Barefoot Shoes

Water-Resistant Vibram FiveFingers for Fall 2012

The Fall 2012 Vibram FiveFingers line-up features water-resistant toe shoes in a big way! The Lontra, Speed LR and XC, Classic Fresca, and Spyridon are all coming to the U.S. and Europe is getting two new versions of the KSO Trek as well as a laced Lontra!

FiveFingers Trek Pro
FiveFingers Trek Flip

Check out this press release from Vibram Italy:

Do you like water but only for bathin…

Update: 10/4/2012

As of early October 2012, all of these FiveFingers are now out. The Lontra, SeeYa LS, and Speed XC all became available as of 10/4 (see this post). As for reviews, we’ve done a first review of the Spyridons, SeeYa LS, Speed XC, Lontra, and Speed LRs — more coming soon (so stay tuned!)

Last week was the Winter Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City, Utah. This is an annual event (there’s a Summer one, too) where outdoor retailers show off upcoming products, drumming up sales for said products in the coming months. “OR” typically lines up with the leaking of upcoming new models of FiveFingers and sure enough, we’ve got some new toe shoes in store for Fall 2012!

There’s a prevalent theme in the Fall 2012 Vibram FiveFingers line-up: water-resistance! Who hasn’t had the unpleasant experience of soaked-through Vibrams? How long have we been waiting for some toe shoes that could stand-up to water? Vibram has heard the call and answered! Bring on the FiveFingers Lontra (and Lontra LS), Speed LR, and Speed XC!

To make things even more exciting (not to mention complicated), Vibram Europe has also been cooking up their next batch of VFFs. What you say? Vibram Europe and Vibram USA don’t have the same stuff? Nosiree they do not (always). So pay attention below because some new models for Fall 2012 are only coming out in one place and not the other!

Important disclaimer! In the past some first-look new models of your favorite toe shoes haven’t made it into ultimate production (Note: these “doomed” FiveFingers like the “bear” foot Cortina really deserve their own post!), so the following must be seen as at least somewhat speculative as to what will ultimately get put into production by Vibram. Plans change and no one has a crystal ball, so while what we’ve found below may be in the pipeline, it’s all subject to change. If you hear of anything that has changed or if anything below is being reported in error, please let us know!

The below FiveFingers model information was taken from two different (USA and Europe) Fall 2012 FiveFingers vendor catalogs that recently crossed my path showing off six new pairs of Vibrams, many of which feature some element of water-resistance. You can check out the official, leaked specs (and pics) of these models below by scrolling down, or jump to each section of the post using the links below. Be sure to subscribe by email to be alerted when these new models drop!

The Fall 2012 Vibram FiveFingers line-up

U.S. and Europe simultaneous releases

Europe only!


Vibram FiveFingers Speed LR

A leatherized version of the Speed XC for men only, this new FiveFingers model is water-resistant (as compared to the Trek LS, which is not!).

A leatherized version of the Speed XC for men only, this new FiveFingers model is water-resistant (as compared to the Trek LS, which is not!).

UPDATE August 2012: we’ve done a first look review of the Speed LR here (it was released in August 2012):

Official FiveFingers Speed LR specifications: (Men’s only)

The Speed LR is a more rugged version of the original Speed. Built on the Trek outsole, the 4mm TC-1 Dura cleated rubber outsole delivers traction on various terrain while the EVA midsole provides exceptional plating protection. The kangaroo leather upper and sock liner are soft against the foot, yet strong and tear resistant with outstanding breathability. Designed for the casual wearer, the Speed LR will accommodate a wide range of foot widths and instep heights, thanks to the traditional lacing system. Machine Washable. Air Dry.

BirthdayShoes’ Quick Take on the Speed LR:

The Speed LR is evocative of the Fall 2011 FiveFingers Trek LS as the Trek LS was more or less a kangaroo-leather version of the original Speed Vibrams but with a Trek sole. The Speed LR brings an updated “cut” to the Speed-look, reducing seams (Note the removal of a stitched section where the vamp meets the instep on the Speed LR) and fewer seams at the toes. If I had to guess, I’d say these are just the rebirth of the Trek LS with a bit more attention to detail and an overall more comfortable fit (fewer seams in the toes should do that). Digging the orange color offsets — just wish they’d used orange leather on that stripe (instead of black!).

Note that outside of the kangaroo leather being a bit water-resistant naturally, these aren’t overtly water-resistant (the tongue is not gusseted).


Vibram FiveFingers Speed XC

The FiveFingers Speed XC is as triple-layered, water-resistant, insulated reboot of the popular Speed.

The FiveFingers Speed XC is as triple-layered, water-resistant, insulated reboot of the popular Speed.

Update mid-October 2012 — the Speed XC was released in early October. We did an initial review of it (photos, video of water-resistance) here:

Official FiveFingers Speed XC specifications:

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.

Above is a women's colorway of the Speed XC and information about the sole of the Speed XC and LR, which is built on the Trek platform.

