View Full Version : Vibram Five Fingers

grizzly bear 336
01-11-2011, 23:25
Has anyone tried going backpacking in the new Vibram Five Fingers? I was thinking about getting some for hiking in the summer, but want to know whether they are to minimal or not.

01-11-2011, 23:40
Mostly it depends on how strong your feet are and how you feel about kicking rocks. Your feet may get sore because most likely they're weak. Unfortunately there's not much you can do about rocks except to not kick them. They're not like sneakers where getting them slightly oversized will protect your toes.

If I didn't kick so many damn rocks, I'd be all about using KSO's.

01-11-2011, 23:48
A friend of mine wears them and he tried hiking the Tahoe Rim Trail with me back in August. He ended up bailing after 20 miles due to his feet being shredded.

01-12-2011, 00:11
There's also this review.


I don't know how I failed to see Ray wearing them at ADZPCTKO.

A friend tried them on the PCT this year and he seemed okay with it until the fabric between the toes failed.

01-12-2011, 00:20
i have them, there definitely something you dont want to rush into. start out walking in them for a couple weeks. and let your feet adjust. if you rush it you could easily do some serious damage. ive been taking it easy and i love them....by the way, they dont do to well in snow.

01-12-2011, 02:29
I'll let ya know after my thru hike... I'm planning on using a pair (or two) on the trail this year. I've been doing some running in them lately, so I'm hoping my feet will be strong enough by april:)

01-12-2011, 03:31
I have used them backpacking. If you don't regularly go barefoot or use minimalist shoes already, you need to ease into it and build up your foot strength. I found the classic design was "ok" but not ideal for backpacking. First, they didn't have as much traction as I would like when there is lose material on top of the ground, and the models with mesh let dust in which because sandpaper like quickly. There are other models which might address this. I have collected a few links about almost barefoot (http://www.verber.com/mark/outdoors/gear/clothing.html#Barefoot) options.

01-12-2011, 03:46
I bought a pair of KSO's last spring and absolutely fell in love with them, they are an amazing running shoe!

I backpacked roughly 50 miles in them this summer and enjoyed it but I kicked a couple rocks and I broke 2 toes in them. Worst one was up near the Conundrum Hotsprings near Aspen, Co, I had to hike 9 miles on a broken pinky toe to get back to my car.

If you use them for backpacking you need to pay extra attention to where you place your feet and in some instances you need to relearn how to hike trails. When wearing trail runners with any kind of shank I seem to step on rocks intentionally for traction, especially pointy ones, you cannot do this with the VFF's, ALL sharp rocks need to be avoided. Additionally, you need to make sure you pick your feet ALL the way up over rocks so you don't stub your toes, you almost have to accentuate it.

When you clip a rock in shoes it makes you stumble.

When you clip a rock in VFF's it either breaks your toes or it jams them so they feel like their broken.

I plan on using them again even though I had to go through a lot of pain because of them this summer.

They also gave me micro fractures from running on concrete with them but that's another thread. It took over 100 miles of running in those shoes to train my feet to run flat footed.

01-12-2011, 03:47
Also make sure to rinse them out after stream crossings sand inside KSO's will rub the tops of your feet raw. I've heard the other models aren't as bad as KSO's

01-12-2011, 03:55
another thing I'll say about em is that they feel amazing on a trail! The earth feels good under foot.

01-12-2011, 12:28
As others have said, you'll want to wear them for a while before you take them on the trail. I've only done about 10 miles with a backpack in mine, but my feet felt great afterwards. Other times I've had issues with stubbing my toes, but on the trail I had no problems. I've got the Sprints, so the sole is thinner than the KSOs, but even with all the acorns this fall they were ok. I'll be wearing them again once it warms up a bit.

01-12-2011, 13:40
I have KSO Treks. They take some getting used to. The first pair I bought turned out to be a size too small, and I had to go up one size so that after time my left big toe wouldn't feel like it was getting jammed against the inside of the shoe.

Wear them around the house a few days first before you take them outside, to make absolutely sure you have the right size--then you can most likely still exchange them with no problems. Then wear them outside for a few days. Gradually increase your time in them. Takes quite a while for the unused (or seldom-used) muscles in your feet to build up to the point where your feet aren't sore all the time walking in KSO Treks.

01-12-2011, 19:41
I've got a pair of KSO's, wanted one of the treking models but the shape of the sole just didn't fit the sole of my foot. The arch area of the sole was reinforced and wasn't comfortable had a funny presure point. I wear the kso's to work and just about everywhere. I would ease into them slowly if your going to get them. I spend most of the day on my feet and after wearing them a couple hours a day for a week or so I could do a full day at work without thinking about it. I also wear sandles or go barefoot whenever I can so my break in wasn't very long. I'm looking forward to using them for camp shoes