Vibram FiveFingers Bikila EVO ReviewFebruary 9, 2014
- Glove-like fit
- Outstanding flexibility
- Thicker standing height doesn’t compromise ground feel
- Limited crossover ability for venturing off-road
- Cushioned ankle collar from original Bikilas is gone
Best For: Experienced minimalist runners seeking a dedicated road running shoe capable of logging high mileage.
Security (of fit): Vibram is justifiably famous for its toe-pocket design, but doesn’t get nearly enough credit for consistently producing uppers that fit your foot like a glove. The Bikila EVO is no different – and the elastic quick-lace system helps customize tension across the midfoot even further. If these shoes don’t fit well, you’ve got the wrong size.
Stability (on impact): The high-density rubber outsole provides good traction on asphalt and all-weather tracks, but the tread design is definitely intended for roads; if you venture onto fire roads or gravel, you’ll notice the lack of grip.
Smoothness (flexibility): For flexibility, it doesn’t get any better than Vibram. Despite a relatively thicker platform, the Bikila EVO doesn’t compromise any of the all-direction range of motion that FiveFingers are famous for. Outsole rubber is portioned out in high-impact areas, with flex grooves in the immediately adjacent EVA sections to ensure full flexibility. Minimal stack height plus a highly flexible midsole combine for outstanding ground feel on the Bikila EVO as well.
Comfort: The ankle collar on the Bikila EVO harkens back to the company’s original KSO style, which may disappoint some who liked the lightly padded ankle collar on the original Bikila. The interior surface is comfortable against bare skin, but isn’t as supple as the microfiber stretch fabric on the original. There is also some stitching from synthetic overlays that were mildly irritating on initial use.
Speed and agility: Here’s the plus side of losing the lightweight upper padding – Vibram was able to carve away almost a full ounce of weight in this model compared to its predecessor. Keeping in mind this is strictly a running shoe, the combination of thicker midsole (for more protection) and lighter weight makes the Bikila EVO well-suited for fast training.