I found out last Sunday that Born to Run in Seattle Washington was having a Vibram FiveFingers Trunk Show. I promptly dropped what I was doing and headed down to check out what they had going on. The Local Vibram representative had brought in the 2012 Vibram FiveFingers and had them on display for all to see. Barefoot Ted was also there meeting people signing books as well as giving shoe and running advice.
While I was there I picked up a copy of Born to Run and had Ted sign the book for me. I also managed to grab some cool Vibram FiveFingers stuff. I thought I would put together a little contest/give-away for the site. For details on how to enter the contest read to the end of this article. You could end up winning a free signed copy of Born to run or some other cool VFF goodies.
I also took the time to snap some photographs of the new styles. If you are interested in reading about my first impressions on the new styles and seeing photographs of what is coming out in a couple of months then keep reading after the Jump!
Born to Run
A little background on the store. They have two locations in Washington state. One is located in Bellevue and the other is in downtown Seattle near the REI flagship store. The event I went to was at the Seattle store. The just opened the Seattle store a few months ago. It is a very nice wide open floor plan. I really like the new store's layout.
My go to place to buy FiveFingers in person is Born to Run in Bellevue. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable when it comes to minimalist shoes. It is also much closer to me than the Seattle store. I bought my first pair of VFF from them so I guess I have some loyalty. They did a fantastic job of sizing me in to my first pair of Bikila LS.
If you want to read more about Born to Run then you can check out their About Us page.
I had the opportunity to try on both of the new models they had on display. The first that I got my hands on was the SeeYa. The display models were a size 44 and I normally wear a size 42-43 so the fit was a little loose. I really like the feeling of the SeeYa when it is on foot. It feels extremely lightweight and minimal. I was shocked when I first tried them on, did not expect it to feel so flexible and light.
The plastic in the arch has a very rubbery/silicone like feel to it. I would compare it to one of those silicone cases you would put on your smart phone. I was worried that it might act like an arch support. The plastic material is so flexible that it gives and flexes with the shape of your foot quite well.
I really like the style of this shoe. It feels like a stripped down version of the Bikila (with the strap). It feels like they reduced the overall weight and replaced certain areas of the sole with a thinner flexible rubber. The strap on across the top of the foot is also nicely done. Feels quite minimal in comparison to the KSO strap.
I don't know how long these are going to hold up over time/mileage. I would imagine they will last quite a long time under normal road conditions. I think this could even be a good shoe for casual everyday wear while running errands. I know I will be picking up a pair... or two.
If you would like more information about the SeeYa check out our first impressions article.
The second shoe I tried on was the Spyridon LS. Keep in mind it was also a size 44 so the fit was a little loose on me. I was not as excited by these shoes just by the looks of them online. I was more impressed once I saw them in person. Once I tried them on though I got kind of pumped about them. They seem like they have a ton of potential.
The styling is very interesting. I like the stone texture on the side of the upper. It gives the shoe a nice “trail shoe” feeling. The lines that swoop down to the toe are also a nice touch. It kind of reminds me of the leather accents on the Jaya LR. The lacing system feels very similar to the KomodoSprt LS and the Bikila LS.
The sole is the most unique aspect of this shoe. I thought it would be quite thick and would have less ground feel than the KSO Trek sole... boy was I wrong. I would say the ground feel of this sole is somewhere between the regular KSO sole and the KSO Trek sole. They have included a layer of mesh material between the sole and the footbed. This is supposed to help absorb the impact of blunt objects and disperse it more widely across the foot.
For the short time I had the shoe on I decided to do a little unofficial experiment. I had the Spyridon LS on my right foot and my Bormio boot on my left foot. I walked over to the little rock walking display in the store and I started to stomp and jump around on the rocks. To my surprise the Spyridon LS has more ground feel than the Bormio boots do, while not compromising comfort.
I wanted to know how the mesh would help absorb the blunt force of a sharp rock. I found a place in the rock display that had a pointy rock. I stomped down hard on that part of the display with the heel of both shoes. Even though you have more ground feel I felt like the impact of the rock was comparable to the Bormio's Trek Sole impact. I do think that the mesh helped disperse some of the impact.
Now I can't wait to get my hands on pair of these. I am very interested to see just how well the mesh works during long trail walks. If they provide more ground feel then the KSO Trek but with better protection from bruising (because of the mesh) then these could become the go to shoe for trail runners, hikers, and the urban jungle.
I am very excited about the new styles that are coming out in February. It looks like we have two good options for minimalist enthusiasts. The SeeYa looks like a good response to those in the community who were wanting something even more minimal then the KSO. The Spyridon LS looks like an excellent option for people who want a more rugged shoe with out compromising too much ground feel.
You will have to forgive me. I forgot to take photos of the soles of the shoes. I got a bit excited while I was there and I totally forgot to take those shots. My apologies in neglecting to get those photos for the readers. So just in case you were wondering why no photos of the soles that is the reason. We will have more coverage of each of these shoes as we get closer to their release.
Contest - Officially Closed
I thought it would be fun to have a little contest. While I was a the trunk show I had the opportunity to grab some cool Vibram FiveFingers goodies. I also bought a copy of Born to Run and had Barefoot Ted sign it. I thought I would put together a few prize packages.
The First prize is:
The Second and Third prizes are:
The way you enter the contest is to leave a comment below. All comments submitted on or before December 31th will be eligible. Only your first comment will count as an entry. On January 1st I will number all the comments from 1 to the end starting with the first comment. Then I will randomly select three numbers and those will be the winners.
I will post a follow up comment announcing who won. I will contact the winners so that I can get your address to send you your prize. Make sure you put your e-mail in the e-mail field so I know how to contact you. If you don't leave your e-mail or a way for me to contact you I will draw another number.