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Monthly Archives: March 2015

Trail shoe review: Merrell Trail Glove

First, I need to get something off my chest: I LOVE THESE SHOES!

I’m one of the few runners who can run in minimal shoes and it does me more good than harm. I finally took these shoes out for a muddy run which probably wasn’t the smartest idea since they have tiny lugs and practically no grip on anything but dry dirt. And yet, as you can see by the photo, it was so much fun!

merrell

The trail gloves are zero drop with only enough rubber to keep your feet from getting trashed on the trails. As you can see, they have a Vibram sole and little to give you traction in the mud. I slipped and slid all over the trails on this run, laughing the whole time since my friends and I were also playing in the puddles, trying to see how dirty we could get the other. I did a little too much sliding on one part, doing an awkward fall face first into the mud. My friends have enjoyed telling that story ever since.

As soon as the trail gloves came in the mail, I slipped them on and ran a loop around my house. I was so excited. They have a wide toe box, a narrow mid-foot and heel, absolutely no cushion whatsoever and only that thin bit of rubber between your foot and the road. They are mesh so water does not stay in them long. There is nowhere to attach a gaitor. There is a rock stopper on the big toe, but there is no rock plate. The shoe is very light and flexible, giving your foot the ability to move whichever way it needs without being hindered by the shoe in any way.

Yet, as much as I love these, I will be honest about their limitations. They are not meant for technical trails. Or maybe, they are not meant for technical trails that are anything less than dry. They are light enough for flat easy dirt that doesn’t require the need of traction or ability to grip the earth. Your toes combined with the Vibram sole will help with the overall grip, but the shoe can’t save you in the mud.

Just remember, minimals aren’t for every runner and when switching, transition s-l-o-w-l-y, mile by every other mile.

crystal mud

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2015 in trail shoe review

 

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Trail shoe review: Salomon Fellraiser

The trails I run on are technical and can get muddy and slippery from time-to-time. Salomon has a strong reputation for being aggressive in less than stellar conditions so I wanted to give them a try. They are weatherproof, have Gaitor traps and are an all around tough to kill kind of shoe.

I wanted to like them something fierce, but it was not meant to be.

salomon

Don’t get me wrong, the shoe is amazing and has fantastic grip and really could be a kick-ass shoe for someone who prefers more shoe. But as a minimalist runner who supinates, these were a broken ankle waiting to happen so they had to go. I gave them two chances, once in snow and once on mud and I kept falling off the shoe and that is way too dangerous. I used to roll my ankle a lot then switched to running in minimals; it hasn’t happened since.

There is a lot of cushion under your feet in any of the Salomon brand, from 12mm to 20mm and each with a 6mm-12mm drop from heel to toe. This particular shoe has a 6mm drop with 12mm under the heel and 6mm under the forefoot. I like to feel the earth beneath my feet and have always been a fan of going barefoot as much as I possibly can so these shoes feel like I’m running in high heels. After running only 5mi in them each time and constantly falling off the side of my right foot, I knew I could not run in them long term for fear of not just rolling my ankle, but maybe finally breaking it.

So if you like lots of cushion, speed laces and aggressive tread, these are the shoe for you! The technical trail shoes have a solid base that isn’t very flexible which is what you want for the hard trails that require a lot of ascent and descent along with the dodging of rocks and roots. A friend of mine has the city trail version of Salomon and they have a more flexible sole but lack a rock plate and toe stopper. The Fellraiser has a rock plate, toe stopper with extra seaming to make sure your big toe cannot come through the mesh upper, an ability to drain so your feet don’t stay wet too long and are lightweight for all that shoe.

Again, this isn’t a bad shoe, it’s just not for me and my tendency to fall and get lots of booboos. I don’t need a shoe to help me do any of that as I am doing fine on my own. My knees have a lot of stories. 🙂

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2015 in trail shoe review

 

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