Please sign in to post.

Vibram FiveFingers Shoes

has anyone tried Vibram FiveFingers Shoes, are they really comfortable? (i know they look ugly!)

Posted by
10333 posts

Seriously? They look like bear feet to me. Not bare, bear! Are you considering wearing them in Europe?

Posted by
41 posts

Andrea, Hahaha...i guess it will be a "crime" if i wear it in Paris or Milan :/

Posted by
8995 posts

Do you wear them in Atlanta? Are they comfortable there to walk around for a few miles, in the heat or in the rain? If your answer is yes to those questions then wear them on your trip to Paris and Milan. I have seen them a few times here in Frankfurt, and they do look very bizarre.

Posted by
833 posts

Some people think they're comfy. If you are used to little support, then you will be fine but otherwise I would avoid them. They were initially made for rock-climbing etc, and I think they function well for that, but would never wear them in public in the US and especially not in Europe.

Posted by
1889 posts

The people that wear them love them. They are not for long days walking. No arch support, and very little cushioning under the foot. you will feel every single thing you step on. If you want these for the hotel room, or in the shower, they'd be nice, but a pair of cheap Crocs would do the same thing...or even a $5 pair of rubber flip flops. The Five finger shoes are not designed for travel....

Posted by
1825 posts

I saw a guy trying some on in REI the other day and I seriously wanted to slap him. They might be fine as an attention getter while traveling but don't expect anyone to take you seriously. RD

Posted by
12172 posts

I've seen one or two people wearing them around DC. They don't look comfortable, or like they provide much support, to me. They remind me of the reef shoes we bought in Asia to wear with our scuba fins years ago.

Posted by
77 posts

They aren't supposed to provide support. The premise is that humans evolved to walk barefoot and that all the "support" shoes aren't helping. People run marathons in them so I think if you are used to them you could certainly walk miles around Europe. The key is IF you are used to them. I would not approach them as an "alternate" shoe for a trip. I have not worn them but I suspect it would be difficult to switch between them and another shoe.

Posted by
251 posts

As Kari noted, the shoes are designed around the "barefoot" notion; they are made to help those with foot, ankle, knee, or lower back problems. Even those who don't have such problems can use them to increase strength in the calves, legs, joints, etc. Such problems mentioned can be caused through shoes with lots of support, as the thick soles result in many leading with their heels when walking, running, etc. which causes strain on the legs and certain joints, as humans "naturally" lead with the fore-foot instead (which takes such pressure off). So the shoes are made as if you are nearly walking around barefoot, and you will likely be leading with your fore-foot in these as leading with the heel would be too painful, due to the lack of support (thick soles). No, they are not really made for casual use around town, but rather more for athletic activities such as running, trail running, etc. While they are quite comfortable once you get used to them, as you fell like nothing is there, still, wearing them around town would be a little odd (as you can note from other posters) and I wouldn't recommend them for travel use (I wonder what the reaction would be in places like small-town Italy as shorts, for them, are foreign enough!). I would stick to a good all-purpose shoe for traveling instead; one that is relatively presentable and is still comfortable enough to do a good amount of walking around in. Enjoy your travels!

Posted by
34 posts

Ok, I wear them all of the time to work, to run and leisure and they are very comfortable. Yes they look weird but don't knock 'em until you have tried them on and walked in them. You would be pleasantly surprised. They make a difference for me. The KSO Treksport has more of a sole than some of the other models. But they are no different than walking around in a pair of the thin soled sandals! I plan on wearing a pair on the plane and with our tour group.
With my black pant you may not notice my black ones. BTW-they are made (and invented) in Rome!

Posted by
251 posts

Sorry if I had any misleading info David. Just going with what a Vibram rep told me directly.

Posted by
12 posts

There is so much incorrect information given in this thread that I had to chime in and at least try to set things straight. First of all they were originally developed as an alternative shoe for water sports such as sailing and kayaking. In particular they grip the deck of a sailboat very well. They are marketed and developed to simulate being barefoot. They allow the muscles you were given to be used in the way that many people feel we were intended to use them. The running community in particular has taken notice of the minimalist nature of these "shoes" and many other running shoe companies now have competing designs(see Nike Free, Merrell Barefoot, etc.). (continued below...)

Posted by
12 posts

(...continued from above) Comfortable or "comfy" is a personal determination, not usually associated with barefoot or a minimalist shoe design. The shoe is designed to emulate barefoot walking/running, and not provide extra cushion or padding to help your body do what it was naturally designed to do. Others commented on how they do not look to provide much support. They provide no support whatsoever. The arch is very very thin, and completely flexible. The difference from the heel to the toe is 0mm, making it a 0mm shoe. These shoes are not made to help people with injuries or pain, they may use them, but that is not what they were originally developed for and that is not how they are marketed now either. As far as using them for travel, you would want to purchase them at least a month or two in advance to allow your body to adjust to the new muscles being used. Many are surprised when they first use FiveFingers for a full day of use, and experience significant muscle fatigue in the following days. A slow gradual transition to this style of footwear is recommended. If you decide after using them for a month or two that they are comfortable for you, then I think you have answered your own question. If you are concerned with looks, you probably aren't interested in buying these in the first place.

Posted by
250 posts

I've got a pair of the minimalist shoes by Merrell designed on the same principal as the FiveFingers, and find them extremely comfortable around town. Planning to take them to Spain next month.

Posted by
2349 posts

"The premise is that humans evolved to walk barefoot and that all the "support" shoes aren't helping." Yes, humans started out barefoot. Then we evolved into making shoes because that wasn't working for us.