|Fits as expected||
Vibram© Vibram© FiveFingers Men's Kso Trainer
|Price:||£78.32 - £89.90|
Little hard to get ton first time
But like everything it gets easier
The more you do .
Not the most elegant, but he assures us they are really comfotable
- Single hook-and-loop closure helps secure the fit
- A non-marking 3.5mm insole Vibram® TC1 performancerubber outsole is razor-siped for a sure grip
- Outer Material: Nylon
- Inner Material: Fabric
- Sole: Gum Rubber
- Closure: Hook & Loop
- Material Composition: Nylon & Rubber
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Over the last two years, the KSO has become the most popular model for men due to its comfort and versatility. Featuringa thin, abrasion-resistant stretch nylon and breathable mesh upper that wraps your entire forefoot to “Keep StuffOut.”
Top customer reviews
There's been a lot of discrepancies regarding to sizes and which ones to get but stick to your normal shoe size and you're good.
I'd recommend this classic plain also as other colours are kinda gimmicky and perpetuated to consumers emotions.
Power of marketing but stick to gut regardless...
A word of caution - if you are planning on taking up barefoot running or running in VFFs take it really easy and allow your body time to adapt, especially if you have been running in "normal" running shoes for some time. My weekly milage has halfed and I've been taking it really steady, trying to run off-road when I can. Get on a running website and search for forums on VFFs - runnersworld or fetcheveryone are good. Lots of tips.
I've got used to doing Yoga and Body Balance with bare feet, and that's persuaded me to put my supportive, cushioned trainers to one side and try Vibram Five Fingers shoes for gym work. Although I land on my mid-foot when I run, I'm not a natural for minimalist shoes. I have low arches, I pronate, my knees have many years of wear and injuries, and at 72kg I don't have the whippet-like build of a club runner.
What are KSOs like?
The 3.5mm flexible sole is attached to a nylon and mesh upper that has individual pockets for each of the toes; the sole material extends up the front of each toe. A strap runs around the outside of the heel cup, through a loop over the arch of the foot, and then across the top of the foot were it is adjusted for width and secured by Velcro. KSO stands for `keeps stuff out', a reference to the mesh stopping grit getting into the shoe. There is an EVA insole that is 2mm thick, and a pair weigh around 12 ounces in total taking up so little space in my gym rucksack compared with my Kayanos or Zooms. They don't have the really flat inner seams that you get in a premium road shoe, so there may be the odd blister but stick with it as these shoes may just ignite that passion for running that you felt when you started.
If you're looking for information on sizing, models, and adapting to running in minimalist shoes, type `birthdayshoes' into Google and you'll find a very good resource in the States; don't go to a UK site of a similar name. Try "birthdayshoes.com/the-beginner-s-guide-to-five-fingers". Looking around the Internet, be careful when online retailers are offering massive discounts, as they may not be the genuine article.
Type `five fingers sizing video' in Google to see a short video on YouTube. There is anecdotal advice on the Internet that black KSOs are smaller than other colours. Secondly, although the sizing chart in the video and at UK online retailers shows a size 43 KSO for an 11 inch long foot, the current chart on the Vibram FiveFingers European website shows a size 44 KSO. The current shoes may be sized differently as I have an 11 inch foot and my new taupe coloured (grey) KSO size 44 fit me although the Velcro strap will not tighten much further on my smallest foot.
Vibram say that the KSOs are suitable for Yoga and Pilates. I disagree as the sole is far too thick and if I wanted to cover my feet for Yoga, Pilates or Body Balance, toeless socks with grippy soles like the Stick-E range are better and cheaper than KSOs. On the other hand, they grip like limpets to the gym mats used for post-exercise stretching.
According to Vibram, there isn't much that the KSOs can't be used for. Day one in the gym:
* Fitball class - generally better than trainers, balance was much better;
* Treadmill - 1km at 11kmh was as comfortable as running in conventional trainers provided that my foot strike was around the ball of the foot, and a shorter stride with a quick turnover (taking it slowly despite the 'high' from running in KSOs - so easy to overdo it at first);
* Cross trainer - comfortable and no problems;
* Static bike - comfortable and no problems;
* Concept 2 rowing machine - no problems provided that the foot rests are set higher than for trainers;
* Jonny G spin bike - uncomfortable and I will stay with my stiff soled cycling shoes;
* Post-exercise stretching - great, I don't have to take off my trainers to do Yoga stretches.
No unusual aches or pains.
Day two in the gym:
* Treadmill - 2km accelerating up to 12.6kph;
* Cross trainer - 20 minutes at a good work rate;
* Static bike - 6 minutes of cadence work.
Slight tightness in right soleus, small rub on the left foot from the seam of the arch attachment (I pronate on my left foot). Other than that, feeling really good.
Big smile and unlikely that I will go back to conventional trainers.
One week on
Still smiling. Adding 0.5km on each of the two treadmill runs per week. In the Kayanos I always warmed up at 10.2kph but that feels slow and 'clunky' in the KSOs. Once I'm at 11 to 12 kph I just relax and let it flow. Compared with the Kayanos, my heart rate is lower with the KSOs at the same pace. Although I don't have much upper body movement on a treadmill, I have even less with the KSOs. Still some tightness in the right lower leg.
Injinji toe socks
I've bought some Injinji performance micro socks (original weight) that like the KSOs have separate pockets for the toes. I've tried wearing them with the KSOs for treadmill and cross-trainer sessions. They really work well, the shoes fit like gloves, they are comfortable, there's no rubbing, and the 70% Coolmax construction of the socks means that my feet didn't get sweaty.
Two months on
I've only worn conventional trainers once in the gym and once on the treadmill because eccentric heel raises on Pilates equipment aggravated my knee (nothing to do with the KSOs). I've also worn them on a country walk including on gravel footpaths. Due to atrial fibrillation I haven't increased distance and I've dropped back to 10.7 to 11.0 kph, but it feels good to be wearing the KSOs. My balance still needs work but my soleus and calf muscles do feel stronger. On the other hand my Kayanos felt clunky and unnatural on the treadmill; I hadn't realised I had adapted so much to the KSOs.
The top of the heel cup on one shoe has become partially unstuck. As the on-line retailer that I bought them from (nothing to do with Amazon) has ceased trading, I contacted Vibram but no response. So it's a job for the epoxy glue.
UPDATE : November 2012
I'm currently using the KSOs for resistance, cable station, BOSU and ViPR work for which they are great. I've recently bought some Kinvara 3 shoes Saucony ProGrid Kinvara 3 Running Shoes for treadmill work which are really good and would be a good alternative for runners who want less 'drop' than a conventional shoe but are wary of zero drop in shoes like KSOs.
UPDATE : March 2013
There's an interesting paper by The American College of Sports Medicine that has just been published, and an extract with forum comment from experienced minimilist shoe runners can be found on the BirthdayShoes.com site. The study found that slightly more than 50% of those transitioning to running in FiveFingers showed increases in bone marrow edema in at least one bone at the end of the 10 week period. Good reason to take it easy and land lightly.
UPDATE: October 2013
Following hernia repair surgery, I've used them to walk at 7km/hr on a Matrix treadmill set to 'rolling hills'. Whilst they are great for the purpose, they have worn appreciably after 10 miles and I've patched a very small area with Shoe Goo. This is probably due to pushing off more than I do when I'm running. So be aware, particularly if doing hill repeats on a treadmill or outdoors.
UPDATE: January 2014
I now use them for resistance work and they are great, especially when I need to have a firm footing such as kettlebell swings and cable machine woodchops. I was wary of using the leg press machine as my feet are a bit flat and the KSOs don't provide arch support. However, 120kg repetitions haven't shown up issues.
A struggle to get on, due to my squished little toe's years of abuse by normal shoes andits resistance to splaying out fully! Some toes splaying exercises have helped, as has plenty of practice getting these on and off, getting there, but slowly!!
Following the online measuring guide proved accurate, so no problem on sizing, but due to everyone's unique feet, my toes have a little room compared to my big toe which fits perfectly, but I suspect after more strengthening work no my toes and feet, the last 2 toes will uncurl and stretch out more.
*Keeping stuff Out
In general, yes they do, although sand, being sand, gets everywhere! But hardly an issue,,when you can now swim and stand with confidence that you're not going to get your feet ripped apart by coral, or stand on a sea urchin or other nasties. swimming was fine,,they stayed secure through as much vigorous kicking as I could muster. Walking over rocks and submerged jetties was fine, no slippage.
I took these for a few dawn beach runs, along the beach, then on to a track leading to the main road which had plenty of stones and debris ( golfball size and down), I felt several instances where the KSO's didn't protect my feet enough, so on my next run I had to switch to my NB Minimus trail shoes, which did.
But I'm hardly a barefoot veteran, so I'm not to worried about this, in all other instances I've enjoyed the experience of running in these. I tend not to overdoe my barefoot runs, less is more for me at the moment until I have strenghtened my foot and calves fully, a 5-10min run in these, instead of a 20-30 runn in the NB Minimus or vivobarefoot breatho's is sufficient for my purposes, considering I would be doubled up with back pain in conventional wedge running shoes, the barefoot technique has worked wonders for me, after years of trying to get back into running with conventional, heavily cushioned shoes.
Others have commented on a cheesy smell, I can concur, unfortunately,,that the KSO's start to smell all to quickly! But a simple was with soap seemed to do the trick, others have used diluted bleach and a soak, but the smell was soon gone.
Don't buy the Nike 5 toed socks! The toes aren't long enough to fit all the way in the toesofnthe KSO's!
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I still love them though.
Little hard to get ton first time
But like everything it gets easier
The more you do ......