Above is a women’s colorway of the Speed XC and information about the sole of the Speed XC and LR, which is built on the Trek platform.

BirthdayShoes’ Quick Take on the Speed XC:

Like the Speed LR, the Speed XC is a reboot of the Speed upper design with fewer seams and a substitution of the Bikila sole with the Trek Sole. What’s most exciting about the FiveFingers Speed XC is that it’s water-resistant! It utilizes a multi-layer upper detailed by a Vibram Italy press release as being comprised of three layers. Check it out:

The WTR system, designed on these shoes, is a special upper, composed of three tissues assembled together. The first is water repellent, the second is a breathable membrane that resists water, and the third is jersey to strengthen the whole. Even the cover has a structure formed by overlapping three materials: antibacterial the one in contact with your foot, breathable and water resistant the second, strong and in jersey the last third layer. In the end, to make the shoe totally immune from external leaks, the seams of the upper and the lining is welded together.

Tack on the gusseted tongue and you’ve got some solid protection from the wet elements in a pair of toe shoes! Pretty exciting, eh?

These will also be available in a black (with yellow laces!) varietal for men and a black with light blue stripe (instead of the pink stripe above) for women.

I’m digging these new color options. I wish the black men’s versions had a yellow stripe (it looks black) to give them a little more flare.


Vibram FiveFingers Lontra

The FiveFingers Lontra features a Trek sole for traction and insulation against the cold.

The FiveFingers Lontra features a Trek sole for traction and insulation against the cold.

Update October 2012 — the Lontra was released in early October. We’ve reviewed it here:

Official FiveFingers Lontra specifications:

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.

The Vibram FiveFingers Lontra is a water-resistant and insulated for damp, cooler climate activities.

The Vibram FiveFingers Lontra is a water-resistant and insulated for damp, cooler climate activities.

BirthdayShoes’ Quick Take on the Lontra:

The Lontra FiveFingers is a beast! It’s immediately reminiscent of the old-Europe-only Flow Trek (Basically the neoprened Flow FiveFingers with a Trek sole) except with the FiveFingers Lontra, you get a fully baked, water-resistant, cold-friendly (insulation, yes!) pair of toe shoes! I suspect the use of the Trek sole with the Lontra is all about the EVA midsole, as foam should provide a decent bit of insulation from “frozen surfaces.”

I can’t wait to experience the fleece liner of the Lontra and it’s cool to see they used an elevated ankle enclosure out of neoprene to really seal in the heat and keep out the elements.

Meanwhile, the Lontras feature a new strap mechanism that criss-crosses over the instep of the foot. Wonder how well it will work. Further note that Europe is also getting a Lontra LS (detailed below), which has laces instead of straps and drops the ankle enclosure*.

These feel like the winter-friendly FiveFingers everyone’s been clamoring for — and they’ll be out just in time for Winter 2012/2013!


Vibram FiveFingers Classic Fresca

The FiveFingers Classic Fresca is a refresh of the original Classic FiveFingers model with a new sole - for women only.

The FiveFingers Classic Fresca is a refresh of the original Classic FiveFingers model with a new sole – for women only.

Official FiveFingers Classic Fresca specifications: (Women’s only)

A fashionable take on the FiveFingers Classic, the Classic Fresca adds an element of style to the model that propelled the brand. Designed for barefoot balance and agility, it has a lightweight, stretch upper with a back pull-tab that allows you to cinch the topline for an adjustable, secure fit. A hook-and-loop closure holds the tab in place. The Vibram TC-1 Dura performance outsole with serrated blade lug design provides flexibility, durability and optimum traction. Machine Washable. Air Dry.

BirthdayShoes’ Quick Take on the Classic Fresca:

It’s a women’s only update to the original FiveFingers Classic, replete with a new sole and fancy upper designs that remind me of the KSO Remix. I gotta say, I think these look pretty awesome and if they came in an olive green-derived version for men, I’d be all over them.

Why aren’t they coming out for men? Sadly, I think it’s mostly due to men passing on the Classics in favor of KSOs or any of the other fully-enclosed FiveFingers. This is a tragedy as Classics, fit properly, are the closest to barefoot you’re going to get (the SeeYa may put that in to contention) and are exceptionally comfortable.


For the women out there, what do you think about this reboot? And small-footed men want to pick up the black and grey colorway of the Classic Fresca?


Vibram FiveFingers Spyridon

The Spyridon FiveFingers (no "LS") feature a hook and loop closure system - what many FiveFingers fans cut their teeth on.

The Spyridon FiveFingers (no “LS”) feature a hook and loop closure system – what many FiveFingers fans cut their teeth on.

