Friday, 3 August 2012

Vibram FiveFingers Spyridon vs Spyridon LS: a review

Hello everyone! In my busy schedule I have finally managed to bring you the promised Vibram FiveFingers Spyridon vs Spyridon LS review; and what better way than to post my first video on my blog!

Click on the link below to see an extensive review of both trail running specific models from Vibram.




Photos:





Conclusion:
Whichever shoe you choose to get, I think you will soon fall in love with what it enables you to do. Never before have a pair of FiveFingers allowed their user to get as much pleasure from the trails as these will. With the much needed protection and grip that no other models have successfully provided in the past now available at your feet, these minimalist trail runners will allow the user to tackle more muddy and technical trail without the worry of serious stone bruising or ending up sitting on your backside in the dirt!!!

Happy Running readers, and as usual, please feel free to leave any comments or questions below.
CavemanClarke

31 comments:

  1. I have the Spyridon LS shoe and being from Seattle, I have noticed that when the uppers get wet they take days to dry out (if they were really wet) at room temperature. Have you noticed if the regular Spyridon dries out more quickly? Also, running barefoot in the LS version has certainly given me blisters at the most common points other people complain about. What was your experience with the regular Spyridon in this regard?

    I have been looking forward to this review as it seems no one has really done a full review of the Spyridon non-LS yet.

    Thanks!

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  2. Hi Alketas

    Yes, I totally agree on both points you make; drying time and blisters. Just out of interest, where do you suffer from blisters with the LS?

    The uppers on the non-LS Spyridon are not only thinner and more flexible but they definitely dry out much quicker. The yellow footbed inside still takes the same amount of time to dry as it is the same sole unit, but the upper is much thinner. It also has an overlay of silicon type covering which in dry conditions but with puddles can repel some water. In wet conditions the foot just gets soaked though!!!

    I have had no problems with blisters in the non-LS model and therefore choose it as my longer distance trail shoe. The LS is tighter and causes rubbing on the heel and fat-pad under the big toe. It is also a little on the tight side over the instep which makes me worry a little as on longer distance could cause metertarsal tendinitis (too tight laces can cause this). Time will tell. This said, I much prefer it as a short distance trail shoe as it stays-put better on the foot. I feel it therefore provides better grip and stability due to the foot being held in place better.

    Would you like to see a review of just the non-LS Spyridon, or does the video cover most of the points you want to know?

    Thanks for your comments
    CavemanClarke

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  3. The shoes caused blisters on my heel and on the inside arch of my foot basically where the upper material strips down. It happened on both feet on an 8 mile trail run. I have been wearing socks mostly with the shoes because of this, although I don’t with my komodosports (Velcro strap version). The video does cover most of what I was looking for. I’m sold on the tread, I was just really wondering on opinions of the uppers since the two shoes are so different.

    Thanks again for the reply!

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  4. Hi Andy
    Thanks for your advice on calf problems. I have just given you a mention in my latest post at http://www.barefootbeginner.com/2012/08/08/sore-calves-should-my-calves-feel-sore-when-i-become-a-barefooter/
    Chris

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    Replies
    1. Cheers Chris
      I have been following your posts via Twitter as I am very interested to see how a relatively new barefooter is getting on and to offer any helpful advice if I can, as I know how frustrating injury and set backs can be.
      Keep up the good work and thanks for the mention. I read the post; very good!
      CavemanClarke

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  5. I find the Spyridon LS to be a bit tight around the mid foot and the speed laces are a bit short. I'm therefore going to cut out the speed laces and fit regular ones in order to achieve a more custom fit.

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    1. Awesome. I know exactly what you mean with the tightness, as they are borderline too tight with me also. Let me know how you get on with the modifications, I am very interested to know and hopefully see a picture too? Send me a pic and Ill get it up on the blog! Contact me via this post if you would like to share your modifications with us all :-)

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  6. Hey mate,

    Your review was the most informative that I've seen on the internet. I was particularly interested in the strap designed Spyridon. I run competitively on the road in the Komodosport LS. But it's not quite right but much better than the bikila, bikila ls, treksport and seeya. My particular interest lies in the flex and bend of the shoe (spryridon). How does the flexibility, ground feel and overall running experience compare to the komodosport ls. If you have tried the Komodosport LS of course.

