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.

Fastening

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

Sizing

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.

Conclusion

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 Feetus.co.uk Today

Exclusive look at the Bikila EVO WP

2015 Vibram FiveFingers. Sneak Preview No.4: Bikila Evo WP

Waterproof Vibram FiveFingers!

The Bikila EVO WP is now available to buy from www.feetus.co.uk.

…At Last!  

Every year, when winter rears its head, we are bombarded with customers all asking the big question: “Which pair of Vibram FiveFingers is waterproof”? And we shrug, answering “Well, there is the Lontra, but it is only water-resistant, but you these other styles are also worthy of consideration in winter…”. Until now, we usually point customers to this article What Vibram FiveFingers Shall I Wear In Winter?.

We never expected a waterproof style of Vibrams to ever become available. In all honesty, I had questioned how you could actually make a ‘barefoot shoe’ that also could keep the water out. But now, in principle at least, Vibram have developed just that, and we’re proud to present the Bikila EVO WP.

Introducing the Bikila EVO WP

During a Vibram FiveFingers presentation last year, a spokesman demonstrated the power of this new sole technology they had created. One man attempted to walk over an ice rink in a standard shoes while the other, equipped with a Vibram ICETREK compound sole, made his way over the ice without any trouble at all. Vibram FiveFingers went on to develop this technology further, creating their first waterproof shoe.

ICE Trek Sole by Vibram FiveFingers
ICE Trek Sole by Vibram FiveFingers

Due for release early 2015  (NOW AVAILABLE – CLICK HERE) the Bikila EVO WP is like a cross between the Bikila EVO and the below-par Lontra. The WP has this super grippy sole and a waterproof tri-layer stretch fabric equipped with a waterproof zip that comes to ankle height. A lot of customers who bought the Lontra had trouble with the neoprene cuff either being so tight it dug in to their calf/achilles; or is was too slack, ultimately letting in water. Vibram have sensibly removed this neoprene cuff and replaced it with a much improved abrasion-resistant tricot lining.

Exclusive look at the Bikila EVO WP
Exclusive look at the Bikila EVO WP

The sole thickness is exactly the same as the Bikila EVO (6.5mm). The shoe is around 20% heavier (just 150g total weight!) than the original EVO, which isn’t bad considering the extra benefits of the shoe.

  • WEIGHT: M43 = 5.29oz W38 = 3.88oz
  • MAX SOLE THICKNESS: 6.5mm (2.5mm
  • Rubber/ 4.0mm-EVA)
  • INSOLE: Waterproof Fabric
  • UPPER MATERIAL: Tri-Layer Stretch
  • Waterproof Fabric
  • VEGAN
  • Hand Wash Cold/Air Dry

The official Vibram blurb: “Same minimalist design as our hard-working Bikila EVO, but with waterproof stretch-membrane construction, taped seams and a water-resistant gaiter to keep the wet environment at bay. An ideal running shoe for those looking for grip, and durability on ice.”

The Feetus Verdict

My concern is that this waterproof shoe has been developed on the Bikila Evo. The Bikila Evo features an EVA midsole, and this EVA material is partially exposed. My experience of EVA is that it is like lightweight, dense rubber. This rubber can contract with each step and return back to its former shape. As the EVA rubber is so light, there is obviously air inside. When the rubber reduces in size, it pushes the air out. Then when the rubber returns to its normal state, it takes air in.

My experience of running with shoes with an exposed EVA midsole is that, (and this becomes more prominent over time, as the outer sole wears thinner), when the EVA ‘breathes’, it soaks up water. While this may be a tiny amount of water with each step, but over the course of a run, when the terrain is completely wet, the EVA begins to soak up the water and your feet get wet.

Vibram FiveFingers Bikila EVO WP from Feetus.co.uk
The Bikila EVO WP

Of course, I may be completely wrong about the Bikila Evo WP. I haven’t tested this shoe yet, but for me it would have made sense to have built this waterproof shoe on the new Trek Ascent. The Trek Ascent also features a 4mm EVA midsole, but at least this is not exposed in any way – with the outsole completely covered with durable rubber.

