Shoes shoes shoes

Let’s talk about shoes …

One of my biggest uncertainties for the Arc Of Attrition 2023 is my shoe choice. I’ll explain my dilemma…

The Arc is 100 miles long (and a few bits of change), it’s on the Coast Path of Cornwall with every terrain from tarmac to sand, mud to boulders and anything in between. It’s also in January, mid winter, with all the weather that you can imagine.

Whilst there is a bag drop around 55 miles in and I could put a change of shoes in that bag, the terrain is varied all the way through, so apart from a fresh pair, there’s no real advantage. Oh and I’m going without a crew, just because that’s how I normally roll!

My thoughts on shoes from the cupboard …

Nike – road shoes – Erm no!

Inov8 shoes:

Trailfly G270 – my fave shoe. A top top shoe with great comfort and grip. I would opt for this without caution if it wasn’t for the mud. There’s pretty much a certainty of a good deal of mud and these shoes are like stilettos on an ice rink in those conditions. Not their target surface!

Trailfly G300 – very much like the 270, with extra cushion. Sounds a good start. But in my experience they are much less grippy. They were also the shoes that I slipped and smacked my head whilst wearing, at Tower this year (‘22)! So I’m not the most confident on the wet rocks and slippery downhills.

X-Talon – a great, grippy shoes and definitely ticking the mud box. These shoes did me well at the Wendover Woods 50 miler recently. But they too can be a bit uncertain on wet rock. Better than the G300, but still a concern on wet rock. Also they have the cushioning of a Cream Cracker! Might be tough over a full 100 miles 🤨

Roclite (300 and G275) – probably the right shoe in my collection – G275 over 300 simply on the extra cushion and fewer miles racked up so far. cracking in most conditions – a definite jack of all trades. BUT… these are not great on long distances. 40/50 miles and the feet start to suffer.

So you see the dilemma.

But then Inov8 do this …

Only days ago they release a new ‘Ultra’ targeted version of the Roclite. I already have enough shoes but this, this is surely the shoe I was looking for !!

I think I might have to think what’s best, time is running out. If I go for the new I need time to get them tried out, if I go for an established shoe I need some strategies for managing the grip issues or longevity concerns.

Trial and error

I’m in Cornwall for 36 hours before the race start so whatever I choose there will be a good few pairs coming with me to Porthtowan and a bit of route checking on the Thursday to make any final selections.

Whatever the case, there will be times that I’m in the wrong shoe for the conditions. It’s just a case of getting the right balance. I need confidence on wet rock to stay upright, I may have to go with a shoe that gives me that confidence but is less perfect for mud. But it also needs endurance and comfort for hours and hours of challenging running.

Shoes can make all the difference over this distance and terrain. But there’s a whole package to get right.

53 days and counting …

2 thoughts on “Shoes shoes shoes

  1. I have the same dilemma (for the 50). G300s or x-talon ultras. One max cushioned, one much stronger in the mud. Both a bit hopeless on wet rock. I do have crew, so at least I can change to roadies for the 10k (mostly) road section after St Ives. I’m doing a recce before Xmas, will try both trail shoes out, but I might also take the plunge and buy a shoe with a tackier grip that might work better on the rocks/steps. Then again, as MudCrew themselves say, comfort over grip, every time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Comfort is important. Can’t deny that and I’m really fighting the urge on the TrailFly. It may still be the choice if the weather is kind. That said this year was a kind one for weather so I’m not expecting such kindness and the new Roclite might just be the best combo for me – maybe 🤔


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