The Bikila EVO 2 has now been rebranded as the V-RUN.
Although we haven’t had confirmation on exactly why Vibram FiveFingers have changed the name of their ever-popular road running shoe Bikila EVO 2 to a less-imaginative name, the V-RUN, it probably has something to do with this court case:
Last year (2015) the family of Ethiopian barefoot marathon champion Abebe Bikila filed a lawsuit against Vibram for allegedly using his name without permission (source: Associated Press).
Vibram have/had been using the Bikila name on their minimalist training shoes since 2010. First with the original Bikila shoe, then the Bikila LS, then again on the revamped version, the 2014 Bikila EVO. This year, the shoe ‘evolved’ again in to the Bikila EVO 2.
Abebe Bikila became famous when he won the 1960 Olympic Marathon without shoes, setting a World and Olympic record in a time of 2:15:16. Four years later, he set the world record again in 2:12:11. Although he died in 1973, he has always been hailed as a true sporting legend and an icon to all runners.
As Vibram market their shoes as “barefoot shoes” that promote a more natural forefoot strike when running, it is easy to understand why the Bikila name is very apt.
Although the new V-RUN name is less imaginable, the shoe itself is still worthy of a gold medal.
Steve Kalclash, a die-hard vegan and barefoot running fanatic, normally does the bulk of his running on the road, but we wanted to get his verdict on the new Trek Ascent. So he’s recently been putting in the miles off-road, trail running, and he made this short video to let us all know his first impressions of the Trek Ascent.
Who is Steve Kalclash?
For those of you that don’t know Steve, he is an inspirational character. His YouTube channel is growing bigger all the time and his videos range massively; from his vegan diet to product reviews, and training tips involving running, cycling, and weight lifting. His favourite Vibram FiveFingers model (given he is a road runner) is the Bikila EVO, but he’s a massive fan of the KSO EVO too. He also reviewed the KSO EVO earlier this year for us. See the video here.
The Trek Ascent – An Overview
In the Trek Ascent ‘Family’ there are three styles all featuring the same patented MEGAGRIP sole. They are all great for trail running, hiking, trekking, and casual use. The sole offers great grip on all surfaces, but is not too aggressive, making it still a good choice for road running too.
The TREK ASCENT is the original, featuring a synthetic upper fabric. The lightest in the range, the Ascent is fast and grippy, ideal for off-road racing and mud obstacle events (i.e. Tough Mudder). The synthetic, lightweight upper fabric means the shoe dries quicker should you get it wet.
The TREK ASCENT LR is exactly the same as the TREK ASCENT, expect the upper fabric is a combination of Hemp and Kangaroo Leather. This combination of materials makes the shoe naturally water-resistant and more durable.
The TREK ASCENT INSULATED is the newest style in the range, and is reinforced with wool inside the shoe making it really warm. Ideal for winter and cold weather.
Research published in podiatry journal The Foot in 2007 suggests that structural and functional changes can result from the foot having to conform to the shape and constriction of a shoe, rather than being allowed to develop naturally. And the younger the foot, the greater the potential for damage.
Crucial: Well-Chosen Footwear for Children
The human foot at birth is not a miniature version of an adult foot. In fact, it contains no bones at all and consists of a mass of cartilage, which, over a period of years, ossifies to become the 28 bones that exist in the adult human foot. This process is not complete until the late teens, so it is crucial that footwear – when worn – is well chosen.
Research has shown that when children spend more time in bare feet, even in just two months, i results in increased foot strength, balance, mobility and ankle function. You child’s shoe should reflect this ‘barefoot feel’, with the shoe offering as much of the following:
A completely flexible sole,
A wide and deep toebox,
An anatomically correct last (the ‘mould’ that a shoe is built on),
A closure at the back and an adjustable closure at the top, such as laces or Velcro
We love the KSO for Kids. The ‘closed’ upper fabric keeps out any debris when the kids are out playing and the Velcro fastening makes it easy for kids to secure the shoe (without any farcical laces!). The KSO is the biggest-ever seller of Vibram FiveFingers and the most popular shoe for men, women, and children.
Speed for Kids
Breathable and more conventional-looking than some of the other Vibram FiveFingers styles, we love the Speed for Kids. This shoe promotes natural (barefoot) movement of your child’s feet and the sole provides good grip for all activities. Available in a lace-up.
