Vibram FiveFingers 2017 V-Trail Review

A road test felt overdue for the new Vibram FiveFinger 2017 range, so I thought I would take the weekend as an opportunity to take the V-Trails for a spin. I decided to take them up Roseberry Topping, given that it has a good mix of terrain; grass, mud, rock and gravel.

I went for the Orange V-Trails, which I must admit I didn’t think I would be too keen on, and do generally go for the black and black grey options in my Vibrams, however, in person, they do look pretty good. They have a new sole pattern compared to their predecessor (the Spyridon MRs) but still feature the MegaGrip compound, so I can only imagine improved grip compared to these. They use the quick lace system, and have a handy strap on the heel to help get them on.

I wore these with a pair of Injinji Trail socks, but I do think they would be great without socks too, as they are a little more padded than other FiveFingers.

So on with the testing. Even though these have a thicker sole than most Vibrams, the ground feel is fantastic. I usually wear my KSO EVOs, which have a really thin sole, so I am used to a lot of ground feel, and didn’t feel let down by these. The sole also features the Cacoon 3d membrane, which helps protect against uneven terrain, rock, stones etc. The path on the lead up to the base of Roseberry Topping is a gravelled path, so great to put this to the test. I could feel that I was standing on something, especially when there was the odd large or sharp one. However, there was nothing which caused pain. The membrane does a good job at spreading the impact, so doesn’t affect the way in which you walk.

Next up, I had the steps, mixed with mud and grass inclines. Obviously I went for the mud and grass to check out the V-Trail’s grip. It was wet on the ground, and I really did feel solid the whole way, no slippage. The MegaGrip sole still performs extremely well.

There wasn’t too much wet ground to test them on, so I moved on to the more rocky terrain on the run up to the top. I felt great the whole way. I have suffered in the past with a bad ankle, so I am always hesitant to go too crazy, but I felt solid the whole way up and down. The multi-directional lugs on the sole really came into their own, I could go from rocks, to grass to mud, and felt very comfortable doing so in the V-Trails.

Even though I was wearing Injinji socks, my feet were kept cool and dry the whole time. The V-Trail has an Anti-Microbial fabric liner, which helps with this, and they are as fast at drying as most other Vibrams. I did go through the odd puddle, but to be honest, you couldn’t really tell.

Definitely the biggest pro of the V-Trail is the traction. The Vibram MegaGrip sole is unbeatable in terms of grip, it feels like you are literally stuck to the rocks, or whatever you are walking on. Definitely gives more confidence when you are out and about.

All in all, I had a great run out in the V-Trail, and I imagine with us saying goodbye to the Summer for another year, I will be putting in a few more miles with these over the Autumn and Winter months. Plus, I got to take in some nice scenery along the way.

The 2017 Vibram FiveFingers Range – Sneak Peak #1

An Introduction to 2017’s Vibram FiveFingers

Over the next couple of days, we will be going through the 2016 Vibram range, giving you the low down on the new models, the new colours, as well as some of the core Vibram product range.

On Today’s post, we will be going through the Vibram core product range (sorry guys, check back over the weekend for a sneak peak at the V-Train and V-Trail 😉 ), and taking a look at some of the new colours available in these FiveFingers. So, without further ado…

 

feetus-kso-evo-lavender-purpleThe KSO EVO

Without a doubt one of the best selling Vibram FiveFingers shoe. It is an incredible shoe, versatile, good looking, comfortable and is just a perfect all rounder.

In the Spring/Summer 2017 Vibram range, we are very happy to announce 1 new colours to the KSO EVO range. However, sorry to say Guys, but it is on the Womens range only. We have the Lavender/Purple.

There has been no change to the spec of the KSO EVO, and why would there be? It is perfect as it is!

 

 

 

 

feetus-v-run-oysterThe V-Run

The Vibram shoe that evolved from the brilliant Bikila Evo. Redesigned with a perforates upper for better ventilation and still has the quick fasten pull tab for the laces. These are a fantastic road running shoe, and have proven extremely popular in 2016. Off the back of that, we will be adding an additional colour to our range, for the men this time, the Oyster.

