Wear Vibram FiveFingers for your winter training

What Vibram FiveFingers Should I Wear In Winter?

Winter Is Here! Which Vibrams Shall I Wear?

PLEASE NOTE –

This is an archived blog post and a new version has been published for winter 2015/2016. To view the new ‘Vibrams for Winter’ guide, click this link. 

We’re seeing a massive shift in the barefoot shoes that people are buying. The days are getting shorter, it’s colder, it’s wetter, and its windier. People are seeking out the best Vibram FiveFingers for winter – and we’re here to help you find the perfect choice.

An Overview

In case you don’t want to read the whole article, we’ve made it easy for you to pick out the best shoe depending on what activity you’re likely to use the shoes for most:

…But if you want to know more, read on! 

A Quick Look at the Soles

Vibram Fivefingers have some excellent styles that are designed for use in colder weather and challenging terrain, but there are two sole types that stand out as the most winter-proof; the Trek sole, and the Spyridon sole (aka the Vibram XS Trek compound).

The ICETREK Sole

The ICETREK sole is unique to the Bikila Evo WP. Built on the same style / shape of sole as the original Bikila Evo, except the sole on the WP is made from Vibram’s patented ICETREK technology. Not only has this rubber compound been granted full marks by Vibram for its durability, it is “developed to grant the best grip on very cold, iced, or snowy surfaces, VIBRAM® Icetrek allows you to move, work, and live safely on mountains and in cold areas.”

Bikila Evo WP - Men's ICETREK Sole
Bikila Evo WP – Men’s ICETREK Sole

The ‘Trek’ Sole

The Trek sole: A closer look
The Trek sole: A closer look

The Trek sole can be found on the following styles:

With a maximum sole thickness of just 7.5mm the Trek sole is very minimal – but in comparison to some of its peers (EL-X 3.5mm, Seeya 3.5mm) it is more ‘built up’, thus giving less ‘barefoot feel’ (aka proprioception / feedback).

The extra sole depth comes in the form of tread. The lugs on the Trek sole are strategically placed to provide extra grip where it is needed, giving you confidence when running on the trails. The extra sole thickness means the Trek sole is less flexible than other Vibram styles.

The Vibram XS Trek Compound Sole

Sypiridon sole: A closer look
Sypiridon sole: A closer look

The Vibram XS Trek Compound Sole is found on the Spyridon MR.

The Spyridon MR sole is more minimal than the Trek sole with a maximum sole thickness of just 4mm. The sole features multi-directional tread designed to provide traction and stability when you need it most. The Spyridon MR sole is also much more flexible than the Trek sole, and you can easily roll and flex the sole.

A Look At The Shoes

Bikila Evo WP: The ONLY Waterproof ‘barefoot’ shoe

The Bikila Evo WP was released in November 2014 and has created quite a stir. For year, barefoot runners have been calling out for a shoe that is genuinely waterproof, and now we have it.

See our full review here

This shoe features a triple fastening mechanism: A concealed quick-lace system, a full zipper, and a Velcro across the top. The upper fabric is 100% waterproof, the zipper has taped seams, and the ICETREK sole is super-grippy in snow and ice. Despite the wealth of features, the Bikila Evo WP is also extremely lightweight. Its baffling how a shoe so good, so comprehensive, can remain so low on weight.

Buy the Bikila Evo WP

Trek Sport: Great for winter and year-round

The Trek Sport is one of Vibram FiveFingers’ most popular styles. The black/charcoal colourway is arguably more ‘socially acceptable’ and less conspicuous than some of Vibram’s more brighter, vibrant styles. The upper is exactly the same as the KSO (Keep Stuff Out) style, and the Trek Sport style and colour is exactly the same for both men and women.

The Trek Sport: Black / Charcoal, for both men and women
The Trek Sport: Black / Charcoal, for both men and women

Because the upper fabric completely covers the foot to just below the ankle, it provides warmth and does a great job of preventing any objects (gravel, sand, mud) from getting inside the five-toe shoe. The mesh ensures the feet can breathe and the Velcro fastening is a God-send when your fingers are cold; simply pull and stick – no fumbling with numb fingers to lace-up your shoes!

What is the Trek Sport best for?

These are all reasons that make the classic Trek Sport an ideal choice if you are looking for a shoe that will perform in:

  • Boot Camps
  • Off-road running (trail running, beach running,
  • Mud obstacle courses such as Tough Mudder
  • Trekking
  • Day-to-day use

Buy the Trek Sport from Feetus.co.uk

Trek Sport Sandal: Great for trails in milder weather

Vibram released the Trek Sport Sandal in 2013 to very favourable reviews. While the original Trek Sport is great for hitting the trails when the weather is cooler, muddier, and the terrain looser – The Trek Sport Sandal will serve you better when it is warmer, and when the terrain is more hard-packed.

