Comment from: Mountain Evan Chang [Visitor]
Mountain Evan Chang

"Reminder two: it's important not to get wound up too much about shoes!"

I made the Primal Professional because I get too wound up about shoes. And this...this has me wound up like a http://www.mariowiki.com/File:BobombNSMBU.png !

01/14/13 @ 17:06
Comment from: JC [Visitor]
JC

I always said that five fingered shoes would ultimately become a gimmick. Their real advantage (at first) was that they were minimalist... they just happened to have five separate toe compartments. But they have been going in the direction of traditional shoes that have five separate toes. There's no advantage at that point. These may be an extreme example, but that is the direction vibram has been going for the last few years, and why they've lost me as a customer (well, that and the funk).

01/14/13 @ 17:09
Comment from: Kim Sorgente [Visitor]
Kim Sorgente

The new Vibram "concept shoes" are actually not a new concept. The are selling out when they don't have to. The revolutionary concept was the original KSO's design. It may take years for it to catch on but that's the amazing innovation. Back to basics Vibram!

01/14/13 @ 17:15
Comment from: admin [Member]  

@JC,

While these are clearly more like a traditional shoe, I disagree that there's some linearity in the direction Vibram has been taking FiveFingers (towards more traditional shoes). The SeeYa and El-X are both as minimal as the original FiveFingers. I'd argue the El-X is on par or better than a pair of Classics. Even the Spyridon sole is, in my opinion, more minimalist than the original Trek sole (though that one gets a little more murky due to the "cocoon" tech in the Spyri soles). My point is: it's not linear. I'd say it's more diverse -- so more extended in both directions (some more minimalist, some less minimalist).

01/14/13 @ 17:16
Comment from: Peggy [Visitor]
Peggy

I like the Chewbacca ones! I have lots of 5 Fingers but they are hard to wear in the cold...even with socks.

01/14/13 @ 17:20
Comment from: dino2 [Visitor]
dino2

vibram just want to make their shoes
look more like normal ones.
they are willing to lose the "barefoot" standard, focusing more on how the
shoes LOOK.
see the RASIED TOE POCKETS.
as justin said it's a serious no-go.

but that's o.k since we already have our
trusty kso's.

01/14/13 @ 18:13
Comment from: Vitor [Visitor]
Vitor

Funny story, I have a KSO that is collecting dust because I could never get used to the arch pressure it has.

01/14/13 @ 20:23
Comment from: Michael Banaag [Visitor]
Michael Banaag

Well...maybe now we know why Post decided to leave Vibram???

01/14/13 @ 20:55
Comment from: Rick [Visitor]
Rick

What's all the hubbub, bub? It's not like everything else is being discontinued in favor of one crazy new style. It's just one more option in what is already a pretty diverse line of shoes. I think the "sneaker" is kind of interesting, and will give it a go if I get the chance. I like options. But, that's just me. Keeping an open mind.

01/14/13 @ 21:19
Comment from: jbierling [Visitor]  
jbierling

@JC
> five separate toes. There's no advantage at that point

I disagree. VFFs are wider in the forefoot than most (all?) other minimal shoes. They can be -- they don't have to be artificially narrow to prevent your foot from swimming around inside the shoe.

I prefer running in the VFF Lontras vs any other minimalist shoe that does not have toe pockets. Yes, the sole is thick, but the fact that my toes are "out there" allows them to grip and feel the ground. That makes all the difference.

01/14/13 @ 21:21
Comment from: Richard [Visitor]
Richard

While I really don"t care for the design of these shoes, I am hoping that it will be a platform other shoe companies can build on. With winter now finally arriving in Germany, my Merrell Tough Gloves are getting harder and harder to wear when the temperature drops below freezing.

Should a company like Merrell come out with a winter boot that offers at least some sense of barefoot walking, I would be very interested.

On a side note, I'd be curious to see if someone can composite an aerogel layer onto a pair of barefoot shoes for the ultimate winter shoe.

