Vibram Five Fingers Trek Ascent LR Review

The reason the Vibram Five Fingers Trek Ascent LR ranks one of my favourite barefoot shoes is because its built for winter, but not just that, the shoe was designed with rugged rocky adventures in mind, making the Trek Ascent LR a lightweight trail shoe thats great for racing in the mountains!

Vibram Five Fingers Trek Ascent LR Review
The Vibram Five Fingers Trek Ascent LR is recommended for those who want more underfoot protection for extreme backcountry trails or for those looking for a warmer, winterized barefoot shoe.

The Vibram Trek Ascent LR is armed with robust full-rock protection without compromising weight, and if you want more underfoot cushioning, the shoe delivers on that, too!

Whats the Vibram Five Fingers Trek Ascent LR Good for?

The Trek Ascent LR is definitely a more trail-specific barefoot shoe ideal for high-mileage runners who like to go fast or slow on gnarly mountain trails. Better yet, the shoe runs as well on mountain trails as it does on paved roads and is incredibly comfortable for other activities such as weight-lifting, biking, long walks and casual, all-day wear.

The shoe is also ideal for rock climbing and mountain hiking, and is overall an excellent shoe for a runner who’s looking for a tad more underfoot cushioning.

Sole Specifications

The Trek Ascent LR sits on a 4 mm insole, plus a 4 mm outsole, giving you 8 mm of under-foot protection that feels very similar to the Vibram Spyridon. More important, the sole on the Ascent LR is zero drop (completely flat) which ensures a more stable contact with a ground and encourages the involvement of a proper forefoot strike when you run, which is the best way to connect with the ground.

Vibram Five Fingers Trek Ascent LR Review
The Trek Ascent LR has a more aggressively lugged sole for better traction that doesn’t feel excessive and supplies you with enough adequate ground-feel to be a corrective tool for helping you more safely on uneven, debris-heavy terrain and is a great option for goal trail races!

The Trek Ascent LR sole is amped up with full coverage of large and small rubberized, low profile, textured, angular lugs that makes the shoe more anchored to the ground when running on rocky, rooted, loose terrain.

The sole’s durability also  performs like a champ when it comes to high mileage, making it more than capable of handling distance trail running. 

Most relevant, the sole provides enough protection where sharp rocks don’t push into your underfoot, but still lets in sufficient amounts of gait-correcting sensory feedback, so the shoe comfortably eats up the trail while helping you maintain proper forefoot running form

Last but not least, the Trek Ascent LR’s sole delivers more ground-feel than the Vibram Trek Sport and Vibram Bikila, but less than the Vibam KMD and Vibram KSO.

Upper Specifications

The Trek Ascent LR’s upper is draped with 100% polyester and spandex, creating an incredibly sturdy seal that’ll keep the shoe in business for a long time, while keeping your toes toasty, especially when paired with toe socks. The inside is also super soft, allowing you to go comfortably sockless without getting blisters.

Vibram Five Fingers Trek Ascent LR
Barefoot runners looking for a winter training shoe will be pleased with the Trek Ascent LR because the shoes upper will definitely keep your feet extra warm on extra cold runs.

As for lacing, there’s no tying involved because its just pull-laces that secure near the toes, and allows for quick adjustments to ensure a more  adaptable fit across the entire foot, especially for a wider foot shape.

Final Thoughts 

What I like about the Vibram Five Fingers Trek Ascent LR is it does have a lot of protective components to it without a lot of unnecessary structure and weight. The shoe  offers more protection than most other lightweight barefoot running shoes while being impressively light, which gives  you a speed boost!

The shoes great for high-milage days and its definitely a solid execution of a barefoot off-road shoe that’ll improve your winter running/hiking experience!

If you’re interested in the Vibram Trek Ascent LR, you can get your paws on a pair here!

If you’ve enjoyed this review, you’ll love my reviews on other top-rated barefoot shoes here!

You’ll also enjoy my YouTube channel, RUN FOREFOOT, where I talk about all the evidence-based reasons why forefoot running is safer and more efficient than heel strike running.

Bretta Riches

"I believe the forefoot strike is the engine of endurance running..."

BSc Neurobiology; MSc Biomechanics candidate, ultra minimalist runner & founder of RunForefoot. I was a heel striker, always injured. I was inspired by the great Tirunesh Dibaba to try forefoot running. Now, I'm injury free. This is why I launched Run Forefoot, to advocate the health & performance benefits of forefoot running and to raise awareness on the dangers of heel striking, because the world needs to know.
Bretta Riches

P.S. Don't forget to check out the Run Forefoot Facebook Page, it's a terrific place to ask questions about forefoot running, barefoot running and injury. I'm always happy to help!

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