Hi from the Ozarks. Flow vs. KSO question

edited December 1969 in New Members Say Hello!
Hi all. I am looking to buy my first pair of five fingers. I am not a runner but I've always been a barefooter. I love my Nike memory foam flip flops if I have to wear anything. I hate tennis shoes and always have. My hubby played/coached sports and thought it was tennis shoes or nothing. I would prefer barefoot but not very practical in the winter. I own my own business so can pretty much dress however I choose.

I am weighing the KSO vs the Flow for winter. I don't much like socks. I think last year I wore Crocks all winter and the year before that a pair of aqua Merrills. Heck, I didn't even wear a coat last year, just long sleeves. I am in the Arkansas/Missouri Ozarks near Branson so it's doesn't get as cold as it does up north but everyone is expecting a very bad winter here. Whatever I get, I want black. I wear a lot of black. I was wondering if the Flow would be better if I didn't want to have to use socks. But then on the milder days was wondering how hot my feet would get? Any insight would be great. Also, do you have to wash the Flows more than the KSOs for the smell I've read about?

About me, I am a web designer. I lost my husband/best friend (at to young of an age) to cancer last year and it has been harder than I ever dreamed. Because of this, I don't care much about anything anymore. I'm a bit of an eccentric, at least other people tend to think so. I'm a Christian. Oh, and in person, somewhat of an introvert if given the choice. My business makes it difficult to stay a hermit as I would like to. Hubby was definitely the people person. Online however, I like to make new friends. :)

That's it about me. Thanks for any advice you can give me.
Stephanie

Comments

  • Get the KSO, it's more versatile and it won't get too hot in the summer. You can always wear socks in the winter with your KSOs.

    Welcome to the forums and my condolences about your husband.
  • I'd definitely go KSO over Flow.

    Really sorry to hear about your husband.  I lost a mother-in-law that way about a year and a half back.  Cancer is just brutal.

    I also can relate to have your significant other being the outgoing type -- same here.  My wife keeps me social.
  • If you don't want to wear socks, I wouldn't recommend the Flows. Once your feet get at all sweaty or wet, they're going to be very cold. Unless I'm going in cold water, I always wear socks with my Flows. I'm in Alberta, though and it gets COLD here.

    I don't notice that my feet get very cold when they're sweaty or wet in KSOs as much. I also find the insides of the KSOs more comfortable than that of the Flows. However, with socks on, the KSOs don't feel much different other than a little tighter. I like socks, though, especially toe socks, so that might not help you much.

    My Flows haven't developed the VFF smell because I usually wear them with socks. Because they're neoprene, they really do make your feet sweat, though.

    If it doesn't get too cold in the Ozarks, I would recommend the KSOs for you. I think you'll find them more comfortable with or without socks than the Flows, and you can wear them all year round (I wouldn't recommend Flows in warm weather because they're too warm). Hope that helps.
  • Thanks for all the advise. Seems KSOs are more prefered than the flows.  I've looked online and it also seems KSOs are much harder to find in my size.

    I did call a local store (50 miles away) and they have a pair of flows in my size. I am going to go next week and at least try them on just to be sure that really is my correct size. The lady was very nice but kept telling me to go by my shoe size and not the inches.  ???  I am between 9 5/8 and 9 7/8 so I was guessing a w40. I can wear an 8.5 but prefer a 9 in regular shoe sizes. She was wanting to put me in a 42 because of what she wears vs her shoe size.

    I hadn't thought about getting cold from feet sweating. Thanks Tina. I was just thinking, more insulation = warmer for winter months. This is our average January weather:

    # average maximum temperature 50
    # average minimum temperature 33
    # average precipitation 4.6 inches
    # average snowfall 2.3 inches

    So not too bad here. Sounds like either way I go, I will need socks though.
    Thanks for the replies.
    Stephanie
  • You might want to measure your feet again. In normal shoes I'm a 7.5 or maybe a 8 if I was some toe room. I wear a W39. I'm guessing you'll be closer to a w41. w40 sounds too small and the w42 might be too big. Definately try them on or find a place with a good return policy.
  • Well, I went to a store that carries the ffs but they know nothing about them. They said they had been selling them for 5 years but the saleslady was telling people they were all waterproof and were aqua shoes while I was trying them on. I like the Classics look, but that hard piece that sticks up on the back of the ankle really irritated me even just while trying them on. So I tried a pair of KSOs on. They had the gray/fuschia color ones. It was a bit of a quandry on size. The 41s were too big and my 2 smaller toes kept popping out of pocket (and almost the 3rd smallest) however, the 40s she gave me felt too small for some reason. They were pulling against my big toe. I asked her to let me try on a mans 38 KSO to see if it was between but she wouldn't bring me one.  :-\  She brought me a 39 Sprint for some reason  ???  It was def a no go. They weren't very nice, so we traveled to the second store that carried them, the Pack Rat in Fayetteville, AR. I highly suggest this store for anyone in the area. She brought out a stack for me to try on AND she had the black I was wanting. I told her 40 or 41 or a M38 and she brought out W 39-41 (didn't have a M38). Again, the 39 was a no go but I tried it because she wanted me to.  The 40 fit very snug but felt the best. I had read that there's a difference in the gray and black. Some reason the black seemed fit my feet all over. My right foot is pretty swollen now after riding in the car from 1-10 with just a few stops here and there (and the Chinese food probably helped) so not sure how they will feel after the swelling goes down but I am happy with them. I don't however think there is anyway I can get a sock on with these though. So I came home with the snug 40 blacks. The black 41s were just too long as my last two little toes popped out.

