Vibram Five Fingers Men’s KSO Trek Trail Hiking Black Shoe – Review

Vibram Five Fingers Men’s KSO Trek Trail Hiking Black Shoe – Product characteristics

  • Textile and Synthetic
  • Made in USA or Imported
  • Rubber sole
  • Shaft measures approximately low-top from arch
  • Stretch Polyamide, Polyester, Hypalon(R)
  • Vegan
  • Machine Wash Cold/ Air Dry
Vibram Men's KSO Trail Running Shoe, Black, 46 EU/11.5-12 US M*
  • Abrasion resistant stretch upper
  • Convenient single hook and loop Velcro closure
  • Vibram XS Trek performance rubber sole

Vibram Five Fingers Men’s KSO Trek Trail Hiking Black Shoe – Reviews

Durable. Almost barefoot experience, but not for everyone.

TLDR; Durable; only for those committed to re-naturalizing their gait and getting rid of pains and injuries of high-intensity mid-distance running; not suitable for running or hiking on gravel, small stones, or twigs of approx. 1cm diameter.These are minimalist shoes for a nearly barefoot walking and running experience. Please order this only if you are ready for that and the associated changes in your running gait and ground surface selection. If that is what you want, then you will not be disappointed. I have used them somewhat regularly for running on road, sidewalk, grass, and trails for two months, and they are holding up fine.Pros:1. Nearly barefoot (natural) walking and running experience.2. Gradual strengthening of the feet and elimination of injuries associated with running. I had given up running due to pains before I discovered flex-foot running.3. Potential reduction in post-run pains and downtime.4. Durable.5. Shoes take minimal packing space.6. Look cool.Cons:1. Need special socks with separated toes.2. Uncomfortable on gravel or twigs that are about 1/2″ (1cm) in diameter.3. Will get wet from the inside in shallow puddles and waterlogged grass.4. Not suitable for sports such as soccer, as your toes can get twisted.5. Strands of dandelions and small twigs get stuck between the toes.6. Look dorky.Here are some changes you would want to make in your outdoor excursions with these shoes on:1. Learn to run with a forefoot strike: That is the precise behavioral change that this shoe is meant to promote. Humans have forgotten their natural gait developed over millions of years of evolution ever since we started wearing shoes with heel support, motion control, and whatnot. I have a severe flatfoot, and I over-pronate. Yet, I had no problem switching my gait, first using Nike Free, and then graduating to Vibram FiveFingers. Strive to make sure that your heels do not touch the ground. Try imagining that you are lightly grabbing the ground with your toes and the ball of your feet as you land and push off.2. Start gradually: I started with running 1 mile every two days, and then built it up to 5 miles every two days over a few months. I recommend not running long distance in the beginning, and striving to make sure that your heel does not touch the ground.3. Choose surfaces a little carefully: If you are like me who did not grow up running barefoot, you will find it very uncomfortable to run on medium-sized gravel (1cm or 1/2″). You will feel poked, although the shoes will probably hold up fine. Also, avoid hiking on such surfaces. I took the shoes for such an “adventure” and regretted it, although your feet feel fine with a night’s rest. In terms of comfort, grass > sand > road > trail without gravel > sidewalk > trail with gravel > gravel. The last two are not recommended until you are comfortable in the strength of your feet. Running on grass with these shoes on is very enjoyable, and you realize what your feet were naturally meant to do. Running on road is also a good experience, provided you have mastered keeping your heels in the air. You realize that your feet are your natural shock absorbers, and do a good job of it. Also, try to avoid even very shallow puddles or waterlogged grass, if you feel icky when your feet get wet outdoors while running, because even very shallow water will get into these shoes.

Reviewed in the United States on June 30, 2021

Ahhh… KSO’s! One of my favorite shoes….

Just like my original KSO’s I started with some 6 or so years ago when I went to minimalist shoes. These are intended to fit more like a glove on your foot than a shoe, so they need to be “snug” (not tight, there is a difference)- so you want to follow Vibram’s sizing guidelines on their website, folks. As an aside, this is less a shoe for someone trying to start out with barefoot experience shoes, not that you shouldn’t buy if your in this case- just expect about a 5-6 month period of building up to this being your, “daily driver” shoe if you’re new to these.

Reviewed in the United States on November 3, 2017

My Favorite VFF’s

These are my third pair of VFF KSO’s. I’ve tried several other VFF models over the years, but the KSO’s are my favorite. I feel they are the closest thing to an “all purpose” shoe that Vibram has produced. I like them with their Velcro closure better than the newer models with laces. They fit more securely. Good for activities near water and sticky mud. In fact, I think watersports is the best use for these shoes.I should probably say something about fit. My feet measure 10-7/8″ in length. According to the Vibram website this puts me “between sizes”. Specifically between 44 and 45. I bought 44. The shoe itself measures 11″ and fits perfectly, so I’d say the sizing information currently provided by Vibram is pretty accurate.

Reviewed in the United States on September 11, 2017

Great shoes for some folks.

