Comment from: Roger Lerner [Visitor]  
Roger Lerner

What would you say is the best VFF trail shoe right now. I love the original bikla particularly for track work, and lifting, but it's too minimalist for trails and rocks. What would you suggest
Roger Lerner

01/29/14 @ 11:19
Comment from: Lisa [Visitor]
Lisa

I'm a fan of the older earthy or jewel colors, not these neon Post-It-Note colors. (I can see the logic in offering maybe one neon hi-vis running model.) Why do they keep adding PINK for 'girl' models?? What are we, Barbie doll mall tweens?? I have no neon pink clothes at all, not do my grown daughters.

But colors aside, I won't ever buy Vibrams with the lace-up top. Looks too much like SNEAKERS. I've had these stretch elastic laces on other shoes, and wind up fussing with them too much, trying to get them even, and they keep slowly slipping looser. Give me the strong reliable Velcro straps every time.

I own about 8 pairs of Vibrams (all velcro-strapped) which I LOOOVE, and I'll just have to stay with them until one day Vibram stops making neon/pink/lace-up sneakers.

01/29/14 @ 11:35
Comment from: admin [Member]  

@Lisa,

In almost every case, laced Vibrams fit better to the unique feet of wearers relative to velcro -- this is because laces allow for a more custom "wrap" over the top of the foot. There are good reasons (functional) reasons why shoes use laces most of the time. Vibrams are shoes so it's not surprising that Vibram would use laces on them.

01/29/14 @ 11:41
Comment from: Ted_S [Visitor]
Ted_S

Thanks for the detailed testing of how the Bikila EVO functions. I still use the original Bikila for running on pavement. Both the Bikila LS and the original SeeYa seemed too likely to come off the heel on sharp turns during out-and-back or back-and-forth runs.

I do use the SeeYa LS as an all-around gym shoe, including cardio machines. But I don't like the stiff fabric that tears over my bunions rather than stretches.

One reason I prefer the original Bikila for running, (and the original, Velcro strap version of the Spyridon for trail running and hiking), is that the top fabric is sufficiently stretchy that I can wear a size that is the correct length. On models with limited fabric stretch, such as the SeeYa LS and the Speed, I have to size up to accommodate my wide forefeet.

Where is the new Bikila EVO in terms of relative stretchiness?
Does the added material on the top limit stretch, as it does on the Speed?

01/29/14 @ 12:59
Comment from: tim [Member]  

@Roger, I'd go with the Spyridon for trail running. A slightly thicker sole with considerably more tread. The TrekSport would be my second choice.

01/29/14 @ 13:09
Comment from: Nugget [Visitor]
Nugget

I've got about 2200 miles on my main running shoes, a pair of Bikila LS that I bought a few years ago. The last thing I want or need is a stiffer or harder sole. Guess it's time to stock up on the old shoes while they're still available.

01/30/14 @ 03:16
Comment from: Roger Lerner [Visitor]
Roger Lerner

Thanks Tim.

01/30/14 @ 07:37
Comment from: A C C [Visitor]
A C C

That heel cup is way too low for me. Even the Bikila LS heel cup doesn't even reach my ankle so there's slack.

Also lateral grip is an issue? You mention that it is not suitable for side to side motion.

I don't see how this is a good addition to the lineup , the komodosport / KMD sport LS added comfort (insole) and lateral grip but the upper is pretty tight. A Bikila LS type upper on a kmd sport LS sole would be neat.

02/08/14 @ 18:10
Comment from: juha [Visitor]
juha

So, Bikila Evo is bad for trail running because reviewer believes so, without actually testing it? There are many shoes that seem to be bad, until you actually test them.

02/12/14 @ 02:51
Comment from: the bullet [Visitor]
the bullet

so have they discontinued the original Bikila for good? I should have stocked up. :(

02/12/14 @ 16:01
Comment from: Ted_S [Visitor]
Ted_S

I just tried the Bikila Evo. The heel is indeed terrible. The shoe looks unbalanced with such a small heel. Any sideways force and my heel slides out of the shoe. But I also noticed this with the Bikila LS. My primary running shoe remains the original Bikila, which has a comfortably solid fit and conforms well to my feet. However, unless a cashe of the original Bikalas turns up somewhere, I'll probably end up getting these when my current pair of the original Bikila disintegrates. I can't readily wear other options for longer runs, such as the SeeYa LS, because the non-stretch fabric doesn't work with my wide feet.

02/16/14 @ 00:55
Comment from: Adam B [Visitor]
Adam B

Ordered my pair of Bikila EVO in Black, size M39 from Vibram.

