Vibram Five Fingers Komodo Sport Review

August 12, 2010

We’re a little shoe crazy here at FitnessFootwear.com, but once in a while a shoe arrives that blows even our socks off. We’ve been reviewing the new 2011 Vibram Five Fingers range all week, but one of the new shoes really impressed us and set the standard high for any brand looking to make barefoot or minimalist footwear -and that’s the Vibram Five Fingers Komodo Sport.

Instantly comfortable, effortless to slip on and pretty much everything you could ever wish for in a barefoot running shoe. But will barefoot purists approve of its cushioned insole? Read our in depth review of the Vibram Five Fingers Komodo Sport and see for yourself.

Technical Specs
aggressive multisport design
stretch nylon upper
heel and instep hook-and-loop closure
stitch free, seamless 2mm PU footbed to reduce friction
EVA arch support
individual toe pockets seperate and strengthen toes
4mm vibram performance rubber outsole for grip and protection

Looks
When it comes to appearance the Vibram Five Fingers Komodo Sport looks every bit the technical sports performance shoe that it is. Borrowing design elements from the KSO and Bikila before restyling them into something sleeker and far more aggressive, these Five Fingers are covered in eye catching details. The Vibram Five Fingers Komodo Sport comes in a choice of black/bronze, black/grey and yellow/black colours for men (we liked the yellow/black the best). Meanwhile for women, there’s a choice of black/bronze and blue/yellow. The blue/yellow looks surprisingly good too. After all, if you’re going to wear unusual shoes, you may as well be bold about it!

Fit
Effortlessly easy to slip on just like the Bikila, your feet slide straight into the Vibram Five Fingers Komodo Sport and your toes easily find the right place while providing plenty of room to wiggle, and without slipping out.

Pull the heel and instep straps to whatever tightness you prefer, stick then in place with the Velcro underside and you’re good to go.

The Komodo Sport fits very comfortably around the heel and ankle. Once again, by raising the cuff, the newer range fo Vibrams don’t pull on the toes and instead forms a strong, secure and snug hold around the ankle.

Feel
Even though there’s soft footbed and extra cushioning and grip across the full length of the foot, there’s still a lot of feeling in your feet. Walking or running, you still get a fully detailed feel, especially in the toes which have a lot of freedom to wiggle. The great thing about the Komodo Sport is all the extra cushioning. You could walk, but not run, in these heel striking all the way and it wouldn’t bother you. While that goes against the whole point of barefoot shoes, it’s a lot more forgiving when you do forget your gait and smash your heel into the tarmac. As Vibram’s Five Fingers line develops, it seems to be more about providing protection and support for your barefoot training rather than punishing you for getting it wrong.

One thing that’s really interesting is the sole, because there’s a huge chunk missing from the inside of the midfoot. Instead is a peice of tough, connective rubber, presumably to hold the shoe together and provide a bit of protection from whatever’s on the ground. But this part of the shoe is never used by your foot to make contact with the ground. That makes quite a big saving on weight, which explains how the Komodo Sport is so lightweight despire all the extra material, padding and straps.

Although there’s plenty of breathability, they are quite warm. This won’t bother you when you’re running about, playing basket ball or whatever, but for casual wear it’s quite noticeable. However, the irresistably cosy fit more than makes up for this. Plus you can comfortably wear them during the colder times of the year without a care.

What We’d Use Them For
We have to agree with Vibram that their Vibram Five Fingers Komodo Sport is designed for running and fitness, but its perfectly suited to all kinds of sports as well as casual wear. Something this comfortable shouldn’t be worn just for sports. If it wasn’t for the footbed, then you could wear these watersports just like regular KSOs.

Blended together from the KSO and Bikila, the Vibram Five Fingers Komodo Sport is the perfect shoe for the core barefoot demographic. It’s great for running, walking and sports in general while being comfortable, supportive and stylish.

Will there be a backlash from barefoot purists over the soft footbed? Some won’t like it, but others will appreciate that your feet won’t need to ache quite so much from going ‘minimalist’ with their footwear.

Final Thoughts
You certainly get what you pay for with the Komodo Sport, even if you do pay a lot for it. We expect this to become the mostly highly sought after Vibram Five Finger shoe simply because it’s got everything. You can do virtually anything in it and go anywhere.

It’s a huge leap forward from the original Vibram Five Fingers Classic, combining the features of the two best selling ‘advanced’ Vibram Five Finger styles, taking the comfort, fit and protection of the KSO and combining it with a sole a toe fit that’s similar to the Bikilas.

Like with the rest of the new 2011 Five Fingers range, Vibram has paid attention to the heel area, providing more cushioning for any barefoot gait slip ups as well as more padding around the heel area of the foot itself for a more comfortable fit.

If you’re trying barefoot for the first time and you’ve got money to burn, get yourself a pair of these. They may be very technical, but they’re still perfect for an entry level barefooter. But we can safely assume that most will progress up to them from the standard Vibram Five Fingers Classic.

So, to round up: Unless you’re going off road in serious mud and filth or doing water sports (in which case you’d want the Treksport or KSO), the Vibram Five Fingers Komodo Sport is the best Five Finger shoe for running, walking, sports, comfort, fit and style. That’s right, THE BEST.

The Vibram Five Fingers Komodo Sport will be avaialble to buy from our Vibram Five Fingers UK store in Spring/Summer 2011.

5/5 – The creme de la creme of Vibram Five Fingers. Instantly comfortable, great looking and highly versatile for a wide range of sports and everyday casual wear. The perfect barefoot shoe for the barefoot demographic.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our Vibram Five Fingers reviews. Stay tuned for more product reviews, previews and the latest sports and outdoors news right here at the Fitness Footwear Blog.