Sunday, June 27, 2010

Between the snow shoes and the GT 2140 Trail I choose...

In life, you often have to make choices. Do I want to huck this 20 foot cliff onto a sketchy landing with ice and rocks? Do I want vanilla or chocolate? Should I fart in public or not?

Some of those questions are easy, some are not. What shoe to wear on a particular run should be fairly easy. Asics managed to make it fairly extremely not.

Let it be said that I LOVE Asics. They typically fit my feet perfectly, and my wife will never ever stray from the Nimbus. If I ever have any doubts on trail conditions and general comfort, I go for my Trabuco GTX (see very favorable review here).

For quite some time man has struggled with road vs trail running. Two very different beasts, yet oh so similar. They both involve running... and well, running. One happens to be the scourge of the earth and boring as frozen bacon, but that's my problem. Asics has tried to bridge the road to trail gap with their GT 2140 Trail shoe. It's a hybrid shoe, more or less a cross between their 2140 road and their trail sensor line. Keep in mind that they have updated to a 2150 line this year, but very little has changed.

In effort to make road running more comfortable from a trail shoe point of view, they reduced the overall stiffness of the shoe, de-tuned the aggressiveness of the sole, and added a bit more EVA foam to the mix. The whole point is to make road running possible from a trail shoe, which brings up the question... Why?

Your given trail runner isn't a wuss. They've been hitting the road in trail shoes for years, toughening their feet and minds in the process. Next question... why would I ever run road in a shoe that weighs a good 5 oz's more than a standard road shoe, per shoe!

I found many, many problems with these shoes. As a trail shoe, they didn't provide enough support, allowing my wife's chronically bad ankles to get torn up, and had tread grip that was about as good as Old Navy flip flops. Oh man, don't get these wet either. They drain about as well as a plastic bag.

Now as a road shoe... this is where they flopped even more. Their flex wasn't great, the trail sole was awkward on the road, and the weight penalty is just stupid.

The real question is... if you have to compromise one way or the other, either road or trail, wouldn't you lean to the side that you'd be stuck on more often? You can always run trail in road shoes, especially in good weather, and handle things pretty well. If you're on a trail that is really that technical, you wouldn't dare touch it with road shoes anyways.

As shoes go... These get a big, bold NO GO!

Asics puts out plenty of other great stuff... just this isn't their shining achievement.

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