Hands-on Gear Review

Vibram FiveFingers TrekSport Review

Vibram FiveFingers Treksport
By: Jimmy Elam ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Aug 21, 2014
Price:  $100 List
Pros:  Highest ground sensitivity, natural barefoot feeling
Cons:  Take longest for feet to adjust, getting toes in sleeve can take some effort
Manufacturer:   Vibram
74
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Ground feeling - 30% 9
  • Warmth - 10% 4
  • Traction - 20% 8
  • Foot Protection - 15% 6
  • Weight - 15% 8
  • Comfort - 10% 6
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Our Verdict

Zero drop combined with only 4 mm of cushion and the lowest stack height of the group gives the Vibram FiveFingers Treksport a true barefoot feel. FiveFingers have recently received some bad press after Vibram settled a lawsuit with users who felt misled by the advertised health benefits of the shoes. Vibram is now guaranteeing its products. According to The Atlantic,Vibram stated that anyone can try a pair of FiveFingers for six weeks, and if not satisfied can return them with a full refund before the end of 2014. For this guarantee, you must purchase a pair from Vibram's site. FiveFingers can be beneficial, but they aren't for everyone. This seems like a good way to find out!

Discontinued Product - January 2016
The FiveFingers TrekSport barefoot shoes are no longer sold by Vibram. If you're in search of a barefoot or minimalist style pair of shoes, check out the Best Minimalist and Barefoot Shoes Review.


Our Analysis and Test Results

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With a super light, thin, stretchy, snug upper combined with a 4 mm midsole and an ultra-durable Vibram outsole, the FiveFingers Treksport don't leave much to the imagination. What you see is what you get, and we see a wonderful barefoot running shoe that can hold its own against some of the top minimalist running shoes on the market.

Performance Comparison



The extremely flexible sole on the Vibram Fivefingers Treksport gives us a perfect barefoot ride.
The extremely flexible sole on the Vibram Fivefingers Treksport gives us a perfect barefoot ride.

Ground Feeling


The Vibram Fivefingers Treksport have the most sensitive ground feeling, along with the Merrell Trail Glove 4. With a zero drop, 4 mm EVA midsole, and the lowest stack height of the group, not to mention separated toes, the Treksport allows for plenty of sensation from the ground. The individual toe slots also promote building foot strength and more landing control than any other shoe we tested.

Traction


We rate the Treksport with the second highest rating in traction, just behind the Inov8 Trailroc 245. It has an extremely versatile Vibram outsole and we find it to keep traction well in any condition. Vibram uses their TC1 rubber for the outsole tread, which provides wonderful traction on roads, trails, and technical terrain. After logging fifty miles on every type of trail we could get our feet on in these shoes, we barely notice any wear on the TC1 outsole. Being such a flexible shoe, it allows for a full ground contact ride that provides traction and better control as well.

Close-up of the FiveFingers Treksport's grippy outsole that works great on all terrain.
Close-up of the FiveFingers Treksport's grippy outsole that works great on all terrain.

Comfort


The stretchy mesh upper on the FiveFingers Treksport wraps snugly around the feet, proving its functionality because we don't notice any rocks or debris sneaking inside on our trail runs. We love the flexible 4 mm EVA midsole that allows for just enough comfort while still maintaining a true barefoot feel. We notice that those with smaller toes will have extra space at the ends of the toe slots, which doesn't allow for a perfect fit like an open-toe shoe can.

The forefoot strap connecting around the heel. We find this to function well in keeping our feet in place while running on uneven terrain.
The forefoot strap connecting around the heel. We find this to function well in keeping our feet in place while running on uneven terrain.

Weight


The Vibram FiveFingers Treksport are the second lightest shoe of the group, behind the New Balance Minimus 10v1 Trail at 6.5 ounces. The full Vibram tread on the outsole definitely adds some weight, though we feel it is necessary to provide a sufficient amount of protection with only 4 mm of cushion.

Warmth


The most minimal upper of the whole group is found on the Treksport. That being said, it also provides the least amount of warmth. Also take note that the thinner the midsole and outsole, the less warmth will be provided, and this shoe has the most minimal of both.

Foot Protection


Even though the Treksport has 2 mm less cushioning than the New Balance Minimus 10v1 Trail, the full Vibram outsole makes them feel more protective while not affecting the barefoot ride. The velcro strap that wraps over the forefoot and connects around the heel secures the feet perfectly, keeping them secure on even the most uneven terrain. Being a barefoot running shoe, it shouldn't be a surprise that this model still scores towards the bottom of the group in foot protection. If you need a minimalist running shoe with unrivaled protection for the roughest terrain, go for the Inov8 Trailroc 245, which feature a Meta-shank rock plate.

