Vibram Five Fingers: KSO

My wife is so cool.  She gave me the KSO Five Fingers by Vibram for Christmas.  In Florida many paddlers use flip flops, or water clogs. Unfortunately those things never stay on my feet. I have even used neoprene boots.  And neoprene holds a smell…

I was so surprised to find a set of KSO under the tree.  She must have measured my feet while I slept.  For they fit.  I have warn them paddling several times since Christmas.


The thin abrasion-resistant stretch polyamide and breathable stretch mesh wraps my entire forefoot.  And it successfully “Keeps Stuff Out.” So far the single hook-and-loop closure has prevented the shoes from falling off in the muck.  And the secure fit is not putting pressure on my Achilles tendon.

I have also tested the non-marking Vibram TC1 performance rubber soles to see how sure of a grip they have on our slippery boat launches.  So far I have not slipped.

I am very impressed by these shoes. And I thank the staff at Bill Jackson’s Shop for Adventure for helping my wife with this purchase.  It is weird to have material between my toes. But they fit great, have not slipped off, and my feet have not stunk after wearing them for several days of kayaking. And my paddling buddies are very happy about that.


Update: June 1, 2010

It has been almost eighteen months since I began wearing the Five Fingers KSO.  And I have to say that I have run them through a battery of  environments and tasks.  The original purpose was that I would only wear them while I was kayaking.  They have stayed on my feet while I have had mud up to my knees.  The Vibram TC1 performance rubber soles has lessened my times of slipping on boat ramps, and the rubber soles have not fallen apart, worn through, or even been cut by the abrasive and sharp edges of oysters that i frequently walk on.  They are a great warm water shoe.

Then I began wearing them to work, and around town.  I discovered that walking and running in them my feet, ankles, legs, and back actually began to feel better.  My back did not get sore when I was just standing in a line at a store.  And when I wear them to run on the treadmill my body feels great.  I have done some research lately and I now understand the why.  So the claims of people who advocate a barefoot lifestyle are not nutty.

The KSO rubber soles unfortunately began to separate itself from the fabric on both feet.   Yesterday I glued the soles back on with McNett Freesole – urethane formula shoe repair.  It took about two hours for it to bond.  I have given it 24 hours to setup and you would never know that I had needed to repair them.


The only other sign of wear is that they are faded.  I probably should not have gotten the black.

My next request from my wife is to get a pair of Vibram Five Fingers KSO Trek for Christmas. – Jeff


  1. Very interesting to read your experiences!! Would appreciate your comments as a user on this article that I wrote about Vibrams FiveFingers. As you know, not many people have experience with them, so your comments would be very helpful! I would also be willing to exchange links if that would be of interest to you.

  2. Hi G. Sol,
    Within the last year every time I go paddling I have meet a new owner of the Vibram FiveFingers. This could be due to the warm waters in Tampa Bay Florida. People can paddle almost all year long with simple foot protection. I was very hesitant in getting a pair of KSO because I thought they would be difficult to put on, or they would be too tight, but they are not like that. Actually my pair of KSO is easer to wear than any of my previous foot wear. A few times I have forgotten that I was wearing them. I love the barefoot feeling. I am even thinking of wearing them into my office Monday.

  3. It is now late February in Florida and I only have two negative observations about my Vibram KSO shoes. After a long day of paddling in winds gusting up to 20 knots I have noticed significant pressure on my feet where they touch the foot pegs. To remedy the pressure I have added padding to my foot pegs. I also have difficulty putting damp KOS shoes on when my feet are cold.

  4. I found lots of interesting information on The post was professionally written and I feel like the author has extensive knowledge in the subject. keep it that way.

  5. Whats’s Up im new on here. I came accross this site I find It truly useful & it has helped me tons. I hope to give something back and support other people like its helped me.

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  6. I like the pictures! I didn’t expect to see them separate like you show in the photo. I wonder if that has anything to do with a lot of exposure to water or other elements. I have a friend who kayaks a lot and maybe he’d benefit from picking up a pair.

    I bought a pair to use for running. I like them a fair amount, but think using them a lot requires a fairly big transition. It looks like you started using them sparingly and have been able to yield the benefits of the more natural movement. Cool! If anyone is interested in hearing about the KSOs from a running perspective, feel free to view my review:

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