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Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Trail Shoe Dilemmas. A sort of shoe review.

I've not been able to find a decent pair of trail shoes that I get on with for the wettest and muddiest conditions. Being a size 12 and wide fitting 80kg runner who is about 50-70% on trail, I need something robust and hardwearing, aggressive lugs, neutral and well cushioned.

Having opted for the Inov8 ultra 290s, these are still in the shoe rack. They are great for short very muddy runs but are not comfortable on the longer runs, especially when the trails are harder or there are extended road sections. I use these in the extreme wet weather but not all of the time.

Then I went for the Hoka ATR Challenger 4. Hmmm. Very very comfortable. The wide fit was wide enough.......

They ripped after 200 miles. After a replacement was sent out, the ATR 5 (bottom left) managed 250 miles and split at the ball of the foot on both sides, on both shoes. They had been gently cleaned of the mud and dried sensibly, not too hot. shows them after 2 races.

Then it was the turn of Altra Olympus 3.0 . These were certainly comfortable and very wide, although the toe went after about 350 miles and the vibram lugged soles were almost none existent after 400 miles. I've still got these and occasionally go out in the dry trail as they are so comfy.

Back to Hoka and with my wife in America, i asked her to pick up a pair of Speedgoat 3s. I thought this was the ONE! Fresh out of the box, they were comfortable, grippy and responsive, whilst not picking up the claggy mud for 5kg shoes in the valleys.

Alas......250 miles later and they were totally trashed. Splitting as all Hokas do, at the ball of the foot. I still run in these, when it is wet roads and light trail. But they are trashed.

My twitter account shows the extent

Now, I'm in La Sportiva. They fit fine and are very protective but just don't feel right after 10-15 miles. I'm going to try them out for the Lenham Cross trail marathon this weekend so we shall see.

I'd like a hybrid shoe with the longevity of an Inov8, along with the luggy grip, but with the cushioning and responsiveness of the Speedgoat 3 and the toebox of the Altra. Help me please!!!

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