Comment from: Aaron [Visitor]

I had a similar sizing problem with my SWClassics. After removing the bungee cord, they were still way to snug to wear.(at the toes) I got desperate but my next move worked famously! Invert the heel! Simply grasp the shoe by the ankle opening, and flip the heel cup inside-out. It's just enough stretch to do the job, and these shoes are the most comfortable VFF's I own now(out of 7 pairs)!
Hey Vibram! Smartwool TREKS!!!!!!!!!!!!Need them. Want them!

11/12/10 @ 08:34
Comment from: dirk verelst [Visitor]
dirk verelst

Justin, regarding the small sizing, which color do you compare with? CAn you tell if they're even smaller than all-black Classics?
Thanks for the review, hope to get my pair before the end of the season...

11/12/10 @ 09:18
Comment from: April [Visitor]

I had the same sizing problems with the SmartWool Classics. I normally wear a 39 in the Classics but the SmartWools were tight. When I matched them up with my regular Classics, you could see that they were just a tad shorter. I thought that maybe they were having consisitency issues with sizing so I ordered another 39 and a 40. The second 39s were also tight but the 40s were loose so I just stuck with the 39s. I just hope they stretch out a bit with time. Other than that, I really like them.

11/12/10 @ 09:38
Comment from: [Member]


The heel-cup inversion sounds very interesting. I will try that on my 43s and see what happens!

As for SW Treks -- not sure why you'd want those. Treks are meant for trails and trails are "high snag zones," which is to say that I don't think the Smartwool would last long used in this application. Off trails, why would you need the Trek sole? So maybe Smartwool KSOs? That'd make some sense to me.


They are similar to black Classics (Which fit tighter for some reason for those who don't know), but a bit more snug even that that.


Maybe you should try the heel inversion!

11/12/10 @ 10:18
Comment from: Jeremy [Visitor]

Thanks for the review, Justin! I always enjoy reading your evaluation of new models. I have a few additional questions.

With the Smartwool, how have you found that these handle getting wet? I have a pair of Sprints, and when they get wet, they won't dry until I take them off to let them air-dry. It would be great if these dried while you were wearing them.

Also, have you gotten a sense for how these do in chilly weather? I don't like having cold feet, and it would be nice if the wool keeps your feet reasonably warm without needing socks (although that's probably overly optimistic since the top is open).

Thanks for running a great site!

11/12/10 @ 11:54
Comment from: erik [Visitor]

Had been having a hard time with the little toes and my right heel. Just felt kinda tight in spots and loose in others. Did the Heel inversion and cut the bungee and they fit great now. My little toes are getting used to not being jammed up against the other toes so theres that to get used to, but They don't jammed up any more. Heel floats looser but not flopping off.

11/12/10 @ 13:33
Comment from: Zephyr [Visitor]  

I've recently got a pair to wear at home as slippers and I like the wool feeling on the skin. They also seem to be warm even without socks, I would like though higher vamps covering a larger area of top of the foot, that way they would be even warmer in winter.
I picked the recommended size (the same size as Sprints, one number higher than KSOs and Treks).

Now the cons:
I agree with the heel rubber and the elastic cord nuisances, unfortunately, I still have to break in those. They seem to fit OK, still, I don't dare to cut the cord.

The soles seem much more stiff than Sprint's or KSOs. These shoes are also heavier than Sprints in the same size: 14.3oz/pair (425g) the size M41, whereas the weight of a pair of VFFs Sprint Coconut M41 is 11oz. (310g).

The VFFs Classic SmartWool soles seem particularly thick under the heels. I've tried to turn the recommended operation of turning the heel cup inside out, but couldn't managed due to the thickness of the sole at that point.

11/12/10 @ 16:46
Comment from: Josué Diaz [Visitor]  
Josué Diaz

Great review! Love the detailed images also.

These are quite intriguing to me. I have the regular Classics as my first VFFs and *REALLY* love them. My feet struck out with the KSOs as I tried 3different sizes and just could not arrive at a comfortable compromise...solely based on my pinkie toes. A shame, really. :( Anyway, I'm curious if the exploration of new materials will be a sustainable concept for the company. Hmmmm....

