The Best Vibram FiveFingers Running Shoes Reviewed
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.
- SeeYa LS
- Soft TPU midsole
- KSO EVO
- XS TREK stability tech
- Vibram El-x
- Easy on/off design
10 Best Vibram FiveFingers Running Shoes
1. Vibram FiveFingers SeeYa LS
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.
When shopping around, you will find that the price of these shoes varies a lot. They are available on Amazon for a decent price.
2. Vibram FiveFingers KSO EVO
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.
3. Vibram El-x
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.
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.
Vibram Men's KSO-M Trail Runner
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.
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.
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.
Pricey and uniquely very good.
Durable grippy sole for loose and solid trail surfaces
The shoe prevents the entry of grit
Easy loop/hook closure
Just for trails
4. Vibram FiveFingers Treksport
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.
Especially if purchased on Amazon, the cost of these shoes is really affordable.
5. Vibram FiveFingers Spyridon
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.
As mentioned above, they are comparatively more expensive than others, however they can be found for a decent price on Amazon.
6. Vibram FiveFingers KMD LS
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.
They are available with a reasonable price tag.
9. Vibram Women's Komodo Sport Ls
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.
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.
The Vibram Fivefingers Komodo Sport Ls is a quality product on this list with a cost that is comparable to similar products.
- Eliminates foot pain
- Allow for natural movement
- Easy transport
- Better trail grip
- Prevents unnecessary strain
- Washes well
- May be difficult to put on
10. Vibram Men's V Running Shoe
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.
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.
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.
- Minimalist protection
- Helps stride
- Very breathable
- Stitching placement may be bothersome
11. Vibram Women's Bikila EVO Road Running Shoe
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.
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.
The Bikilia EVO is priced similarly to other products from Vibram, which means you will receive a reliable product for a comparable price.
- Ease of post run stiffness
- Helps with orthopedic issues
- Breaths well
- Deals well with different terrain
- Little to no skin irritation or blistering
- 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.
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-.
Learn 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.
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.
Go for a comfortable wide toe box, it helps you to use all of your toes gaining stability, balance and also propulsion (power).
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.
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.
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.
- Four Features of an Ideal Minimalist Running Shoe, Running enthusiast website, Jan 01, 1970 ,
- Is barefoot running better for you? , Online news publication, May 09, 2014 ,
- Barefoot Running Research: Why You Should Run Barefoot, Online fitness publication, Feb 20, 2016 ,
- FiveFingers Education Page, Manufacturers site, ,