Barefoot Shoes

Bormio Vibram FiveFingers Review

Toe Shoes Boots? For Fall 2011 Vibram has introduced an ankle high boot to the FiveFingers line for casual wear. The men’s toe boots are made of all kangaroo leather that has double zippers on either side of the ankle and features the Vibram Trek sole. Review, photos, more …

Toe Shoes Boots?

BREAKING FASHION TREND ALERT: Five toed boots for Fall 2011!

UPDATE August 26, 2011: The Bormio FiveFingers are now out for sale!

Possible? Let me ask you this: would you have ever suspected five toed shoes to challenge the prevailing paradigm that footwear must be motion-controlled, heavily padded, and high-heeled in order for us to move around safely outside of our houses or the beach?

Vibram is introducing a new casual model of toe shoes boots this Fall. It’s called the Vibram FiveFingers Bormio and it’s dressed completely in kangaroo leather — “crazy horse” kangaroo leather, actually; it rises past the ankle in a fashion similar to the wooly mammoth FiveFingers Cortina (Which never made it to mass production); and it will be available in either flat matte black or brown.

That’s the Bormio at 1,000 feet. I’ve been fortunate enough to have two pairs (Both colors of the “crazy horse” brown and black leather) of the Bormio FiveFingers for the past few months to test and review, which is what I’ll be doing today. Let’s get zipping!

Full review including 40+ photos after the jump.

Tech Specs

From the official product description on

Clean lines and premium materials make the men’s Bormio boot a great fall casual. Built on a traditional FiveFingers Trek platform, the men’s Bormio boot features a fully lined kangaroo upper and rugged EVA and performance rubber sole. Side-zip closures complete the design and make for easy on-and-off.

In short, if you took some ankle-high leather boots, gave them toes, and slapped on a sub-10mm sole (I’m measuring 9mm total thickness at the heel), you’d get the Bormio FiveFingers.

If you’re new to VFFs and you’re wondering what the heck is a Trek sole, you can catch up on other models that feature the Vibram Trek rubber sole pattern. Just hop over and read the TrekSport review, the KSO Trek review, or the Trek LS review. This is what you’re dealing with though:

The FiveFingers Bormio features the Vibram Trek rubber sole, which has recently turned

The FiveFingers Bormio features the Vibram Trek rubber sole, which has recently turned “two.” The Trek sole is a more rugged, cleated sole for added traction. As the Bormio isn’t (overtly) intended for hiking or trails, my assumption is Vibram went with this sole as it is the thickest, and would (theoretically) provide the greatest amount of insulation from the ground in colder situations.

Design — Leather and Zippers

Dressed 100% in kangaroo “crazy horse” leather, which just has a hint of ruggedness to it while also being “matte,” and double zippers on either side of each ankle, the Bormio FiveFingers is all sophistication. It’s a simple design, really, as there isn’t much in the way of embellishment to the outside of the toe boots other than the clean stitched lines around the toes and along the sides of the foot. This makes them look more like feet, actually (more on this later).

The Bormio is the first zippered VFF (not counting the Cortina, which didn’t survive) and the second VFF for outdoor use to employ leather around the toes (see the Trek LS). It also features a lined interior. The fabric used is beyond me, but it adds two things to the shoe, a bit of added insulation and warmth and a little more structure to the leather.

I’m unclear as to why the Bormio features the stock “yellow” footbed in lieu of a leather footbed. After all, you get the latter style with the all-leather Trek LS and even the KSO Trek, so why no leather in the footbed in the Bormio? I don’t know. There are also a decent number of “seams” in the toe slots of the Bormio (see pic below). I guess this provides interesting texture for your toes, but is that something you want? It doesn’t detract from the feel of the Bormio much, it’s just a head scratcher given the Bormio is a “premium” varietal of FiveFingers.

I have experimented with dropping in a KomodoSport insole. This knocks out the toe seams but also diminishes (by about 3mm) the height of each toe pocket — it could be a problem for those with thicker toes. It works fairly well with me, even with some micro-liner Injinji socks. If you have a pair of these insoles lying around you could try the same, but this is probably a very, very narrow use case!

Below is a look at some of the macro features of the Bormio FiveFingers:

A few shots of some of the unique features of the Vibram FiveFingers Bormio. At the top left you see the inside toe pockets of the Bormio. The lining you see (the dark grey) provides added insulation. The zippers have leather flaps that ensure the zippers don’t irritate the sides of your ankles.

