Vibram Five Fingers Sprint Review: The Bad Fit

I recently received a pair of the Vibram Five Finger Sprints from a friend of mine who bought them from a Rock Creek closeout sale a while back.  There was only the size 43’s left from this sale and he thought he would fit them comfortably.  I have never tried to fit a pair of the sprints but I figure a size 43 should fit fine since I had a pair of KSO’s that were the same size.  Keep in mind that these sprints could be an older version of the current Sprints because it was from a closeout sale.  Here is my initial experience:


I was disappointed when I realized that it was a bit too tight for my toes.  As you can see from some of the pictures, the toes are slightly bent after putting the shoe on.  I think my toes are a bit too skinny and long for the sprints.  As you can see from the picture below, my toes bend a bit too much in the shoes.  This was disappointing since the size 43 KSO’s fit me perfectly.  Maybe I just have to break them in for a while but that might be painful.  I’m not sure if they changed specifications for these shoes that would allow my toes to fit more comfortably in the newer models but I’ll definitely let you guys know once I try the newer Sprints.  Although I haven’t tried a larger size, I am pretty sure a size 44 would fit my foot.


Adjustable Strap

The different between the VFF Sprints and the VFF Classic is the adjustable Velcro strap that goes over the top of the foot, and 2 other ones that are in the back.  For me these straps are not too useful.  I can see how they can be useful if you needed extra security and tightening on your foot and if the fit wasn’t initially great, but from my personal experience in wearing the Vibram Classic, the straps don’t provide additional value to my personal fit.

Running in Sprints

Despite the fact that I did not feel the shoes fit perfectly, I did a short 3 mile run on the treadmill to see if I could break them in.  After about 2-3 minutes on the treadmill, I realized that this wouldn’t work out so I adjusted the shoes so that instead of slipping the back portion of the shoe onto my foot, I was stepping on it.


I do not recommend doing this but I was able to complete my run comfortably as the front portion of the shoe fit perfectly snug.


I will attempt to break the shoes in a bit by wearing them around casually.  But if they don’t conform to my feet after a bit of breaking in, I will either give them away or wear them like the images above.  If anybody has any tips of ideas, let me know!  For more information on the Sprints and where you can get them, click here.


For more information on Vibram Five Fingers Shoes, click on the links below:

2 thoughts on “Vibram Five Fingers Sprint Review: The Bad Fit”

  1. The Sprint model isn’t on their website nowadays, unfortunately. I bought a cheap pair of these off Ebay that was two sizes larger than the previous pair of Bikilas I had bought off Ebay, and returned because they seemed to be a size too small. I measured my feet repeatedly (particularly my right foot), and according to how I could best interpret the chart, the size 40 seemed like a good match. When I got them, though, my left foot fit perfectly, while my right foot (at least a half-inch larger) felt uncomfortable in certain spots, cramped in a couple toes and the heel. Because now I see that the website says “if one foot is more than 1/6″ longer than the other, it may be difficult to obtain a precise fit” – that’s another way of saying, “We only make these shoes for those with perfect feet!” With no choice left if I wanted to have any chance of experiencing these shoes for real, I took to the EXPERIMENTAL STRETCHING PROCEDURE, a.k.a. risking destroying your shoe, to make it fit better.

    So, armed with nothing more than a heat gun and some blunt metal objects to stick in there to stretch it (ratchet sets, bolts, etc), I put it to the test. Applied heat (moving, like an iron) for 5-7 minutes, or until the plastic started fuming. Wait to cool down. Remove objects. The first two heat gun sessions showed considerable improvement, and I just finished a third time, which I hope is the last. You have to custom stretch different parts of the shoe, which can be hard to figure out at first. But it works.

    However… the heat gun does have one side effect: ungluing the sole, particularly on the toes. Now I have to buy some “Shoe Goo” or whatever and go through a tedious re-gluing process, before I wear them too much longer. But after I’m sure they fit right. Why can’t they make these damn shoes in custom sizes??


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