The V-Run is the update to Vibram’s popular Bikila EVO. With the name change, Vibram has made some other improvements in many areas of this shoe. It is really designed for the road, not the trail. New barefoot runners who are looking to make the transition to a more minimal design will particularly enjoy the V-Run. The biggest difference from its predecessor is that the V-Run is designed to be used in more extreme temperatures. Both a more breathable upper and thicker compound used on the outsole will make it more hospitable to both warmer and cooler conditions. For those who have enjoyed the other Vibram offerings, the V-Run should be a no-brainer.
Of course, this could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the temperature outside and how much air you prefer. The other positive thing about the ventilation is that it cuts down on foot odor. Barefoot shoes are known for their odors, and Vibram has minimized this issue with this new upper. The material used here is a Polyester Lycra Stretch Mesh mixed with a Polyester Microfiber on the inside. This material feels great on the bare skin, but do keep in mind that water will easily permeate this material, especially with all of the perforations.
The perforations will also cut back on odors which can be a major problem with barefoot shoes designed to be worn without socks. Of course, this breathability comes with the tradeoff of more airflow during colder runs. Runs through wet grass or in rain or snow will obviously cause problems as well. If you’re looking for an all-weather running shoe, you should probably look elsewhere.
The outsole durability is usually not a concern on Vibram shoes, but the uppers can be prone to wear and tear. Like most other toe shoes, runners should watch for wear on the individual toe pockets. Where the upper polyester meets the rubber outsole is where these shoes tend to fail the durability test. Vibram has beefed up the polyester used in the upper, but to keep its weight it still lacks some durability.
The midsole should be much better protected with the combination of EVA foam and VI-Lite rubber. As stated above, some debris is prone to entering the shoe through the heel opening. So trail runners looking for the ultimate amount of protection should look for a more rugged shoe with fewer perforations in the upper.
- Lightweight design
- Clever lace-up system
- Decent heel support for a barefoot shoe
- New EVA midsole cushioning
- Perforated upper for maximum breathability
- Great traction
- Odor resistant thanks to high ventilation