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  1. #1
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    Question Best Vibram Five Finger (VFF) shoes to thru hike the AT?

    If you've worn any VFF, I would appreciate your input:

    1) what are the best VFF to thru hike the AT in?
    2) why?

    FYI, I am currently thru hiking the AT (at Fontana Dam now). I have been steadily making the switch to minimalist / barefoot shoes over the last several years - I keep buying more and more minimal style shoes every time I need new shoes. I started in a pair of Merrell Vapor Glove 2, which I love the feel, but they don't seem to be holding up. I think I might be ready to make the jump to VFFs, so I thought I might pick up a pair to try out.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by jneedler View Post
    If you've worn any VFF, I would appreciate your input:

    1) what are the best VFF to thru hike the AT in?
    2) why?

    FYI, I am currently thru hiking the AT (at Fontana Dam now). I have been steadily making the switch to minimalist / barefoot shoes over the last several years - I keep buying more and more minimal style shoes every time I need new shoes. I started in a pair of Merrell Vapor Glove 2, which I love the feel, but they don't seem to be holding up. I think I might be ready to make the jump to VFFs, so I thought I might pick up a pair to try out.

    Thanks!
    The best VFFs ever made were the KSO Treks. The were made from kangaroo leather. When they were discontinued last year, I bought the remaining stock in my size from a couple of different retailers. If you watch Ebay, you can sometimes get a pair in your size.

    The KSO Trek was replaced by the TrekSport style. It is a similar style, made of cheaper material. Some are still available.

    I don't like any of the current VFFs styles. Most of the new styles are lace-up shoes. Hopefully they will make a better hiking style by the time my stock of KSO Treks wear out. I wear out three pair a year, so my inventory should last me about five more years.

    I don't keep records, but I estimate that I get at least 1,200 miles out of a pair of KSO Treks. Around 1,000 miles, the cloth between the toes begins to show wear. I close the holes with needle and thread, then coat the repair with shoe goo. I get at least 200 more miles before the wear becomes unrepairable. By the time they are no longer wearable, the soles are slick.
    Last edited by Shutterbug; 05-04-2015 at 15:30.
    Shutterbug

  3. #3
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    Default

    Thanks much for the input, Shutterbug.

    Since I would have to order them without trying them on, could I try on other VFFs and use the same size? I.E., are all VFFs built on the same last?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by jneedler View Post
    Thanks much for the input, Shutterbug.

    Since I would have to order them without trying them on, could I try on other VFFs and use the same size? I.E., are all VFFs built on the same last?
    Unfortunately, I have found some difference between styles. I wear 44 (U.S. 11) in most styles I have tried but need a size larger in Trek Sports.
    Shutterbug

  5. #5

    Default Best Vibram Five Finger (VFF) shoes to thru hike the AT?

    Quote Originally Posted by jneedler View Post
    Thanks much for the input, Shutterbug.

    Since I would have to order them without trying them on, could I try on other VFFs and use the same size? I.E., are all VFFs built on the same last?
    I've found the opposite - my VFF size is spot on company-wide. They have a means to size your foot online, that involves measuring it, but obviously trying them on would be best if possible.

  6. #6

    Default Best Vibram Five Finger (VFF) shoes to thru hike the AT?

    Style is also going to be a matter of personal comfort and opinion, mostly. Some prefer to have laces, some prefer Velcro. Some models are specifically designed for cold weather with neoprene, others are *very* minimalist, like a pair of woman's flats.

    I, like you, have ambitions to thru hike with my VFF's. I've owned various styles over the past few years, but when my local outdoors store had a fire sale on the KMD Sports (http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/pro...Sport-Mens.htm) in an awful green and grey, in my size(!), I bought four pairs ($15 bucks a pair baby) because I knew I could make them work on the trail.

    My personal recommendations would be to look for a model in beefier tread, first and foremost. While VFF's aren't know for their protective soles, some do have a bit of rubber underneath.

    Second, how they affix to your feet. I prefer Velcro, some prefer to actually 'tie' their VFF's on.

    Finally, just remember to work them slowly into your routine. Maybe start your day in your shoes, throw on the VFF's after lunch for an hour or two. Don't rush, physically or mentally. They offer much less in the way of protection and its *much* easier to stub, or even break a toe. Foot placement becomes ever important.


    I wish you the best.

  7. #7

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    I have hiked a bit in PA in the VFF TrekSports. They were great, light, and survived the rocks. My favorites ever are the original KSO, but I would not use those for hiking. Vibrate have a few new trek models that I have not tried. I am typically a 43 throughout the line except for the Bakilas for running...they seemed to run a tad small.

  8. #8
    Registered User Ktaadn's Avatar
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    Elkridge, MD
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shutterbug View Post
    The best VFFs ever made were the KSO Treks. The were made from kangaroo leather. When they were discontinued last year, I bought the remaining stock in my size from a couple of different retailers. If you watch Ebay, you can sometimes get a pair in your size.

    The KSO Trek was replaced by the TrekSport style. It is a similar style, made of cheaper material. Some are still available.

    I don't like any of the current VFFs styles. Most of the new styles are lace-up shoes. Hopefully they will make a better hiking style by the time my stock of KSO Treks wear out. I wear out three pair a year, so my inventory should last me about five more years.

    I don't keep records, but I estimate that I get at least 1,200 miles out of a pair of KSO Treks. Around 1,000 miles, the cloth between the toes begins to show wear. I close the holes with needle and thread, then coat the repair with shoe goo. I get at least 200 more miles before the wear becomes unrepairable. By the time they are no longer wearable, the soles are slick.
    I'm surprised to read such a good review of the KSO Treks. My uncle wore his on a six day hike and they fell apart at the seams half way through. He exchanged them and still loved to wear them to walk the dog, but he never wore them hiking again.

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