Review: Vibram FiveFinger KSOTrek Shoes

Feeling the course like never before.
For the most part, golf shoes are kind of all the same.  They are some spikes slapped onto the bottom of either a dress shoe or an athletic shoe.  Very few shoes are designed around the foot.  The Vibram FiveFinger shoes are basically gloves for your feet. 

 When the box arrived I immediately opened them up and wanted to try them on.   It took me literally 15 minutes to put them on the first time.  My little toe just didn’t want to leave its friend the 4th toe.  If you ever notice your toes really do tend to get crushed together in your socks and shoes.
One of those good feelings is wiggling all your toes and stretching them out.  That is really what you need to do to get these shoes on.  Once they are on, it feels like you are walking in socks with a little rubber tread on the bottom.  Each toe is able to move independently and even grip like you would with your hands.  I wore them around the house and to work a couple times before I took them to the course.  You get a few odd looks and really find a new sensation when walking with just how many things you feel with your feet.

 While the Vibram FiveFinger KSOTrek shoes are not marketed specifically as golf shoes (right now).  I picked this model because of the ample traction on the soles, some waterproofing on the uppers, and the simple brown leather looks. There is another model that would work too and that is the TrekSport, the main difference is that the uppers are synthetic.

 I went to the course not knowing what to expect.  My first round with them was a dewy early morning round.  This is one of the best tests for any golf shoe.  How would it do for traction and waterproofing?  As I’m just walking in the clubhouse, and then out to the putting green I’m already noticing a difference as to how all the different surfaces feel.  On the putting green I really can notice the contours of the green.  I also was able to feel when my weight shifted and when I was engaging my toes for balance too.  As I made my way to the first tee, I climbed the wet incline with no slippage.  As I wind up on the backswing to take a big swing at the ball I feel the swing transfer.  I crushed the first drive down the middle.  I was keenly aware of my feet while my swing was in autopilot.  There wasn’t even the hint of slippage.  Walking down the wet fairway I could feel the coolness of the water on my Vibram FiveFinger shoes, but my feet were not getting wet.  I was playing as a single to start.  After I joined up with a group after 9 holes, I heard a number of comments about them.  The first, probably because I got the brown leather ones is how they kind of looked like ape feet.  The next was from a guy who had his own pair that he liked, but never thought about golfing in them.  (I think he will be getting a pair to golf in after my round with him)  Then it turned to, “How do they feel?” “I bet you can really feel the course?”  “I might have to try some of those?”  I also enjoyed not having to change out of them after the round.  I just hopped in the car and drove off.  I even enjoy wearing these when I’m not golfing. 

 They really feel like they are strengthening my feet.  I can almost slide them right on now, since my toes are a little stronger and have learned to separate.  I didn’t notice any swing issues with these on.  I suppose I was a 1/4” shorter in these, but I didn’t feel that I had to compensate for it with my swing.  I wasn’t digging any more than normal.  On the greens, my putting was probably better than before because of feeling the greens and ths subtleties of the green.  Playing out of the sand was really cool, as the sand would squish between your toes.  Just don’t tap the sand off your feet with a club (as you either do or see pros doing) it will hurt.

 I think to gain wide spread acceptance in the golfing world Vibram would make a mitten type version.  They would be a huge hit.  Leave everything the same, even the 5 finger part, just when you are looking down at them, have a smooth one piece look rather than seeing all 5 toes.  From the bottom I still like to have the 5 toes separate.

 If you want to play golf barefoot, these are the shoes for you.  It is as close as you will get to barefoot without worrying about what pesticides you are walking through or what stick, twig or stone will injure your foot.  You will feel the course like never before and really enjoy your rounds in your Vibram FiveFinger Shoes.

Quick Hits
  +Feeling the course
  +Excellent traction

   Different Look
   Initially tough to get on

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