…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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you’re an early-riser like me, you’ll have noticed that the sun has been a little slower coming up over the horizon. I have found my running circuit through the woods much harder to navigate, and that my morning bike rides require me to mount a rear light for visibility.
If, on the other hand, you do most of your outdoor fitness on the evening – you may have felt the warmth of the sun slowly fizzling out earlier than it had done the week before, or that you cast longer shadows on your way home from your run.
The Significance of the Sun
The sun, for many, acts as their ticket to outdoor exercise. Many don’t like to run in the dark. Others only get out while its warm. If you’re in that bracket – you had better start making the most of the last of the long summer days.
Today, 21 August 2013 in Redcar (on the North East coast of England) we’re going to benefit from 14 hours and 34 minutes of daylight. This time next month, we’ll have just 12 hours 17 minutes of daylight. That means, over the course of this next month we are going to ‘lose’ 2-and-a-quarter hours of daylight!
Today in London you will have 14 hours 14 minutes of daylight. Next month, you will lose almost 2 hours of daylight, giving you just 12 hours 16 minutes.
It’s Not All Doom And Gloom
The shortening of the days does bring huge benefits to us outdoor-loving folk. We will start seeing nuts and berries really flourishing, and with each day you’ll notice more of the bushes bearing ripe fruit. How about that for free ‘fuel’ while you’re out running? …Just grab a couple of blackberries as you pass by!!
Choosing The Right Shoes
The warmth that summer brings allows us to wear less – And that applies to footwear too. Get out and give barefoot running a whirl. Just slip your shoes off for a mile and see how it feels – You’ll surprise yourself at how much you will enjoy it!
Or perhaps you want to run a little further and need a bit of protection underfoot? That’s where we come in. Here are my top three shoes for the closing summer months:
Brand-new from Vibram FiveFingers; the men’s EL-X offers incredible ‘barefoot’ feel, having such a minimal sole. The upper fabric is so light and breathable, it makes running in the warmth an absolute pleasure. The flexibility of the sole also means it is the perfect choice for alternative activities such as slick-lining, climbing, and parkour.
While the EL-X is a male-specific style, ladies need not feel left out. They too have some brand-new styles to try out: The Alitza and the Entrada. They feature the same sole as the EL-X, except the upper is exposed giving you maximum breathability whilst exercising. The Entrada‘s style is perfect for yoga, pilates, hitting the gym, and running.
Barefoot running – except – you pop a sole under your foot with some lacing. Sounds simple, right? …That’s because it is. You simply measure your foot, order your size, and customise your very own huarache-style sandal. Perfect for running. A great substitute for summer sandals that come in colours: black, brown, red, blue, and green.
Do you like to run off-road, on trails, through woodland, across hills through luscious countryside? Me too. That’s why I keep harping on about how brilliant the Trek Sport Sandal is. I’ve always like the original Trek Sport , but the Sandal version is much more fun, more breathable, and looks better too. The ‘Sandal‘ title might be a bit misleading; this ‘shoe’ features slits in the side and a wicked colour scheme in black and yellow! The Trek sole provides barefoot feel, but features enough tread to cope with the demands of running your favourite trails. This style is my favourite to date – and these beauties are available for both men and women. Result!
…And don’t forget – All orders over £50 come with FREE DELIVERY and a FREE FEETUS BUFF!
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