05.06.10 – The Vibram Five Fingers Bikila is out!

Don’t ask me how, but I have managed to get my hands on a couple images of the Vibram Five Fingers Bikila that were taken from the 2010 catalog, which was on-hand at the recent Outdoor Retailer Trade Show. These images show off one color option each for the men’s and women’s fivefingers Bikila!

The men’s VFF Bikila is grey/green, a color combo which bears a striking resemblance to the grey/green KSO:

And the women’s Bikila pictured is orange/pink/grey soled:

The above (apparently) stock photos do the Bikila more justice than the original overhead (cameraphone?) photo we saw via voycontigo. In short, these Bikila’s look awesome.

Things I notice:

  • more aggressive tread — reminds me a bit more of the soles you might see on a running shoe. It’s partially obscured, but it looks like the focus of the tread takes its lead from the midfoot pad of the foot.
  • heel structure — I don’t know what else to call this, but there is a distinctive lip around the lower ankle of the Bikila. Perhaps this is to provide sufficient adherence to the heel (and account for the elimination of a rear strapping mechanism). I also wonder if the bit of added material here won’t help with wicking moisture away or at least absorbing it. Based on looking at these photos, I don’t get the impression that this heel design actually provides any real ankle support.
  • thin fabric throughout — like the KSO, the upper fabric looks to be a very thin material.
  • some sorta protective covering on the toes — don’t know how else to describe the shimmery bit I see on each toe (particularly noticeable on the women’s). Maybe this is reflective material? Maybe it provides some structure to the thin fabric toe upper? Your guess is as good as mine.
  • reflective material on the strap — I think I see silverish reflective material on the little dashes on the right side of the strap. This would make sense in light of the Bikila being geared to on-street running.

All in all, like the upcoming fivefingers Trek is geared to trail running or hiking, the fivefingers Bikila seems to be designed to compliment street/asphalt/concrete running. It’s exciting to see that Vibram is expanding their line and taking a concerted stab at providing a VFF running solution!

Of course, it’s going to take some time for Vibram to gear up and get the Bikila’s out on the street, so I for one am already looking forward to 2010!

I wonder how many times we can twiddle our toes to pass the time until then …

Other posts regarding new models: