Vibram : Fivefingers V-Trail - Up-Climbing

Vibram : Fivefingers V-Trail

The minimalist shoe that allowed us to experience a new style of racing is the latest Vibram model: FiveFingers® V-Trail

Race off road bare foot, we want to try?
Starting point: to effectively deal with all running activities on the most varied natural terrain but also on the road you should know the characteristics and potential of your feet.

I wanted to go barefoot in a protected way, because when you really feel the ground under your feet, the body can do what it was designed for by nature.” The industrial designer Robert Fliri summarized in this way his intuition by which the first response was born to the need to deepen the awareness of the use and functionality of the feet.

The idea took concrete shape with the creation of the first pair of Vibram FiveFingers®. Vibram is not by chance. The brand that has its headquarters in Albizzate in the province of Varese is internationally known for its constant commitment in terms of innovation. Many of the shoe models currently on the market for trail running, skyrunning and ultratrail training and trail running, but also for approach, hiking and mountaineering shoes for over 80 years, benefit from the reliability of the soles that started designing and producing Vitale Bramani, from the initials of which the company derived the name.

Fitting the Vibram FiveFingers® opens up a world of sensations in which any pair of traditional footwear is not able to lead.

What are their main characteristics?
The sole is thin, flexible and unstructured, and allows the foot to move and bend. The fingers are all separated from each other, inspired by the long process of evolution of the human species that has shaped them to this day. All steps taken with the FiveFingers® encourage a new experience of perception of the terrain structure, increase the level of sensitivity and the connection with the surrounding environment.
The minimalist shoe that allowed us to experience this particular style of running is the new Vibram FiveFingers® V-Trail model.

The company proposes it as an ideal support for trail running, mud race and in general for off-road racing. Already a user of previous models, I know at the time of fitting the need first of all to find the right housing for each finger, then to fix the closure, which in this case is a choke and lockable to the upper with Velcro. The sensation obtained with correct positioning is that of a pleasant winding, a sort of protective embrace on the distal segment of the lower limb.

This model is designed for dry and wet surfaces: in the testing phase they were both trampled in first hill and then mountain areas with limestone lithologies, and the design adopted with the multidirectional fins always guaranteed good grip.

The sole with the special Megagrip compound (5 mm thick) and the use of 3D Cocoon technology, incorporated up to the area of ​​the fingers, gives not only adequate flexibility, but also dispersion of the pressure on the ground and distribution of the impact. Naturally the power of the action must be commensurate with the basic concept of the barefoot race and not with that of a classic trail running exit, so it is advisable not to exceed the stride, landing lightly and not resting on the heel.

The sole covers the supporting surface of the foot but also the toes and the heel: thus obtaining great impact protection and a greater grip surface that is useful on soft and muddy soils.

There is a 2 mm EVA insole and a Poly fabric antimicrobial insole.

The materials used for the upper are polyester and spandex.

I experimented with Vibram FiveFingers® V-Trail running lightly, and then during a hike on the boulders of a stream. The functionality given by the combination of design and materials chosen for this model is adequate to the expectations and use in the field of trails and off-road. To test the sensitivity, I also wore the V-Trail model on the slackline, finding a very positive response that can make valid the choice to use for this activity the model in the winter or in the mountains with low temperatures.

In conclusion, to activate that dialogue between the foot, the ground and the environment that is one of the reasons that have favored the spread of Vibram FiveFingers®, I have also worn them to rake the freshly cut grass on a sloping lawn. The experience is undoubtedly unusual, but has yet again confirmed the versatility of use of these foot gauntlets.

Technical features

  • Weight: M43 = 182 grams / W38 = 142 grams
  • Sole: Vibram® MEGAGRIP

Ruggero Bontempi