Spring 2014 Running Shoe Buyer’s Guide

Photo: Scott Draper | Competitor

Vibram FiveFingers Bikila Evo, $120

5.0 oz. (men’s); 4.1 oz. (women’s)

8.5mm (heel), 8.5mm (forefoot)

Fit: As with previous FiveFingers models, the Bikila EVO fits like a glove from heel to toe. The key, which can be tricky, is getting the correct size for your foot.

Feel: While this version of toe shoes is still a low-to-the-ground minimalist model in every sense of the word, an additional 2mm of cushioning gives this one a little bit more substance. It’s still a “barely there,” barefoot-style shoe, but the thin slice of foam is noticeable and appreciated.

Ride: This is as natural as your foot can move while still wearing a shoe. Our wear-testers found that the minimal amount of foam isn’t conducive for heel-striking gaits, so most adapted and ran with a midfoot or forefoot strike as they did with previous FiveFingers models tested. Although the increased cushioning was noticeable, the ride is nearly identical to previous incarnations of FiveFingers shoes. The key to running in this type of shoe remains having strong feet, lower legs and core strength. As with all uber-minimalist shoes, make your transition in moderation.

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