Vibram FiveFingers SpyridonReview Facts
Vibram has been focusing on minimal running shoes for a while now. There are many runners who prefer the minimal shoe with maximum connection to the running surface. This seemed like a difficult thing to accomplish with a trail running shoe, but Vibram looks to accomplish just that with the Spyridon. It is a barefoot style shoe that offers just enough protection for you to take to the trails.
If there is one thing that Vibram
knows how to do well, it’s creating an outsole. Aside from their own shoes, Vibram creates killer outsoles for a variety of shoe manufacturers. The Spyridon relies on a 4mm Vibram TC1 performance rubber outsole to protect the foot from trail hazards. This allows for the shoe to go places that typical barefoot shoes wouldn’t dare. The rugged outsole hugs the bottom of the foot while giving durable support on all toe pockets as well.
The Spyridon takes advantage of some solid technology with a nylon molded mesh midsole. Unlike most barefoot shoes, this adds enough protection to help dissipate the impact felt on uneven terrain
. Without this, the Spyridon would have trouble clearing rockier trails or roots. As a nice added touch, Vibram even made the molded mesh visible when looking at the bottom of the shoe.
Vibram has always relied on a thin, breathable upper in its barefoot shoes
. The Spyridon follows in this tradition with a Coconut Active Carbon upper that is slightly thicker than the uppers found in their other shoes. The other noticeable feature of the upper is the hook-and-loop closure system that takes the place of traditional laces.
Weight is one of the most important factors when choosing a barefoot style running shoe. The shoe should be extremely lightweight
to maintain the barefoot feel. The Spyridon weighs in at just 4.9 oz for a typical size 10 shoe. This is light enough to pack into the most minimal carry-on bag. This weight makes them perfect for trail runners who don’t want to be bogged down by traditionally heavy shoes.
These shoes are extremely breathable when compared to traditional trail shoes. However, compared to other Vibram Five Fingers models they’re slightly less breathable. In most situations, this won’t be an issue, but warm weather
trail runs could prove to be sweaty. Also keep in mind that these shoes are designed to be worn without socks, so you want them to give as much ventilation to the toes as possible.
Vibram shoes are all meant to feel as natural and comfortable as possible. They should really feel like an extension of your foot and allow for maximum responsiveness and reflexivity in every stride. With shoes that are meant to be worn without socks, it’s also important to limit and pressure points or chaffing areas. Some reviewers have noticed blisters
and hot spots forming in some of the toe pockets. Like any barefoot shoe, there is an adjustment period where the material has been shown to stretch and adhere to the runner’s feet.
The Vibram Five Fingers style is usually something that you hate or love. You will stand out in a crowd wearing any shoe that has individual toe pockets
. The bright color of the outsole is also hard to miss. Throw in the fact that these shoes have one large strap instead of laces, which is a unique look. The style is not for everyone but if you’re ok with wearing something different, the Spyridon could be perfect for you.
One of the knocks on barefoot shoes is their minimal construction which sometimes limits their durability. The Spyridon is a little different in that it’s a more rugged design meant to take a beating on the trails. So these shoes should hold up nicely with a really solid outsole. The areas to be careful with are where the upper (particularly the toe pockets) connect with the outsole. These spots can be prone to signs of visible wear-and-tear.
These shoes are designed to protect barefoot runners from the rugged terrain typically found on trails. The rugged outsole provides plenty of traction and protection against rocks, roots, and uneven terrain. There is added protection from stone punctures with the nylon molded mesh midsole. Even the Coconut Active Carbon upper is thicker than other Vibram shoes to block dirt and debris from coming in contact with the skin. This makes it a great trail running option
compare to other barefoot shoes.
Barefoot style running shoes are typically some of the most responsive shoes you can buy. The Spyridon’s are no exception. They allow for optimal connection with the running surface so you can feel every bump and divot. There is no removable footbed on these shoes leaving even less material between your foot and the trail. Responsiveness shouldn’t be an issue with so little weight and material around your foot.
These shoes provide as much support as you’d expect in a barefoot running shoe, which isn’t much. Again, you’ll be able to feel the nuances of the surface you’re running on and your foot will find it’s natural running stride. The strap enclosure does give an added sense of support and security as your foot should remain grounded in the shoe with little movement. Most people don’t look to barefoot shoes for much support and the Spyridon is no different than its peers in that regard.
These shoes are really built for extreme terrain. The outsole looks similar to a bike tire and it’s ready to handle whatever terrain you’re willing to throw at it. The bottom lugs seem perfectly spaced to handle muddy strides without any problem. Barefoot trail runners should have little fear in clearing all shapes and sizes of rocks.
Vibram Barefoot Shoes are unique and typically command a higher price than the average running shoe. Most dedicated barefoot runners are willing to pay this premium price to get the natural feel they’re looking for. Some may question the value of paying more money for less material in your shoes, but Vibram relies on some unique technology to fit so many features in a lightweight package.
The Spyridons have some of the most aggressive traction seen on any Vibram shoe to date. There is a stark contrast between the thin upper and the extremely rugged traction found in the outsole. Slipping on any terrain should not be an issue with these shoes. They should even be able to stand up to snowy or icy conditions
due to the size and shape of the lugs covering the bottom of the shoe.
Barefoot shoes rely on flexibility as a key component of their makeup. You can’t get the proper connection with the ground without ample flexibility. These shoes are flexible enough to nearly fold in half. The slight rigidity in the outsole is forgiving enough to tolerate running over rocks, but still is flexible enough to give the foot lots of room to flex.
Stability shouldn’t be a problem with these shoes thanks to the hook-and-loop strap closure system. While there are no added features to limit foot movement, a barefoot shoe like this offers natural stability
. Those who seek maximum stability in their shoes should probably look elsewhere.
These shoes offer a minimalist 3.5mm heel-to-toe drop. This will be much smaller than the average running shoe but it is not a 0mm drop
as some of Vibram’s other models are. Those without barefoot running experience may struggle with this minimal drop so be sure to ease into this shoe or alternate with a different shoe until you’re comfortable.
Key Features of the Vibram FiveFingers Spyridon
Key Features of the Vibram FiveFingers Spyridon
- Super lightweight design for minimal runners
- Ample protection against rocks and terrain
- Superior traction to get through mud and wet grass
- Highly breathable upper that works with no socks
- Innovative strap closure system
- Eye-catching design that stands out from the crowd
- Extremely flexible to encourage natural stride
Overall, the Spyridon does a lot of things right in the challenging category of barefoot trail shoe. Traditional barefoot runners will be impressed with the flexibility and innovation found in the outsole. Trail runners will rejoice in the ability to get the protection they need in such a lightweight package. Vibram has found a winner with these shoes that really stand out from the competition.