Bad News & Good News (my trail shoe decision)

Bad news first, right? Bad news: I went 6 weeks between doctor’s appointments due to the holidays (I get osteopathic manipulations) and my nerve(s?) flared up. I wasn’t doing too bad until Tuesday at which point I became unable to sleep all night and of course not run. I tried running a bit Wednesday but that was a bad idea. I couldn’t even straighten my left knee all the way. See here I am trying

So, today’s trail race was a no. I’m pretty disappointed because I so wanted to do the whole series! Chris and Evan are there now.

Good news: I have my trail shoes and I have two definite contenders for the win. I took reviewing these shoes this VERY seriously.

Here are the shoes I tried (all weights are based on my women’s size 7.5).

1. Mizuno Wave Hayate

Specs: stability shoe, 7 ounces, 9mm drop
I liked:
– They are very lightweight.
– They look fun.

I didn’t like:
– They were a little small on me. I wear size 7, but I buy running shoes in size 7.5 often. I ordered all of these trail shoes in 7.5 because I often wear my thicker wool socks when I trail run. I probably need an 8 in these.
– They felt very rigid to me. I’m not used to stability shoes though, so that’s probably why.
– The sole wasn’t as grippy as some of my favorite shoes. The tread wasn’t very deep.
(Mizuno on top here)

2. Inov-8 Roclite 295

Specs: 7.2 ounces, 9 mm drop, for the “beginner trail minimalist” according to their website
I liked:
– The upper was very flexible and comfortable.
– They have a decent sole. The knobby things are not as deep as the Salomon shoes but would probably be adequate. (Inov-8’s on the bottom here):

I didn’t like:
– They are so ugly. Here’s a pic of the Mizunos on the right and the Inov-8’s on the left. I cannot take my feet seriously when they have on shoes this ugly.

– The uppers almost felt cheap-ish. Like a Walmart shoe.

3. Brooks PureGrit 3

Specs: neutral shoe, 8.2 ounces, 4 mm drop
I liked:
– These shoes felt broken in and comfy the second I put them on. Maybe because I have a pair of Brooks in my shoe rotation already.
– I like how they look
– They’re very cushiony inside

I didn’t like:
– They weren’t as grippy on the bottom as some of the other shoes. They do have little knobby things, but they are closer together and shorter than a lot of the other shoes.

4. New Balance T110v2

Specs: neutral shoe, 4 mm drop, 7.4 ounces

I liked:
– Pretty comfortable, similar to the Brooks
– Felt natural on my foot
– Cool tread on the bottom, nice knobby grippy things (don’t you love my technical talk?).

I didn’t like:
– The look

5. Salomon Speedcross 3

Specs: neutral shoe, 9.4 ounces, 10mm heel-toe drop
I liked:
-These look awesome. Not that appearances should matter, but I’m vain and they do to me.
– They feel light
– Of the 5, these have the best grip/sole. Those little knobby things are very grippy. They even felt almost sticky on my hardwood floors.

– Cool quick-release laces

I didn’t like:
– There’s a lot going on in the heel. I’m used to wearing minimalist shoes so this felt strange to me. I’m sure I’d get used to it.

Summary: If I had to choose a shoe exclusively for trail running, I would have chosen the Salomon Speedcross 3’s. However, I run trails at most once a week, so I don’t NEED a hard-core trail shoe. If I had run today’s race, I probably would’ve kept the Speedcrosses and worn them. If I decide to run the next trail race, in a month, I still have time to re-order.

Since I feel I can wear them on the road OR the trail, I decided to keep the Brooks PureGrit 3’s.

I currently run about 90% of my runs in trail shoes as it is, so these shoes will fit nicely into my regular rotation. They just felt “right” on my foot and I think they’ll be perfect to wear on the snowy roads we’ve been dealing with.

I can’t wait to try them!

Cold Weather and Foiled Shoe Plans

First off, let me share our weather with you…AGAIN. I seem to do my fair share of whining about the weather on here. I can’t help it. I live in the Midwest. Here, we have ALL extremes from sub-zero temps to extreme heat/humidity. I’m not sure if there’s another area of the country that is as cold AND as hot as we are here in the Midwest…if so, tell me about it. Truth be told I do love the change in seasons. I just wish they were about 20 degrees less extreme in both directions. Even 10 degrees would help! Here’s a screenshot (with a little error) of today’s hourly forecast.

We are home from school, even. Snow/cold days are fun surprise days off, but we just had two weeks off, so I wasn’t exactly itching for a break. You know when I really need a snow day? Early May. Oddly we’ve never had one then. Still, it’s fun to have a day home without anywhere to be and no expectations.

Tomorrow morning is supposed to be super cold again, then it warms up to the teens, and back to super cold again Friday. Then a bit warmer on Saturday. Warm, relatively speaking, of course.

I have no idea what this means for school. I don’t think there is exactly a “magic number” for calling off school due to cold, but I do know that it has something to do with windchill.

Saturday is my next trail race in the Yeti Series. You may recall my shoe dilemma. On Sunday, I ordered 5 pairs of shoes from Road Runner Sports. I specifically chose only shoes that were marked “in stock”. I am a VIP member at Road Runner, so I knew I’d get them by Wednesday or Thursday. Last night, I checked my order status, and it turns out that three pairs of shoes were shipped but the other two are shipping from the manufacturer separately. Now I have no problem with shoes shipping from the manufacturer, but that should be listed on their site so I know not to expect them in two days! All the website said was “in stock”. Not “in stock at manufacturer”. Grrr. This completely messes up my plans to try on all 5 pairs and figure out the best ones for Saturday’s race.

Today, it looks like the 4th pair has shipped, but won’t be here until Saturday. I’ll be gone to my race long before the mail arrives that day.

And the 5th pair? Who knows.

I know that ordering 5 pairs of shoes with the intention of returning at least 3 of them isn’t the kindest thing to do to a company, but I have been ordering our shoes from Road Runner for years and I’ve never once returned a pair. Also, we don’t have stores around to try on trail shoes. I felt at peace with this method. Or maybe I’m just trying to justify it here. Whatever…I’m annoyed that I won’t get to try out all 5 pairs before the race and also annoyed that I didn’t know my shoes would be coming from three separate places!

Have you ever bought several pairs of shoes with the intention of returning most of them? Are you freezing today like I am?

Adventures in Trail Running

Evan and I went for a trail run on New Year’s Day and again Saturday. I took a few pictures Saturday, which was right after it had snowed about an inch of slush. Not the most desirable trail conditions. Evidence: It looked snowy on top but underneath was wet slush. Ick. My feet have never been so wet after a run!

I hate running across fields when I’m trail running, especially this one, which is low-lying and often wet.

Evan flew down the hills. I walked down most because it was so slippery!

About half of the run was along the creek where it was beautiful & relatively flat.

Deer tracks & squirrel tracks.

Can you identify tracks in the snow? These are squirrel.

These are turkey. There are a ton of wild turkeys in the woods and when they fly away I freak out because their wings are loud!

Advantage of a snowy wet run: my shoes, which were covered in mud from my last two trail runs, are now clean!

Update on my trail shoe dilemma: I maybe ordered five pairs of shoes. Yes five. I plan on returning at least 3…but I just couldn’t decide on one pair without trying them on and we don’t have local stores that carry trail shoes! I’ll post soon on my choice! :)