I have worn ‘Five Fingers’ for about 5 years. I wear them when I walk on the park trails every day. I walk about 3 miles, or 5 K daily for exercise. I’m sure I could wear these longer than a few hours. The KSO’s are getting very hard to find now, a few year ago they were much easier to locate. These shoes do take some time to get used to. It’s the difference between a mitten and a glove for your foot, (most people are not used to having something between each toe). The “break-in” period is getting your feet used to these ‘Five Fingers” instead of getting the shoes to fit your feet. I really like my Five Fingers, by Vibram… It’s a love – hate relationship, you either love them, (like I do), or you hate them and wont wear them.

Reviewed in the United States on July 16, 2016

This is my second pair

These are great. I wore out my first pair. The trick is to start slow and wear them a little, increasing gradually over time to allow your feet to adjust. I love them especially for mild back country hiking where I don’t need to protect my feet in boots, and in the gym for heavy leg and back days. Great stability and feeling of connection with the ground .

Reviewed in the United States on June 23, 2022

Awesome, so comfy.

They feel so good! If you’ve never worn these before and/or don’t walk around barefoot often, then you should take your time getting used to wearing them. As with any substantial change to your body, it can take time to condition your feet to get used to using the muscles that weren’t used before. Take your time and you’ll love them like I do.

Reviewed in the United States on March 13, 2019

Great for paddling

I use these to paddle my kayak in. I have sand spurs in my yard and walk about 200 meters to the beach down a paved road. These have a thick enough sole to withstand 2 years of daily walking to and from the beach and they are barely worn. I actually just got a second pair because my current ones are ripping on the top area. The rips are small, but they are starting to wear out (sole is in great shape though). Probably wore them 300 times. They are small enough and low profile enough that you can wear them in a kayak without any issue. They do not provide any warmth and may even make your toes colder on chilly, windy days (since your individual toes are now totally surrounded by wet fabric). If you are looking for warmth, look elsewhere, but otherwise, I think these are the perfect water shoe.

Reviewed in the United States on December 30, 2013

Wanted to see what it was all about and these shoes are amazing. I dont like things in between my toes …

bought these because people kept swearing by them. Wanted to see what it was all about and these shoes are amazing. I dont like things in between my toes this is a different kind of feel. awesome feel and walking and running is a completely different feel. I can for sure feel the difference in my core and legs. awesome product, not sure if i will be going back to regular shoes

Reviewed in the United States on August 10, 2017
Vibram Men's KSO Trail Running Shoe, Black, 46 EU/11.5-12 US M*
  • Abrasion resistant stretch upper
  • Convenient single hook and loop Velcro closure
  • Vibram XS Trek performance rubber sole

Vibram Five Fingers Men’s KSO Trek Trail Hiking Black Shoe – FAQ

I have flat feet, will these support my feet?

I’m flat footed and been wearing vibrams since 2011. Wear them hiking, walking and running. It took a year to adapted the different styal and streanthin my feet. Now run 12 miles road running in my v-run

are these authentic vibram or counterfeit?

Does this question apply to Amazon itself or to third party sellers? Almost anyone can get on Amazon and sell goods that are counterfeit.

Can these shoes be machine washed?

These were my second pair of Vibrams, and I’ve put both of them in the washing machine the entire time I’ve owned them. Going on 4 years now. I let them air dry, as per the information from Vibram. Other than that, wash away. I usually wash them with my t-shirts on permanent press, warm/cold. Sometimes, if you sweat a lot, you’ll have to wash them by hand to get in the toes and such a bit better than machine washing will do.

How would these work for snorkeling and protection against coral? because i know the vibram signa’s are junk.

I have only used these for trail running, they protect your feet from cuts and scrapes but it could still be uncomfortable on gravel or sharp coral. From my experiences snorkeling in the keys I think they’re a decent option, medium protection and light enough to swim with.

Are these shoes good wading in creeks and rivers

Yes, they are ideal water shoes. The soles are tough, even as thin as they are, with good grip even when wet. I’ve accidentally stepped on broken bottles with no punctures.

Are these slip resistance

Yes. Vibram is known for their rubber and being slip resistant.

How do these fit for those of us that need a wide width shoe? i wear a size 12.5 eeee shoe.

I wear a 10.5 eeee myself and I found these Kso’s to be very comfortable. Be sure to follow Vibram’s instructions to allow your feet to get used to the “5 Fingers”. Also be careful to measure each of your feet, (they aren’t always the same size) and use the larger size to order the correct shoes. They use the European sizes, (I wear a size 43). It seems these are a “love- hate” kind of deal, I love mine and have been wearing them for 5 or 6 years, but some folks hate them and can’t stand to have something between their toes. It’s the difference of a glove and a mitten. I hope will enjoy them as much as I do.

Vibram Men's KSO Trail Running Shoe, Black, 46 EU/11.5-12 US M*
  • Abrasion resistant stretch upper
  • Convenient single hook and loop Velcro closure
  • Vibram XS Trek performance rubber sole

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