“I want a pair of Vibram FiveFingers that can handle gravel and asphalt. What do you recommend?”
Vibrams for Road/Gravel
Other Uses of the Spyridon MR
- Trail Running
- Mud / Obstacle Events
- Beach Running
Since its release in 2013, the Alitza has been a popular choice with ladies. But in 2015, the Alitza is undergoing a radical makeover.
If you love indoor training, enjoy yoga, or are looking for a ‘barefoot’ shoe for everyday use, the Alitza is the perfect choice. Available for ladies only, the new-look Alitzas are very feminine and elegant. You’re going to love them!
The XS Trek sole has been incredibly popular since its first release in 2013 on the men’s EL-X and the ladies’ Alitza, and has continued to be used on other styles in 2014 such as the ladies’ VI-B and the bestselling KSO Evo. Very versatile with unbeatable ground feel, the XS Trek sole is a masterstroke from Vibram FiveFingers.
The key difference with the Alitza Breathe is most obviously the extended warp around laces, which add extra security over and under your foot. The upper fabric is a polyester mesh which was first introduced in early 2014 on the women’s VI-B.
“The elegant Alitza Breathe provides the perfect foundation for sports like barre, yoga and training sessions where a mind/body connection are key. Flexible FiveFingers construction offers extraordinary ground feel to fully engage the toes and foot while providing confident traction on and off the mat. Lacing allows for a custom fit.”
Available for women only
Available (potentially) in black, red, and magenta; the Alitza Loop has a stretch polyamide upper, providing flexibility and breathability. The ribbons that featured on the original Alitza have been replaced by a more durable stretch gore, which will undoubtedly provide a more secure fit.
“The simple beauty of Alitza Loop offers the perfect solution for those seeking a barefoot experience with optimal traction. An ideal minimalist shoe for fitness classes, barre and studio sessions, the Alitza Loop is light, breathable and follows your every move. Easy on/off makes for an effortless transition from home, to studio, to running around town.”
Available for women only
The Alitza has been hugely popular and the main issue (in the UK) is that it has only ever been available in black, despite other colours such as purple, pink, and white being available in Asia and the US.
I believe the Alitza Loop is, despite not changing all that much, an improved design on the original Alitza. The switch from the ribbon across the foot to the stretch gore fabric will make it so much easier to get the shoes on. I think the Alitza Loop will be a BIG hit!
The Alitza Breathe is a strange beast. It is like a combination of the VI-B and the Alitza, with huge ribbons that fasten up the leg. Will this wrap-around lacing stay in place? We’ll have to wait until Spring 2015 to find out!
We were GUTTED when, earlier this year, we heard that the ultra-popular Trek Sport was being discontinued. …We needn’t have worried. Getting a glimpse of 2015’s offerings has put our minds at ease.
Hold your horses. These aren’t due for release until Spring/Summer 2015.
We were able to get our hands on these off-road/trail specific minimalist running shoes earlier this year and were very impressed. Not only does the Trek Ascent look incredible, the sole has had a complete makeover from the original ‘Trek’ sole and feels rugged, sturdy, and reliable; whilst still low profile enough to be considered ‘barefoot’.
Here’s a brief overview of what you can expect…
MEGAGRIP is said to offer excellent grip properties on both wet and dry terrains while maintaining a high level of durability, and has been developed for those who frequently encounter slippery surfaces.
The difference between the Trek Ascent and the Trek Ascent LR is the upper material; the Trek Ascent being made from synthetic materials polyester and Spandex (making it suitable for vegans), and the Ascent LR made from kangaroo leather and hemp.
“For off-road adventures and hiking in all conditions, the new Trek Ascent Synthetic offers rugged traction and sure grip to keep you firmly grounded on and off trail. Choose the Synthetic fabrication for sporty, weather resistant performance.”
Available in black for both men and women, in grey/black/orange for men, and dark grey/lilac for women.
Men will have black and caramel/brown to choose from, whereas ladies have caramel/brown and pink/grey/orange.
Vibram FiveFingers describes the Trek Ascent LR ” is a rugged minimalist shoe designed for hiking tough terrain. A super grippy outsole and leather/hemp construction makes this the 4-wheel-drive version of our original barefoot model.”
As a trail runner, I am more excited about the Trek Ascent than I have ever been about any other pair of Vibrams in the past. I feel Vibram FiveFingers have really found the right balance between looks and performance with this minimalist shoe.
The sole, at 8mm thick, will provide enough protection to hit the trails and run with ease, whilst still providing enough proprioception for the runner to experience ground feel. The sole pattern is also an improvement from the original Trek Sport. Although the tread depth feels slightly more shallow, the rubber feels sticky, durable and will provide a massive amount of traction for grip and stability in most weather conditions.
We’re really excited to get these in for Spring 2015. What do you think about the Trek Ascent?
Back in September, Feetus.co.uk gave you an exclusive look at two other ‘Sneak Peaks’ of what you should expect to see from Vibram FiveFingers in 2014:
Now we bring you a look at the new Spyridon MR.
The Spyridon was first released by Vibram FiveFingers back in early 2012, first as a lace-only (LS) style, before releasing the Spyridon (Velcro option) later in 2012. Designed with trail runners in mind, the Spyridon found itself as the go-to ‘barefoot’ shoe for participants in mud races and obstacle events such as Tough Mudder.
It is therefore no surprise to learn that the ‘MR’ stands for ‘Mud Runner’.
Here’s the official blurb from Vibram FiveFingers:
Designed for the minimalist trail runner, the re-styled Spyridon MR, short for Mud Runner, offers a Vibram 3D Cocoon technology molded into the sole for lightweight protection. Speed laces and canvas fabric finish this sole off for a rugged and secure fit, while a 360 degree lug pattern offers grip in all directions, perfect for your next mud obstacle course or trail race.
Good question. And the answer is ‘not much’.
The Spyridon MR is being released (initially, at least) as a lace-only style and will feature Vibrams fantastic Speed lace system. The Velcro Spyridon is being completely retired.
There are no changes to the sole. The Spyridon MR has the same brilliant Vibram XS Trek Compound sole as the original Spyridon, with the ‘rock block’ nylon mesh. This is just a maximum sole thickness of just 4mm. Very minimalist. The rubber sole has a multi-directional quadrilateral pattern, thus providing a good degree of grip and range of motion.
The upper fabric is arguably the only difference. Whereas the Spyridon LS was made from Coconut Active Carbon, the new Spyridon MR is constructed from a polyester fabric. The new look is arguably more ‘socially acceptable’. By this, I mean the design has been toned-down and is less garish.
As stated above, the Spyridon MR is (for the time being at least) going to be available as a lace-only style. The speed lacing system is a fantastic and very convenient way of lacing up in a flash. The short laces are made from memory wire, which helps them to remain in place as you fastened them. They then hold in place by securing the lace with a plastic toggle, and secured further with a small Velcro patch. Very neat indeed.
In the US, Vibram-wearers prefer to wear laces over Velcro by a ratio of 3:1. In the UK, we are the opposite, preferring Velcro over LS by the same ratio.
The MR has a polyurethane stitch-in footbed. Like the original Spyridon, this is not removable.
Weight: M43 = 7.83 oz (222g) / W38 = 5.64 oz (188g)
Max Sole Thickness: 4mm
Compound: XS Trek + 3D Cocoon Technology
Insole: 3mm Polyurethane + Anti-Microbial Drilex Sockliner
Machine Wash Cold/Air Dry
Military Green / Black (14M4201) – Not available in UK
Black / Grey (14M4202)
Grey / Orange (14M4203)
Black / Grey (14W4202)
Blue / Black (14W4204)
While the release of the Spyridon MR is not as exciting as the release of the KSO Evo, the Bikila EVO and the all-new Vyrid, it is still an important development. It shows Vibram FiveFingers have recognised the massive growth in popularity of obstacle mud races over the last couple of years, and are looking to capitalise on this by providing a shoe that not only copes well in the wet and muddy conditions, but also stays on your foot! (If you’ve never been to a mud obstacle event, you always see people leaving with just one shoe, as the other got lost in the mud!)
It is a shame to see the Velcro option removed, but the worst decision for me is that the UK won’t be getting the military green ‘khaki’ colour. Nevertheless, I am confident the Spyridon ‘Mud Runner’ will prove to be a big hit in 2014.
Bring on the mud.
Yesterday we shared with you Xero Shoes’ new kid on the block; the Sensori Venture. A barefoot huarache-style sandal with a 5.5mm sole, a revolutionary (patent-pending) lacing style, and an attractive design that will certainly prove popular in the coming year.
But Xero Shoes have another card up their sleeve. And this card is a little different.
Xero Shoes are about to launch some tabi-style booties for use with their huarache-style sandals, and can also be used on their own for indoor activities such as yoga and pilates. They look as though they could also be used as a winter ‘sock’ inside regular shoes too.
The +One Trail is designed for warmer weather. Both lightweight and protective, the +One Trail is designed to prevent cuts and scratches when you’re out running on the trails. If you’ve ever hit the trails in your Xero Shoes, you’ll know that this can sometimes be an issue (especially getting bits of gravel sneaking between your foot and the sandal).
Xero Shoes won’t be winning any awards for their choice of product name for this one – but the +One-ty could be a big hit for those of you looking to continue wearing your Xero Shoes in to the winter months. The construction consists of a 2mm water resistant polyester mesh with bamboo fleece liner. The bottom features multi-directional chevron grips made from silicon for extra traction.
I’m not going to pretend they look pretty, because they don’t. They may look better in the flesh – BUT – the big question is ‘How will they perform?’. Xero Shoes have been very clever and recognised two gaps in the market. The first being that some people do not like the idea of a DIY sandal, so they released the cool-looking Sensori Venture. The second is that running sandals are not the best option for running in colder climes – and that’s where the +One range fit in.
I think it is great to see some innovation from Xero Shoes and these will definitely appeal to those looking to keep running all year round in their Xero Shoes.
Breathability is another factor. How breathable will the +One’s be? Having not tested them yet, I cannot say – but I am concerned that they may be a little sweaty (like Sockwas). The last thing we want is a sweaty, sliding ride.
The addition of a +One with your Xero Shoes is going to really remove much of the ‘ground feel’ from your running. Will this put barefoot-purists off?
…Only time will tell. But we look forward to seeing how you like them once we get them at Feetus.co.uk.
This is an opportunity of a life-time for all you trail runners! Is it wrong to call it a trail runner’s wet dream? Perhaps, but please withhold judgement until you have read this:
TORQ is looking for runners who will join the TORQ Trail Team for 2013 and enjoy many of the benefits of a professional running team.
Anyone who is committed to running on the trails and exploring the outdoors – as well as their own limits – is encouraged to apply to be part of the team: this is not just for elite runners.
Those successful in being selected for the team will spend a year as part of the TORQ Trail Team, with many of the benefits usually only available to professional teams, including:
The sign-up process is easy. All you have to do is fill in a simple form, here: http://bit.ly/11mCShu
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