We spent 7.4 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

3 reasons to buy

  • The outsole unit of the Vibram FiveFingers V-Trail 2.0 was lauded for being durable and capable of doling out dependable traction over the surfaces.
  • The design of this trail running companion was praised by most testers, stating that the aesthetics were pleasing to the eyes.
  • Some users were happy with the overall durability of this product, claiming that it carried and protected them as they tackled aggressive paths.

5 reasons not to buy

  • The upper unit didn’t stretch and acclimatize to the shape of the foot, stated several testers; they felt a snugness that bothered them.
  • A couple of runners complained that the stitch-on overlay on the midfoot restricted the natural swelling of the foot, resulting in an uncomfortably tight wrap.
  • The inner sleeve tended to rub against the skin of the toes, stated a handful of purchasers.
  • The heel collar caused some chafing on the ankles and heel, according to a disgruntled consumer.
  • A few people reported that the sizing scheme was half-a-size smaller than their usual choices.

Bottom line

Mixed to negative reviews were showered upon the Vibram FiveFingers V-Trail 2.0. This addition to the global roster of trail running shoes apparently didn’t have the soundest construction because people were complaining about a tight width profile, a half-a-size too small sizing scheme, and an upper that scratched skin. But not all of the responses were dire; some users commended the durability of this product, as well as its reliable traction and appealing looks.

The V-Trail 2.0 is a product for the neutral pronator. It’s also meant for trail adventurers and fans of minimalist running shoes.


Expert Reviews

74 / 100 based on 4 expert reviews

  • 88 / 100 |

    Vibram V-Trail 2.0: A minimalist trail shoe for the long-term

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    Vibram FiveFingers V-Trail 2.0 is designed as an obstacle racing shoe. It is lightweight and flexible for obstacle events. Let's see how this shoe could fit the bill. 


    Durable, carefully lugged Megagrip rubber offers lasting protection against trail hazards despite some initial discomfort

    Notable points

    • Protection underfoot without significant effect on biodynamics
    • Solid, protective upper that remains breathable
    • Durable design under 200 grams

    Key specs

    • Weight: Weight M43 = 6.4 oz / 182 gr
    • Stack: 2 mm insole + 3.7 mm Megagrip outsole = 5.7mm
    • Drop: 0mm
    • Terrain: best suited for trails, fine on road (will wear faster)


    Vibram’s signature Megagrip compound offers unparalleled traction on a wide variety of surfaces, including snow and ice. The 3D cocoon mesh does a commendable job spreading out the forces of sharp objects underfoot.

    A self-adaptive lug design from Vibram’s trekking and technical ascent experience are diamond-shaped lugs with grooves to allow for both flexibility in the soles and increased grip.


    Flexible, grippy and protective. A great combo!


    A generous thickness throughout the entire sole keeps your foot well-protected from trail hazards. Additional arch protection is notable when compared to the V-Run and the V-Alpha, but it didn't cause any discomfort.

    Note that this is still a Vibram FiveFingers with a Megagrip sole and additional impact resistance. There is no rock plate, and it still hurts if you hit a rock or root at full speed.

    If you're careful and light on your feet, this shoe can minimize fatigue over the long haul at best.


    Despite its status as a minimalist shoe, the sole offers noticeable smoothness on rougher trails


    Standard Vibram fare is a stitched-in, 2mm EVA midsole. Excellent for control and comfort, but a cushy trainer this shoe is not. You’re joints, form and muscles are the paddings when you run so you’ll need to learn to run accordingly!


    BioDEWIX moisture control fabric is in the footbed, collar lining and tongue lining helps to manage foot moisture by wicking and drying sweat before it can be absorbed (no clammy feet).

    The main fabric in the visible upper is the same stretch synthetic used in the KSO and Classic models. It is an abrasion-resistant stretch polyamide fabric that sits low on foot for comfort and additional quick drying.

