Can shoes be gadgets? While I know it’s probably not worth debating, I do have a penchant for reviewing cutting edge consumer trends. Vibram 5 Fingers is for certain a benchmark in shoe design, and fully deserves the attention of GadgetReview, as well as yourself!

Vibram as a company is widely recognized for the quality of the soles they manufacture for high end shoe companies such as Keen, Merrel, and Rockport. With their first foray into actual shoe development, Vibram has created something truly special for your feet. Without going too much into the theology, or the technology involved, I just want to relate my experiences with Vibram 5 Fingers. Please check out the Vibram website for specific technical information.

First off, the 5 Fingers were a bit of a struggle to get on. Everyone’s feet are different, and my toes just didn’t want to spread apart enough to fit into all the toe holes. After a few days I figured out a method where I started with my small toes and worked my way towards my big toe. Ok, a bit of a learning curve for my toes, but no problem. They felt very slick on my feet, and weighed very little. I was impressed with the overall fit and they reminded my of Under Armour Compression Gear, which is a compliment.

From the wet streets of Portland, to the sunny beaches of Fort Lauderdale, I was lucky enough to test the 5 Fingers under various conditions. In Portland, I tried street and trail running, and felt as if they mimicked the barefoot feeling with true accuracy. But as with bare feet exposing you to road or trail debris, the 5 fingers isn’t going to be of much better protection. I ran over a rock and almost twisted my ankle like I would have running barefoot. No cushioning or support there. Not to say that the 5 Fingers are uncomfortable, it’s just that they sort of trick your mind into thinking that they provide more protective coverage, when they really don’t. Just like your bare feet! While I was out in Portland the temp was around mid to low 40′s and I wasn’t too cold wearing them around. The streets were wet, and it rained for a portion of my time outside, and the 5 Fingers did an excellent job of keeping the water and wetness out. I can’t wait for this summer to test them out on the river!

Over the holiday, I got to try them out in Fort Lauderdale, and had a great time with them. They reacted wonderfully while running and playing in the sand.  They did end up collecting sand and water, but it was unobtrusive to say the least. They were also very easy to clean and to get sand out from the velcro straps. I also wanted to point out that they were comfortable enough to wear all day, so even though they may take a little time to get snug, it’s well worth it.

The Vibram 5 Fingers is a must buy for anyone who is looking for an active outdoor shoe. Not comfortable enough to wear to bed, but almost. These shoes are also huge head turners. Many people commented on them, and I saw even more fingers pointing. If you need a new pair of shoes for water wear or anything else, look no further!

Pros:

  • Crazy innovative and super cool
  • Holds up well in a variety of scenarios
  • Solid build and quality, materials, and construction

Cons:

  • A bit of a pain to get on at first
  • Not very insulated from extreme cold weather
  • Not very protective in regards to road debris and rocks

Buy them for $89.99 here



Jeff B