Rated 1out of5
fromComfortable Until You Stub Your Toe These are really popular. However, if you hike in these, you'll be fine until you bump your toe on a rock. Where conventional shoes spread out the force, these will not. I never wear them hiking any more.
Date published: 2011-05-17
Rated 1out of5
by Bruce in Poughkeepsie
fromDon't Believe the Hype I bought a pair of these on a lark with my 2011 dividend check. I often run long distances on the ball of my foot, so I thought I'd give it a try. It didn't work our so well.
Pros: These are extremely light weight shoes and increased my speed. The fit method allows for people whose first or second toes may be longer. The sole is thin and the toes move independently, increasing your feel of the ground. That's about where the goodness stops.
Cons: My fourth and fifth toes aren't straight. They curl under a little toward the big toe. This makes it difficult to get the toes into the right sleeves. I'd do much better if the 4th and 5th toes were joined, but then "Four Fingers Plus" wouldn't be so great for marketing. Once my toes are in place, I have to work to keep them in place. If I flex my 4th and 5th toes at all, they pop out of their sleeves. Always being conscious of this significantly reduced the fun of wearing these shoes. These shoes are not fit for running on any rough surface. Sticks, gravel, broken glass, and other sharp objects will go right through the fabric sides. This isn't a problem with normal running shoes because of the thick cushion and because the depth of the cushion keeps the soft sides away from sharp objects. This isn't the case here. The soft sides are readily exposed to ground hazards.
Despite the hype, always running on the ball of your foot is not how nature intended. If you've ever watched kids in the developing world run around and play soccer barefoot, that's obvious. We have heels for a reason.
Because these shoes change the way you run, your body will have to adapt. There are reviewers that talk about going out and running 637 miles the first time they put them on. Nonsense. When was the last time you went for a long run with a new pair of shoes? How about trying that without socks? Or how about with no socks in a pair of shoes that rubs your feet in all new places? I got blisters in all those new places. That's OK. I was ready for that, and they went away.
Because the shoes change the way you run, you muscles will have to adapt. Some people call this pain. I like post-workout pain. It goes away leaving you stronger. I had to drop my milage dramatically for the first several weeks, while my muscles, especially my calf muscles adapted. Eventually, I was up to my normal milage, my calf muscles stopped hurting, and I was really excited about it. Late in the very next workout, I got a new pain in my lower legs which got steadily worse through the workout. I took a few days off, but the same thing happened the next time, cutting my workout short. This continued for a few more workouts, until I could no longer run across the street. The reason: bilateral stress fractures in my tibias. I couldn't run at all for 12 weeks.
I could still ride a bike, so that's what I did all summer, working out a few times a week, and doing my first (very hilly) century ride. But you're probably not looking at these shoes to improve your biking. I should have returned them to REI, but they went out with the trash. They're a neat idea, but I do not recommend them.
Date published: 2012-04-10
Rated 2out of5
fromPoor manufacturing quality I'm a long time owner of various FiveFinger models and absolutely love them.
However, I have now purchased this model twice, and both times the pull tab on the fast lace system broke the first time I used the shoe.
I have an older model with the fast lace system, and I've never had any issue with the pull tab.
Hopefully this is a issue with a small batch of these shoes that will be fixed soon.
Date published: 2013-09-23
Rated 3out of5
by Dr Phil
fromFun, but I don't miss them I bought these as a change-up from my usual running shoes (I run 15-20 miles/week) for gym workouts and short runs. I wore them in the house to get used to them for 1 week, worked out once, and ran in them twice 3 miles each time. My feet were not comfortable running in them on pavement, but a well-cushioned treadmill was OK. Overall I wore them maybe 8 times in one month. Then the tab holding the laces together fell off. [...] I don't miss these shoes.
Date published: 2011-06-26
Rated 3out of5
fromInteresting concept but not for running The shoes have some promise in terms of stride correction (encouraging you to land on your fore/mid foot) and I was pleasantly surprised that your feet or legs really don't hurt running without all the cushion in normal running shoes.
But, for me, these shoes slowed me down. I think I could regain my speed but the process could take a long time. (Vibram's website suggests that this process could take up to a year.) I just can't go very fast or as long in these and downhills are particularly problemmatic to land on your fore/mid foot while keeping your speed under control. As a result, these are not long term, everyday running shoes for me. Plus the fact that the right conventional running shoes weren't causing me any problems to begin with.
However, they do serve a useful, once-in-a-while training purpose to practice form, slow down, and just enjoy a run. Plus, my regular running shoes now feel super cushiony -- almost like a treat for my feet. So I basically view these shoes more as a tool (like swimming fins or paddles) than as a full replacement.
In addition, I like them to wear in the gym for weightlifting and group exercise classes as they are comfortable (after you get used to them), easy to put on, lightweight, and provide a nice "feel" for the ground and your feet. And they're conveniently machine washable. After four months of use, they are still in excellent condition.
Finally, the lacing system is superior to the strap system as it provides a better, more customized fit.
Remember to be patient getting used to them. Best to first use them in the gym or walking for several weeks. Build your running speed and distance SLOWLY!
Date published: 2012-03-01
Rated 4out of5
fromhappy toes and feet I have not ran in the shoes as they were designed for but walking and overall wearing of the shoes have been enjoyable. The Bikila is my first pair of "toe" shoes and I am happily satisfied with them. As with anything new, especially these, you have to have patience in putting them on at first. The sole is thin enough to feel large rocks and uneven surface, but after a day on the Green River rafting and other fun outdoor walking around, my feet were not tired or sore. They were surprisingly great!
Date published: 2012-09-26
Rated 4out of5
by Tommy Pensyl
fromEnjoying the shoes Left shoe is slightly too short, leading to pressure on that big toe and slight discomfort after long periods of wearing the shoe; I'd probably go with a size up next time. Otherwise, shoes are great. Very nice and fun to feel the ground under your feet. Nice for playing ultimate frisbee.
Was suffering symptoms of plantar fascitis when I bought these. That has gotten much better, although it's hard to tell whether the improvement is due to the shoes or just time.
Date published: 2013-09-26
Rated 4out of5
fromGreat shoe! Let me keep it simple the shoe is great. I would have given it 5 stars but my right big toe got a small blister after my first run (4 miles). The next couple of runs (same distance) were very comfortable and I did not have any discomfort what so ever including the big toe. One quick note I was wearing Mizuno Wave Universe 3 (3.7 oz each) so there was no break in period for me.
Lastly, read other online reviews because they are pretty right on. If they sound like the shoe for you give them a try.
Date published: 2011-02-21