|VFF Spyridon: Crazy awesome|
The stretch mesh upper is pretty comfortable, however I ran with no socks in my first run, and I ended up with a hot spot just above the arch of my foot. I think it may have had to do with the bit of extra fabric on some of the seams in the upper, and perhaps it wasn't folded down flat. For the most part the interior of the shoe is relatively smooth, especially along the bottom, but as you can see there are some seams like the one above, and similar ones around each toe sleeve that could potentially cause an issue over a long run. My personal preference is to wear a light weight Injinji sock in any minimalist shoe (except for huarache sandals), so went that route with the Spyridons. I was very happy with the pairing of the thinner Injinji's, and didn't experience any other issues from that point forward. Also, they still smell good :-)
This is how they look after just under 50 trail miles logged. Granted, I'm pretty good about rinsing/dusting them off after each run. Also, I really like the green... they stand out, and I'm a big Gumby fan, so green works for me! You can also get them in an orange/olive/black style as well.
So, how do they perform? For a minimalist trail shoe, I love them. I ran in them for 2 (out of a 4 race series) trail races, that were over some pretty rugged, rocky and technical trails. A lot of the trail was loose rock, large boulders at off kilter angles, and some really good up and downhills. What I liked was that even with a 6.5mm stack height, the ground feel was good. I think a lot of that comes from the individual toes sleeves that make VFF's very flexible and responsive. And, I was able to pick my way down some technical downhills quickly (well, relatively... at least I was actually passing people!) because of the great traction provided by the aggressive tread pattern. While I didn't take any plunges into deep water, the Spyridons shed any water from small puddles well, and combined with the Injinji's, my feet stayed warm, even during a 7 mile race with temps in the mid 20's.
And of course, I've logged a number of climbs up the Manitou Incline, plus the run back down Barr Trail (pictured above). I've really enjoyed taking these out on the trail, and I think Vibram has filled a gap in its product line by offering a true trail ready minimalist Five Finger shoe. I really don't have any particular complaints or concerns about the Spyridons. I do know that VFF's are not for everyone, as getting them sized and fit to your foot properly doesn't always work, based on the shape of your foot etc. So, I would recommend trying them on, versus just ordering online. The Spyridon's retail for $110, but its worth keeping your eyes open for any specials or discounts out there.
Finally, I can't help but give you a peek at the VFF Lontra's that just came out. I am as excited about these as I was for the original Spyridons. These are the first cold weather trail VFF's that should perform great in snow as well (if we ever get any). Water resistant with a micro-fleece pile interior.... awesome!
Thanks again for tuning in. As always, please leave comments/questions/feedback below. Welcome to December, and hopefully some snowy winter weather!