Be sure and check out the Vibram Five Fingers KSO Trek review!
The review covers the KSO Trek's design (sole attributes and thickness), aesthetic, performance, fit, and more. You can read it by going here.
Note: the "Glove" is actually called the Five Fingers Moc, which is for men (or the Five Fingers Performa which is for women).
Robert ("allawayr" on the forums) made a fortuitous discovery yesterday: two new models of Vibram Five Fingers are slated for production, and reservations are being taken for them by at least one fivefingers seller, voycontigo.de, a German retailer. The two new models are the Glove and the Trek.
The Vibram Five Fingers Glove:
The Glove per voycontigo.de — As translated per Google and re-worded/edited by me to make a bit more sense:
The toe shoe: Leather Glove
The model "Glove" is made of high quality Kangaroo leather that is like a second skin that adapts to your foot. The still thinner Vibram sole makes the Fivefingers "Glove" the easiest toe shoe of all time. For those who want to have an even greater barefoot feeling, this model will serve you best. It is particularly well suited for indoor activities like yoga, fitness [?], Pilates or simply barefoot training on a normal surface. The "Glove" is offered in black, blue, violet and red.
The Glove model is similar to the Five Fingers Classic. It is open and the heel is secured with an adjustable elastic band. If you are interested in this model please make a reservation with us! Shoes available around September 2009. Price 179,90 EUR (incl. 19% VAT excl.)
Two things stand out to me about the Glove. One is that the "still thinner Vibram sole" is now jointed, providing rubber protection only on the heel, the ball of the foot, and on each toe. This is particularly cool because the spaces in between (e.g. the arch of the foot, the little arches between midfoot and the ends of each toe) are where your foot flexes and bends. Having no sole between your midfoot and each toe means that the Glove will likely allow you even greater toe articulation.
The second thing that stands out is that the Glove has a "kangaroo leather" shell with mini-breathing holes — you know, like a typical glove you'd wear on your hand. It'll be interesting to see how this leather breathes.
Of course, at nearly $250+ (180 EUR to USD), I'm not sure I'm going to have the pleasure of trying out the Vibram FiveFingers Glove out any time soon!
The Vibram Five Fingers KSO Trek
The Trek per voycontigo.de — As translated per Google and edited by me:
The toe shoe: Leather Trek
The "Trek" is made from high quality suede and finally makes the Fivefingers a year-round shoe. The sole of the Fivefingers "Trek" is designed to allow for use in difficult terrain. The quality leather processing makes use in the mountains or winter bearable: the heat insulation is significantly better in the Trek than for all other models. The Trek is available in black or brown.
The Trek model is similar to the KSO. It is closed on top and secures with an adjustable buckle. If you are interested in this model please make a reservation with us! Shoes available around September 2009. Price 184.90 EUR (incl. 19% VAT excl.)
Raise your foot if you expected Vibram to release a fivefingers model with a more complex gripping design on the sole. Yeah, me too. Vibram has been making your typical hiking boot soles for decades (Just a few Vibram sole examples per Google image search), so releasing a VFF model with a more "grippy" (In theory, anyway) sole seemed like a given, and here it is.
The suede upper of the Trek looks like it shares the same cut as the VFF Flow. Like the Glove, the Trek is another first for fivefingers in the leather department. The suede apparently has some significant insulating properties, making the Trek quite possibly the warmest VFF model yet.
But also like the Glove, the Trek has a hefty pricetag ($250+), so if anyone wants to donate a pair to birthdayshoes.com, email me!
All in all, this is great news for VFFers. Not that we didn't suspect this in the first place, but more product innovation by Vibram means that our beloved barefoot shoes are here to stay — and they're getting better (well, more options, anyway) all the time!
Update 11:54 A.M. EST: I contacted Vibram USA with a request for some official word on these two new fivefinger offerings, but in keeping with their company policy, they "usually don't pre-release any information regarding new models unless it is officially through [their] website" or via some media publication. However, I got the hint to "be on the lookout" in September. Yay!
Update 2:15 P.M. EST: Just got a comment from Barefoot Ted, who is a mainstay in the barefooting community (He's in at least a couple of the YouTube videos to the right). Ted has actually been testing the Five Fingers Trek! Here's what he had to say:
I am currently testing the Trek and am VERY impressed with this shoe as a long-distance trail shoe.
Have you ever run 100 miles through the mountains in a pair of VFFs? I have. It gets tough...especially at night when you are tired on rocky ground.
The people at Vibram are thinking deeply about what they are doing...trying to preserve the flexibility and feel that is necessary for tapping into the incredible system of movement we have inherited from our ancestors while at the same time facilitating a more comfortable ride...just like all great indigenous hunter/gathering footwear does...less is more...but enough is good...and in certain terrains, this shoe will be a great solution...and is sure to help continue the amazing footwear paradigm shift we are currently witnessing.
In the end, I want to encourage people to barefoot when and where they can...the growing popularity of the VFF continues to demonstrate...in my mind...the ultimate validity of the foot as-it-is. The biomechanics fo the foot are preserved and not hindered. Warmth and a little protection from the harshness of certain trail realities...thank you Vibram.
On the Minimalist Runner Google Group, Ted also noted that the Treks weigh in at a paltry 5.5 oz. He also says a bit more about the soles:
The sole is designed for trails...with a stronger material to prevent rock bruising. 5.5 ounces. Rugged. Definitely better traction for rocky, steep trails. It is kind of like my dream trail FF.
Very exciting stuff!
Other posts regarding new Vibram FiveFingers models: