Bursting at the seams

I wore out my Fivefingers this week. My KSO:s and I got almost 616 kilometers together over less than six months.

It is a pity, I was hoping we would remain friends for much longer.

What happened was that I took a close look to see what, if anything, was provoking a sore spot on the lower right side of my right big toe. What I found was nothing, a round chunk of nothing instead of fabric just above the join between the sole and the upper part of the shoe. A check of the other foot discovered an identical hole in the same place on that shoe. Later, I discovered similar wear underway in the same place on (if memory serves) the second toe.

I was definitely hoping to get much more mileage out of my KSO:s. All other parts of them still seemed to be in great condition, especially those sweet, sweet soles.

So, why?

My theory is this: wide toes.

See, my toes are not perfectly straight constructions, and they did not always line up perfectly with the toes of the shoes. The stretchy material of course accomodated my feet nicely, but the soles were of course not as flexible. Here and there and now and then my toes would simply bulge out past the side of the sole. My theory is that this happened most regularly on that spot on the big toes, and that the bulge made contact with the ground as i ran. I think it is the same thing which happenedto my Adipures on the front of the toes. The KSO:s, being designed for outdoor running and generally more wear and tear, have the tough sole material wrapping around the front of the toes, but these side spots were still exposed for toes like mine.

I contacted the store where I bought them and was happy to be offered a refund. I tried the models they had in store, nearly going for a newer and somewhat tougher model, but after trying them on I realized they had the same problem with my toes. Sure, the soles were thicker and even more robust, but that was not where I had a problem.

I settled for a refund, bought some toed running socks and headed home to contemplate my future shoes. Later in the evening I went for a run in my Merrell trail gloves and had an overall great experience. But it is not quite what I want anymore. The Trail gloves are light, flexible and very comfortable with those new socks inside. At the same time, the whole arrangement feels constrained and artificial. The feet feel a bit dull, dampened, constrained, not quite in touch with the ground. I longed to flex my toes and feel where I was stepping (even though it is also kind of comfortable to not feel every pebble).

Consequently, a simple question: do Vibram or someone else make a KSO-like toed shoe where the soles of the toes are wider?