That said – You can provide extra warmth and protection by adding a pair of Injinji toe socks.

More a shoe than a sandal, The Trek Sport Sandal features vents on each side of the shoe providing incredible breathability. The upper fabric is extremely durable and comfortable.

While the Trek Sport is a Velcro-only style, the Sandal is lace-only (LS) and comes fitted with Vibram’s brilliant Quick-Lace system as standard plus a spare pair of conventional laces, giving you the choice of how you lace your Sandal.

What is the Trek Sport Sandal best for?

The Trek Sport Sandal is certainly less of a winter shoe than the Trek Sport, but is equally as versatile, making it a popular choice for the following activities when the weather is fairer:

  • Off-road Running (Trail Running, Beach)
  • Boot Camps
  • Trekking

Buy the Trek Sport Sandal from Feetus.co.uk

Lontra: Water-Resistant and Thermal

The Lontra was the original winter barefoot running shoe – before the Bikila Evo WP was released..  The upper is water-resistant (but not waterproof), and is more padded than any other style, providing thermal qualities to keep your feet warm when it gets cold.

The Lontra features a multi-layer laminate upper with fully taped seams, providing 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.

The Lontra feels slightly over-sized, and I suspect it was designed this way to provide extra space inside the shoe to give the wearer the option of wearing toe socks for extra warmth and comfort.

You may also find the Lontra to be less breathable than other styles. This is arguably a fair trade-off given the water resistance element.

What is the Lontra best for?

You will likely find the Lontra best for you if

  • You’re running when it is really cold
  • Snow running
  • Off-road running (unless it is warm)
  • Boot Camps
  • Obstacle events such as Tough Mudder, Mudderling, Spartan Races, etc

Buy the Lontra

The Spyridon: A viable winter option: Copes well in mud obstacle races.

The Spyridon MR is available for both men and women:

The upper fabric is only slightly water resistant (not as much as the Lontra). Like the Trek Sport and the Lontra, your foot is fully covered giving excellent protection against loose objects when running and preventing things such as stones, gravel and mud from entering the shoe.

The ‘MR’ in the name actually stands for Mud Runner and the shoe was designed for off-road, muddy pursuits; the grippy sole akin to that of a mountain bike tyre.

What is the Spyridon best for?

As such, the Spyridon MR will serve you well if you want a winter shoe that still has maximum barefoot feel, whilst still performs well in:

  • Mud obstacle courses such as Tough Mudder
  • Trail Running
  • Boot Camps

Buy the Spyridon MR

A Personal Opinion / Conclusion

It has to be said that the most important aspect of keeping warm in a ‘barefoot’ shoe is not so much in the shoe itself, but in the socks you wear underneath. Without socks, your feet are really going to feel the cold. If you want to continue running and training outside in the colder months, don’t forget your socks!

See our huge range of toe socks

If you’re looking for a pair of Vibram Fivefingers for general use, for road running and for a bit of everything, there is no better product than the Bikila Evo WP. Unparalleled grip, waterproof, and the look amazing!

I personally find the Lontra to be a little too ‘clumpy’, heavy, and rigid. When I run in the Lontra, I lose all-important ‘barefoot feel’ (also known as proprioception, ground-feel, or feedback) and I notice that my running form suffers.

The Trek Sport and Trek Sport Sandal are two of my favourite shoes. Excellent handling, great for long distance, top breathability: I personally cannot find any faults with these shoes, though some may argue that the Trek sole is too thick at 7.5mm). I would argue that the tread depth is essential for all trail running / trekking enthusiasts.

The Spyridon MR, while being a very attractive shoe with what looks to be a very ‘grippy’ sole, I find it to lack the appropriate grip when the conditions get very wet. I also find that the Spyridon MR does not provide the level of breathability that is essential in a running shoe.

Don’t Forget Your Socks

It goes without saying that in winter, a pair of socks can make a difference between a great run, and a downright hideous one. It’s so important to keep the blood flowing in your feet, so make sure you keep your feet warm and comfortable. As soon as you lose feeling in your feet, how do you know if your technique is correct? …You don’t!

Keep Warm: Add a pair of Injinji toe socks to your set-up
Keep Warm: Add a pair of Injinji toe socks to your set-up

A pair of socks will go a long way to keep you dry, warm, and most importantly, running naturally. Specialist running shoes with individual toe pockets require specialist socks with toe pockets. Luckily, we have the best toe socks on the market… Injinji toe socks.

Pick up a pair of Injinji toe socks today.

