I haven't tried barefoot running yet, but I plan to try it out on treadmill over Thanksgiving, and if I like it, get some Vibrams and take it outside. So I was very surprised to read in this Facebook thread, that some runners only get 80 miles out a pair of Vibrams before the shoes are worn out. Have other people on here had similar experiences?
I can't be precise, as I don't log miles, but an extremely conservative estimate would suggest that I've run over 250 miles in my pair. If you count hiking, the estimate is over 500 miles. They are worn for sure, but nowhere near "worn out."
Some people report up to 800 miles: http://redrocksbluesky.com/2009/03/16/450-miles-on-vibram-five-finger-ksos/#comment-432
The only problem I've had with my vibrams is hiking where there are a lot of branches and twigs around my feet. Stray branches can easily tear the upper mesh part of the shoe. I've had no problems with the sole though. I've had mine for about 8 months. I use them mostly for hiking and a little bit of running on the dirt trails. Amount of wear will probably depend a lot on what kind of terrain you are running on. Gravel and harsh road conditions will wear the soles a lot faster than dirt and track.
I have 3 pairs: Camo KSOs for working out, Treks for hiking, and Black KSOs for work and formal wear. Yeah, I wear them all of the time. I'm very impressed with the craftsmanship of the Vibram Fivefingers line.
The only pair I had a problem with were the Treks. About 45 days after I bought them, I went on a 6-mile hike, and when I got home, there was a hole in the big toe. More like a tear at the seam. I called the Vibram folks, and they walked me through the return process. Took about 2 weeks total to get my replacement pair.
To answer the main question, I really feel like I will get 1,000+ miles out of each pair that I own.
On another note, even though their sizing guide says the Treks and KSOs run the same size, I've found the Treks to run bigger. I have to wear Ininji socks with my Treks to help them fit better (you want a nice snug fit, ideally).
I've had a pair of Sprints for about 8 months now. I do crossfit, run, etc. in them. I even did a mud run in them and they are still going strong. I wouldn't call myself a runner, but they get plenty of abuse. Once they get stinky I throw them in the washer on delicate cycle and let them air dry. Just bought a pair of KSO's for the colder weather and KSO Treks for "normal" wear.
My first pair of KSOs lasted 13 months. At first, I used them mostly for walking (with no idea how many miles). The last 6 or 7 months, I did a bunch of running on asphalt too... Probably put 350 - 400 miles of running on them before I wore the soles out.
I've had mine for about 8 months. I'm not a heavy runner, but I have done a mud run in them and quite a bit of running to train for the mud run. I wear mine to work daily. I stand and work and walk around quite a bit. I go for long walks at lunch. The only wear and tear I see so far is a little bit of fraying on the sides of the tightening strap (KSOs).
Bad form wears out the sole faster. Honestly, a natural soft landing puts little friction on them. They go fast if you drag your feet or crash forward with too large a stride instead of forefoot landing.
I just logged 450 miles on my pair of KSOs and they finally got a hole in the sole. I logged a similar distance in my last pair, which I had to throw away for the same reason. That seems pretty average for any pair of running shoes.
I have run miles and miles in my KSOs. I have walked on them for even more miles in the US, Afghanistan and Africa. Further i live in Hawaii and they have been in and out of the salt water numerous times.
I purchased two pair of KSOs last year and they are both holding up very well. One pair is strating to come apart at the stitching... I may have to either tape them or glue them together but it does nto stop me from using them.
My wife has worn through one toe on her sprints... I suspect an imbalance in her walking that has caused that but I am not sure.
My caveat is that my KSO fit really well, not too tight but snug... like a second skin.
I do not mean to be a billboard for Vibram, but the realiability of the shoes has made me skeptical of purchasing the clones and counterfiets.
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