Even though I didn’t need any new shoes - I already bought 3 pairs of Inov-8’s this year - I was curious to see what they had in the warehouse and maybe pick up something for next year’s VT100. It’s not that the shoes didn’t last long enough that I ended up buying 3 pair, I just really like them and I wear them all. The models I currently wear, Roclite 315, F-lite 300 and Mudroc 290, are all light-weight and relatively minimalist shoes but each is suited to a different type of terrain. What I was looking for was something with a little more cushioning, desirable during a 100 mile race, and a not-too-aggressive outsole. The F-lite 335 seemed to fit the bill but wasn’t quite right on my feet, and I don’t want to take any chances going into this race. I asked the advice of Thomas, an experienced ultra-runner who works for Inov-8 and ran the VT100 a few years ago in 18.5 hours (for anyone who doesn’t know: that’s freakin’ awesome). Thomas is better at giving advice than selling shoes, and he recommended that I wear my road shoes at VT rather than any of the Inov-8 trail shoes. I respect his opinion and appreciated his honesty so I think I may be in the market for a new pair of Asics, not sure which model but I’ll visit Maine Running Company this week and see what I can find. Historically I bounced back and fourth between the 2000 series and the Kayano, but for the past 2 years I’ve been running almost exclusively in Inov-8’s and I’m not sure if I really need all the structure of those shoes any more. We’ll see.
Emma was determined to pick up two new pairs of shoes on this trip, not that she really needed them but she had two gift certificates from winning the Pineland Farms Trail Challenge 25k and the Stone Cat Trail Marathon. After much deliberation and sending Lisa up and down the aisles of the warehouse numerous times to fetch different shoes Emma settled on the F-Lite 301 PK because they look cool, and the Terroc 330 because she’s worn them before and they’re awesome. The last pair of Terroc’s Emma got were purchased 3 years ago from a store in Scotland and it was great to see that the shoe hasn’t changed a bit. It seems that every other shoe company changes their product every single year but they don’t realize that most runners like consistency in their footwear. It’s refreshing to see a company get it right the first time and just keep it that way. I bought a pair of Mudroc’s in 2003 and another in 2007 and the differences are so subtle they would only be noticed by someone with a shoe obsession like me.
Also at the open house were the founders of a new company called Go Motion who brought in a bunch of product prototypes they’ve been developing over the past year. Basically what they’ve done is taken a powerful headlamp with external battery pack and integrated it into a small backpack with the lamp positioned on your chest and the batteries on your back. They have several models, the one I like best holds a 1-liter hydration bladder and has several pockets for stowing small bits of gear and energy gels, perfect for long runs in the dark. They even have a women’s specific design that fit’s Emma perfectly, a rarity in the hydration pack market. Their products won’t be available for a few more months but they are definitely worth looking for, hopefully at a local retailer.