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Vibram FiveFingers Trek Ascent Insulated

photo: Vibram FiveFingers Trek Ascent Insulated barefoot / minimal shoe


Price Current Retail: $117.00
Historic Range: $100.00-$129.95


1 review
5-star:   0
4-star:   1
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

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


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


  • 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.


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

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $89 Canadian


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

2 years ago

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!

2 years ago
Old Guide

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

2 years 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.

2 years 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.

2 years ago

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.

2 years ago
Old Guide

Thanks BC, I appreciate your response.

2 years ago

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