My FiveFingers

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Five Fingers For More Than Running, Walking, Hiking?

by Tyler Hurst » on May 01, 2011 13

I’m about to replace my god-awful ugly blue camo Sprints for a nice new pair of Taupe/Putty Five Fingers. This is the first time I’ve replaced any of my FiveFingers and the Sprints are well overdue, having survived 18 months of me working out, running three half half marathons and hot, hot sidewalks.

Still look funny as compared to what? Certainly not our bare feet.

Because I’m no longer worried about ruining them, I figured it’s time to try my Sprints in fairly non-traditional situations, like on a basketball court, in the pool and wherever else I can find that feels like a weird place to wear these shoes. I expect them to hold up, but there are a few fears.


On the basketball court

I’ve been dying for minimalist basketball shoes for quite some time, as every pair of basketball shoes I’ve tried so far has been less than comfortable. They either have too much cushion or support, are too narrow for my feet and/or cause some serious shin splints. I’m not sure if this was just my body not being used to running on a court, but I’d like to figure that out for good.

In the pool

My very first thought when I bought my Sprints was that I’d be using them to hike about four miles down into a canyon near Strawberry, AZ, and play in the river at the bottom. The river is full of sharp rocks and climbing walls and it would be super great not to have to worry about the soles of my feet down there. But I still haven’t fully submerged my shoes on purpose, so it’s time to try them out in a pool first.

I HAVE run in the rain – along the Hudson in NYC last June – so I’m very confident the Sprints won’t fall off my feet, but I’ll have to tighten them pretty good.


I have long been fascinated with Parkour. While I’m certainly not in the requisite shape for such an activity, it looks way, way fun. I figure my Sprints will allow me greater feel than normal shoes, but I’ve never seen anyone do Parkour in less than thick-soled skate shoes, so this activity may hurt a lot before it gets fun.

Have you worn Five Fingers for more than running, walking or hiking? What did you think?

Submitted Comments

  1. Corey says:

    My wife’s worn her Classics in the river with no problems. I, on the other hand, took mine off as they were brand new and didn’t want to ruin them, suffered over the rocks. After several trips through the washer and several rainy days, I realized how silly that was.

  2. bandi says:

    I’ve used my sprints for swimming in the Dalmatian sea (lots of rocks and all kinds and shapes of poisonous creatures with protruding sharp things..), and I’ve never had a problem with them (i.e slipping off).

    N.B: My sprints are actually 1 size larger than my feet (got them as a present).

  3. Chris Lee says:

    I wish I was ready to start the #phx parkour club with you but I fear Father Time won’t let that happen. Bones & joints snapping all over the place.

  4. Tyler Hurst says:

    I think it’s time to take Katie hiking, with both of us in Sprints. The biggest reason I purchased them was so I could run around the river in them after we hiked.

  5. rustypants says:

    I use mine for just about everything – I took the speed pedals off my road bike and swapped them with regular pedals to use my VFF’s. I also like using them for yoga. And, of course, I teach in them as well. I’ve not worn regular shoes since Oct. ’09 – VFF’s only (or barefoot). :-)

  6. Kent Cowgill says:

    I’ve just made the determination that I can no longer wear my SPD compatible shoes on my clipless pedals. I’m now wearing my Komodos for my biking – and I’ve still got the same pedals on the bike – I didn’t bother switching them out.

  7. Corey says:

    That sounds awesome. I’d love to go hiking, but you’ve seen this state…

  8. Collin Moore says:

    I have used both my KSO’s and my Trekk Sports for a multitude of different activities. Mountain biking, free running, rock hopping, swimming, as well as wear them to work as a car salesman! That last one took a little convincing on my part of the powers that be!!

  9. Becca says:

    I use my KSOs for a little bit of everything. I definitely love hiking in them, and I even played indoor volleyball in them once (I had gone from a run, to practice, and forgot my vball shoes) and I actually found I was able to jump higher/better/stronger to hit the ball, and I think it’s because my feet were able to find firm ground quickly, (because of lack of cushioning) and allow for a stronger push-off of the court. Love my VFFs :)

  10. Kristin says:


    I wear my Treksports for kayaking, everyday life and my KSOs for yoga and running. I love them.

  11. Matt says:

    i have used mine for just about everything. i often wear them as wet shoes, have played indoor soccer in them (although i wouldn’t recommend it without socks, all the sharp turns gave me a huge blister) and my girlfriend and i both did a 5 day hike (with river crossings) (and 20kg/45lb packs) in our kso’s.

  12. Daniel says:

    I use my vff’s for running, trailing, chilling & KravMaga’ing
    Have to be carefull with the toes though ;-)

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