Function, Feel, and Comfort

The Bormio’s distinguishing feature — that the leather goes up and over your ankle — defines the shoe’s function, feel, and comfort. For one, if you’re not familiar with wearing boots that rise above your ankles, one consequence is that the leather above the ankle is moved as you walk around due to the changing angle between your foot and your calf. This changes the feel of the Bormio relative to other VFFs. Specifically, when your foot moves closer to your shin, this pushes the upper of the Bormio into your shin; when your foot points downward away from your shin, the rear of the Bormio ankle pushes against your lower calf. Make sense?

The default setting with the Bormio is that you’re going to zip up both sides to the top. This setting makes them feel more snug around your ankle, and you’ll notice you’re wearing boots walking around, but it doesn’t actually make them much more secure on your foot. As with all toe shoes, it seems toe pockets do a fantastic job of locking down your foot all by themselves. Anyway, with the zippers zipped up, you’ll just notice it. It’s not uncomfortable and if you’re accustomed to wearing boots, this will come as no surprise.

More recently, I’ve been experimenting with flying one zipper at “full mast” and the other one (the outside one usually) at half-mast. What this does is allow for a greater range of motion for the calf in relation to the foot, so the Bormio wears less snug against your leg. This is my preferred way to wear them with or without socks. They don’t feel loose on my foot at all when worn this way either and they’re easier to take off. For full winter wear, I’d zip up all the way to keep in heat.

Ground feel is very much like other VFFs of the same sole-style. Overall, the Bormio is going to feel like “more shoe” on your foot, but it’s mostly because of the upper and has little to do with the sole. Why Vibram slapped the Trek sole on the Bormio, I’m not totally sure apart from the Trek sole being the “thickest” and thereby providing greater insulation against the ground when the temperature drops.

Bormio’s in the winter? It sorta depends. I was able to briefly experiment with the Bormio in Telluride, Colorado back in April. Worn with socks, I never had an uncomfortable moment and the temperature probably ranged from 30-50 degrees. I didn’t wear them for long in the snow, but given they are fully wrapped in leather even around the toes, they should insulate better than other Vibrams. The leather will also do a better job at keeping out moisture — for a time. Unfortunately, the jury is still (in my mind) out as far as how well these could function for extended periods of time in temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. As I can test them more (it’s a sweltering 90 degrees here in Atlanta now!), I will update this review.

My Bormios have yet to acquire any odors, so I’ve not had to wash them. I’m crossing my toes this trend continues, but as with most VFFs, they are subject to foot funk.

Aesthetic — All dressed up, now where to go?

Here I am sporting the Bormio FiveFingers and a pair of Injinji micro-liner socks - wore this to work yesterday.

Here I am sporting the Bormio FiveFingers in brown crazy horse and a pair of Injinji micro-liner socks – wore this to work yesterday.
And a couple shots of the Bormio in black with some boot cut jeans (with extra slashing on the sides to make them lay down better).

And a couple shots of the Bormio in black with some boot cut jeans (with extra slashing on the sides to make them lay down better).
Black Bormio FiveFingers with black (boot cut) slacks and a white button-down.  While the flat black leather look of the Bormio makes them more

Black Bormio FiveFingers with black (boot cut) slacks and a white button-down. While the flat black leather look of the Bormio makes them more “incognito,” you’re still guaranteed some double takes and a conversation or two on the elevator ride at work.

As Vibram FiveFingers go, the Bormio is surprisingly not as eye-catching as it appears at first blush — this assumes you’re wearing them with jeans or pants. Obviously, the ankle-height design makes them look very unusual when they’re sitting “empty” on the floor (like leathery or frostbitten feet chopped off at the ankles), but as Mrs. BirthdayShoes put it, when they’re on, the Bormios just look like any other pair of Vibrams.

That is, except for one thing, which is that the understated design of the Bormio FiveFingers also makes it harder for folks to discern that you’re wearing shoes. Clearly no one has flat black feet (save Mr. Deeds), but smooth, matte leather looks a little like skin, particularly as with the brown Bormios. You could have feet that were dark brown, and I say that because I had at least one person double-take on my brown crazy horse Bormios thinking I had tanned bare feet. I’m not very tan in case you hadn’t noticed (Desk job FTL!). I had another fellow — a VFF fan at that — remark, “You’ve got lion feet.” I liked that better.

