Way back in April last year, I found myself in Orlando, Florida for work and I took the time out one day to travel to the edge of town to go pick up a pair of Vibram Five Finger Bikilas (and a pair of Merrell Trail Gloves). They cost me about $140, which at the time worked out to about £88.
I recently purchased a pair of Vibram Five Finger Seeyas to replace the Bikilas. I've now run 130km in the Seeyas and I think they've bedded in well so I can now officially retire the Bikilas.
In the last 19 months I've officially logged 1865km to the Bikilas. I've run a lot more than that if we take into account warm-ups and cooldowns I've not logged and of course walking around before and after runs and races, but as they're not officially logged, we'll ignore those additional kilometers and work with what I know for sure.
So what do a pair of Bilikas look like after 1865km? Pretty good, if you ignore these little annoyances...
... and only concentrate on the rest of the shoe ...
Other than the holes and dirt (I've not bothered washing them this close to retirement), they look pretty good. To be honest, the holes in the toes weren't causing me any bother though so I could easily have kept running in them until I wore through the ball of the foot, though that wouldn't be for much longer as the balls are very thin now.
So as you can see, they've held up pretty well, and I'm certainly impressed.
Now I've titled this post "Vibram Five Finger Bikilas are Very Cheap" and they are... on a pence-per-kilometer scale.
1865km for £88 works out at 4.72 pence a kilometer. That is incredibly cheap, especially when you consider most people retire their £80 shoes at about 500km (at a cost of 16p a kilometer) on the guidance of the their local running shop and publications like Runner's World.
So whilst I was reluctant to spend the money at first, I'm glad I did. I've had a great time running in the Vibram Five Finger Bikilas and am so far loving the Seeyas and Spyridons I've just got. I'm not sure I'll get quite as many kilometers on the Seeyas as they're much less of a shoe than the Bikilas, but I anticipate I'll get at least the same on the Spyridons. Time will tell.