Trail Review: Vibram Seeya - Barefoot Jake

Trail Review: Vibram Seeya

A trail review of the Vibram Fivefinger Seeya. Tested in the Olympic Mountains while hiking and trail running. The minimal footwear quickly became one of my favorite to wear.

Ever since the first time I put on the foot gloves, I have been in search for the perfect trail tool.  One that offers lightweight protection, ground feedback and breathability.  Most importantly as a barefoot backpacker.  I need something that handles water well and dry fast.  I have found that in the Vibram Five Finger Seeya.

vibram seeya
Rocky Trail

vibram seeya hiking
Muddy Trail

vibram seeya hiking
Creek Crossing

  The first and foremost exciting thing about this model is the weight.  Coming in ounces below all prior models.  Which means your body will expel less energy each step.  

  Secondly is the way that the material used in the upper handles water. After crossing various creeks, you could visually see the water getting pushed out of the footwear; which has never happened to me wearing all other models.  The mesh like upper also insulated  my foot well in temperatures down to 25f and at the same time I have never experienced the clammy foot feel.   Which means less hot spots on your foot, so that will save me money on mole skin.  

  The third thing is the two piece sole.  Which gives your such a spiritual feel on the trail and road.  This is very exciting, since road running is so boring at times.  Being able to correct your stride while your traveling across the ground is so important for efficiency.  
  The ground feedback was so responsive.  Im not sure someone could run wrong in these things without experiencing so sort of discomfort.  There was a few times I hoped over a few objects and caught sharp rocks in the rear of the footwear.  Trust me, you dont do that too many times more.  This is very important, especially when still  learning your body.  That is the problem when you get all this 'cushion' in other minimal footwear.  You can travel to easily with poor form and the user cant feel when he is doing something wrong; this will increase risk of injury.  

vibram seeya sole
Two Piece Sole


  • Light Weight
  • Breathability
  • Foot Feedback
  • Great Grip 
  • Upper Purges Water Perfectly
  • Perfect for Learning


  • Upper Tear Protection
  • Primitive Trails
  • Snow
  • Ice

  I would like to see a small bit of reinforcement around the front of the toe pockets to protect against tears from sharp rock.  This is the one an only thing I would change.  Having said that....

 These are hands down the most innovative trail tool in the 20th Century.   Never before has there been such protection been offered in such a minimal package.  The future of backpacking and trail running will never be the same.  

  I would suggest these for beginners as well as the advanced user.  The only time I personally see an issue is for ultra trail distances, snow, ice and mountain traversing.  

'Sorry the pictures are blurry.  It was blowing Wind and sideways rain.  Plus the light was bad'.
- Happy Trails Friends. 

vibram seeya run
Running along Lake Crescent

I would suggest the Vibram Fivefinger Seeya for any hiker or runner that would looking for a close to barefoot experience. Well as, a sock like feel on the foot.

Updated in November 2015 by Barefoot Jake

Disclaimer:   My review will be based on a backpacking and trail running point of view only. Barefoot Jake paid for the footwear with his own money.