05.06.10 – The Vibram Five Fingers Bikila is out!

A day or two back, a facebook photo from a FiveFingers fan in Finland surfaced that appeared to be showing off the upcoming and yet-to-be released-but-eagerly-anticipated, running-shoe specific Five Fingers Bikila (Here’s the photo of Ville’s Bikila-clad feet). Wendy alerted me to the photo and I got in touch with Ville. Gotta love cross-country collaboration amongst VFF fans!

So Ville graciously gave me the scoop. Seems that he has a good friend in the VFF business and was able to secure a pre-production sales sample of the Bikila. In other words, more a prototype to show off the concept than the final model (Used, apparently, for stuff like this or as likely used by Henk Sipers). The tell-tale giveaway was that the insole of the Bikilas wasn’t attached — removable to demo construction (The final version will be seamlessly attached as is the case with all VFFs).

That’s enough backstory. Here are the photos Ville sent me:

A few photos from Ville in Finland who is getting to test-drive a pre-production version (sales sample) of the upcoming FiveFingers Bikila.  Note: this isn't the final version which will be released in the Spring.
A few photos from Ville in Finland who is getting to test-drive a pre-production version (sales sample) of the upcoming FiveFingers Bikila. Note: this isn’t the final version which will be released in the Spring.

It’s very exciting to see an in-the-flesh version of the Bikila, even if it’s still not the final one, which I’m betting will be even more slick. It’s further great to get another look at that sole, which looks both minimal and high-tech at the same time (Note the use of EVA to cover the arch in lieu of Vibram rubber).

Ville provided a few insights to the photos. The upper is a stretchy material and seems not to have any seams. With seam-rubbing being one of the most oft-cited issues for runners in VFFs, this could be a major plus for the Bikila. Ville also confirmed the reflective material on heel and strap.

I need to reiterate that this is a sales sample and not the final product, so there could and likely will be some changes to the final version we see in March. And yep, March is looking just about right for the roll-out of the Bikila as Vibram recently hired an ad agency to aid in the promotion of a product for a March release.

But that’s not all. As coincidence would have it, I also got a few photos from Dastin in Germany who got his feet into, again, what appears to be one of the sales samples of the Euro-only FiveFingers Speed. Check’em out:

Dastin in Germany got his feet into what appears to also be a pre-production sales sample of the Euro-only FiveFingers Speed.  The final version has not yet been officially released (as far as we know).
Dastin in Germany got his feet into what appears to also be a pre-production sales sample of the Euro-only FiveFingers Speed. The final version has not yet been officially released (as far as we know).

Again, the “tell” that these weren’t production releases was in the ability to remove the insoles — a feature to demo the design of the product but not one you can expect in the final version.

In both the Bikila and Speed cases, I can only further assume that these European importers are offloading their sales samples in anticipation of receiving the real deal in only a couple months.

Are you all as excited as I am to see the final versions of these puppies hit the market?

As we get closer, be sure to stay tuned to birthdayshoes as I’ll be doing everything I can to stay on top of the Bikila (and Speed) release!