Vibram FiveFingers - New for 2014

Vibram FiveFingers 2014 Sneak Peak #2: The Bikila EVO

New for 2014: The Vibram FiveFingers Bikila EVO

NOW AVAILABLE FOR ORDER AT FEETUS.CO.UK

Our blog post a few weeks back we introduced you to the Bikila EVO, but we’re now able to shed a little more light on the specifics of the shoe, having seen these in the flesh.

The reaction to Vibram’s choice to introduce a shoe with cushioning surprised many of us. Hadn’t Vibram FiveFingers – the company regarded by many as ‘barefoot shoe makers’ – once told us that ‘You are the technology’, claiming that cushioning was not needed?

Goodbye Bikila. Hello Bikila EVO

Anyway… Similar to the KSO, the ever-popular Bikila is disappearing, and instead we have the Bikila EVO: a slightly cushioned, lace-up shoe designed for mid-distance running. The sole is, by shoe manufacturing standards, minimalist, with a maximum sole thickness of 8.5mm, which includes the 6mm of EVA for cushioning, and Vibram Megagrip Rubber Pods for durability and grip.

The ‘redesigned’ shoe features a polyester mesh upper, and comes in a variety of bold colours, from a sure-fire winner black/yellow to the less-appealing-to-most orange/blue.

Vibram FiveGingers BIKILA EVO
An excerpt from the Vibram FiveFingers 2014 Catalogue

Here’s what Vibram have to say about the Bikila EVO

Medium distance running in a minimalist shoe can be challenging for new minimalist users. It takes time for your foot to adjust to an increasingly thinner level of sole. The Bikila EVO is a fully redesigned shoe built for those looking for a shoe that gives the benefits of going barefoot and that has slightly more cushion to offer more support on a medium distance road run. It is still thin, and gives you just a bit more so you can be confident making the switch.

The Bikila EVO Sole

One of the most obvious changes to the Bikila is the new sole, which comprises of 6mm EVA cushioning, nine strategically placed rubber sole pieces, and an EVA heel.

EVA is a lightweight material found in most running shoes. Its strength is that it is extremely lightweight and compresses under pressure, giving that cushioned feel. The downside of EVA is that it wears out very easily – and that’s why you see rubber placed over the top of the squidgy stuff on your sole.

For the Bikila EVO, much of the EVA is left exposed, yet the rubber sole pieces are placed over the high-wear zones of the sole: on each toe, three strips over forefoot, and covering the heel.

NOW AVAILABLE FOR ORDER AT FEETUS.CO.UK

Opinion

It appears Vibram have followed the trend set by other major shoe manufacturers by introducing what could be classed as a ‘transition shoe’, meaning, this shoe would be ideal for runners new to ‘barefoot running’ that are not yet ready to have their shoes stripped to the bare minimum.

Many barefoot purists will turn their back on this shoe, but I think it has its place. Although I love to run barefoot and wear Vibram FiveFingers – I still often opt for a minimalist shoe with a 4mm drop and some cushioning.

Many will argue that Vibram are moving away from the barefoot/minimalist roots – and I myself was fearing the worst. But having seen the Spring/Summer 2014 range in the flesh just this week, I would strongly disagree. This year’s EL-X for men, and the ladies’ Entrada and Alitza are as minimal as you’re bound to see. The trend continues with the new-for-2014 KSO EVO.

NOW AVAILABLE FOR ORDER AT FEETUS.CO.UK

The Bikila EVO range to hit the UK in 2014
The Bikila EVO range to hit the UK in 2014

With an 8.5mm sole and zero-drop from heel to toe, the Bikila EVO is still very minimalist. It is in fact, just one millimetre thicker than the Trek sole, as featured on the super-seller Trek Sport and the new-for-2013 Trek Sport Sandal.

The decision to make the Velcro redundant will aggravate many in the UK. While in the US, the LS (lace) styles outsell Velcro styles 3:1, in the UK it is the opposite.

I won’t get chance to test the Bikila EVO until next year, but I am confident that this shoe will be a massive success. I expect barefoot-newcomers to enjoy the Bikila EVO, as well as mid-distance runners who enjoy just a bit more cushioning. The style will appeal to many too, so I’d expect gym-goers and Crossfit addicts to pounce on this.

NOW AVAILABLE FOR ORDER AT FEETUS.CO.UK

One Final Note

Just because the Bikila EVO has more cushioning than its Vibram counterparts – don’t judge this shoe until you have tried it! You may just love it!

About The Author

Barefoot runner, cycling fanatic, outdoor-lover, Lee Firman is the man behind Feetus.co.uk. Click here to read more.

In the Running World, Science > Marketing

It never ceases to amaze me how much ‘spin’ big companies use when marketing a new product. After watching Asics’ latest video pushing their hideous ‘Gel Nimbus 14’, it left me gobsmacked.

To me, the shoe looks more suited to an astronaut. Or maybe somebody imitating an astronaut, who needs a super wedge of cushioning to simulate slow-motion bouncing in the absence of moon gravity.

  • Rene Zandbergen, Product Manager at Asics, claims in the video that this ‘Guidance Line’ on the sole of the shoe will guide your foot whilst running. …What? …How?
  • He adds that the shoe “fits like a glove”. No, I think he should be referring to Vibram FiveFingers when he makes that comment.
  • He continues: “…the shoe helps you run more efficiently”. Bullshit.

Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOSDAXE1h1M&feature=player_embedded

With spiel like this, it’s not surprising that a staggering 80% of runners get injured each year. How many of us have suffered with ‘runners knee’, ‘shin splints’ and ‘plantar fasciitis’? How often do people have the best intentions of ‘getting in to running’, only to get injured and conclude “Running isn’t meant for me”. With the amount of money invested in technology and biomedical science, surely we can develop runningwear that can prevent running injuries?

Science > Marketing

That’s why I am a massive fan of VivoBarefoot. Rather than plough all their capital in to creating and marketing gimmicks such as a ‘guidance line’, they instead invest in research and training. They make the effort to educate the customer, teaching us the essentials about best running technique. They offer science over opinion.

Good Running Form

http://www.feetus.co.uk goes live next month, where I will be offering advice on running technique and sharing my experiences of running barefoot and with minimalist shoes. For now though, here are the five basic principles of good running technique.

  1. Strike with your forefoot, followed by a heel plant.
  2. Your cadence should quicken to around 180bpm, meaning you take faster, shorter steps.
  3. Your foot should strike just below your centre of gravity, or slightly in front.
  4. Your upper-body should remain relaxed.
  5. Keep your head straight. Keep your eyes at horizon level.

We’ll also be selling the very best barefoot and minimalist running shoes from the likes of Vibram FiveFingers, VivoBarefoot, Saucony, Merrell, Xero Shoes, and more!

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