11/12/10 @ 20:18
Comment from: Jason Jantzen [Visitor]
Jason Jantzen

Hi Justin,

Great review! I couldn't help noticing your daughter's shoes and wondered if those were Soft Star mocs? Very cool.

11/13/10 @ 13:15
Comment from: Todd [Visitor]

I've had my SW Classics for almost two months now. At first I was worried they would be too warm, but they aren't. They really hit a perfect balance for me keeping my feet warm, but not sweaty. I have been out in the Seattle rain with them...they get wet, and dry pretty quick. If wearing jeans, i just wear black or grey toes socks for a uniform look!

11/14/10 @ 13:02
Comment from: Skipowens [Visitor]  

I Have 2 pairs of Sprints (with a 3rd on the way). What i do is cut off the strap and use them sort of like classics for a casual everyday shoe. They don't have the sting on them that the classics have so this might avert some of the issues people a mentioning. I tried on the classics, but decided to use old sprints instead of buying a 5th type of VFFs. Also wasnt a fan of the Sting tightener. so When my sprints get to worn down for (safe) city running and gain holes in them I use them for house/casual wear.. Just passing along a idea i had and used. Hope it helps!


11/15/10 @ 12:41
Comment from: Linda Kelley [Visitor]  
Linda Kelley

I'm a big VFF fan. I like many posters here own multiple pairs and wear them almost every day, and even to work sometimes. I'm having fit trouble with the SW Classics though. I love the feel of the wool, and like others had to buy one size up--normally 37 but 38 in SW. My fit problem is in the toes though. The big and second toes are much, much smaller than any of my other VFF's. I thought they might stretch with washing and more wear but after 4 months the toes have not stretched out at all. I'm not sure if anyone else has had this problem but if any readers have a solution, I'd love to hear it.

11/15/10 @ 13:52
Comment from: Ralph Kuhn [Visitor]
Ralph Kuhn

Hi, I have a pair of Sprints, Mocs, and Smartwools and they are all 43s, the Smartwools only fee too small if my toe nails are too long.

11/17/10 @ 17:38
Comment from: tim [Visitor]

I have KSO Treks, Flows, 2 pair of KSO's, and Bikilas. They are all size 42 and fit perfectly w/the exception of black KSO which are snug w/injinji's. Just ordered size 42 and 43 in Smartwools and the 42 was too tight. So if you are between, I would go up.

11/18/10 @ 14:16
Comment from: Al [Visitor]

Thanks for the review, I have been anxiously waiting to hear how these worked out for you. Did you find any difference in the stiffness of the Eco sole?

11/21/10 @ 16:34
Comment from: Connie [Visitor]

I never got the classic pair to compare on sizing, I just had my KSO's. The smartwool was a tighter fit and did hurt the tip of my toes but I kept wearing them and trimmed my toe nails and after less than 2 weeks, my feet feel great in them. I wear these as my everyday shoes. They do seem to keep my feet a little warmer and they are great for work cuz it blends in and comfortable. I absoulety love these!

11/25/10 @ 16:40
Comment from: eric [Visitor]

been wearing classic 44's for eigth months 99% of the time (except running)-

switched over to Flow with the cold weather-

44's seem a tad large compared to my other four VFFs sized 43 - i keep the bungee slack unless i am trotting with the grandkids then i need to tighten to keep them on

11/29/10 @ 13:17
Comment from: Drew Williams [Visitor]
Drew Williams

I've found that the sizing on the classics can be a difficult one to get right, much more difficult then KSO's etc. I agree with Tim that the smartwools seem a big more snug and probably best to go one size up.

12/09/10 @ 06:56
Comment from: Rob [Visitor]

Today I bought SW in a 40 and they are a bit snug. Tried the heel inversion trick a few times and it seemed to help loosen them up just right.

Now I really love them!

01/28/11 @ 23:47
Comment from: KMaestro [Visitor]  

I just bought SW's yesterday in size 40.

