Thursday, March 4, 2010

KSO Trek, Men's - fitting for women; punting to Performa

So being once again in a town where i always know i can find Vibram FiveFingers, i hoofed it to City Sports to see if *maybe* a pair of men's KSO Treks would fit. The answer is yes and no: yes the length, one step down from my usual size is fine. This is indeed what @citysports had suggested on twitter when i'd asked. Nice folks. Indeed, i might have even gone for the same size as my current KSO's if they'd had them in stock. But measuring heal to toe of my women's KSO agains this mens - they looked identical in length. So that's the yes part

The No Part. The width at the heal/instep, even with sox on, felt a bit loose. Compared with my regular KSO's which i kept swapping one foot on with one or the other of the Trek, this is just not right. Now they'd probably work ok if necessary, but ya know, knowing the women's will be out in another couple months, i just didn't want to do it - i like how the VFFs fit when they fit, and it's not like these are what you'd call cheap at $125 (just don't ask what they are in GPB; you'll weep you american readers you).

Other Points: Foot Feel; it's different. These are dandy with socks. Without sox, well, there's a lug that runs just at the top of the metatarsals, and i found myself really aware of that without sox on. With sox on it was fine. To me, the shoe felt like it was well designed for exactly what it's designed for: trails. I bet that sole would just chew up the trails. And there's the irony: that leather upper is just so NICE for the look of the shoe, it would be grand to have a regular soled KSO with this upper.

Saying that, the folks i've encountered wearing the KSO Trek like the lug sole for a bit more winter proofing. Dang though that leather/suede is nice. I'm sorry that there (has to be?) is any nylon material on the upper around the toes to allow for toe fit - that of necessity becomes a wet seep point, doesn't it?

Other Points: Insole. For some reason, and Justin Owings at pointed this out in an email exchange we had about Trek fit: the insole has a stitched vibram label on it. ick in bare feet. Likewise, the leather side of the insole is up rather than the suede side. Wouldn't the suede side be nicer for the bottom of the foot? Just asking. That's the way the Performa's done: suede side up inside. Hmm. Also a point i noticed in my brief time with them, and that Justin notes: the upper feels a bit snugger around the top - me i noticed this only particularly around the big toe. Not uncomfortable, that that's the only feel difference.

If you're interested in more nitty gritty of the Trek, take a look at Justin's full Trek review birthdayshoes. I think it's safe to say he likes 'em.

Please VFF, keep women in mind for ALL your models: Anyway gals, it was supposed to be Feb; now it's slipped to may when a suede leather shoe mayn't be as desireable in the warmer weather as the regular VFF's but if Vibram keeps the same colors for the KSO Trek for women, and you're into KSO's you will want to make this model part of your wardrobe.

As Justin's review says, these are the least obtrusive VFF's - but goodness they just feel so nice. I'm so looking forward to these coming out in women's. Let's hope VFF never does the men's only model thing again.

Addenda: Performa (men's moc)
So while i was at the shop i thought what the heck, i'll try on the performa, the Other Leather slipper, just for something to wear on cold winter floors at home. Oh my. I literally forgot i had them on at one point walking around the store.

I had sorta written these off as very rather precious VFF's - when would i wear such things as they're not outdoors at all - they're just gym/studio things: answer - when it's too cold to go bare foot on the floors but i love to go barefooting on the floors - and that's a lot of the time recently.

They actually feel so good i can hardly wait to get home and slip out of the boots and into them. WHile they fit like the classic, they do not have the same kind of pull tab thingy elastic string that many folks just cut off so as not to cut into oneself - indeed these feel like they fit better than the classics (more on fit comparisons and FittingS at b2d here).

I can also imagine side kicking a heavy bag with them - something that is no fun to do in any VFF that has a velcro pull tab closure on it. These are just sweet. they disappear. With black sox on they go total ninja stealth feet mode. If i notice anything else about them, i'll post again, but for right now, i'd say they're definitely worth trying on to see if you want them to be part of your attire. Like butta.

Please let me know what you find if you're a gal trying the Trek or if you have the Performa what made you decide to give 'em a go.

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Jason said...

The KSO Trek uppers do look too nice to get dirty on a trail.

Found this in my in box tonight.

The new speeds and bikila are on pre order. Hoping they will do the Bikila in another colour.

dr. m.c. said...

THanks for the updates, Jason.

In the UK i'm kinda liking pure footwear for vffs - have you checked there too?


Clement said...

Hi mc, I was wondering if the Nike free 5.0 is a good shoe to purchase? I've seen Craig ballantyne and Eric cressey etc. wearing them. What are your thoughts and how does it compare to the vibram five fingers?

Jason said...

Thanks for the heads up on pure footwear.
For the occasions when vffs are perhaps are not quite right for the situation. Have just picked up some of these.
Pass the flex test and 50% of the twist test. Initial impression is positive. Will submit a review to Justin at birtdayshoes in due course.

dr. m.c. said...

frees are an ok transition shoe to less
they twist but they also squish and tilt the pelvis a bit

check out this article for options

likewise the above link looks at tai chis too
us readers are encouraged to check out zappos

these are a fave of zhealth trainers tho vivos seem to be replacing these in preference


Valda Redfern said...

"(just don't ask what they are in GPB; you'll weep you american readers you)." No, it's we in GB who weep at the price in GBP.

I don't have any VVFs now, but I've been waiting for the women's KSO Treks. I did think of getting the men's version, but I take a UK size 5, so there probably isn't anything small enough in the men's range. I wonder, though, what is the difference between male and female feet apart from size?


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