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 from Kalclash Fitness reviews the KSO EVO
Steve is fanatical about Vibrams, and has been a Feetus Fan for a long time. His YouTube Channel is building up a very loyal following, covering various topics from triathlon, vegan living, and of his passion for Vibrams. We just love his no-nonsense, candid approach to reviews.
We couldn’t believe that after covering more than 2,000 miles in his collection of Bikilas, he hadn’t ever tried a pair of KSO EVO – so we intervened and this is what Steve thinks of his new KSO EVOs.
We’d love to hear what you think about the KSO Evo too! How close is it to barefoot running? Are these your favourite minimalist running shoes? What do you use them for mostly? Leave a comment and let us know…
Until now, the cold, wet, wintry weather has always been a real nightmare for barefoot and minimalist runners. What do we do; opt for a thicker-soled conventional shoe with Gore-Tex protection, or stick to our Vibrams and risk getting our feet wet and cold. I’ve always fallen in to the latter group. I was never a fan of Vibram’s Lontra, and for years have yearned for Vibram FiveFingers to create a waterproof barefoot shoe.
Introducing the FIRST and ONLY waterproof five-toed shoe!
Finally. Minimalist running shoes designed for winter, built to last, and waterproof!
Five Things You Should Know About the Bikila Evo WP
WP stands for waterproof (and the shoe is exactly that – completely waterproof!)
The Bikila Evo WP is the only waterproof shoe from Vibram FiveFingers
Built on the ICETREK sole, the WP is designed for extra grip on ice
Two fastening mechanisms: quick-lace AND zipper!
Available for both men and women
First Impressions. Out of the Box
The Bikila Evo WP is unique in design. The Bikila Evo WP comes up to below the ankle similar to the long-redundant Bormio. The fabric is surprisingly lightweight, given that the shoe is waterproof. I was expecting something tougher. The workmanship on the shoe is top-class. It seems Vibram FiveFingers have really got it right in 2014 – The quality of the shoes this year have been of much better quality than previous years.
The shoe has two fastening mechanisms. Inside is a concealed internal quick-lace system that is used to ensure a close fit. There is then the zip with taped seams either side which is used to keep the shoe completely waterproof.
Built on the same ‘style’ of sole as the original Bikila Evo, except the sole on the WP is made from Vibram’s patented ICETREK technology. Not only has this rubber compound been granted full marks by Vibram for its durability, it is “developed to grant the best grip on very cold, iced, or snowy surfaces, VIBRAM® Icetrek allows you to move, work, and live safely on mountains and in cold areas.”
A Little Too Snug?
I am commonly between sizes in Vibrams. I am right at the threshold with most Vibram models: Size 44 in KSO Evo, Trek Sport, CVT LS, Lontra – but am a size 45 in the Spyridon. I am a size 45 in the Bikila Evo WP too. I figured sizing-up would be a wise move anyway, given that the Bikila Evo WP is designed for more wintery conditions, and I will likely be wearing toe socks underneath.
So… If your toes touch the end in your normal Vibrams, I would recommend going an extra size up.
How Waterproof Are They?
I can happily confirm that the Bikila Evo WP is completely waterproof. I’ve ran through puddles, through wet grass, sloppy mud, and did the ‘dip test’ in the lake. No water gets through the waterproof membrane. The only way your feet are going to get wet in this shoe is through the hole that your foot gets in. They are as waterproof as possible for a shoe!
How ‘Grippy’ is the ICETREK Sole?
It’s a little early to tell as we haven’t had any snow and ice to test the sole on yet. I’ve tested them on wet tarmac, on slippery paving stones, and on slimy autumn leaves – and truth be told – they seem to offer no more traction than a standard pair of Vibrams. I honestly find that my KSO Evo handle corners (on wet terrain) more capable than the ICETREK. But before I jump the gun – we need snow and ice to test these on. Watch this space.
How Warm Is The Bikila Evo WP?
I’m been incredibly impressed with the warmth from the Bikila Evo WP. Despite the material being incredible lightweight and relatively thin, they do provide a great deal of insulation.
Additionally, I’ve took these for the occasional spin in warmer weather (15C+) and my feet haven’t overheated.
How Breathable Are They?
The longest run I have done in the Bikila Evo WP so far is 7 miles. Despite the outer fabric getting wet, my feet inside stayed completely dry. No traces of sweat, despite wearing thick toe socks underneath.
Every week we get plenty of questions from customers. So many in fact, that we have decided to dedicate a blog post every-so-often to our favourite customer questions, which we have abbreviated to ‘CQOTW’. So, without further ado, here is our latest CQOTW:
Which Vibram FiveFingers are best for CrossFit, in the Gym, and for Running?
I am looking at purchasing some five finger shoes for going to the gym, Cross Fit and a little bit of running. There are a lot of styles to choose from. I’ve narrowed the choices down to two and was wondering if you could explain the differences between them to me. The Bikila and the Komodo Sport. Unless you have another suggestion for what shoe I should have. Many thanks.
Here’s Our Answer
First of all, you’ve done a great job of narrowing it down to the Bikila and the Komodo Sport. Both are excellent gym shoes, and are the best on offer from Vibram for your intended use. I’ll go in to a little more detail:
Komodo (KMD) Sport
The Komodo Sport (aka the KMD Sport) was first introduced by Vibram last year, and was designed with CrossFit in mind. The upper fabric is reinforced in areas that may get a little more worn if you’re doing certain CrossFit exercises (for example, climbing ropes).