As a “casual” offering, the big question is under what scenario(s) would you find yourself wanting to wear the Bormio Vibrams? I think there are a couple general options:

Casual wear, winter or summer — I think a lot of people will immediately assume the Bormio can’t be worn in the heat of the summer. That isn’t the case. While I’d much prefer the Trek LS or the Speed for casual summer wear given they run “cooler” (and the Classic or Sprint as the flip-flop of the Vibram line-up), the Bormio can certainly be worn all day in an office setting, which I’ve done a great deal here in Atlanta. Meanwhile, paired with some Injinji socks (I particularly like wearing the micro-liner versions, but wool Injinjis make more sense in winter time), they are definitely the warmest FiveFingers you can buy. Worn with jeans (see above in black), they look pretty solid, if not a little dressy.

Business casual? Dressy casual? — I did my best to match the Bormio against a couple dressy casual/business casual (depending on your office) outfits. What do you think? If you’re going to wear toe shoes to a work setting, the Bormio FiveFingers are probably your “most likely to succeed” iteration. Sure, plenty have worn other VFF models to work (particularly KSO Treks), but the suede on the KSO Treks and the “strappiness” degrade the dressy look of the KSO Trek with slacks. Clearly, the Bormio is designed to look sophisticated and not outdoorsy.

What is the aesthetic, anyway? This is really the bigger question: do you want some toe shoes for everyday wear — including wear to work? Do you want a warmer VFF for cooler climates or seasons to wear casually? Do you like the look of toe shoes? Do you mind having people question your sense of fashion? I say that not tongue in cheek: toe shoes are on the fringe of fashion. It’s extremely easy (For me) to imagine some celebrities wearing VFFs — or Bormios — and setting off a fashion trend. Why? Because they are so different and eye-catching. Wearing toe shoes paired with clothing that is fashionable requires confidence, and what’s more fashionable than having some swagger in your step, which is a display of confidence? Of course, you’ve got to do the legwork and take care of the other things you’re wearing your shoes with, but if you can match up an outfit with the Bormio FiveFingers, you might just set off a trend.

If nothing else, you’ll have some good conversations with complete strangers — and blow their minds when you lift up the leg of your pants to show them that the Bormio is a toe shoe boot!

Sporting the Bormio FiveFingers in Brown Crazy Horse leather with a pair of dark wash boot cut jeans from The Gap.

Sporting the Bormio FiveFingers in Brown Crazy Horse leather with a pair of dark wash boot cut jeans from The Gap.

Conclusion, Sizing, and Price

The Bormio FiveFingers are clearly aimed at a very niche fan of toe shoes who want to go almost-barefoot outside the gym, maybe in the workforce, and definitely in more casual atmospheres. Is that you? Want to wear VFFs that are a bit more sophisticated, push the boundaries of fashion, and encourage even more questions from curious onlookers? Want to boldly go where few have ventured outside the realms of Milan, Italy? Then, the Bormio is for you. It’s also for you if you want a warmer option of toe shoes for cooler climates. I like mine well enough and outside of wearing them a good deal lately for this review, will be wearing them more as Fall (and then Winter) arrive.

They aren’t cheap though ? MSRP is $160, so prepare to drop a coin or two if you want a pair. And as for sizing, I’d put the fit as close to the KSO Trek, if not a hair roomier. My versions are pre-production, so sizing might vary for the final product. I’d expect to stay in a size 43 though (which is what I wear across the entire line).

The Bormio FiveFingers were first spotted available for sale on August 26, 2011. If you’re interested in a pair, learn how to get them here!

Questions? Comments? What did I miss? Talk to me in the comments below!

And take a look at all the photos, while you’re at it …

Photo Gallery

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.

87 replies on “Bormio Vibram FiveFingers Review”

“Woah, dude, your feet are like, so weird, man…”

Interesting idea. I don’t think this would fly at my office for the toes alone.

Vibram definitely gets kudos for pushing the limits of the idea.

I’ll be interested in trying a pair on.

OK, that answers my question about the Bormio being the warmest VFF in production. Too bad there is no verdict about the water-resistance, yet. I’m eager to get a pair to compare with Cortina’s. Apparently the Bormio is stiffer, for it has never crossed my mind lowering the zippers to regain mobility in the ankles with those. One of my main worries would be the quality of the zippers. I’m sure I will enjoy setting a new trend with these – in style! A footbed in wool still stays on my wishlist, though, my guess is it can be traded off against more groundfeel.

I already have these in my collection and i must say they are really amazing. At first it takes a little getting used to because it doesn’t stretch out as much as the other five fingers but after time they fit like a glove.

