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Five Fingers review – Sprints, KSOs, Classics and Bikilas

by Tyler Hurst » on Feb 08, 2011 7

As a full-time Five Fingers wearer since early 2010, it’s been important to me to own the right model of Five Fingers for each activity that I’m involved in. Whether it’s running long distances, running in the heat, everyday strolls or walking in the cold, I have a pair of Five Fingers for nearly every occasion.

I don’t think this is overkill, as just like we have running, tennis, walking, dress, everyday and workout shoes, I’ve found different styles of Five Fingers are just better at certain tasks. Here are the models I own, what I use them for and the pros/cons of each.

Classics (black)
This is the original style. It looks slightly like a ballerina’s shoe and fits me extremely well. It’s my most oft worn shoe and by far the most comfortable. The sole isn’t particularly thick, so I wear Injinji socks with them when it’s under 40 degrees. I wash them about once a week, first in the shower (I scrub the soles to get all the ground-in dirt off) and then in the washing machine on cold. They are by far my most comfortable pair and if I had to choose just one, these would be my choice.

Sprint (ugly blue camo)
I have no idea how or why anyone ever though blue camo was fashionable. It looks good on absolutely no one. Color issues aside, I wear my Sprints when I work out and run. They fit just like the Classics, except they have straps on the top and back of my foot I can adjust whenever I run in them. They were also the first Vibrams I purchased and have made it through three half marathons and nearly every training run ever. I’m quite surprised they’ve held up for almost a year and a half. I wash them about once a week depending on how often they’re worn. They also work very well with Injinji socks for long runs, though I’m thinking about going up a size for my next pair so my left toe doesn’t feel as cramped when I have toe socks on.

KSOs (black)
I bought these a few months after my Sprints because I desperately needed some cold weather shoes. Man, they were a BITCH to get on at first, as they, like anything form-fitting, take a little while to conform to your foot. I bought them a size smaller than my Classics and Sprints (they run smaller) and I often wear them for dressy occasions of when it’s really cold. I wore these with Injinji socks during my time in NYC and Chicago in freezing temperatures and didn’t have much of a problem. The soles are also thicker than either the Classics or Sprints. I consider them the best all-around shoe that Vibram offers. If you have to get just one pair, and you’re not in love with any one style, go with the KSOs.

Bikilas (green, blue and yellow)
I really, really wanted to love these. The cool sole helped protect my feet from the hot Phoenix sidewalks, allowed me to run a bit faster and looked like super-cool running shoes. Problem was that the arch was too high, which forced my flat feet to overpronate even more than usual, making for some serious pain on my inner ankle and shin. On the pro side, they feel great when I wear them and I love, LOVE the extra protection they provide. The two-ish millimeter insole can definitely go, though. I’m hoping that the Speeds, which have the same outer sole without an insole, are better for me. The Bikilas are nice for those of you with arches.

What’s your favorite style?

Submitted Comments

  1. Laura says:

    I actually really like the Bikilas! They fit me really nicely and they have improved my running substantially. But I really want to get a pair of the KSOs…thanks for your honest opinion!

  2. Kristen says:

    I’ve been amassing quite the collection myself.

    I’ve tried on classics and sprints but can’t find a pair that fits comfortably. There’s a lot of extra space in the heel for ones that otherwise fit well, and then the back rubs my heel.

    I have Performa Janes for work (sort of passable as dress shoes), KSO Treks for running since I run at a park with rocky trails, and this past weekend I got a pair of regular KSOs for the rest of the time, primarily so I’m not constantly switching between the two extremes of cushioning.

    Unfortunately, I had to go with men’s for the KSOs because I could not fit my foot into the opening on the womens’, no matter what size I tried. It seems that the mens’ allow for longer toes and so while the fit between my heel and big toe is perfect in a mens’ 41, there’s a ton of extra space with almost all the other toes. Because of that, they’ll probably remain my casual use ones and not for running because I could see tripping over the extra bit of toe pocket while running pretty easily.

    So my favorite? Probably the KSO Treks because they are the pair I’ve found that actually fit me well. When I first got them I had a friend tell me they were the only style that fit him and I was confused as to why he would say that, but now that I’ve tried on several other types to compare, it turns out I have the same problem. I guess my feet are strangely shaped or something.

  3. BB says:

    Do these work for someone with duck feet (aka wide ball)?

  4. Angela says:

    The only pair of Five Fingers that I have is the classic, and I love them. I wear them all the time. It’s funny, I always thought I was clumsy…but when I have on my vibrams, I am quite balanced. Great shoes.
    I did try some sprints on at the store, and I really appreciate the classic’s lack of straps and extra material.

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