Save up now, or get wet feet

Only time will tell… but again we feel Vibram have let themselves down with the price tag again. The Bikila EVO WP comes in at a whopping £180 RRP (UK RRP now lowered to £150 – Buy the Bikila EVO WP from Feetus.co.uk now)

Vibram FiveFingers Logo

 

Where are you ladies?

Women Don’t Run In Winter

It’s a Man’s World…

…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.

The bestsellers of the last fortnight have been the Lontra, the Trek Sport, and the EL-X

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! 

Ladies Only

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.

So, what’s it gonna be?

If you’re looking for a winter shoe, we recommend the Lontra, the Trek Sport, or the Spyridon.

 

If you’re after a gym shoe, look no further than the Komodo Sport.

 

 

If you want a new-for-2013 pair that are great for yoga, pilates, and indoor training, how about the Entrada or the Alitza?

 

And finally, if you’re just looking for a clearance-bargain, we recommend you click on the styles below and keep your fingers crossed we have your size available!

 

Don’t forget the Code: LADIESONLY

This sexist special offer is applicable only to ladies’ footwear and will only last until midnight this Friday (14th November 2013). So be quick.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL RANGE OF WOMEN’S VIBRAMS. 

 

 

Wear Vibram FiveFingers for your winter training

What Vibram FiveFingers Should I Wear In Winter?

Winter Is Here! Which Vibrams Shall I Wear?

PLEASE NOTE –

This is an archived blog post and a new version has been published for winter 2015/2016. To view the new ‘Vibrams for Winter’ guide, click this link. 

We’re seeing a massive shift in the barefoot shoes that people are buying. The days are getting shorter, it’s colder, it’s wetter, and its windier. People are seeking out the best Vibram FiveFingers for winter – and we’re here to help you find the perfect choice.

An Overview

In case you don’t want to read the whole article, we’ve made it easy for you to pick out the best shoe depending on what activity you’re likely to use the shoes for most:

…But if you want to know more, read on! 

A Quick Look at the Soles

Vibram Fivefingers have some excellent styles that are designed for use in colder weather and challenging terrain, but there are two sole types that stand out as the most winter-proof; the Trek sole, and the Spyridon sole (aka the Vibram XS Trek compound).

The ICETREK Sole

The ICETREK sole is unique to the Bikila Evo WP. Built on the same style / shape 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.”

Bikila Evo WP - Men's ICETREK Sole
Bikila Evo WP – Men’s ICETREK Sole

The ‘Trek’ Sole

The Trek sole: A closer look
The Trek sole: A closer look

The Trek sole can be found on the following styles:

With a maximum sole thickness of just 7.5mm the Trek sole is very minimal – but in comparison to some of its peers (EL-X 3.5mm, Seeya 3.5mm) it is more ‘built up’, thus giving less ‘barefoot feel’ (aka proprioception / feedback).

The extra sole depth comes in the form of tread. The lugs on the Trek sole are strategically placed to provide extra grip where it is needed, giving you confidence when running on the trails. The extra sole thickness means the Trek sole is less flexible than other Vibram styles.

The Vibram XS Trek Compound Sole

Sypiridon sole: A closer look
Sypiridon sole: A closer look

The Vibram XS Trek Compound Sole is found on the Spyridon MR.

The Spyridon MR sole is more minimal than the Trek sole with a maximum sole thickness of just 4mm. The sole features multi-directional tread designed to provide traction and stability when you need it most. The Spyridon MR sole is also much more flexible than the Trek sole, and you can easily roll and flex the sole.

A Look At The Shoes

Bikila Evo WP: The ONLY Waterproof ‘barefoot’ shoe

The Bikila Evo WP was released in November 2014 and has created quite a stir. For year, barefoot runners have been calling out for a shoe that is genuinely waterproof, and now we have it.

