Vibram FiveFingers El-X, Men’s Fitness Shoes – Review

Vibram FiveFingers El-X, Men’s Fitness Shoes – Product characteristics

  • Fabric or Textile
  • Synthetic sole
  • Shaft measures approximately low-top from arch
  • Cross-training shoe built for barefoot-like experience featuring breathable mesh upper
  • PU overlays for durability
  • XS Trek outsole with serrated blade tread pattern
  • Zero Drop
Vibram FiveFingers Mens EL-X Black Athletic Shoes (Black, Numeric_10_Point_5)*
  • water resistance level: not water resistant
  • Lightweight and flexible Polyester mesh upper
  • 2mm EVA insole

Vibram FiveFingers El-X, Men’s Fitness Shoes – Reviews

You can feel the ground beneath you.

Yes, people will look at your feet and wonder about these shoes. You, of course, will appreciate how liberating they feel. There is really very little arch support, but that is in the design. With them, the feel is of going barefoot with the addition of a very flexible sole that protects from rocks and other pavement or ground debris. I wear mine daily. They are well worth the price. Incidentally. I like this model that does not have the velcro strap across the instep. If you need that extra arch support, you should consider that model.

Reviewed in the United States on December 22, 2020

If you don’t own a pair, buy these first.

This is my third pair of vibrams, and by far my favorite.Nothing beats the organic flow of walking barefoot, but this really does come close.If you haven’t tried a pair yet, these should be your first choice.P.S. if you’re like me and have wide feet, these may feel tight at first, but walk around in them for a few hours and they’ll break in.

Reviewed in the United States on May 30, 2020

Awful quality

I think I have to finally give up on VFF. The quality just isn’t the same as when they first came out. My first pair from almost 10 years ago (KSO Trek) lasted nearly 3 years before I put a hole in the soles from wearing them so much. After that, no pair has lasted more than 6 months. This pair was the worst, though. 3 hours into wearing these, they started falling apart from the seams and developed holes at the big toes. Luckily Amazon took them back and refunded me. It’s too bad, because they were incredibly comfortable and easy to put on. I didn’t even do anything other than walk in them. Get it together, Vibram.

Reviewed in the United States on May 28, 2018

Fits Like Other FiveFinger Shoes

This is the closest thing to a perfect minimalist shoe that I have ever worn. I can literally put on skinny jeans while wearing them.Some other reviews claim you should order a size bigger than other FiveFinger shoes. That isn’t necessarily accurate. These shoes are meant to fit just a tiny bit snugger, to grip your foot better. My other FiveFinger shoes are a size 42 and I ordered a size 43 of these. I wish I had ordered my normal size 42.Anyways, great shoes. I run in them every day. Easy to slip on and off. This is the first pair of shoes that I actually feel comfortable wearing without socks – because they are just like socks with rubber soles!

Reviewed in the United States on May 16, 2014

A little tough breaking them in, but very good overall.

A solid product overall. They take some work getting them on your feet at first, but they fit great once fully seated. Wearing them takes some getting used to initially, but I am glad I bought them.

Reviewed in the United States on May 16, 2022

The “sandal” version of the V-Alpha

This has all the niceties of a shoe like the Five Fingers V-Alpha without any laces, straps, tongues to worry about. So you can slip in and out in a snap. Think of this as the “sandal” version of the V-Alpha…perfect for use with bare feet.

Reviewed in the United States on September 20, 2020

These are my favorite model of fivefingers

These are my favorite model of fivefingers. Very minimal and very grippy, my goto in most situations. The thin construction allows you to really feel the ground, and they don’t heat up too much in the summer. I noticed some wear on one of my pairs after wearing them for years and hiking hundreds of miles. I quickly bought 3 more pair just in case they get discontinued. I also have the Lontra, Treksport, and classic, but the EL-X is by far the favorite. No other shoe I’ve tried gives as sure-footed a feeling.

Reviewed in the United States on July 24, 2015

Last of the TRUE Fivefingers?

I guess Vibram decided to change their business model after the horror stories of injuries and the class action lawsuit, but they seem to defy their own logic as of late. One of the pioneers of minimalist footwear seems to introduce shoes with more substantial outsoles and more and more EVA midsole every year. This shoe is the lone exception to the recent change in Vibram’s product offerings (at least for men). Very minimal sole substance (under 3mm) and no-frills design — just like the KSO that brought Vibram into the spotlight in the first place.I’ve had several pair of Fivefingers, and these are my absolute favorite. Not only is groud feel outstanding in these (just as good if not better than the original KSO’s), I find the stretchy quality of the upper to lend itself well to both fit and ease of entry. They are also extremely lightweight — I barely notice they’re on when wearing these.Whether you’re a die-hard fan of the old “toe shoes” or just now trying them out, I believe the EL-X to be the best of what Vibram has to offer. Buy them while you can before Vibram adds them to the growing list of excellent shoes that have been discontinued.

Reviewed in the United States on December 18, 2014
Vibram FiveFingers Mens EL-X Black Athletic Shoes (Black, Numeric_10_Point_5)*
  • water resistance level: not water resistant
  • Lightweight and flexible Polyester mesh upper
  • 2mm EVA insole

Vibram FiveFingers El-X, Men’s Fitness Shoes – FAQ

wpuld anyone suggest running in these for a more “barefoot” running experience?

You can run in these, but they are more intended for casual wear. I would highly recommend finding a pair of Bikilas, Lontras or the new V-Run (apparently the updated version of Bikilas) for running; they have softer and more absorbent insoles and thicker outsoles. The softer insole is also less prone to blisters, although this can be mitigated if you my socks for them, like Injinjis.Transitioning from a standard running shoe to Vibrams is a huge shift and needs to be approached with care. It’s recommended that you cut back to about 30% for your normal distance in the beginning, and slowly and gradually build up. That’s because you will be developing an entirely new muscle set in your legs. In my experience it shifts more load to below the knee, where most distance running favors the thighs. Without the crutch of thick foam rubber and gel soles to cushion your feet, you will need to train your legs to become your shock absorbers; you either develop a more “bouncing” gait where your calves and knees act like springs or you beat your feet, knees and hips to death on any run over 6 miles. I like running in them better, I feel lighter on my feet and have a better feel for the terrain. I would just caution anybody to ease into the transition. Runners have a tendency to dismiss the “start with 30% and work up slowly over time” rule and think “that only applies to ordinary people, not me.” I did, and it applied to me after all. It applies to you, too. Once you make the transition though, I think you’ll prefer the experience in Vibrams to standard, traditional running shoes.

How would these fit on an extra wide foot?

Yes I wear 4EE and am a woman!!~~ they stretch to fit perfectly. I have been running since 2008 and wearing Fives since 2009 as well as just plain barefoot running mostly. Used to LOVE sprint style and have worn many others over the years. Found El-X in 2016 and am never changing to another style if I can help it. They are so light and like a sock with a rubber sole. So FLEXY!!~ I roll them up and tuck in pockets to run .. love them .

Is it okay to use it without socks and be cool about the condition of its sole in the long term?

I’ve been wearing the El-X as my only shoe for 3 years now, that being said; I ALLWAYS wear socks with these now, they start to stink after only 1 or 2 days without them. I walk at least 10 miles EVERY single day in these, and they consistently last me about 3 months. If you walk less (most people average 1 mile or less a day) they will probably last longer

How are these for wearing as water shoes at the beach?

perfect as a water shoe. I use them all the time for kayaking, tubing and days at the beach

the size chart and the drop down menu do not match. I wear a 10.5, the size chart suggests that I would be a 44, however, the drop down menu says 43.

According to Vibram’s web site, you should go up 1 size.

Do you have to wear socks ?

It would be impossible to wear socks with these shoes.

I have webbed middle toes. Would they still work?

Uhhh, might not be comfortable for you.

I was wondering if I could use it in rain or going to the river

Yes, while I don’t have this particular pair I do have several others, they are all I wear when the weather get’s warm enough and they all are fine in the rain or walking through water. Your feet get wet when walking through water but I have never had a problem with water getting trapped or anything and they dry prety quick, it’s nice in the heat of the summer actually. Vibram FF also makes a couple pair specifically for water sports and I would imagine a cross trainer would be well suited for running through water since others meant for running or hiking are.

are they good for people with diabetes

I have diabetes and if like to be barefoot then this is a good choice. Remember that sharp debris can still cut though and you take the chance for cuts or punchers. That is bad for people with diabetes because of the slow heal times. But it is a lot better then walking around with nothing, and still have the freedom of feeling barefoot.

Are these shoes going to get me made fun of?

No they shouldn’t, I have only received great compliments. But if you do what is better – make fun of or your feet being very comfortable?

Vibram FiveFingers Mens EL-X Black Athletic Shoes (Black, Numeric_10_Point_5)*
  • water resistance level: not water resistant
  • Lightweight and flexible Polyester mesh upper
  • 2mm EVA insole

*If you buy a product through one of these links, I will receive a small commission from the seller. There are no additional costs for you, and you support my work on this site. To learn more read here. Thank you and Feel Grounded. Dirk