Best Application


This shoe is best used for shorter road or trail runs, hiking, and daily wear for those wanting a barefoot experience.

The Vibram Fivefingers Treksport handled steep talus above Lake Tahoe surprisingly well.
The Vibram Fivefingers Treksport handled steep talus above Lake Tahoe surprisingly well.

Value


Considering the versatility and performance of this barefoot shoe, we feel it's well worth the $100 retail price.

Conclusion


For those of you seeking a true barefoot ride while also needing plenty of traction for the trails, The Vibram FiveFingers Treksport could be the perfect shoe for you. Featuring FiveFinger's signature toe sleeves, this shoe allows for individualized attention to strengthening each toe along with the rest of your foot. We do believe many of the other minimalist running shoes in this test, such as the super light New Balance Minimus 10v1 Trail, provide the same benefit in strengthening your feet as the FiveFingers do, but some people will prefer a truly barefoot shoe. If you've been using minimalist or barefoot running shoes for a while now and prefer a FiveFinger shoe even more minimal than the Treksport, check out the Fivefingers El-X.

Jimmy Elam

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: September 23, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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  • 5
 (4.0)

100% of 3 reviewers recommend it
 
Rating Distribution
4 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (4)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Person Icon

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   Sep 23, 2016 - 09:47pm
Jabell7

The Vibram FiveFingers shoes are an excellent match for minimalist, the gym or running. These shoes were designed to withstand rugged use and are used for both long and short distance running, weightlifting, camping, and even water usage. You will be pleasantly surprised with how breathable, durable, and water resistant they are. You can literally feel the crisp morning air passing through the shoe as you go out for a morning run. When it comes to crossing a large puddle or even a stream you don’t have to worry about your feet getting wet as they are made of a water resistant material. If you enjoy these activities or simply want a different kind of shoe to walk around in, then you’ll be satisfied with these shoes. They come in many different models to accommodate the style you want. Recently, I purchased online the KSO EVO model and upon trying them on I realized they were a little too big. You will want to order your specific size or even a size smaller to have a proper fitting shoe. They do stretch which makes ordering a size to half size smaller a smart choice. However, you will not want to go too small as they may feel like they are cutting off blood circulation and nobody wants to be doing physical activities with numb feet. A way to fix a shoe that is a little too big is by wearing socks with them. Many people don’t wear socks with their Vibram FiveFinger shoe, but you can purchase socks for them. They require a specific sock that has slots for your toes just like the shoe does. You may even find yourself changing your sock wardrobe as these socks are quite comfortable. One other small quirk is that you may experience a slight soreness or tenderness in your feet or toes. This happens from the material enclosing the toes along with the feel of not wearing shoes. This will go away as you begin to break them in and use them more often. Once you have your Vibram FiveFingers shoes broken in and at the ideal size, you will truly get to enjoy these shoes and have the feeling of being barefoot, while still having the protection that a shoe provides.



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.

Backpacker

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   Nov 6, 2015 - 11:11pm
Uncivilized in the PNW · Backpacker · Seattle

I generally think this review is pretty fair. If you want the most 'bare-foot' feeling of the bare-foot shoes, this is the best option.

Overall I love these shoes. They're extremely comfortable, have decent traction, and are fairly durable (though less than hiking boots). My only complaint is that they aren't very warm; my feet get cold in temps less than 50 F. That's just a minor gripe because Vibram does make cold weather varieties, though they aren't as comfortable.



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.

Camper

Jun 7, 2015 - 12:29am
 
Freek · Camper · Belgium

I'm kind of falling in love with these ugly ducklings while reading more about them!

The problem is I'm not so much a 1-3day hiker, I'm in the business for multiple week hikes. Is this shoe also an option if I would do a trek in them for 2 weeks straight?

Thanks



Skiing in the Arcteryx Alpha SV

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   Jan 4, 2015 - 11:54am
Natty Bumppo · Skier · Buffalo, NY

I really like these for running on nice days. They are fun to use and my lower extremities don't tire as fast. These shoes really shine for deep sea fishing in warm weather. Great traction, non marking soles, quick drying. They are the perfect boat shoe in my opinion.



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.


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