I was glad I did not have to get them in Blue!

These feel lighter and seem substantially "less" shoe than the Bikila LS. They also fit much more snug than the LS. The upper material is substantially lighter & thinner than the LS model.

I did not have issues with the revised heel - it fit snug and tight and felt much more secure than the Bikila LS did. Keep in mind, I have very wide feet. In fact, I have less trouble with small rocks getting into this show, than with the LS. Perhaps this model is just sized a little less than the original Bikila. Regardless, I actually like the hell better.

The ride is certainly different. There is definitely cushion there and it is less jarring than my LS or EL-X models for sure.

I just hope durability will be good. Only time will tell. My only negative so far is the price.

02/21/14 @ 16:15
Comment from: JP [Visitor]
JP

With the new vff out now what would you recommend for a triathlon or more specific a half ironman?

03/20/14 @ 13:18
Comment from: tim [Member]  

@JP - I'd say that SeeyaLS or Bikila EVO are probably your best bet. IF you want to go even more minimal then the EL-X could be a good option and you won't have to worry about messing with a lacing system in Transition 2.

03/27/14 @ 10:53
Comment from: Cristina [Visitor]  
Cristina

Hi!
I just picked these up today and I have to say I am in love with them! I am not a runner I do a lot of hiking, walking and jogging. I bought these because i do the walk for hunger in Boston which is a 20 mile walk. I was wearing the KMD sport which in loved as well. I tried the KMD sport ls and I did not like them at all. I tried on quite a few of the vibrams and these were the only ones that came the closest in my opinion to feeling like my KMD's. I feel they fit perfectly.. My feet are small though (36) I don't feel like my ankle will come either. I don't like the new lace up system I prefer the strap which I found odd that I loved the feel in these as much as I do! I am looking into a hiking one.. I actually hiked a mountain in my KMD sports with no problem but I don't believe I will try them in these. Thoughts on a good one? The staff were surprised that I did not like the KMD sport ls but it felt so different to me.
Thank you for all your reviews!

04/12/14 @ 18:59
Comment from: hilk [Visitor]
hilk

The fit is definitely not the same as in older models, at least in womens sizes. I have the original Bikila as well as KSO, and both fit significantly wider than the new Bikila EVO and KSO EVO. This is something to consider if you have wide feet. I do, and while I could put the Bikila EVOs on, they felt a bit too tigth and resticting at the forefoot, so I didn't buy them. Unfortunately.

05/15/14 @ 10:05
Comment from: Reemi [Visitor]
Reemi

Bought the Bikila EVO's without reading the review and all the comments. My first impression in the store was excitement about how snug and light they felt on my feet. I m using them for 3-5 M run a day, mostly on grass or trails and a little bit on the road. The only thing that is bothering is the blue paint (from the bright blue color) that is staining my feet even after washing them 2 times.
I've not any problem with the heel coming off my feet. After ran in them for 2 weeks I still love that feel of snugness around my feet. And yes they are pricey. Hope they are lasting for a year or so.
Thank you for all the comments!

08/30/14 @ 17:40
Comment from: George [Visitor]
George

I just tried on the new Bikila Evo at REI, since my Bikila LS are wearing out. I really have mixed feelings about the Evo.

On the one hand, it really fit well. The longer toes are an advantage for me, since my toes grazed the ends in the LS a bit much, at first, but I definitely did not want to go a size larger. And the upper part of the shoe is so light weight and form fitting, it's great. For me the EVO really fit like a glove and because of the super lightweight upper they seemed much more minimal than the LS. In hot environments they seemed like they would breath really well. Because they fit so snugly, I also had no sense that the heel might come off (this has also never been an issue for me with the LS). I think if people have a problem with the heel sliding off, they probably need a smaller size.

So that's what seemed good to me.

On the other hand, the sole definitely feels thicker than the LS. The review says the difference between 7 mm and 8.5 mm is splitting hairs. I disagree, 1.5 mm is not trivial when talking about one's sense of touch and connection with the ground. Think of the differene between touching something with bare skin or with 1.5 mm of material between your skin and what you're touching. And extra 1.5 mm to the sole will, I think, cause precisely that much more loss of sensation.

I also think, looking at the overall thickness, that including the insole is the wrong way to look at it. The insole is a softer, squishier material, which will flatten out and add less to the overall feeling of the thickness of the sole in the long run. So if one excludes the insole, then the EVO has 6.5 mm sole total, whereas the LS has 4 mm of sole. That's a more than 60% increase. That to me is not trivial.