See our full review here

This shoe features a triple fastening mechanism: A concealed quick-lace system, a full zipper, and a Velcro across the top. The upper fabric is 100% waterproof, the zipper has taped seams, and the ICETREK sole is super-grippy in snow and ice. Despite the wealth of features, the Bikila Evo WP is also extremely lightweight. Its baffling how a shoe so good, so comprehensive, can remain so low on weight.

Buy the Bikila Evo WP

Trek Sport: Great for winter and year-round

The Trek Sport is one of Vibram FiveFingers’ most popular styles. The black/charcoal colourway is arguably more ‘socially acceptable’ and less conspicuous than some of Vibram’s more brighter, vibrant styles. The upper is exactly the same as the KSO (Keep Stuff Out) style, and the Trek Sport style and colour is exactly the same for both men and women.

The Trek Sport: Black / Charcoal, for both men and women
The Trek Sport: Black / Charcoal, for both men and women

Because the upper fabric completely covers the foot to just below the ankle, it provides warmth and does a great job of preventing any objects (gravel, sand, mud) from getting inside the five-toe shoe. The mesh ensures the feet can breathe and the Velcro fastening is a God-send when your fingers are cold; simply pull and stick – no fumbling with numb fingers to lace-up your shoes!

What is the Trek Sport best for?

These are all reasons that make the classic Trek Sport an ideal choice if you are looking for a shoe that will perform in:

  • Boot Camps
  • Off-road running (trail running, beach running,
  • Mud obstacle courses such as Tough Mudder
  • Trekking
  • Day-to-day use

Buy the Trek Sport from Feetus.co.uk

Trek Sport Sandal: Great for trails in milder weather

Vibram released the Trek Sport Sandal in 2013 to very favourable reviews. While the original Trek Sport is great for hitting the trails when the weather is cooler, muddier, and the terrain looser – The Trek Sport Sandal will serve you better when it is warmer, and when the terrain is more hard-packed.

That said – You can provide extra warmth and protection by adding a pair of Injinji toe socks.

More a shoe than a sandal, The Trek Sport Sandal features vents on each side of the shoe providing incredible breathability. The upper fabric is extremely durable and comfortable.

While the Trek Sport is a Velcro-only style, the Sandal is lace-only (LS) and comes fitted with Vibram’s brilliant Quick-Lace system as standard plus a spare pair of conventional laces, giving you the choice of how you lace your Sandal.

What is the Trek Sport Sandal best for?

The Trek Sport Sandal is certainly less of a winter shoe than the Trek Sport, but is equally as versatile, making it a popular choice for the following activities when the weather is fairer:

  • Off-road Running (Trail Running, Beach)
  • Boot Camps
  • Trekking

Buy the Trek Sport Sandal from Feetus.co.uk

Lontra: Water-Resistant and Thermal

The Lontra was the original winter barefoot running shoe – before the Bikila Evo WP was released..  The upper is water-resistant (but not waterproof), and is more padded than any other style, providing thermal qualities to keep your feet warm when it gets cold.

The Lontra features a multi-layer laminate upper with fully taped seams, providing insulation and water resistance. The micro pile fleece liner is soft against the skin while helping wick perspiration away from the foot. Other features include: a neoprene heel cuff to keep out snow and debris, a reinforced hook and loop closure for a snug and secure fit; and reflective surfaces for safety at night. The 4mm EVA midsole provides insulation from frozen surfaces, and the TC-1 Dura outsole provides traction, durability and superior plating protection.

The Lontra feels slightly over-sized, and I suspect it was designed this way to provide extra space inside the shoe to give the wearer the option of wearing toe socks for extra warmth and comfort.

You may also find the Lontra to be less breathable than other styles. This is arguably a fair trade-off given the water resistance element.

What is the Lontra best for?

