The Vibram V-Run features Vibram Vi-Lite technology designed to deliver lightweight, yet responsive cushioning. During landing, the shock is absorbed and efficiently releases energy for a solid rebound. The shoes feature the XS RUN outsole compound.
It delivers maximum stable hardness on various surfaces that are soft. Also featured is the Vibram Mont compound formulated to motorbike racing, mountaineering, and trekking. It is highly reliable when running at relatively low temperatures on different terrain.
The V-Run is an update of Vibram’s Bikila EVO. Other changes than the name have been made. There are improvements in many areas. The design is meant for the road rather than the trail. It is a shoe new barefoot runners, looking to transition to a minimal shoe will enjoy.
The biggest difference is the ability to use in extreme temperatures. A thicker compound is used on them, and the upper is more breathable. The outsole is hospitable to both warm and cold conditions. Fans of the Vibram brand will appreciate the V-Run.
- Available in many color options
- Breathable mesh upper
- Clever lacing system
- Easy on and off
- Lightweight design
- Inconsistent fit
- Not as adaptable to cold weather as advertised
The outsole is 8.5mm thick. The thickness consists of 2.5mm of rubber pads, four-mm EVA rubber and two-mm of added material in the insole. A Mont compound has been added that works with the typical Vibram XS Run material found in other models.
The combination gives a durable outsole that is meant to hold up to increased mileage. There is a bit more grip than previous models. It is intended to perform well on smooth, slick surfaces and indoor tracks.
When it comes to technology, Vibram found the winning combination. The midsole flexibility allows full downward to flexing which is a mark of truly flexible barefoot shoes. EVA cushioning absorbs shock efficiently and releases maximum energy for a powerful toe-off.
Perforations on the upper are easy to see. They allow air to flow through the shoe. Depending on the outside temperature, the holes can be good or bad. Ventilation does reduce foot odor. Odor is a common concern of barefoot shoes.
The new upper minimizes the issue. Polyester Lycra Stretch Mesh and Polyester Microfiber are used on the inside. The material feels great on the skin. However, water will permeate the material, especially with perforations.
The shoes perform well during road speed work and track sprints. Vibram takes pride in offering lightweight models. The V-Run model is no exception. It is among the lightest in the lineup. Weight doesn’t get much lighter, except actually running barefoot.
The V-Run shoes are among the most breathable shoes available. The updated material provides a comfortable feel while allowing the feet to breathe naturally. Breathability comes with a tradeoff of unwanted airflow during cold runs. Running through snow, rain, or wet grass can also cause problems. Those wanting all-weather running shoes should look elsewhere.
Runners with a low pinky toe or longer second toes compare the feel of the shoe to having drooping shorts with no belt. Overall, the insole hugs the arch, and the soft Drilex sockliner feels great on bare feet.
Some runners have complained about the lacing system, saying it provides a fit that is too loose. The loose fit may contribute to blisters and hot spots, especially in the area for the toes. An indented spot on the heel allows some sand or dirt to enter the shoe.
Durability is typically not a conder for Vibram shoes. The upper is prone to wear-and-tear, particularly on individual toe pockets. Where the rubber outsole meets the upper polyester is where the shoe tends to fail the test of durability.
There is some superficial degradation which makes the thin upper vulnerable to comprising tears. The shoe scores high in durability but does not receive top ratings. The polyester has been beefed up but lacks some durability to keep the shoe lightweight. The shoes will last a season or two but do not endure a ton of abuse.
A few short trail runs would be fine. The Vi-Lite rubber and EVA foam should provide midsole protection. Some debris is likely to enter the shoe via the opening in the heel. Trail runners looking for the ultimate in protection would choose another shoe.
The shoes respond well to subtle motion. Individual toes pockets permit a natural stride that allows the toes to splay out as they are supposed to do. Track workouts and sprints are no problem for these shoes.
The extremely thin four-mm EVA midsole and 2.5mm XS Run rubber outsole give the shoe overall malleability. When pressed between the ground and foot, the soles are quite firm. They provide a sort of responsiveness in stride. There is a noticeable difference from traditional shoes with stacks of foam or rubber that may provide some give and return bounce.
Varied terrain such as trails with large roots and rocks are not well-navigated with the V-Run. Road running is the sweet spot of the V-Run. While wearing the shoes, most runners should stick to short trails, sidewalks, pavement, and tracks. There are those who contend the V-Run is a versatile shoe that does equally well on the road and steep rocky trails.
Vibram prices their products based on the technology they offer. There are deals to be found, but the shoes rarely end up in the bargain barrel. Compared to others, barefoot shoes may command higher prices even though they are made of less material.
For many barefoot runners, the tradeoff is worth the price. Shoes like the V-Run tend to have a devoted crowd willing to pay higher prices to ensure superior products. Those looking for high-quality barefoot running shoes are not disappointed with V-Run. Amazon advertises the shoes for men in the $91 to $215 range. For women, the advertised prices range from $58 to $268.
There is plenty of traction in the heel to avoid slippage. Runners have no problem navigating slick sidewalks or wet grass after it rains. Staying off of icy terrain is wise. There are options better suited for ice and snow.
Flexibility makes shoes extremely packable. The V-Run can be folded and rolled nearly in half to fit in tight spaces. There is a train of thought that the extreme flexibility of the V-Run limits the capacity for responsiveness.
Added height contributes to the protection and durability found in these shoes. The Vibram V-Run is suitable for most runners, especially those transitioning to barefoot shoes. The heel-to-toe drop is advertised as zero-mm.
The drop of a shoe is the distance from the heel to the toe. A zero drop would mean the toe is 8.5mm above the ground. The configuration is ideal for those transitioning. Zero drop shoes allow the feet to be level with the ground. There is no slope from the forefoot to the heel. A shoe with zero drop helps runners run naturally and efficiently. Proponents believe zero drop shoes are a safe and practical way to emulate barefoot running.
Antimicrobial Drilex lining
Clever lace-up system
Decent heel support
Forefoot rubber pads and Mont compound for durability
New EVA cushioning
Odor resistant due to high ventilation
Polyester/polyester mesh upper
Thin soles that allow feet to feel the run
Upper perforation for maximum breathability
XS Run rubber compound and Vi-Lite midsoles in the heels and toes are a great blend of durability and cushioning
The shoe may not be the ideal choice for extreme wetness or cold or trail running scenarios. The V-Run scores well in many categories due to the comfort of unaided foot landing and inherent lightness. Breathable lycra mesh stretches to fit the foot.
The Mont rubber compound and Vi-Lite sole make for a comfortable landing. Other technicalities and categories do not fare as well. The foot shape design does not accommodate those with low pinky toes and second toes more extended than the big toe.