Monday, April 21, 2008

Race Results Update and Trail Shoes

The runner who broke his finger in the race on Saturday went out and finished the race yesterday. His total time for 50K ended up being about 30 hours, and he'll have a great story to tell about that time.

I walked almost 5 miles with my son and the dogs yesterday. I'm tired, but not sore at all. After the 50K three weeks ago, my legs and feet were sore for a few days.

I walked yesterday in some new Brooks Cascadia 3s. I got two pairs on sale on Friday and I was amazed by how comfortable they were. I almost ran in them on Saturday, but decided it would be stupid to use a shoe brand and model I hadn't worn before in a race. This afternoon, I'll take them out for a short run on dirt roads.

I'm constantly looking for the "perfect" pair of trail shoes. On the roads, I have an Asics model (the 21x0 line - currently the 2130) that I've been using for years. I probably started using this line when the 2050 was the current model, so that would mean 8 or so years that I've been using that shoe line.

In that same time, I've probably tried 15 different trail shoes, and every one has come up short somehow. Montrails don't quite fit my feet the right way. The best Montrail shoe that I found from a fit perspective was last year's Nitrous, but they wore out too quickly for me. I like some of the Salomon trail shoes, but I find their traction to really be poor in wet terrain. I like the Inov-8 trail shoes a lot, and I can use them for 50K or so, but not longer than that; they just don't have enough support for a guy my size. Years ago, I used Adidas trail shoes, but I found that I got blisters in them too frequently. I like the trail version of the Asics road shoe that I use, but it's not a shoe for really technical terrain. They worked great on the VT100 course last year though, and they're currently my favorite trail shoe for most trail conditions.

So, my search goes on. I was impressed enough by the fit and feel of the Cascadias to buy 2 pairs after trying them on. My plan is to break them in slowly, and then try them out at the 6-hour race in 3 weeks. That race is on a 3-mile loop, so I could change shoes easily if they aren't working. If they work out for the 6-hour race, I'll probably use them for pacing at MMT the next weekend. And, if that works out, I'll use them at Western States.

I like to go into a 100 with at least two different shoe models that I'm comfortable with. That way, if something happens with one model that causes me problems, I can switch to the other shoe to relieve pressure or hot spots.

The Cascadia seems to be a good balance of cushioning, tread, toe protection, and weight. It's a bit beefier than the Inov-8s, but not as clunky as some of the Montrails can be. The cushioning is soft, yet it feels like they'll protect my feet a bit better than the Asics trail shoe. If I ever find the perfect trail shoe, I'm afraid the manufacturer will go out of business or drop the shoe model for some reason.

No comments: