I have both the five fingers classic and the five fingers sprint my uses are mainly for whitewater kayaking (I also use them for general use from time to time). Obviously you don't need anything while you're in the boat but rather for portaging you need something with great traction. The Vibram Five Fingers do just that. One problem I've had with the sprints and the classics is that both get a lot of sand, mud, and rocks in them. That's always a hassle. For a Kayaker shoe debris is not that big of a deal because we can easily stop and readjust or clean them out but, for Runners that's a big issue. I'm not a runner but these look like a great option for runners.
A good improvement that I noticed right away was the one strap adjustment system. The adjustment is simple, comfortable, and easy. This eliminates the need for the multiple Velcro adjustment straps that the Vibram Sprint has. In ways I still like the micro adjustment of the sprint - this system is just a quick one strap does it all. The sprint on the other hand you can adjust away each area for the perfect fit.
The more obvious change is the mesh Vibram added to improve foot coverage and to Keep Stuff Out. That's where the KSO name comes from. The mesh is very breathable and seems to do the trick. It's still cold here so, haven't been able to try these on the river (they don't work with my drysuit). I do wonder how the mesh will hold up to a good soaking in the river. I know there is the new Vibram Five Finger Flow for water applications (I plan to try those out as well later in the year) but I have always liked to avoid neoprene when I can. The Flows look good and a HUGE improvement over the Surge. I am excited to check them out - again later in the year.
All in all the Vibram KSO's are comfortable and a good improvement for those with the need to keep debris out of their shoe. I still like the classis and the sprint- they have their place but the flow does what it says it does -Keep Stuff Out!
Labels: Review Vibram Five Fingers, Vibram Five Fingers