I could really feel it running around in the store. There's just more material there. It's not the same as the LS. Also, the sole feels more like one solid plank between my foot and the ground. The LS, with it's separate rubber pads has more of an articulated quality to it.

In addition, the point about the toes being able to curl down in the EVO (which I guess Vibram is promoting in the press material they send out with the shoe, because I bunch of articles made a point of mentioning it) seems more like form than function. Yes, when you hold the shoe in your hands, the toes flex downward more than the LS and other Vibrams. But once you have the shoe on your foot, because of the construction of the overall shoe, I at least could not curl my toes down at all.

Lastly, it seems like the heel is particularly thicker than the LS. It made me wonder if the shoe really is zero drop. I didn't like that.

I can also imagine, as some have suggested, that the lighter weight upper, though comfortable, will wear out quickly, which is not inspiring given that the price on the shoe went up $20.

Anyway, so I'm torn about the Bikila EVO. It both feels more minimal (in the upper) and less minimal (in the sole). It did also fit me great. I'd be curious how it really feels on the trails where I normally run. But I'm not sure I'm prepared to do a $120 experiment. As it is, the LS is on sale for half that price, so I just bought another pair while they're still around. Maybe when that pair wears out the EVO will be a little cheaper.

It does seem like something is missing in the Vibram line up now, despite there being so many different shoes. There's nothing really between the most minimal soles of things like the KSO and the more maximal soles of the KMD, TrekSport, etc. For me the LS hit a nice middle ground.

09/02/14 @ 21:25
Comment from: George [Visitor]
George

I got my new pair of Bikila LS in the mail (of which Vibram seems to be selling out the remaining stock). It was interesting comparing them to my experience trying on the Bikila EVO at REI (since my old pair of the LS are quite worn, though still functional). I want to revise a few things I said above.

I was struck by how well the new pair of Bikila LS fit. They really were snug like a glove, just like the EVO was in the store. So I would not say that when new the EVO fits any better in that sense. Perhaps the LS and EVO are made on the same last and fit my foot particularly well for that reason.

It is true that my longest toe presses a bit more than I'd like against the end of the toe pocket in the LS, as I remembered from when I got my first pair. But I know from my old pair of the LS that this went away after not very long. Perhaps my old pair of the LS have stretched a bit. So the EVO toes fit a little better right off the bat, whether that will lead to a looser shoe in the long run or not, I don't know. I think there is a trade off between having one's toes press against the end of the toe pockets a bit and having extra material flapping out in front of one's toes, which I really don't want. Unless a shoes just happens to fit you prefectly in every way to begin with.

As many have noted there is clearly a lot more material to the upper in the LS, as compared to the EVO, so as far as streching goes I wonder if that means the LS will hold their form better over the long haul.

The sole on the LS, when new, is a little thicker than I remembered. Still not as thick as the EVO, but the difference is not as noticeable. I do think the LS has better feel for the ground in the forefoot, when new. Also, my comment above holds true, that the EVO sole is more of one solid plank, giving it a stiffer overall feel, whereas the LS with it's separate pads allows for more flexing in different directions and a more articulated feel.

In the end, it seems to me like the EVO is not so much an "evolution" of the Bikila as a slightly different idea of a shoe. It has a super lightweight low cut upper, which feels nice and may breath really well, but possibly is not as appropriate for trail running as the LS. And it has a thicker sole which ironically might provide more protection from rocks on trails, but seems more aimed at beginner five fingers runners who don't want too much ground feedback.

Ultimately it seems a little odd to me that Vibram decided to simultaneously make the upper much more minimal and lightweight and the sole thicker and more sturdy. It makes the Bikila less of an inbetween shoe (between the most minimal shoes and the shoes more specifically intended for trails). I guess Vibram wanted to make the overall shoe lighter, while also thickening up the sole a bit, and this is how they got there. But the end result doesn't entirely make sense to me.

I'm not saying the EVO isn't a nice shoe. But I don't know that overall it makes as much sense as the LS. And if the lightweight upper turns out not to last as long, making the shoes both less durable and more expensive, that doesn't seem like a great equation for users.

09/08/14 @ 17:55
Comment from: kate [Visitor]
kate

Fantastic review -- all the details i needed to know to make an informed decision, thank you!

10/17/14 @ 01:31
Comment from: Mike H [Visitor]
Mike H

Any idea when the Bilka Evo WP will be released?

My beloved Speed XCs are totally worn down..and I need a replacement.

(Sorry if I'm slightly off-topic from the main review..)

10/24/14 @ 18:27