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Delerion disappointment
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Matthew LaPatka
(gungadin) - M

Locale: Pittsburgh, PA
Delerion disappointment on 03/23/2006 08:42:26 MST Print View

I received my Timberland/Golite Delerion Pro's on Monday with much excitment to finally finding the ultimate adventure racing shoe that would drain water very fast. While I was wary of buying a Timberland racing shoe, I was intrigued that Golite's racing team had a lot of influence in their design. In addition, I was spurred on by BPL's spotlite review of them. I got one of the last pairs from and wanted to give them a good workout. Here are my findings:

The Good:

1. Pretty lightweight (a little less than 12 ounces each).

2. Good forefoot flexibility

3. They are very cool on the foot and will drain water very, very well. I love this feature!

4. Well-made and appear to be durable.

5. Good protection for the feet (as light shoes go).

6. Nice traction

7. Above average cushioning

8. Great gaiters that come with the shoes.

The Bad (and why I have to forego the great water-draining ability and return them).

1. The top of the shoes (over the toes) has a stiffened material running from the center of the toe tips to the laces. When the forefoot flexes, this stiffened/hardened material obviously folds and digs into my foot and will certainly cause a blister pretty quickly. I have a 34 mile adventure race that I was hoping to wear these for and this toe material would cause me a lot of problems. They make the shoe look cooler and "faster" but don't work for me. Others' experience may differ.

2. The hardened reinforcements running down the sides of the shoes to make its shape with so much mesh are somewhat "crinkly" and don't feel good on the foot. I don't think they would cause blisters but are somewhat annoying.

Result: While I can live with problem two, I can't with the first. I have only run in these for about two miles, and they were already creating a hot spot on the top of my foot(my feet are darn tough so I rarely get these). The feeling would be deadened with thicker socks, but this would somewhat defeat the purpose of having a fast water-draining shoe. Drat!

While I really want these shoes to work (and am toying with trying to modify the forefoot), I am probably going to return them. I think they would be a great shoe without that stiffened forefoot. I guess I will have to wait another few weeks for the Inov-8 Roclite 285.

Edited by gungadin on 03/23/2006 08:45:38 MST.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Delerion disappointment on 03/23/2006 09:21:06 MST Print View

I received mine yesterday and though I've only worn then around the house, I suspect my review will mimic yours. Do you think the material on top will soften and the problem will go away? Are we the only two with this issue or are there others? I did have one other issue but it is minor. The shoes smell like a chemical factory. More so than any other shoe I have had. I am sure the smell will fade shortly. I'm hoping others have experienced this and found that the top softened with time.

Matthew LaPatka
(gungadin) - M

Locale: Pittsburgh, PA
Re: Re: Delerion disappointment on 03/23/2006 09:25:59 MST Print View

The shoes do reek! I never smelled the silica gel packs that come with them so badly. I took them to my classroom for an afterschool run, and my whole classroom smelled. My students couldn't believe they could spread the odor so much. I am sure it will fade, though.

I actually have been wearing them when doing work and have flexed them for a pretty long time. I haven't noticed a difference, but I am hoping this works. While it will be annoying to have to "break in" such light shoes, I am willing to do this for the water-draining ability of them. I will keep trying it.

Josh Holland
(jdholland) - F
Re: Re: Re: Delerion disappointment on 03/23/2006 10:38:09 MST Print View

I had the same problem with mine that both of you are having. The top of the shoe flexed and would press on the top of my foot. I wore them around the house for two days and the problem didn't get any better so I just returned them to Zappos. I hated to send them back because I liked everything else about them BUT the flexing is a MAJOR problem. I wonder if thats why they were on closeout?

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: Re: Re: Re: Delerion disappointment on 03/23/2006 12:04:14 MST Print View

We've all had the same problem over here. It was too annoying to Carol and Alan so they bailed on them, but Matt and I have stuck with it and backpacked in them and the top of foot crinkle pain dissipated within 20 miles of trail backpacking. It may help to beat em up some during the break-in process, get them wet, etc. I soaked mine in hot water and wore them on a treadmill for an hour and it didn't do it. Taking them backpacking did.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Delerion deployment on 03/23/2006 12:27:12 MST Print View

Thanks for the warning, all. Mine come tomorrow from Zappos. I'll tape up, accordingly.

Erik Sund
(sundek) - F
Re: Delerion deployment on 03/23/2006 12:49:20 MST Print View

Anybody have any experience with the Teva Ricochet as a fast-draining shoe? I checked a few places other than Sierra Trading Post to confirm the weight at 1 lb 4 oz per pair and the story seems consistent. 10 oz per shoe and quick drying? Now the only questions are comfort and reliability.

Matthew LaPatka
(gungadin) - M

Locale: Pittsburgh, PA
Re: Re: Delerion deployment on 03/23/2006 13:17:00 MST Print View

My concern with a shoe that light would be support and stability. Those features seem like the first to go. But I am unfamilar with it so it could be good. I am coming off a severe ankle sprain so those things have been on my mind a lot recently!:(

Michael Gilbertson
(mkgil) - M
Re: Delerion deployment on 03/23/2006 14:51:14 MST Print View

For you folks who have the Delerion: how did the sizing compare to your street shoe size? If you needed to size up, how much so?

