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vibram 5 finger shoes for decent
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By mac gilbert
Sep 27, 2012
I was thinking about getting a pair of the vibram 5 finger shoes (despite my enthusiasm for them as running shoes) for decent/ walk-offs. They seem like they would be much easier to carry and less noticeable when climbing. Anyone have experiences with them for this use?

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By NickinCO
From colorado
Sep 27, 2012
after the hard stuff, into cruiser hands.
Tried it, hated it. Have la sportiva vertical K's now and enjoy them much more.

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By Tristan B
From La Crescenta, CA
Sep 27, 2012
Hanging out on Royal Arches
Yeah they are pretty legit. I've had like 3 pairs and loved them, but I kept blowing out the side of the big toe. And they are a pain to put on. But they are really compact and light for bringing up long climbs w/ walkoffs.

newbalance.com/on/demandware.s...
These shoes are the same thing but way better. And you don't look like a kook.

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By mark felber
From Wheat Ridge, CO
Sep 27, 2012
I tried them and was not impressed. Easy to stub your toes, have to move slowly on talus, slow to put on (or maybe my toes just aren't very coordinated.

I went back to my lightweight Tevas.

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By Peter Pitocchi
Sep 27, 2012
Pete belays 2nd pitch Little corner
I used mine for longish approaches at Red Rocks. Day one no problem. Day two slight ouchy. Day three felt like the bottoms of my feet had been attacked with a baseball bat. A compromise. I have the ones with no real sole texture or padding. Good for shorter distances and way light of course.

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By Baumer
From Boulder, CO
Sep 27, 2012
Easy Lieback
As someone who has tried both, I second the Vertical K comment. The Vibrams are slightly less bulky, but not nearly as good for scrambling/down-climbing on third class terrain. Vibram demerits: the rubber isn't very sticky, dirt gets into them, and they offer virtually no protection against the occasional loose rock rolling over your foot. Might as well be barefoot (which I've foolishly been known to do). The Vertical K's are super light, very sticky, and make a great approach/decent shoe. I've also run 20 miles in mine without a blister. Love 'em!

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By NickinCO
From colorado
Sep 27, 2012
after the hard stuff, into cruiser hands.
Baumer wrote:
As someone who has tried both, I second the Vertical K comment. The Vibrams are slightly less bulky, but not nearly as good for scrambling/down-climbing on third class terrain. Vibram demerits: the rubber isn't very sticky, dirt gets into them, and they offer virtually no protection against the occasional loose rock rolling over your foot. Might as well be barefoot (which I've foolishly been known to do). The Vertical K's are super light, very sticky, and make a great approach/decent shoe. I've also run 20 miles in mine without a blister. Love 'em!



To add to this and my original post. The vertical K's are 0.8 oz heavier than five finger trekkers. I just did THIS in my Vertical K's with absolutely no foot trouble and a 25-40lb pack. If I would have tried that in my five fingers I don't think I would have made it. Did a 4 mile hike with a pack 3 days later in my vertical K's again too. Vertical K's have a nice loop to hang them on your harness and they're the same price as five fingers.

Oh ya, and I don't work for la sportiva lol

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By BWIce
From Carlisle, PA
Sep 27, 2012
North face of long's.
The Vertical K's are awesome. They have replaced my clunky and heavy approach shoes and are great for long approaches. My only complaint is that because of the slip-last, they need to be ordered much larger than other approach/trail runners. I went 1/2 size up from my street shoe.

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By Boots Ylectric
From Roselle IL
Sep 27, 2012
Goofin on the Frogs Head Arch before I rap off.
I love my Five fingers for just about everything. I've brought them with as my appoach shoes and I think they do the trick on most stuff. However the best shoe for descents that I carry up is the Evolv Cruiser. Won em at competition and love em. Totally forget they're even on my gear loop until I'm walking down with my feet protected, comfortable, and sticky.

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By splitclimber
Sep 27, 2012
I really want a pair of those new balance shoes. but can't bring myself to pay 100 for some walk off shoes.

good to know about the 5 fingers. thx for the info.

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By Brad W
From San Diego
Sep 27, 2012
I got a pair of 5 fingers for that exact purpose (walk offs). I'll keep using them, but when they die they'll be replaced with Evolv Cruisers or something along that line--the Vertical K looks cool but pricey. Maybe even a "barefoot" shoe without separate toes like the Vivobarefoot.

I'm relatively clumsy on descents (once technical portions are over), so I've stubbed my toe in them a little too often. Also once got a little cholla cactus ball stuck in the mesh between my toes for a few steps--OUCH. But you can't beat the weight/size! I've had no problems on 3rd class with them, but keep my climbing shoes on for 4th.

