Waterproof Vibram FiveFingers!
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.
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.
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
- 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.
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)