I have KSO's in M40 and they fit perfect. SO, as you can imagine, I too find the M40 SW's snug. I went back to the store today (very helpful staff at Trail Creek Outfitters) and tried the M41. My problem was that the 41's were so big that I needed to really tighten the cinch strap so tight that it left me with 5" of elastic hanging off the back of my heels. So, I left with the 40's again.

The 40's seem a little short and the big and 2nd toes are really really tight. It's strikes me as interesting that the wool doesn't seem to give very much. I'm hoping they break in a little more if I force myself through the pain.

I really want these to work out. I love the material. Fortunately, I have 2 weeks to try them indoors and make a final decision. We'll see how it goes.

Thanks for the review, Justin!

02/07/11 @ 19:26
Comment from: William Struttman [Visitor]  
William Struttman

Bought 2 pair of VFFs today. Got KSO Trek Sports and SW. I thought I just needed trim my nails really short, but that didn't completely fix the problem. Inverting the heel and cutting the strap helped, but my little toe still hurt. I figured if inverting the heel worked so well why not invert the toe and give it a good stretch. Wound up with a chap stick shoved in the inverted toe, and I wrapped it around the chap stick. Almost perfect! I think they are going to be fine, but my toes are too sore to be sure.

02/11/11 @ 01:53
Comment from: sailorwind [Visitor]

I for the LIFE of me cannot figure out how to do this heel inversion thing described. Can anyone dumb it down for me? Or is there a video on youtube?

02/15/11 @ 19:50
Comment from: KMaestro [Visitor]

Just an update:

I went back a week later and got the next size up. These are awesome! They can still be a little tight on the big toe, but they seem to relax in a little bit. They're big enough to be comfortable and small enough that I don't have to us the strap if I don't want to. I can even were Injinji's with them although the fit is a little snug. Not bad, though.

That's all there is to report.

02/21/11 @ 12:48
Comment from: JPortions [Visitor]

Just got my first pair of SWs. Already have a pair of KSOs and love them, but does anyone else find the tab on the back of SWs annoying? Does it get better or is there a way to trim it? Prob will have to just break it in and deal with it.

03/01/11 @ 22:08
Comment from: KMaestro [Visitor]

Hey, JPortions. I just saw your post. As someone in the same boat as yourself - coming from KSO's - I found that the tab broke in for me. I don't get any irritation. I actually rarely use the bungee cord unless I'm doing something where I want them a little more secure. Hope it helps.

03/06/11 @ 17:42
Comment from: Matt [Visitor]  

I got a pair of 44 SW Classics mail order today from CitySports, awesome deal at only $50. However, the big toe seems really tight! My only other pair of FF is a pair of 43 KSOs. I recently tried on a pair of 43 TrekSports and they fit great. I thought a 44 in the SM Classic would be right, so I'm surprised they seem tight. I'll give it some time and see if/how things change, then maybe try the heel inversion trick. Not sure if/how that helps tight big toes though.

04/05/11 @ 22:16
Comment from: Matt [Visitor]  

Duh, I just learned that classic sizing and KSO sizing are different, even before the SM factor. So I tried the heel inversion and that seems to help. The big toes are still snug, but I'm thinking I would not want the heel any looser. I'm going to figure this works, I'll post again if it does not.

04/05/11 @ 23:02
Comment from: Matt [Visitor]  

OK, so I posted again anyway. These shoes seem to be working out fine. I wore them 12 hrs straight traveling cross country yesterday. Today I did another heel inversion, and then went on a 40 min walk with some sprints mixed in the middle. I could wear these all day. Big toe is snug still, but not uncomfortable. During the sprints I felt like my toes are what really kept the shoe on my foot.

Now go and get yourself a pair, what are you waiting for!

04/07/11 @ 18:13
Comment from: Mr. Leigh [Visitor]
Mr. Leigh

I have been trying to find a pair of these in my size for days now and just found them and ordered a pair of these today. Scored them for $50 and $0 shipping from City Sports. We will see how they fit. I take a M40 in KSO so I ordered a M41 in these. I hope they are not too tight. I have never had regular classics, so I have no base line to compare them to. Hopefully they will fit okay and not need any modifications, but I will see about the heel inversion if need be since finding the next size up is highly unlikely.

