If you've been in the market for some old school FiveFingers lately, you may have noticed a few deals around the interwebs. One example: REI Outlet has the original grey/palm men's KSOs for about $50 and a couple of women's KSO colorways for $50, too (find both deals here).
What's the deal with these fantastic deals?
From what I can piece together, I'd speculate that Vibram wants to "clean house" on FiveFingers models and colorways they are discontinuing by allowing retailers to drop prices to "firesale" levels.
What models are affected?
Like I mentioned, there are basically two impacts at play here. One is to sell off old discontinued models. The other is to sell off discontinued colorways of ongoing models that will still be sold (in new or pre-existing colorways) going forward.
The biggest change to the Vibram ecosystem (as I see it) is that the original Classic and Sprint FiveFingers will no longer be in production by 2013. The leather KSO Trek is also, apparently, history (among a few others*). KSOs will still exist (for both men and women) but only in flat black. Yeah, it's a bummer, I know.
If there's a silver lining to these model discontinuations and colorway reductions, it's that it presents a chance to snag up some of these soon-to-be-history Vibrams at absurdly low prices.
Just take a look at these sales.
For the men, you have a chance to get the devil-red "KSO Remix" for a mere $40 (53% off). Or if you're up for a Fall-friendly, Halloween ready colorway, you can pick up black and orange KSOs for $50 (41% off). Meanwhile, women can grab the "Hawaiian Ocean" (blue) and grey Sprints for $36 (55% off). Oh and if you were wanting some men's black Classic FiveFingers, you can get them for $40 (47% off).
Here are the sizes available (and links to buy) as of midnight 8/14/2012 — each link takes you to the online retailer offering the steep discounts:
All orders over $49 ship free.
The retailer offering these deals is Travel Country — a long-time VFF supplier based out of Florida (I bought my first pair of Sprints and third pair of VFFs from them back in 2009 on a big sale off their website). I point this out because given the number of counterfeit online retailers of Vibrams offering fake FiveFingers at steep discounts, you might wonder about the legitimacy of this sale — TravelCountry is the real deal and they were one of the first supporters of this site, which is appreciated.
I'll wrap by saying "That's not all." If you are looking for more recently released Vibram FiveFingers models on sale, you can actually get the Spyridon LS or SeeYa on sale at TravelCountry, too, for 20-25% off. Check that and these other sales out — while they last.
Ultimately, while it's hard to pass up a good deal on a pair of VFFs, I think many of us will have mixed feelings about losing the FiveFingers models we "cut our teeth" on. I know it's silly to be sad about losing a style of shoes — toe shoes at that! — but it is what it is.
One last thing: if you want to find out when other minimalist shoes go on sale, be sure to subscribe by email.
* Other models that seem to have been nuked off the VFFsphere include the Jaya LR, Fresca, Bormio, and Trek LS.