UPDATE June 2012 — These were released in the U.S. around June 2012! See our first look review of the Spyridon FiveFingers here:

Official FiveFingers Spyridon specifications:

The Spyridon offers the same great trail running experience as the Spyridon LS providing the perfect balance of “foot feel” and protection on rugged terrain. With Vibram’s 3D Cocoon technology, the Spyridon has a multidirectional sole, which allows for impact protection from stones and debris with minimal weight. The Coconut Active Carbon upper breathes naturally using 34% post industrial coconut fiber. It is finished off with an adjustable hook-and-loop closure
ensuring a secure fit and reflective applications for safety after dark. Machine Washable. Air Dry.

A new women's colorway of the upcoming Fall 2012 Spyridon FiveFingers.

A new women’s colorway of the upcoming Fall 2012 Spyridon FiveFingers.

BirthdayShoes’ Quick Take on the Spyridon:

The Spyridon FiveFingers are a strapped, laceless version of the Spyridon LS (follow that link to enter to win a pair when the LS Spyridon’s release in a couple weeks!). Actually, Europe is supposedly going to get the Spyridons any day now and we just have to wait on them in the U.S.

What is the story on the Spyridon? Well, basically, it’s a reboot on a Vibram sole for trail running (The Trek sole was the original). Otherwise, it looks like the Spyridon basically takes the round-the-ankle-and-over-the-instep “hook and loop” system originally used by the KSO as well as the KSO’s general upper cut (no Achilles’ notch) and marries it the Spyridon sole. So what it’ll come down to on the Spyridon is whether you like velcro or laces. I’m guessing the Spyridon’s will be lighter and breath a bit better in the upper, too.

I’ll save further comment on the Spyridon and point you to Leah’s detailed review of the Spyridon LS.

Europe-only FiveFingers release for Fall 2012.

Below are models that are slated for release in Europe in Fall 2012, so don’t get too excited about these if you’re in the U.S. (and don’t shoot the messenger either!).


Vibram FiveFingers Lontra LS

The Vibram FiveFingers Lontra LS is a laced version of the water-resistant, insulated Lontra without the neoprene ankle cuff.

The Vibram FiveFingers Lontra LS is a laced version of the water-resistant, insulated Lontra without the neoprene ankle cuff.

Official FiveFingers Speed LR specifications:

A sibling of the LONTRA, the LONTRA LS uses the same multi-layer laminate upper with fully taped seams providing insulation and water resistance. The micro pile fleece liner is soft against the skin while wicking perspiration away from the foot. Other features include: the removal of the neoprene ankle cuff for ease of entry, the addition of a speed lace system to accommodate wider feet and higher insteps, as well as reflective surfaces for safety at night. The 4MM EVA midsole provides insulation from frozen surfaces, and the Trek outsole provides traction, durability and superior plating protection. Sole: Vibram® Rubber + EVA mid sole – Weight: M43: 7,6 oz, W38: 5,30 oz

BirthdayShoes’ Quick Take on the Lontra LS:

So assuming you’re read up on the laceless, strapped Lontra, the Lontra LS basically utilizes an upper that looks a lot like the Spyridon LS (to me) laced design and adds on water-resistance via “taped seams” and also includes the Lontra’s fleece liner. What it lacks (as compared to the Lontra) is the neoprene ankle enclosure, making these a bit less winter-resistant. Nonetheless, I have to say I dig the aesthetic of the LS Lontras, but for functionality, the Lontra is probably the way to go.


Vibram FiveFingers Trek Flip and Trek Pro

The Trek Flip (left) and Trek Pro (right) FiveFingers are Euro-only releases for Fall 2012, and are basically beefier, weather-resistant (cold and water) versions of the popular original Trek FiveFingers.

The Trek Flip (left) and Trek Pro (right) FiveFingers are Euro-only releases for Fall 2012, and are basically beefier, weather-resistant (cold and water) versions of the popular original Trek FiveFingers.


Trek Flip

Official FiveFingers Trek Flip specifications:Men’s Only

Built on the KSO TREK platform, the TREK FLIP features a high quality kangaroo leather upper with suede leather details and sock liner that is breathable, yet soft against the foot. The 4mm shock absorbing EVA insole protects the foot from bruising, while a Vibram® performance rubber outsole, with typical spikes, delivers improved traction on trails and rugged terrain. A hook and loop closure and unique markings finish off this updated Trek model. Sole: Vibram® Rubber + EVA mid sole – Weight: M43: 7,6 oz

BirthdayShoes’ Quick Take on the Trek Flip:

Nearest I can tell (unless I’m missing something), the Trek Flip, as pictured at the top left, is just a reboot of the original Trek FiveFingers with some new colored leather accents and a bit more Vibram branding. Might be your cup of tea — doesn’t get me too excited though, to be honest. I kinda like my brown Treks the way they are!