Customer Questions

1. Brian Holden asked: “How will they [Vibram FiveFingers] fit with toe socks?”

By adding a pair of Lightweight Injinji toe socks, the added ‘bulk’ is so minimal that this will make no difference to how your FiveFingers fit.

Wearing Original Weight Injinji socks under your Vibrams will have a greater impact. If you Vibrams are currently quite close-fitting (i.e, your toes graze the end of your shoe), then the added material from the Original Weight socks will probably be too much, and could cause ill-fitting inside the shoe. This of course, will have a knock-on effect to your running performance and comfort.

Most people will find that, if you are usually a size 43 in a KSO, a size 43 Lontra will feel a little oversized, meaning you could easily accommodate a pair of Original Weight socks inside.

 

About The Author

Barefoot runner, cycling fanatic, outdoor-lover, Lee Firman is the man behind Feetus.co.uk. Click here to read more.

Vibram FiveFingers Trek Sport Sandal

Vibram FiveFingers Trek Sport Sandal Review

Are you looking for the perfect ‘barefoot’ trail running shoe to wear during summer? The Vibram FiveFingers Trek Sport Sandal may be the perfect option.

The KSO Trek Sport is one of the bestsellers at Feetus.co.uk. It features a fantastic sole, ‘grippy’ enough for trail running, yet not too rugged making it a good choice for running too. Many love the Trek Sport for their boot camp training too. Versatile and practical.

BUT… When I first heard saw the images of the Trek Sport Sandal, I thought Vibram had gone mad! Why would they make a ‘barefoot’ sandal with five toe pockets and a rugged sole? Then I saw the recommended retail price. £110 for a sandal… Who in the right mind would pay that?

That is – until the BIG Vibram FiveFingers SS13 shipment arrived on our doorstep. I was bowled over by the Trek Sport Sandal as soon as I saw it in the flesh.

THE LOOK

  • Lace-up system on top.
  • Zig-Zag pattern on the side
  • Rugged ‘Trek’ sole

THE FEEL

My Trek Sport Sandal’s made their debut running the 17-mile Osmotherley Phoenix. I toed the line as the only wearer of Vibram FiveFingers.

The Trek Sport Sandal coped very well on the rugged terrain. Much of the route covers the Cleveland Way, which is a mix of woodland trails, singletrack, stony paths and old rock paths. I was concerned that the vents in the side of the shoes would let gravel in, but this was never an issue.

The Sandals were in their element with it being such a hot (29C) day.

After 12 miles I could feel the shoes starting to rub. I suppose this is natural, given that this was the very first time I had ever worn them running. All new shoes take time to ‘bed in’, and before starting, I was expecting blisters.

CONCLUSION

The Trek Sport Sandal is a very capable ‘barefoot’ running shoe, and handles dry terrain with ease. Comfortable on various terrains, the Sandal is best suited to warm-hot days when the ground is dry.

If you’re a fan of the Trek Sport, you will love the Sandal version. I certainly prefer this to the Trek Sport, mainly due to its breathability and without question its aesthetics. The Trek Sport Sandal looks awesome!

I do feel that Vibram have got their price wrong for these shoes though. £110 is a HUGE amount to fork out on what is advertised as a ‘sandal’. Without knowing exactly how good these are in advance, its difficult to say whether I would be willing to splash the cash on these – but now I have them, they are my go-to pair of Vibrams for trail running as well as day-to-day use during warmer days.

 

Interested… Get yours here: Trek Sport Sandal

Perhaps you’d prefer the KSO Trek Sport?

…Free Delivery on all Vibrams – PLUS – a free Feetus neck tube

Osmotherley Phoenix 2013 (17-Miler) Race Report

Wow – What a hot, hot day. After such a miserable start to summer, the sun finally reared its head for the Osmotherley Phoenix 2013.

I had originally registered for the 33-mile option, but over the past few months had started taking a preference to shorter races, and my head was turned by the 17-mile option.

The atmosphere at the start was brilliant. The sun was out and the place was buzzing. There was about 400 people at the start, including some familiar faces.

After a brief warm up I toed the line (the only runner in Vibram FiveFingers!!), only to find that I had lost my wooden chip needed for one of the checkpoints. Hopeless. I made the race director aware, and it didn’t seem to be a problem.

The Start Line
The Start Line

The countdown saw an awesome crowd make their way out of Osmotherley up the first climb of the day before taking a left on to the wonderful Cleveland Way long distance footpath. I used to use this route from Osmotherley regularly for mountain biking years ago so it was nice to re-trace familiar ground.

I sat in 4th behind a lead pack who I understood to have been running the 33-mile option. After five miles I sat back and waited for others to catch up. There was no point me pushing on because I had not done a recce of the route, nor had I read the route description, had a map or a compass, so I had absolutely no idea where I was going.

