That’s a Lot of Classic FiveFingers

There are FiveFingers fans and then there are really FiveFingers fans. While there are a growing number of people who have five to ten pairs of toe shoes in their closet, there are only a handful who have over forty — that’s over 400 toe pockets.…

There are FiveFingers fans and then there are really FiveFingers fans. While there are a growing number of people who have five to ten pairs of toe shoes in their closet, there are only a handful who have over forty — that’s over 400 toe pockets.

The above photo comes to me from one such fan whose name I’ll keep a secret (though a few forum members will know who it is immediately). It’s a look at his collection of Classic FiveFingers, and boy is it a doozie. It might be hard to make out some of the styles — all of the colorways above are authentic, too — but many of them are (were) only available in Europe. There’s even a leather pair of Classics in there (the red and white) or the Suomy Classics (the floral print).

I am jealous. Classics are, fitted right (not easy to do), quite possibly the best toe shoes ever made for all-around, everyday wear (I’ve reviewed them, accordingly). And it’s for this reason that I’m a little disheartened to see that Vibram seems to be categorically downsizing the colorways of Classics out there. Actually, it seems that it won’t be long before the only colorway of Classics available for men will be all black.

I don’t know if this was intentional or not, but you’ll note in the above photo that the all black pair sorta stands alone on the edge of the collection. I’d probably put my pair there, too: it fits the worst (it’s just a little too small for some reason); it looks probably the most out of place worn with shorts or pants; it just doesn’t work that great aesthetically. Comparatively, look at all the other options! I love the yellow- and white-soled varietals of Classics but would also take a grey-soled Classic, for that matter.

Back to Vibram paying less and less attention to the Classic — what about the Sprint or the KSO? These are the three major pairs of FiveFingers that all feature the original, razor-siped, “simple” 3.5mm Vibram sole. Don’t get me wrong, I like the new designs and the innovation they bring (the recently released Spyridon LS sole with it’s impact-dispersion tech. is garnering a lot of positive reactions, for example), but generally speaking, the simple flat sole that made Vibram FiveFingers a smash hit in the first place is still the best for maximizing ground feel and creating that “barefoot-like” (But not!) experience.

I’m sure the original sole could be reloaded (the Fresca for women is a reload, of sorts) and made a bit better; for example, perhaps making it a little less “bubbly” looking around the toes or improving the toe-flex somehow by marginally reducing the rubber used at the toe joints — might make the original sole a little more stylish and even functionally better.

I just hope Vibram doesn’t forget the original “secret sauce” that exploded a whole new category of footwear. Why not reload the original sole (or at least keep it with some periodic, new colorways) at least every handful of years?

If nothing else, it seems that the original-soled FiveFingers could be — no should be — the most affordable way for folks to discover the world of toe shoes. As it is, newcomers to toe shoes are learning about them through — gasp — Fila Skele-toes, a pretty substantially inferior product.

Isn’t that an opportunity for Vibram?

Who wants to see more FiveFingers with the original soles? (or if nothing else, a new riff on the old sole that keeps it substantially the same with minor improvements/changes)? Sound off in the comments — or remain silent and see if next year we have even fewer options available in the original toe shoes that set this whole party in motion.

By Justin

Justin Owings is a deadlifting dad of three, working from Atlanta. When he's not chasing his three kids around, you'll find him trying to understand systems, risk, and human behavior.

76 replies on “That’s a Lot of Classic FiveFingers”

I wholeheartedly agree, there should be a few fun color versions of the Classics and Sprints released every year, people would be tempted to collect them (like we know who) before they hop on to other colors, and the original Vff fans like me would remain happy.

I agree. I have a mere 5 pairs of VFFs, but I like my KSOs the best for summer running (I’ve been running in my Komodos in the snow). I recently noticed on the Vibram website that the women’s KSOs are down to a single colorway (black) and was wondering if they were planning on discontinuing the model altogether. I hope not–despite all the innovation, I think Vibram really got it right with the KSOs and I hope they stick around (in new colors!)

