Vibram FiveFingers Bikila Evo WP Review

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

  1. WP stands for waterproof (and the shoe is exactly that – completely waterproof!)
  2. The Bikila Evo WP is the only waterproof shoe from Vibram FiveFingers
  3. Built on the ICETREK sole, the WP is designed for extra grip on ice
  4. Two fastening mechanisms: quick-lace AND zipper!
  5. 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.

The sole

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.”

ICETREK. In Vibram's own words
ICETREK. In Vibram’s own words


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.


Despite my initial apprehension on the level of waterproofing, I am completely bowled over by this winter-proof barefoot running shoe.

The downsides to the Bikila Evo WP are: 

  • Fits a little more snug than normal (very slightly)
  • The concealed quick lace has excess lace (easily resolved by cutting or tucking inside the shoe once zipped
  • The toe pockets seem a little narrower than normal

The positives far outweigh the negatives

  • The shoe is completely waterproof!
  • The shoe is gorgeous – Black and Grey (with a dash of either red for men, or purple for women)is a great choice of colour
  • You can achieve a very precise, comfortable fit using the the internal lacing system and the external zip
  • Optimum grip on ice and snow
  • Good degree of warmth
  • Of all the Vibrams, this is the best running shoe for winter

Overall, I am exceptionally pleased with the quality of this shoe and am excited for the onset of ice and snow!

Buy The Bikila Evo WP at Today

Who Are Vibram FiveFingers? Past and Present.

Many of us see Vibram FiveFingers and think ‘Vibram? They’re a new brand. I don’t know whether to trust these or to stick with Nike / Adidas / Asics / New Balance / etc [delete as appropriate].

But Vibram have been around a long, long time. In fact, Vitale Bramani founded Vibram the same year that Dame Shirley Bassey was born; the same year than J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit was published; and back when our George VI was still King.

You may recognise the yellow octagonal Vibram logo. It can be seen on rubber soles around the world on shoes and boots designed for outdoor purposes, fashion, performance, work and orthopedy. Having almost 80 years in the market, Vibram is a renowned leader synonymous with performance, quality, innovation, design and safety.

Vibram created the first sole made from vulcanised rubber, after Vitale Bramani applied the same technique used by tyre manufacturer Pirelli, applying the rubber under his mountaineering boots.  That kind of performance, reliability, and durability had never been seen before, and since then Vibram has been the sole of choice for outdoor shoe manufacturers.

Vitale Bramani, mounaineerer and founder of Vibram
Vitale Bramani, mounaineerer and founder of Vibram

To further elaborate on the strength of the brand, here are some other brands that are now industry standard:

Gore-Tex Waterproof Logo
Think ‘waterproof fabric’– You think of GORE-TEX.
Thinsulate - Thermal Fabric
Think ‘clothing insulation’ – You think of Thinsulate
The world-famous Vibram logo
Think ‘durable soles’ –You think of Vibram.

Since 1937 Vibram have applied their experience and unique know-how to develop the worlds most technologically developed soles. Today, 99% of the US Military wear Vibram soles.

An old Vibram advert
An old Vibram advert
An old Vibram advert
An old Vibram advert

It is fair to say that Vibram revolutionised the world of mountaineering, and now, with Vibram FiveFingers, they are revolutionising the sport of running.

Even Vibram FiveFingers are not as new as we think. Many of us think that they have only been around a couple of years at most. In fact, it was 2001 when the idea of Vibram FiveFingers was first proposed by Robert Fliri, an industrial designer, to Marco Bramani, the grandson of Vibram founder, Vitale Bramani.

2004 saw the patent filed, and in 2005 the Vibram FiveFingers went in to mass production. Soon, Fliri arrived at Vibram to begin his work in a team of experts to redefine and realise his idea of a shoe especially created for bare feet. The minimal footwear revolution was born, directly inspired by the barefoot phenomenon. Vibram had developed what is often referred to as a ‘barefoot shoe’: a flexible glove for your foot, with a Vibram rubber sole, each toe (finger) having its own ‘pocket’, helping the articulation of the foot, whilst stimulating the muscles of your lower limbs, thus giving a higher sense of wellbeing to the whole body.


NEW FOR 2013: The Vibram FiveFingers EL-X
NEW FOR 2013: The Vibram FiveFingers EL-X

Vibram continue to dedicate themselves to innovation. Their appreciation of continuous development and improvement has seen Vibram open their mega Technology Centre in Guangzhou, China. If you’re wearing a pair of Vibram FiveFingers, you can bet they’ve been researched, prototyped, tested, and manufactured inside this 41,000 square-metre innovation plant.


Impressive huh?

Who wants a pair? Click here to see our full range – and remember – every pair of Vibram FiveFingers comes with FREE DELIVERY and a FREE FEETUS NECK TUBE.