This is a picture from the Wallingford Land Trust where I’ve gone out for a few trail runs since the spring. I don’t have too much experience trail running–mostly hiking–but those of you who’ve tried it know it’s kinda like hopping through miles of agility ladders.
I tried the FiveFingers in the beginning of June, and it wasn’t exactly a pleasant experience. My feet were battered by the time I finished the run, but at least I felt in control thanks to the grippy soles. The loop I ran consists of some pretty rocky switchback, so maybe the FiveFingers would perform better on smoother trail.
Round two was this afternoon. I tried my vintage ’05 Nike Free sneakers. If you haven’t heard of them, they look like this and they were one of the first shoes for those who wanted to try barefoot-style running.
Mine used to look like this, but now they look like the were machine-gunned, then crapped on. Needless to say, I was running a risk (sorry pun, I know) taking these out on the trail. Even after tightening them and doing my best to compensate for how my heels leaked out of the slashed backs of my shoes I knew I was in for a challenge. My ankles pitched and rolled as the shoes barely stayed on my feet. After slipping through a mud slick and startling dozens of poisonous dart frogs (ok, I know they’re not indigenous to New England, but they did scare me as much as I them) I then tripped as my feet squished up a hill and nearly impaled myself on a sharp birch stump. At that moment I came to a decision . . .
I think I need to get some good trail shoes. Any suggestions?