I completely agree. I think that the soles on the Classic/KSO/Sprint are the only ones that really give the barefoot feel; I have become so accustomed to them that even my Bikilas feel stiff and bulky. I wish that Vibram would release some expanded styles with the original, barefoot-feel sole. That’s the whole point, isn’t it? πŸ™‚

I recently talked my mother into a pair of Sprints with the original sole. My intention, when I brought her to REI, was to get her to try on the Treks that were on sale.
Unfortunately, my mom is one of those people who has ridiculously long toes, and the contouring on the Trek sole wasn’t hitting her foot right at all. She tried on a pair of Classics, and opted for a pair of Sprints for the extra strap over her foot. The Classic sole is perfect for her, because it’s more forgiving to the little bit of gap she’s got between where the toes on the shoe end and where the ball of her foot actually begins.

I love the Classics. But after recently getting a pair of the SeeYa’s, I’m hooked on them – they are even MORE MINIMAL (if that makes sense!). The top is so soft and flexible, and the soles are also more flexible. And the whole shoe is just so light, they feel like slippers! I tell everyone that it feels like “a little mini-hug for my foot!” And who’s feet don’t need a hug every once in awhile?!

Here, here!! I’ve recently taken my collection of Vibrams to 8 pairs, Starting two years ago with a pair of Classics and KSO’s. In the intervening time I’ve tried many of the new flavors, mostly in response to craving new funky color ways. Despite everything, in terms of the sole, the bare bones Clasic / KSO footbed is still my very favorite. I love the ability to flex my foot naturally when I show off the shoes, an ability that is sacrificed in the more elaborate soles of the following generations. I sorely wish Vibram would put a little attention back into those venerable Clasics and give us some more options to choose from.

My biggest fear is finding the men’s classic limited to an all black option… Much as I love the indisputable comfort and ease of wear of the Classic, in all black they just look too much like ballerina slippers, and on a man’s foot that’s just a little incongruous looking.

I think the reason why they are doing this is because new adopters tend not to look at the Classic. I know when I first started buying FiveFingers the classic was the 4th style I bought. I ended up getting the Smartwool classic because it was discontinued. It took me a long time before I got a normal pair of classics.

Unfortunately I think allot of American men feel like the cut is too feminine. I have heard that allot on the forums from different poeple.

Still thought once they try the classic they usually end up liking them. The main reason I don’t wear mine much is because I live in Seattle. It is wet most of the time. So they would be uncomfortable. I do wear them in the summer months though.

I am sad the colorways are disappearing on the classic. I think they should continue to make runs of special colors. I know it would be hard to continue to expand production with out retiring any old colorways and styles. They should bring cool colorways back for limited runs. Maybe once or twice a year they could release a couple of unique old/new colorways for collectors and poeple who want something other then black.

Personally the black classic is the worst looking classic. It looks the most like a ballet slipper and the least like a shoe out of any of the classics.

There about tons of unique classic colors I would buy if Vibram continued to produce the colorways. Now though I my only means of collecting some of these are to pay very high European prices and shipping to America. Mostly you can find them off European eBay sites.

While I’m not really a big fan anymore of VFFs, I did really like my Classics and KSOs; but probably my Classics the most. It’s the most simple, most “minimal” and closest to being barefoot w/o being barefoot. Can’t understand why folks who want to be into this whole “minimalist” thing would go any thicker in the VFFs; to the point where they’re really just wearing toe-pocketed racing flats (Bikila et. al.)

FWIW, my main turn off of VFFs was the lack of style options or even model options in my foot size. My feet are too darn small! What I’d like to see Vibram do is offer FULL RANGE OF SIZING on all colors, models and styles of their VFFs. Do that first and THEN expand the line. There may be other models I’d like but they just aren’t available or I’d have to go with a women’s size (not best fit) or style, :gasp:! πŸ˜‰

Classics are by far my favorite VFF. I am lucky enough to have 4 pair of EU released colorways, Suomy Classics, Denim Classics, Navy/Gray/Yellow and Light Blue/White. I also have the Walnut/Brown and the Gray/Orange/Black. I too am disgusted that the only color available currently is all black. I do not ever intend to buy that color unless the price is too good to pass up. Thanks to (You know who you are) for sharing your collection. I am always looking for some of the original colors, however the EU only release of many colors also adds shipping costs to the shoes, providing yo can find your size and a seller willing to ship internationally.

I love the look and the idea of the Classics but they are so darn uncomfortable on my heels. Went to the Sprints and don’t like the bubble back. I wish they made more of them with the heels like my Komodos. I love them!

I started with the Bikila( the green ones) I love them and wear them every workout but for everywhere wear and yes even work I opt for my classics. It would be nice if I could have closet full of classics in different colors to match to my outfits.

More Colors!? Yes PLEASE!

I am also looking for the blue upper and gray bottom pair. This is one of my all time favorite colors and have put several feelers out there trying to acquire a pair, but anytime I encounter them they are always the wrong size. EU recently released a navy upper and a white sole, but they went pretty fast. If one is vigilant, youc an still find them. I am still deciding whether to buy them or not, since it would be 86 Euro or just shy of $114 dollars, which is quite a lot for a pair of Classics.

I definitely want them to keep the old sole with multiple colors! As a woman with size 11 feet, I don’t fit in the women’s sizes, so I have to make due with the men’s colors. Don’t make the selection even smaller, Vibram!!

Yes they need to put a new twist on the mens classic, Classic is my shoe of choice for almost all summer months. Dont change something that works, just improve upon it. Give us ground feel!

FWIW, on the VFF site, black is the only Classic color for men, and the Sprint was discontinued a few months ago for Men. Women’s Sprints are down to just two colors, and I suspect gone soon.

As many have already said, KSOs rock. I prefer the red/black Remix, but will take anything so long as I get that simple sole.

And while a different material and for a different purpose, the Flows have the same sole.

I love the classics. I have three pair and all three are nearly worn out. Cant find them anywhere to replase so I guess, Vibram is not interested our money anymore. Shame.

I will be SO BUMMED if they ever discontinue the KSO! I bought my first KSO 2 years ago, and loved them so much I bought another pair soon after. Then last year I tried to branch out with a pair of Bikilas, but I ended up taking them back to the store & exchanging for a 3rd KSO! Just flat out more comfortable while running…

I’d love to see more colors – bright & flashy, AND subdued tans, browns & blacks (easier to wear in the office.)

I personally will not wear any Vibrams other than those with the classic sole. I feel that the others are too think for me, i like to be able to fully move my toes and flex my entire foot, which i cannot do as well with most all the others. I really hope that Vibram takes everybody’s feedback and keeps multicolored classic-soled fivefingers, also, they have already removed the sprints (my favorite shoe) from the men’s lineup on their website.

I ran a marathon this past weekend in DC. As I approached longer distances in my bikilas, I realized that I just plain hated them. They were stiff and often made my toes numb. I even tested a pair of SeeYa’s and didn’t dig them either. ended up running the marathon in my Speeds, which are supposed to be my casual pair. Now they are a little too beat up.

As I search for another casual pair, I find myself drown to the classics, but as you mentioned, the color selection isn’t that great. I have a pair of black KSO’s and they look weird with everything.

The more new models I try, the more I realize that the original soles were indeed the best.

Very cool colors in the photo. I wholeheartedly agree that Vibram’s trend towards no choice but black in the Classic is deplorable. I love my Classics (two pairs currently) and wear them constantly when not at work. I’ve got a really old pair of Sprints I run in the grass with a few times a month and a pair of KSO Treks that keep the snow out in the winter. Maybe Vibram can rotate different color variations to spur collector interest?

I think that if Vibram could marry the seamless construction of the KomodoSport with the classic thin sole of the KSO, it would be the best shoe hands down.


I suspect you may be trying on too big Classics and Sprints — it seems (to me) that if you size up too big in these two models, you either get the bubble back (as with the Sprints) or the irritated Achilles (as with the Classics). “Just right” sizing in Classics is a bit of an art, but it’s basically where the tips of your biggest toes are grazing the ends of the toe pockets (but not pushing on them). The backs (At the heels) should have a positive pressure on your heel/Achilles. It’s this constant contact (as with a properly sized pair of Classics) that prevents rubbing/irritation.

Notably, some people’s feet may just not quite fit the available sizes of Classics — as is the case with a size 43 black Classic, which is just a smidge too small for my feet (I measure between sizes in Classics); my old Smartwool Classics size similarly and are just a little too small; but if I go to 44, they are a little too big (And I get the rubbing). Make sense?

Two more reasons for non-black VFFs:
1. Black shoes get hot faster in warm weather, which is when I primarily wear the lighter soled models.
2. I am a woman with extra wide feet, so the men’s sizes fit best. I’m ok with not having girly colors available, but I’m not so into the black and camo either. It’s nice to have gender neutral color options like tan, blue, and green.

I have 4 pair of VFFs. 2 KSO, 1 Bikila, 1 Classic

I actually ended up getting women’s classics because I like the color better. I got the Stormy seas (or whatever that color is called). I wear them with shorts and the other pairs with pants.

Got rid of all my other shoes. I’m 100% VFF.

Soo many cool colors! Have all those colors actually been made by Vibram? They look like the colors that you would see on fake VVF sites. I’ve always thought about getting some, but the colors have never interested me. I wear my VVFs to the gym anyways and i wouldn’t wanna have girly ballerina feet infront of my guy friends so i wear my KSO red remix and yellow Komodos which are awesome.

I totally agree! I’ve been saying for a while now that if they were to make a pair with the original KSO sole, but with a seamless upper like the bikila or the komodo, then they’d have the perfect shoe. The KSO was the best model ever except that the upper gave you blisters so the soft, seamless upper on the newer models would fix that.

Also, the price point for the newer models is creeping up. Part of the attraction of the Classic and the KSO is the relatively low price.

Let’s see…I have a pair of Sprints, two pairs of Smartwool Classics, two pairs of KSO suedes, one pair Bikilas, one pair Bikila LS, a pair of Bormios and a pair of Performas. The sole I like best of all of these is the Bikila sole, followed by the KSO and the Bormio. The Classic/Sprint sole is just too thin for me to do much walking in. If I’m going to just be inside on carpet, or not doing a lot of walking then they’re fine – and, in fact, the Classics are awesome shoes to wear on a flight.

Why so many? Well…I live in Boston, and I manage to find some good deals since the Vibram US headquarters is in Massachusetts.

The slow death of their original models is quite a shame, as these models are the favorites of so many of their fans, the classic and Sprint in particular. The options are dwindling which isn’t a good sign. I’m so glad I just got a pair of red Sprints before they disappear forever.

The ones I use the most are the KSOs and I love them, having bought a second pair in Red Remix, which has a wonderful design compared to other models, IMHO. I even use them for trails more than the Treks. The ground feel of the original sole is simply fantastic and much better than the newer, more conventional shoe models.

Some of these newer models have their uses and are great too, but they should perhaps upgrade the older models, maintaining that wonderful sole that started it all. I know a couple of people that, wouldn’t mind an upgrade to their KSO along the lines of the Komodo, but without touching the sole, for example, or a redesign of the great-for-summer open Classic or Sprint with a more “manly” looking design.

Just pondering…

I got the flow treks and as soon as I put the on I made the comment that they kind of missed the point – i hardly ever wear them they’re just too stiff.

I have some ksos with the trek sole and they are more appropriate for the terrain I’m mostly on but I love to get back to originals.

Word up, sole brother!
I have been “solely” in VFFs for over 2 years. I have KSO Treks(for mowing the lawn), Komodo LS (trail running), 2 pairs of bormios (black for pseudo dressy looking, brown for muddy work like roto-tilling and firewood) and 2 pairs of KSO.
Since I have super wide feet, the classics just didn’t fit me. (perhaps because only black was an option?)
I still prefer my “first love” original black/grey camo KSO over all others! (the black KSO feels a little snug)
If I buy another pair of shoes in the next year, it will be non-black KSOs.

KSO are my favourites. I’m also fond of my Classics. Really don’t like my Bikila much, never got on with them. So I’m in total agreement although if they were 1/ available in the EU and not as stupidly priced as all the VFF are here I’d like to try the SeeYas.
Oh I have 5 pairs and about to get no. 6.

Talonvaki, I agree with ya on this one. I’ve had Classics, treks, Bikilas and Komodosports and I find the Bikilas are the best for all round activities, followed by Komodosports. I also think Classics soles too thin, plus they look more like socks than shoes to me which is yet another reason I don’t wear them.

I don’t know… but it seems to me the above collection is like displaying one’s multiple versions of the Bible just out of their plastic wrappers–never used. What good is it if they’ve not been “Velvetized” (read “Velveteen Rabbit”)

YES YES YES! I can’t type any louder!!

I WANT MORE true minimalist shoes with KSO/Classic style sole. I WANT (and need) to use my feet to pick things up, grasp rocks or logs, and feel the ground!!! At 9 pairs of VFF’s, I can’t do this in any other style. I prefer to hike and traverse all terain in my KSO’s over my Treks or Komodo’s because if I start slipping I can grab with my toes. I want a choice of colors as well, heck even a pair of the original brown KSO’s beat the blacks in my book. I’ve logged thousands of miles and have been exclusive to VFF’s for 3 years with over 20 pairs with in our house hold. WE ALL SHARE THE SAME SENTIMENT!!! THINNER SOLES AND TOE FLEX VIBRAM!!!!!

I love KSOs my first and still favorite minimalist shoe for running. There is something about that glove feel that the newer Vibram models, huaraches, and other minimalist shoes just can’t match. I’m anxiously awaiting for my local REI to get a shipment of Seeyas so I can experience the goodness everyone has been talking about!

The classics are awesome on the road!! I just done my first 80km on hard concrete on them! I don’t like all the fanciful designs…just the old simple classics…VIBRAM, please restate more colors (The black one look like a black bear feet) and improve on the inner linings for classic!! Don’t kill the classics!

that hawaiian ish looking one

second row, second farthest to the left is freaking awesome…i want that one!

My very first pair was a KSO. Then i got the Komodos, and then the Bikila LS.
By far, KSO is the best (sans the seams at the arch). But one day, after a muddy run, i threw my KSO into wash and forgot to turn off the spin cycle. Yes, it was torn apart. Sigh.. Then i tried to get another pair,somehow it felt different – feels thicker and stiffer. Not the same anymore. Anyone had the same experience?

Classic sole is my favorite. My most comfortable ones are my KSOs and Classics, and my least comfortable ones are the newer ones KomodoSport LS and Trek LS. I really was hoping they would come out with more styles with the classic sole.

There is something very very special coming to the Classics range in a few months from now, truly limited edition and will only ever be made once. The Classic has not been forgotten, it’s just taking a little rest.

If I could only have one type of shoe..the Classics would be it…that being said…just bought my 7th and 8th pair…they were the Jaya..both styles..and I really love them too!

I sure hope that Vibram Five Fingers gets our message that we want more choices in the classic and Sprint. The Classic is my favorite – the best minimalist shoe -‘especially during the summer. I have 11 pairs of Five Fingers which includes 4 Classics and 2 Sprints. So please, Five Fingers, more choices!

I have 4 pairs of KSO’s, and I too prefer them for running more than any other pair of VFF’s. Tried the Bikilas, and the ground feel wasn’t as good as the KSO’s and it did make my toes go numb. I have a pair of classics and they’re good for everyday wear, just not my favorite for running due to the hard heel rubber/friction.

KSO’s all the way! VFF’s need to go back to the thinner soles which is the point for most people’s needs. Those raised rubber segments that they keep putting on the soles bug me, because it is going in the wrong direction. Just have a flat, thin sole!

I also feel like the newer models are getting further and further away from the original selling point of the VFF’s, which is to come as close as possible to being barefoot. I think it’s mainly a marketing decision that has come about as the shoes have become more popular. Buying VFF’s now is like buying a Prius – they have to look really outlandish and grab everyone’s attention so you can make a statement about what you’re using. Functionally, they’re putting more cushioning and thicker soles on the shoes to make them appeal to the masses. As a result, new users won’t have to adjust their running style to accommodate, and a ton of injuries are going to occur.

I plan on sticking to the Classics, Sprints, and KSO’s. I might give the SeeYa’s a try as I’ve heard some people say the ground feel is good, but anything else is just too much shoe.

Classics and Sprints. KSOs when something with a little more coverage seems appropriate. Am now really enjoying SeeYa’s lightness and flexibility, but don’t need the extra tread. Everything else in the VFF lineup is irrelevant to me.

Less is more.

I got my first pair of fivefingers four and a half years ago and am now waiting on my 10th pair to arrive. At first I bought every model that came out, always hoping for the next best thing. Yet even with the “new improved” models in my closet, I always come back to my classics. In the years I have worn fivefingers I have come to the conclusion: where classics are concerned- they are second to no other model. Minimalist shoe wearers frequently say less is more, which is probably why I always come back to the simplest, most freeing model, the classics. Seeing this post today makes me even more excited to receive my third pair of classics, especially since the other two pairs are the only VFFs I have worn enough to have multiple holes in the soles πŸ™‚

