Feet function optimally when positioned naturally. We have developed a certification system, through which we evaluate shoes for their foot-healthy qualities.
Our feet are designed perfectly. With 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments we can flex, rebound, and absorb shock naturally, throughout many activities. Therefore, we recommend shoes that allow your feet to function naturally. Many manufacturers add features that can hinder our feet and toe alignment. Below are important features to consider when looking to purchase healthy shoes.
Trek Ascent | 5

This shoe has a natural foot-shape design (FiveFingers toe shoe) and is lightweight, with a thin sole and zero added features such as artificial arch support and motion control.
 
  1. Weight Men's | 6.34 oz
           Weight Women's | 4.93 oz
  2. Stack Height | 4mm
  3. No Artificial Arch Support. Note: This shoe has a flexible contour under the arch.
  4. No Motion Control

 
We recommend shoes that are flat from the heel to the ends of the toes. This means that you want to purchase shoes that do not have elevated heels or toe spring (a feature that lifts the ends of the toes higher than the ball of the foot).
Trek Ascent | 5

This is an excellent shoe because it is completely flat (heel to toe), and possesses zero heel elevation, and zero toe spring.
We recommend shoes that are widest at the ends of the toes (like a baby’s shoe), not at the ball of the foot. This shape allows for natural toe splay, and will not compress your toes into a deformed position.
Men's Trek Ascent | 5

This shoe is shaped like an actual foot —allowing for natural toe splay—but does not work with Correct Toes due to the FiveFingers design.
 
Women's Trek Ascent | 5

This shoe is shaped like an actual foot —allowing for natural toe splay—but does not work with Correct Toes due to the FiveFingers design.
 
Natural feet are widest at the tips of the toes, not at the ball of the foot. Correct Toes helps place the toes back into their natural alignment. To make sure your shoe is wide enough to accommodate natural toe splay, remove the shoe liner from the shoe and stand on it while wearing Correct Toes. If your foot stays within the margins of the liner, this indicates a foot-healthy shoe. If your foot spills over the shoe liner considerably, then this shoe may be too narrow and could cause adverse effects.
Men's Trek Ascent | 2.5 

Since this shoe does not have a shoe liner, we recommend turning the opposite shoe over and standing on the bottom (example: stand on the bottom of the left shoe with your right foot) to compare the length and width of the imprint.

Note: You can not wear Correct Toes with this shoe.
Women's Trek Ascent | 2.5 

Since this shoe does not have a shoe liner, we recommend turning the opposite shoe over and standing on the bottom (example: stand on the bottom of the left shoe with your right foot) to compare the length and width of the imprint.

Note: You can not wear Correct Toes with this shoe.

 
This shoe meets all of our foot-healthy criteria, but does not work with Correct Toes.
Unlike other companies that recommend “supportive” shoes, which can act like a cast, we recommend shoes that allow natural movement and articulation of your foot bones. We test each shoe for flexibility within each point of flexion and extension.
Trek Ascent | 5

This shoe is extremely thin and flexible, especially when compared to other outdoor shoes on the market. Each test point offers great flexibility, and allows natural movement of the foot.

Points of Flexion and Extension

  1. Material
  2. Heel Counter
  3. Arch
  4. Ball
  5.
Ends of Toes
This shoe is an excellent outdoors, foot-shaped shoe for men and women. The Trek Ascent is designed for all weather conditions, and offers a wool sockliner (hiking version only) and textured grip for wet and dry surfaces. Thank you Vibram FiveFingers for creating a warm, outdoors shoe that possesses all the natural foot-healthy qualities!

If you have not already transitioned into thin, flexible footwear learn how to transition under our Correct Toes Tips.

Sizing & Fit
The shoe pictured above is the Trek Ascent Insulated Hiking Shoe. This model runs small due to the insulated material around the toes; VFF recommends going up one size from your normal VFF size.
Men's Trek Ascent
Women's Trek Ascent
 
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