Vibram Five Fingers: A Review   Leave a comment

Item one of my wish list, check! I was able to buy a pair (black ones) on discount (thanks, Coah Jojo!). Yep, I was able to get me a pair of VFF KSOs, supposedly the epitome of “barefoot running shoes”. And at a good time, too, because my aquashoes, after more than 500km, got torn on the side (the cloth, not the sole) which made it unserviceable.

So what was all the fuss about these toed shoes? Here’s my take.

Design: First, the look. Compared to regular shoes, VFFs are definitely different. Those toe slots are very hard to miss. I also liked that the left shoe has the “vibram” stitching, and the right shoe doesn’t.

The cloth clings to your skin like a sock so it makes it look like your just wearing, well, socks. The shoes definitely caught a few attention in the office.

There are also really fine wavy cuts on the sole, which I’m sure is supposed to improve the grip.

The velcro strap at the top of the shoe attaches really well (it’s more of a problem when taking them off!) and keeps the shoes secured to the feet. The rubber on the tips of the toes (which makes it look like their toenails) have saved me from stubbing my toes a lot of times already.

Material: The cloth used is quite stretchy. Seems to be very durable. Foot pad is made by Vibram so there’s no doubt of how durable that is. Shoes are quite easy to wash, and dries fast, too.

Comfort: The cloth makes one feel (and look) like wearing just socks. However, if you’re like me with feet that sweats a lot, you might have to wash your KSOs quite often or risk getting stinky feet.

However, the toed design of the shoes forces my toes to spread unnaturally. Very un-barefoot-ish.

The inevitable list of pros and cons:


– cool design

– seems to be built tough (so far)

– easily washable, dries fast

– secured fit


– ridiculously expensive (costs less than P5000 for my KSOs)

– unnaturally spread toes does not a barefoot feel make

– makes feet sweat a lot

– getting used to putting the shoes on and off takes a lot of practice


Verdict: So do they really feel like running barefoot? Er, yes and no.

Yes because the shoes are very light and fits quite securely that the mechanics of barefoot running is preserved, especially since it has no bulky soles which causes heelstriking. This definitely gave my aquashoes a run for it’s money since running in KSOs has almost zero slipping inside the shoes, which was my main issue with running in my aquashoes.

But again, running in shoes (any kind of shoes, albeit minimalist or regular) is not like running barefoot. Think of it like listening to music. Barefoot running is like listening with naked ears. Running with regular shoes is like listening with a rubber stopper stuck in your ears.

Running in KSOs is like listening to the music with cotton stuck in the ears. You can still hear the music, but it’s somewhat muted. Actually, with the insole taken out, the aquashoes have even less cushioning than the KSOs, which takes away from the barefoot feeling.

If it’s raining or it’s really dark that I can’t see where I’m going, then I’d prefer running in my new KSOs. It’s definitely an upgrade from my aquashoes. But every other time, running barefoot is still the way to go.

You can now buy your pair here in the Philippines.

in R1 Bridgeway, Power Plant Mall,

Rockwell Center, Makati City

You can also get more information regarding other models and their prices here (thebullrunner blog).


Posted September 22, 2010 by Barefoot Yayan in barefoot running, minimalist running, shoes

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