Barefoot Shoes

Women’s KomodoSport Vibram FiveFingers Review

As soon as I put one foot into the Vibram FiveFingers KomodoSports I knew they were going to be good. They are designed to be an all purpose running/cross training VFF. I’ve been hiking, trail running, and doing Crossfit in them for two months now and…

As soon as I put one foot into the Vibram FiveFingers KomodoSports I knew they were going to be good. They are designed to be an all purpose running/cross training VFF. I’ve been hiking, trail running, and doing Crossfit in them for two months now and I’m hooked. I even hiked to the top of Yosemite’s Half Dome in them and would do it again in a heartbeat.


The design of the KomodoSports doesn’t come across as sleek as some of the lace-up VFFs, but for a Velcro system they’re not too bad. My pair are light gray and black with some lime green highlighting in between the toes. There’s a mini honeycomb pattern on the straps with subtle areas of reflective tape (in the shape of three lines). I’d say they come across more techie than anything.

Materials and Construction

Fabric and Comfort — These are the most comfortable VFFs I’ve ever worn. This is a KSO (keep stuff out) model so the entire foot in enclosed. The upper is super stretchy and forms amazingly well to my foot. The interior is extremely soft and porous.

Footbed — There’s a soft 2mm seamless footbed that appears to be removable but it is partially glued in. I haven’t taken it out since it looks like it might destroy the fabric in there. They fit me perfect with the footbed, so I haven’t had a need to remove it. It looks just like the footbed in the Vibram KomodoSport LS that I reviewed (The “LS” is the laced model of the KomodoSport).

Closure — There are two Velcro straps. One across the top and one around the back of the heel.

Outsole — The tread on the bottom is the exact same as the KomodoSport LS. It’s low profile yet robust. The design is good for all purpose use for everything from off-road trails to concrete.

Weight — They are very lightweight at a mere combined weight of 10.3 ounces via my postal scale.

Cleaning — My VFFs usually get extremely dirty from the trails. I’ve thrown them in the wash several times (with the insert) and they came out looking like brand new. They just need a few hours to completely dry.

Fit, Feel and Performance

The Vibram KomodoSports fit true to (FiveFingers) size. I wear a size 38 and they fit me perfect. Not too small, not too big. There’s enough room for my toes to breathe and expand in there which is important. I haven’t had any pain or hot spots after breaking them in. The first few days I took these out for a run I had a small problem with my big toes. There seemed to be some excess fabric in there from the upper seam causing some red marks and minor pain. It felt like a blister wanted to form, but it never did. It eventually went away after a few runs on the trail. Guess they just needed a little breaking in.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that no matter how much I try to tighten the heel strap there is always a very small opening around the back of the foot. Small pebbles and dirt tend to fly into the heel cup causing some friction. Also, as time goes on and the fabric stretches, I’ve had to tighten the strap around the heel more and more causing it to almost overshoot the loop area to secure it. The end of the strap hangs about halfway off but it hasn’t been a problem so far, it still stays secure. Eventually, I may have to perform surgery on the Velcro and sew it to a new spot. These things haven’t deterred me from wearing them though. It’s more of an annoyance than anything.

Feel/Performance — As for the performance, I couldn’t be happier with the results. Even though the tread is a little more rigid than say the Sprints, I still get great ground feel and dexterity. It’s definitely in that Goldilocks zone between the Sprints and the Treks. Just like the KomodoSport LS, the soles have amazing traction and I can turn on a dime on asphalt. As expected since this style is enclosed, it does wear a little hotter than the open style of the Sprints. There are some breathable areas on the top of the shoe and porous fabric on the inside to help the heat escape.

Hiking Half Dome

Hiking up Yosemite's Half Dome you pass some huge waterfalls and ascend a ton of stairs.

Hiking up Yosemite’s Half Dome you pass some huge waterfalls and ascend a ton of stairs.

I put the tread to the ultimate grip test. I know these weren’t meant to be the ultimate trekking FiveFingers, but they did an amazing job and I wouldn’t do this hike in anything other than VFFs. Yosemite’s Half Dome was an intense 17-mile day hike taking around 10.5 hours to climb up to 8,800 feet in elevation. In the beginning there are an endless amount of rocky stairs that run alongside some massive waterfalls, then it turns into a regular dirt trail through the forest.

Leah hikes up the granite rock wall of Yosemite's Half Dome.

Leah hikes up the granite rock wall of Yosemite’s Half Dome.

