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February 22, 2010

The Evo Has Landed

(Admin note: a quick post today as a follow-up to an item from last week, and as a place holder for another review later this week.)

Last week I included a Terra Plana promotional video describing Vivo Barefoot’s new Evo running shoe. There’s obviously a good deal of interest and anticipation about this shoe; earlier this winter, Vivo Barefoot set up a bare-bones registration webpage for e-mail updates – and they currently have more than 1700 people on a wait list to purchase them.

Even more impressive is that most of these registrants were onboard before there was so much as a picture unveiled – a point that speaks both to Vivo Barefoot’s customer loyalty and their reputation for quality. Since that early teaser, the questions that have been asked most frequently are, 1) What do they look like?, 2) What will they cost?, and 3) When can I get mine?

This week Vivo Barefoot sent out a mailer that answers all those questions, which is embedded below (it’s tall and skinny, so you’ll have to click to enlarge). The shoes are now officially available from the company website, although they’ll probably be in short supply until the initial wait list orders are satisfied.

(click to enlarge, obviously)

I have some initial thoughts on the mailing, which I’ll probably save for a later post, or for a formal review later this spring or summer – but if you have any first impressions on the Evo, feel free to discuss in the comments below.


Chad R.,  2/23/10, 3:52 AM  

$160? Yikes! It seems ironic that 'minimal' shoes are becoming 'maximum' in price.

Ludo,  2/23/10, 9:55 AM  

Got to see and try the EVO at the Terra Plana store in NYC two days ago.
Overall, I didn't like it.
The EVO is narrower than the other Vivo Barefoot shoes, the sole is not thin enough (I couldn't really feel the ground well) and the price is ...ouch!!!
Looking forward to some reviews.

Notleh,  2/23/10, 11:21 AM  

8 ounces? wtf? How heavy (and what size) were the pair you tried?

Anonymous,  2/23/10, 11:54 AM  

just ordered mine and I should get them in two days and will give some feedback. Looking forward to it.

Donald 2/23/10, 12:22 PM  

Chad: yup, they're pricey. Hopefully durability will make them worth the investment.

Ludo: Have you tried other minimalist shoes (Vibrams, Feelmax, etc)? How does the Evo ground feel compare?

Anon: yes, definitely, I'd love to hear early feedback - either on this post, or e-mail me separately. Thanks.

Steven 2/23/10, 3:13 PM  

I just received my Lesotho shoes today, and was very disappointed in the fitment. I was so excited while working today to know that when I got home I could try on my new Lesotho shoes and then go ahead and order the Evo right away. Now I'm having my doubts.

I have wide feet, mostly in the way my toes sit. But a size 13 Nike Free 5.0 fits me comfortably and is my normal casual sneaker. The Lesotho in size 13 cause me physical pain as they cram my toes together. Not what I was expecting, given that the reviews all say Terra Plana have wide toe boxes. Length is just about right for me for the length of my big toe, though, so I am worried about going up a size.

If the Evo run even tighter, can I be sure that even going up a size it'll fit? I really do want to ditch the Nike for something that'd put me into a more anatomically correct posture and thought that Lesotho would be it.

How disappointing.

Ludo,  2/24/10, 12:27 AM  

Notleh: Tried size 45 and it was much heavier than my VFF Trek.

I own a pair of VFF Trek and two pairs of Vivo Barefoot Aquas.
The ground feel of the Evo was the worst of all.
I usually remove the insoles in my Aquas and I was amazed how the sole of the Evo felt heavier and thicker.

The EVO was narrower but seemed much longer than my Aquas.
I wear size 12 EE and didn't have enough room in the forefoot (width wise) in the Evo.
I hope they will feet you.

Overall, the Evo is a big disappointment for me.

Ewa 2/24/10, 5:38 AM  

I don't see myself paying $160 for any shoe. So what is so minimalist about it? Certainly not the price. Just because barefoot/minimalist running is becoming popular it does not need I will be supporting greedy companies. Sorry Terra Plana.

Donald 2/24/10, 7:47 AM  

Ludo - Great information, and an interesting comparison. Thanks.

Ewa - It's not simply an issue of greed. TP incorporates a ton of eco-friendly and socially responsible measures into their manufacturing and production process, and those sort of things doesn't happen on the cheap. And Vivo Barefoot has been around for years now, so they're not just cashing in on the latest trend. The retail price is certainly high, and understandably difficult for many folks to justify paying, but price point is a much more complex issue than many folks realize.

Mike L 2/24/10, 10:23 AM  

You know my NB790's have that same honecomb pattern just under the fabric. I think these shoes might just be too minimalist for the trails I like. If they were cheaper I'd consider a pair for mild trails and roads but as it is I can't really justify them. Will be curious to see some 1st had reviews when they come out and wish Vivo well with them.

Steven 2/24/10, 11:14 AM  

"TP incorporates a ton of eco-friendly and socially responsible measures into their manufacturing and production process, and those sort of things doesn't happen on the cheap."

They do all that, and then have their shoes made in China.

Donald 2/25/10, 2:42 PM  

Steven - this has been discussed at length on this site before (see "responsibility" tag on sidebar). Doing business in China does not automatically discredit a company. Some conduct themselves very ethically; Terra Plana is one of those.

Bryan 2/25/10, 9:48 PM  

I received my EVO's today and was not impressed.

They were comfy underfoot and flexible (could be rolled into a tight ball), but the sole does not feel as thin as I would like.

I also disliked the upper. The honeycombed TPU webbing and the heavy mesh do not allow the shoe to flex well. It feels crinkly; definitely not sock-like. I would much prefer a traditional mesh upper with some TPU support strips a la the Inov8 f-lite 230.

As far as sizing goes these run TTS there is no need to size up. Additionally, unless you have an extremely wide foot there is plenty of room available width-wise.

Steven 2/26/10, 11:32 AM  

Bryan, have you worn other shoes from TP that claim to be sized TTS?

I can wear Nike Free 5.0 in size 13 but not TP Lesotho in the same size. Nike is notorious for making shoes that run small, but TP claims the Lesotho runs TTS.

My "normal" shoe size is 13 4E.

I am still waiting for TP to send me the next size up. I'd like to know that I can actually fit into TP shoes at all before I order the Evo.

Puller 3/3/10, 5:09 PM  

Anyone know where i can still buy them?

I must eat, sleep and run. The road to my soul. 5/21/10, 1:38 PM  

The Evo is the best running shoe I've ever tried. I have over 400 miles on the Evo and it is still going strong. I do remove the insole to provide better ground feel and reaction (plus it chops off about 1 oz. in weight). I rate it slightly ahead of the KSO because it can be used in the winter and much better than the Trek (I also run in the KSO and Trek). I just set a 5k PR of 19 min. in the Evo.


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