Vibram FiveFingers Treksport Review Facts
The Treksport continues the natural progression of Vibram’s line of barefoot running shoes. This shoe takes what runners loved about the KSO and KSO Trek and makes some subtle improvements. These are truly a multisport offering that goes beyond the features of your typical running shoe. A low profile and versatile traction make it an attractive option for cross-training at the gym or just wearing around town. Vibram certainly has another potential hit on its hands with the Treksport. With a flexible upper, light cushioning, and innovative strap system, the Treksport will please a large portion of the barefoot running shoe community.
The outsole of the Treksport is designed to be rugged enough to handle a variety of terrain while still maintaining the lightweight balance of a barefoot shoe
. Compared to the original Bikila
shoes, the outsole will feel much more rigid. This will be a good thing for those who like the thickness and rigidity of a traditional outsole. Experienced barefoot runners may seek out a little more flexibility. The outsoles are comprised of 4mm of Vibram's famous TC-1 rubber. The outsole lugs aren't that pronounced, but they will help with traction. The durability of the outsole shouldn't be a concern even for those off-road runners or hikers.
The midsole of the Treksport has more of an hourglass shape than some of the other Vibram shoes. Runners will notice this shape and it may alter the natural stride of some. The Treksport boasts 4 mm of EVA rubber to cushion the midsole of the shoe. This should give most runners just enough cushioning to be protected from larger rocks and roots that they may encounter on their run. This narrow midfoot helps to maintain the low weight of the shoe but some runners may wish for some added support and protection along the midsole of the shoe.
The upper is really where the Treksport shines the most. When looking at the best shoes Vibram offers
you'll see a trend with comfortable uppers. When designing a shoe to be worn without socks, it's vital to create the most comfortable uppers imaginable. Vibram uses a new technology in the uppers that it calls "Coconut Active Carbon". This material is extremely soft and flexible. Runners should experience no discomfort with this material rubbing against the toes and ankles. Along the toe pockets, Vibram employs a mesh material that aids in breathability and odor resistance as well. While this material is comfortable, it may not be the most durable material that Vibram has used. Some runners have complained of premature wear and tear along the toes of the shoes. The other positive thing about the uppers is the anti-microbial coating found throughout that will limit odor build-up.
Vibram tries its best to keep its shoes as lightweight as possible. When looking at some of the lightest running shoes
on the market, Vibrams are often mentioned. The weight of these shoes comes in at about 12.4 ounces for a pair of men's size 10 shoes. This is among the lightest shoes that Vibram offers. Runners will have no concerns about the weight of the Treksport. With such a lightweight design, runners will forget that they've even packed these shoes at all! Compared to traditional running shoes, these will feel much lighter on the foot.
Vibram attempts to make their shoes as breathable as possible. Barefoot running shoes
need to breathe in order to avoid sweat build-up and moisture. The uppers of these shoes use "Coconut Active Carbon" technology that ensures that the foot can breathe through every mile. The downside to this is that these shoes will not perform as well in colder climates. Air will have no trouble passing through the upper material. Runners in warm climates will welcome this feature, but those in colder climates may want to look for an alternative such as the Vibram Bikila EVO
. The toe pockets, in particular, will be susceptible to the cold and moisture that may come in.
Comfort shouldn't be an issue with these shoes. Their minimal construction makes them feel light and comfortable on the foot. The upper material feels great against the skin and helps to minimize chafing and blisters. These shoes will feel comfortable on long urban hikes, lifting weights in the gym, or even just when running errands around town. The low profile and innovative strap system make the foot feel secure and comfortable wherever you go. This comfort stacks up nicely to the competition of nearly any other barefoot shoe
. Runners will enjoy every comfortable step that they take when wearing the Treksport shoe.
Vibram truly does stand out from the competition when it comes to style. For those looking to blend in, the Treksport comes in subdued colors of black and grey. With no laces and a clever velcro strap, these shoes do look different than the average running shoe. Most people either love or hate Vibram's toe pocket design. Whatever your opinion is on it, the look has become a signature style for Vibram and you'll find similar style across their whole line of shoes. These don't come in as many bright colors as some of the Vibram's other shoes. But these shoes will not look out of place in most social situations. The subtle colors can make these a versatile option for minimal travel shoes as well.
Durability shouldn't be an issue with the rugged outsole of the Treksport. With enough thick rubber, there likely won't be any puncturing of holes developing anytime soon. Where runners should take precaution is with the upper material of this shoe. Some runners have complained about particular wear and tear where the upper material of the big toe meets the outsole. For this reason, keeping to more forgiving terrain would be a wise idea. The daily grind of trail running can really take its toll on a shoe. Those looking for a dedicated trail running shoe
would be better served looking elsewhere.
