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Vibram Fivefingers V-Alpha vs V-Trek vs V-Trail 2.0 vs Leguano Aktiv

I can't remember the last time I wore high-heels, although I know woman’s leg looks beautiful in them. Once I stepped onto the barefoot / zero-drop path, there was no turning back from it. It melted into it completely.



The idea of wearing barefoot / zero-drop shoes is gaining more and more followers, which makes me incredibly happy. These are such wonderful shoes, which imitate barefoot walking (which is how it should be originally) and allow our feet to move naturally, unobstructed, supporting and shaping the muscles that have been "forgotten" by our body. (as a result of wearing other traditional stiff shoes). In addition, they give relief to the joints, spine and improve the quality of walking. Depending on the purpose, there are different models. Sometimes they may differ only in small details, nevertheless they are clearly physically noticeable.


There is no denying that when wearing these shoes, you have to learn to walk again. However, the difference you will feel is indescribable, in a positive sense. If you are a beginner, I advise you to follow the manufacturer's recommendations and don't show off- it takes 13 weeks for your foot to adapt to the shoes and the new style of walking (I think you get a 13-week breakdown with every purchased model of Vibram Fivefingers).


I use barefoot shoes for everyday walking and trekking. As for me, these are my prime criteria for choosing and using these shoes. I used to use them for running, but currently trekking in the mountains is the best form of physical activity for me.


Personally, I have been using the Leguano Aktiv for everyday walking for a long time (flat surfaces like asphalt, going shopping, etc). However, when it comes to mountain expeditions - I use Vibram Fivefingers.


I would have bought the V-Trail 2.0, but unfortunately they were disqualified by me because of the inner seams - you can't wear them without the socks (special five-fingers socks). This does not suit me as I like to wear barefoot shoes on a bare foot.


The V-Trek boots are a great option because of the purpose that manufacturer gave them- for trekking. However, despite the perfect fit on my foot, they didn't quite suit me and I had to give them up. The V-Alpha, on the other hand, meets my expectations. I tested them on many surfaces, uphill, downhill, sand, grass, stones, branches, asphalt, concrete, water, light mud, etc. Below I give you the main pros and cons of the four models, determined by my subjective opinion.



LEGUANO AKTIV

Pros:

- super soft sole, best imitating barefoot walking (better than Vibram Fivefingers)

- soft material of the shoe, can hardly feel it, maximum comfort

- the look of the shoe is normal- you don't look like an orangutan :)


Cons:

- the material is a bit thick, not really suitable for wearing in hot weather

- when going down the leg is not stable, the shoe is suitable for everyday walking, not for active mountain/forest trails

- sole too soft for mountain/forest trails (in the sense that it wears out quickly and does not have a good grip)



VIBRAM FIVEFINGERS V-TREK

Pros:

- tough sole, suitable for extremely harsh conditions while remaining flexible (4mm)

- lace-up binding and higher boot (partially covering the ankle) allows for a better fit to the foot


Cons:

- the sole is too hard for a barefoot shoe (4mm), taking away the barefoot feeling

- the back of the shoe causes pain when walking, which cannot be regulated by the shoe-laces

- boots have a specific unpleasant smell, a bit fishy. I don't know if it's the glue that's used or the material itself, but the smell is unpleasant and you can't get rid of it



VIBRAM FIVEFINGERS V-ALPHA

Pros:

- ideal sole thickness for mountain walking, forest walking, trekking, etc. (3.7mm)

- incredible grip of the sole to the ground in various conditions

- fantastic grip of each individual toe, thanks to which the comfort of walking uphill and downhill is tip top

- thin breathable yet durable material, perfect even for hot days


Cons:

- when entering water, you can feel a slight hollow spaces, "splashing in the shoe", which does not give comfort for further walking (unless with a sock)

- the seams between the big toe and the next toe come apart quickly, giving the impression that the shoe is about to break (and sometimes it does). Definitely something the manufacturer should improve on when designing the next model



VIBRAM FIVEFINGERS V-TRAIL 2.0

Pros:

- ideal sole thickness (3.7mm)

- breathable material, but not as cool as in V-Alpha

- better stitching solution between the big toe and the next toe - seams do not split

- when entering water on the trail the shoe still fits well and there is no „splashing” discomfort


Cons:

- can’t be worn without socks really, as the stitching on the inside toes causes corns on the toes

- in my opinion more suitable for trail running than trekking



I wouldn't replace Fivefingers with any other shoes for trekking. Once you get into these shoes, you can't go back to the hard stiff traditional mountain shoes. The comfort is simply indescribable, it has to be experienced but also liked.


The only time I put barefoot aside is in late autumn because it is very rainy / winter because it is cold and wet / and sometimes early spring (snowmelt, mud, wet). I find it hard to switch back then to the stiff shoes.


I hope the article was useful and valuable. Remember that every foot is different and what suits me, may not suit you. However it is always good to read different opinions before you decide to buy these shoes to find out which model may be the best option for you. If anyone has any questions, hesitations, feel free to ask ma a question.


May the force be with you!

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2 Comments


Thinking Human
Thinking Human
Apr 22, 2023

The 4mm/3.7mm thickness you mentioned is only the outer sole. but they also have mid-soles. 4mm for v-trek and 2mm for v-alpha. So the total thickness is v-trek 8mm and v-alpha 5.7mm.

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Vaibhav Shah
Vaibhav Shah
Nov 26, 2021

Hi Paulina,

Your article and detailed reviews were exactly what I was looking for, and much more. I was puzzled while choosing between V-Alpha and V-Trail 2.0. I am looking for something for day-to-day walks, mountain walks, and most importantly, for running (on asphalt as well as on gym treadmill). It seems V-Alpha is more suitable for me, but your alert about the seam wearing off is also very important. I am looking for durability. I guess I will try to find the suitable socks, so that I can use V-Trail 2.0. Thanks!

Vaibhav


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