Update 7/09/10: I just put up a post about my first run in the new Vibram Fivefingers Bikila. Check out my very preliminary Vibram Fivefingers Bikila review here.
There’s some new news on the Vibram Fivefingers front. Justin Owings of the Birthday Shoes Blog, with info obtained in part from a German site called Voy Contigo, has just published a post about a couple of new models of Vibram Fivefingers (VFF) shoes set to be released in 2010: the VFF Speed and VFF Bikila. The Speed is the first lace-up model to be released (think thin-soled sneakers with toes), and Justin reports that they are to be released in Europe only. The Bikila is reportedly similar to the existing KSO, with a stretchier and more breathable upper material. Below is a picture from Voy Contigo, and reposted on Birthday Shoes:
Update 9/8/09 – I’ve also added my own post on the new Bikila.
Update 3/30/10 – Looks like the Vibram Fivefingers Bikila will be arriving in late April, 2010.
In other Vibram Fivefingers news, Barefoot Ted recently published a blog post about his experience testing out the soon to be released VFF Trek. The trek is the Fivefingers answer to a trail-running shoe, with a kangaroo leather upper, a thin EVA midsole, and a lugged outsole designed for better performance on rocky, rugged terrain. The follow quote describes Barefoot Ted’s reaction to the Treks:
“When I first put these shoes on, I knew that I had finally felt the most comfortable VFF yet. The kangaroo skin’s soft side is INSIDE the shoe…so your foot is encased in smoothness. Under 6 ounces. Rugged. Breathable. Thank you Gawd!“
Below is a picture of the VFF Treks from Barefoot Teds’ site:
My thoughts on all of this? If Twitter buzz and my difficulty finding a pair in my size stocked anywhere on-line are any indication, Vibram clearly seems to have a hit with the Fivefingers line. The development of new models is a logical progression, though the growth potential of the line will depend a lot on society’s willingness to accept the strange-looking footwear and break its addiction to traditional running shoes. I’m a believer in the less-is-more/minimalist style of footwear (I run mostly in Nike Free 3.0’s right now), but I have yet to see someone in my hometown wearing the VFF’s – perhaps I’ll be the first once my shipment arrives.
Update 9/02/09: I now own a pair of Vibram Fivefingers KSO’s. You can read about my initial thoughts on running in Vibram Fivefingers and my thoughts from the day after a 7 mile run in Vibram Fivefingers.