Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My Review of Vibram FiveFingers KSO Shoes - Men's

Originally submitted at REI

Protecting the soles of your feet with a thin Vibram® skin, the Vibram FiveFingers KSO multisport water shoes allow you to experience barefoot freedom in your outdoor activities.

Cool Weather "Barefoot" Running
By gusmeister from Minneapolis, MN on 12/9/2009

5out of 5
Gift: No
Pros: Quality Materials, Well Crafted, Attractive Design
Best Uses: Minimalist Running, Cool Weather, Primal Running
Watch any child that is learning to walk/run and they run on the balls of their feet. It isn't until we put shoes on our feet that have an elevated heal that we "learn" to walk in a heal to toe pattern. It is my opinion that an elevated shoe trains you to walk/run heal to toe and that it is not natural.

I have been very active in sports and training my whole life up until the last few years when my ankles, knees and hips have responded very negatively to my exercising (primarily running and hiking). I was introduced to the idea of barefoot running (and vibram five fingers) this last summer and immediately started going barefoot around my house and yard as much as I possibly could.

At the beginning of October I started running in my Vibram FiveFinger KSO's and am completely sold on the idea. My leg muscles certainly responded in much pain, but my joints have had no pain. I am running up to 7 miles now with no pain in my joints!!

The impact of heal striking is something no shoe can absorb and as a result your joints must take that impact at some level. One has to think that eventually they will wear out... That is why a shoe like this is the perfect solution! It forces you to learn how to run with proper technique and thus avoid injuries.

Besides my calves being really sore in adopting this new running style, I have had NO knee pain. My balance and core strength is way better and most importantly, I now LOVE going out for a run! So much so that I have put a couple 25K trail runs on my schedule for next spring and a 50K trail run for the middle of the summer!

Primal running is defined by using a minimalist shoe like Vibram FiveFingers, Feelmax, Huaraches, or a racing flat type shoe. Barefoot running (I've only done this for very short distances a couple times) is just as it says.

One BIG note, you need to modify your running style when you run this way. AND, give yourself some transition time... i.e. TAKE IT SLOW. It's like learning how to run all over again. If something hurts, you are doing something wrong!!

Check out these three websites for some great instruction and dialogue on barefoot/primal running:,,

I also highly recommend reading the book "Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen". This has a great story that is centered around minimalist running.

Good Luck!


1 comment:

rebecca said...

I love the KSO's by Fivefingers! I wear them for running, hiking and climbing and despite give me the barefooting sensation i feel my feet are totally protected. Love them1