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.
It appears that Vibram is responding to the growing popularity of the Fivefingers line of “barefoot-like” footwear among runners by designing a new model that directly targets the running market. As reported on Justin Owings Birthday Shoes blog, the VFF Bikila, set to be released in early 2010, appears to be most similar to the existing VFF KSO. However, it features a number of departures from the KSO design – among the most noticeable are a redesigned, dis-articulated tread, a more traditional, padded lip around the ankle, and removal of the rear ankle-strap found on the KSO’s. Below are pictures re-posted (with permission) from Birthdayshoes.com:
What excites me the most about the Bikila is the redesign of the ankle-lip – I’ve had blistering issues on the back of my heel when running sockless in VFF KSO’s (since solved by wearing Injinji socks), and this redesign looks like it might solve this problem and allow for more comfortable sock-less VFF running. For more, view Justin’s post on the new Bikila at the Birthdayshoes.com, or view this post showing a video interview in which Vibram CEO Tony Post introduces the new VFF line.
Update 3/30/10 – Looks like the Vibram Fivefingers Bikila will be arriving in late April, 2010.