As an avid runner, I’m always looking for new ways to improve my time spent outdoors, especially in terms of maximizing my fitness level. I’m running to get in shape, so my goal is to find the best way to get the most out of each stride I take. How exactly to do that is a question that will likely be asked from now until eternity, but one of the latest evolutions in the world of running is the concept of minimalism, with the fundamental question being how to best connect to the surface you’re running on.
It’s an idea that stems from analyzing the foot itself. The foot is an incredibly complex creature, comprised of 52 bones, 66 joints, 40 muscles, and hundreds of sensory receptors, tendons, and ligaments. Walk barefoot, and it’s immediately evident how complex the foot is, as your foot continuously sends signals to your brain informing it of slight variations in the terrain while simultaneously making micro adjustments to maximize your balance. The problem is, running shoes ignore this complexity, hiding the ability of your foot to feel the surface it’s on. Your balance is lessened, muscles that ordinarily would be working aren’t, and your foot strength doesn’t reach its full potential.
While you could run barefoot, making the transition after a life of wearing shoes would be a difficult one, to say the least. That’s where Vibram FiveFingers come into play. In 2006, Vibram came up with the idea of creating a shoe that brings you as close to possible as running barefoot, allowing the complexity of the foot to be utilized, but still offering protection from elements that otherwise could lead to injury. It’s an idea that’s been met with tremendous success, and after numerous evolutions in the Vibram FiveFingers lineup, I finally took the plunge, purchasing a pair of Vibram FiveFingers Komodosport LS shoes for myself. And while they do take some time getting used to, I have to say, I’m officially a convert of the minimal style of running.
Vibram FiveFingers Komodosport LS Overview
In looking at the Vibram FiveFingers Lineup, the Komodosport LS is the Vibram’s newest addition to the fitness line. They feature a stitch-free, seamless 2mm footbed designed to reduce friction while running, while the bottom is made up of the Vibram TC1 performance rubber outsole to provide both grip and foot protection. Comparing the traditional Komodosport to the Komodosport LS, the strongest selling point of the Komodosport LS is the addition of Vibram’s speed lacing system – a system that helps accommodate wider feet and higher insteps – as opposed to the original Komodosport’s velcro strap.
Vibram FiveFingers Komodosport LS Fit
Describing the fit of the Komodosport LS is comparable to the fit of a thin glove on your hand. The fit itself is exceptionally tailored, while the most notable attribute of Vibram FiveFingers are that they have individual toe pockets for each of your toes. Why does it matter? Just as gloves with individual finger pockets allow full function of your hands (as opposed to mittens that keep all your four fingers in a single area), Vibram FiveFingers allow full function of your feet, letting your toes move independently over terrain just as they would if you were barefoot. Coming from traditional running shoes, it’s a tight fit at first, but give them a little time, and they quite literally become an extension of your foot. Out of the box, they’re the most comfortable running shoes I’ve ever worn.
Vibram FiveFingers Komodosport LS Performance
As with any product, you never know if a company’s marketing pitch is going to deliver or if it’s just going to be hype, and Vibram’s pitch to give up traditional running shoes is a bold one. But I have to say, having used the Komodosport LS for the past couple months, Vibram’s pitch lives up to the hype. It’s a drastically different way to run, but it’s an awesome one.
Comfort wise, the Komodosport LS are incredibly comfortable, straight out of the box. From day one, I’ve had no blister issues, and no issues of any kind, for that matter. The inside is soft, and the shoes as a whole do a great job with moisture control. From a flexibility standpoint, the Komodosport LS are incredibly unrestrictive, allowing your foot to flex and move better than any shoes I’ve ever worn. And in terms of surface feel, the Vibram TC1 outsoles do a great providing traction and protection while still transmitting exceptionally well whatever it is you’re running on. In doing so, your foot can make the micro corrections it needs to maximize your balance, but your foot is still being protected the entire time. It’s really the perfect medium between running barefoot and running with shoes.
Vibram FiveFingers Komodosport LS Conclusion
Ultimately, despite the existence of almost too many different running shoes to count, I’m a believer that less is more. Vibram FiveFingers take the idea that the incredible complexity already present in your foot should be highlighted, not hidden, and they’ve created a way to bring the remarkable functionality of your foot into the running process. And it works. Running is not only more comfortable, you feel better while doing it. You have better balance, you feel more connected to the road, and I’ve found that even my running form has improved. Try them, and you’ll never look back.
Vibram FiveFingers Komodosport LS are available in both men’s and women’s varieties in a total of six colors (three men’s and three women’s), with an MSRP of $110. To learn more about the Vibram FiveFingers Komodosport LS or to order a pair, head over to the official Vibram FiveFingers website.