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    1. Hi Jonathon and many thanks for your comments.
      I have not tried the KS LS but I have had a pair of velcro strapped Komodo Sports for over a year now. I love them for dry trail and road running as well as general fitness activities.
      The Spyridon has slightly less flex and ground feel than the KS, but this is due to the tread pattern and kevlar insert on the Spyridons designed to take away sharp and pointy problems on the trail rather than road. And it works really well. The Spyridon LS is my favorite VFF by a long way but then I run trails and so I need the grip and added protection. I would not recommend the Spyridon for long road races, only as a trail shoe that if you need to run some roads will cope fine.

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  7. Hi,

    How would you compare the VFF Spyridon to the Merrell Trail glove?
    I am currently doing most of my road and off-road running on my Merrel Trail gloves and I really love them. But I am looking at a second pair of minimal trail running shoes and I would like to get a bit more traction on muddy sections.

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    Replies
    1. Hi and apologies as I have been on holiday and unable to respond recently.

      I would say the Spys hold a little better than the MTG. I have run a lot in both shoes and I personally prefer the Spys due to their VFF design and minimal feel, as well as a little added traction.

      I don't think you will be disappointed if you get yourself a pair of Spys to add to your running arsenal ;-)

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  8. Thanks for your review! You helped me choose between those.

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    Replies
    1. No problem, which did you decide to go for?

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  9. CC,

    Just came across this thread so I haven't really explored your blog yet. Wanted to ask you about your experience with Spyridons and catching toes on rocks. First, what kind of trails do you run? Singletrack? Rocky or smooth?

    I'm considering Spyridons because I have some long runs planned in Colorado this summer, very rocky. This last weekend I did a 15 miler on rocky singletrack in my Bikilas and I kept catching my toe. I ended up breaking my pinky toe on a rock and am pretty miserable now.

    I thought Spyridons would help me be more reactive since they have the rock stop. Do you find this to be the case? Do you ever catch your toes? I don't want to go back to big shoes, but if I'm going to run rocky trails I don't want to be dealing with this issue anymore.

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi climbhoser

      I am sorry to hear you have broken your toe. It always hurts to be set-back in our training and running. At least it wasn't anything more serious!

      The Spys do offer more protection than the Bikila although being in the very nature a VFF this protection is still somewhat limited. The rock plate detracts from ground feel ever so slightly in comparison with the Bikila but well worth it on rocky trails.

      I run grassy, muddy, wet and slippy English trails with a few rocks and tree stumps but not too rocky. When I do go somewhere rocky i always focus more on picking my feet up and cycling my legs. Don't run too far so as to get tired and let your feet start dragging!

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  10. Greetings.

    I have been wanting to try out the Vibram style shoes for running and in the process of researching found your video. Great information. I have no experience with VFF style shoes so I'm on a learning curve. Thanks so much for taking the time to do this. It was really informative. Plus the comment above regarding rocks and broken toes really got me thinking as well.

    I live in Colorado over in the States. Some of my trail running is pretty flat and easy going but I do also run in areas where there are many large rocks to be avoided or stepped on. The whole slamming a toe into a rock is something I hadn't thought about.

    Knowing that the Spyridons are made for trail running how do you think they will work for pavement or biking? My situations are this - to get to the trails for running I either run on pavement for about a mile or I bike either 8 miles or 15 miles to a trail, run, then bike back. What should I expect from these shoes running on pavement for a short distance or biking with them for long distances?

    Also do you have a recommendation for VFF shoes for running in the city. Pavement, asphalt, sidewalks and all that fun stuff?

    Thanks very much.

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    Replies
    1. Hi and many thanks for your kind words!

      I think the Spyridons would be fine for a mile on pavement. I have done it many times between trails so not an issue really. As for biking, I am not experienced with this as I only run here, but as long as the pedals are not clip ins or have any toe covering (this would probably rip them eventually) I cannot see why you couldnt bike in them!?

      As for the city, I would try the Komodo Sport or the Speeds as these have given me plenty of miles on paved surfaces and even light trails. You could run to a park in them no problems and still have no problems on grassy areas.

      Let me know how you get on
      CavemanClarke

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  11. Hi... coming to the party late, sorry.
    Good review - I was swithering over these two models as I have a high instep and suspected exactly what you suggest, that the LS model is more constricted. I've been running with KSOs for over a year and I'm fine with the hook and loop, so I'm glad I caught this review!

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    Replies
    1. Not a problem, I am glad to be of help. Enjoy them; I still love mine after 100's of KM and have recently ran 27 miles in a pair :-)

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  12. Hello Caveman

    I'm a runner from Malaysia. I've been running for more than 3 years and i finally think that i'm going to run in VFF. Do you think that Komodo Sport is a wise choice? I run mostly on the roads.

