The Best Vibram FiveFingers Running Shoes Reviewed

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There are a lot of skeptics when it comes to the minimalist design of Vibram Fivefingers running shoes, which is fair when you compare what they seem to provide with a common running shoe. But if you are looking for they give runners a more natural running experience we can assure you that there are few who can better provide. Many runners already know that“the bigger the better” isn’t the mentality for running shoes, so why not try as little as possible?

Designed to be lightweight, breathable, and supportive without being restrictive, Vibrams Fivefingers are almost a second skin for the runners feet. Natural running isn’t an easy thing to acclimate to if you are accustomed to the traditional running shoes. But if you aren’t afraid to challenge yourself then you will soon find Vibram’s minimalistic running experience to be an exciting change; with grip and control over the terrain like you have never experienced.

Last Updated: June 14, 2018
By Richard Haberkost:

An excellent selection of unique high performing running shoes, we regularly review and keep expanding your choice of a shoe from this high-quality brand. In our review criteria, we share the best features to look for when selecting this style of shoe. The FAQs sections cover a range of interesting questions with very good advisory answers.

SeeYa LS
  • SeeYa LS
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Soft TPU midsole
  • Price: See Here
KSO EVO
  • KSO EVO
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • XS TREK stability tech
  • Price: See Here
Vibram El-x
  • Vibram El-x
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Easy on/off design
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Vibram FiveFingers Running Shoes


1. Vibram FiveFingers SeeYa LS

SeeYas are a tiny bit heavier than the KSO EVOs, but they still maintain their deserved place in the ultra-minimalist category of shoes. If you’re ready to hit the streets and you’re craving that near-barefoot, highly natural running feel, go for the SeeYas. Their pros are numerous:
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Comfort / Stability

The TPU midsole gives these shoe a more natural and flexible running experience, which if that is what you desire, making them a comfortable pair of FiveFingers shoes with minimal mass. Some reviews say that the toes tend to be a bit tight, making them a little uncomfortable to run in. Like any shoes that you buy, it is always a good idea to try them on before making your purchase, especially if you plan on ordering the online.

Quality / Durability

They do, however, have some reviews which suggest that the durability was disappointing to some.

Cost

When shopping around, you will find that the price of these shoes varies a lot. They are available on Amazon for a decent price.
Pros
  • Breathable mesh upper for cool and dry feet
  • Great ground feel
  • Polyurethane insole protects foot for long runs
  • Seamless collar reduces irritation and protects against debris
  • Soft TPU midsole reduces weight and thickness for that natural, flexible running feel
Cons
  • Tight on toes


2. Vibram FiveFingers KSO EVO

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. These are one of the best Vibram FiveFingers running shoes because they allow the foot to move naturally while still providing stability and comfort.
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Comfort / Stability

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.

Quality / Durability

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, the bottoms wearing thin.

Cost

Pros
  • Breathable upper
  • Great traction for 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
Cons
  • Takes some time getting used to the way the toes feel


3. Vibram El-x

As the name implies, 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 light weight 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.
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Comfort / Stability

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. With minimalistic type shoes in general, they are not known for being filled with a lot of cushion.

Quality / Durability

Maybe having something to do with the minimal design and construction of the shoes, they seem to have some issues with durability and longevity.

Cost

The price tag on the EL-x widely varies, depending on wear you find them. The are usually able to be found at a reasonably decent price on Amazon.
Pros
  • Close-to-barefoot feel
  • Easy on, easy off
  • One of Vibram’s thinnest soles for great feedback
  • Simple and comfortable, a standard Vibram running shoe
Cons
  • The thin material of the sole may wear more quickly than some others over rougher terrain

Vibram Men's KSO-M Trail Runner

Vibram Men's KSO-M Trail Runner
This new shoe will prevent entry by grit or gravel into the shoe when you are on a trail with lots of loose debris.

These are a new shoe with high resistance against abrasion due to being constructed from stretchy polyamide in combination with a mesh which gives stretch and breathability.

FIT is impressive and achieved via an innovative single hook and closure loop.

The XS trek durable rubber soles ensure superb surface grip.

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Comfort/Stability

Stability in hand with comfort is assured through the built-in shaft which measures in from the arch at 2.12"

The durable velcro closure is operated conveniently via a loop and hook closure system.