    A cool feature in V-Trail 2.0 is that overlay braces are made of rubberized textile (the same material used in the construction of snowshoes and inflatable kayaks to shed water), and there is also toe protection from TPU film on the tops of the toes.


    Nice colors and good functionality from the uppers


    With a lot of different textiles and improved stitching for durability, it should not come as a surprise that these shoes took some breaking in. A find a little petroleum jelly or shea butter on hotspots on tips, tops and in between toes for the first few runs sped up the process.

    Over the long haul, this has proven to be a very high quality upper that is durable and water repellant.

    As a standard for minimalist trail shoes, lightweight protection comes at the cost of comfort. A gusseted tongue would be a nice feature for mud, sand or gravel trails. If that's the main concern, there is always the Vibram KSOs for those specific runs.


    As mentioned above, the upper fits a little snug and needs a break-in period. Some extra material around seams was initially bothersome but was better than the hard plastic and initial discomfort in the V-Train model.

    After a slow and steady increase in mileage, they have become great shoes.


    The stiffness in the soles that protects your feet comes at the cost of a reduced proprioception and ground feel. However, this is well worth the trade-off on rocky trails. The additional flex grooves in the forefoot help you keep nimble for avoiding hazards.


    Carefully designed soles offer great protection at the cost of reduced proprioception...for Vibrams of course!


    Nimble is important when running in FiveFingers, especially on trails. Shorter strides, making sure to land on your forefoot and being ready to roll off a rock or root are essential when running in this shoe.

    If that's not your style, then there are low/zero drop trail shoes from Topo and Altra that might suit you better. Having tested both types of shoes and if you can train yourself slowly and carefully, it's a much cooler feeling flying over the trails in the V Trail 2.0


    Tough. As. Nails. The rubberized textile braces provide extra protection and support for trying conditions. Generous amounts of rubber are provided underfoot, in front of the toes and up along the back of the heel. I definitely will prefer this over a V-Alpha or V-Run when hitting anything other than light trails.


    The recommended use is for trail running only. The design works fine enough on road and track, is great for a warm-up gym or bodyweight workout, but excels on forested trails.

    The Cocoon 3D mesh is a veritable acorn-crushing-machine and smooths out the shock from smaller rocks. Seriously rocky parts get tricky to navigate at high speeds if you can’t get your foot placement correct so adjust accordingly.

    Weather-wise, these shoes are great for muddy and rainy conditions. The cold is ok as long as you are moving fast enough to keep the blood pumping to your feet, and you’re not on pavement or ice for an extended time.

    These shoes are not insulated so check out the Trek Ascent Insulated from Vibram if you want to keep the toes.


    • V-Run: Stick to the trails with the Megagrip compound. V-Run’s are designed for road running. The difference between rubber and cushioning is substantial.
    • V-Alpha: The new 3D Cocoon technology does a better job smoothing out the noise of trail debris. The V-Trail 2.0 upper is a far bit stiffer upper. I would have preferred the V-Alpha upper material instead of the stretch synthetic as I don’t mind my feet getting wet and prefer the quick-dry and warmth.
    • Vapor Glove 4: Snug fit from the V-Trail 2.0s compared to wide toe box of the Vapor Glove 4s. As for the fully synthetic upper, I must admit I like the Condura upper better. It also does not have a rock plate so the Trail Glove series would be next step up if either is too minimalist for your liking.


    • Durable and extremely resistant design
    • Great traction and protection against trail debris
    • Cool new colorway
    • Quick lacing system is intuitive and adjustable


    • Takes time to adapt to the shoe fully
    • Overkill unless used on rugged trails
    • Upper is initially stiff and has some annoying seams
    • Arch protection takes some getting used to

    Final thoughts

    If you want a rock plate, get a rock plate. If you want a minimalist shoe that can hold up on short, punchy trail runs, then look no further.

    You would need considerable, consistent trail training to make this a long-distance shoe. Nevertheless, it’s totally possible with the right work.

