Classic Vibram Five Fingers — the Definitive Guide to the Original Barefoot Shoe
The Classic at a glance —
- The Classic is the original Vibram Five Fingers model.
- The Classic retails for $75 making it the most inexpensive style for men and women.
- Easiest to put on and most minimal outdoor-use VFF due to open-top.
- Used most for casual/everyday wear, running, and travel.
About Classic Vibram Five Fingers
Straight from Vibram: Classic Five Fingers feature a "Non-marking Vibram TC1 performance rubber soles protect your feet and provide a sure grip over a variety of terrain. A thin, abrasion-resistant stretch polyamide fabric fits low on the foot—for comfort and quick drying."
The "razor-siped" rubber sole on the Classic is the standard, original VFF sole (same as with the KSO, Flow, and Sprint models). Razor siping is just little jagged cuts that expand when the Vibram rubber sole is bent or flexed. This can increase surface grip on many surfaces. That said, the standard VFF sole can be slippery in muddy conditions due to the lack of cleating (See the KSO Trek if you want a cleated sole).
The Classic upper only rises to the beginning of the instep making the Classic open-aired and the most minimalist, outdoor-use model in the Vibram line-up.
Like the Sprint, the Classic has no EVA in the midsole meaning the only thing between your foot and the ground is the 3.5 mm rubber sole and a thin bit of yellow sole fabric.
The Classics' fit is secured by an elastic bungee cord that runs the rim of the shoe and cinches behind the heel. If you don't plan on using the bungee cord, it can be permanently removed (though doing so will void warranty and return-ability).
- Classics are the easiest Vibrams to put on and with practice can be put on with no hands.
- Being open on top allows the foot to air out.
- Lacking a strap over the top of the foot (as with the Sprint) reduces the feeling that you're wearing a shoe, at all, resulting in many wearers remarking that they often forget they have them on (This often assumes they are worn at their loosest setting via the cinched strap).
- All of the above make the Classic the "flip flop" of the Vibram line-up.
- Bungee cord strapping method can dig into instep when tightened
- The tab at the Achilles tendon has been noted to dig into and or rub the heel (causing blisters) for some wearers
- Lacking a top strap, the Classics can't be used in running water and are more likely to come off in the most active applications.
Note on aesthetics (Directed at men):
The aesthetic of the Classics is a topic of some debate amongst men. The low coverage on the top of the foot can make them look "off" when wearing most pants as the hem of the pants won't cover all of the foot (something more fashionably normal for women). On the other hand, the Classic design is arguably more normal looking matched with shorts as compared to the KSO, which can look like a sock when worn with shorts. Either way, it's worthy of note that the way the wearer perceives his feet (from above) is not the way third parties see your feet.
Regardless, arguing the aesthetics of five-toed footwear is almost a moot point as most third parties usually only take note of the fact that you are wearing five-toed footwear! "Own the look" of whatever VFFs you wear and you'll do fine.
Classic Vibram Five Fingers can be used in many, but not all applications. They are used for running and weight lifting (CrossFit, P90X, Sprints, races). They can also be used easily for instant-on back-up shoes when running fully barefoot and needing a bit more protection. Classics shine most when worn "loose" for everyday, casual wear, but many buy them as their first pair of Vibrams and then move on to top-strapped models (like the KSO, Sprint, Flow, or KSO Trek). See below for links to Classic Five Fingers user story submissions which show the types of things individuals are doing in their Classics.
Men's Classics are available in the following color combinations:
Women's Classics are available in the following color combinations:
Detailed Classic Vibram Five Fingers photos:
Check out the definitive guide to sizing Vibram Five Fingers. Having perused that document and figured out your size, there are certain noteworthy considerations for Classic Vibram Five Fingers:
- Your size in Classics may not correspond to your size in other VFF models, particularly any closed-top models like the KSO, Flow (these all theoretically size the same). If you know your size in one of the closed-top models, your Classic size is theoretically one size up. This is only a rule of thumb, however, and your mileage may vary.
- You should not need to size up to wear five-toed socks with the Classic.
Cleaning and care:
Machine-washable but air dry. Advanced stench may require white vinegar soaks or oxyclean treatment!
