2016 Vibram FiveFingers Preview
The 2016 Vibram FiveFingers Catalogue has been making its rounds around reddit and the rest of the web. Have you seen it? Dust off your Googlefu and you can probably find a link (wink). If you're just curious what is coming down the pipe in 2016, simply read on!
Vibram is streamlining their lineup by removing some older models, replacing a few, and adding a couple brand new shoes as well. We'll provide a rundown of each of the new models and provide our thoughts on the lineup.
FiveFingers Classics and original KSO staging a comeback?
First off, Vibram will be reintroducing the Classic and KSO for the 10th anniversary of Five Fingers. They are tried and true models that have been beloved best sellers in the past. I am sure that many people will be excited for the limited return of the Classics, which have been very popular on eBay in the years since their removal from the Vibram Lineup.
(Unfortunately, both the KSO and Classics will only be available in Gorilla feet colors black).
We are excited to see old favorites return, but wish that the Speeds were included in the reintroduction as well as the Sprints. We would also like more colors as black is not the most flattering color for toe shoes. Straight black is a bit too Adam Sandler for our tastes.
Alongside the limited reintroduction of the KSO and Classic, we have a few brand new models to look forward to in 2015 and 2016!
FiveFingers Bikila EVO 2
First off, we have the FiveFingers Bikila EVO 2. The Bikila line has always been the dedicated mid-to-long distance runner for Vibram (my personal favorite was the Bikila LS) and the updated EVO 2 features as softer upper that is perforated for breathability and moisture control. It also seems to be lighter than its predecessor and with a thinner sole. The BRIGHT neon colors continue with this update.
The Bikila EVO is much lighter and more flexible than the old Bikila and Bikila LS that it replaces, but some people had issues with the narrower fit, the looser heel, and the lack of a padded ankle section. However, the EVO's hybrid rubber/eva sole has proven itself to be even more durable than the TC-1 sole of the original Bikila, so we are happy that the EVO 2 will retain that same sole. I am also glad that the sole is thinner. Hopefully, this will transfer to better ground feel.
The uppers in the EVO were a bit scratchier than the coconut active uppers of the original Bikila and Bikila LS, so we look forward to an improved upper with less Vibram funk.
FiveFingers Spyridon MR Elite
Next up, we have a new model for the most die hard mud-runners, the FiveFingers Spyridon MR Elite. Vibram is the official sponsor of the Warrior Dash and they are really focusing on that type of activity with the Elite. It features an in-step “brace” and a higher cuff and collar. The Elite features the same water-repellent properties as the MR.
I am wondering if the step brace hinders flexibility during mud running. The higher collar is interesting, but honestly when things get dirty and muddy--and they usually do with a pair of Spyridons--having a high collar does not really matter because everything is messy anyways.
FiveFingers KMD Sport LS
Interestingly enough, KMD Sport LS (The shoe originally known as the KomodoSport LS, reviewed here) soldiers on for its fifth year. It was joined with the KMD EVO in 2015 and I actually prefer the older KMD (or Komodo) design for the gym.
Note: The Seeya twins do not make a return as they have been basically replaced by the featherweight EL-X, jack-of-all-trades KSO EVO, road-specific and Bikila EVO for fitness and road duties. I wish that Vibram would release a Seeya EVO or something along those lines; slotting in between the KSO EVO and the Bikila EVO 2.
FiveFingers Trek Ascent Insulated
Replacing the Bikila EVO WP and Lontra, we have the FiveFingers Trek Ascent Insulated. The Trek Ascent was a new model last year and this insulated version is actually launching with the Fall 2015 line of FiveFingers, which means it should drop pretty soon. The FiveFingers Trek Ascent Insulated features the same Ice Trek rubber as the EVO WP, but in a warmer shoe. The threads of the Trek are also better suited for snow than the WP, so this is a welcome change. Our review of the Bikila EVO WP was rather mixed, so we are excited for this new attempt at a snow five finger shoe.
Lastly, we have one for the ladies. The FiveFingers Vi-S is a casual five finger model that features a mostly open design and the same sole as the female version of the KSO EVO. This same sole is also used for the female-only Alitza, and Vi-B.
Thoughts on the 2015 Line
Being a barefoot road runner, I am most excited for the Bikila EVO 2. I’m interested to see if it sways me away from huaraches next year.
Which new Vibram model are you most excited about? Tell us in the comments!