Vibram FiveFingers Review: KSO Trek (M)

This is a review sent in from one of our readers (Thanks Thomas!) who recently purchased a pair of the KSO Trek series by Vibram Five Fingers.

Hi minimalist fans!

I’m a first time wearer of barefoot/minimalist shoes and have always been a staunch wearer of hiking boots or trail runners when going outdoors. After reviewing this site and a few others I figured it was worth my while (especially as I approach 50!) to investigate into footwear that is allegedly better for my posture and walking style.

To start off, I’m a hiking and walking fanatic. I don’t run much anymore, but I do love to spend time outdoors (the longer the better) and have always had a fascination with nature. My decision to stray away from hiking boots took some serious thought but I’m pleased to say that I believe the change was worth it.

Vibram KSO Trek Shoes 1

My original concern when trying out the Vibram KSO Trek Series was the fact that I didn’t believe (and still find it hard to believe) that the shoe would provide enough protection against the elements. I’ve hiked through mud, snow, scree and a whole variety of nasty environments and my boots have carried me well (besides a few blisters). I didn’t think a thin pair of minimal shoes would be up to the challenge.

Knowing this I asked for the toughest pair of minimalist hiking shoes and was given the KSO Treks. Now, I can’t say these shoe iell function well in the snow, but they’ve carried me up and down mountains, through forests and along poorly groomed trails with hardly any problems. The reason? Vibram makes use of Kangaroo leather (picture below) which is both incredibly soft as well resistant to all sorts of environments.

Vibram Kangaroo Leather

I also appreciated the fact that although the shoe has a thicker sole than the other Vibrams (4mm), it still allows for a real barefoot feeling as one moves around outdoors. That was something I’ve never experienced before while hiking and something I definitely don’t want to lose in the future. The shoes definitely fit the rugged profile they’re advertised as.

The only thing I’m disappointed about is that I didn’t make the switch earlier. Going minimalist brings a new meaning to hiking and connecting with nature. I’m planning on buying a pair of barefoot shoes for casual use as well. Even though I’ve read and heard that switching to barefoot can be a time consuming or even uncomfortable process I found just the opposite. It felt like I had corrected something I had been doing wrong for years. Now if only they made barefoot shoes for snow…

I hope this review helps you to find a pair of minimalist shoes that are right for you. I don’t know much about the technical aspects of the footwear, I mainly focus on the results, and I’ve got got to say that after three months of using the KSO Treks I’m pretty pleased.

Good luck and Happy Trails!
-Thomas

desert hike

 

If you have a minimalist shoe review of your own that you would like to be posted, please send it along with any pictures necessary to: minimalistshoes@minimalistshoes.org

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