Goodbye KSO. Hello KSO EVO
We recently got hold of the Spring/Summer 2014 Vibram Catalogue, and thought it would be worth sharing with you some of the new and exciting ‘barefoot’ (or not-so-barefoot) shoes that are going to be available.
A few weeks back we broke the news of Vibram’s plans for the Bikila EVO, and also of the controversial Vibram FiveFingers Vybrid, and over the coming week we’re going to feature some of Vibram’s offerings for next year.
NEW FOR 2014: The KSO EVO
I love the KSO (Keep Stuff Out): My first pair of FiveFingers was a KSO and they lasted me around 700 miles. I ran in them everywhere and really put them through their paces. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one whose first pair were a KSO either. Their aesthetics, practicality, foot coverage and ground feel made them the ideal choice. Even today, my current KSOs are my go-to shoe for short/mid-distance road running and indoor fitness. They really are a versatile, ‘do-it-all’ shoe.
Next year will see the KSO retire, and will be replaced by the KSO EVO.
The KSO EVO will feature the serrated blade lug sole as can be seen in SS13’s men’s EL-X (Entry Level Cross-Trainer), and the ladies’ lovely Entrada and Alitza, with a maximum sole thickness of just 4.7mm.
You will also notice that the Velcro is making an exit, and instead we’re being introduced to a new KSO that is lace-only – the KSO EVO comprising of Vibram’s Speed Lace System.
Here’s What Vibram Have To Say About the SS14 KSO EVO
Built on a platform that offers the best ground feedback in our line, the KSO EVO is one of three shoes that round out our new category: max-Feel. A reinforced upper and speed lace allows for easy entry and a snug fit while the zig-zag patterned sole provides grip and flexibility in all directions. Feel more under foot with more versatility.
- Weight: M43 = 4.9oz W38 = 3.5oz
- Max Sole Thickness: 4.7mm
- Insole: 2mm EVA + Anti Microbial Drilex Sockliner
- Machine Wash Cold/Air Dry
Making the KSO redundant is an incredibly brave move by Vibram. A hugely popular shoe for both men and women, the KSO has been around since FiveFingers shot to popularity after Christopher McDougall’s bestseller Born to Run.
It’s good to see Vibram have maintained the all-black colour-way that has proved to be a bestseller in the KSO.
Many will miss the original ‘razor-siped’ TC-1 rubber sole of the KSO (that also featured on the Speed, Flow, and Classic styles), but it has been superseded by a superior Vibram XS Trek Compound sole. Feedback from customers who have been wearing the EL-X (which features this same sole) has been really positive, so I am sure this will go down well. The jury is still out on how many miles this new sole can sustain.
Vibram’s decision not to offer a Velcro alternative is also quite a surprise, but with the growing popularity of the lace-up styles, this is probably a wise decision.
All in all – This is a radical change and a very bold decision by Vibram, but upon studying the changes closer, they make a lot of sense – and I am certain the KSO EVO will prove to be equally, if not more popular than its predecessor.
Next up… We’ll be taking a closer look at the also-new-for-2014 Bikila EVO