Trek Pro

Official FiveFingers Trek Pro specifications:Men’s Only

Built on the Trek Sport platform, the TREK PRO offers a three layer water resistant upper, incorporating a breathable membrane and tapped seams. The lining is also made of three layers of fabric. The first layer, that touches the foot, has undergone antibacterial treatment. The second layer is a breathable and water resistant membrane. The third is in Jersey that reinforces everything. The stitching of the upper and the lining were heat sealed to make the shoe water resistant. The 4 mm shock absorbing expanded EVA insole protects the foot from bruising. The lightly cleated Vibram® performance rubber outsole delivers improved traction and plating protection on a variety of surfaces. A hook and loop closure finishes off this performance driven design. Sole: Vibram® Rubber + EVA mid sole – Weight: M43: 7,95 oz

BirthdayShoes’ Quick Take on the Trek Pro:

Now the Trek Pro looks interesting (compared to the Trek Flip). Basically, it’s a water-resistant version of the original Trek. Why would you go with this over the Lontra? Well, maybe you like the fit of the KSO Trek but want some water-resistance. Maybe you like the original hook-and-loop enclosure. I could see some favoring this over the Lontra; of course, you’re gonna have to be in Europe (or buy from there) to get them!

Parting thoughts on Fall 2012 FiveFingers

I’ll wrap this up as it’s getting a bit long in the toe, but we’ve got some very exciting toe shoes slated for Fall 2012! Water-resistance and minimalist footwear do not always go hand in hand — it’s a big problem that VFF fans have been dying for a solution to for quite some time. Meanwhile, toe shoes that can fight off the wintry cold will be a boon for runners, walkers, and hikers who have had to shelve their toe shoes for months out of the year and resort to clumsier, heavier alternatives.

Now what do you think?? Sound off below in the comments!


Vibram Italy Press release

It’s such a big deal to have waterproof-resistant “barefoot shoes” that Vibram Italy put a press release out about it (I can only assume the somewhat awkward sentence structure is due to the Italian to English translation!):

Do you like water but only for bathing? Do you love the sound of your foot when it encounters a puddle during your morning jog, but not as wet socks? Is “Singing in the Rain” your favorite song, but, while you’re running, you prefer to sing dry? Vibram FiveFingers® then just thought of you. If walking on water remains the prerogative of God, from this year at least walking in, without dunking the shoes, is the goal of the most famous brand in the world of shoe “with five fingers”. The first brand, and the only one, that has changed the world and the sports footwear market forever by introducing the barefoot shoes: a bet fully won!

Vibram FiveFingers® every season looks for new challenges to overcome. For The next winter the one is WTR, Water Resistant, an innovative formula which makes the lending of these products even more performance, and especially recommended for outdoor sports in the presence of wetlands, rain, and, in general, adverse weather conditions. The WTR system, designed on these shoes, is a special upper, composed of three tissues assembled together. The first is water repellent, the second is a breathable membrane that resists water, and the third is jersey to strengthen the whole. Even the cover has a structure formed by overlapping three materials: antibacterial the one in contact with your foot, breathable and water resistant the second, strong and in jersey the last third layer. In the end, to make the shoe totally immune from external leaks, the seams of the upper and the lining is welded together. The inevitable tread in Vibram® rubber with spikes, making each step secure and reliable on any surface, complete all the structure.

With this innovative concept, Vibram FiveFingers® arrives on time to the winter appointment at Pitti Uomo, Hall Cavaniglia – Stand 28/B, bringing the unique wealth of tradition and technology that characterizes, for over 75 years, the company Vibram®. It was in 1937, in fact, that Vitale Bramani (Vi-Bram) creates the “Carrarmato, rubber sole for mountain shoes that has totally revolutionized the approach of outdoor activities.

The Vibram FiveFingers® are the result of this process, in which technology and innovation are interwoven with the know-how and handicraft of the Varese manufacturing company. The result is a new concept in footwear, directly inspired by the phenomenon of barefooting, the practice of walking barefoot. From here, the main feature of this extraordinary footwear: the Vibram® rubber soles for the feet with five fingers that, as a flexible glove, facilitate a natural articulation of the foot, cause the stimulation of the muscles of the lower limbs, and a sense of increased well-being throughout the body.

The Fall-Winter 2012-13 marks a further step of this journey, and promises to impress yet again with a range of high technology products, always original and from this year, enhanced by the “plus” of Water Resistant formula.

The proposal is broad and present various types, each with different characteristics and purposes. Among these, the TREK PRO, ideal for light Trekking and the SPEED XC, for running. Some models have interesting variations, such as LONTRA, which has adopted a “Hook-and-loop” closed in velcro to optimize custom fit, and a greater volume in the form to wear a lightweight socks during winter training. The LONTRA LS model (with WTR integrated) has a lace closure system with coulisse that speeds up the closure and makes the shoe snug to the foot, improving the dressing-foot into arch area.

* It’s kinda wild that for Spring 2012, Europe got a strapped Spyridon in addition to the Spyridon LS while the U.S. only got the Spyridon LS; now with the Lontra, we get the straps only this time around — does that mean the LS will be coming in Spring 2013? Time will tell, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that at least a few are going to want the ankle-less, laced Lontra LS over the beefier Lontra. Thoughts?

