According to Vibram, “The new KMD EVO defies gravity (and conventional wisdom), allowing athletes extraordinary freedom for dynamic movement both in the air and on the ground. For fitness fanatics without boundaries, the KMD EVO transcends traditional sport, making it the ideal leaping, climbing, balancing shoe for those seeking a minimal shoe experience with maximum flight potential.”
Whilst looking at the KMD Evo there is no doubt that this is an exceptionally high quality shoe. It looks as though it has taken inspiration from the Nike Flyknit, with the polyester filament upper, and is extremely comfortable and feels very breathable.
The shoe is noticeably heavier than other Vibrams, and the sole is the thickest ever seen on a pair of FiveFingers.
Vibram have definitely got the aesthetics right with this shoe. The KMD Evo looks so cool and features reflective print too.
The big turn-off is the price. These things ain’t cheap, and come with a hefty £180 RRP. As such, we believe the KMD Evo is a shoe for the purists only. Let’s hope they don’t make any more ridiculously priced shoes!!
Fans of Parkour, Urban gymnastics, break dancers and Free Runners will love the KMD EVO.
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’. So, without further ado, here is our latest CQOTW:
Which Vibram FiveFingers are best for CrossFit, in the Gym, and for Running?
I am looking at purchasing some five finger shoes for going to the gym, Cross Fit and a little bit of running. There are a lot of styles to choose from. I’ve narrowed the choices down to two and was wondering if you could explain the differences between them to me. The Bikila and the Komodo Sport. Unless you have another suggestion for what shoe I should have. Many thanks.
Here’s Our Answer
First of all, you’ve done a great job of narrowing it down to the Bikila and the Komodo Sport. Both are excellent gym shoes, and are the best on offer from Vibram for your intended use. I’ll go in to a little more detail:
Komodo (KMD) Sport
The Komodo Sport (aka the KMD Sport) was first introduced by Vibram last year, and was designed with CrossFit in mind. The upper fabric is reinforced in areas that may get a little more worn if you’re doing certain CrossFit exercises (for example, climbing ropes).
The sole has a multi-directional tread with a rounded pattern, making it great for functional movement exercises. You will not find another shoe that is as good at manoeuvring on the spot.
The sole is a little thicker than the Bikila, as it comes with a 2mm Polyurethane footbed.
The downside of the Komodo Sport is that it is not a full-0n running shoe. It will serve you well on the treadmill, or for short bursts on the track or on tarmac – but the tread isn’t designed for an all-out runner.
If you find you have a wider-than-normal foot, opt for the LS. If you find your feet are narrow, then Velcro will be your best option. If you’re pretty average, with normal width feet, the world is your oyster. Pick either; they’ll fit fine.
The new-for-2013 EL-X stands for Entry Level Cross Trainer, and that’s exactly what it is.
There’s barely anything to this shoe. No fastening mechanism, just a 3.5mm sole, and it is Vibram FiveFinger’s lightest ever men’s style. It will give you the best ‘barefoot feet’ out of any other shoe.
I hope that gives you the information you need to make a decision.
My advice would be to ask yourself ‘How much running do I plan on doing?’, and if you answer is ‘Quite a lot’, I’d opt for the Bikila. If you think you’re going to live in the gym (or ‘The Box’) and the majority of your training will consist of WODs, gym work, and the occasional run, go for the Komodo Sport. Or if you’re on a budget, the El-X will provide a very nice introduction in to the world of Vibram fiveFingers.
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.
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