    Vibram touts this model as an obstacle racing shoe, and although I haven't done one, I could see how this shoe could fit the bill. It is super light, won't get bogged down with a lot of mud, and has superb flexibility for obstacle events.

    Wet after a muddy run, these shoes weighed about 7.5oz/210g and never lost their grip or responsiveness.

    All in all, it’s a great shoe for its niche once broken in properly. If you are a dedicated trail runner and enjoy running in VFFs, then this is an excellent shoe for you.

    Getting past the initial discomfort is worth it, I promise you!

  • 71 / 100 |

    Vibram FiveFingers V-Trail 2.0 - Minor flaws lead to lackluster performance

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    For the past couple of years, I’ve been getting more into the minimalist running game and experimenting with different brands and shoes. After putting in miles barefoot and with a more traditional minimalist shoe, the Vibram V-Trail 2.0 was my first experience with a toe running shoe.

    It’s hard to get past how silly they look— I admit to giving the glance of judgment to those I’d seen running in them in the past, but these shoes have given me a new appreciation for the ridiculous toe running shoe experience.



    But, new perspective aside, I’m not converted. The vision and design of the V-Trail 2.0 make sense, but it falls short of the mark when it comes to execution and performance.

    All in all, this shoe has joined the rotation for my 1-2 minimalist runs each week, but it’s not necessarily a shoe that gives me the bounce, joy, and satisfaction I’ve come to expect from my training collection.


    Honestly, my expectations for what would be durable and what wouldn’t get completely flip-flopped with the Virbarm V-Trail 2.0. I was expecting the outsole to wear out quickly, but then the lacing system is actually what disappointed me first, on the very first time I tried the shoes on!

    First, let’s break down the struggle. Getting these shoes on is likely going to be harder than your workout. After putting these on more than 25 times now, I still struggle to line up my toes, push them into the right spots, and make sure they’re comfortable with no risk of abrasive rubbing.

    Now, I do have long toes, so that might play a part, but I usually have to slip the shoe on and off 3-4 times before I can get it just right.



    Then, the quick-lace system was the next issue. After finally getting the shoes on for the first time (I was feeling quite proud), I went to tighten the shoes and the velcro tip came straight off, which meant I had no way to strap down the laces to the shoe.

    I was pretty frustrated and losing the small window of opportunity I had for my run that day, so I jerry-rigged the lace down with some knots, but I was really disappointed such a crucial (and very heavily used) part of the shoe failed so quickly.

    I ended up getting the superglue out and got the velcro reattached to the laces, but I’ve had to be very cautious every time lacing my shoes since for fear I’ll tear it off again.


    Now, putting the shoes on aside, the outsole of the shoe has performed marvelously. I’ve run on the road, treadmill, and trails in these bad boys, and they’re showing little to no signs of wear.

    I was worried such a sturdy, tough outsole would completely negate the barefoot running experience, but I was surprised to retain the responsiveness I desired. The grip is fantastic without being too grippy.

    Beyond the trails, I wear these shoes to the gym each week for my resistance training. Before, I was always taking off my shoes for squats and deadlifts so that I could have the flat foot balance I needed, but now I get the same experience with an even better grip on the rubber surface.



    On the trails, the shoe just doesn’t perform as you’d hope. I’ve yet to go on a run without rocks creeping into the shoe, which causes double the irritation since you don’t have any socks on to provide relief.

    On the treadmill and road, I’ve had no problems, but this is a trail shoe that needs to have some better way of preventing debris from entering the shoe, especially since it’s such a pain to take the shoes off to remove any irritants.

    Aside from the rocks, the actual running experience is quite pleasant. It’s great to get the barefoot experience without fear of puncturing your foot. I’ve yet to step on any pebble or rock that I’ve felt any more than I would in a traditional running shoe.

    The confidence this knowledge provides really helps me to find my flow and run with relaxed form, as opposed to tiptoeing and skipping around when barefoot to avoid rocks.

    I was really hoping to enjoy this shoe, but all of the tiny flaws add up to some big irritations that are hard to look past.


    Compared to traditional running shoes and even other minimalist shoes, the V-Trail 2.0 looks quite silly, but for what it is, I actually really like the look of the shoe. I like the black color with yellow accents, especially since it makes the shoe a little more incognito.



    At $120, I’m not a huge fan of the price. Less shoe for more money?

    The quality isn’t quite what I was hoping, and while I believe the upper and outsole will last for a good while, I don’t believe the lacing system and velcro will hold up as long without more glue. Hence, I think a price under $100 would be more reasonable.


    TL;DR? Here are the pros and cons


    • Great barefoot-like running experience
    • Tough, sturdy outsole
    • Lightweight


    • Hard to get on
    • Poor quality velcro tip
    • Debris often accumulates in the shoe
  • First look | thebarefootphoenix

Become an expert
  • The Vibram FiveFingers V-Trail 2.0 is a product that’s designed for the unpredictable nature of the off-road. This product is one of the few offerings that literally take the shape of the foot. It has a close-to-the-ground construction to simulate a barefoot running experience, as well as individual toe-chambers for versatile movements and positional balance.
  • The upper unit of this offering is comprised of 3D Cocoon mesh, a wraparound fabric that is stitched to the outsole. The all-encompassing nature of this textile ensures consistency in its protective capacity. It’s touted to stretch as the foot swells during the run, giving a snug yet customized in-shoe experience. Runners can be confident when traversing wet surfaces because 3D Cocoon mesh is water-repellent.
  • A 2-millimeter insole serves as the cushioning unit of the V-Trail 2.0. It lightly supports the foot without sacrificing proprioception (the perception of the surface against the foot-pad). Shielding the thin underfoot platform is the Vibram® Megagrip, a rubber that is durable and ready to handle both dry and wet terrains.

The standard sizing schemes were used when the Vibram FiveFingers V-Trail 2.0 was constructed. But since the FiveFingers line is mostly made of footwear with toe-chambers, it is worth noting that a secure but not-too-snug coverage can be achieved by checking out the brand’s size chart or personally trying the shoe. Also, there were reports about a half-a-size-smaller-than-usual sizing scheme.

When it comes to width, the option for men is D – Medium; for women, the available variant is B – Medium. Low and medium foot volumes are the ones that are welcome in the foot-chamber of this Vibram FiveFingers running shoe.

Vibram’s very own Megagrip compound is used for the outsole unit of the V-Trail 2.0. This full-length layer covers the entire external pad, encompassing even the individual toe sections of the forefoot. It protects against wear-and-tear while also ensuring traction.

A heightened surface grip is afforded by the set of non-prominent traction nodes that are on the surface of the Megagrip compound. The triangle-shaped patterns also help in bettering the motion when on inclines and rough paths.

Though generously placed, the rubber outsole doesn’t hinder the natural flexibility of the foot. The lack of a traditional midsole unit also reinforces such a particularity.

A 2-millimeter ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) is used as the midsole unit of the Vibram FiveFingers V-Trail 2.0. This full-length piece offers mild cushioning that doesn’t hinder the capacity of the foot to perceive the ground.

The upper unit of the Vibram FiveFingers V-Trail 2.0 is made of 3D Cocoon mesh, a stretchy material that extends to the flipside of the outsole unit. The wraparound characteristic of this technology ensures snugness and security. It is even able to repel splashes of water, thereby increasing confidence when tackling wet paths.

Printed overlays adorn the toe-chambers. These add-ons are meant to bolster the durability of these individual spaces, ensuring that the toenails or external debris won’t tear through the fabric.

A single-pull lacing system is used for the upper unit. Thin yet durable shoestrings loop through fabric eyelets and stitched-on overlays, ending in a pull-and-lock tab that adjusts the tightness or looseness of the fit.

Stitched-on overlays cover the sides and the heel of this running shoe. These sheets are tasked with keeping the foot in place, preventing it from wobbling or exiting the interior unceremoniously.

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.