Following on from our blog on last years best Winter Vibrams, we thought it would make sense to do a refresh of that for this year, with an updated product range. We have found more and more people visiting that blog recently, as it gets colder and colder.
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 BEST WINTER SHOE from Vibram FiveFingers in 2016: 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)
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.
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!
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