VFF KSO Modification for Webbed Toes

Brand spanking new VFF KSOs
There's something seriously wrong about cutting up a brand new pair of Vibrams. But... you gotta do what you gotta do. This project was a little nerve twinging, but it totally worked. Whew! My webbed toes are happy, little, freaky toes now.

I posted my dilemma over at Barefoot Runner's Society and they hooked me up with a helpful link (apparently I'm not the only one with these odd appendages.) Someone else had modified their VFFs and so I felt much more confident about making my own modifications. I documented my process in steps with pictures here below.

I consider myself to be a fairly adept seamstress, but VFFs are not your normal "seamed" shoe nor are they easy to manipulate and turn inside out. Well, I couldn't turn mine inside out at all. Which led me to my first realization: This thing is not going to be pretty when its done. So I embraced the ugly and picked a polyester thread that could be easily seen in the photos and is the same pretty gold color of the Vibram's logo. Oh so pretty.

STEP 1 - Marking the cut

STEP 1 - The first cut.
I marked where I was going to make the first cut. Mostly for the purpose of documenting, but also so I could visualize how this thing was going to be stitched back together. Being an artist, I'm a very visual person and I need pen and paper, or in this case, chalk marker and shoe.

STEP 2 - Yikes! Cutting!
Trying out the cut

STEP 2 - Just cut it.
I cut the shoes with some VERY sharp craft/fabric scissors poking the scissor point in on the outside of the shoe. I was extremely careful that I didn't accidentally double the fabric and cut through pieces I didn't want cut. I actually started out with a small slit and then tried my shoes on to see how it felt, then cut a little more until I was sure of the cut.

STEP 3 - Making the fold and stitching the front

Stitching the fold
Stitching up towards top of toe
STEP 3 - Stitch top of shoe.
I started working on the top of the shoe by pushing my finger in between the layers so that I could separate the top from the bottom of the shoe. The fabric naturally wants to bunch up so I folded it inwards as much as I could and started stitching up. I stitched it a little farther than the webbing of my toes. I tried the shoe on again a few times to ensure I was stitching high enough.

STEP 4 - Separating the two layers
Stitching up the bottom of the toes
STEP 4 - Stitch bottom of shoe.
I stitched the bottom of the shoe just like the top. This was a little more tricky since there seemed to be less fabric. I folded the extra fabric inwards again just as I did on the top.

STEP 5 - final stitching

Stitching across the the middle
STEP 5 - Stitch the hole in the middle.
I found it easier if I inserted my hand into the shoe while I stitched across the middle of the toe.

Happy webbed toes

Voila! Webbed toe friendly VFFs.


  1. crafty girl, very clever! nothing gets you down, does it? have fun on your next run, sure to be pain-free from the looks of it.

  2. Thanks for your modification tip! My girlfriend has the same problem you have. She's now running on Terraplana's because the VFF gave her to many problems. But the VVF are really her favourites. She has a problem with her fourth toe on her left foot. So we're gonna give it a try a cut the toes of her shoe and let you no if it has worked for her.

    We also have a blog about barefoot running. We live in the Netherlands and not many people have ever heard about barefoot running over here. If you like you can have a look and read about our experiences with barefoot running.

    Thanks again Krista and keep posting your interesting and funny stories!


  3. Thanks for stopping by Esther! Hope the mod works for your girlfriend. It was fairly easy to do and is quite comfortable now. I wasn't even able to run in them before. It was just too painful. I think I may have run across your blog. It sounds totally familiar. Will definitely check it out again. I would think running barefoot in the Netherlands would be quite rare. It must get pretty cold on your toes! Take care!

  4. Thanks! I have the same problem- but it looks like I'll have to cut more. I've practiced a lot on toe socks, so I hope all goes well!

  5. @Laurie - Good luck. Its a little strange cutting up a brand new pair, but its SO much more comfortable!


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