Gear Check: Vibram FiveFingers Spyridon
Hiking in FiveFingers. It was something that up until recently I could never imagine. I had run, walked, worked, paddleboarded, and kayaked in various pairs. When I got my pair of Spyridons in the Spring I started to feel I could do more in them. Of course I couldn’t do more at first because I got them right after my shoulder surgery. I could only walk. I was supposed to stay on the road because I was in my shoulder immobilizer but I really wanted to see how these trail specific FiveFingers would feel off road. While walking alone near my aunt and uncle’s house I decided to go off road on some of the trails by my old high school. This is when I started to think that perhaps I could do some hiking in the White Mountains with them. Thinking was really all I could do until I got the ok from the doctor to really hit the trails.
What convinced me to finally try hiking in my FiveFingers is the aggressive, multidirectional tread found on the Spyridons. It is this outsole that sets the Spyridon apart from the other FiveFingers models. I felt more comfortable hitting the trail that would include grassy ski slopes, old logging roads, and pine needle covered single track. Another benefit of the Spyridon for going off road is the molded nylon mesh “rock block” that is part of the midsole. When you are walking or running along and step on a rock, this midsole spreads the impact over a wider area reducing the amount of pressure felt on our foot’s sole.
After a successful first hike in and around Waterville Valley, NH I decided to bring them up again. Just as you want to take your time adding distance when first running in the FiveFingers I wanted to take my time adding hiking distances. As my distance increases so does the amount of extra water and food weight I am carrying. This time around the hike involved a fair amount of time on granite slabs. The Spyridon gripped like a champion. It felt so nice hiking on a hot day in something so lightweight.
The Spyridon also has been a great shoe to use for cross training. As I prepare for my GORUCK Challenge I have been wearing my Spyridons for other activities such as unweighted runs, mountain climbers, squats, and lunges. The Spyridon has truly been a versatile all-around shoe for my activities. I do want to note that when working out, hiking, or running in my FiveFingers I wear socks. My preference when wearing my Spyridons is the lightweight injinji.