01/15/13 @ 03:20
Comment from: Ron [Visitor]
Ron

This looks silly to me.
Who will buy these shoes? Not the barefoot-guys (I will not buy a shoe with such thick soles), and not the "normal" people (they don't like the toes).

01/15/13 @ 04:24
Comment from: JC [Visitor]
JC

@jbierling
Many other minimalist shoes are available without an artificially narrow toe box. Obviously with the five toe pockets the VFFs can't be made narrow, but some shoes like the Merrell barefoot line, are quite wide. After decades of searching for wide enough shoes, there are now plenty on the market, and aren't just "wide" versions of their regular shoes; they just have a toe box designed for humans. And BTW I think there's no denying that Xero Shoes have VFFs beat in the forefoot width department.

01/15/13 @ 05:01
Comment from: Derpy Hooves [Visitor]
Derpy Hooves

These soles bring up an inevitable question: has Vibram jumped the shark?
The future of Vibram FiveFingers. [...] Reminder two: it's important not to get wound up too much about shoes!

It's a little ironic to see these two statements right after each other... ;)

But in all seriousness, if Vibram wants to reach out and diversify, more power to them. Myself, I wear all sorts of shoes, from lightweight Vibrams to a pair of winter boots that weigh almost 2 kg; if these'll indeed be made, I'll be happy to give them a try and see if they're for me, or if they're not.

As long as Vibram doesn't neglect the "minimalist" market where, IMO, they still have the best offering by far, I'm not gonna mind them making other shoes as well. And remember, they ARE a sole company, and building thicker soles is part of what they've always done.

Also, FiveFinger fur boots? Applebuckin' yes.

01/15/13 @ 07:00
Comment from: Larue [Visitor]
Larue

Is this why I can't get my all black El-X?? They're too busy experimenting?? A little disappointing but it's not my company.

01/15/13 @ 08:29
Comment from: Steven [Visitor]
Steven

These shoes are not for me, but come on everybody let VFF branch out if they want to. Heaven forbid toe shoes should ever become fashion forward and acceptable. Personally I don't want them to die out as a fad, I'd rather them become socially accepted and normal. If they keep showing up in fashion shows and become accepted by casual wearers I don't want them to lose popularity and disappear.

01/15/13 @ 08:36
Comment from: Meredith [Visitor]
Meredith

These might actually work for me. After almost a year of wearing minimalist shoes (Vibrams, Stem/Lemings), I developed acute arch pain and a doctor told me that with my very flat foot and accessory navicular, that I needed arch support and should go back to the shoes I was wearing before the pain started. (And yes, the pain went away when i returned to the blocky running shoes I started with) But I hated cremping my toes up and couldn't find any supportive, elevated heel shoes that had a wide enough toe box to let my toes flex and spread out. This might be the perfect medium for those of us that can't go 'barefoot' or for those looking to transition more slowly. Give them a chance.

01/15/13 @ 08:51
Comment from: jbierling [Visitor]
jbierling

@JC
I happen to be wearing the Merrell barefoot (toughglove) right now. Not as wide. The ground "feel" is also inferior to any VFF (perhaps a harder/tougher Vibram sole?).

Compared to the Xero sandles (of which I have a pair too), VFF are better for running because they grip/encase your foot better. I feel more barefoot with VFF than with the "Huaraches" which tend to move around a bit more and is more distracting.

I really wanted to use the "Huarache" and Merrell footwear more, but I've kept going back to my various VFFs.

01/15/13 @ 09:50
Comment from: Phil [Visitor]
Phil

I kind of have to agree with JC, the classics and the sprints were the VFF that drew me in at the start but they quickly fazed those out for newer designs and I'm not really happy with whats out there. It seems to me that the classics and sprints were the easiest place for someone new to the VFF line to start but now they are gone. I hope they aren't just changing things up so that they can charge more for the newer designs because it kind of feels that way.

01/15/13 @ 10:50
Comment from: Dan [Visitor]
Dan

I don't think I will buy one, but I personally am trying to find a little cushioned "minimal" shoe for backpacking with 40+ lbs of gear on a section hike. I hate wearing the bulky hiking shoes that restrict movement. I end up having sore knees and tripping because of little ground feel and stiff movement. But if any of you have backpacked before in the mountains, cushion is nice sometimes.