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.

69 replies on “Water-Resistant Vibram FiveFingers for Fall 2012”

I can’t wait for the insulated cold-weather water-resistant Five Finger Women’s Lontras to come out later this year!!! Must have!!! Thank you Vibram!! My feet were soaking wet and cold after walking around in the slushy sidewalks in town while wearing my Komodos last night! Brrrrrr.

I love the look of the new Women’s Classic Frescos as well, although, I don’t really like the pull-tab on the heel and I was hoping they’d get rid of that. I prefer the velcro strap that is near the heal on the Sprints. That seems to work better for me.

Wonderful review! I always look forward to your posts. Cheers!

Fall 2012 vibram FiveFingers look so delicious to wear. I cannot wait to get my hands on Classic Fresca and Spyridon FiveFingers. I decided to buy Sprint instead of Classic because I have the choice to run or walk in it. I noticed that it could get a slippery especially on drizzle day and walking from outside into a building that have a marble floor. But if I ran thru a puddle of water, it won’t get slippery as much as being on the marble floor. Perhaps, the marble floor is supposed to be slippery on drizzle day. Classic Fresca apparently has a much better sole to prevent us from slippery. I also own a pair of Jaya LR which has better sole and I noticed I wear it more often during the drizzle days.

I’m looking forward. Hate it that we have to wait until Fall to purchase them. Fall 2012 is not around the corner, yet!

I cant wait to get inusulated and waterproof Lontras! YES!!! I hope the womens come in nice colors! I will be buying 3 pairs!

My 2 only issuses with Vibrams are my feet are freezing when its below 60F and they get soaked with the slightest bit of rain. Despite these issues, i have been wearing vibrams daily for over 2 years :).

I also feel like Vibram tends to offer better mens shoes than womens, such as the new leather Trek LS. So, I am REALLY excited to see new womens shoes being releaseed.

can’t wait to try the Lontra. I have had to switch to my Merrel Trail Gloves with the snow on the ground. Interested in the fleece and the cuff.

Great work Justin. So glad this information is public now. I can finally talk about it with out worrying about violating any trade secrets.

I love the new Speeds. I wish they were not on the Trek Sole. I don’t like the grip of the Trek sole on wet pavement. The lugs don’t provide enough surface area and I end up slipping around sometimes. In the snow though it has excellent grip. I was surprised at how well my Bormio preformed in the recent snow. I had excellent grip.

I found it interesting that not a single shoe is using the new Spyridon sole. Does that mean they don’t like it? Maybe they are just waiting to see how the Spyridon sole preforms in the first generation of Spyridon before they decided to use it in other shoes. Who knows.

The removal of the stitched portion of the Speed LR and SX right below where the vamp meets the instep should make a huge difference. That portion of the Trek LS sometimes put pressure on the top of the foot.

I personally like the look of the new Trek Flip. I like the different leather colors. Would look good in a pair of Khakis.

I would love to get my hands on the Lontra right now. I think the strapped version will be better then the laced. I like the extra neoprene sleeve that comes around your ankles. I think that will help allot with cold and wet weather.

Good work on Vibram’s part to address the weather issue in their shoes. I look forward to trying them out. Maybe going forward waterproofing will be a norm in all of their shoes.

I am wondering why Vibram chooses to use Trek soles for their waterproof running models. Trek soles feel slippery on wet surfaces like tile, ABS plastic, metal,etc.
Also the placement of the Vibram logo on the sole of the Fresca is terrible:it’s where more tread ought to be ala the New Balance minimus zero.

I think Vibram is going in the wrong direction. I would love to see some more very minimalist models like the sprint and kso. There is nothing wrong with the tried and true sole and I feel they are getting thinker and thicker. I love the seeyas, but have they forgotten what they stand for?

Does anyone know what material the Lontra upper is made from? Leather or some kind of synthetic soft shell / gore-tex?

what happened to the smooth soles that used to be on the classics? seems like they are getting into thicker soles like the trecks. to much tread? i have a pair but would love to see the speed xc in “smooth soles”

To everyone who has dislike for the trek sole, have you been hiking in them?
The trek sole grabs onto just about any surface better than any of the current soles, especially regarding the grip on the toes and heel. The complaint about wet weather grip (on asphalt) seems unwarranted in that no VFFs have great wet asphalt traction. On top of this I have crossed a 50 yard wide river with both my treks and bikila ls. This river had a heavy current and was totally on slimy rocks, depth ranging from 2 to 4.5 feet. The trek performed much better in this regard. The trek sole also uses a softer compound than other soles, which means better snow and off road traction. Deeper thicker tread also means bettet snow/snow contact in winter.

