11 February 2015

Trainer Travails

Inov 8 Terrafly 277 trainers
Love the quote!

2.5 weeks out from the Belvoir Challenge and I'm having a bit of a challenge with sorting out what shoes to wear! Admittedly I've left it a little late but can't change that now so just have to get on with it.  My problem lies in that my normal trail shoes are well over a year old (Brooks Cascadia 7) and are pretty much broken down so even Nordic Walking in them is becoming uncomfortable plus I'm on an extremely limited budget.  The shoes I wear for cross country (Inov-8 Bare-Grip 200) and shorter fell runs (Inov-8 Trail-Roc 255) do not have near enough padding in them to get me over 26.2 miles of trails and tarmac.

This had me going to my usual source of reasonably priced fitness gear SportsShoes.com and deciding on the Inov-8 Terrafly 277, a road/trail hybrid.  Shipping took a little longer than normal and I was beginning to get impatient because I was really looking forward to trying these out!  Once they finally arrived and I re-laced them to my preferred method I was out the door for their maiden run.  Initially they were very comfy for a minimalist shoe but within a mile I noticed a problem I'd only encountered with cycling shoes--a hot spot was developing on my left foot.  Thinking it was the socks I was wearing (not one of my preferred pairs) I waited a couple of days then paired them with the Injinjis, same thing, only much worse in the exact same spot.  Still thinking that perhaps unlike most of my other trainers they were going to require a break-in period, I gave them a go a third time with yet another style of sock on Monday.  Absolutely not happening, this was the worst occurrence yet of the hot spot, I was hobbling by the time I got home.  In between the runs with the Terraflys I was running with other trainers and not having this issue so in my opinion there is a defect with this particular shoe.  It's a shame because they really do seem to transition between the road and non-technical trails with ease.  As of yet though I've not had a reply from SportsShoes about what my options are despite contacting them via email and facebook.*

Sorry about the mud in the tread but I do think it gives a good indication about how well the shoes do or don't shed it

So now with even more limited funds I took to ebay and found a pair of brand new Adidas Kanadia 6 going for cheap and they arrived the day after I paid for them (rather than almost a week).  They are not minimalist and have more of a heel drop (11-12mm) than I normally favour but for a substantial looking shoe they are surprisingly lightweight.  Last night's club run was a good initial test for them because of the mix of canal trail and road and they were quite comfortable for both.  The Kanadia's seem to shed the mud quite decently, not anything near the Bare-Grips but they are certainly far more comfortable!

 Adidas Kanadia 6, another mud in the tread pic

I do prefer the looks of the Inov-8s over the Kanadia (I likened the latter to orthopedic shoes) and I certainly like having a lower heel drop but the Terraflys are just not working for me, at least this particular pair isn't.  An interesting observation is that I actually ran more on the forefoot with the higher heel drop Adidas which goes against the conventional wisdom.  The trail shoe I am most looking forward to trying though is the Brooks Pure Grit 3, I adore the 2s, they feel like slippers once they are broken in but their failing is shedding the mud and that is one thing I have in abundance here.  Brooks is great about listening and acting on constructive criticism and it looks like they have gone with a more aggressive tread on the Pure Grit 3.    

As a bonus for me going on for so long about trainers, you get a cute Ben picture, he was feeling quite playful yesterday and eviscerated the penguin toy.  There were piles of stuffing downstairs and then he carried it upstairs to finish off the job in the office and took the squeaker out of another toy.  At least it wasn't trainers...

*After writing this I did finally receive a response on facebook saying to send them back with a note explaining the issue and they would inspect the shoes to see if there is a defect.