If you haven't been too distracted by all the new shiny FiveFingers out in 2012, or the newest and latest minimalist/barefoot shoes like the New Balance Zeros, the Altra Samsons, or the Merrell Road Gloves, you might have noticed that something else has been afoot.
Vibram appears to be reducing the number of colorways available in the original FiveFingers models — the KSO, the Classic, and the Sprint.
I mentioned this last week in a post about a large collection of Classic FiveFingers. I was lamenting the loss of options in the originally-soled Vibrams — it got a pretty huge response (60+ comments as of today). It seems a lot of folks want their simple-soled FiveFingers (and not just in all black).
The silver lining is that online retailers seem to have the green light to discount these old colorways to pretty awesome prices. That means that if you're worried that your favorite color of KSOs is about to be gone forever, you can grab an extra pair at a reasonable price. Like I said — silver lining.
Meanwhile, I'll note that REI has just released their annual 20% off coupon for members. Basically, if you're an REI member you get a chance to take 20% off any item in their store. You could use this coupon to snag the recently released SeeYa or Spyridon LS VFFs as they're not likely to be had on sale any time soon; or you could use it for a pair of black camouflage KSOs. Actually, I'm using mine to pick up another pair of Kuhl Krux "man-pris" (3/4 length shorts or pants depending on how you see it). I never thought I'd like long shorts but dangit they're comfortable as all get out, they fashion you as a pirate, and actually seem to look good with various styles of FiveFingers and other minimalist footwear.
I digress. Back to the FiveFingers sales. Here are a few places to check out if you're after some of the originals while they still exist at discounted prices!
REI — They've got men's KSOs in the black camou in most sizes for $59.99. Take 20% off that if you use your member coupon and that's only $48! They've also got women's all-black KSOs or the women's agate/camou KSOs for $59.99, too. REI offers no minimum purchase free shipping. Hook it up. I am.
Sun & Ski — These guys have some of the men's Sprints for $63.93 which will ship free (over $50), but perhaps of more interest to die-hards like me is that you can get the elusive, long-since disco'ed blue camou KSOs for men for $63.93. These are tied in my mind with the KSO Remix (more on where to grab those in a second) as the all-time best KSO colorway. They've also got the Classics in black/walnut for men for $55.93 or stormy sea Classics for women for the same price.
Pegasus Shoes — This is the only place I've seen that has the KSO Remix (these crazy red KSOs) in stock and on sale; granted, it's only in sizes 43 and 44 as of this writing. They also have the blue camou KSOs but only in sizes 44, 45, and 47. Note they don't ship free (a buck below their $60 free shipping threshhold).
Left Lane Sports — LLS has some men's KSOs in 43, 44, and 45 at about $44 plus $8 shipping. If you use my invite to join LeftLane you can get $10 in credit to your order of $50 or more; then, find something for $6-7 to add to your order (like a couple keychain flashlights, for example) and you should be able to get it all for around $50 (including shipping). I just picked up a pair this way.
— CitySports — Our friends at CitySports have some pretty awesome deals if they've got your size. For example, though the KSO Treks don't feature the original sole, they're a "classic" in their own right and if you wear a men's 45 or 46 you can get them for $50! As for the originals, CitySports has a few sizes (44,45, and 46) in the men's castlerock/green Classics for $54.97 or the same sizes are available for the men's beige/taupe Sprint for $40. Women with size 37, 38, or 39 can get KSOs in grey/green for a $40.
RiverSports — These guys have been offering various VFFs on sale for awhile, but recently, they created a coupon to get an extra 10% off the already reduced sale price [click to see the coupon code]. That coupon will only last until 3/31 so it's limited time. They've got some brown/walnut men's Classics for $45 (or $40.50 after the extra coupon) and various women's KSO colorways at $51 ($45.90 after the code). Just note that these RSO sales are final. Also, their free shipping threshhold is >$49.
I'll wrap this up and say "good luck." And let's keep on Vibram about maintaining their basic, non-lugged/non-podded original sole for those of us who want a little less (but a little more than straight barefoot) — I'd even settle for just one fun colorway in the Classic, Sprint, KSO lines in addition to black that cycles out every year — for enthusiasts who live and breath by these basic VFFs!