Barefoot Shoes

Fall 2012 FiveFingers Lontra, Speed XC, and SeeYa LS are OUT!

Cold weather running in minimalist footwear can be challenging. Our new Lontra makes the experience fun and comfortable. A multi-layer laminate upper with fully taped seams provides insulation and water resistance. The micro pile fleece liner is soft ag…

The Fall 2013 FiveFingers — Lontra, Speed XC, and SeeYa LS — have started showing up for sale now at retailers! Where, exactly, can you find them? How about here:

I know what you’re thinking: why are the Speed XC and Lontra so expensive? It’s because they’ve been made water-resistant using layers of fabric and taped seams. These are the first water-resistant VFFs to date. As for just how resistant to water they are, we’ve yet to review them here (but will within the next week, so stay tuned). Meanwhile, the release of the SeeYa LS means our giveaway (see our first review) has ended (winners of the two pairs of SeeYa LS and those others who won stickers will be notified post haste!).

If these are the toe shoes you’ve been waiting for—FiveFingers for cold and wet weather running, walking, or whatever you’re into and can’t wait any longer, I suggest picking these up now as stock is likely to be very limited for the next few weeks (what I’m hearing anyway). Note that Travel Country, the sponsor of the BirthdayShoes giveaway, offers Free Shipping on orders over $69.

Further note that they still have many older FiveFingers models on clearance (KSOs for $40-45, SeeYas for $75-80, Speeds for $75, Classics for $40). Take a look around their site and you can get some pretty fantastic deals on FiveFingers.

Indeed, only certain colorways are available now in each model and some of the women’s Speed XC and Lontra haven’t shown up anywhere to date.

If you want more info on these new VFFs, you’ll find the official specs on each model after the jump.

FiveFingers Lontra

Vibram FiveFingers that don’t get soaked while running have been on many a runner’s (or toe shoes enthusiast!) wish list for some time. Meanwhile, options outside of the neoprene FiveFingers Flow for cold weather wear haven’t really existed. Therein lies the need for the Lontra.

It’s about time! What exactly is the Lontra? So glad you asked. Here are the official specs:

Cold weather running in minimalist footwear can be challenging. Our new Lontra makes the experience fun and comfortable. A multi-layer laminate upper with fully taped seams provides insulation and water resistance. The micro pile fleece liner is soft against the skin while helping wick perspiration away from the foot. Other features include a neoprene heel cuff to keep out snow and debris, a reinforced hook-and-loop closure for a snug and secure fit; and reflective surfaces for safety at night. The 4mm EVA midsole provides insulation from frozen surfaces, and the TC-1 Dura outsole provides traction, durability and superior plating protection. Machine Washable. Air Dry.

Lontra Vibram TC-1 Dura + EVA Midsole | Micropile Fleece | Laminated Stretch Mesh + Water Resistant Membrane

What’s all the above mean? Basically it’s a Trek-soled pair of FiveFingers with an upper composed of fleece (Against the skin) and additional fabric layers with taped seams to keep out water. It’s the new KWSO (“Keep wet stuff out”) of the FiveFingers line. At $150 a pair, they’re also now the most expensive FiveFingers available.

Regarding weight, the men’s 43 Lontras weigh 6.75 oz (probably slightly more than the KomodoSport LS and right about less than the Spyridon LS).

We will have original, extensive first-foot information and photos (per usual!) on these suckers here on BirthdayShoes post haste (so stay tuned).

For now, if these are the toe shoes you’ve been waiting for, you can find them here.

FiveFingers Speed XC

The Speed XC FiveFingers mash-up the upper styling of the original Speed, the rugged Vibram Trek sole, and a new water-resistant upper. Check the specs:

The Speed XC combines the look and comfort of the Speed with Vibram performance. A multi-layer laminate upper with fully taped seams provides insulation and water resistance. A 4mm EVA midsole offers plating protection from stone bruising, and a lightly cleated 4mm Vibram TC-1 Dura outsole delivers increased traction on a variety of surfaces. The Speed XC offers a traditional lacing system for ease of entry, gusset tongue to prevent water penetration, and seamless polyester lining to keep the outdoor enthusiast comfortable and dry. Machine Washable. Air Dry.