Much in the same way as the KSO EVO, the spec of the Vibram FiveFingers V-Run has remained consistent, and we will still be including the current range of colours in the range.

 

 

 

feetus-trek-ascent-deep-pondThe Trek Ascent

What a fantastic shoe this is. The number 1 selling Vibram FiveFinger shoe in the UK last year. The Trek Ascent has been popular amongst runners as much as hikers, and is a tough shoe.

The 2017 range sees an additional colour added to the range, the Deep Pond. The Vibram FiveFingers Trek Ascent will still feature the MEGAGRIP sole, which will keep you grounded no-matter the terrain.

Minimalist Running is Back!

Rediscover the Natural Way to Run

For many people the hallmark of a good life is all about feeling the sand between your toes or the grass beneath your feet each morning. There is a sense of having retired from the daily hustle and bustle of life and having ‘arrived’, when you have the leisure of that ever-elusive thing called TIME.

But what about those amongst us who don’t have the luxury to leave our 9 to 5’s or the city life yet? What about that innate longing within us to connect back to nature at its barest and feel the world beneath our feet?

Fret not! For there is a way – The Way of ‘Minimalist Running’.

We have seen a revival of barefoot running, something that has long been part of our history in the evolutionary scheme of things! Ask the Apes if you are cynical!

What do we mean by ‘Minimalist’?

By Minimalist, we mean natural running or barefoot running – and it’s certainly not just a fad! Minimalist / barefoot footwear is designed with a minimal midsole to make sure that you are able to run, walk, hike, climb and experience nature just as it was intended to be.

The past few years has seen this form of running take off. Long distance or short; people are combining workouts with outdoor and adventure and are now enjoying the experience and the benefits it gives to the entire body and mind.

See our range of men’s minimalist running shoes here

The entire concept here is to find a balance and harmony between the traditional support of a regular running shoe and the benefits of running barefoot. Shoes that mimic the feel of bare feet allow similar degrees of flexibility that vastly improves the body’s balance.  This ‘feel’ provides continuous feedback from the ground up and makes the runner more aware of pain that precedes injury and yet, giving the wearer protection over various terrain and hazards like rocks and stones, broken glass, and all subtle changes that occur constantly mile after mile.

Vibram Feet
Minimalist?
Well… Sort of, but not quite

See our range of minimalist footwear for women

Running this way is not only liberating, but performance gains are potentially huge too. We will discuss that in more detail our next blog post.

Vibram FiveFingers - Experience barefoot whilst still wearing shoes
Vibram FiveFingers – Experience barefoot whilst still wearing shoes
The world-famous Vibram logo

Vibram FiveFingers Lontra NOW IN STOCK

WOW. It’s been a hell of a long time, but FINALLY, the Lontra are back in stock in the UK.

Best Vibrams for Winter

The perfect winter shoe from Vibram FiveFingers, the Lontra is just the ticket if you’re looking for a barefoot running shoe that keeps you dry, warm, and can handle rough terrain in the worst of the weather.

Lontra Available for Men and Women

Available in black/grey/bright green for men, and for ladies, they have a lovely grey/pink/black colourway. And to get the ball rolling, we’ve discounted them by 10% so get them before they sell out! They might not come back in stock until after January 2014!!

Men's Vibram FiveFingers Lontra
Men’s Vibram FiveFingers Lontra
Women's Vibram FiveFingers Lontra
Women’s Vibram FiveFingers Lontra

 

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.

Vibram FiveFingers Trek Sport Sandal

Vibram FiveFingers Trek Sport Sandal Review

Are you looking for the perfect ‘barefoot’ trail running shoe to wear during summer? The Vibram FiveFingers Trek Sport Sandal may be the perfect option.

The KSO Trek Sport is one of the bestsellers at Feetus.co.uk. It features a fantastic sole, ‘grippy’ enough for trail running, yet not too rugged making it a good choice for running too. Many love the Trek Sport for their boot camp training too. Versatile and practical.

BUT… When I first heard saw the images of the Trek Sport Sandal, I thought Vibram had gone mad! Why would they make a ‘barefoot’ sandal with five toe pockets and a rugged sole? Then I saw the recommended retail price. £110 for a sandal… Who in the right mind would pay that?

That is – until the BIG Vibram FiveFingers SS13 shipment arrived on our doorstep. I was bowled over by the Trek Sport Sandal as soon as I saw it in the flesh.

THE LOOK

  • Lace-up system on top.
  • Zig-Zag pattern on the side
  • Rugged ‘Trek’ sole

THE FEEL

My Trek Sport Sandal’s made their debut running the 17-mile Osmotherley Phoenix. I toed the line as the only wearer of Vibram FiveFingers.

The Trek Sport Sandal coped very well on the rugged terrain. Much of the route covers the Cleveland Way, which is a mix of woodland trails, singletrack, stony paths and old rock paths. I was concerned that the vents in the side of the shoes would let gravel in, but this was never an issue.

The Sandals were in their element with it being such a hot (29C) day.

After 12 miles I could feel the shoes starting to rub. I suppose this is natural, given that this was the very first time I had ever worn them running. All new shoes take time to ‘bed in’, and before starting, I was expecting blisters.

CONCLUSION

The Trek Sport Sandal is a very capable ‘barefoot’ running shoe, and handles dry terrain with ease. Comfortable on various terrains, the Sandal is best suited to warm-hot days when the ground is dry.

If you’re a fan of the Trek Sport, you will love the Sandal version. I certainly prefer this to the Trek Sport, mainly due to its breathability and without question its aesthetics. The Trek Sport Sandal looks awesome!

I do feel that Vibram have got their price wrong for these shoes though. £110 is a HUGE amount to fork out on what is advertised as a ‘sandal’. Without knowing exactly how good these are in advance, its difficult to say whether I would be willing to splash the cash on these – but now I have them, they are my go-to pair of Vibrams for trail running as well as day-to-day use during warmer days.

 

Interested… Get yours here: Trek Sport Sandal

Perhaps you’d prefer the KSO Trek Sport?

…Free Delivery on all Vibrams – PLUS – a free Feetus neck tube

FEETUS IS ALIVE! (with 25% off for you!)

If you love the best barefoot and minimalist running shoes on the market – You will love Feetus.co.uk.

To celebrate the launch of our new online store http://www.feetus.co.uk we are giving YOU 25% off EVERYTHING (including: Vibram FiveFingers, VivoBarefoot, Merrell, Inov-8, New Balance, Xero Shoes, and much, much more!)

25% off Vibram FiveFingers, VivoBarefoot, Merrell, Inov-8, New Balance, Xero Shoes, O1M One Moment, Injinji socks, SportTape, GU, Torq, and more
YOU HAVE UNTIL THE END OF FEBRUARY TO CLAIM YOUR 25% OFF
Visit us at: www.facebook.com/feetusonline for future offers

 This offer ends midnight 28-February-2013 and is open to everyone in the UK and EU

Barefoot Shoes Inspired by Amazonian Tribes: One Moment and Iguaneye

Welcome to a quick blog post to present two relatively new, relatively similar barefoot shoes that are worth sharing.

Iguaneye

I have just stumbled across a new brand of barefoot / minimal shoes ‘Iguaneye’, based in Lyon, France. They have developed am ultra-minimalist shoe inspired by Amazonian tribes.

Here is a little more about the shoe:

“The shape of the Iguaneye has been created to perfectly conform to the contours of your feet. The anatomic form has been custom-made by Dulster Design and provides a supportive, secure and extremely comfortable fit. Unlike flip-flops, the piece that parts the toes is placed 1 cm ahead. Just like a second-skin, Iguaneyes perfectly fit all your movements and do not cause irritation.”

The advanced elastomer used for the main part is neutral, hypoallergenic, soft and very flexible. It is also 100% recyclable.”

It’s also worth adding that Iguaneye achieved their funding through Kickstarter – an online funding platform for start-ups. Well done! Here is Olivier talking us through the shoe: http://vimeo.com/54534013

Iguaneye Freshoe J-1 Barefoot Minimalist Biodegradable Running Shoes Feetus.co.uk
Iguaneye’s Ultra-Minimal Shoe

One Moment (O1M)

How many of you have heard of One Moment?

Based in Valencia, Spain – They manufacture an extremely minimal shoe that is 100% biodegradable. This shoe comes in all sorts of colours, lipstick red, lime green – very ‘Euro’. I’ve tested these out, and while they are not ideal for running in – they ARE great for general use: walking, at work, lounging… These shoes were also created from the ancient practice of latex-clad tribal feet.

One Moment O1M Barefoot Minimalist Biodegradable Running Shoes Feetus.co.uk
I Can See A Rainbow:
The One Moment Range

Iguaneye vs One Moment – Make up your own mind

  • They are both biodegrable / recyclable
  • Both inspired by Amazonian foot-dippers
  • Iguaneye costs 49 Euros (£42, $67)
  • O1M cost 10 Euros (£8, $13)
  • Iguaneye look more ‘acceptable’
  • O1M have a wider range of colours
  • Feetus will be stocking a range of O1M shoes!

I’m keen to learn what others think of the Iguaneye and One Moment shoes. Is there a place for these in the market? Would you buy them? Are Iguaneye entering the market at a too-high price point? What do you like / dislike about these shoes?

Keep up to date with us on Facebook and Twitter.

You may also want to check out:

One Moment website

Iguaneye website

A Warm Welcome for Skora’s New Range: The Phase and Core

Skora Running are releasing some fantastic new minimalist running shoes this year. Having seem them a while back in 2012, they were brought to wider attention at the recent Outdoor Retailer show.

Welcome Skora Phase and Shora Core

The Phase-X made Gear Junkie’s Best in Show list and was regarded by RunningShoes.com as ‘Best Shoe in Show’. Impressive.

The two shoes have an outsole constructed out of IBR (injected Blown Rubber), which is lighter and more flexible than regular rubber. The cushioning from IBR also means that an EVA midsole is not required. Although IBR is less resistant to wear, Skora have strategically placed rubber on the outsole to reduce the effects of wear.

Skora Phase

  • 7.2oz Men’s / 5.8oz Women’s
  • minimal, single-layer mesh upper
  • asymmetric lacing system
  • unique unibody IBR outsole
  • Zero-drop, 8mm forefoot/heel stack height
  • $110 MSRP (£69.99)
Skora Phase Barefoot Natural Minimal Minimalist Running Shoes 2013 at Feetus.co.uk
The Magnificent Skora Phase

Skora Core

  • 8.1oz Men’s / 6.7oz Women’s
  • perforated Pittards® Armor-Tan® Goatskin leather upper
  • combination lining with WR100X® leather and antibacterial Agion mesh
  • asymmetric lacing system
  • unibody IBR outsole
  • Zero-drop, 8mm forefoot/heel stack height
  • $155 MSRP (£99.99)
Skora Core Barefoot Natural Minimal Minimalist Running Shoes 2013 at Feetus.co.uk
The Wonderful Skora Core in grey

Skora Core Barefoot Natural Minimal Minimalist Running Shoes 2013 at Feetus.co.uk
“Rapid”. The Core in white / blue

 When Can We Expect to See Them?

These shoes are yet to be released in the US, but rumour has it that they should hit the shelves in March. Having spoken with Skora recently, they are adamant that they will have a UK distributor wrapped up within a matter of weeks. Whether this means the UK will have access to the full range or just the Base and Form shoes, it remains to be seen.

Regardless, I am 100% sure Skora will make a massive impact over here in the UK!

For more information, AnotherRunner has an impressive write-up.

Our Feetus.co.uk store goes live in February. Make sure you keep up to date at Facebook and Twitter to be in with a chance to win some fantastic prizes as part of our store launch, and for some exclusive discounts.