Summary

We spent 9.1 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

9 reasons to buy

  • Most of the reviewers exclaimed that the Vibram FiveFingers Trek Ascent Insulated is easily the most comfortable shoes they have ever worn in winter.
  • The testers agreed that the wool-lined upper unit was able to provide warmth during the cold seasons.
  • A large number of users considered the price as truly reasonable.
  • The shoe is easy to wash, commented several runners.
  • The outsole’s tread gained positive feedback for being efficient on dry and wet surfaces.
  • Some runners have used it on the trail and on the road.
  • There are enough ground feel and adequate protection, according to more than a handful of users.
  • Several consumers lauded the lightweight nature of this running shoe.
  • Runners observed that the Vibram FiveFingers Trek Ascent Insulated was flexible enough to accommodate natural foot-movement.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Some runners pointed that a heel loop would have made shoe entry and exit substantially easier.
  • A few complaints were made about how difficult the shoe was to dry once it got wet.
  • The water-resistant upper barely shielded the shoe from water, according to a handful of reviewers.

Bottom line

Vibram FiveFingers created a winter version of the massively popular Trek Ascent line in the wool-insulated model. The more aggressive and ultra-sticky outsole makes running on icy and wet conditions a breeze. Provided that runners don’t run on puddles or tackle more than 1 inch of snow, their feet should feel the comforting warmth of the wool collar and sockliner. It delivers a rightful blend of the great traction and superior comfort that barefoot runners can hardly find in today’s market.

Facts

Base model: Vibram FiveFingers Trek Ascent
Terrain: Trail
Arch support: Neutral
Weight: Men: 7.8oz | Women: 6.2oz
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
Release date: Nov 2015
Brand: Vibram FiveFingers
Type: Low drop | Zero drop | Barefoot
Width: Men: Normal | Women: Normal
Price: $130
Colorways: Black, Brown, Grey
Size
Small True to size Large
See more facts

Rankings

A top rated Trail running shoe
It has never been more popular than this December

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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86 / 100 based on 5 expert reviews

  • 92 / 100 | Jon Zinck | Level 1 expert

    This is one of the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn in my life. And this is hands down their best shoe in my opinion.

  • 80 / 100 | Matty Tripps | Level 1 expert

    For the most part, you can take this out really cold weather, so long as you're not walking through snow and it's not less than 15°F, you'll be fine.

  • 88 / 100 | Feetus Born To Run | Level 3 expert

    You're either going to love the look or hate it. We fall in to the latter category. The Trek Ascent Insulated has a lot of character; the sole is incredible, and the choice of materials for the upper and inner will ensure your feet will stay toasty.

  • 84 / 100 | Birthday Shoes | | Level 2 expert

    If you want a minimalist shoe for the winter and are not expecting to encounter deep snow, this is the running toe shoe for you.

  • 87 / 100 | tomasdabas.eu | | Level 1 expert

    During my initial run and all runs after that one I was and am just enjoying “barefoot” style running in FiveFingers.

  • First look | 50 Campfires

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  • One of the biggest differences in the FiveFingers Trek Ascent Insulated over its standard model is the use of the Ice Trek rubber compound, which is tailor-made for running in wet, icy conditions.
  • Because the insulated model is built for the cold months, the shoe is also lined with wool in the collar, the interior, and the sockliner. The wool works as intended as it keeps the foot warm as long as the foot does not get wet in the first place.
  • To prevent the foot from getting wet, Vibram added a water-repellent upper. Although this is far from being fully waterproof, the water-resistant properties should be able to make runs very comfortable during wintry conditions.
  • The slight padding in the collar and the tongue makes the shoe more comfortable than the regular model. Plus, it also adds to the warmth in winter.

Vibram confirms that the Insulated version of the Trek Ascent runs at least a size smaller than the usual fit in most Vibram shoes. Still, it would be a very good idea if runners can try on the shoe as it would significantly help in getting a more comfortable run. The fit is snug in a good way with plenty of toe box room. As always, the toe slots accommodate all five toes for a natural splay.


One of Vibram’s premium outsole technology, the Ice Trek, is used in the underfoot of the Trek Ascent Insulated. The rubber compound is a beast in wintry conditions, particularly on the trails. It has a very aggressive lug design that will raise the confidence of users while running, walking, or hiking. There are also “flex grooves” between the lugs that add flexibility to the shoe. The 4mm outsole provides decent protection and ground feedback at the same time.


Handling “midsole” duties is the 4mm PU and wool sockliner. It gives added protection and a little cushioning in the Vibram Trek Ascent Insulated.


The upper of the Trek Ascent Insulated is one of the most innovative in Vibram’s line. It features a high-tenacity nylon and polyester for a durable, water-resistant, and glove-like fit. As the collar and the interior have wool, the shoe keeps the foot deliciously warm during winter. The fit is snug and really feels like a second skin. A traditional lace-up closure keeps the fit tight and secured throughout the run.

Comparison