February 17, 2011

New Vibram Bikila LS Review.

(Updated toward the end of this post)

They arrived in the mail yesterday.  I eagerly anticipated my morning run to see how they would feel.  I'm already a fan of the Vibram KSO and previous version of the Bikila, but was looking forward to the subtle improvements of the newest offering.  Namely, the Lacing System.

My first concern was the overall sizing.  Would this model be consistent with previous models (Vibram sizing is very precise; even the smallest mistake can make the shoe unwearable)?  But as suspected, the sizing was spot on.  With the lacing system, the shoe slips on much easier now, able to accommodate a wide variety of foot widths.  In addition, the snugness of the fit can be controlled by a simple tightening or loosening of the speed laces.

All in all, I'm very pleased.  My run was comfortable, as always.  And the shoes were not near as tight as with previous versions.  Very comfortable, and very slick. 

Updated 5/15/2011

I've been wearing the Bikila now for three months and continue to be extremely pleased with them.  They are as comfortable now as they were on day one, with very little sign of wear and tear (nothing more than what you might expect from the high impact areas on the shoe).  My primary use for these shoes is road running; very little trail work. Judging from the wear so far, I would estimate I have another four to six months in these Vibrams before needing to replace.  Compared to your average running shoe, that's a heck of a deal.  If you are looking to go minimal, the Vibram Bikila is an excellent choice for function and comfort. 

February 11, 2011

In Praise of Netbooks.

I love netbooks
Small. Portable. Lightweight. Inexpensive.

I've owned two netbooks over the past year. One I purchased for the sole use of taking overseas to China (I sold it when I returned to the states). The other, more recently, was to replace a home laptop that seems to be lumbering to a slow death, although it's only two years old.  I've grown weary of PCs that don't seem to last very long before initiating their breakdown sequence of stalls, crashes, lengthy responses and overall lackluster behavior (issues I don't seem to encounter with my Mac Mini ). 

Getting used to the smaller workspace and screen size is about the only adjustment I had to make, but once accustomed to it I had no complaints.  In fact, it's been downright fun to work on these undersized overachievers.  My particular model is the Toshiba NB505, although my original choice was the Acer Aspire 532h. Availability was the issue, as it's hard to find a decent selection of netbooks in retail outlets. Online is the way to go, if you don't mind buying without touching first.

Bottom line, I'm tired of plopping down $1000+ for a decent laptop or desktop, only to have it perform admirably for a couple of years and then quit.  Even if these netbooks prove to be no more reliable than their more expensive and larger brethren, at least it will only set be back a few hundred.

Budget concerns?  Give netbooks a try.