I have been meaning to write a review of these for quite a long time now. Actually I’ve had them over a year now so they’ve been on quite an extended test!
When the shop suggested these I was quite dubious. I’d gone in looking for trail shoes but after discussing it with the assistant, they suggested the type on on/off-road running I do meant a bit of extra padding would be worth trying.
I pulled them on and laced up. The neoprene fabric hugged my foot in a snug embrace quite unlike anything I’d felt before and the sole unit looked HUGE! They were also quite a striking blue and orange (the mud has subdued the colours somewhat).
The assistant gently urged me to try them on and suggested I try running on the treadmill. I felt very self-conscious. At least I was wearing a sports bra! But as the machine picked up speed I could feel that these were supremely comfortable shoes so I refused to look my credit card in the eye and bought them.
The next day I took them out for a 16K run. I didn’t actually intend to go that far. Behind the house I was staying in is a hill (the slope up from the housing estate is called “Killer Hill” on Strava) and I thought it would be fun to bob up to the top, take in the view, then run back in time for tea.
Getting up was pretty easy. The fancy Champion rubber compound on the soles meant they gripped even on slightly damp tarmac despite having trail lugs. The route up was mostly on gravel forest tracks with a bit of grass as I ran across the top of the hill to the viewpoint.
Getting down again was not so straightforward. But not because of any failing on the part of my shoes! They remained impressively comfortable, even when trudging round endless bramble bushes and muddy puddles looking for the way through a field (which wasn’t there – I’d taken a wrong turning and had to backtrack).
I finally made it down the hill and the last section should have been a flattish amble across fields around the base of the hill. Unfortunately I’d forgotten that, outside national parks, it can be pretty hit and miss whether or not you can actually find field paths so, after being confronted by three lines of barbed wire in a hawthorn hedge, I retraced my steps again. This meant I needed to climb over the shoulder of the hill to link up with the route I’d taken on the way up. My feet were wet and muddy from long grass, my water was running low and I was immensely grateful that some inner voice had suggested I throw a banana in my pack before setting off. This time the terrain was mossy tarmac interspersed with rocks as I followed a BOAT that had at one time been metalled but was now gradually sliding into oblivion.
I finally arrived back, had a long cool drink, a long warm shower and then ate pretty much a whole pizza.
Throughout the whole shenanigans my feet were very well cushioned and I thought to myself “If I ever get round to starting my blog I shall have to write a review of them”
400 miles later I’ve actually found time to do so. I love these shoes and I’ve actually got a second pair sitting in a box in the wardrobe that I bought in the Boxing Day sales.
As you can see the new ones are white. Which is how you can tell that I haven’t yet worn them. Anyway, the fact that I bought a new pair ought to indicate how much I love these shoes and I’m fully intending to try a pair of road focussed Boost shoes for my next pair. If I can get my credit card to agree that is…..
- the snug neoprene webbing that allows the shoe to flex as I run but holds it all together. It’s like wearing slippers!
- the sole. It grips on pretty much anything I’ve tried it on (except mossy cobbles but then people in Innov8 and Salomon trail shoes were slipping too)
- the lifespan. If you compare the two shoes you can see that the blue ones are worn (and muddy) but they still clearly have quite a bit of life left in them. Some trail shoes only last a couple of hundred miles but not these ones – and because of the Boost cushioning they’re happy on road too.
- the fit. I have never, ever, had one of these shoes even slightly come off my foot. Even when two feet down in a deep pool of mud. My leg returned black and my shoe – which I expected to be buried forever – came up with it (but that’s another story).
- the colours. I’m not overly fussy so I got blue and orange because that’s what the shop had. And being more concerned with comfort than looks I’m not that worried about my new pair being white. But neither colour really catches me.
- time to dry. Sometimes they get really, really soaking wet and then the thick neoprene can take a day or so to dry. But wearing them slightly damp isn’t actually a big deal as they don’t rub. Even when I’ve stuck my foot in an extremely deep mudbath and had to hose myself down before being clean enough to get to the shower.
So there you have it. My not-quite-a-review-not-quite-an-anecdote. (And needless to say these are all my own views – I’m not famous enough to endorse products)