    Thank you

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    Replies
    1. Hi Zulhilmi,
      Yes I think the Komodo Sport would be a very good option for roads and even tracks and paths. I have run roads and dry trails in the Komodo Sport and have been very happy with their performance and comfort. Give it a go, but remember to take it easy and listen to your body!!!

      Delete
  13. Hi, so I bought a pair of Spy's after wearing my Merrell pace gloves on the trails and my Bikila ls. I have a very high instep so the strap models are not a good option for me but the ls is really tight on the to of my foot. I want to keep them but need to modify for them to work. Any advice for a trail loving Hobbit footed female? I've got several ultra's coming up on the trails and I need to find a solution.

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    1. Hi Shaylene. I would say that every time I put my Spy LS on I think they feel tight, but as soon as I get moving they are absolutely fine and I have no problems. Also, they do loosen as you use them for a few runs. Have you tried making sure that the laces are looser towards your toes before putting them on. You could take out the laces and replace with looser home made ones but I would only do this as a last resort. Keep me updated, you may find they feel fine once you run in them a few times?!

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  14. Hello CC!

    Thanks for the great review. It has been really helpful. Your blog is really useful!

    I would appreciate your opinion on the following. I've had my Komodo Sport LS (with laces) for over two years now, using them for gym and running in parks and asphalt, last week I did a 35 km hike (hardened surface mostly) and there is nothing I don't love about them.

    I have ordered Spyridons (velcro) for trail running and hiking in the mountains. Same size as my Komodos felt too tight and cutting between toes. One size bigger fits over the toes, but I have too much space behind and around my heal and tightening the velcro doesnt really help. Given the great experience with laces on Komodos, do you think Spyridon LS would be solution for me? I am surprised that the same size felt so small but bigger doesnt really solve the issue. I have quite narrow feet with high arch.

    I would really love to hear from you. Sending my vibrams there and back for exchange is becoming costly. :)

    Keep up the great job on your blog!

    Petra

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    Replies
    1. Hi Petra and thank you for your kind words about the blog. A lot of time and effort goes into writing and reviewing so it is lovely to hear that people are benefiting from it all.

      I would suggest the LS version, as after over a year of using the Spyridon I would say that the LS version is far more comfortable to wear and better fitting. If the velcro version is not comfy it might be worth getting a pair of the LS in the same size as your Komodo LS, although the Spyridon does fit more snug and secure, so be aware of that. Wear them around the house and check before trying outside!

      Let me know how you get on!
      CavemanClarke

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  15. So glad to find a place I can get answers! I also have a fit question.

    I have VFF LS models in spyridon and bikila. They're great. I have the strap version of the spyridons and also a treksport and they both bother one of my little toes in the same place.

    Is it just a coincidence that the ones that bother my feet are strap models, or have you heard this from others?

    Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. I haven't heard this from others to date, however, I have often heard that the strapped and laced models can fit very differently. I have certainly found this, and prefer strapped for everyday use and laced for running as they fit more snug and don't allow any movement inside the shoe. I would stick to whatever is more comfy and avoid anything that causes grief. I hope this helps :-)

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  16. Have you tried the Spyridon MRs? I've had KSOs for years and have the same problem with it bothering one little toe (odd or what? LOL) All I can find are either LS's or the new MR's. So would you say that they're even snugger than the strapped versions? I'm a womens size 42 so basically have no room to move up :(

    PS: I fix the little toe problem by just jamming it in with the 4th toe :)

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    Replies
    1. I haven't yet tried the Spyridon MR's, although I would love to (Vibram, where are my trial pair???!!!). I love the original LS version but I have become less keen on the velcro strapped version over the last few months as they are just not as snug, comfortable or secure feeling as the better LS version.

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    2. Hello CC. Thanks for all your product reviews; people like you are a huge help. I'm uncertain if you've heretofore touched on this aspect of the LS vs. non-LS, so here goes: I'm planning on doing several mud races this coming year. I've owned the Spyridon LS for 2 years now and enjoy them immensely. My question-- does the non-LS Velcro strap ever come undone in muddy or very wet conditions? My thoughts are that the quick lace system is more secure in extreme conditions. I cannot envision the LS closure system being affected by mud seeping in whereas I believe the non-LS Velcro would be. Any experience with this? Thanks, David from NJ

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  17. What about is compared to VFF Trek Ascent? Which do you recommend? Thank you
    Used for hiking and trekking.

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