We spent 10.2 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what training geeks think:

4 reasons to buy

  • Most users stated that the shoe sole was thin enough to provide a sensitive ground feel yet had the right amount of thickness to protect the foot.
  • A significant number of reviewers complimented the shoe’s comfortable fit; they liked the way it contoured their foot shape.
  • People who took the shoe out for hiking adored its great traction, even on smooth and wet surfaces.
  • A few wearers were delighted that the footwear helped them increase their foot strength and mobility as well as improve physical form in general.

4 reasons not to buy

  • Several customers did not find the look and color of the product to be aesthetically pleasing.
  • A handful of people reported that the shoe has to be washed regularly as it quickly develops an unpleasant smell.
  • Wearing the trainer without decent preparation for barefoot training can result in injuries, noted one reviewer.
  • Another user was frustrated that the outsole separated from the upper in the heel area one day after the return window ended.

Bottom line

Overall, the Vibram FiveFingers V-Alpha was deemed a comfortable and decent minimalist shoe. It had all the right characteristics to provide the wearers with a barefoot-like experience. On the other hand, not everyone appreciated the shoe’s design and color options. But if natural foot strength and performance are what you are looking for, then the V-Alpha is a good option to help you with that.


Reviews from around the internet

Expert reviews:

User reviews:

SportsShoes, REI and 20 other shops don't have user reviews

Video reviews and unboxing

  • The Vibram V-Alpha is a training shoe that is meant to be used outdoors. In keeping with the brand’s style, it has a separate section for each toe and a very thin sole unit. The upper is made of a combination of wool and synthetic materials that allow air to circulate throughout the foot chamber, reducing unwanted odor.
  • A lightly padded EVA insole cushions the underfoot. It has antimicrobial properties that prevent odor caused by microbes and bacteria.
  • The outsole uses the Megagrip technology. It is a durable material designed to provide traction during both dry and wet conditions. It is also supportive yet flexible enough to adapt to the varied activities of cross-training.

The Vibram V-Alpha has two versions specifically created for men and women. The shoe generally follows the standard trainer sizing scheme with US sizes ranging from 7.5 to 14 for men and 6.5 to 10 for women. The brand recommends that the shoe should fit like a glove with the heel fitting snugly and the toes just lightly grazing the front ends of the footwear. The available width options are D - Medium and B - Medium for men and women respectively.

The shoe employs the proprietary Vibram rubber outsole for durable protection against punctures. The Megagrip compound is added to exhibit a strong grip on both wet and dry terrain while enduring rigorous wear and tear. It also affords the wearer a balance of both support and flexibility to keep up with different fitness activities.

Since the Vibram V-Alpha is a minimalist trainer, it has no dedicated midsole. This is to enhance one’s sense of proprioception. Instead, it utilizes a low-profile EVA foam insole that serves as underfoot cushioning. It also helps to maintain a healthy interior for the foot by preventing odor and bacteria from building up.

A 50/50 blend of wool and synthetic materials make up the upper of this Vibram FiveFingers shoe. This combination keeps the interiors ventilated to avoid unwanted odors. The interior is lined with soft textile for in-shoe comfort.

The brand is popular for the barefoot-like style of its shoes. The toes have their own separate pockets to allow the foot to move naturally and sense the ground.

It employs a lace-up closure that is secured by a cord stopper to bar the shoelaces from getting untied in the midst of a strenuous fitness activity. The sides are reinforced as the shoelaces are tightened, therefore boosting lateral support.

Due to the snug fit of the footgear, a heel pull has been attached. It makes for an easy wear-on and -off experience.

Nicholas Rizzo
Nicholas Rizzo

Nick is a powerlifter who believes cardio comes in the form of more heavy ass squats. Based on over 1.5 million lifts done at competitions, his PRs place him as an elite level powerlifter. His PRs have him sitting in the top 2% of bench presses (395 lbs), top 3% of squats (485 lbs) and top 6% of deadlifts (515 lbs) for his weight and age. His work has been featured on Forbes,, Elite Daily and the like. Collaborating along the way with industry leaders like Michael Yessis, Mark Rippetoe, Carlo Buzzichelli, Dave Tate, Ray Williams, and Joel Seedman.