These unique-looking running shoes allow you to run ‘barefoot’ without hurting yourself. But how effective are they?


Triathlon Gear Reviews: Vibram Five Fingers Running ShoeFive Fingers Speed have been designed to help ease you through the difficult transition from heel striking into a midfoot strike, which can have benefits for many runners. A 3mm polyurethane insole cushions impacts transmitted through the thin rubber outsole, and this ultra-low profile offers enough protection for round town routes, though stony ground pummels your feet.

The higharched midsole and the unique separation of each toe inside the shoe allows free movement of the feet, yet gives some support too, which means you’ll feel fully in tune with how you are landing and naturally alter your style to reduce shocks.

If technique should fail you on steeper downhills, heel striking is possible for short periods, though it quickly becomes uncomfortable. The Speeds are very effective at aiding adaptation to forefoot running and offer just enough support to minimise aches and pains too. However the expense and cartoonish styling will remain painful long after your technique is converted.


Excellent but costly shoe to promote transition to forefoot running

Performance 5/5

Value 2/5

Overall 4/5