I got my first pair of fivefingers four and a half years ago and am now waiting on my 10th pair to arrive. At first I bought every model that came out, always hoping for the next best thing. Yet even with the “new improved” models in my closet, I always come back to my classics. In the years I have worn fivefingers I have come to the conclusion: where classics are concerned- they are second to no other model. Minimalist shoe wearers frequently say less is more, which is probably why I always come back to the simplest, most freeing model, the classics. Seeing this post today makes me even more excited to receive my third pair of classics, especially since the other two pairs are the only VFFs I have worn enough to have multiple holes in the soles πŸ™‚

My love of Five Fingers started when i bought a pair of Jaya for dancing NIA in. I loved them so much that i bought Classic which are just as comfortable. I would just LOVE to have a cupboard full of Classic in different colours and soles!! Yes please to those red/whites. Please oh please Five Fingers hear our cries of more Classic in vibrant colours!!! – From a Fan in Cape Town, South Africa

@Matthew Goh: I regularly run my KSOs through the spin cycle without any problem. One time my sister-in-law tossed them in the dryer, and they took a while to recover from that — but I always spin ’em when I wash ’em.

Haven’t washed my kangaroo leather Treks yet, though they are due for a wash. Anyone have any warnings or suggestions about running the leather ones through the laundry?

(For the record, four pairs: KSOs [my faves], leather Treks [for work], KomodoSport [for running; need that seamless construction]; and Bikilas [obsolete after purchase of KomodoSport])

I personally am very disapointed they are not producing classics in different colors like they used to. The classics and sprints are my favorite summertime fivefingers. I am very jealous of some of the color combinations i see in the above photo.

I would love to see more of the original soled VFF’s. From what it seems the discontinuing of colors of the classics for men, and the removal of sprints for men is a step back.

Their ‘shoes’ seem to be becoming more padded and ‘shoe-like’ rather than keeping with a total minimalistic heel. I prefer the original, flat, and simple sole over the new ones with pods, cleats, and such.

New colors for the classic, sprint, kso, and even the flow would be awesome.

@ Lawrence Evans

I can assure you that every pair in that photo has seen it’s share of wear. This person is not a merely a collector but a connoisseur and wears every pair. Having that many pair to choose from, as well as a wide variety of KSOs, Speeds, Sprints, etc., it is easy to see why these are not wore out. it does not mean that they do not get their fair share of use.

I think anyone trying on the new models (particularly Trek/Bikila/Komodosport soles) are more likely to buy Road/Trail Gloves or Minimus Zeros because the weight and groundfeel of those is not really as competitive as the original Classic sole.

For a true VFF experience, there’s no comparison to the Classic sole.

The Classic, Sprint, and KSO’s are the most appealing styles of Vibrams to me; they are the most simple and minimalist.

Hopefully the reason for the lack of availability of these models is due to Vibram preparing to relaunch with new designs and/or colours.

I wholeheartedly agree as well! I lean towards the Sprints as my favorite pair, simply because they feel the most like being barefoot… the komodos are comfy and all, but I mostly got them because the yellow and black pair just looked sweet!

And I up wear my Flows almost everyday for over 10 hours at work. Being barefoot is awesome.

I’m not a giant fan of the classics because they’re too open at the top, but nothing compares to the original vibram sole. It gives the closest to a barefoot feel, while at the same time providing more protection and beter traction than bare feet. I like the idea of a reload and improvement on the original sole. Less is more.

I would love to see more colours, I love my classics and my KSO’s more then my other pairs. I love the sole and feels so nice on the feet and they feel more like a glove I find then the other pairs. I really hope they don’t forget thier roots cause I will be sadly disappointed.

I personally will be seriously bummed if they do away with my KSOs! As it is only black is shown on the VFF site for the women’s KSO and only in the larger sizes. From someone who wears a 34 and was, therefore, limited to black and gray/fuschia to begin with I find the lack of availability pretty close to outright depression! I want more colors not less. I’m becoming afraid it’s a sign they’re going to discontinue the KSOs altogether. And that will move from “close” to absolutely depressing!

I love the original sole. With the release of the Spring 2012 collection, I’m quite disappointed that there are no new colorways for the original sole (Classics, Sprints, KSOs). I would like Vibram to keep updating the line of original sole.

Fully agree. The new sole designs are interesting and colourful, but it was the KSO and classic soles that brought me and my family into the fold.
How can you have a thin responsive sole with cleats, lugs and ridges?
I’m hoping they keep the original lines available and true to form.

“Sound off in the comments β€” or remain silent and see if next year we have even fewer options available in the original toe shoes that set this whole party in motion.”

