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Reviews > Footwear > Trail Shoes > Vibram FiveFingers Spyridon MR > Owner Review by Kurt Papke
Vibram FiveFingers Spyridon MR Trail
|Height:||6' 4" (193 cm)|
|Weight:||220 lb (100 kg)|
|Email address:||kwpapke at gmail dot com|
|City, State, Country:||Tucson, Arizona USA|
||FiveFingers Spyridon MR
|Year of manufacture
Also available: Black/Grey
(one shoe only)
|Listed: 5.64 oz (160 g) for men's size 43
Measured weight: 8.0 oz (227 g) for men's size 45
Insole: 3mm Polyurethane + Antimicrobial Drilex sock liner
Sole: 4mm MEGAGRIP + 3D Cocoon technology (Vibram proprietary)
I bought the shoes on the recommendation of the sales person
at REI - she recommended them as having the best protection
for Arizona trail conditions out of all the Vibram FiveFinger
This was my third purchase of Vibram FiveFingers shoes.
The first two were both running shoes, and I had been very
satisfied with their performance.
||Terrain/ trail type
|April 5-6, 2014||Santa Catalina Mtns, near Tucson, Arizona||Romero Canyon
Sunny, 38-68 F
August 9-10, 2014
||Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson,
||Samaniego Ridge||7 miles
|August 16-17, 2014
||Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson, Arizona||Romero Canyon||10 miles
Humid, overnight rainstorms
|August 24, 2014
||Huachuca Mountains near Sierra Vista, Arizona||Ramsey Canyon||5 miles
|October 12, 2014
||Saguaro National Park, Tucson Arizona||Sweetwater||7 miles
||Sunny, 85 F
|October 16-19, 2014
||Gila Wilderness, near Glenwood New Mexico||San Francisco Hot Spring and Box Canyon||12 miles
|Tree-covered mountain trails +
||Mixed rain showers and sun, 32-75 F
|November 13-14, 2014
||Coronado National Forest near Tucson Arizona||Romero Canyon||12 miles
||Sunny, 40-75 F
I really liked wearing these shoes on the trail. Though
it took me several years to adapt to minimalist shoes, 18
months for running and about an equivalent period for hiking,
once I made it through the transition they are great.
The FiveFinger shoes have prevented me from ever getting a
blister on the trail, even though I am prone to nasty foot
blisters. The soles have phenomenal traction - felt like
I could walk up boulders with impunity.
As can be seen in several of the above photos, I normally
wore them with very lightweight gaiters. The FiveFingers
are quite low on the ankle, and Arizona trails are nothing but
sand, gravel and rocks, many of which would end up in the
shoes if I did not wear gaiters.
The bad news: on the Gila trip I began to
notice I was ending up with a lot of sand in my shoes.
On the Romero Canyon hike the approach/exit trail
section is about a mile of fine sand, and on my last hike
there when I returned to my car I noticed my shoes were filled
with sand. Upon inspection I found several very large
holes between the big and second toes as can be seen in the
photo at left. The holes were in the identical place on
both the left and right shoes.
My thinking is that the holes are caused by the substantial
sewing seam between the fabric between the toes and the soles
that is somewhat visible through the hole.
I was totally disheartened by this. I *really* liked
these shoes, but this is a fundamental design flaw, and I
simply cannot afford to replace shoes every 63 miles (101 km).
While I was taking the pictures for this report I
spotted a second failure while photographing the soles.
As can be seen in the photo at right, several of the traction
lugs are separating from the soles. The fibers visible
in the photo must be what the manufacturer calls its 3D Cocoon
technology, molded in to attempt to keep the soles from
breaking apart under stress.
Though the soles were still functional, clearly they would
continue to break down if I proceeded to hike with them.
This is really disappointing from the manufacturer that is
vaunted to make some of the best shoe soles on the planet.
Unfortunately, these are going in the garbage even though
there is life left in the soles. I can't see how I can
easily mend the fabric in a fashion that I could have any
confidence that it would be reliable. I am unwilling to
hike in the backcountry of Arizona with shoes that have such
substantial holes in them so close to the ground.
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