well as allow your body to adjust to your natural running form and personal running technique. When looking at comfort we also considered the thickness and firmness of the shoe as well as how much protection it provides.
The comfort factor is definitely something to think about strongly before buying a pair of barefoot/natural-style running shoes. Keep in mind that the first few times you use these type of shoes you may not find them that comfortable no matter how well the shoe is designed and built, simply because your feet and running gait need time to adjust to the new shoes. Especially if you're a long time runner used to wearing more traditional style shoes, at first the shoes might actually seem really uncomfortable and you might start to wonder if trying the whole barefoot-style running thing was a mistake. But stick with it, and we're confident that after a little while your body will start to revert back to its natural form that has evolved to run without shoes over countless millennia.
The whole concept of minimalist shoes relies on going back to the basics of human nature, that we have been walking and running around the planet for a long time without trainers than with them, and if we just let our bodies remember what it was like in the time before heavily padded and constrictive shoes came along we'll be much better off. So, shoes that provide protection but allow your foot to move in the most natural way possible, are called minimalist shoes. FiveFingers are the most extreme version of them.
When looking at durability we also looked at the material the shoes are made of, what terrain it was meant for, as well as how long they held up for other users.
One of the most important things we look for in a shoe is durability and longevity. First of all, we need to look at where we plan on running and then to choose a shoe. Trail shoes will be much more durable than cross training or road shoes, however, this does not mean that the latter is any less durable or of lower quality. Different environments have different needs, so when we looked at the durability we assessed it according to where the shoes are designed to be worn.
Minimilastic shoes are designed to be lightweight and allow for your natural movement. Here we looked for the most lightweight option and made sure they won't weigh you down, even if they get wet and are carrying extra water weight. You will find that the trail and hiking Vibram shoes are a bit heavier than other options on our list, but that is because they need to provide additional protection against elements such as rocks and rough, uneven trails.
Being light in weight is definitely one of the best features of a natural-style running shoe, and one that is inherent in their design. Minimal padding, cushioning, and support are going to naturally mean less weight, and you can believe us when we say that this will make just about every aspect of running easier and more enjoyable over time. As you transition to this new style of shoe, just remember that it's going to take your body time to adjust to and remember what it was like to wear minimal if any footwear for running, and be kind to yourself by staying off of rocky trails and taking good care of your feet, ankles, and legs. We recommend icing your feet after your first few runs in these type of shoes, and alternating that with hot water. Soaking your feet in ice water for up to 20 minutes, but no longer as it can actually increase swelling past this time frame. After the 20 minutes go straight into a warm/hot water tub which will invite fresh, oxygenated blood to rush through your feet, bringing natural and effective healing to your sweet little extremities.
We know everyone has a different budget, so we wanted to make sure to take this into account while we were making this list by giving you great options at the high, mid, and low price points. While most Vibram shoes come at an average price, there are more advanced and newly released models that cost a good bit more. This is something you can take advantage however. By keeping an eye out for models that have just released a new version you can often times find the old version at a discount as retailers get rid of their old stock to make room for the new model. This doesn’t mean you’re getting an inferior product, and in fact it’s often a wise way to go as you can go online and read reviews for the older model to see what you’re getting into before you buy, whereas the newer model won’t have reviews yet and there could be things about it that are in fact not quite as good as the older model. We’ve partnered with Amazon to bring you any and all models of a shoe that are currently available to make sure you get the best price possible, whether it’s on a shoe that’s been tried and proven, or a new model trying to improve on the old one. Regardless of which model shoe you buy from our list, make sure to consider your own personal budget as well as the features you need for your own situation before making your purchase.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
FiveFinger shoes are about as close to running barefoot as it gets without actually doing it. If you require arch support, or stability features to prevent or support specific foot conditions we recommend sticking with traditional style running shoes that can offer you the gait modification features your unique feet requires.
If you need that extra support and stability, think hard before going for these. But, if you don't need all that extra stuff, then get your feet closer to the ground and go for a pair.
Overall protection for your feet is limited with these shoes by design. If you're planning on heading into rougher terrain, make sure to go with the model that offers more toe and foot protection. Lighter duty models on our list are truly meant for the road and track only.