The sole has a multi-directional tread with a rounded pattern, making it great for functional movement exercises. You will not find another shoe that is as good at manoeuvring on the spot.
The sole is a little thicker than the Bikila, as it comes with a 2mm Polyurethane footbed.
The downside of the Komodo Sport is that it is not a full-0n running shoe. It will serve you well on the treadmill, or for short bursts on the track or on tarmac – but the tread isn’t designed for an all-out runner.
If you find you have a wider-than-normal foot, opt for the LS. If you find your feet are narrow, then Velcro will be your best option. If you’re pretty average, with normal width feet, the world is your oyster. Pick either; they’ll fit fine.
The new-for-2013 EL-X stands for Entry Level Cross Trainer, and that’s exactly what it is.
There’s barely anything to this shoe. No fastening mechanism, just a 3.5mm sole, and it is Vibram FiveFinger’s lightest ever men’s style. It will give you the best ‘barefoot feet’ out of any other shoe.
I hope that gives you the information you need to make a decision.
My advice would be to ask yourself ‘How much running do I plan on doing?’, and if you answer is ‘Quite a lot’, I’d opt for the Bikila. If you think you’re going to live in the gym (or ‘The Box’) and the majority of your training will consist of WODs, gym work, and the occasional run, go for the Komodo Sport. Or if you’re on a budget, the El-X will provide a very nice introduction in to the world of Vibram fiveFingers.
…So we’re giving the ladies 10% off this week! Use code: LADIESONLY at the checkout
The last two weeks have seen us ship out LOADS of orders around the country. Much more than normal, in fact. And we’re so grateful to all of our amazing customers who are helping us to continue to grow. We’re certainly becoming the go-to online store for Vibram FiveFingers.
However, during this time, 9 out of 10 orders have been for men!!
This has had us scratching our heads. Do women decide not to run in winter? Do ladies hibernate? Do they choose to visit the gym only during the months March to October? Surely not!
That’s why, for the rest of this week only, we’ve decided to a LADIES ONLY discount (sorry gentlemen). Prove to us you still need your Vibram FiveFingers during the cold weather by ordering a pair today AND GET AN EXTRA 10% OFF by entering code: LADIESONLY at the checkout.
CQOTW: Why should I fork out for a pair of Genuine Vibram FiveFingers, when I can buy a Fake pair on Ebay?
This week’s ‘Customer Question of the Week’ came from a friend, and I too remember asking myself the same question several years ago whilst contemplating my second pair of Vibrams. It can be quite easy to forget that when you buy a pair of shoes – you’re actually investing in top materials; a product of many, many hours of research; a particular (not to mention consistent) fit – and not just something that looks good.
My Bin Bag Analogy: It won’t work out cheaper
Have you ever, whilst doing you weekly grocery shop, looked at bin bags? You pick up a roll of bin bags for £1.99 and say to yourself “blimey – that’s expensive – I only need them to put the rubbish out!” then notice you can get some ‘value’ bin bags for a fraction of the price, and you get twice as many. You put the £1.99 bags back on the shelf, and throw the cheaper ones in your trolley.
Later that week, you go to empty your bin, and what happens? The bin bag splits. You have to clean up all the mess. You vow never to use the cheap bin bags again and make your way back to the shop to opt for the bin bags you should have bought in the first place. It has cost you time, hassle, and money.
Back in early 2011, I picked up a pair of (Counterfeit!) Vibram FiveFingers Bikila on Ebay for around £45. I was really sceptical and expected the worst. Then they arrived. After waiting (a few weeks!!) for the package to arrive, I opened the mailing bag and was amazed to see what looked like a perfectly genuine Vibram FiveFingers box.
I opened up the box. The Bikilas were wrapped in tissue as normal. They looked and felt exactly like a genuine pair. I was surprised. A lot of fake Vibrams I’d seen on Ebay were dreadful! I thought I’d bagged a huge bargain and couldn’t wait to go for a run.
Fake Bikilas On Test
The counterfeit Bikilas endured a 12-mile debut.
Although they seemed to fit perfectly normal, I could feel rubbing in various places. The stitching inside was clearly not Vibram-standard. And although the sole felt flexible, the shoes felt light, and they looked very smart – I didn’t enjoy running them at all. They felt awkward.
I returned home with sore feet. I peeled the shoes from my feet to reveal several areas of blistering, and the shoes were stained with blood from rubbing.
The biggest complaint was with the sole. Vibram make some of the best soles in the world. They are a household name, on the same level with the likes of Gore-Tex (waterproofing), YKK (zips!) and Lycra, and Vibram soles are extremely durable. This fake sole however, looked as though it had been put through a 500+ mile test! The colours had worn out and some of the midsole was very heavily worn! The shoes were absolutely useless!
I Got Lucky
Many of the fake styles available on Ebay are much, much worse. They come in unofficial colourways, some don’t look or fit anything like a genuine pair, and others don’t even arrive at your doorstep, even though you’ve paid for them!!
…Now You See The Relationship between a Bin Bag and FiveFingers
It cost me much more than it should have done. I paid for a counterfeit pair, and then (rather reluctantly) had to buy another pair (this time genuine). It served me right. I learned my lesson, and I hope you learn from my mistake.
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