The final 400 feet to the top is the most famous thing about this climb. It’s an ascent on solid granite on about a 45 degree angle while holding onto nothing but two steel cables. It’s definitely dangerous if you are not careful and don’t have the proper gear. I saw people slipping and struggling in their boots at this steep angle, but my KomodoSports didn’t slip once. I was amazed at how well my soles gripped the granite. I felt like a gecko. The whole time people were asking me how I liked my shoes and wished that they had worn VFFs too! (Disclaimer: Don’t do this hike without training or knowing your limitations . . . it’s tough!)

Talk about a view!  Leah sits over the edge of a cliff up the Half Dome.

Talk about a view! Leah sits over the edge of a cliff up the Half Dome.


I’m addicted. I throw them on for any type of workout because they do everything so well and are extremely comfortable. Don’t be afraid to use them at the gym, running on trails, hiking/trekking, and for cross training, they can handle it. I wouldn’t hesitate to wear these again for even longer and more intense hikes than Half Dome too. My feet love the KomodoSports and I’ll probably wear them until they fall apart!

Pros and Cons


  • Extremely soft and comfortable
  • Grippy tread for all terrain
  • Flexible toes and material
  • Porous interior
  • Easy to wash
  • Perfect all purpose Vibram FiveFingers


  • Wears slightly hotter
  • Pebbles fly into back of heel on occasion
  • Velcro strap around the back overshoots the area to secure it by about halfway
  • Not as attractive as some of the other Vibrams

KomodoSport vs. KomodoSport LS

When deciding between the two, it’s really a matter of personal taste and what you will mainly be using them for.

If I were to choose one over the other I’d pick the KomodoSport not for looks, but mainly because I’d feel more comfortable wearing them on longer trail runs and big hikes (which I do more of). There’s less chance of debris getting into the top of the shoe since they don’t have any laces. They also have the adjustable strap that goes around the back of the heel, which I like.

The LS definitely looks better, but I think they are best for going to the gym, cross training, and for short runs and not necessarily for higher mileage on dirt trails. Since the tongue is not gusseted, they may be prone to getting more debris trapped inside the laces.

It’s hard to choose only one since they are both fantastic cross training VFFs. They’re built with the exact same outsoles and are both extremely soft and comfortable…
Essentially, it just boils down to aesthetics and fit.

More photos from the Half Dome Hike in FiveFingers KomodoSports

By Leah

I live in southern California and write a [url=]creative lifestyle blog about adventure, travel, and photography[/url]. I interview inspiring women and feature travel tips such as how to pack a backpack. I can’t live without avocados, standup paddling, mountain biking, and cameras.

14 replies on “Women’s KomodoSport Vibram FiveFingers Review”

My sister and I had a great time hiking (and educating) while wearing our treksports in Zion this spring. The only problem I had was the sustained downhill stretches kept pinching my toes. Did you have that problem? Any thoughts?

The downhills are always tough on the legs and feet but I didn’t have any problems with my toes in these. The material is much softer on the KomodoSports than the TrekSports.. maybe that could be a factor?

Nice review! I love hiking in my VFFs. They seem to grip everything much better than hiking boots, and I never once was worried about my footing. Also, others that were wearing boots/sneakers were complaining about walking on uneven surfaces and that their ankles bothered them. In VFFs your feet flex around those uneven surfaces and prevent the top of the shoe from pushing against your ankles.

The only thing that is worse is heading downhill I find, at least with a 40lb pack on. Maybe I need to work on my downhill form, but I find I’m not able to bomb down the hill, and am constantly braking. That puts a lot of pressure on my knee and I had a pretty bad strain in the middle of a 55k trek. It may just be down to form though.

That aside, VFF’s are great off-road. I’ll definitely have to do that hike one day if I find myself in Yosemite. Fantastic pictures!

That looks awesome! Brings back memories from a couple of years back when I was there with my dad. We hiked to Sentinal Dome and I wore KSO’s. Next time there, I want to do Half Dome. At his age, and fear of Heights, Half Dome was not an option.

Just got back from Vegas and went to Red Rocks (hiked in VFF’s),then Zion and used KSO’s for three days of hiking.
Loved it and saw a small handful of others in VFF’s, but still have quite a few comments/questions about them.

One of the shuttle drivers @ Zion was wearing the new Trek LS VFF’s and we chatted about those.

Nice article and great pictures!!

@The Yeti Trekking 55K in VFFs with a 40lb pack is no small feat! You have to have some strong knees for that. Completely agree about walking on uneven surfaces. I’ve never rolled my ankle and I’ve always felt more stable in VFFs.