You're going to get a serious reliable grip even on loose gritty trail surfaces with the high performing XS trek sole.


Quality/Durability

The stretchy upper is very resistive to abrasion and the overall construction for the shoe is a combination of synthetic materials/textiles. The shoe is fitted with a robust grippy rubber sole and these shoes can be put through a washing machine.

Cost
Pricey and uniquely very good.
Pros

Durable grippy sole for loose and solid trail surfaces

The shoe prevents the entry of grit

Stretchy upper

Easy loop/hook closure

Breathability

Protective

Comfortable

Cons

Just for trails

4. Vibram FiveFingers Treksport

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. What’s more?
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Comfort / Stability

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.

Quality / Durability

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. I may depend on the specific activities that these shoes are worn for.

Cost

Especially if purchased on Amazon, the cost of these shoes is really affordable.
Pros
  • Stretch-mesh panels for breathability and protection from debris
  • comfortable
  • Excellent ground contact
  • Super lightweight
Cons
  • The fit is strange at first, if you are not used to these

5. Vibram FiveFingers Spyridon

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 hits 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 parkour in the city.
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Comfort / Stability

These shoes are frequently chosen by mud runners because of their good traction and stability in rough terrain. There aren’t many major comfortability issues except for those who have wide feet.

Quality / Durability

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.

Cost

As mentioned above, they are comparatively more expensive than others, however they can be found for a decent price on Amazon.
Pros
  • Flexible
  • Protective
  • MegaGrip for great traction
  • Balance of stability and flexibility
Cons
  • A bit less breathable than some of the others from this brand

6. Vibram FiveFingers KMD LS

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 FiveFingers cross training shoes have going for them that makes them a popular choice for many:
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Comfort / 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 / Durability

There are mixed reviews, however there are some which suggest that the overall durability if these shoe doesn’t go for very long. That may be related to the type of activities that they are used for.

Cost

They are available with a reasonable price tag.
Pros
  • AEGIS Microbe Shield 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
Cons
  • The upper could be a little more breathable

9. Vibram Women's Komodo Sport Ls

We know that the strength of minimalist shoes is something that people will be skeptical about but here we have something on this list to refute all that. The Vibram Women’s Komodo Sport Ls really is a dependable piece of running equipment. This tough shoe is not only reliable but also convenient, washing without hassle and folding for easy transportation.
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Comfort/ Stability
The Komodo Sport Ls has an incredible amount of stability and natural movement, which is only made available through its minimalist design. The Komodo Sport Ls is a supportive shoe that even some runners noted that it reduced the amount of mid- and post-run pain they experienced. The Komodo Sport Ls also makes it incredibly easy to grip the trail with its wide open toe box design.
Quality/ Durability
Many runners return to the Vibram brand again and again for the quality they provide and the Komodo Sport Ls brings that very same level of quality. There are little to no reports of durability issue with this particular model.
Cost
The Vibram Fivefingers Komodo Sport Ls is a quality product on this list with a cost that is comparable to similar products.
Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Eliminates foot pain
  • Supportive 
  • Allow for natural movement
  • Easy transport 
  • Better trail grip
  • Prevents unnecessary strain
  • Washes well
Cons
  • May be difficult to put on

10. Vibram Men's V Running Shoe

The Vibram Fivefingers’ 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.
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Comfort/Stability

The V Running Shoe is guaranteed to provide a comfortable run. This lightweight shoe will feel like you are wearing nothing at all, especially with the mesh breathable design to emphasize the barefoot feeling. While the Mens 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.

Quality/ Durability
The Men’s V Running Shoe is one is a tough and versatile shoe in the Fivefinger line. While some runners had issues with thicker stitch placement, most were very satisfied with the results they felt. Many of the Men’s V Running Shoe proponents are returning Vibram Fivefinger wearers.