It was nice to spend the next few miles running with friend Adam Breckon, who runs a fantastic vegan/endurance sports blog here. We ran through woodland, up steep hills, over stiles, through gates, up old steps, atop the Moors. It was wonderful.

“The Fool On The Hill”

Descending from Carlton Bank, I expected to be leading the 17-mile race. I took my time, had a drink and was told that two of the front three had made their way on to the 17-mile route. I turned to see they were a good 4+ minutes ahead so I made a dash for them to try and stick to their heels. A lapse in concentration during a short climb, and I lost sight of them.

I stood at the top of a bank looking out. I spent a few minutes scanning the ground below, monitoring the horizon, and couldn’t see them. I knew there would be no chance of catching them now; that the only thing to do would be to wait for the next runner to catch up so I could stick to them until the finish.

Another five minutes passed and not a single soul passed my way. I decided to make my way back down the way I had come, only to find I had taken a complete wrong turn. What an idiot. I ran as fast as I could to re-join the small group that had formed at the front of the ‘peloton’.

“With A Little Help From My Friends”

Cutting a long story short, I stuck with two runners (one of which had won this race a few years prior) in this group until the last corner of the race. I ran when they ran, stopped when they stopped, and walked when they walked. I would have been lost otherwise. I felt guilty, having been guided by these two runners for the last 8-9 miles, only to speed off from them 300 yards from the finish to clinch third place.

It was a strange race. I loved the route – so scenic and diverse, but my own stupidity of having not recce’d the route beforehand meant I couldn’t race it properly. I don’t think I could have beaten the front two, but I know I could have definitely shaved 10-15 minutes off my final time of 2 hours 50.

 

Interested in buying Vibram FiveFingers? Get yours at feetus.co.uk 

Click here to see my review of the Vibram FiveFingers Trek Sport Sandals I wore in the event.

Click here to visit the Osmotherley Phoenix website.

 

The Brand New Vibram FiveFingers SS13 Stock Is Here!

We received a BIG ORDER from Vibram yesterday. 

In this BIG order, included the red-hot EL-X and the super-cool Trek Sport Sandal – Both of which are brand new styles of Vibram FiveFingers for Spring/Summer 2013.

EL-X_13M0102_COPPIA
EL-X Grey / Orange / Black

EL-X - Black
EL-X – Black

It has taken a lot longer than we expected for them to arrive, but we’re glad they’re here – and they’re in good company too. Popular styles are now (finally) replenished after Vibram’s popularity in the UK saw the likes of the Bikila LS, the KSO, and the Trek Sport SELL OUT!

The Bestseller: The Bikila LS
The Bestseller: The Bikila LS
The Ever-Popular Trail Favourite: The Trek Sport
The Ever-Popular Trail Favourite: The Trek Sport
The Mighty KSO
The Mighty KSO

In their debut day, the EL-X has proved most popular by a country mile, dominating our orders. Not surprisingly really, given it is now Vibram’s best-value offering – as well as being so lightweight, versatile, and good-looking.

THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO PRE-ORDERED

We always like to say ‘Thanks’ to our customers – That’s why we pop gifts in each order. But on this occasion, we owe a huge thank you to our patient customers who endured the long wait for their Vibram FiveFingers. THANKS!

…And our customers like to say Thanks too: Check out these lovely reviews here: http://www.freeindex.co.uk/profile(feetus)_530565.htm

 

Free Delivery and Free Gift

Don’t forget… All of the barefoot and minimalist running shoes come with FREE DELIVERY, and if you spend over £50 with us, we also give you a FREE FEETUS NECK TUBE.

New Vibram FiveFingers SS13 Stock ALMOST HERE!!!

This would make an interesting 'Guess the shoes in the box' competition!
This would make an interesting ‘Guess the shoes in the box’ competition!

It’s been a long time coming. Too long, in fact! 

But at long last, the brand-new Vibram FiveFingers styles have landed at the suppliers depot, and will be making their way to us, then to you VERY SOON.

It’s not too late to pre-order a pair. We have upgraded all pre-orders to Special Delivery, free of charge. Don’t miss out.

 

For a full list of Vibram FiveFingers SS13 stock, see here:

http://www.feetus.co.uk/footwear-c1/pre-order-vibram-fivefingers-ss13-c31

 

If you’re after the magnificent Trek Sport sandals, see here:

http://www.feetus.co.uk/search/trek-sport-sandal

 

Or, if you want to test out the Vibram FiveFingers EL-X, click below:

http://www.feetus.co.uk/search/el-x

 

Perhaps you’re a lady and are interested in the new Entrada or Alitza?:

http://www.feetus.co.uk/search/entrada