It is not often I review products that aren’t supplements but I believe these to warrant a review.
Many of you may have heard of Vibrams but never seen a pair or tried a pair on. Basically vibrams are a shoe that offer great protection but are designed to feel very natural as though you aren’t wearing anything on your feet at all. They are a very light weight shoe that allows for the foot to breath. The main key feature that everyone will notice is that the shoes have individual toe slots. This makes them look like gloves on your feet.
I bought a pair of Vibram KSO shoes for the gym 4 days ago and have used them pretty much non-stop since I bought them. Here is my full review of this product.
Appearance and design –
As soon as I opened the box I was impressed with the design and the way they looked. I tried on a pair of my friends shoes so knew which size to get but wanted a different design. I decided upon the KSOs because they are most suited for the gym and what I need them for. Also because they look cool. I really like the all black design.
The shoe’s most striking feature is obviously the toes, but there are many other design features that add to the shoes appearance and make them look really cool in my opinion. The KSOs have a webbing on the top of the foot to allow the foot to breath. There is a very well made strap for tightening the shoe around the foot. Underneath on the sole of the shoe there is some very strong rubber which also gives fantastic grip when wearing the shoe.
Overall I really like the design of the shoe, although it is not to everyone’s taste. I got some very funny looks walking down a busy street wearing them the other day.
Initial thoughts when wearing the shoe –
Once I took the shoes out the box, the first thing I had to do was try and get them on. Putting on a shoe would be a simple task for the vast majority of people. Well its not with a Vibram shoe. The first time you try to get it on I will pretty much guarantee most people will struggle to get their toes in the correct slots. You have to kind of crawl your toes down the shoe and using your fingers try and place all of the toes in the correct slots. It took me about 30 seconds with each shoe to get them on. After a few days of practice though this problem is gone. I can literally slip them on in under 10 seconds each now and it isn’t really any more bother than having to tie your shoe laces.
Once the shoe was on I was incredibly surprised at how comfy they were. Although I hate to use such a horrendous pun, they really id fit like a glove. They feel really tight around the foot but not in a constricting manner. It feels like a second skin. The shoes are extremely light and it genuinely feels like you are walking barefoot. I had a bit of a run and jump around in them and they felt great. There isn’t really any cushioning in the heel so I wouldn’t recommend going for a run straight away in them. They aren’t designed for that really and you may feel some discomfort in your Achilles or potentially get shin splints.
Performance in the Gym –
This is, in my opinion, the most important part of the review as this is the reason I bought them.
In general in the gym I like to train barefoot. Running shoe have very soft heels and therefore don’t offer much support when doing things like squat or deadlift. The only problem with training barefoot is that your feet get sweaty and slippery so it isn’t safe. The Vibrams are a perfect solution to this problem. They allow for the solid base of barefoot training with the additional grip of a trainer. I have used them to do squats, deadlifts, standing push press and some box jumps, as well as many other exercises. They felt absolutely great on all of the exercises. I actually felt more solid with them on than I do barefoot.
One very good aspect of the vibrams is that, due to the lack of heel support, your Achilles tendon will be more stretched and therefore you will get more calf development throughout your training. For me, a person with incredibly embarrassing calves, this is fantastic. I could feel my calves working more whilst squatting as opposed to when wearing normal running trainers.
Overall I really like my Vibrams. I personally think that if you re doing weight training then these are a perfect shoe for the gym.
Vibrams do a massive range of products for all types of training and sports. There are shoes for hiking, climbing, team sports and many other activities. Take a look online for a store in your area and go try some on. I guarantee you will love the feel of them.