Bikala LS Review: A CrossFit Perspective

Bikala LS Review: A CrossFit Perspective

I once saw an Inov8 commercial for a shoe that does “everything”, in regards to CrossFit. I was pretty impressed and was very close to buying that shoe. However, I was already a proud owner of a spiffy pair of Vibram Five Fingers. I was very impressed with the versatility and functionality of the Vibram Five Finger KSOs. Fast Forward a year after my purchase of the KSOs and I was in the market for a new and versatile shoe. Certainly Inov8 came to mind and even some Reebok shoes, mainly because of their corporate deal with CrossFit and advertising. No, I don’t have a problem with the partnership. I think it is great for the sport, so long as CrossFit doesn’t stray from its roots.

CrossFit has no limit or boundary as to which sport or event you may be participating in daily. This idea of needing a different shoe for each activity is crazy….Oh, powerlifting today, let me grab my shoes for that…Wait a 10k run today, let me get my long distance shoes…Rope climbs today! let me change into a shoe that would make this more comfortable. In my opinion, your search is over: Welcome the Bikala LS.

The Bikala LS has you covered NO matter what you are doing that day. No, I don’t work for vibram, just my honest opinion.

Bikala LS for CrossFit:

The Key Components

– 1st, we can start with Olympic lifts. I see why a lot of people have to have their “O Shoes” when they are  going heavy on a WOD (workout of the day) or if you are doing a straight strength session. (On that note if you are doing these lifts in your normal “cross-training” shoes you are WRONG! That is an easy way to get injured quickly)….BUT ask any Olympic Lifter if they have ever lifted barefoot and the answer will surely be YES!! The new Bikala LS was designed more for barefoot running. In doing so they strengthened their soles for more padding and protection. A side benefit to this was the stiffness that has been added to the entire shoe. It is definitely not too stiff, and it is a perfect platform for any Olympic lift. Coming from a guy who has done a lot of O lifts on bare concrete floors, I love these shoes. They grip the floor and I can feel when I messed up a lift and my body wants to roll to the toes… it doesn’t happen. I am able to stay balanced and correct for my mistake.

-2nd, Running. Ok, I really do not want to get into the debate of barefoot running. Everyone has their own beliefs. I was not a believer in barefoot running for a long time. I have marathon runner friends who give me crap all the time for barefoot running. However, as far as the Bikala LS goes they are great for running. Like I said earlier, they were designed for running. They have more padding on the heel, and everywhere for that matter, that supports you much better than the KSOs did while running. Learn how to run barefooted correctly and these are great no matter the distance.

-3rd, Everything else. The Bikala LS will step up to the plate not matter what your challenge is for the day. They are super light weight and make any gymnsatic and skill work session very easy. I honestly do not think that I could find a WOD that would exclude me from wearing these shoes.

-4th, Versatility. While watching the CrossFit Games this year I couldn’t help but notice Jason Kahlipa wearing some vibram five fingers before the first event started. He said he doesn’t normally train in them, but he wore them for the right reasons. Think about it…A WOD pops up and looks like this:

3 Rounds for Time:

200m swim
200m run
50 double-unders
12 kettlebell swings (2 Pood)

What shoe would you like to wear? Did I mention you can wear the Bikala LS in water! If you didn’t already know that, you can. This makes them trump any other rival shoe. CrossFit has shown in the last Games that they are not afraid to touch any form of fitness. I think swimming is going to be showing its face more and more in this years programming.

-5th, Quality and Fit. If you have never owned a product by Vibram you need not worry about the quality. These shoes are great. My last pair lasted me a year and a half, well actually I still have them in working order. They are just retired. The Bikala LS has a lot of features that make it a step up from a lot of their previous versions. The speed lacing system is great and makes for a nice and snug fit. The fitting size chart on the VFF website is perfect for measuring and ordering. The only thing I would say they may be geared toward a fatter, or wider foot. My foot requires the laces to be tightened significantly, but it really isn’t a problem. Overall, long lasting, simple, and durable.

Bikala LS in Summary

I think the Bikala LS shoe embodies the same ideals of CrossFit and being prepared for the unkown and unknowable. If you were looking for that all encompassing CrossFit shoe, look no further. Reebok may come out with some cool stuff soon since it is so closely tied in with CrossFit now so keep checking them out. No telling what they will develop. For now, I am sticking with Vibram.