Any chance you could test the water resistance? If they are good then it would be the perfect shoe for winter for me. I just need something that can go through a parking lot covered in snow and stay mostly dry. Do you think these would work?


I’m sure you could run in them, but at $160, for one, and with the ankles likely to rub over time, I’m not sure they are really ideal for running.


I think they would do ok in this short-term water exposure. If I can walk out in the pouring rain in them (if I get the chance) in the next few days, I’ll do it and report back.

Thanks Justin! Living in Alaska I’ve been looking for something that will get me through winter. Im hoping that I can get a pair of these and put them through some rugged testing for our 8-9 months of snow. To improve on the water resistance do you think that some leather oil would help? I will hopefully be wearing them all day. I teach preschool up here and in the winter we actually spend quite a lot of time outside.

Again, thanks for the review… Im interested in tying them!


I’m hoping for a pair of VFFs that won’t soak my feet stepping in a half inch of water. How about doing a soak test by gradually increasing the depth of water in a pan or bucket?

Thanks for the review!

I’ve been looking forward to more info on the Bormio since I saw the preview photos on here. Really liking the look of the brown ones, very stylish imo.

Very interested in finding out how they are in wet conditions. I wear VFF’s day in day out and resort to flows for the daily commute if its raining. If these are water resistant to a degree on rain soaked pavement, that would seal the deal 🙂


I’ve been looking forward to these ever since they were first announced,
and wanting them before that.

Thanks so much for the details!
I can’t wait to get my feet into a black pair 😀

(I’m also a universal 43, except for Flows. The neoprene necessitates a 44 for me)

Aw man, there goes another $160! I replaced my Treks with Vivo Barefoot Dharmas last winter to keep out the cold/wet. Hopefully these will be able to replace the Dharmas, but the “mitten” effect of normal shoes helps a lot in the cold. Still, I can’t wait to get my feet in a pair!

Man, these shoes give me the MAJOR heebie-jeebies when sitting alone… They do look likr severed feet from a distance. When on feet, however, I am DIGGIN’ THEM bigtime, especially the brown. I bet with some wear they will darken and smooth up nicely, like leather foodbeds tend to do…

Before i went all minimalist/barefoot, i wore flip flops until the first snow practically… Cold has never bothered my feet. If they turn out to be decently water resistant i will definitely be investing in these babies for the frigid Indiana winters.

I like the idea of a casual pair of five fingers and the boots remind me of the casual leather laced models that I have seen.

I am dedicated to minimalist footware and I live in a colder climate. I also work in the field.

How to make a minimalist shoe for the winter or rainy conditions is something that I have pondered. I know that these boots are more for casual wear…but there is a real need for foul weather minimalist shoes/boots.

I have 2 ideas about this. The first is that Vibram ought to make an overboot for fivefingers. I have a pair of Neos that I use with my vivobarefoot boots. Neos are an overboot. They have several versions…one is insulated with studs! The non-insulated version is awesome and adds 20 degrees of warmth. If Vibram made overshoes for fivefingers that were designed to be minimalist and integrated as a system that would be awesome.

The second idea is that there ARE historical minimalist winter shoes. They are mukluks or moccasins. There are modern surrogates to these…pacs and so forth…the simpler versions the better…but I would really like to see a well designed funky high top moccasin that has the same characteristics as ancestral moccasins in terms of support and toe box et cet.


Horrible idea! These things are ugly and you could never get away with wearing these at a real business. The Vibram novelty is wearing off…2-3 years top and they will be out of business (shoe business)

If I get push-back in my office for wearing my black Treks with Dockers – for how they look issues I say “So you’re saying women shouldn’t have been given the right vote, because it’s different and change is bad?” If they think they’re not safe, I ask “And what of all the women wearing open toed shoes or flip-flops? Can I get away with it if I paint my toenails?” Shuts them up every time. I can’t see HR justifying firing me for wearing VFFs when there’s all kinds of shoes across the spectrum from flip-flops to stiletto high-heeled boots in mini-skirts (some days are better than others!).

Seriously, I am intrigued with the shoes. I may give them a try because I think Treks are overkill for the office (given their intended use).

These are the most hideous, idiotic pieces of footwear I have ever seen in my entire life. You couldn’t pay me to wear these. If they were the last type of shoe on the earth I would rip up my favorite shirt and tie it around my feet with that instead. Just so that I didn’t have to wear these “shoes”

I can’t believe with all the wonderful synthetics available that they insist on using animal leather for their higher end models. There is no way I would even consider purchasing these.

