FiveFinger Bikilas are the Worst Thing to Happen to the FiveFinger Lineup.
This post is the opinion of Corey Nagle, a contributor to the MyFiveFingers.com website. Disagree with his assessment? Do you swear by Bikilas? Or do you hate them? Let us know in the comments!
And I hate them.
Released in April of 2010, Vibram FiveFinger Bikilas are marketed as the first FiveFinger model specifically for running.
From the Vibram FiveFingers site:
Bikila® is our first model designed specifically to promote a more natural, healthier and more efficient forefoot strike. While many folks have been running in their Vibram FiveFingers® for years, the Bikila® is our first model created exclusively for a more natural running experience.
Right there is where Vibram shot themselves in the foot.
Anatomical pods? I don’t think so. Let’s just call a spade a spade. It’s extra padding. Coupled with an extra 3mm of insole, it’s a means to entice the hardcore runners out of their Nikes and into a pair of FiveFingers. As someone who’s a VFF evangelist, you’d think that would be okay. It’s not. Most of us switched to FiveFingers due to the *lack* of padding. We don’t want more. Not to mention the addition of the “athletic padded collar” that’s creeping into every new design, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
Your average runners aren’t going to switch to an even more minimalist shoe after trying Bikilas.
Last I checked, the debate was still pretty intense over shod vs. minimalist/barefoot running. All this extra padding does is perpetuate the myth that more is better than less. If the number one minimalist shoe on the market thinks their “running” shoe needs more padding to run in, doesn’t that fall short of everything FiveFingers wearers supposedly stand for?
Which leads me to:
Last time I was on a search for a new pair of VFF’s, I used the website store locator. Out of nine results, four of them were running stores. All four of which only carried Bikilas (thus sending me into a rage of epic proportions because those were the model I *wasn’t* looking for). Thus, propagating the idea the Bikilas are the only Vibram model you should be running in. Not to mention the fact that most of these stores would still rather sell you expensive orthotics to go with a pair of of traditional running shoes, and could care less about advocating FiveFingers for anything but looking funny.
All of these “features” implemented in the Bikilas are steadily creeping into the new VFF lineup. Extra sole, padded collars. Almost every new pair that’s rolled out in the last year has had at least one of these. My favorite pair of “not shoes” are beginning to look more and more like regular shoes with every new lineup. Before you know it, we’ll have FiveFingers with no toes.
Thanks, Bikilas. Now go away.