04/08/11 @ 13:30
Comment from: Tyler Hurst [Visitor]
Tyler Hurst

Really wish I'd read this review before I ordered my first pair of SmartWool Classics, as my impression of them is almost identical to this one.

I wear 43 in KSOs, 44 in Classics and Sprints and the 44 in SmartWools was too small. Tough to find a 45!

04/17/11 @ 16:42
Comment from: sean [Visitor]  

@Matt...I actually just went to City Sports today and ordered a pair of SW classics myself (sent from another store). I own a pair of Flows in a size 45, so I originally thought that a 46 would be the right size. When I tried on some size 46 regular classics, they were *significantly* larger than I had expected. Looser to the point of inevitable slippage (or so I would think) Thus, I ordered a size 45. I really hope that they aren't super snug when I pick them up at the store (wish I had seen this review before I bought them).

04/18/11 @ 22:19
Comment from: tommy [Visitor]

i just received a pair of Smartwool Classics from City Sports. I'd never tried on the classics before but have been wearing Sprints and Flows for the past 2 years. I've always worn size 40 in both of those but decided to heed the advice of everyone saying to get one size up for the Smartwools (besides, 41 was the smallest size City Sports had left!). The toes seem to fit just right but the heel seems to be a bit looser than what I'm used to. The heel doesn't slide off when I walk, but it feels like its close to sliding off, and its loose enough that I can slide my heel out by pointing my foot and curling my toes back. I don't know if thats because I'm just used to the more secure FiveFingers or if I should've gotten the 40s after all. What do you folks think, do classics typically feel looser than Sprints/Flows in the heel? Is the ease of sliding them off a sign that they are too big or just how the classics fit?

05/13/11 @ 17:01
Comment from: Zach [Visitor]

What are the odds on Vibram re-starting production of smartwools? I've had my pair for a year and the rubber on one of the big toes has finally split. They're so comfortable but I don't fancy my chances of finding another pair any time soon.

Does Vibram ever re-start discontinued lines?

06/05/12 @ 12:47
Comment from: [Member]


I'd say the odds are incredibly low. I think the initial interest in the SW classics was less than anticipated and they had some fit issues -- but Vibram overproduced them (my observation) resulting in a huge overstock and subsequent discounting. I doubt they'll re-up the concept and re-release anytime soon if ever.

06/05/12 @ 13:19
Comment from: Janine [Visitor]

I can't find the smartwool on the VFF website...have they been discontinued?

Also, I'm gonna be moving to a colder/snowy area...any suggestion which VFF to purchase?

06/11/12 @ 07:31
Comment from: MacKenzie [Visitor]  

I just recieved my smartwools from travel country today. At first try they are definitely softer and more comfortable and better looking than my Bikila LSs. My only problem is the tightness at the heel. It's not so tight I think I have to size up, but it is rubbing and causing some nasty burning on my heel. As I'm typing the heels are inverted, so I'm hoping that helps me as well as it did others. Is this the common problem people are having?

06/27/12 @ 19:24
Comment from: jen_eye [Visitor]

Thank you for the heel inversion trick! I got my normal size in these, and the toes felt too tight. I had red lines from the seams on my toes after wearing them for a little while. The heel inversion helped some, but I might try it again to see if I can help my big toe feel less cramped. I was able to turn my size 38 heels inside out, but the smaller the shoe, the harder it is to do -- I tried with a friend's 37, and I just couldn't. Thank you also for this informative site.

07/06/12 @ 20:56
Comment from: Kate @ [Visitor]
Kate @

I have the classics, but wasn't sure if it was worth investing in the smart wool. I've seen them around, and might have to check them out again.

12/06/12 @ 14:27
Comment from: M [Visitor]

I have a pair of size 43 (NIB) I'd be willing to part with, FWIW. $85 + actual shipping. Unfortunately (for me), they keep my feet warmer than I'd like (I have two pairs).

12/19/12 @ 17:03
Comment from: M [Visitor]

Oops... make that 44? I just remembered that the classics and mocs were sized +1.

12/19/12 @ 17:04

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