No B.S. Review
I recently got in touch with our friends at Virbam to learn more about their Five Finger shoes and to see how they would hold up surfing. They sent us a pair of their KSO’s which are one of their most popular models and I was happy to put them to the test.
The Five Finger shoes are based on the concept that being barefoot helps enhance your abilities and allow you to move more naturally. They have accomplished this by completely re-designing the modern athletic shoe. This new minimalist design was developed and based on our natural biomechanics. Our feet have a very complex design and are meant to be used, not stuffed into a round toed shoe. Each toe can move independently to provide more traction, sensitivity, and strength with each step. Like most people, I prefer to surf barefoot because I feel like I can grip the board better.
The Five Fingers shoes are constructed of a thin, abrasion-resistant stretchy nylon and breathable mesh that wraps your entire forefoot to “Keep Stuff Out”. Individual toe pockets hug your feet and give the shoe that glove like look and feel. A non-marking 3.5mm Vibram TC1 perf
ormance rubber sole is razor-siped for a sure grip, and a 2mm EVA insole enhances plating protection and comfort. The shoe also has an added Velcro strap going across the top to help keep the shoes on in any situation.
Getting into the KSO’s for the first time was a bit challenging but once you work your toes in and wear them around a bit you don’t even realize they are there!!! After a short break-in period I took them out for a surf. I was instantly impressed with how much grip they gave on the slippery rocks on the way down to the shoreline and they certainly take the edge off stepping on the sharper rocks and other obstacles you find on the beach. Getting up on my board for the first time with the five fingers on was a pretty interesting ride. You really do get the barefoot experience; each of my toes was working independently as they would if I was barefoot. The five fingers added the perfect combination of control and protection. They stayed on my feet the whole session and I actually forgot they were on much of the time.
From a surfers prospective I think these shoes are a must have. I now wear them in and out of the water and they have completely replaced my split toe reef boots for travel. When the colder water comes I unfortunately have to switch to thicker booties but I still wear the five fingers around whenever I can. They also create an interesting topic for discussion and people still ask me about them almost every time I wear them. I would highly suggest visiting Vibram’s site http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/ to learn more about the KSO’s and their many other models of Five Finger shoes and accessories. We’re definitely “stoked” on their gear and think you’ll be seeing more Five Fingers in lineups and our reviews soon. As always, thanks for reading and be sure to tell a friend…