Summary

We spent 8.1 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

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.

Facts

Terrain: Trail
Arch support: Neutral
Weight: Men: 6.3oz | Women: 4.9oz
Heel to toe drop: Men: 0mm | Women: 0mm
Pronation: Neutral Pronation
Arch type: High arch
Features: Slip-on
Strike Pattern: Forefoot strike
Distance: Competition
Heel height: Men: 8mm | Women: 8mm
Forefoot height: Men: 8mm | Women: 8mm
Brand: Vibram FiveFingers
Type: Low drop | Zero drop | Barefoot
Width: Men: Normal | Women: Normal
Price: $120
Colorways: Black, Grey, Purple
Special editions: 1 special editions
Size
Small True to size Large
See more facts

Rankings

A top rated Trail running shoe
Top 1% most popular running shoes

Expert Reviews

Experts are runners, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

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79 / 100 based on 5 expert reviews

  • 60 / 100 | Aaron Olson | Level 2 expert

    It's got a lot of grip and a lot of tread, but it doesn't really protect against rocks.

  • 95 / 100 | Kalclash Fitness | | Level 1 expert

    Absolutely phenomenal. Performed fantastically. So enjoyable! Such a great experience.

  • 98 / 100 | Andrew Welch | | Level 1 expert

    As soon as I saw the Trek Ascent, I knew it trumped its predecessor. The look, the grip, the fastening mechanism, the improved fabric…The Trek Ascent is THE BEST trail shoe in the FiveFingers range.

  • 80 / 100 | Shape | Level 1 expert

    The grippy 8mm thick sole powers you all over the terrain while allowing a good feel of the ground.

  • 78 / 100 | Josh Hassevoort | Level 1 expert

    Other than feeling the heat and sweating, I got no gripes. Very comfortable.

  • First look | Kalclash Fitness | | Level 1 expert

Become an expert

  • 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.

Comparison