Sprint for Kids
The Sprint allows your child’s feet to move as nature intended, the thing we like best about this shoe is the open top. Having an open top makes it so much easier for kids to get their dainty little feet in to the shoe and position their toes in to each pocket. They don’t even have to worry about tying the laces either, as the Sprint is a simple Velcro strap fastening.
All the children’s Vibram FiveFingers are available NOW at Feetus.co.uk. Some are available as ‘on order only’ but this only adds typically 2 days to your order time. We also sell matching toe socks from Injinji.
Admittedly, minimalist shoes aren’t always the best choice for colder months. Such footwear is low-profile: the soles are thin which means your feet are closer to the ground and receive less ‘protection’ from the cold underfoot.
Barefoot purists may tell you to grin and bare it, but winter is long, and we believe that with the correct footwear, you can enjoy the best of minimalist running whilst keeping your fitness up during the whole of winter.
An Overview of the best winter Vibram FiveFingers
In case you don’t want to read the whole article, we’ve made it easy for you to pick out the best shoe depending on what activity you’re likely to use the shoes for most:
Lightweight and low profile whilst offering adequate grip, the Spyridon MR is a favourite for those seeking speed and stability both on and off road. The ‘MR’ stands for Mud Runner, and these were designed with events like Tough Mudder in mind.
Best for: Mud obstacle events, winter racing (short-medium distance)
The leather upper is naturally water-resistant, strong, and durable. Sure, leather also weighs a little more than synthetic materials but the compromise is well worth it due to the added warmth and toughness this shoe offers. The LR‘s MEGAGRIP sole is thicker than most other Vibram styles and therefore offers more resistance to cold coming up from the ground through the soles. Just the few extra milimetres really does make a massive difference. The MEGAGRIP sole is also Vibram FiveFingers’ hands-down best sole for off-road running, trekking and walking.
Best for: Water resistance, long distance outdoor use, all winter
THE BEST WINTER SHOE from Vibram FiveFingers in 2015: The Trek Ascent Insulated comes higher up the ankle so it keeps more than just your feet warm; your ankles are kept toasty too! Not only that, but the wool lining is outstandingly warm – a total godsend for winter!!
Please note: The insulated padding inside this shoe means it fits smaller / tigher than all other Vibram FiveFingers styles. We strongly recommend you opt for +1 size up than you normally would.
The MEGAGRIP sole on this insulated shoe also features Vibram’s patented ICETREK technology, offering incredible grip on ice, snow, and cold surfaces. The sole is thicker, offering protection from the cold ground, and also features aggressive grip for fantastic stability on and off-road.
Best for: All winter use (running, trekking, casual, all terrain)
You guessed it, this shoe is largely made from wool making it warm and comfortable. The CVT Wool features a higher ankle for added warmth and the overall look of the shoe is stylish and ideal for smart and casual use. This shoe is surprisingly light yet cozy and warm.
For added grip on ice, snow, and cold ground, the CVT Wool features ICETREK pods in the sole.
As the temperature plummets and the days grow shorter, it’s a good time to start thinking about how to keep our feet warm during outdoor exercise.
So, we’ve pulled together our ‘Top 5’ ways to help prevent your feet getting cold this winter, and have suggested five pairs of socks that will help keep you toasty.
Thicker socks aren’t necessarily warmer
Don’t wear socks that are too thick for your shoes. If your sock is too thick, it can cause pressure on the foot, which in turn can cut circulation off to your toes. Your toes should be able to wiggle with your sock on your foot inside your shoe.
Avoid cotton socks
Your feet sweat all the time, even when its cold. Cotton gets wet with sweat very quickly and doesn’t keep warm once wet. Opt for a technical fibre instead.
Merino wool is your new best friend
This ‘magical’ fabric keeps your feet warm like no other! Merino wool is itch-free, thermostatic (temperature-regulating, making it idea for all weather; hot or cold) and offers superior moisture management.
If your feet are always cold, try liner socks. It’s amazing just how much of an impact a thin liner sock can make. They’re also great to use as a day-to-day sock or as a lightweight sock for summer.
A warm cup of tea or coffee may be just what you fancy, but caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, and causes your vessels to constrict, limiting blood flow to your extremities.
Our Top 5 Winter Toe Socks
Yeah, we love toe socks. Just that little extra material between the toes adds an extra degree of warmth vs conventional socks, but there is more to it than just that. Here, we give you a run-down of the 5 pairs of toe socks you should consider during the cold months.
Made from Injinji’s NuWool Merino wool fibre, these toe socks are our top-pick for winter use . The OUTDOOR range toe socks are thick without being bulky, yet they keep your feet so toasty when its cold. Available in Crew and Mini Crew.
The TRAIL range of toe socks are slightly thicker than the OUTDOOR range and feature a padded sole for added comfort and resistance to cold. Available in Micro, Mini Crew, and Crew.
A very thin toe sock constructed from CoolMax, the Lightweight Liner is that perfect ‘extra layer’ when you need it.
SPORT CoolMax Crew
Great for year-round use, the Injinji SPORT Crew toe sock is higher up the ankle so it keeps your legs warm as well as your feet. The all-black colour is certainly a winner for year-round smart/leisure use.
These premium compression toe socks aid circulation, help reduce fatigue, and go knee-height to help keep the cold at bay during your sporting pursuits! The Ex-Celerator Compression 2.0 toe socks are the bee’s knees!
We’ve just received our Autumn/Winter delivery of Vibram FiveFingers and are celebrating the release of the brand-new Trek Ascent Insulated. But there is one problem… We’ve got so many Vibrams that we can’t fit them on our shelves!
So we’re having an impromptu sale with some MASSIVE savings to be had.
CLICK EACH PRODUCT NAME TO TAKE YOU TO THE PRODUCT.
For many, 2016 may not look like the most exciting year in the brand’s history. Celebrating their 10th Anniversary, Vibram have re-released the original Classic and the KSO (see our Sneak Peak #1 here) for a limited period, but haven’t gone guns-blazing on as many other ‘new’ releases as they have done in the past.
This, it can be argued, is largely down to the fact that they have ‘nailed’ it with many of their products. Looking at the current catalogue, the KSO Evo is impeccable, the EL-X serves as a fantastic entry-level shoe, the Trek Ascent is a worthy successor to the Trek Sport, and the ladies are spoilt with the Alitza Loop and the Vi-B.
Nevertheless, there are still some exciting new additions, as we document below. The biggest perk is that the pricing has changed… FOR THE BETTER!
At Feetus, we also think there are still some unexploited areas where Vibram could make a difference, and we’ll discuss that at the end of this article.
Without further ado, we present to you the new Vibram FiveFingers for 2016:
Bikila Evo 2: New for 2016
The original Bikila, named after the famous barefoot Olympic runner Adebe Bikila, was released in 2010. Designed mainly for road use, the Bikila was a huge success and was soon followed by the Bikila LS (the same shoe, but with a lace system). In 2014, the shoe ‘evolved’ in to the Bikila Evo to massive acclaim, and 2016 sees the release of the Bikila Evo 2.
Bikila Evo 2: Vibram Blurb
Redesigned with a softer upper and perforated to maximise breathability, the Bikila EVO 2 is now even more comfortable. This is an ideal running shoe for those making the transition from traditional to minimalist shoe. The thinner sole lets you feel your run, connecting you to the true barefoot running experience.
Bikila Evo 2: Specification
WEIGHT: M43= 4.80oz / W38= 3.74oz
SOLE SPEC: INSOLE: 2mm Anti-Microbial Drilex Sockliner //
If the success of its predecessors is anything to go by, the Bikila Evo 2 is destined to be a massive hit. With a gorgeous lineup of colours to choose from, the Bikila Evo 2 is going to be hard to resist.
Spyridon MR Elite: New for 2016
The growth in muddy obstacle events worldwide has opened up a niche in the shoe market. Many participants already use Vibram FiveFingers for their stability, glove-like fit, and ability to keep the shoes on their feet (while other competitors lose their shoes in the mud!).
In 2016, Vibram FiveFingers introduce the Spyridon MR Elite. Built on the same MEGAGRIP sole as the Spyridon MR, the Elite features unique touches making it the perfect choice for mud running:
Velcro cuff to keep mud out and add ankle protection
Instep brace to secure the foot (and prevent losing your shoe in the mud!)
Water resistant fabric helps repel water whilst keeping the shoe breathable
Spyridon MR Elite: Vibram Blurb
A purpose-built shoe designed specifically for diehard mud-runners, the Spyridon MR Elite is why Vibram was named the Official Footwear Sponsor of the 2015 Warrior Dash. The in-step brace provides a confident “lock” for stability even when the shoe is wet, while the high hook-and-loop cuff keeps mud out and protects the ankle. A totally washable shoe, the water-resistant finish makes the Spyridon MR Elite a relentless competitor in all conditions.
Spyridon MR Elite: Specification
WEIGHT: M43= 7.54oz W38= 5.49oz
SOLE SPEC: INSOLE: 2mm EVA + Anti-Microbial Drilex
Sockliner // MIDSOLE: N/A // RUBBER: 5mm +
3D Cocoon Mesh
UPPER MATERIAL: Injection PU Brace + Polyester with
Water Repellent Treatment
VEGAN // Machine Wash Cold / Air Dry
Spyridon MR Elite: Feetus’ Verdict
Creating a shoe solely for the purpose of muddy obstacle events is a brave move from Vibram FiveFingers. Is there a ‘die-hard mud-running minimalist’ market that are willing to shed money on another pair of Vibrams just for their muddy races? Probably not, but on inspection, we felt that the Spyridon MR Elite is more than just a mud runner shoe. It is ideal for the British weather, especially during the wetter months. This shoe will keep you running when the weather turns bad!
Trek Ascent Insulated: New for late-2015
Due for release in Autumn/Winter 2015, we can’t wait for the Trek Ascent Insulated. On test, these are perhaps the most comfortable offering from Vibram FiveFingers to date! Designed to be used when the temperature is cooler, here we have a shoe that features full wool lining, Cordura water resistant outer fabric, an ankle cuff for extra warmth, plus Vibram’s patented ICETREK rubber compound sole (as seen on the Bikila Evo WP) for grip and control on outdoor surfaces.
Trek Ascent Insulated: Vibram Blurb
Ideal for those who don’t slow down as the weather gets cooler, the Trek Ascent Insulated keeps feet toasty while battling the elements. Engineered with an ICETREK outsole, this dynamo provides unparalleled grip and balance on icy cold surfaces
Trek Ascent Insulated: Specification
WEIGHT: M43= 7.80oz W38= 6.20oz
SOLE SPEC: INSOLE: 4mm Polyurethane + Wool Sockliner //
MIDSOLE: N/A // RUBBER: 4mm
UPPER MATERIAL: WR Cordura™ + Polyester + Wool
VEGAN // Machine Wash Cold / Air Dry
Trek Ascent Insulated: Feetus’ Verdict
The Trek Ascent Insulated looks like a moon boot prototype from before space travel was even possible! BUT… We love it. It could be a Marmite shoe: You’re either going to love the look, or hate it. We fall in to the latter category. The Trek Ascent Insulated has a lot of character; the sole is incredible, and the choice of materials for the upper and inner will ensure your feet will stay toasty.
Vi-S: New for 2016
Open-top FiveFingers have always proved remarkably popular with ladies (maybe that’s why we’re seeing a re-release of the Classic too?). Offering a little elegance, simplicity and ease of getting on and off, the Vi-S is another step in the minimalist direction, and a nice alternative to the existing Vi-B and Alitza Loop styles.
Vi-S: Vibram Blurb
An elegant, form-fitting design, the Vi-S is one part graceful fashion sandal, one part hardworking KSO EVO. A flexible yet high-traction sole makes the demands of everyday life feel effortless. Delicate lace fabric adds a sensual touch that is deceivingly tough, like you. offered for women only
WEIGHT: W38= 3.17oz
SOLE SPEC: INSOLE: 2mm EVA + Anti-Microbial Drilex
Sockliner // MIDSOLE: N/A // RUBBER: 3.5mm
UPPER MATERIAL: Polyester
VEGAN // Machine Wash Cold / Air Dry
Later this week we’ll be previewing the rest of the styles that will be available from Vibram FiveFingers, but in the meantime, we’d love to get your thoughts on the new stuff!
So, after seeing the new styles on offer from Vibram FiveFingers, what do you think? Are you excited or underwhelmed? Which new style is your favourite, the Bikila Evo 2 or the Spyridon MR Elite; the Vi-S or the Trek Ascent Insulated? Leave a comment below.
Vibram FiveFingers are celebrating their 10th Birthday next year, and as 2016 will be here before we know it, we’re excited (already) about the new Vibrams. If you don’t like surprises, don’t read on!
For a company that’s always been incredibly visionary and forward-focused, it may seem counter-intuitive to celebrate something as nostalgic as a 10-year anniversary. But 2016 is more than a milestone for Vibram FiveFingers. It’s validation. It is living proof that a great idea can and will change how people live and play, every single day.
And we’re proud to unveil two old favourites that are being re-released for a limited period only.
First released in the USA back in 2006, the Classic was originally called the “Vibram FiveFingers” shoe. The Classic was made famous by “Barefoot Ted” McDonald (now creator of Luna Sandals) as he ran the Boston Marathon with an impressive 3:20:16 time.
We get emails from customers all the time asking “Where’s the Classic? …it was my favourite shoe!”, so here at Feetus, we’re over the moon we can finally satisfy the die-hard Classic fans. We just need to be patient until March 2016.
What Vibram say about the Classic:
From day one, the FiveFingers Classic has drawn the attention of the press and active outdoor athletes alike. Our patented original takes a minimalist approach to barefooting with a thin, abrasion-resistant stretch polyamide fabric that sits low on the foot for comfort and quick drying.
Non-marking, razor-siped Vibram XS Trek performance rubber soles help protect your feet and provide a sure grip over a variety of terrain.
In 2008 Vibram FiveFingers unveiled the ‘shoe’ that really changed everything and launched ‘barefoot running’ to new heights. For many of us, the KSO was our first pair of Vibrams. KSO stands for “Keep Stuff Out”. The shoe was so popular (and is still Vibram’s biggest-seller to date) that it still exists in its evolved form today: The KSO Evo.
What Vibram say about the KSO:
When you’re scrambling up a rocky bluff or bounding along a riverbank, the last thing you want is gravel and grit seeping into your Vibram FiveFingers. The KSO is an all-new design with thin, abrasion-resistant stretch polyamide and breathable stretch mesh that wraps your entire forefoot to keep grit out. A single hook-and-loop closure helps secure the fit. Non-marking Vibram TC1 performance rubber sole ensure excellent grip, whatever your activity.
The Classic and the KSO are ‘10th Anniversary Re-Introduced Products’ with limited numbers being produced. Once they go, they will be gone. If you’d like to reserve a pair, please let us know.
Available in black only, for both men and women.
Of course – These aren’t the only ‘new’ released for 2016, and we’ll be releasing further details of the other SS16 Vibram Fivefingers later in the week, including another ‘evolution’ of a popular style, and a shoe that’s designed especially for muddy obstacle events! READ MORE ABOUT THIS HERE.
In the meantime, we’d love to hear what you think about the re-release of the Classic and the KSO. Leave a comment below!
Last month, Feetus company owner Lee Firman embarked on a solo, unsupported, mountain bike trip through the southern sierras of Andalusia, Spain.
He covered in excess of 900km and 60,000’ elevation over 7 days of cycling in order to raise money for our local charity, Cleveland Mountain Rescue, who celebrate their 50th year in operation this year.
“It was tougher than I had expected. Many of the climbs, especially in the Alpujarras, were very humbling. I took too many wrong turns, suffered too many flat tyres, but it was a priceless experience. I would recommend all cycling / outdoor enthusiasts to check out the TransAndalus mountain bike trails. Thanks also to everyone that wished me luck and sponsored me, and for those that participated in the little Facebook competitions during the ride”.
Feetus HQ is sandwiched between the North Sea and the beautiful North York Moors in Middlesbrough, Cleveland. We’re lucky to have big hills, vast open spaces, and sandy beaches on our doorstep, so it seems only right that we support a local charity that supports outdoor enthusiasts like ourselves.
During this 8-day period, Feetus company owner Lee Firman is embarking on a solo bikepacking adventure through Southern Spain. Riding from Malaga to Murcia via the TransAndalus and TransMurciana MTB routes, he will cover around 850 off-road kilometres, cover the elevation of Mt Everest TWICE. And to top it off, the day after he returns, he will run the Hardmoors Osmotherley Trail Marathon (in the North York Moors).
“I love adventuring in rural places, so I’m really excited to tour round the biggest mountains of mainland Spain and explore the hidden gems of Andalusia. I do confess to being nervous about the long climbs; I’ve cycled multi-day trips before, but have never encountered such long, grinding, off-road climbs. It’s gonna be challenging!
…and of course, I’ll be sporting the gear we rave about here at Feetus, including my KSO EVOs (the PERFECT lightweight travel shoes!), Injinji toe socks, the FirmAppa neck tubes (I don’t leave home without!), and some new Feetus t-shirts. I’ll also fuel-up on MuleBar”
So if you place an order during the week between 5 – 12 June, we’d like to offer an EXTRA THANKS.
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