Unfortunately I didn’t take any fresh out of the box photos of them, so what you see below is after a reasonable bit of use towards the back end of 2012, all on the roads either at home or on my travels. The keen eyed amongst you would have also noticed that I have lock laces on them, or in this case half a pair of lock laces as that’s all that was needed.
In the dry, you can see the wear on the sole with every run, not quite what I’d expect from a shoe designed for the road. The Altra by comparison has probably ten times the mileage on it and no visible wear.
Again the fit was very good, snug, even lacing and lice and light. Ground feel is reduced with these, but if you look at the lugs on the tread are you really surprised?
As it happened, it turned out that the run course in Sherwood was pretty sandy, well draining trails, so rather than being very heavy and slippy underfoot like the claye soil where I live, it was dry but loose underfoot. Performance of the shoe was excellent on the run. I kept them on for the bike leg as well as I have open cage pedals on the MTB, and they performed well there holding well onto the pedals.
I’ve used them since then for a few runs in the snow and ice and stick mud around home over the last few weeks as well and I can’t fault them for grip in those conditions either, a view that was seconded by someone from my cycling club who said they’re good on anything but ice. Basically those big lugs just lock into any irregularities or soft bits and hold on for all they’re worth, and they also clear the mud off well as well. I’ve not had to dig any mud out of the treads yet.
So, grip excellent, weight excellent, groundfeel good for the tread pattern, colour a bit on the garish side, but I did need them in a hurry.
The only drawback for me, and this is no fault if the shoe is that they are extremely single minded and do that one thing very well, but as result I can foresee that the soft, sticky rubber tread will not last on the road at all, so pick your approach route to your trails carefully if you want to preserve them.
Overall a good 9.5 out of ten from me.
An offroad run http://connect.garmin.com/activity/263580103