Wednesday, February 13, 2008


No, I won't be discussing corporate downsizing here. I'm talking about taking a sort of less is more approach to running shoes, particularly to trail shoes. I remember my very first pair of trail shoes. They were, of course, the tried and true Montrail Vitesse. Wasn't that everyone's first trail shoe? At the time, I thought a trail running shoe had to have a rugged feel to make the cut. Even when I began working at Seattle Running Company, I would scoff at the various road shoe brands attempting to make trail shoes. I'd tell customers, "Those are just beefed up road shoes." They weren't "true" trail shoes. In the past two years though, I've made a complete 180 degree turn on this issue. No longer do I feel like a trail shoe has to feel like a light hiking boot, and it's hard for me to understand why I ever did. Admittedly, I've now gone to the extreme opposite end of the spectrum, running now in the Brooks Racer ST flat. I really have come to realize the benefits of a lighter, more flexible shoe, even on the trail. A good shoe for the trail doesn't have to feel like a brick. Shocking, right? It's amazing to me though how many people feel like that inability to move your foot naturally is what you need in a trail shoe. Granted, I don't recommend everyone rush out to buy a road flat for the trails, I think that comes with time spent working on form and efficiency, but we can all get by on a lot less shoe. Thankfully the trend seems to be moving toward the development of lighter weight and more flexible trail specific shoes.


darrell.jensen said...

What about the extra training weight...

Hitting the hills already - ouch.

Nice blog!

See you out there!!

Who is SLB+? said...

Looks like a great blog, duly added to my reader.

FYI I have been running in Asics 2120 Trail shoes and they have lasted pretty well, around 300 miles over some pretty rough terrain, see race reports on my blog. I have just ordered some Merrells, they seem to be half way between "road" shoes and the heavier Montrails, Vasques etc. I hate looking for new shoes, it's a real pain in the...foot!

Brian Morrison said...

Darrell, I did my first Squak repeat last Friday. Because of Orcas, I don't think I'll do one this week, but I'm going to try to make it a weekly routine. Hopefully we can connect for some hill punishment.

olga said...

Welcome to bloglines! It's a new enemy weapon - blogging, watch out before you get sucked in! :)

Jean Pommier said...

Welcome to the blogosphere, Brian! I was breathless seeing that you started with a 1 post/day pace; that's a lot (to write, and for others to read and keep up with...). Feel better seeing that you skipped a couple of days since then... ;-)

As for the shoes, I've run 12,000 miles in Brooks and like the brand a lot. And, like you, I appreciate going lighter on the shoeing on trails. However, this is a fine balance, not everyone runs as light as Scott... Also, I find the Cascadias great for speed on dirt trails like we have in California, but I'm not sure they would provide enough toe protection on rocky trails like in Colorado or some sections of UTMB in France. The same would apply to the Burn or the Racer models of course. Since that's the only drawback I found in the Cascadia 3, I hope we can influence Brooks for the next release. And form a Trail Brooks team?

Anyway, I may see you at Quick Silver and definitely at Western States (again... ;-).

Jean, aka Farther Faster.

Brian Morrison said...

Jean-I agree with you that there are times and places where a racing flat isn't going to cut it on the trail, but I feel like the Cascadia's got enough protection for just about anything that I've ever run across.

I look forward to seeing you at Quicksilver and Western States. Take care.