The outsole and midsole of the Treksport should offer just enough protection to get through most terrains. Barefoot shoes don't typically rely on heavy support or cushioning to protect the foot. Barefoot runners love to feel the connection to the running surface and the Treksport allows this. Soft trails shouldn't be a huge problem for these shoes but it'd be wise to avoid more treacherous terrain where the rocks get larger and sharper. Some larger rocks will be felt through the outsole of this shoe and inexperienced barefoot runners should take proper precaution. Those looking for more protection in their shoe may want to search for a more dedicated trail shoe with a sturdier construction.
Barefoot shoes tend to be some of the most responsive shoes you can wear. Only wearing no shoes at all will feel more responsive. The Treksport allows the runner to truly appreciate all of the subtleties of their running surface. Sprints and short track workouts will feel even more pleasant due to the responsiveness of the Treksport. Even cross-training athletes will feel the benefit on hikes, in the gym, or playing a variety of sports while wearing the Treksport. The versatility on display with this shoe is really made possible by its responsiveness. Unlike heavier shoes, the Treksport will be able to detect even the most subtle movements within the shoe and respond accordingly.
Most barefoot shoes don't offer as much support as traditional running shoes do. This shouldn't be a problem for experienced barefoot runners. However, those who are new to barefoot running may want to ease into these shoes. It's always a good idea to alternate between a barefoot and more traditional running shoe until the muscles in the foot are properly adapted. Having said that, the midsole support offered by the Treksport will be enough to get through most runs. Runners who are carrying a bit more weight may want to look for a shoe that is better designed with support in mind. There are a host of stability shoes
that offer enough support and stability for any type of runner. But those looking for minimal support will be very pleased with the Treksport.
The Treksport shoes aren't designed for all types of terrain. The minimal lugs on the outsole of the shoe will hold up just fine on the slippery grass or minimal mud. But these shoes are not designed with the most rugged trail runs in mind. If you're looking for an all-terrain shoe you'll have to look elsewhere. Runners who often run through snow or over icy patches should also find a shoe better suited for the elements. The upper of the Treksport offers enough support to keep the foot in place, but it will still have issues getting through particularly cold or wet terrain.
Vibram prices their products competitively within the barefoot shoe market. This is a category that they nearly created on their own so they do have a bit more say than other brands. Deals can be had on Vibram products but the Treksport does feature quite a bit of technology that commands an appropriate price tag. The average runner may find this price too be too high considering the minimal construction and lightweight design. But those who are true barefoot enthusiasts know that the extra price is worth it for such thoughtfully crafted footwear.
The lugs found on the Treksport's outsole aren't the largest, most rugged that you'll find on the market. The outsole traction is about average for the barefoot category. Slick terrain shouldn't be a major issue for these shoes but they certainly aren't all-terrain shoes. The traction wouldn't be enough to feel comfortable running over icy pavement for prolonged stretches of time. Especially for those who are new to barefoot running, it'll take some time to get a handle on what types of terrain are best suited for the traction of the Treksport. Most of the common running surfaces
will be fine, but runners should still take proper precaution.
Like most of Vibram's barefoot shoes, the Treksport is extremely flexible. In fact, its flexibility would stand up well to some of the most minimal shoes
on the market today. Runners should be able to flex their toes up and down inside the shoe in order to gain the optimal connection with the ground. That flexibility will prove to be particularly useful when cross-training or using these shoes at the gym. Compared to traditional running shoes, the Treksport will offer extreme flexibility. The material of the upper of the shoe is particularly flexible and accommodating to all movements of the foot.
These shoes are not marketed as stability shoes. There are much better options out there for runners who are looking for a shoe that offers more stability
. The foot will be kept in place by the velcro strap system but there is still an opportunity for the foot to naturally splay out in its stride. There aren't excessive stability or motion control materials in the midsole to alter the stride of the runner. This is one of the things that makes barefoot running shoes so successful and the Treksport continues this tradition.
The Vibram Fivefingers Treksport offers a 0 mm heel-to-toe drop. This will allow the foot to naturally splay out the way it was intended to. With less material in the heel, the runner will feel the ultimate connection to the road or trail. Many of Vibram's shoes offer this 0 drop and they stack up well against some of the best 0 drop offerings
from other brands as well. Runners who are not used to this minimal drop may have a short learning curve before they are truly comfortable. Be sure to ease into the Treksport if you're not as familiar with this style of running.
Key Features of the Vibram Fivefingers Treksport
Key Features of the Vibram Fivefingers Treksport
- Anti-microbial coating
- Velcro stap closure
- Comfortable uppers
- 0 drop construction
- Highly breathable design
- Versatile for cross-training
- Very responsive
The Vibram Fivefingers Treksport is a welcome addition to the Vibram family. Whether you're an experienced barefoot runner or totally new to the sport, you'll enjoy the features offered by this shoe. The subtle elements of style and versatility of the shoe make it perfect for travel, the gym, or just wearing around town when you want something minimal. Vibram has done an amazing job of iterating on their products to continually build upon what works and change what doesn't. While this isn't the perfect trail or all-weather shoe, it offers a very compelling package that will appeal to a wide audience of barefoot runners.