Other Factors to Consider
If you have been running for some time then you know a little bit about shoe drops and what they mean. If you don't then the easiest way to explain it is by saying that the lower the drop the more minimalistic the shoe. The lower the drop on the shoe also means that your feet are much closer to the ground, giving you the barefoot feeling that many of you love.
However, it is important to keep in mind that zero drop shoes are not for everyone. It completely depends on the type of arches your feet have and whether or not they are compatible with your foot and arch type. Before trying out these shoes you need to make sure your feet can work with the shoes and that they won't be uncomfortable. If you have never worn a pair of minimalistic shoes then you will definitely want to go to the store and try them out beforehand as well, to ensure that they are a good fit for you.
When wearing these shoes you need to make sure the arches on your feet are balanced by both your heels and your toes. If these shoes do that for you then they will be stable, supportive, and able to help you maintain your ideal body posture. These zero drop shoes are perfect for some runners, and if you already know you love barefoot running then they will definitely be a great foot--however, just remember to give them a try before you try if you can.
As you have seen from our list of best Vibram FiveFingers running shoes review, you will find that they are extremely minimalistic, lightweight, and even durable. While they aren't as bulky and may not look as protective as other running shoes, they definitely are. Not only are they protective, but they will ensure that you stay comfortable throughout every step of the way.
On top of being lightweight, these running shoes are designed with individual pockets for each of your toes. This allows you to get the barefoot running feeling without having to actually run barefoot. These individual pockets allow your toes to splay naturally so you can get the most of your run--and toe running shoes are really the only minimalistic shoes that allow you to get a true barefoot run feel. So, not only will these shoes fit like a glove, but they will protect you against the elements and ensure that you don't develop any chafing or blisters while you are out on the road or the trails. Just make sure you get the right pair of shoes for where you want to run.
The terrain you will be running on is another really important factor you will need to consider when choosing a pair of Vibram running shoes. Sure, the ones on our list are all toe running shoes designed to help you get the perfect barefoot run, but that doesn't mean you can take all of then absolutely anywhere. Some shoes are designed for trails, other for road running, and others can be more versatile and used for both. If you know you will be running on a particular terrain then just make sure that you are buying shoes designed for the terrain you are running on--and remember, you can always get more than one pair.
Since terrain plays a role in which pair of shoes you should get, we also want to take a minute to mention that there are also cross-training shoes on our list. While these won't be a great solution for trail and road running, you can use them in the gym and other indoor activities. Also, keep in mind that the overall durability and comfort of the shoe depends specifically on the terrain it was designed to be on. If you want to get the most out of your shoes then just make sure to consider exactly where you plan on using your shoes.
Frequently Asked Questions
FiveFinger running shoes, when worn, should be feeling like a glove on your foot. The best judge of size is your own comfort level, every person has a different foot shape and structure. However, Vibram has a size chart you can refer to if you want to find out what your FiveFingers running shoes.
Honestly, we actually do not recommend that you wear Vibram FiveFingers running shoes during the winter or when it is really cold and wet outside. This is because while they offer protection and are very durable, that doesn't mean that they can protect you against slipping and possible injury. So, if you plan to run outside during the winter, we recommend that you check out some minimalist shoes that provide more protection and traction then these do.
If you are going to wear socks, make sure to pick the right socks, ones with individual pockets for your toes. Socks help absorbing sweat, provide warmth and can reduce friction that generates blisters. Wearing socks is a personal preference. However, it is important to remember that these shoes aren't designed to need socks. If you want to wear socks that is purely a personal decision, but if you decide to wear them just make sure that you size accordingly as well.
We honestly cannot answer this question with a yes or a no answer because it really isn't that simple. For some of you, these shoes may actually be the solution for all of your problems because they are the type of shoes your feet need; on the other hand, these shoes may exacerbate all of these problems--or even make them worst--for many of you. Unfortunately, since we don't know your foot type or what your specific needs are we can't really tell you if you can or can't wear these shoes. We strongly recommend that you check in with your doctor before making a final decision and get to know what type of your foot needs as well as what type of shoe you actually need.