Skele Toes or Vibram Five Fingers shoes? That is the conumdrum for those who want the barefoot experience. Having both a pair of Skele Toes and a couple of pairs of Five Fingers, I am now able to do a bit of comparison reviewing.
Price wise Skele Toes are ahead of the game. They are generally 50% less than Five Fingers.
Look wise it's a toss-up. You definitely get people's attention wearing either. If it helps, my Skele Toes have been described as “oven mitts” while the Vibrams have been called “gorilla feet”
Comfort wise it is also pretty much even. Getting the two toes in the same box in the Fila shoes is a bit trickier but the little piggy that had none and the little piggy that went wee wee wee all the way home cohabit very nicely after that.
In terms of foot fall. The sole for the Fila Skele Toes is a bit harder than that of a Vibram so you get a somewhat harder contact with the ground. This is a minimal difference.
Where the Fila Skele Toes is a clear winner over Five Fingers shoes is the insole. I found my feet perspired less in the Skeletoes. I also noticed there was no gunk under my heels at the end of a day in Skele Toes, something that happens regularly in Vibrams.
The insole to the Skele Toes is attached better to the shoe that is the case for my Vibrams where it is removable but for what?
Where Vibram wins over Fila is in website information. The Vibram website tells you where you can buy their shoes, including the Five Fingers. The Fila website does not. In fact, even asking the Fila people on Facebook where to get the Skele Toes gets you no answer or something too vague to be useful.
Overall, Skele Toes win by a couple of piggies. Price is a major factor in that decision. The insole and foot sweat factor also weigh in Fila's favor. There are also more varieties of Skele Toes than Vibrams.
Of course, even if it defeats the purpose somewhat both of these shoes are better wearing socks. Toe socks are easy to get via Ebay and places like Dino Direct.