Tag Archives: fivefingers

Vibram Five Finger Bikila

after a couple months of saving up $$ and doing my homework on them, i finally broke down and bought a pair of Vibram Five Finger Bikila last weekend (Aug. 2010).

Vibram Five Finger Bikila

having owned the KSO‘s and the Classics, and having nothing but wonderful and incredible things to say about them, it’s with no small disappointment that i tell you: i’m not impressed.

i wanted to love them. seriously. when i started running in my KSO’s back in 2009, i thought Vibram could do no wrong. i was floored at the minimalist nature of them and the other models of Five Fingers. i’ve been nothing but a cheerleader and salesman for much of what Vibram has put out, and have not worn regular shoes but once in the past year – Five Fingers all the way! running, work, walking, working out – it’s all good.

but the Bikila? i was concerned even as i tried them on, walked around Sunset Shoes (Destin, FL), and ran up the block in them before purchasing them. they were tight. constricting. the soles were thick. there was a lot more padding / fabric overall.

but i bought them thinking, “oh, you just need to wear them around a bit, run in them a while, get used to them! quit being a baby!” and having the owner of the shoe store tell me how the Bikila are “the next big thing, quickly outselling all other Five Finger shoes, blah blah blah” helped move me to purchase them, too.

a week into it, involving wearing them two full days, plus running in them five nights (2-3 miles a night), i’m just not completely satisfied.


  • these suckers are more narrow than the KSO’s and a bit shorter, too. i sized up from the KSO (size 43) when i bought the Bikila (size 44), but they’re still pretty tight all around. very constricting.
  • the “plates” on the bottom are thicker than i was expecting, and as a result, there’s much less natural feel to wearing them and they’re less flexible. the KSO’s have a more natural flow to them and are significantly more flexible.
  • those “plates” also give more support, and it’s not what i was looking for with regards to running.
  • there’s a significant increase in the amount of padding / fabric at the heel and side of the Bikila, giving it a more shoe-like feel.
  • i don’t feel nearly as “in touch” with the road in the Bikila given the factors above, and it’s a noticeable difference.

now, the Bikila are NOT uncomfortable to run in. i’m ok with them and their performance, but it feels like a move in the opposite direction of minimalist footwear (or how about: a step backward). i’m certainly no expert, and my running is kept to several miles a night at best – for others, these things might be the cat’s pajamas. for me? i’ll continue to wear them and hope my opinion changes, but i wish i had bought another pair of KSO’s to replace my green pair that got a hole in them during the Urban Adventure Race last month.

if things change, i’ll let you know. for now: KSO’s are still my favorite minimalist running shoe.

Sept 10, 2010 update: after almost a month with the Bikilas, having logged 50+ running miles in them, plus several more days of wearing them all day, my initial review stands. they’re not uncomfortable, but they’re not what i expected and they’re just too much shoe.

December 10, 2010 update: still running occasionally in the Bikilas and wear them to work frequently, but assessment stays the same: for running, KSO’s rock. Bikilas pander to those folks who want their VFF’s to be more shoe-like (including bells & whistles).

for kate: an update

the latest excitement:

  • i’m down 41lbs from last june to 244lbs
  • i continue to run 5x / week, lift weights 3x / week, bike infrequently, watch my calories, do some circuit training a couple times a week, drink lots of water, and juggle daily.
  • i started doing yoga 3 weeks ago and am enjoying it quite a bit – very relaxing, yet also a workout. i frequently do it at night before heading to bed and it helps the insomniac in me fall asleep.
  • this pic was taken this afternoon while hamming for the camera:
  • the picture drives me to ask the question: if you had a high school teacher with guns like that, would you be messing around with him? no? then why the heck do my students mess with me? is it the shoes? is it the smile? maybe i don’t flash the guns around enough?
  • i’m neck-deep in IEP writing, with somewhere around 18 IEP’s due in the next 2 months. oy vey.
  • add to this that i’m taking a course on educational assessments at UWF and it’s a double oy vey.
  • stephen king’s Under the Dome was a great read until the last 30 pages. he really is a master of plot development, but his endings are so frequently just blah.
  • i’ve now worn my Vibram Five Fingers every day for three months and i’m telling ya: these things are absolutely awesome. i did acquire a second pair of them (seen in above picture) and do all my teaching, workouts, running, etc. in them. my feet / legs / knees / back have never felt better. i realize i have a followup i need to do on my previous post – it’ll happen, promise!
  • spring break is the last week in march – i’m planning on being in Cincinnati for a couple days. am thinking of arranging some kind of party for a couple hours one night and see if we can’t get everyone together in one room to visit and catch up!
  • there’s more to tell, but this was unplanned and as such, my brain is mush.

thanks to kate for the kick in the ass.

FiveFinger KSO’s

i took the plunge and bought a pair of Vibram FiveFinger KSO’s this past week!


my initial reaction?

  • running is easier and less painful on the knees
  • running is more fun and less exhausting
  • the KSO’s are crazy comfortable

gimme a couple more days and i’ll post a more detailed assessment as well as my rationale for getting into barefoot running. for now, here’s some info to look into: