For those who don't know my training routines (on the outskirts of Paris) and the miles I put into the prep for Ireland I can say in brief that hundreds of miles were logged on everything from technical trail to asphalt. I knew that in order for these shoes to impress me they were not only going to have to live up to the miles but also deliver in comfort.
The first words in regards the PT's were actually uttered by my son--"they look cool Papa". The seal of approval from a seven year old kid who is quite picky about what goes on his own feet. I agree with him as aesthetically they do look good and I would be testing the grey/red design, many runners noted that they had never come across them before so I felt pretty pleased about having unique kicks out on the trails. They were also lighter than I expected and felt sturdy without being too stiff around the uppers. This is all well and good but of course one can never tell until a few weeks in how your relationship with a pair of shoes is going to go.
My first few outings were in-at-the-deep-end 30/40km trail runs. No point in flirting, get in there and get muddy. I was pleased to find that the shoe wrapped around my foot in a snug, but not too tight hold. It's essential on rugged terrain to have that kind of fit because if you don't trust what's on your feet then your confidence suffers. I had no qualms about flying down single track switch backs and leaning into the turns as I knew the grip underneath me would hold strong. The sole of the shoe is as solid as they come, the 'Rhinopad' at the heel feels balanced and not too wide like some other trail shoes I have run in. Towards the forefoot the sole is made up of 'UK Gear Carbon Rubber', a series of small, bubble like protrusions that give great purchase on the climbs. I get the impression that the material that goes into the soles of these shoes is as closely guarded as the secret ingredient in Coca-Cola. Another great thing is the breathability and space around the toe-box area, keeping blisters at bay. The shoes held up as well on the roads as on the trails too and think that anyone looking for a high mileage, cross-over shoe should really check them out. The only suggestion or change for my mind would be the laces, I feel a notched lace that grips the eyelets would work really well here and increase on the already snug fit. I have put in 400 miles (give or take) on them and honestly...... its impressive the lack of wear in general.
I am now looking forward to taking them all the way to 1000 miles in the coming year as I begin preparation for my next Autism based challenge in 2012. I will post furhter details about that in the coming weeks and excited to work with UK Gear in the future on some exciting projects.
(On another note please sign the Autism Awareness Petition, its at the top left of the page or just click here. This petition will be the cornerstone in making changes on my next event)
|(box-fresh and ready to roll)|
|(400 miles later)|