I understand the issues with the less minimal trek sole, but it brings many advantages. I trust vibram and support everything they do as they have yet to make a bad toe shoe (and make just about everyone elses soles)

Tl;dr the trek sole is the best universal sole for vibram as it offers the best versatility, traction, and affordability

The pink Lontra tells me they will have women’s sizes when they make there debut??? Vibram heard our calls for water resistant five fingers, let’s hope they accommodate us with smaller feet 🙂

I’m excited about the Lontra–anything that will keep me in VFF in the colder months is a huge upgrade! I’m a little concerned that all these new models are “water-resistant” rather than waterproof. I’m thinking some waterproofing spray might be in order.

Still looking forward to the Spyridon. I love my Treks and TrekSports for hiking, but those poor soles don’t hold up for very long on the rocky trails around here. I’m hoping the Spyridon will be more durable.

I will need the women Lontra for next fall, but I don’t like the Fresca’s patterns. I am going to stick with my classic Classics….

I want the laceless Spyridon — it seems it may be the first KSO replacement for me. New models come along but can never match the good ol’ KSO. This may finally be the one. If I read it correctly that the U.S. is only getting the version with the laces, then I will be really upset. I would never wear the version with laces because I think that design looks awful. Plus, I’m not a fan of laces on barefoot shoes — I’d rather keep it simple. Vibram, if you have a soul, bring the laceless Spyridon to the U.S. too!

This year I thought I’d try some Flows for wet, winter days. Could not find a pair that fit around my toes. Looking forward to trying the new styles.

What is with Vibram’s overuse of the trek sole with a lot of their new models? I like the idea of waterproof options in VFFs. Maybe the next version can have a liner similar to the Bormio for added warmth for us cold climate folks.

I truly enjoy what vibram is, has, and will be bringing to the world through minimalistic footwear. I really like the majority of what they have to offer. I’m looking forward to the “SORENTOS” coming out, but to know that there’s a lineage of 2012’s on the line up makes me one willing to stand in a line outside the store to get my hands on any of the first pairs available (any 2012 rendering).

Too bad I can’t get a pair of the Lontra in pink/purple and black now in a size 38 please! It’s winter in Ohio now. I had to wear a pair of regular boots the other day and they made my feet hurt! Can’t wait until they come out!

+1 to concern about water resistance. Read the press release: Vibram makes NO CLAIM to waterproof, only the blog owner has stated this (if incorrect, please show where Vibram says they are releasing waterproof shoes, you are stating this, NOT Vibram). We need a waterPROOF 5finger, it needs a gortex liner (vibram mentions layers, but makes no claim to using a proven waterproof fabric). I am not buying another pair of 5fingers until I see someone standing in an inch of water saying their feet are perfectly dry. I love Vibrams and considered each pair I purchased an investment in the company, but without waterproof development, I will not buy another pair. For me, the 5fingers can only be worn indoors and on sunny days, no exceptions. If I’m trekking I need to be able to cross puddles without getting the shoes wet, when doing this with the treks your feet are soaked until the fabric dries, which could mean the entire day.. wearing huaraches your feet get wet but dry in no time, so I do not see 5fingers suitable for hiking to Vibram’s defense they suggest these shoes as “light trekking”, they never claimed them to fully trek or hike, which in my opinion would include all weather conditions, whereas “light trekking” does not, that said “light trekking” shouldn’t mean having to tip-toe around puddles, though they still say that’s what these new shoes are for, “light trekking”… come on Vibram, give us some certainty, a waterproof expedition-worthy 5finger. #overdue


You’re right — I let one “waterproof” slip there at the end. Note I only say “water-resistant” throughout the article.

Struck that mistype on my part, but yes, these aren’t “waterproof” just water-resistant.

Will it be possible to order the lontra ls’ from overseas and import them?

Also,do the lontras size like the komodosport ls? (I’m a size 42 in Komodosport LS,and would like to get a size 42 lontra ls very badly.)

Hey Vibram – there are still some of us guys who LOVE the Classic! I would love to see a version of the Fresca for guys and would definitly buy them – my Classics are comfy, easy to put on, and look cool…they get a lot of interest from guys and girls alike…which is why I own 4 pair!

TJ you must not wear VFF’s very often or have tried the Trek LS or Bormio. All VFFS are made for hiking, and there are many people making massive hikes (even in KSO’s) to prove you dead wrong. Me being one of them.

I have been walking around in rain and snow since owning my first pair of KSO’s and I can tell you that if you walk carefully its pretty hard to get your feet soaked in either of the leather pairs. What I mean by this is smashing your foot into a huge puddle will get your foot wet, but knowing how your shoes work will keep them dry.

As for complaints of the new “water resistant” pairs…. There is no way for Vibram to make a totally waterproof shoe, but laminated and taped seams will most make them “water proof” in every day situation like rain and puddles.

Anybody else concerned that Vibram seems to be extending their product line a bit too much? While I understand the need to diversify and reach different markets, I think the core of the Vibram experience is in their simplicity. I don’t doubt that they get tons of different requests from customers, but some times your product isn’t defined as much by what they do, but what they don’t. I guess I just don’t want to see a drop-off in quality from having to support all these different variations.

