Mar 17, 2010 at 7:09 pm #1256614
@halpottsLocale: Middle Tennessee
Vibram Five Fingers shoes (?) have just come to my attention and apparently they have been around for a few years now. They are totally strange and I have never seem anything quite like them before. Has anyone tried these? What do you use them for? Do you like them?Mar 17, 2010 at 8:20 pm #1587725
@kwersalLocale: Western Colorado
If you get a pair, be prepared to get into a lot of conversations about them!
I first ran across them years ago, probably at least 8 or 9 years ago, was very intrigued, but didn't have the cash, then didn't ever see them again until very recently. So, I bought a pair and the weather finally got warm enough to wear them outside on a short hike, maybe 3-4 miles. I found them very comfortable and really like the almost-barefoot feel of them. You can feel the surface you are walking on, but not painfully. I may try running with them, but I am more interested in trying them for hiking on trail… We'll see when the weather gets warmer.Mar 17, 2010 at 8:21 pm #1587727
@mikeyLocale: new england
This has been brought up a couple of times before, but I'm a big fan of them! I'm still currently on my first pair of KSO's that i got at least a year and a half ago. at first i got them for kayaking, but soon discovered how much i like to run in them, and within the last year took to hiking with them. They take some time getting used to, and you have to kind of reteach yourself how to walk and run, but once that is done, i love mine. I'm actually planning on getting a pair of the new treks for my thru hike of the CT trail this summer, but need to see the feasibility of this. In my KSO's I've day hiked 17 miles on really rocky terrain and didnt have a problem but i haven't tried 20+ miles day after day with a 20 pound pack.I also recommend picking up some injini socks for hiking.
mike!Mar 17, 2010 at 8:38 pm #1587732
@junctionLocale: Atlanta, GA
Vibram FF is releasing new models in June of this year I believe. The Bikila is going to be added to my gear list. Looks very promising.
ETA – Forgot to add… Vibram FF will also be releasing models with shoe strings. Might be sold in the European market only though. I'm sure we have people who can help get them to the US if need be.Mar 17, 2010 at 10:21 pm #1587759
Do you wear socks in these while hiking? Or do they work okay barefoot inside? It seems like you might get some chaffing without socks. I'm interested in giving the KSO's or Bikila's a try. 5-6oz per shoe is amazing.Mar 17, 2010 at 11:25 pm #1587773
@skopeoLocale: British Columbia
…Mar 17, 2010 at 11:33 pm #1587775
Hey Dan, I don't wear socks in mine when I take em out for a jog. However, for some reason, the stitching was poor on my left one, and there was a lil seam that was raised more than the rest, by the ball of my foot. Because you land with a front to midfoot strike when running in these, that seam was felt with every step, and eventually turned into a blister. This wasn't a problem with my right one, and most likely just a quality control issue. I ultimately sanded the seam down Most people don't wear socks in these. The inside are lined with a suede, chamois type material, and is soft on skinMar 17, 2010 at 11:47 pm #1587777
Thanks for the sock info. I'm going to try a pair of these on next time I'm near a shop that sells them.Mar 18, 2010 at 7:05 am #1587822
I've really wanted to like these, bought two pair to try to make them work, but, alas, they just don't fit my feet. I have a short and curly little toe, it simply won't 'stay in' its slot. It seems to me that you need longer, straighter toes for these.Mar 18, 2010 at 8:38 am #1587839
You could use the Injini 'toed' socks with these.Mar 18, 2010 at 9:05 am #1587846
For the past year I have done most of my hiking/backpacking(30lb) in VFF Treks. The extra grip of the treks really does make a difference on steeper terrain. The VFF designed for running look promissing.
+1 for Toe Socks Injinji OutDoor Nuwool blend
I have found I can push that setup to 40* and wet. Something dry is needed for camp. Anything below that is to much.
Also I think the ladies love em! I have been at more than one social occasion and have had girls surrounding me, asking questions, laughing, flirting…on second thought I never went home with any of them…procced at your own risk. :)Mar 18, 2010 at 9:06 am #1587848Mar 18, 2010 at 9:22 am #1587854
.Mar 18, 2010 at 9:52 am #1587867
"You could use the Injini 'toed' socks with these."
I actually bought the socks to see if that would solve my problem. It didn't, my little toe kept falling out of its slot. ;-(Mar 18, 2010 at 10:12 am #1587874
"Are you sure they weren't flirting with you not because of your shoes but because you look just like James Dean,but I'm sure you hear that all the time."
You know now that you mention it I do get that all the time… I had that picture taken last summer while out practicing wearing cowboy hats. Hehe ;}Mar 18, 2010 at 10:47 am #1587889
I picked up a pair of VFF KSO's last fall for running, but have not worn them hiking. Prior to "retraining" myself to run in minimalist footwear, I was not able to run due to severe knee pain. I also had major knee problems backpacking. One year ago, I backpacked about 16 miles in two days and that was about as far as I could go as my knees started to hurt too bad.
Within minutes of starting to run in the KSO's last fall, my knee pain was gone and to this day has remained mostly at bay. I can still feel twinges of pain here and there, but it is nothing like what I experienced prior to using minimalist shoes.
As discussed previously, it is necessary to completely retrain yourself to run and walk in minimalist footwear and this takes time and patience!!
I am currently up to about 25 miles per week running and up to a 10 mile run as my longest run. I am planning on doing a 12 mile trail run on Saturday in the KSO's now that the snow has melted here in MN.
In December I day-hiked 12 miles of the AT in Georgia in my Inov8 295's with no knee pain and this included some running.
This last weekend, I backpacked about 22 miles in two days on the Superior Hiking Trail with no knee pain and a 25 lb pack. I hiked it in my Inov8 295's as much of the hike was either in snow, on ice, in icy slushy water or muddy conditions. The KSO's are definitely not the right footwear for that application.
Any way you look at it, I feel that training in minimalist footwear has cured my knee pain that I was previously experiencing in traditional shoes. It has also made my feet and legs much stronger and greatly increased my sense of balance as well as core strength. I'm not quite ready to say that the VFF's are the right shoe for hiking/backpacking as I've not tested that, but I am planning on trying this year.
I have more information about my transition to minimalist footwear on my blog if anyone is interested.
JeremyMar 18, 2010 at 11:39 am #1587919
@robdevLocale: Pittsburgh, PA
Like Douglas, I wanted to like them, but had trouble with the fit. One size fits my foot well, but is too small for my big and first toes. The size up fits those two toes, but is too long overall leading to all the other toes being half in the toe slots and half in the main shoe. It just doesn't work for me. If I could get custom made FiveFingers, I'd give them another shot.
I considered Terra Plana's barefoot shoes, since they don't have individual toes, but the price is rather high and I've had decent luck running flats.Mar 18, 2010 at 12:01 pm #1587926
I have a similar issue. I have two pairs one in size 40 the other in 41. In each size my pinky toe does not fill the space provided but thankfully does not fall out either
Size 40 the toes are to not long enough, but my heal fits nicely into the back
size 41 the toes are longer and more comftorable, but tightning the strap pulls my heal further away from the back.
I to wish they could some how make custom sized VFF the benefits of "barefooting" would only be enhanced I feel.
Also some waterproof toe socks would be cool.
side note: while hiking in VFF I always use trekking poles,if im not wearing them sometimes I dont.Mar 18, 2010 at 12:46 pm #1587938
"I actually bought the socks to see if that would solve my problem. It didn't, my little toe kept falling out of its slot. ;-("
Douglas, you don't have this problem, do you?Mar 18, 2010 at 12:50 pm #1587941
@scottalanpLocale: Northern California
I am always looking for the next best and lightest footwear to carry while I backpack. I use them for two main purposes: Camp shoes that allow my feet to rest (and my trail shoes to dry out) and for stream crossings (I have difficulty going barefoot and prefer to not have my trail runners wet all day).
I thought these VFF looked interesting from the standpoint that they may be a couple of ounces lighter than Crocs (which have been my preferred camp shoe for 4 years running) and far more packable. In addition, they seem to have the added benefit of being a much more stable stream crossing shoe if not quite as comfortable for lounging in camp.
It seems sizing can be an issue, but otherwise, does anyone have a reason why they did not work for a camp shoe?Mar 18, 2010 at 12:54 pm #1587944
"Douglas, you don't have this problem, do you?"
So THAT'S why I can't get the darned things to fit! It all makes sense now! ;-)Mar 18, 2010 at 1:14 pm #1587951
Which little toe, Douglas?Mar 18, 2010 at 1:55 pm #1587964
@johnaLocale: Great Lakes State
I noted my experiences conditioning myself to them in this thread: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=11575
I've since done a couple more 13.1's (with socks) in them with no problem and haven't had any troubles with a few short-mileage road/sidewalk runs (no socks), but still haven't backpacked in them.
They're *very* comfortable for me and I like them very much.
John A.Mar 18, 2010 at 9:20 pm #1588133
@kwersalLocale: Western Colorado
I decided to try the Classic (okay, okay, it's not quite as ugly as the others!). Today, I cautiously tried running in them and was very pleasantly surprised at how comfortably and even springy it felt to run in them. So tomorrow I'll try a longer run in them…. if it doesn't snow…Mar 19, 2010 at 5:32 am #1588224
I love wearing socks with mine. I own the KSO's, however i haven't given them a try on the trail yet. I'm Still not sure how they will handle the rocky terrain. But the newer models like the Treks and Bikila's have thicker out soles. The Biklia's will have a removable insoles as well, adding a tiny bit more protection.
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