I day hike in Merrell Trail Gloves; Tough Gloves if it is cold. But even these are deficient in super cold and super rocky hiking. If the purpose of the higher platform is to have a "minimal"-ist hiking boot, I am more interested. By the way, I walk around in classics all the time and have 2 years of short distance minimal running under my belt, but I still am unsure of thru-hiking with minimal shoes.

01/15/13 @ 11:22
Comment from: Dan [Visitor]
Dan

As a Tough Glove enthusiast for running in the cold, I would have to agree with Richard here. Minimal/barefoot shoes are really nice except in the middle of winter. I have run in classics in the winter before and you run good despite the cold at first, but once your feet get numb from cold, your gait and form can change a bit imperceptibly but enough to notice later on.

In the winter, I sometimes switch to running flats, but if they made some innovation for the extreme cold, I would be all over it.

01/15/13 @ 11:28
Comment from: markus gerat [Visitor]
markus gerat

i don't like those! i am shocked, to be honest.

01/15/13 @ 15:10
Comment from: JC [Visitor]
JC

@jbierling,
I'm glad if the VFFs work for you and you enjoy them for whatever reason, but claiming they feel more "barefoot" because they "encase your foot" better is kind of an oxymoron. If the huaraches are moving around you don't have them tied correctly. As for the Merrells, the ones I have are thinner than many of the VFFs.
As a final note, my favorite "shoes," none, definitely feel barefoot, are very stable, do not rattle around, are extremely thin, have an incredibly wide toebox, and are not the least bit distracting.

01/15/13 @ 18:50
Comment from: buki [Visitor]
buki

I would call these a hybrid vff shoe.
It has the general shape of the original fivefingers but it lacks clean barefoot properties.
that's a good thing for some people that
may feel unprotected wearing the original vff.

now they have a vff that feels more like their
normal shoes yet partly uses some ff elements.

01/16/13 @ 04:46
Comment from: Asa Valen [Visitor]
Asa Valen

I can see markets for these, but I would keep them separate and divided not to allow intermixing. 1.The Sports / Minimalist, 2. The Causal/ Novelist, and a field not yet tested, 3. The Comfort / Working Division. There is room at least for the the people that are service workers on there feet all day. Could be wrong but it's a thought.

01/16/13 @ 16:10
Comment from: Fran [Visitor]
Fran

I agree with JC. IT seems to me that Vibram has more mainstream aspirations. I say more power to them, but I can't walk barefoot down that path with them.

I'll never forget the first time I purchased a pair of minimalist kicks: They were the Bikila LS. They were the most comfortable shoe I had ever worn, and I wore them out of the store, and everyday after until they finally died on me.

That was a sweet and more innocent time for me in my minimalist shoe evolution. I now wear pretty much anything Soft Star makes for casual wear, and Sockwa for running. I'm sure I'll incorporate others shoemakers' products on my feet, but I doubt there's anything Vibram can do to lure me back. I now see Vibram as a good transition brand for minimalist footwear, but the well goes much deeper for those who truly want to pamper their feet with the most threadbare of shoes.

01/16/13 @ 22:25
Comment from: beachbum [Visitor]
beachbum

I'd like to know more about the boots. Sure I'm not crazy about the arch, BUT are they weather/waterproof? These might be good in extremely cold weather, trudging through snow and ice. A little extra sole doesn't hurt in extreme weather conditions. If that, then yes I would get a pair.

Uh... Keep the Chewbacca feet tho. Give the Wookie back his legs! And let him win!

01/16/13 @ 23:20
Comment from: Ide Cyan [Visitor]
Ide Cyan

As much as I would love tall VFFs boots suitable for Canadian winter weather, these aren't the way to go. Heel lift and toe spring? Urgh. No! A world of no! I just bought some flat (Vibram-soled!) mukluks to replace my old boots that had heel lift and foot-deforming padding, and the feel of my feet being level on the ground again is truly wonderful.