While the XC’s upper aesthetic is similar to the original Speed, it’s been refreshed and looks similar to the REI-exclusive Speed LR (leather, not water-resistant โ€” see our Speed LR review).

The big win on the XC is the water-resistance. Whether you want to run in them or just wear them casually, the XC could now be argued as one of the most versatile FiveFingers around. It’s wearable on trails and can keep some water out (I wouldn’t tromp through deep puddles and expect water not to get in), it’s wearable casually for all-day purposes, and it’s likely more insulating than most other Vibrams (save for the Lontra) due to the layered fabrics used in making them water-resistant.

But they MSRP at $140, which is expensive! Note the women’s aren’t yet in stock.

We’ll be doing a first review of these very soon so keep your eyes on the site!

FiveFingers SeeYa LS

If you missed it, we recently did an initial review of the SeeYa LS. They’re not simply laced versions of the SeeYa — sole excepted, they’re a totally revamped SeeYa due to new materials and some additional design features associated with the upper.

Here are the official specs:

Building on the concept of the ultra light SeeYa, the SeeYa LS offers the same performance and barefoot sensation of the original with the added versatility of a traditional sneaker. The updated, technically styled upper features a padded tongue and micro suede overlay ensuring a comfortable and snug fit. Minimal rubber thickness in the outsole and soft TPU midsole maximizes โ€œfoot feelโ€ and flexibility, enhancing natural movement. The SeeYa LS provides excellent connection to the ground while protecting the foot. Machine Washable. Air Dry.

Anyway, they are now available — at least in some colorways. The MSRP is about $100 and you can find the men’s (in black/grey) here and the women’s (in peach/grey) here.

By Justin

Justin Owings is a deadlifting dad of three, working from Atlanta. When he's not chasing his three kids around, you'll find him trying to understand systems, risk, and human behavior.

29 replies on “Fall 2012 FiveFingers Lontra, Speed XC, and SeeYa LS are OUT!”

Oooooh yeah… just ordered my See Ya LS’s. PS… if you’re buying from Travel Country, be sure to use the 15% off promo code. SweetJuJu or something like that.

you really need to put a “like” button on these posts! i’ve been waiting to get the lontra’s ever since i heard about them! ๐Ÿ™‚

Just ordered the Lontras. I’m a little concerned about the fit, I assume it’ll be the same size as my other VFFs excluding the classics. The option was to wait for initial impressions from early adopters and risk not being able to find a pair come snow, or be an early adopter. I’ve been waiting for something like this for several winters now so when these were announced I knew I was going to purchase a pair.

Just ordered a pair of the Lontra. I’ve been waiting for these since I just moved up to Maine. Not sure how effective they will be but I figure they have the best chance. I don’t want to give up wearing VFFs for half the year so I hope they will work.

Just throwing my opinion out there. Having tech rep’d for Vibram in the past, the Speed XC is vastly overpriced at $140 (even with water resistant material).

I have been waiting impatiently since the news broke about the Lontra. (I live in western Washington.) And now I see…. PINK?! Why in the world would Vibram assume every woman wants to wear “Princess Pink” as her footwear?


I’ve never before taken permanent marker to a brand new pair of $150 shoes… but this will most likely be the case.

For $150 Vibram can keep their Lontra. I’ve been running the last 3 winters in Flows. This will be the 4th year for this pair of Flows. Now that I know the ridiculous price Vibram wants for the Lontra, I’ll be picking up another pair of Flows.

I have to agree with Philip on this one. The Speed XC is a bit pricey, looking forward for the review!

By chance does anyone know if VFF Bormios will be sold in the US market or have they taken them off? I am trying to find replacements to get me through the winter! The only place I have found them so far is in Europe.

