Vibram Five Fingers KSO - Keep Stuff Out - Toe Shoes
The Vibram Five Fingers KSO (KSO stands for "Keep Stuff Out") has been one of the most popular models of Vibram Five Fingers to date (Jump to posts on the KSO below!). It's closed top design sets it apart from the open-topped Classic and the open- and strap-topped Sprint. Some might argue the KSO put "Toe shoes" on the map due to it's popularity among runners. Like all Vibram Five Fingers models, the KSO has five separated toe compartments for each toe that allow the foot to splay on contact with the ground.
The Five Fingers KSO has no arch support and a minimal amount of cushioning or padding — it is slightly thicker than the Classic and Sprint which have zero insole (the KSO has a 2mm EVA insole). Many, many minimalist runners "cut their teeth" with the KSO — running 5KS, half-marathons, full marathons, and even ultramarathons in the KSO. That said, the KSO is also a favorite for exercise, casual wear with jeans (or shorts), and also for travel.
Here are the technical specifications of the Vibram Five Fingers KSO straight from Vibram:
Featuring a thin, abrasion-resistant stretch nylon and breathable mesh upper that wraps your entire forefoot to "Keep Stuff Out." A single hook-and-loop closure helps secure the fit. A non-marking 3.5mm Vibram TC1 performance rubber sole is razor-siped for a sure grip, and a 2mm EVA insole enhances plating protection and comfort.
KSO IS BEST FOR: Running, Light Trekking, Climbing/Bouldering, Fitness, After Sport, Water Sports, Yoga/Pilates & Travel
The standout features of the KSO include:
- Closed top providing a fairly tight "seal" around the ankle. The KSO manages to "keep stuff out" by way of this seal leaves it looking somewhat like an ankle sock.
- The KSO has a 2mm insole, which reduces "barefoot feel" as compared to the Classic or Sprint. Many users don't notice this small amount of cushioning. Some find it more comfortable for more varied surfaces such as trails.
- The KSO is the most popular model for men!
Sizing and fit
If you've never sized your foot for Vibram Five Fingers, you need to consult the Vibram Five Fingers sizing chart (image) and measure the length of your feet as presecribed. Vibram sizing does not correspond to standard shoe sizes!
If you've sized in Vibrams before, note that KSOs size slightly larger than the same size in the Classic or Sprint models. So a 43 KSO will fit larger than a 43 Classic or 43 Sprint. For this reason, Vibram prescribes you size down in the KSO compared to the Classic or Sprint models. Generally, it is better to size up if you're in between sizes — you don't want your toes bending out of lack of room! Also, the KSO's closed-top design means that if you have particularly high arches or "high feet" the KSO may not fit properly and you might consider the Sprint or the Classic. Finally, some have anecdotally observed that black KSOs size smaller than other color combinations.
Read (and see!) more about the Five Fingers KSO via these reviews:
- The Definitive Guide to the Vibram Five Fingers KSO [birthdayshoes - guide]
- men's Vibram Five Fingers KSO review
- women's Vibram Five Fingers KSO review
Modifications and other considerations:
- Fortify your KSO hook and loop straps in style using the Marley Mission tape mod.
- Make your black KSO Five Fingers dressy by blacking them out.
- Keep your pants off the ground (the hems of your pants at the heel) when wearing KSOs using S-Biners
- Got webbed toes? Turn your Five Fingers into Four (or three or whatever) Fingers
Okay, I want some KSOs. How much are they? Where can I get them?
The KSO retails for around $85 and can often be purchased with free shipping from most online retailers. Find the Vibram Five Fingers KSO in stock via the Store or subscribe by email to inventory alerts.
Of course, there are other barefoot shoes worth checking out!