01/17/13 @ 01:44
Comment from: A C C [Visitor]
A C C

Wow a terrible way to go, Vibram.

The boot is attempting to be casual but with NEON green accents. That makes no sense. It also doesn't make sense that there is arch support and heel lift. Personally, my midfoot doesn't even fit VFFs that much. There is a bit of overhang which is why my midfoot touches the indentation on the Trek sole where it goes in a bit on the pinky side of the shoe.

The Bormio cut was perfect, it just needed more flex in the upper as soon as you get it akin to the Lontra's gaiter thing.

I already lament at the toe spring on my Bikila LS...your toes don't touch the ground completely unlike every other VFF sole.

The Spyridon sole with a Komodosport insole but made of insulating material instead of foam, is the best way to go about making a winter VFF. It has better ground feel than the Trek sole and more "protection" without sacrificing groundfeel.

I am eagerly awaiting the black EL-X because that's the direction VFF should be headed (albeit a laced version akin to the Seeya LS would be nice but I'm not going to nitpick *that* much). We (or at least I) want muted colors and less outlandish colorways, toe shoes are flashy enough as it is.

Look at Adidas Adipure trainer 1.1, New Balance Minimus, and the Merrell Barefoot line. They are attempting to take up the market that VFF is leaving.

01/17/13 @ 14:36
Comment from: heidi [Visitor]
heidi

I find it odd that a company which is familiar with the benefits of forefoot strike in running would promote a shoe specifically designed to support a heel strike when walking. Why would it be biomechanically better to walk one way and run another? This just really bothers me. I would so like to see any shoe company come up with a minimalist walking shoe 9meantime, I'll be walking in minimal running shoes). Otherwise, I like the boot look, it just needs to be zero drop.

01/20/13 @ 20:36
Comment from: Justin [Visitor]
Justin

Dan you for a little cushion you might look into Newton Running or Brooks PureProject both have 4mm or less heel to toe options but still provide some cushion for when hitting the trails and asphalt. I am a big support of Vibram. I have worn mutiple minimalist shoes since 2009 and I still find that a 5k is the furthest I can go without a little thickness underneath. However, just bc you have some thickeness doesn't mean they have to be bulky and heavy.

01/23/13 @ 00:33
Comment from: Caleb from Tyler, TX [Visitor]
Caleb from Tyler, TX

There appears to be two main directions Vibram can and will hopefully take in the near future. The first being what we see here. A grasp toward fashion minded people. The other direction, which can exist simultaneously is a lunge toward practicality and functionality. From this point of view there is no need for this boot unless you want higher water protection. I would suggest that Vibram also provide certain "addon" products that can supplement their Vibram shoes, such as, a winter mukluk slip-on that fits over your shoes. I'm personally searching desperately for a solution that will allow me to use my Vibrams while hunting during the winter months. Therefore I suggest that if Vibram produces a boot....it should be insulated against water and cold weather. But, I digress. Vibram has always innovated and created new products. I look forward to whatever they create. In the mean time I will learn to make my own winter Mukluk slip on. Vibram's are made for people like me.

02/21/13 @ 22:55
Comment from: Michelle [Visitor]  
Michelle

Finally! This is what I need. I wear the FiveFingers for the sake of the toes and the toe spread. I do not wear them for the barefoot experience. I need the separate toes because I have a Morton's neuroma and these are the only shoes I can wear pain free! But I want and need arch support and I have cold feet so I want a regular type shoe! I am all over this idea! I hope it proceeds from just a concept to reality. Sign me up!

04/09/14 @ 18:22
Comment from: Frankiethechip [Visitor]
Frankiethechip

Great comments from everyone, much appreciated to hear diverse opinions, I can only comment about the people here in Florida. Everyone here loves five fingers in almost any model they make, obviously our weather is an additive for wearing these shoes but I do respect everyone's opinion. Personally I hope Vibram keeps making five fingers and creates even more radical models, remember everything's great under the Sun, except skin cancer.

07/11/14 @ 21:43

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