@Terry B Thanks! We drive to Vegas a few times a year but haven’t been to Red Rocks or Zion yet. That’s next on the list! I would definitely wear these KomodoSports to hike around there.

@Sandra They are extremely soft and come in a few different color combos!

So these things are basically trail shoes with toe pockets and heavier than most of the Inov-8 minimalist trail shoe line. And as thick as they are there really isn’t much difference between them and a a lot of thin soled trail shoes out there. I can promise Inov-8 has better traction all around as well. But hey if you like toe pockets and the unusual look, knock yourself out! 🙂


The KomodoSports are less thick-soled than the KSO Treks and the Bikilas IIRC. They’re roughly 7mm thick (KSOs are something like 6mm).

Are you telling me that Inov-8s minimalist trail shoes are as flexible in the sole and move as dynamically with your feet as a pair of FiveFingers?

If they are (excluding their EvoSkin), then that would be pretty remarkable.

No doubt FiveFingers would hold the title in terms of flexibility and being dynamic in the sole. However, there are plenty of minimalist trail shoes out there, Inov-8 in particular, while they might not be quite a flexible or dynamic as a VFF, are pretty darn good and over the long haul have far superior traction, full foot protection, adequate toe box for toe splay, etc… all at about the same weight or less than some of the heavier VFFs. I’m just saying that at the heavier/thicker end of the VFF line there is, in my mind, very little difference or distinctness between them and A LOT of pre-existing racing flats and minimalist trail shoes… In other words doesn’t strike me as a real big deal that folks are doing the sorts of activities they are in these thicker/heavier VFFs. There is a much bigger difference in a VFF classic or KSO and racing flats / minimalist trail shoes.

Just not understanding all the hype I guess. I’m an occasional VFF/Huarache wearer and I they’re a fun tool to use on occasion on easier terrain but there is not enough protection in them for the types of activities I enjoy; running fast on gnarly terrain. I’ll stick with my Inov-8s et al. for those activities.

Great review, Leah! I got the Komodosport as my first pair of VFF’s and I noticed the same pros and cons. But I haven’t really taken them on the trail yet, so your input was very helpful.

Additionally, I’m planning a backpacking trip through Northern Europe come August, and I was planning to grab the KSO Trek’s while there were still a few pairs out there. But after reading your review I’m debating whether or not to just stay with the Komodosports and get a more casual, breathable style like the KSO. :/

Any thoughts?

Thanks for the review! I’m looking to get another pair of VFFs — one for running (training for a half), one for the gym (plyos, UJam, and occasional P90X2 when I am coerced…). I have a pair of Bikilas that I’m using both running/ hiking and the gym.

I’m torn between getting a minimalist running style (See Ya’s) for running, and keep the Bikilas for everything else. OR. Getting a more robust pair (like the KomodoSports or Spydrons) for the gym and keeping my Bikilas for running.

You have such great reviews for all the shoes. Based on your experiences, what would you recommend?

@Rachel It depends on the type of backpacking trip you’ll be on. The KSO Treks will be great if you need something for long treks on rugged trails. I’ve never worn them, but I would definitely look into getting a pair if I were planning a big trek. If you think they might be overkill, the KomodoSports are a fantastic universal VFF. You can pretty much wear them for most activities. I use them for running on pavement and dirt trails, hiking, and walking. I love them!

@Ming Thanks for reading! It’s a tough call. It really depends on the activity you will be doing most of and which VFF is most comfortable to you. If you plan on doing more training on pavement you may want to look into the SeeYas. They are the most minimal VFF in the lineup and are built for the road. The KomodoSports are a great universal VFF for hiking, running, the gym, etc. Spyridons are the perfect robust trail running model (they have a little more flexibility in the sole than the KomodoSports)… and I haven’t tried out the Bikilas so I can’t comment on them.

i was wondering what your normal shoe size was. im a guy looking to get a size 39 and thats following a website but i just wanted to make sure if you think thats an accurate translation

Great write up and review. Just wondering if I could ask a question, a bit off topic re:VFF but wondering how wide your lens used while you were in half dome hike? I have 10-22 and 28 and I’m only planning to bring either one. Thanks in advance. Secondly, I’m shopping for a “lighter” hiking boots to use in half dome this year. That’s where I found your blog. And I’m kinda leaning towards this shoe but would it be stretchy enough to fit a wide foot? Again thanks in advance.

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