How REAL people put on their Vibram Five Finger KSO "barefoot" shoes

It's a bit of a fight but it's worth it.

I purchased the Vibram Five Finger KSO (keep stuff out) model because I really hate getting little bits of gravel in my shoes.  The KSO's are quite effective at keeping most stuff out, but at first it seems that they are constructed in a way to exclude your feet as well. 

I think mine are quite a tight fit and the next pair I get I will get one size bigger but meanwhile once they get on they are so tight there's nothing to rub so they don't cause any problems.    My best friends for getting them on are some food powder, some dance music, and a big screwdriver. 

Medicated antifungal foot powder will help your toes slide in a little better because it will dry up any moisture that may be on your feet.  It has the added benefit of fighting the athlete's foot fungus, which otherwise might flourish in the bit that goes between your toes. 

My real breakthrough came, though, when I started using a screwdriver instead of my finger in those heel loops.  The screwdriver has two advantages:  (a) it doesn't hurt  like your finger does when you pull really hard, and (b) it leaves both hands free to wiggle the opening ever closer to your ankle. 

Now I know, I know, there is a Youtube video where a guy puts his KSO on his left foot using only his right foot.  I rather suspect his shoes aren't as tight as mine.  There is no way I could do that.  Then there's another Youtube video of somebody putting a Vibram classic on with no hands!  Well duh.  The classic is open like a ballet flat.  I haven't tried that (not owning a pair of classics) but I can't imagine it would be difficult. 

Anyway, to summarize:  powder for easy slippage and the screwdriver to spare your poor finger.  Short and sweet.  They'll go on every time!  It ain't rocket science but once I figured out the screwdriver I stopped dreading putting my KSO's on.    I love running in them in the forest,  though I've moved to true barefoot running on the track where there is not likely to be anything nasty to step on. 



Dorkage wiggling into her KSO's

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Comments 14 comments

Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 6 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

By the video, it looked like it was a lot of work. These are cool looking.


ReuVera profile image

ReuVera 5 years ago from USA

Yes, it does look like a lot of effort. I have Vibram Sprint and Classic, they are much more open than KSO, so I get into them easily. I am not a runner, I just love to walk barefoot and these shoes protect my feet. I just love them! Can't wait for summer to start wearing them again.


hot dorkage profile image

hot dorkage 5 years ago from Oregon, USA Author

yep. I was warned. They do what's advertised though, with the open ones my friends have told me that gravel gets in, and I HATE that!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

My son and daughter-in-law do barefoot running some of the time. My son uses KSO's and likes them. He has had less problems with shin splints running this way. Interesting information.


marcel9 profile image

marcel9 5 years ago

Yes, these are tough to get on. The first time I tried them on in the store, it took 10 minutes.


TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

TIMETRAVELER2 4 years ago

I just recently saw a pair of these...they certainly are something different! Interesting hub!


hot dorkage profile image

hot dorkage 4 years ago from Oregon, USA Author

People either think vibrams look cool or they think they make you look like an a$$hole. I think the second point of view is wrong because in order to look like an a$$hole you would have to be all puckered up and these shoes really don't do that.


tu hermana 4 years ago

noooo loko! ss un k'po .. si te presentas como presidente ganas x BOLUDO! gil... NO COJES MAS CAMPION!


hot dorkage profile image

hot dorkage 4 years ago from Oregon, USA Author

el boludo es aquel ke actua como boludo amiguillo


Sarah 4 years ago

Tried on a pair of vibrams in the store to see if I could at least get'em on and they are difficult. I didn't have foot powder or a screw driver obviously being in the store . One problem I had was that I couldn't get the pinky toe in the pocket of the shoe. So I never bothered with paying for them plus I have no idea what those would do to my feet after so much daily wearing. For all I know stress fractures would occur and I don't wanna risk an injury. Oh well at least I tried them on in the store first before thinking of buying them. I'll stick with my Keen shoes that are comfortable on the feet. Sometimes traditional is best because you don't worry about injury as easily.


hot dorkage profile image

hot dorkage 4 years ago from Oregon, USA Author

From looking at those vibrams I don't think they would fit everyone. My feet are shaped like those shoes are but not everyone's are. Once they are on they are a comfortable fit but I do not wear them all day because they make my feet sweaty. I wear them to run on a surfaced track. They are not IMHO suitable for trails. As with any change of habit, it is best to get used to them little by little. People who just go out and do a 10K in these first time will get sore calves. And to assist with the sweaty feet problem you can get Injinji pocket socks to absorb some of the sweat but I think I'd want a size larger to accommodate the socks.


Paola 3 years ago

Hi! I recently purchased a black KSO pair online. It took me a lot of time to put them on, but what puzzled me, is that I could barely get inside the shoe once I put the toes in their pockets. I really had to pull hard to make the part behind slide, I was actually afraid I would break the shoe. Is that normal? In the videos I saw (like you said), people get in them pretty quick and without trouble.

After finally being able to put the shoes on, I feel the size is exact, which I guess that's how it should be for these shoes. At the beginning they felt weird, but then they felt just good. However, after an hour or two, the started to feel strange again, too tight. I decided to take them off, and saw my feet full of red marks. Does that also happens to you?

I don't know what to do, if taking a bigger size or keeping them. I measured my feet, and the size I got is the one I should use according to the Vibram sizing guide.


Yanti 3 years ago

Thanks for the review! See Yas are my farotive VFF's and I've had mine since April. I have been putting miles and miles on them and they've been fantastic. I just ran a marathon yesterday in them and they were the perfect shoe for the job. In April I ran a marathon in Bikilas which I also loved, but for some reason I feel the need to wear socks with Bikilas and not in See Yas. This gives me the feeling that I'm lighter and closer to the ground in the See Yas, which I really like. I've been trail running as well as road running in them, but I'm not sure how the tread will do in the muddy Oregon winter. I just bought a pair of Spyridons to try for winter trails if I find myself sliding around too much in the See Yas. Thanks again!


CelebrateUSA profile image

CelebrateUSA 18 months ago from Chicago, Illinois

My feet like these shoes but toes do not.

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