Comparative Review: Inov-8 Evoskin vs. Vibram Fivefingers by Facewest Adventure Equipment Specialists

Inov-8-evoskin-blueUK shoemaker Inov-8, a favorite among minimalist runners, has recently released a shoe called the Evoskin. The Evoskin is essentially a silicone foot-glove, and in having pockets for each individual toe it bears a resemblance to the popular Vibram Fivefingers.

When I first saw the Evoskin, my first thought was that they would likely create a sweaty, slippery mess of my feet. As an anatomy professor, I spend hours in the lab wearing latex gloves, and I can attest that sweat buildup in rubber gloves gets rather uncomfortable very quickly, and the thought of doing the same to my feet holds little appeal.

Earlier today I came across a video comparison of the Evoskin vs. the Vibrams from Facewest Adventure Equipment Specialists (see below) – seems to pretty much confirm my suspicions. I think I’ll be taking a pass on these.

Fortunately for Inov-8, they have a lot of other great things to offer – I recently purchased and am putting miles on the Inov-8 Road-X 233 – nice shoe (my first Inov-8), and a full review should be coming soon.

Update 7/24/2011: Here’s an additional Evoskin review from Damien Tougas at Toesalad.com – Damien’s conclusions are more or less the same.

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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a recovering academic who currently works as an exercise physiologist, running coach, and writer. He's also a father of three and a fanatical runner with a bit of a shoe obsession. In addition to writing and editing this site, he is co-author of the book Tread Lightly, and writes a personal blog called The Blogologist. Follow Pete on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and via email.

Comments

  1. Heather Gannoe says:

    I thought of dishwashing gloves when I first saw these!

  2. Robert Osfield says:

    The sweat problem has to be the downfall of the shoes.   A an interesting idea, but Inov-8 will need to go back to the drawing board.  The fact that some manufacturers are getting brave enough to try some as pure as just a silcon skin encouraging – yes this particular shoe goes too far and fails in it’s implementation, but it does push the boundaries out.

    While watching the videos I did have one practical idea of what one might be able to do with them – jelly moulds!  Lets face all the barefoot runners have birthdays like everyone else, what more geeky way to celebrate than a foot shaped jelly ;-)

  3. Daniel Batchelor says:

    Images of these shoes where available at least a year ago if not longer. Number 1 comment, as it was obvious, sweat. I figured that it was the moisture problem that they were working on that was taking so long for these to become available, clearly not. And according to the first video review above, they are not even stable – stretching around like, well, silicon. I run both barefoot and in VFFs and have for the last two years. I would never purchase these – it’s a bad idea – Inov-8 should cut their losses and terminate this product before it costs them even more.

  4. Tom Buckner says:

    Look forward to the Inov-8 233s review, been eyeing them for awhile

    • Cricrinapoli says:

      I also can’t wait for the Inov-8 233 review as I’ve been thinking of getting a pair, but wanted a reliable review first.

  5. KevinWSchell says:

    These remind me of the “jelly shoes” that girls wore in elementary school. I just can’t take them seriously.

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