@Justin –

I’d hope if they were non-leather, they wouldn’t cost $160. But who knows. I wouldn’t buy them either – mostly because I’m cheap – and I don’t care for the look of them.

Sad part is, with any other attempt at ‘toe’ shoes getting shot down by vibram – it’s likely they’re gonna stay that spendy. At least with the non toe variety you have some choice about how much you decide to spend. And even companies like Vivobarefoot have sales – which Vibram doesn’t seem to do (unless a retailer is shedding stock to make room for new, which isn’t Vibram, it’s the retailers).

I have nothing against Vibram trying new things and releasing new styles and whatnot – but when it seems like they’ve lost all interest in updating the originals and favorites, something’s not quite right. I’m getting tired of “toe shoes,” actually. Not wearing them – they’re still good shoes – just them being a giant purist monopoly.

I started wearing VFF’s in April and absolutely love them. I wore a pair for most of my vacation in Thailand because my feet were happier in those than regular gym shoes. I work in an office where I don’t think my KSO’s will be accepted. Does VFF anticipate making more dressy shoes? Also, since I live in the Chicago area, is a women’s version of this toe boot on the horizen?…we need love too! 🙂

found these shoes in a store in Canberra and got my mother onto them, she has progressive MS and these have made a MASSIVE difference for her, walking around has improved, wish we had found these years ago!! expensive, yes but for the diffence they make well worth it, really has helped with her grip on the world, Literally.

I want these. I really, really, really want these!
I’ll probably go for black, because that goes with everything, but I’m intrigued by the brown. In some of the pictures, it looks like a sort of tannish color, but in others, it appears much darker/redder. If it’s reliably the latter color, I might need them as well…

What’s with all the visitors here hating on VFFs? Why are you even on this blog? Are you reps from some other footwear company?

Love the way they look!! Only question I have: When do we get a woman’s boot? I have been wearing my Vibrams for about 6-7 months, and I LOVE them, my knee pain and hip pain has diminished greatly. Only problem, I live in Ohio. Need something like that for here. Any news on Woman’s?

What’s next? VFF work boots with individual steel toes? They really are pushing the toe pocket boundaries.

Tell Vibram to work with Uggs… add a layer of the wool on the inside, then get the waterproof leater treatment, and you are talking fantastic winter shoes.

My g/f loves her uggs, but I dare not wear the mens version, I would wear VFF Uggs though

hi Justin,

Love the blog and I am an avid barefoot (totally shoeless) runner and wear five fingers for everything other than running. Do you know if Vibram intend to release the boots to the UK market? Or if any US outlets will ship to the UK?

Thanks for your time,


These look amazing but I’m a bit torn between buying these and buying the Trek LS. I like the LS for the shoelace but I like these because they look a bit more casual.

P.S. Justin what size are you in a regular shoe? I’m a 10 in regular size and the 42 Speed feels a bit small but I’m thinking it might be because I just got them on Saturday. In fact everything feels good except for one finger which feels odd when I’m in them.

I’m usually a 10.5 regular shoes. 44-44 in European sizing.

No word on laced boots. They would be rad though!

I think sheepskin lined Bormio would be sweet.

Any word on what fall means for these are we looking at the end of September or even later than that? Are these going to be harder to find because of their even more niche use than the other VFFs?

What I would like is a lined version for the cold…with Kevlar shielding topping the toes…

Not saying they would let me wear them overseas….But I would try.

The military loves and hates these shoes. The Army bans them for unfair advantage reasons (makes no sense to me given that everyone has to buy their own shoes anyways), The Marine Corps leaves it up to their CO, The Navy allows them in the PT Uniform, and the air force is still thinking about it.

I saw them in Afghanistan though, and I swear by em.

Buying Bornio whenever I can find the damn things.

If they made these to meet ANSI Z41.1 specs I could wear them at work. As it stands now I go barefoot in the office and slip on my safety shoes when I go out in the shop.

Im in market for some nice hiking boots cause I moved to study in Norway and you can spend months here just walking and watching the landscape. I was so many times this far ->||<- from buying some fivefingers and actually hiking ffs would make more sense than anything else for me (I dont jog and I dont spend much time on beach so..). Its just sad that Vibram never created some cool hiking mid-top ffs.

Very beautiful these leather Vibram boots.
Love the brownish ones. Justin, do you know if they are going to be made for the women too??
Very fashionable with white jeans! I don’t mind strange looks at all especially when I feel so comfortable with my Komodo’s or Bikila’s. I am looking forward to the women Vibram boots!!

