Review: Vibram FiveFingers Spyridon

Category: Barefoot Running Shoes
Average weight: Men's 43 222g / Women's 38 160g
Recommended for: off-road barefoot runners, or runners wanting to transition to barefoot running.
Men's left / Women's right

Pros

  • Aggressive thread with directional lugs (to improve push-off in the forefoot and braking in the heel)
  • Molded nylon mesh layer in the arch area provides extra protection from the surface
  • 3.5 mm thick sole
  • Good balance between the natural and ground feel
  • Coconut Active Carbon for breathability and odour control

Cons

  • The uppers' fabric is a little bit thicker and tougher, which is good for the warmth but little less so for ventilation.
  • Slightly heavier than the rest of the Five finger models

Verdict

My initial experience when putting on the Spyridons was the awareness of the moulded nylon under the arch. It provided a strong feel of connectedness and grounding. The sole felt thicker. The toe sockets are deeper as usual. Although the shoes were comfortable, they felt the heaviest out of all the five fingers I have used before. I was really aware of having them on the feet. They scared me a little.

Once I took them out for a run, all my worries have diminished. They have a smooth ride off-road, great protection from the stones, good grip in the mud, wet grass and hills and they don't clog up. There will be the unavoidable grass between your toes as with all of the models, but it's not enough to disrupt the run. I used them on roads too, where the 3.5mm sole acted as a great cushioning. Although this is an off-road model, I'd also recommend it to those wanting to transition to barefoot but needing a bit more protection than the Vibram FiveFingers KSO.

Since its uppers are made of a tougher material, the ventilation is slightly reduced. They are fine for runs up to an hour, but I would wear socks for anything longer that. If you're planning to use them as your daily pair for example on holidays, do wear socks too, or don't forget to pack a bottle of baby powder with you. This model is definitely the only one my friends begged me not to take off due to its odor (well, it was after wearing them in the Caribbean for days on end).

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