…because as we all know, Vibram relies on this web site for their business decisions, rather than their sales figures.


@Anonymous Coward,

From what I’ve heard, Vibram’s sales reps have been sending retail store buyers to this site virtually since it’s inception almost three years ago. Vibram does check this site and nearest I can tell, uses it as a factor in gauging interest in upcoming models, concepts, existing models, etc.

So while I agree completely that sales figures are important; it’s also sort of a non sequitur. Vibram hasn’t put out a true reload of the KSO, Classic, or Sprint; the new and shiny VFFs are always going to get the main focus. That said, to suggest that the originally soled VFFs didn’t have sales figures (or don’t) to support continued support on some level completely ignores the fact that those models are what set Vibram’s success in motion in the first place.

I absolutely love the KSO. The Sprints and Classics don’t fit me comfortably. I’ve tried my size, then up one and down one. Even bought the Sprints anyway, and hated them. I have total of about 6+ pairs of VFFs, plus other minimalist shoes (Vivo, Altra, NB, etc). I prefer the Jaya over the Classic for an easy casual slip on, and also for working out and running. I have run up to a 10k in the Jaya. Longer distances, I have stuck with the KSO but wouldn’t be intimidated to run longer distance in the Jaya.

I think bringing out the Classic Fresca is overkill. We already still have the much loved Classic hanging around. Then we have the Jaya. I don’t see the point of the Classic Fresca, but I guess time will tell if they stand out above the others.

I started out with KSO because that was my only option really. I love them so much and tell people that starting more minimal will make them fall in love with barefoot running even faster. It moves and flows with all things life better than any other style. In my opinion of course =)

On another note – is it just me or do those Classics in the pic look like they’ve never even been worn?? I know washing mine makes them come clean as new, but the inner Vibram signs aren’t even worn down/off on those in the picture.

I bought my first pair of Vibrams when classics were all there were. I also had a pair of sprints, I had trouble choosing between each because the velcro on the heel of the sprints was annoying, and sometimes the strap across the top made my foot itch. On the flip side, I didn’t like the round elastic on the classics and wished it was flat. But all the newer models are bulky and ugly and specialized, so they’ve lost me as a customer so long as everytime I load their site I see colors (black on black) I don’t want. They (and Vivo barefoot) seem to be attacking the barefoot running trend full on by making shoes to convert people.

Sales aren’t non sequitur. The reason the Bormios are deprecated in the US, is lower-than-expected-sales. You are making the assumption that the vast majority of the sales has occurred due to the benefit, as opposed to the wow/weird-factor.

I disagree. Ground-feel and other such benefits are what has kept the barefooting “faithful” buying VFFs, and may be the selling point we use to convince friends to do so as well, but I suspect a lot of people bought their first pair, because they were “funky” (look, not smell).

That is the momentum that Vibram is hoping to maintain by releasing new models. The original sole (siping and all) is by far my favorite (I really don’t have much use for the Trek sole, save for cold weather or muddy conditions, since most of my use is on hard floors and concrete/asphalt).

A bit tangential, but I wish they would come out with a version of the KSO that used a zipper rather than a hook and loop strap. Assuming it didn’t depart from the formula of the KSO, and the execution was done well, I’d buy ten.

I feel like they’re slipping further and further in the wrong direction. Just take the β€œimpact-dispersion tech” you refer to. It’s exactly that kind of thinking that led to those horrible big brand running shoes that we fled to VFFs to get away from.

Vibram needs to focus on what made VFFs great in the first place: making a shoe that lets people walk naturally, while still projecting them from broken glass, razor-sharp sea shells, and other hazards.

@Adam Selene,

I wonder if this is so much Vibram driven as it is consumer-driven. I think it’s the latter, really — people choose to buy the more built up FiveFingers. That said, I wish Vibram would put out a thin-soled, built-up upper model. Think something like the KSO but with a more refined upper — maybe consumers would dig on that over these other new fangled FiveFingers.

I love me some Vibram’s,tried several pairs but Classic’s are my favs.I would like to know where to get more colors like the Facebook fan has.Can anyone point me in the right direction? Love getting my Birthday Shoes update.These are the best shoes on the market. Once you try them you are hooked.Keep up the good work Justin.

I was just checking out the fivefingers website and see that classics are no longer offered through their site. Have they been discontinued?

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