All these responses on the Lontra crack me up. You guys act like Vibram has never put out a winter shoe before. I’ve been running every winter for the last 3 years in my Flows. The extra ankle cuff isn’t really needed, I’ve never got snow inside my Flows even in shin deep snow. The Flow also has a layer of EVA foam for insulation. While the Flow is not “water – resistant” it really doesn’t matter. Yeasterday my Flows were wet and the temp was 17F and my feet never became uncomfortably cold. The only thing the Lontra has on the Flow is the Trek sole. Even that isn’t not totally needed either. If you run with correct form, then you don’t slip or slide even on ice. I know, I’ve been doing it for 3 years in Flows. In addition, I really don’t like the Trek sole. The Spyridon sole would have been a much better choice. I’m not impressed with these new offerings.

@Jeepman I have a pair of flows and I don’t like them for the winter snow at all! I think they are actually quite terrible in the snow. They are a fine wet weather shoe running shoe, or water sports shoe. Although some of us would prefer to have dry feet at all times.

Some of us wear our VFF for more then just fitness. I actually don’t do much running/exercise at all. I can guarantee you that walking from a parking lot (in the snow) into a restaurant or the grocery store is a pretty excruciating experience once you get into the store. Unless you keep your blood flowing in the shoe (by running or moving fast) you can’t keep your feet warm enough not to go painfully numb. I would be fine in the parking lot but once you get in to the restaurant and sit down your toes go horrifically numb.

When I was a kid and I would visit Oklahoma in the winter to see my grands parents. When it was snowing I would walk several blocks to the gas station in the snow with out socks or shoes. I consider the flows to offer about the same experience with added protection from glass and sharp objects. At least when you are barefoot you don’t have to walk around in shoes filled with cold water once you get in the store! I would have been better off walking barefoot through the parking lot then drying my feet off in the restaurant. At least I would have been more comfortable/warm in the restaurant that way!

Like I said the only way the flows work is if you keep your blood pumping through shoes at a fast enough rate. Only then you can avoid the painful numbness. The issue is when you stop or don’t move fast enough. It can cause some severe cold related numbness and pain.

Some of would prefer not to have to get wet at all. I don’t like having water between my toes when I am just trying to do my everyday errands. So I pretty much only wear the leather Trek LS and Bormio model for like 7 months of the year here.

Even the Trek LS and Bormio get wet at times in extreme conditions. It will be nice to have an option that has taped seams and extra wet weather functionally built in.

I love the look of the all-new Speed LR’s. I can’t wait to sink my feet into a pair. Justin, if you need someone to review them, just send a pair my way & I’ll be happy to do it.

There is a lot to be excited about in VFF land. I picked up a pair of Spirodon LSs last night. The fit is very Bakila LS but a more versatile shape that lets me go with or without socks in the same size, something I couldn’t do in Treks or Bakila. They seem to have a little more toe length as well which will help on steep downs. I’m also very curious about the water resistant models to come this fall. If only I could mate a pair of Lontras with my Icebug Animas and have studded Fives next winter!

Liking the look of this line-up.  Now, if only we can get a few more choices in a size 35?

Why aren’t the Vibram FiveFingers Lontra LS’s being released in the US? Those are the coolest shoe’s I’ve EVER seen!!! They look like something off of Tron Legacy!!!!

These look brilliant 😀

I’m just curious, though; taking both water resistance, breathability and durability into account; which do you guys think is the better one for both general use (and possibly more dressy wear, too) and running? The Speed LR or the Speed XC?

And, to throw things in there as well, how do they compare to the Lontra?

I wish I could test the Speed LR and XC as well as the Lontra and Spyridion all in 43 that would be awesome, give a perspective from someone who has a high volume foot

If classy is your focus LR, leather is always classier

Otherwise, superior water resistant XC specially if the have a color scheme similar to Black/White/Black Lace Speed (not the what I’m calling “Baylor Bear” Speed color scheme)

curious when the Spyderion with the velcro is going to be released. I am not a fan of the LS system (the Bikila LS fit terrible compared to my standard Bikilas).

Ugh, this is frustrating! I don’t run in VFF but I have been and intend to keep on wearing them every day for work, play, going to the store, etc. To that end I would like to see styles/patterns that blend a little better (love my now discontinued Trek LS and Bormio as well as my KSO trek in black leather upper, should get a brown one too) and can be used for every day normal stuff. I’d check out the Trek Flip or Pro esp if it is wterresistent/warmer. Lontra look ugly but I’ll get anything insulated. Live in NH for a winter. I don’t want to go back to normal shoes if I can.
AndyB, NH.

The colors on the new shoes are way too flashy. The old all black KSO, KSO trek, and bormio can be worn in an office or out to a nice restaurant. Any of these shoes would be hideous failures in those environments.

