Vibram V-Trail Shoes

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Vibram V-Trail Shoes Review Facts

If you are in the market for barefoot running shoes, then the Vibram FiveFinger™ range has to be the best in the business, and these V-Trails are just an upgrade of their already established excellence. Bridging the gap between barefoot and traditional running, these minimalist off-road running shoes provide sure footing and protection while still allowing for maximum sensation underfoot.

The innovative design of the Vibram V Trail minimalist running shoes allows you to better evaluate your footstep position by providing sensory ground feedback. They are robust, state-of-the-art runners that are in a class of their own when it comes to technical features, with better biomechanical control and a high degree of flexibility. Whether you are new to the world of minimalist running or already converted, the Vibram V-trails are world leaders in the field. Designed for cold, muddy weather, the V-trails have been created with the trail runner in mind; providing excellent grip on all manner of terrains. If you are thinking about investing in some of these five-fingered running shoes, check out our Vibram V-trails review for a breakdown of everything that you need to consider.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • FiveFinger™ Design
  • Vibram 3D Cocoon™ technology
  • Maximum flexibility and movement
  • MegaGrip™ rubber outsole to protect from debris
  • Unparalleled grip
  • Machine washable
Cons
  • Not easy to put on and take off
  • May be uncomfortable at first
Brand

Brand

Back in 1935, a group of friends took off on a mountaineering expedition into the Italian apps. Tragically, six of the group did not return from that fateful journey. One of the gang, Italian mountaineer and founder of Vibram, Vitale Bramani, was convinced that their deaths were a result of poor footwear. As a result, he revolutionized the climbing sole, manufacturing lug soles that will stick to the side of the mountain. Some years later, in 1954, the first-ever climbers to reach the K2 summit were wearing Vibram rubber, and the brand has since become a firm favorite of outdoor adventurers around the world. The Vibram FiveFingers range was first developed in 1999, and the unique design and premium grip led to them becoming leaders in the minimalist running industry.

The V-trails are simply the next evolution in the Spyridon MR / Elite product line from Vibram. They have been designed for off-trail minimalist running and will provide you with everything that you need to take your run to the next level.
Comfort

Comfort

The Vibram V-Trail running shoes have been purposely designed to give you that barefoot feeling and ground feedback. As a result, they offer a minimalist non-restrictive feel, with very little padding or cushioning.

Some users reported that the shoes did not provide out-of-the-box comfort, and instead took some time to break in. However, this is relatively normal for running shoes. Plus, if you are relatively new to barefoot running as a whole, it can take your feet some time to get used to the new sensations. If you are considering the transition, it is vital that this is a very gradual process and that you research the proper techniques thoroughly. As you can feel everything underneath your feet, you may experience some discomfort when you are running on rocks and debris. Jumping straight into the minimalist technique could result in potential stress injuries and permanent damage.

It has also been noted that these shoes are not necessarily designed to be worn with socks. However, some reviewers have suggested that wearing five-fingered socks with their V-Trails improved comfort levels significantly.
Terrain

Terrain

The Vibram V-Trails is a technical trail shoe, and best for the trail, off-road running, mountains, and any other uneven ground. They will make sure that you feel assured underfoot, even on the roughest and toughest of terrains. Steep sections will pose no challenge, you will be able to run through mud and slush with ease, and the shoes will provide a secure grip on even the slickest of surfaces. They are designed for the minimalist runner and are ideal for mud obstacle course races, and cross country runs.

However, these shoes are not really suitable for running on more urban terrain. Some reviewers have noted that wearing your V-Trails on the pavement or asphalt can result in the treads becoming worn down too soon. Also, due to the lack of cushioning, the shoes have not been designed to absorb the impact of running on such surfaces, which could result in injury.
Flexibility

Flexibility

For runners already converted to the barefoot running phenomena, the importance of flexibility is fully understood. The design of the Vibram FiveFingers range is what sets them apart from the rest. The unique toe design means that you can wiggle your toes, dig them in, and properly push off as you hit the trail.

Encouraging natural movement, these shoes will mold to your feet like a glove. The sock-like upper of the shoe will encase your food entirely. Depending on the size, the Vibram V-Trails weight in at around 6.4- 6.7 oz., which is about right for a decent minimalist running shoe. The V-Trails prioritize flexibility and wearing these shoes will feel like you are wearing nothing at all.
Size

Size

The Vibram V-Trails offer an adaptive fit, with the speed lace system allowing for some adjustment. However, to get the most out of your V-Trails and to ensure maximum performance, it is critical that you pick up the perfect size. Due to the unique design of the Vibram V-Trails, we advise measuring your feet before you purchase. Many commenters have suggested that the toe section of their V-trails does not fit properly, with some stating that their toes are too small and others too large.

To measure for your Vibram V-Trails, place your ruler or measuring tape up against the wall. Then, put your heel against the wall to measure the distance between this and your longest toe. Check, this with the size dimensions for the Vibram V-Trails before you make your purchase. If your measurement falls between the sizes offered, we recommend getting a size up to maintain comfort. You may also wish to go up a size if you have wider feet.
Ground Feel

Ground Feel

The V-Trails feature rock-stopping protection without compromising your barefoot experience. Get the ground feedback that you are looking for, with slightly less bite than other minimalist models. The thin nature of the soles and the lack of cushioning on the Vibram V-Trails mean that your feet really do feel like they are directly touching the floor. Offering sensory information as you pound the trail, Vibram has undoubtedly created the next level of minimalist running shoes.
Outsole

Outsole

With Mega Grip rubber and superior traction, the outsole of the V-trails provides exceptional levels of grip and premium protection, without compromising on flexibility. The multi-directional lugs work to deliver extreme traction, and you will be running across rocky terrain, up and down steep sections, and even on wet or muddy grounds with ease.

The Vibram 3D Cocoon™ Technology transforms the outsole on the Vibram V-trails. This is a mesh that extends to the forefoot of your foot; providing exceptional protection, dispersing ground pressure, and distributing the impact on your feet. The V-trails do have slightly thicker soles than their Vibram counterparts, as they are designed for more technical trails. If you are looking for FiveFingers for another purpose, a different model may be better suited. Plus, the sole is still only 5mm thick, continuing to allow for an excellent barefoot running response.
Upper

Upper

The upper section of the Vibram V-Trails feels more like a sock than a shoe. It is made from a polyester and spandex blend, offering premium comfort and full mobility. This stretchy material has been engineered to flex. The shoes are breathable and moisture wicking, ensuring that your feet stay cool and dry on even the toughest runs.

The speed lace system used to fasten the shoes ensures that they stay secure, and it will feel as if the shoes are moulded to your feet. The shoes also feature a heel cuff, and this is one of the main differences in comparison with other five-fingered options from the Vibram line. Not only does the heel cuff add extra protection, but it also makes putting on and taking off the shoe much easier. Plus, the heel cuff means that the runners are more comfortable and supportive when you are running up or downhill.
Protection

Protection

The Vibram V-trail minimalist running shoes have been designed for the rougher side of running and will provide adequate protection from sharp rocks and roots. They have been designed to protect your feet throughout your journey. The glove-like upper and MegaGrip sole ensure that all debris can get into the shoes, and the heel cup offers extra protection at the back. The runners also feature toe bumpers at the end of the toes to protect from stubbing. However, some reports have suggested that the toe bumper on the big toe is not as effective as the others.

While the V-Trails do offer better protection than other barefoot running shoes, it remains that you still need to be cautious about where you are running. The thin layer can only do so much, and any sharp debris, such as glass, may still penetrate the shoe.
Durability

Durability

Reports have indicated that the Vibram V-Trail hold up well, particularly in comparison with other models. You will not get the same wear and tear as other shoes, due to the incredibly durable MegaGrip™ outsole. For example, if modern running shoes last around 250-500 miles, in comparison the FiveFingers V-Trails perform for much longer.

Caring for your footwear correctly can significantly increase longevity. However, it so easy to care for your V-trails as they are machine washable. Wash on a gentle warm cycle and hang to dry. Make sure that you use mild laundry detergent and avoid the use of fabric conditioner or any harsh cleaning chemicals.
Key Features

Key Features

-Speed-lace system
-0mm Heel to Toe Drop
-NZYM Anti-microbial lining
-MegaGrip rubber outsole
-Flexible upper
-Vibram 3D Cocoon Technology
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

Whether you are a beginner to the world of barefoot running or a seasoned pro, the Vibram V-Trails will ensure that you can experience the freedom of natural running, while providing you with the protection that you need.

A lot of reviewers have stated that the toe design may be slightly uncomfortable at first, and it may take some time to get used to the sensation of minimalist running. It is vital that you research it properly, and develop your techniques correctly. Reviews have also indicated that there may be some difficulty in putting the shoes on, which is probably due to their unusual design.
Overall, the Vibram V-trails are unbeatable in terms of grip, and they have to be one of the best minimalist runners on the market, to date. They will provide you with stability and protection across even the wettest of trails. With excellent durability and a long life span, take your barefoot running to the next level and invest in the Vibram FiveFinger™ V-Trails.