Cost
The Mens V Running Shoe may be a bit pricier than the cost of your average running shoe. However the quality you will revive it easily worth the price you pay.
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Minimalist protection
  • Helps stride
  • Very breathable 
Cons
  • Stitching placement may be bothersome

11. Vibram Women's Bikila EVO Road Running Shoe

The Bikila EVO is a strong contender on this list. The Bikila’s are well designed for hitting the road. With extra padding on the sole to help you absorb the shock of your newly oriented stride. The special mesh lining also means with the Bikilia EVO that you wont have to worry about finding appropriate socks, you can simply put on your shoes and go.
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Comfort/Stability
Vibram Fivefingers offers shoes that often have buyers skeptical about the comfort level. The Bikilia not only offers padding and protection but many runners report that these shoes eased the pain of their shin splints and plantar fasciitis. The Bikilia EVO is also designed to limit skin irritation and blisters caused by running for long periods.

Quality/ Durability
The Bikilia EVO come from a reliable brand and their quality is insured by this. They are a durable flexible shoe form fitted to the foot. A wearer might run into issues with wear if these shoes are used on surfaces other than intended.

Cost
The Bikilia EVO is priced similarly to other products from Vibram, which means you will receive a reliable product for a comparable price.
Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Ease of post run stiffness
  • Helps with orthopedic issues
  • Breaths well
  • Deals well with different terrain
  • Flexiable
  • Little to no skin irritation or blistering
Cons
  • Sole may be too thin

 

Our ancestors could run for miles and miles without thick-soled, clunky and heavy shoes, adorned with the latest in style and now, far off in the future, we’re reaching back to learn from them. Vibram FiveFingers running shoes are some of the best minimalistic, near-barefoot shoes that are currently available on the market.

They’re stylish, sleek, true-to-fit, and backed up with breathable fabrics, durable yet extremely flexible soles, and zero-drop, lightweight features. Whether you’re looking to hit the trails with lightweight yet protective and high-traction hiking shoes, climbing rocks, where the feel of the surface is imperative, or maybe even navigating city buildings for parkour, the flexibility and high-grip will help.

Or maybe, you just want to take a stroll through different terrains such as snow, mud, dirt, and sand, Vibram has a shoe that you may find suitable for each of your specific needs.


The Criteria We Used For Our Evaluation Of The Best FiveFingers Shoes

The barefoot running boom that started a bit more than a decade ago has been growing with the years with Nike, Brooks and other major shoe manufacturers jumped in with both feet to design the best running shoes. It was Vibram, in 2006, the company that brought up the concept of minimalist running when they launched the FiveFingers shoes.

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. 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.

To understand more about Vibram FiveFingers shoes and barefoot running we prepared the following guide to help you understand more about the topic. If you feel FiveFingers are for you, we can help you to find the perfect pair for you showing you everything you should know about them.

 

What are FiveFingers running shoes

They are those very light running shoes designed with individual pockets for each of your toes. They are designed to provide a barefoot experience while still providing protection from the terrain you run over. FiveFingers are designed with thin and flexible soles with zero drops from heel to toe. If you buy the right pair, they will fit like gloves to your foot, allowing a better range of motion while still protecting you from the road.
fivefingers-legs

Minimalist running

Vibram claims that wearing their FiveFingers running shoes can make you healthier happier and more connected to your body. However, the brand also says that FiveFingers technology is only one alternative from the multiple out there that you can choose from. Vibram puts a lot of weight on how is necessary for you to make that change in the way you run.
The science behind the minimalist run is that a Midfoot Strike, -which is when you land on the ball of the foot, landing below the hip, and the heel may or may not brush the ground- reduces the force of the impact using your body as a natural absorber of it, is more efficient and healthier than a Heel Strike and a Forefoot Strike -both, claimed to be caused by using regular running shoes-.

fivefingers-strikeLearn the technique

Barefoot running is a technique that you need to develop with time, and that it may or may not work for you. We all run in different ways, going barefoot running requires training to do it successfully. If you are someone who suffers plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, flat feet, bunions or hammertoes, you will need to check your doctor first before trying barefoot running.

There is a whole technique you’ll need to develop with time and patience. What is recommended is to acclimate your feet first, by just standing and doing minimal workout with your FiveFingers shoes, then move to short distance runs on a soft surface; then moving into a repetition of the mechanics of the barefoot running, like landing on your midfoot, not overstriding, and keeping your foot parallel to the ground; finally what is recommended is to gradually increase the distance of your runs and alternate, every time for less time, between your FiveFingers shoes and your old running shoes.