Did they forget how to make a plain black shoe?

I think the new Lontra in particular looks great. But I sure was hoping that they would be offering the Bormio and the KSO Trek in leather (or suede) for women this year. I’m really disappointed that it doesn’t look like that will happen. I have to agree that they are both much more suited to wearing in almost any situation where as the sportier, flashier look of the others don’t necessarily. I really missed being able to wear my Five Fingers all fall and winter.

Wow, the Fall 2012 lineup is bugly! I agree with those who wonder if Vibram is just trying to make regular shoes, only uglier and harder to put on. I appreciate the idea of making `em warmer and waterproof and with sturdy traction, but there’s only so much you can ask from a minimalist toe-footing shoe. I’ve found Inov8 and La Sportiva options that give a good feel but also cover the other issues. Plus they look good and are easy to put on! I still have a small collection of VFFs, but I may not buy any more.

It is interesting to see that vibram are moving towards the trek/treksport sole. Can anyone tell me the TOTAL difference in mm thickness between the bikila/ old speed sole and the treksport/trek sole?

I’m really hoping the Lontras come in a color other than pink for women. My feet aren’t big enough for mens’ sizes, and if my only option is pink…. I will not be a happy camper!

I can’t wait until I can buy the new Speed XCs. I have worn VFFs for 2 years up here in Alaska including the winter when it got down to -23 deg F! the only time my feet got cold was standing around for 3 hours during the start of the Iditarod. I do hope that they have addressed the big toe side hole issue tho.

OMG these new models look like CRAP!?!?!
Why won’t vibram release new colour variations of the clasics of KSO’s I want simple sleek kso’s I don’t need my vibrams to look like shoes!

when will you release that models in the philippines? interested in the versions of kso trek on how durable the leather is. My spyridon ls already had several scratches in trail running but it still functions well. More power to birthday shoes 😀

THANK YOU for making something that will keep my feet from frostbite this winter. I tried different models, different makes last year (skeletoes neoprene) hoping they’d make a difference in 40 deg. and below but nothing did. Tried the socks and it was better but not great. So excited for the Lontra. Also, love the spyridon for slick and dirty hill running. The komodosports worked ok but the spyridons absolutely grab. Kind of stiff but I guess that is the trade off. I’ll take it. I’ve been flat on my butt too many times.

So August 1st has come and gone and still no new shoes on the fivefingers website.. I’m feeling very impatient…

I’m with ya Jason! I went to the website as soon as I woke up the morning of Aug. 1st. And nope no lontras. I want them!

So, any more news on any of these? Still nothing on the VFF website and I really could use some Lontras for this fall/winter! Any updates would be greatly appreciated.

I asked about the lontras on the vibram fivefinger Facebook page and they said mid/late October. I was hoping to maybe have a pair for my fishing trip in late September but it looks like I’ll be wearing my speed lr or my bikila ls if its not cold and rainy.

apparently September is a go in the UK for the Lontra LSs and like the speed LRs they have replaced the orange with grey..

Dear Sir/Madam
All I wish is an outlet in Brisbane Queensland Australia with non-Chinese products.

The “Five Fingers” is a natural gait and your company is correct.

Please advise


I guess I am not sure what the big deal is. I run in snow and water during January in Michigan with my KSO and Komodos. Sure my feet get wet and cold but I also did not spend $150 on a pair of shoes.
If the price was lower (like the Komodo) I might buy them but not until then.

I am positively fed up to see “men only” cool shoes.. At least, make some size 39 so we can buy men’s shoes for us :/ I like thin cute shoes but really, where are the trek flip or pro for girls 🙁

Good news! The Lontra’s, unsure about the LS, are coming out! They will be available in the U.S. and by the second week of October. Can’t wait, really need an insulated FiveFinger, Flow don’t cut it.

just got the speed xc in navy today (just checked REI and they are already sold out of sizes 44 and lower – glad I got my 43 quickly) – they look great – the navy is not as “blue” as the photos would suggest (so i was very happy – since these will be an everyday work shoe for me in rainy season in NorCal). Cannot wait to wear them

I have a pair of the of the lontra ls they are so comfy and keep your feet so warm and the toe socks work well with them to.

Have a few vibrams and as comfortable as each other.

I cannot find much reviews about Trek Pro , so I’ll post a short one. Water resistant Vibrams (Lontra, Trek LS, Trek Pro) are tighter due to more material so while KSO Trek (both brown and black) and the rest of “summer” models for are size 42, all water resistant ones are size 43.
Trek Pro – really nice shoes, really nice in wet grass, feet don’t get wet. Going through paddles at 40F got my toes a bit moist, but definitely not wet. Also, due to more material, the heat insulation properties (3 layers) are a bonus for lower temperatures. I have a suspicion, that lowest comfort temperature for Trek Pros would be 20F, though you’d have to walk to keep foot muscles working.
I’m waiting to test these in snow, might be interesting experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *