Vibram FiveFingers provides the ultimate minimalist shoe experience with their unique toe-shoe design. Their long history of producing shoes with unbeatable (and unbelievable) traction has made the brand famous across the globe. Now, technical trail runners can enjoy the same minimalist experience as road runners with the release of the Vibram FiveFingers V-Trail.
The V-Trail incorporates a variety of impressive features including Next Generation Spyridon MR / Elite, multi-directional lugs, MegaGrip Compound, and 3D Cocoon Mesh technology.
How did the Vibram FiveFingers V-Trail perform on my local technical trails? Read my in-depth, wear-tested review below to find out how my minimalist trail running experience really was!
The outsole is also covered in multi-directional lugs which also contribute to the extreme traction of these shoes. Climbing rocks and running up steep sections of trail posed no challenge while wearing the V-Trail.
The Vibram 3D Cocoon technology is molded into the outsole to help provide protection from rocks and debris. Although I definitely knew there was something between my foot and the ground, I am not so confident that after the sole begins to wear a bit that debris would be stopped by the rubber.
I found running in these to be a neat experience. I felt like I was running barefoot. However, afterward, I also felt like I had been running barefoot. My feet were definitely experiencing some discomfort after running in these shoes, so it is a feeling that you need to get used to overtime.
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The sock lining upper, however, is a bit of a challenge to get on. Even at the proper size for my foot, it took me over 5 minutes to get the shoes on, and then I still had to arrange my toes so they went into their appropriate slots. The toes, although allowing incredible freedom of movement, are very long, and almost ill-fitting.
In terms of other support, like cushioning, it is non-existent in this shoe. This is to be expected since it is a minimalist/barefoot shoe. So, if you are a runner that enjoys a little more underfoot cushioning, this is definitely not the shoe for you.
With that in mind, this shoe is pretty painful to run in on the road (I tried!). Between the lack of cushioning and the numerous lugs, I do not recommend anything but technical trails for wearers of this shoe.
The outsole of the shoe also provides superior traction because it is covered in lugs. These help not only to increase the traction of the shoe, but also to protect your feet from rocks and other debris, like branches.
The MegaGrip rubber outsole of the V-Trail is incredibly flexible. This was a little surprising considering the number of lugs and the durability of the outsole. However, the flexibility of this part of the shoe is what truly allows it to mimic the feeling of barefoot running.
If you are looking for ankle stability, however, keep looking for a different shoe. The V-Trail does not provide any type of support for your ankles. This is appropriate, though, since it is minimalist/barefoot shoe. Technical trail runners with superior form will benefit the most from wearing the V-Trail.
A zero drop shoe promotes the most natural running form, according to running gait experts. However, your running form must be appropriate for such a low-drop shoe, or else you risk injury.
- MegaGrip Outsole
- All-over lugs
- Sock-like upper
- Barefoot feeling
- Rock Protection
If you are searching for a technical trail shoe that really makes you feel one with the trail (trust me, you will feel every single part of the trail underfoot), then give the V-Trail a try. You will have a sure-footed run on every trail you tackle.