I have to say, I were my Brown KSO-Treks as a dress shoe. I have even served communion with these on. I like the look of the boot and will have to check them out. Although, without the loop in the back, not sure how I will keep my pants from draggin along the ground.

I was surprised by them in the first week!!! No pain what so ever. I had a lot of problems with my arches being fallen. Two months later my arches are not flat against the ground in bare feet. I not only want to own every pair, I recommend them to everyone!

how rugged is the leather and stitching on these boots? i do a lot of work in fields with lots of briars ‘n such. i don’t care about the leather getting scuffed ‘n scratched; just need them to not fall apart. thanks!


It strikes me as pretty rugged/well made. I wish I could tell you better how they’d hold up against harsh plants — might have to try and abuse mine a bit.

I am hoping for a pair of neoprene Komodo Sport boots or Bikila LS sport boots. It would be great to have some warm/relatively waterproof (at least warm) to run the trails (that turn to little tiny rivers in winter) and in the fields. Maybe???? Something vegan that will let us still run.

I tried the fivefinger sneakers for hiking this summer. I was delighted at how much better my knees felt than with hiking boots. I am finding that boots hurt my knees by constraining my ankles. I have the same trouble with snow boots. I am wondering whether these boots would solve this problem or not.

how much do these kangaroo leathered five fingers stretch with use? my feet measure just under 11″ so i got the 43s. they seem quite snug however and with injinji liners bumping up on “tight”. but, if the leather’s gonna give a bit they’re probably good-to-go. thanks!

Love these shoes! These or the Trek LK will be my 4th pair of Vibrams. You could definitely wear this to an office. I have been doing it for months with other models. I have literary using them for everything; work, sports, I have even done seminars wearing Vibrams. You might get some strange looks, but everyone likes hearing about them when I explain!

@Justin: were you ever able to test the water-resistance of the boots? I’m considering getting a pair for my winter boots in NYC, but I want to know if they can keep out slush/wet before I invest in a pair.

Would someone with a pair of these please go stand in a deep over ankle high puddle and let me know if the water comes pouring through the side zippers or do they reasonably hold out the water for a period of time. Thanks!

guys, maybe you should go spend 160 of your own dollars on a pair and walk into a puddle yourself. i have a pair and have given this a decent amount of thought. I’m guessing that they will purge water. the zippers go almost all the way down to the sole & they are definitely not designed to be water tight. thats something that vibram has on the back burner if they are smart. slightly outside-offset rear waterproof zipper with a cinch strap over the top of the arch. leather and gtx, trek sole. that would be the shoe you guys are seeking. this one is not.

Bormio water test results:

The leather is not even slightly water resistant. Water soaks right in.

You can waterproof the leather. I sent an email to Vibram customer service asking for their recommendations. The rep who responded was not only lacking in suggestions, but added that using any waterproofing treatment on the leather would void the warrenty.

The full-length zippers are the real show-stoppers. At less than an inch of water depth, (2 cm), water starts to pour in.

The Trek LS is a better candidate for waterproofing. Its vulnerability is the lack of a tongue gusset, but the lowest point of the tongue opening is about 2 inches (5 cm) from the pavement. That’s twice the water depth before flooding compared to the Bormio.

I purchased my pair of the Bormio at a local store where I can return them. I’m still considering whether they are useful for anything. I like the secure lace-on foot-hugging feel of the Trek LS much more than the loose floppy top of the Bormio. Also the leather of the Bormio will stretch, and there is no way to make the Bormio snug around the foot when this happens.

Thanks Ted_S for the feedback; very helpful!

I’m evaling the Vivobarefoot Off Road Hi shoe but it is a bit tight widthwise in the forefoot area for me forcing me to go longer than optimal. I like the Bormios but based on what you’re seeing they won’t work for what I do (ranching cattle ‘n such).

When will there be a women’s boot!!!
It’s cold up here on the mountain and I love five fingers toes shoes!!!! Women like boots too…Also my kids would like to know why they are called “five fingers” and not “five toes”.

I will be in Toronto next week. Do anybody know where I could buy the Bormios? (in a real store, not online 🙂 )

I have to say that was the best damn review of a product that I’ve ever read. I’ve been on the fence about purchasing Bormio boots for several months now. You review addressed my concerns and had the answers that no one including Vibram had. Thanks for writing such a thorough and useful review. Keep up the good work!