    The Pack Rat saleslady told me to wear them an hour or so a day for a week. To only wear them on carpet at home. Then after the week, if they weren't right or I didn't adjust, I could return them for a full refund!!! Great store.

    I will keep you guys updated on how it goes and thank you once again for all the advise.
    I really wish that rubber back on the Classic hadn't bothered me as i would have probably wanted a pair of them too!

    Stephanie

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  • Wow, what an adventure. I don't understand sales people that aren't helpful. you're trying to give them money. Anyway, I hope it works out.  :)

    Little toes popping out of pockets isn't good, and it sounds like you may have short toes. The material will give a little and should accomadate the normal swelling of feet. You'll know when you start walking and running around the house if the snugness is going to bother you.
  • I love my Classics, heel tab be damned!  Seriously, I think anyone who just owns KSOs doesn't know what they are missing with the ease of use of the Classics, so maybe one day you can try them out again -- the tab gets better with time.
  • on 1253369928:

    the tab gets better with time.


    That is great to know. I was hoping someone would say that.  ;D  I'm sure I'll be adding a pair sooner or later.
  • on 1253369928:

    I love my Classics, heel tab be damned!  Seriously, I think anyone who just owns KSOs doesn't know what they are missing with the ease of use of the Classics, so maybe one day you can try them out again -- the tab gets better with time.

    And there's always the option, if they fit well enough, of just removing the elastic completely. Then, no tab at all to deal with. Been working fine for me so far.



    What about affixing some velcro back there to hold the tab down? Like how the Mocs come.
  • on 1253333091:

    I asked her to let me try on a mans 38 KSO to see if it was between but she wouldn't bring me one.   


    I think we have the same size feet!  It seems Mens 38 KSO is one of the least carried sizes in online/retail stores (Feet measured to 9 3/4").  I originally bought the Womens 39, which was a mistake (poked hole in 2nd toe).  So i'm trying the 40's or 38 (If ever in stock) for exchange.  Glad you found some that finally fit!  Its always annoying experiencing bad customer service.
  • We do have the same size! Mine measure that too, Hobbitfoot. (love that name, btw  ;D )  I wore them an hour or so last night and just put them on for a while today. They are very snug so I am having to get used to that. My feet swell a lot but I know, gotta get through the breaking in process.

    I do want to try the Classics again. It wasn't the elastic part that was the problem but the thick back ankle part that sticks up that was rubbing my foot. I think it's probably too stiff to velcro down Zyzzyx. Thanks for the suggestion though. Let me get used to these and then we'll see.


    Stephanie
  • Stephanie,
    Zyzzyx was talking abut velcroing down the black tab that is attached to the elastic drawstrings at the heel of the classics, not the spikey vertical thing at the heel.

    To help with the spikey vertical thing at the heel, wear a bandaid, or moleskin, or tape on your heel.  Your foot should get used to it within a couple weeks.

  • While I love the simplicity and convenience of the classics, I couldn't get past that back tab. I also didn't like the band (probably would have cut it off) and lower vamped shoes look bad on my feet. Hence I own KSOs and love the fit, but hate getting them on.

    They should make a zippered version of the KSO. A vertical zipper on top of the KSO would make getting them on quicker and possible easier.  
  • on 1253422759:


    They should make a zippered version of the KSO. A vertical zipper on top of the KSO would make getting them on quicker and possible easier. 


    That is a VERY good idea! What do you think of the Sprints?

    on 1253406734:

    To help with the spikey vertical thing at the heel, wear a bandaid, or moleskin, or tape on your heel.  Your foot should get used to it within a couple weeks.


    Thanks, I am thinking this might be what I have to do.
  • A zipper model would ideally be a very slight diagonal off to one side of the shoe. Straight zippers in the center of an article of clothing causing bunching and curving unless they are pulled perfectly taut (think of jackets and jean zippers). They place them the way I mentioned on some jackets for archery so that it doesn't get in the way of your bow.
  • A diagonal zipper might function better, I don't really have zippered shoes.

    I don't have sprints. I tried them on at the store, but again the lower vamp made my feet look fat (I'm kind of vain about that). I could also see the top strap irritating my foot since, but most people don't have that problem. The two straps on the back of the foot were different and would take some getting use to. I didn't feel like the sprints were as comfortable as my KSOs. Also, I felt that the w39 were a bit snug and the w40 too large.

    I'm still considering sprints, but will probably wait for the bikilas, but only if the women have a better color choice than orange/pink. :P
  • Personally, I just like my entire foot covered. I mean, before I got my Vibrams, I wore Birkenstocks a lot, so in that sense I'm fine with the openness. But if I'm going to be wearing a shoe rather than a sandal, I prefer the top of my foot covered.
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