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By Medic741
From Pittsford, New York
Sep 27, 2012
When I was a bum at Frey
Not a fan of five fingers. Your feet get really beat, especially on sharp talus. Like the minimilist way better

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By ParkerKempf
From atlanta, GA
Sep 27, 2012
sweet belay on El Cap Spire, Salathe Wall El Capit...
when i first got a pair of 5F i was psyched for the same reason, but i found that I often stubbed my toes really badly, and they don't climb well at all if there's some sketchy 4th classing, yeah they are super lightweight, but thats about all i liked about them...

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By Brian Abram
From Columbia, SC
Sep 27, 2012
Brian Abram, leading pitch 2 of Dinkus Dog on the ...
The New Balance MT00 Trail Zero is a bit more protective and comfortable than the 5F, at least for me. Really light, and they can roll up pretty small. I'd be wary of going far in them unless you got used to them very gradually, though. But that goes for the 5F as well.

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By John Husky
Sep 27, 2012
Here's something funny:

Check the weight of five fingers barefoot shoes (the stupidest term in the history of marketing to morons). Now check the weight of 5.10 Guide tennies (for one example).

You might want to gullibility one of the items to cast away in your minimalist lifestyle.

Apologies for the cynicism but my BS meter is redlining tonight.

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By patto
Sep 28, 2012
I like them. For approach and decent. But you do have to concentrate on foot placement more if the ground isn't solid.

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By "H"
From Manitou Springs
Sep 28, 2012
Axes glistening in the sun
I had some, I used for the same thing plus trail running. I loved them. BUT after 2 broken pinky toes from bashing rock running on the trail I returned them to REI (after almost a year!!) and got the merrell version of the barefoot running shoe. I like the big toe bumper, plus they're superlight.

For for approach/descent you probably won't have to worry about the toe thing so much.

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By Hiro
From Boulder, CO
Jul 14, 2014
Ouray Ice Park Pick o' the Vic?
Thanks for this thread, I ordered some Cruisers.

Anything else new on the market (this thread is fromt 2012) which has worked well for people. I'm looking for shoes compact and light to haul up the rock and do the walk-off in, not a long approach shoe.

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By Woodchuck ATC
Jul 14, 2014
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
Hey,,,latest news and legal issues in the news show that they got sued for not performing as advertised,,and alot of refunds are going to be due people who were very dissatisfied with the whole Five Fingers thing right from the start...Look for it,,there might even be a class action suit you can get in on to get some money back from.

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By doak
From boulder, co
Jul 15, 2014
Drinking with Moses
Dude, Evolv Cruzers rock. They climb/scramble well and they weigh nothing. They're not the most durable, but nothing a bit of shoe goo can't fix.

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By Tony Monbetsu
Jul 15, 2014
Tateita Face at Ayoro Beach
Those Cruzers look nice as heck, but do they end up smelling like Evolv's climbing shoes? I started with a pair of Defys and the stank was a real deal-breaker.

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By David Morgantini
From London, United Kingdom
Jul 15, 2014
Climbing on Kum Laude
I definitely don't like the 5 fingers for descent on anything harder than a gentle trail walk-off.

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By Hiro
From Boulder, CO
Jul 15, 2014
Ouray Ice Park Pick o' the Vic?
Yeah, I own a five fingers. Hopping across rock edges, roots, scree, etc is really really unfriendly to the underside of FiveFingered feet and the toes. Climbing descents are not "trail running". Even worse on the feet since you are usually carrying the rope or a full rack.

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By wankel7
From Indiana
Jul 16, 2014
Merrell makes some great zero rise light weight shoes.

I have come to the conclusion that any shoe with a standard heel rise is extra abusive to the knees and joints on the down hill. A shoe with heal rise encourages long down hill strides forcing a heel strike. Relying entirely on the shoes cushion for shock absorption.

No rise shoes or VFFs serve me and my knees well on the downhill. I find my stride shorter since heel striking would hurt. With a shorter stride / quicker turnover I am using my calf / leg muscles for shock absorption. Not the shoe's cushion since there is very little.

I think a light weight minimalist zero rise shoe would serve well for tue descent shoe.

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By Brian
From North Kingstown, RI
Jul 16, 2014
Eiger summit
I occasionally use some Merrell "Barefoot" shoes that weigh nothing for descents. I wouldn't use them in talus/scree but everything else they have worked well.

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By Eli Helmuth
From Estes Park, CO
Jul 16, 2014
Eli on the FA of Grizzly (M9) at the Den.
decent= good person or satisfactory
descent= going down

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