Verdict from 5 experts and +100 user reviews

12 reasons to buy

  • Most reviewers deeply valued the comfortable feel and fit of the Vibram FiveFingers Trek Ascent.
  • Some runners consider the Trek Ascent is a good value investment.
  • Runners appreciated the not-so-aggressive outsole as it allowed them to easily traverse both flat and rugged terrains.
  • Several runners used the shoe for other activities like hiking, gym sessions, and other off-road adventures.
  • A few expert reviewers noted that this shoe was efficient during long-distance running sessions.
  • A moderate number of users consider the looks as the sleekest and most sophisticated among all Vibram shoes.
  • The fabric dries in no time, based on the comments of a handful of reviewers.
  • The black color allowed a moderate number of runners to wear the shoe without getting strange looks from other people.
  • The traction given by the outsole unit received positive remarks for being efficient.
  • The lightweight and flexible form of this shoe generated great feedback from runners.
  • It’s easy to clean, remarked several consumers.
  • Some runners loved the Vibram Trek Ascent’s breathable upper.

4 reasons not to buy

  • A number of testers complained that the FiveFingers Trek Ascent had a tendency to stink.
  • A few runners observed that it did not have the same ground feedback as the other truly minimalist shoes.
  • A handful of people experienced some blistering because the cuff apparently rubbed against their skin.
  • Some consumers noted that the upper fabrics and the thin sole unit broke apart after a few uses.

Bottom line

Vibram took a gamble by discontinuing their hugely popular Treksport and welcomed the FiveFingers Trek Ascent. Based on the feedback, generally, most runners were even more impressed by the new model because of its comfortable, versatile, and barefoot ride with just enough cushioning and protection for long-distance runs. The shoe is designed for summer days as it is breathable and the traction is insane. It is easily one of the most sought-after shoes in Vibram’s list of toe shoes.

Tip: see the best trail running shoes.

Good to know

  • Vibram introduced the Trek Ascent with a 4mm Megagrip rubber outsole for exceptional traction and durability. The underfoot features multi-directional lugs for grip on different surfaces. With a 4mm thickness, it should be able to provide excellent ground feedback with enough protection against rocks and sharp objects.
  • A high cuff is also part of the feature in this shoe. The cuff serves as a barrier that prevents debris from getting inside the shoe.
  • In lieu of standard laces, Vibram utilizes speed laces for quick and effortless cinching. The laces stay as it is from the start of the run until the end.
  • The polyester and Spandex upper provide optimal form-fitting fit that is also quite breathable. It fits like a second skin.

Based on Vibram’s website, the Vibram Trek Ascent runs a size smaller compared to their other shoes. The overall fit is snug and really sticks to the foot. There is decent forefoot space before the toe slots accommodate each of the 5 toes for excellent comfort and toe splay. Runners who are familiar with Vibram’s will easily recognize the fit provided by this shoe.

Vibram’s proprietary rubber compound, the Megagrip, ensures a grippy performance by the FiveFingers Trek Ascent on the trails. In addition to this very sticky compound, the entire outsole is covered with multi-directional lugs from the heel to the toes for traction and leverage. The whole 4mm rubber is exceedingly flexible and should aid the runner’s natural running movements with adequate protection against the rugged terrains.

There is technically no midsole in the Trek Ascent. A 4mm EVA insole with Dri-Lex anti-microbial features handle a little of the cushioning and more underfoot protection. It has sufficient responsiveness and cushioning that will not impede the barefoot runner’s need for ground feedback.

The really minimalist upper of the Vibram FiveFingers Trek Ascent is made of Spandex and polyester for that snug, but breathable and comfortable fit. A speed lace allows for easy cinching and relatively personalized fit. The high cuff serves as protection against dirt, dust, and trail debris when running the trails.


How Vibram FiveFingers Trek Ascent ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 40% trail running shoes
All trail running shoes
Bottom 45% Vibram FiveFingers running shoes
All Vibram FiveFingers running shoes
Bottom 18% minimalist running shoes
All minimalist running shoes


The current trend of Vibram FiveFingers Trek Ascent.
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Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.