 

Other Important Factors To Consider When Selecting Vibram FiveFingers shoes

There are some general recommendations that can help you decide which Vibram FiveFingers running shoes to buy.

 

Level of minimal heel-to-toe drop

The arches on your feet should be balanced by your heels and your toes, creating the stability that gives you an ideal body posture. So look for the kind of show that makes you feel stable and comfortable at the same time.

fivefingers-toes

Flexibility

Try to get the most flexibility from your shoe, having a greater range of mobility is very important to avoid injuries and have a more efficient barefoot run.

fivefingers-flexibllity

Toe box 

Go for a comfortable wide toe box, it helps you to use all of your toes gaining stability, balance and also propulsion (power).fivefingers-snow

The right thickness

The more you feel the ground in which you are running on, the more your body learns to adjust to your natural running form and personal running technique. The thinner the and firmer the shoe, the more ground feel. You also need to have in mind that sometimes, depending on the surface you run over, you need more protection for your feet. You create your personal balance between grand feel and protection needed.

fivefingers-terrain

FAQ

In order to help you figure out if these shoes are for, and finding the right pair, we have gathered some frequently asked questions that others asked. Hopefully, these will help ease the search.

Q: How do I get the right FiveFingers fit?

A: 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.

Q: How long do FiveFingers running shoes usually last?

A: A Vibram Fivefinger should last as long as any other shoe. But like most shoes, Fivefingers’ longevity is all in how you use them. Making sure to pick a pair suited for the terrain you will be running on will extend the life of your shoe, and many runners will pick up different pairs for the different types of running they will be doing that day.

Q: Is there a difference between the man and woman models?

A: The women’s shoes are designed to be shorter and more narrow and may be suited for differently sized feet. The size conversion may also be a bit tricky at times so make sure to be attentive if ordering online.

Q: Can I run on my FiveFingers shoes during the winter?

A: We do not recommend wearing FiveFingers running shoes in very cold conditions. It is possible for you to slip in the ice or get frostbite. If you are planning to run during the winter, we recommend you to get other minimalist shoes with a better protection from cold conditions.

Q: Should I wear socks with my FiveFingers running shoes?

A: 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.

Q: If I suffer from plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, flat feet, bunions, hammertoes or/and the conditions, can I wear Vibram FiveFingers running shoes?

A: We strongly recommend you to check with your doctor first before trying any barefoot running shoes.

As a final recommendation, remember to start gradually training your body to your new Vibram FiveFingers running shoes. The muscles in your feet, calves, and legs need to get used to the new way of running. If you don’t do it correctly, you can injure yourself very early in the process. We recommend you follow the guides for barefoot running and consult with an expert in your nearest shop before you get your brand new pair of FiveFingers.

Vibram FiveFingers running shoes aren’t just for anyone. They’ve got an immediately recognizable look with the five-finger design that separates the toes for a unique running experience. By the hundreds, runners are turning to more minimalistic designs to challenge themselves, slice seconds off their race times, and to tap into that freedom-filled barefoot feel while still keeping the foot protected from rough terrain and debris.

If you’re tired of heavy shoes with fat heels and excessive support – so much support you’re more aware of what you’re wearing than the ground you’re running on – Vibram FiveFingers will really improve your running experience. According to many runners, they’ll drastically change it for the better.

Whereas minimalistic shoes are sometimes mistaken as strictly running or training shoes, Vibram has brought the minimalistic style to the trails, mountain climbing, and parkour as well. You better believe it: lightweight shoes aren’t just for sprinters anymore.

fivefingers-sole


Here are some sources we used while conducting our research:

We utilize many different resources while trying to provide the best information to our readers. Some are clinical sources, some are brand specs provided by manufacturers, and some sources are even other sites which may specialize in particular information which is relative to our subject.

Sources

  1. Runner's World, Four Features of an Ideal Minimalist Running Shoe, Running enthusiast website, Jan 01, 1970
  2. The Washington Post, Is barefoot running better for you? , Online news publication, May 09, 2014
  3. Built Lean, Barefoot Running Research: Why You Should Run Barefoot, Online fitness publication, Feb 20, 2016
  4. Vibram, FiveFingers Education Page, Manufacturers site,
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