I called Travel Country to see when they were expecting the women’s Lontras to arrive. They didn’t know. I hope the 15% discount code will still be good by the time they arrive.

I can relate to Sonya. I’ve waited for Lontra and Speed XC since the day the news broke and I’m sooo disappointed to see ONCE AGAIN that Vibram totally snubs all guys with smaller feet! As much as I really want these toe shoes, I can’t bear to wear the frilly women’s colorways for my 38-39 feet! I’ve been doing that for the past couple years with the 3 VFF’s I already have. Hey Sonya, are there any drawbacks to using permanent marker on these materials?

Just bought Men’s Speed XC at but cannot find women’s model anywhere. Anyone spotted them yet? I am so disappointed!

Karla, I posted this in a forum thread:

For women: I immediately went to when I saw Upnorth’s message. No women’s Lontras or Speed XCs posted, either for backorder or not. I contacted Live Help to ask about the women’s versions and was told they should be in on October 28.

I asked about using my 20% off coupon for a backorder, and was told this:

Sure. Now that we are showing a date for the expected arrival of both models to our warehouse, you can give us a call at 1-800-426-4840 to use your member coupon for a backorder of either shoe. The item number you can reference for the Lontra is 837763. The item number you can reference for the Speed XC is 837764.
Jordan H: Is there anything else I can do for you?

My Lontras just arrived. First, these look good. I also want to confirm that the sizing seems to be spot on to my previous VFFs (KSO, etc.), which was my main concern – see above. These are by far the hardest Vibrams I’ve put on and I have several model and years of practice. Just walking around in them, they are very comfortable, but I can feel the added material, they are beefier and stiffer than other models I own, but that was to be expected. The true test, of course, will be when the temps drop and we get snowy/wet conditions. My first impressions are positive – I’ve been waiting for this for several years now.

Now waiting for a sale.

$110+ is off limits, that’s luxury territory ๐Ÿ˜›

Also, they have the Trek sole, so at best it’d be a replacement for Bormios.

UPDATE: I called the number the REI rep gave me to use my coupon on a pair of backordered Lontras. I was told that’s not permitted. I then contacted REI on-line customer service again, and was also told that’s not permitted.

Jordan H., whoever he is, was wrong.

I’m sorry if you tried this too. I’m disappointed. I was willing to go for the Lontras at $120, but $150? No.

Gene: I don’t know if the permanent marker is going to work or not; I’ve always gotten solid black VFF’s up until now. I remember reading several years ago that someone was using a marker to cover wear marks/thread on their KSO’s.
I would wait for the next block of color selections to come out but I need the Lontra for this winter. I wore my old Merrell’s the other day (wet) and it was distinctly uncomfortable.

just got the speed xc from rei today (only bought there since I had 20% off) – the color (navy) looks great – not as “blue” as the photos on website might suggest. I wear classics/treks everyday for work – so I needed a water resistant pair for the NorCal rainy season – so on looks they look great. I wear a 43M across the board (I have been wearing various pairs for over 3 years and these fit me best) and I typically wear injinji socks as well. The 43M speed xc fits fine – it actually seems a slight bit bigger in large toe box compared to other styles (and its a bit stiffer shoe). But while walking they feel great, not big at all. I will see how they hold up during daily wear in rainy season.

Really, men’s are out already but not women’s Lontra? Do we not run in fields or on trails at SIX A.M. with the dogs – even when it’s 40 deg. and super wet out?

Jeez, VFF, get our Lontra’s here, already!

xo Kirstan and the dogs.

Anybody know of a canadian retailer that is actually carrying the new models. More specifically the Lontra. I havent found any just yet.

Anyone know when the Lontras are being released in the UK? I have been looking for about two weeks now and no sign anywhere. They aren’t even mentioned on most UK sites.

Have any women actually received a pair of women’s Lontra’s yet? I ordered mine from mountain gear over a month ago and keep getting told they are backordered, which I believe but am very frustrated they did not indicate this on the website when I ordered.

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