A whopping saving of £54+ on the Seeya LS Night. This shoe is perfect for the darker nights as they light up in the dark! Honestly! Best for road and tarmac running, and for beasting the gym. Buy the Seeya LS Night Now.
Every week we get plenty of questions from customers. So many in fact, that we have decided to dedicate a blog post every-so-often to our favourite customer questions, which we have abbreviated to ‘CQOTW’.
This week’s customer question comes from a lady looking for Vibrams to wear for walking the Trails.
Can I Wear the Trek Sport for Trail Walking?
Yes, the Trek Sport is absolutely fine for trail walking. A lot of the Vibrams (in my opinion) are a little too thin for walking on trails, but this Trek sole is thick enough to offer protection whilst still offering a degree of ‘barefoot’ feel.
Waterproof style of Vibram FiveFingers.
There aren’t any waterproof styles as such, but there is one style that is water-resistant. The Lontra is built on the same sole as the Trek Sport, expect the upper fabric is insulated and repels water. We are discontinuing this style (hence the generous discount) as we have have several dissatisfied customers; the sizing comes up a little large and others have commented that the neoprene cuff is a little too tight.
The other two styles worthy of consideration are the Spyridon MR (good for handling mud, thinner sole than Trek Sport) and the Trek Sport Sandal (same Trek sole, different upper fabric).
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.
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:
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.”
The ‘Trek’ Sole
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
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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:
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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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