RE: concerns about waterproofing leather — I have used a product called Snow Seal with great effect. It spreads with your fingers, has a waxy consistency, and will dull the luster of a shine. It’s tacky at first, but will dry to soften and waterproof leather. My treated hiking boots are cozy and dry in the snows of Vermont, Colorado and Ecuador. I have walked through shallow streams. And it lasts… and lasts.

After much internal debate I’ve ordered a pair of these as I can no longer stand the idea of wearing my present thick-soled boots (Uggs) in the snow this year.

Waterproofing-wise, I plan on using mink oil, something my dad always put on his hunting boots and which is available from Kiwi just about anyplace you can buy old-fashioned shoe polish (it comes in a can that looks almost identical to Kiwi’s saddle soap).

For the record: I’ve been wearing the KSO Trek in brown in an office environment (dean’s office at a major university) for the past half-year. While I’ve gotten plenty of questions from coworkers over the months, there’s been no push-back by the Dean to switch to conventional shoes. I’ve waterproofed the heck out of them, which I’m hoping will get me through this winter (thankfully, the KSO Trek is one of the warmer VFF shoes); I can’t spring for the Bormio anytime soon. But with luck, I’ll have a pair (in goes-with-anything black) for next year.

@Jeff – have you received yet? Did your waterproofing with oil work out? I’m in Halifax, CA and our fall/winters/springs are wet. No problems with the cold up to ~5 wo/ socks in my Treks but would love a colder weather option if they can hold out a bit of water.

These look really great…if only they were waterproof and about half the price! I’m trying the VivoBarefoot Franklin boots instead. I actually bought a pair on Ebay but unfortunately, they were too small, so if any of you ladies is a size 7.5-8 and wants a waterproof, warm boot that is minimalist and zero-drop, I’ll be selling these Franklins at a discount ($60) and getting the next size up. When FF makes a waterproof version of the Bornio, I might have to bite the bullet and get a pair of those too!

I painted my pair of black Bormios black with black shoe cream/wax. And they look terrific, a perfect match with suit or any other business clothing. And an eye-catcher…

Love these.

I wish they sold them in women’s sizing — do you know if that’s ever going to be in the mix? I’d buy them exactly as-is but the sizes are too big.

As far as wearing ANY Vibram Five Finger shoe in the snow (or in winter), I found that if you install a pair of shoe inserts like Dr. Scholl’s for padding, you’ll find them warmer and much less heal-shock while walking on hard floors.

I just bought a pair, since I’ve been almost wearing toe shoes exclusively for 8 months.
It has finally become cold here in the NE, and when trying to put my shoes on, my small toes are now squashed. I now need wide width shoes if I’m to wear any.
I only see this as a good thing, aside from needing to replace almost all my shoes from dress to hiking.
I’m hoping that the bormio’s along with toe socks will enable me to hike here down to 30F. I’ll post another comment since I need to go pick them up tomorrow and test them out on a hike Saturday.
Thanks for your review! BTW, I just snagged them for 86 dollars with tax here in NY.

I’m curious to know what happened when they finally reached the funky smell? With my Treksports, I can just wash them without worrying about it. With the leather in these, how did it work out?

So I was wondering when wearing these say if I wanted to run in these, if the zipper was zipped all the way up would it eventually zip down?

I have worn my Bormios for two days now, first pair of Fivefingers. I measured my feet per Vibram instructions, these boots seem quite tight! Definitely to tight to wear with the toe socks as well. Considering I haven’t worn other FF’s I’m not sure if it’s normal or not. They are very different than regular shoes! I plan on trying them out in a hiking trail soon to see how my feet will hold up in them. I will follow the instructions first however and let my feet adjust. Very unique shoe!

These things are just too plain. I think they make you almost look barefoot attracting MORE attention to the shoes.

The picture of the brown ones sitting on the floor viewed from the top actually look like severed feet.


Ok I like to consider myself a “shuru” (shoe guru)I wear them all. All different brands styles & designs from stilletos,platforms,sneaks,boots Chucks,Bjorn,Nike,Pilner,Ferragamo, Diadora,Timberland,Dansk (ok, I dnt do Birkenstocks)I bought these after purchasing Adidas Adipure’s & liking them but wanting sumthing sturdier. I love,Love,LOVE these. I had them in whiskey & just purchased them in black. I could care less about the freaky looks I get these feel delightful. I own & operate a daycare running behind little kids all wk & wk in the ER on wknds I ride motorcycles in my spare time. I used to wear higher end sneaks Nike Shox & Timberlands or Diadora racing boots for my biker girl needs for my fast paced life. I just cant take these off. They are a perfect fit & feel for everything I do!!! Even if they did almost get me kicked out of Sams Club for being ‘barefoot’ LOL I lucked up & got my 1st pair for 84.99 & my 2nd pair for 95.00.

