Reviews

They extend cold weather running. Added protection…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $89 Canadian

Summary

They extend cold weather running. Added protection for the feet. And extremely lightweight and flexible.

Pros

  • Keep the feet a bit warmer
  • Easy to clean
  • Conform to terrain
  • Better ground feeling

Cons

  • Traction could be better. They don’t like ice much, are okay in mud and snow. Do well on frozen terrain.
  • I tried waterproofing them, but discovered the greatest foe is sweating. I can keep cold water out up to the top of the shoe now but there’s still moisture involved. It’ll be the same for any shoe.
  • Ankle deep+ water is chilling.

This is my third winter with my Insulated Trek Ascents. They definitely lengthen my minimalist running season (my first preference is barefoot) into the winter month. I bought a size up as suggested by the website. They fit good barefoot or with an extremely lightweight sock, but the next pair I order will be a size larger than that.

Just so it’s clear, my regular Vibram FiveFingers are a size 43. My current Insulated Trek Ascents are not a 44. The next size I order will be a 45 to allow for a thicker (hopefully warmer) sock.

Last year I was able to handle -15°C for a couple of hours comfortably when running. I’m hoping to extend that this year with a larger shoe and thicker sock.

Experience

I own eight pairs of Fivefinger shoes and do a lot of barefoot walking/running/hiking.

Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Thanks for the review, Heath. I'm curious, what kind of mileage and terrain do you cover in these in winter? Thanks!


26 days ago
Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

I'm also curious about the traction, since you don't like it, but Vibram says its "ICETREK was developed to provide unparalleled grip on cold, icy or snow covered surfaces." Thanks!


26 days ago
Old Guide

I always wondered why toes weren't broken more often wearing this type of shoe?


24 days ago
BC Heath

Yikes, did it again...Hello Alicia.Regarding mileage and terrain- I do runs and walks ranging from a couple of miles to 15+ in these, currently striving for marathon duration. I do about 35% pavement/65% trails in mountainous terrain. It’s easy to use the term ‘unparalleled’ when a manufacturer is unique to an industry. Fivefingers are very soft, very flexible, very conforming but ice is ice- slippery and difficult to gain traction on. In my experience other shoes and boots are the same unless some kind of traction enhancement (cleats) are used. I’m currently contemplating a way to facilitate this with Fivefinger shoes.


23 days ago
BC Heath

Good Morning Old Guide. I can understand your thoughts on this. I think a person learns very quickly the importance of lifting feet vs. shuffling along when wearing Fivefingers. I no longer ‘push off’ with my hind foot, I ‘lead off’ instead. I’ll admit to rocking my toes a couple of times when running barefoot that led to minor damage (once on a root, once on a curb) but haven’t encountered the same wearing FiveFingers. Since I started wearing this brand of minimalist shoe I haven’t tripped, twisted an ankle, suffered from aching feet, or had a blister.


23 days ago
Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Thanks for the additional info, BC Heath! Adding traction sounds like an interesting mod to these shoes. If you do so, I hope you'll add some pictures of that setup to your review.


22 days ago
Old Guide

Thanks BC, I appreciate your response.


21 days ago

Where to Buy

Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support Trailspace's independent gear reviews.