Mods and other considerations:
- Remove the bungee cord strap on your Classics if you like to live dangerously and only wear your Classics for casual, everyday applications (and don't mind voiding your return/warranty).
- Keep the hems of your pants from dragging behind your heels using an S-biner.
- Got webbed toes? Turn your Five Fingers into Four (or three or whatever) Fingers
- Vibram Five Fingers Classics review via JustinOwings.com [BirthdayShoes founder]
- The Classic, Everyday Greatness of Classic Five Fingers at BirthdayShoes [Everyday, Casual wear review]
- Natural walking and Classic Five Fingers at Hozaku [Walking/running centric review]
For more Classic reviews, check the comprehensive Five Fingers reviews list here.
Where to buy
Classic Vibram Five Fingers User Experiences and Photos
Below are listed Classic Vibram Five Fingers user stories, photos, and reviews. Each link leads to a separate post written by a Classics user about their experiences with the Classic model. Stories cover many of the things VFFers are doing in their Classic Vibram Five Fingers. Click around and see what you could be doing in the entry-level, open-aired barefoot alternative Classic VFF!
Everyday and Casual wear —
- Going for a helicopter ride in Classic Vibrams with Mike
- Invent new ways to create nations and governments in Classic Five Fingers with Patri
- Wear your Classic Five Fingers to work with Ryan
- Indoor rock climbing in Classic Five Fingers with Cody
- Classic Vibram Five Fingers for Everyday wear with Megan
- A shoe shopping spree for Classic Vibrams with Stephanie
- Making breakfast in Classic V5Fs with Shawn
- Metro riding in black Classic VFFs with Maxxe
- Subway riding New York City in Classics with Kristy
- Rowing in Classic Five Fingers with Marsha
- Enjoying Lake Tahoe in Classic VFFs with Mark
- Presenting at TechCrunch London in Classic Vibrams with Scott Rafer
- Biking to the beach in Classic Vibrams with Miguel
- Everyday wear in Classic Five Fingers with Dave
- Mini-Golfing in Five Fingers Classics with Kati and Ellyn
- Wedding reception dancing and Mini-Golfing in Classic Vibram Five Fingers with Sarah
- Celebrating the Fourth of July (poolside and BBQ'ing) in Classics with Nathan and Justin
- Lounging on the Hammock in Classic Five Fingers with Sarah
- Making pregnancy a little bit more comfortable in Classic Vibrams with Lori
- Relaxing in Classic Five Fingers with Ryan
- Playing Shuffleboard on a Cruise Ship in Classic Vibrams with Shawn
- New Foot Experiences with Classic Vibram Five Fingers with Guy
- Couple's matching new Classic Five Fingers with Galya and Roland
- Run to see the Aurora Borealis in Classic Vibram Five Fingers with James
- Running a 10K Survival of the Fittest race through Edinburgh, Scotland in Classic VFFs with Allan
- Running for liberty across the country in Classic Vibrams with Paul Both
- Running Sprints in Classic Five Fingers with Marc
- Running a 5K with a jogging stroller in Classic Vibram Five Fingers with Chad
- Running a 5K race in Classic Five Fingers (and a tie) with Brett Bonfield
- Running a 5K in Classic VFFs with Tripp
- Taking Classic FiveFingers on the trail with Tripp
- Beach Sprints in Classic Five Fingers with Mark Sisson of Mark's Daily Apple and the Primal Blueprint
- Vacationing in Jamaica in Classic Vibrams with Justin
- Cruising the Mediterranean Sea and touring Italy, France and Spain in Classic Vibrams with Jason
- Traveling around France in Vibram Five Fingers Classics with Colin
- Rollercoaster Road Trip in Classic Vibrams with Ellyn and sister
- Enjoying Oahu, Hawaii with Classic Five Fingers with Alika
- Hiking in Classic Five Fingers with Andrew
- Hiking Mt. Baker (and into some snow) in Classic Five Fingers with Cody
- Hiking Mt. Baldy in Classic Vibram Five Fingers with Hieu
Weightlifting, working out, etc. —
- Working out and walking in Classics with Richard Nikoley of Free the Animal
- Working out and having fun in Classic Five Fingers with Nathan
- Kettlebell training in Classic Five Fingers with Bob