Sit tight FiveFingers fans. We have some news about Vibram FiveFingers – and we’re not sure what to make of it…
During this year’s Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City, running shoe manufacturers presented their new offerings for 2014. It appears that the consensus is that bigger is better in 2014.
The Rise (Literally… Pun Intended!) Of Hoka
You may have seen cushioned shoes rise in popularity over the last year or so – especially the rise of Hoka. With their huge rolling, ‘rockering’ soles offering maximum protection, they claim their oversized EVA midsoles ensures a more natural stride. Many of my ultra-running friends have tried Hoka – all with very mixed results.
Next year, Hoka seem to have set the standard, and running shoe manufacturers want to compete. But first up – here’s the new-for-2014 Hoke One One Conquest.
Altra: From Minimalist to Gigantic
Many of you may have heard of Altra, a US-based running shoe manufacturer who coined the ‘Zero-Drop’ label. Initially, they seemed happy to jump on the minimalist bandwagon, offering shoes that were low in profile, whilst maintaining no difference in sole ‘stack’ from heel to toe.
Now, it appears Altra are shying away from the minimalist shoe, or at least, that’s where they are heading with their new model ‘The Olympus’. Maintaining the ‘zero-drop’ approach, the Olympus is a highly cushioned shoe with 32mm under both heel and toe.
Brooks and New Balance
A lot of the other manufacturers seem to have gone for the deep, cushioned style. Here, Brooks’ Transcend claims to offer the softest ride of any other Brooks model.
New Balance have developed the Fresh Foam 980 – and to me, the way the sidewall of the sole slopes inward toward the bottom, makes it look a little too unbalanced. Watch those ankles.
And Vibram FiveFingers Present the Bikila EVO
Who would’ve thought? Vibram producing a ‘cushioned’ shoe… Never!?!?!
Well it seems the desire for cushioning has made its way to the champions of barefoot, the emblematic minimalist footwear makers Vibram. Introducing the Vibram FiveFingers Bikila EVO – Built on the ever-popular Bikila (LS), the EVO features a full-length foam midsole to soften your ride. [I thought they told us we didn’t need anything to soften the ride?]
Little-known to many, Iguaneye are also releasing their men’s style later in 2013, and we think that Iguaneye’s super-minimalist sneakers will be a huge hit in 2014. Watch this space.
And finally, Vibram have another new model for 2014… one that I think many will find quite tasty. But we will save that for tomorrow.
…thanks to Jeff Dengate, editor from Runners World for the fantastic sneak-peak imagery.