The Vibram Five Fingers Speed (released May 2010 outside the U.S.; Released June 1 2011 to U.S.) is the first Vibram toe shoes to sport laces (Jump to posts on the Speed below!). It also has a distinct, retro-styling that is more reminiscent of a shoe than other Vibram Five Fingers models. This is all mounted onto the Vibram Bikila running sole. Like other Vibram Five Fingers models, the Speed has five separated toe compartments that allow the foot to splay on contact with the ground.
The Five Fingers Speed has no arch support and a minimal amount of cushioning or padding — it is slightly thicker than the Classic and Sprint due to it sporting the podded Bikila sole. However, the Speed does not have the Bikila's 3mm insole, lending it more ground feel than the Bikila.
Though the Speed can be used for running just like the Bikila, given it's stylish look the Speed is often being used simply to knock about town — and it's getting quite a warm reception from the non-VFF crowd (People seem to really like the look of it!).
The standout features of the Speed include:
- Laces. Having laces on top allow the wearer to dial in the fit to be "just right." May help those with "high feet" find a better fit.
- You get the great Bikila sole without the extra cushioning for a greater barefoot feel.
- The Speed is downright fashionable — especially according to people who aren't already "toeing" the Vibram Five Fingers line. They tend to go less noticed when worn "around town," but when they are noticed the reaction borders somewhere between "wow" and "awesome."
Sizing and fit
If you've never sized your foot for wearing Vibram Five Fingers, here is the Vibram sizing chart (image). The Speed fits like the Bikila, which seems to place it somewhere between the same size of KSO and Classic. So a 43 Speed would feel slightly larger than a 43 Classic and slightly smaller than a 43 KSO.
Generally, it is better to size up if you're in between sizes — you don't want your toes bending out of lack of room! Also, the Speed fits differently over the top of the foot due to the presence of a tongue and laces. It feels slightly more "built up" on top, but can still be worn barefoot. If you have particularly high arches or "high feet" and can't wear Bikilas comfortably, the Speed may be a solution since the tongue and laces allow for some customization of the fit on top of the toe shoes.
Read (and see!) more about the Five Fingers Speed via these reviews:
Okay, I want some Speeds. How much are they? Where can I get them?
The Speed runs at about a hundred bucks in the U.S. and can be picked up with free shipping from CitySports!
Looking for something else? Try one of these other Vibram Five Fingers models:
Of course, there are other barefoot shoes worth checking out!
More Vibram Five Fingers Speed posts below —