[For more sailing shoe reviews from SFLF, check these out:
- A Sailor's Sole: Sailing Shoe Reviews
- A Sailor's Sole: The Sequel
- Stand Firm: More Sailing Shoe Reviews
Vibram FiveFingers Classics hoping they would be good deck “shoes”. Vibram has long had a reputation as a high quality manufacturer of durable soles for shoes and hiking boots. Aesthetically, FiveFingers are funky with their bright colors and toe pockets, making them look like gloves for your feet. The tread on the sole is non-marking and sipped (see picture) for great wet traction. Additionally, you’d be surprised how much more grip you have when you get your toes involved in the process. Without a doubt, my FiveFingers are the best deck shoes I’ve ever worn. The grip is tremendous, dexterity is remarkable and the construction is proving to be highly durable. FiveFingers also offer good ventilation for your feet when compared to more traditional deck shoes. Additionally, Vibram claims that FiveFingers stimulate muscles in your feet and lower legs to make you stronger as well as improving your balance and agility.
FiveFingers are also great for going ashore on slippery rocks, swimming, wading and scambling over rocks and boulders like those found in the North Channel. If you haven't looked, there are many different styles of FiveFingers available, including ones with straps for an extra snug fit (Sprint, KSO, Flow), neoprene for water performance and warmth (Flow), open top designs for warm weather (Classic), and rugged soles for off-trail hiking (KSO Trek, TrekSport).
FiveFingers do take a bit more effort to put on than a more conventional shoe and also take some getting use to, but the grip, comfort and benefits to your feet make FiveFingers a great deck shoe for my sailing needs.
Looking for a great deal on FiveFingers Classics? I haven't seen them any cheaper than here on Amazon.