Thursday, May 26, 2011

Review Of Vibram FiveFinger Treksport for road running

So I went out for a run this morning. Even though I was not running a trail, I still wanted to try out my new Vibram FiveFinger Treksport shoes. I also wanted to compare them not just on trails but also running on the road and see how they match up to the FiveFinger Bikila, or other shoes.

I got them in this nice orange color, and they are pretty cool.

The differences between Bikila and Treksport, that I personally noticed:

  • The material upper of the Treksport is a little bit more flexible and softer than the material of the Bikila.
  • The velcro strap is designed a little differently. As a matter of fact, I have wondered why on the Bikila shoes the velcro strap is designed the opposite direction of normal velcro straps on shoes. I still don't have the answer to that, but on the Treksport they are facing the normal direction like most velcro straps on shoes face.
  • The velcro strap on the Treksport is flexible and can be adjusted, to a point, whereas on the Bikila it is set and not adjustable. 
  • The soles on the Treksport are a bit thicker, with heavier cleats along the edges and under the toes, for better protection. This means when running on the road that your foot feels the road less. According to Vibram it gives better traction, and maybe it does, but I like the feel of the road beneath that I get with the Bikila.
On one spot of my foot, on the inner sole, some skin wore off from the shoe. It happened the first time I ran with the Bikila as well. I might not have adjusted the shoe properly before I ran, causing friction from below. When it happened with the Bikila, I adjusted it a bit the next time I ran and was fine. I expect it to be the same with the Treksport.

Here are the images and descriptions of the soles of both the Treksport and the Bikila, from the Vibram website..

Treksport soles

Interestingly, the label that came attached to the Treksport shoes has an image of the sole with a description highlighting the features, and it is slightly different than the image above. I scanned it in to show you the difference:
As you can see, on the label it mentions the cleated rubber outside, which is not mentioned in the image on the site. They also point out the adjustable strap, and the Coconut Active Carbon upper material...

Basically, the Treksport are built very similar to the Bikila running shoes, and I look forward to using them to run trails. For running on the road I am going to stick with the Bikila as it gives me more of the feel of the road beneath me.

After I use the Treksport on the trails, I will write about how they held up and if they really provided better protection.

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