You will likely find the Lontra best for you if

  • You’re running when it is really cold
  • Snow running
  • Off-road running (unless it is warm)
  • Boot Camps
  • Obstacle events such as Tough Mudder, Mudderling, Spartan Races, etc

Buy the Lontra

The Spyridon: A viable winter option: Copes well in mud obstacle races.

The Spyridon MR is available for both men and women:

The upper fabric is only slightly water resistant (not as much as the Lontra). Like the Trek Sport and the Lontra, your foot is fully covered giving excellent protection against loose objects when running and preventing things such as stones, gravel and mud from entering the shoe.

The ‘MR’ in the name actually stands for Mud Runner and the shoe was designed for off-road, muddy pursuits; the grippy sole akin to that of a mountain bike tyre.

What is the Spyridon best for?

As such, the Spyridon MR will serve you well if you want a winter shoe that still has maximum barefoot feel, whilst still performs well in:

  • Mud obstacle courses such as Tough Mudder
  • Trail Running
  • Boot Camps

Buy the Spyridon MR

A Personal Opinion / Conclusion

It has to be said that the most important aspect of keeping warm in a ‘barefoot’ shoe is not so much in the shoe itself, but in the socks you wear underneath. Without socks, your feet are really going to feel the cold. If you want to continue running and training outside in the colder months, don’t forget your socks!

See our huge range of toe socks

If you’re looking for a pair of Vibram Fivefingers for general use, for road running and for a bit of everything, there is no better product than the Bikila Evo WP. Unparalleled grip, waterproof, and the look amazing!

I personally find the Lontra to be a little too ‘clumpy’, heavy, and rigid. When I run in the Lontra, I lose all-important ‘barefoot feel’ (also known as proprioception, ground-feel, or feedback) and I notice that my running form suffers.

The Trek Sport and Trek Sport Sandal are two of my favourite shoes. Excellent handling, great for long distance, top breathability: I personally cannot find any faults with these shoes, though some may argue that the Trek sole is too thick at 7.5mm). I would argue that the tread depth is essential for all trail running / trekking enthusiasts.

The Spyridon MR, while being a very attractive shoe with what looks to be a very ‘grippy’ sole, I find it to lack the appropriate grip when the conditions get very wet. I also find that the Spyridon MR does not provide the level of breathability that is essential in a running shoe.

Don’t Forget Your Socks

It goes without saying that in winter, a pair of socks can make a difference between a great run, and a downright hideous one. It’s so important to keep the blood flowing in your feet, so make sure you keep your feet warm and comfortable. As soon as you lose feeling in your feet, how do you know if your technique is correct? …You don’t!

Keep Warm: Add a pair of Injinji toe socks to your set-up
Keep Warm: Add a pair of Injinji toe socks to your set-up

A pair of socks will go a long way to keep you dry, warm, and most importantly, running naturally. Specialist running shoes with individual toe pockets require specialist socks with toe pockets. Luckily, we have the best toe socks on the market… Injinji toe socks.

Pick up a pair of Injinji toe socks today.

Customer Questions

1. Brian Holden asked: “How will they [Vibram FiveFingers] fit with toe socks?”

By adding a pair of Lightweight Injinji toe socks, the added ‘bulk’ is so minimal that this will make no difference to how your FiveFingers fit.

Wearing Original Weight Injinji socks under your Vibrams will have a greater impact. If you Vibrams are currently quite close-fitting (i.e, your toes graze the end of your shoe), then the added material from the Original Weight socks will probably be too much, and could cause ill-fitting inside the shoe. This of course, will have a knock-on effect to your running performance and comfort.

Most people will find that, if you are usually a size 43 in a KSO, a size 43 Lontra will feel a little oversized, meaning you could easily accommodate a pair of Original Weight socks inside.

 

About The Author

Barefoot runner, cycling fanatic, outdoor-lover, Lee Firman is the man behind Feetus.co.uk. Click here to read more.

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