I always get people (especially my father) likening my vibrams to “Gorilla feet”. I’d rather have the lion feet comment, but I don’t want brown shoes. :p

Is anyone having problems with bormio’s? Developed Achilles tendinitis with these, but never have with my kso, trek or mocs. Resolved when I stopped wearing bormio’s daily. Even now can’t wear them for an 8hr day. Was great through the winter winds and like them otherwise as casual wear.

Thanks for the post! I’m a dedicated ff owner for a couple of years now, love them. Started backpacking last year (one and two night trips), my KSO Treks were great for this. But some experienced backpackers have told me I need to use footwear with more ankle support. Would Bormios fill the bill for that? And do you agree about the ankle support assessment in the first place? I’ve had zero problems so far hiking in my Treks.

I wouldn’t worry too much about ankle support — one of the biggest benefits of shoes where you feel so much of the ground and don’t have a big “platform” on the bottom of your foot is that rolling an ankle is much, much less likely. That said, the Bormios don’t really provide ankle support.

Would these work well for hiking and such, in dry western-states weather? Its been asked by a few people, but not fully answered…I don’t care so much about waterproofing or warmth; just if they will hold up in the mountains.
They are labeled as a casual shoe, which makes me hesitate…
thanks, from Colorado 🙂
Great review, btw.

Hey! Thanks for your response to my ankle support question! I have a similar question to byron’s: I’m thinking about hiking the Inca trail next June. It’s a four day intense hike. I really do NOT want to go back to a traditional hiking boot. Of course I would also hate to be stuck in the jungle in Peru with some type of unforeseen fivefinger related foot problem (perhaps due to the lack of waterproofing). Thoughts?

@Justin thanks for the link! Vivo’s look interesting. I might try them, although I hate to shell out the bucks, and they don’t look like they would be quite as comfy as my vff’s. Half a mind to take my KSO Treks to Peru. I wonder what’s the worst that could happen…?

I have a pare of Spirydon Ls shoes(specifically for hiking). I’ve hiked in them a lot and they’re great! Of course, if there are rocks or nails, I try to avoid them, but overall, my shins and legs and effort have been Diminished. I had new balance shoes and couldn’t walk a few feet without my shins getting swollen and I couldn’t walk because of the pain. I don’t know why, but I thought about this company and their shoes. The ONLY “bad” thing I have to say about these shoes is my Calves are getting a workout all the time, lol. I ordered a pair of the Tan Bormio and another pair of something. I usually wear Wallabees but have noticed my feet hurt and my knees hurt because the sole is slightly worn down. I can care less how these look in public, I’ll wear them because I’ll be comfortable and my back and legs won’t hurt as much as the dumb bimbos complaining that it is “hideous” when they’re wearing high heels. As for hiking, they don’t need to make an ankle high hiking boot. That’s dumb, their shoes are already great. Just make sure you get one with a thick sole, but they’re better than any other shoe. Ups didn’t have my address right, do I have to wait until tomorrow to try them out. Also, UGG FUR INSIDE THESE BOOTS WOULD SUCK! Why? Everytime you wear vibram shoes, even if you have the cleanest feet, you’ll sweat. Fur on the inside would only absorb this sweat and cause the inside to smell more, making us either have to wash after every use, or have smelly feet. The insole isn’t leather because the yellow sole absorbs odor better than leather would. It’s also better on the feet. A leather sole isn’t as maleable as the yellow sole, so it’d be contradicting to the comfort ability purpose of the brand. I mean, I’m wearing Wallabees now, and the bottom of my feet are killing me. I need these shoes!

hello all you bormio owners…just wondering how your boots are holding up and any other info. I wish to get a pair,my other 2 pairs of five fingers are size 43(i am a 10.5)if i want to wear these with the injiji socks should i therefore go to a size 44? or let the stretching in period do its course?
Leon Vancouver,Canada


I’ve loved my Bormios as I wear them all the time under jeans. It appears that I was one of the few people who did love them, though, as they have been discontinued. Any idea where I could find another pair out there?

My old pair of Bormio are long in the tooth, but comfortable still. I am seeking to locate replacements in size 43+. Please advise for Oregon store or On-Line mail-order.

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