Bernard Shaw
( - F

Locale: Upstate New York
lack of support on 03/23/2006 15:23:37 MST Print View

I know no accounting for individual taste and fit, but imo they lack support underfoot, little torsional support, and are quite uncomfortable. Too bad wanted them to work. I am 6'3" and weigh 172 lbs. Maybe they work better for smaller feet.

Matthew LaPatka
(gungadin) - M

Locale: Pittsburgh, PA
sizing on 03/23/2006 17:56:19 MST Print View

The sizing seemed complementary with the many pairs of New Balance running shoes that I have work for years.

Ethan Olenick
(eolenick) - F
My 2 Cents on 03/23/2006 18:11:08 MST Print View

I had a lot of the same concerns as everyone else with this shoe when I tried them on. The front pinched my toes, there seemed to be little or no lateral support and the rigidity of the sole (or lack of) made me second guess my purchase. I decided to give them a try anyways; worse-case scenario I would use them as warm weather fly fishing shoes.
By no means is this a comprehensive test, but I thought I would pass along my experiences. I received the shoes 3 days ago and so far I've logged a little over 25 miles on them. My running trails include steep inclines/descents over loose rock, hard packed interlaced with large flat rock surfaces, intermittent stream crossings and a limited amount of 1960's era macadam. On both days the trails were dry and I have not experienced mud nor grass.

The Good:
The toe pinching disappeared within the first mile and by the fifth mile the shoe fit like a glove. Contrary to my initial impressions, I actually enjoyed the lack of rigidity in the sole and heel to toe transfer felt very natural. The weight of the shoe may have contributed to a more natural feeling as well. The shoes traction was excellent; even on loose dirt inclines I had zero slippage. The shoes drainage was what I expected with so much mesh and all water was expelled from the shoe shortly after exiting the stream.

The Bad:
The lack of rigidity did create some problems. With the softer sole you really do need to watch your foot placement – pointy rocks will cause you pain. The sole issue also put more strain on my foot then my other trail shoes when quick stepping up rocky inclines. The colors – need I say more.

I'm still undecided about the lateral support issue. I felt the shoe handled well and I had only a few ankle instability issues. I am currently rehabbing my right ankle and feel my input on this issue may be askew.

All in all I love the shoe. For me, the final fit and more natural feel are worth having to be more careful about foot placement.

As for Matthew's concern, if your are planning on keeping the shoe, I would not use these in rocky terrain until you have completely healed.

As to fit, I wear the same as my road shoe (Asics Nimbus).

Edited by eolenick on 03/23/2006 18:12:43 MST.

Andrew Browne
(andrew_browne) - MLife

Locale: Mornington Peninsula AUSTRALIA
Delerion Low Pro on 03/23/2006 19:20:01 MST Print View

My Low Pro Delerions are the best footwear that I've had over my past 5 years of bushwalking.
I received them in October last year and have worn them exclusively since then on all my walks, the main being the Port Davey Track in SW Tasmania.
My only problems have been a need to replace the laces and I've discarded the mini gaitors and replaced them with Outdoor Research Celestial Gaitors (6oz) that reach up over my calves giving better protection from mud, undergrowth and snakes (more physchological as the gaitors are thin and would be easily penetrated by snake fangs).
I find them very light to wear with good toe room and excellent draining ability and when combined with Icebreaker Crew Sports socks (superfine merino wool) find once out of the wet my feet dry very quickly. After a days walk the skin on my feet is much less macerated than with any other boot/sock combination I've tried.
In very wet muddy conditions in SW Tasmania with mud holes constantly over knee deep, I do find that after 3 hours walking, the ball of my foot starts to become sore...I stop at the next stream..take of my boots and wash away fine muddy silt that has accumulated inside the shoe under the ball of my foot. With that done the soreness disappears until some hours later the silt builds up again. I can live with that.
/Users/AndrewBrowne/Pictures/iPhoto Library/2005/12/27/PC270020.JPG
In the time I've had these shoes the only blisteres I have experienced is when I've used socks other than the Icebreakers mentioned above.
The small I find tends to stay with the shoe, no amount of use or washing gets rid of it...with happy feet I can live with that especially given the fact that when out walking I'm wearing the same clothes for 2 to 5 days on end
My major complaint with this shoe is Timberlands distribution policy..their outlets in Australia and New Zealand do not stock the low pro Delerion and Timberland US or any other US outlet will not supply outside US territories. My current pair had to be shipped to me by a US based acquaintance who did me the great service of taking delivery and forwarding them to me in Australia..( again thanks Ron at MLD)
Unless I find something better my next pair of shoes will again be the Delerions.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Delerious Delerions on 03/23/2006 19:37:36 MST Print View

I got my Delerions, a day early (yay UPS), unpacked the stinkiest new shoes ever (what's that all about?) and have been wearing them, now for about 2 1/2 hours.

These things are soooo light--almost like slippers. I have racing flats that are less light and flexxy. We'll see how they will be on the trail carrying, say 15-20 lbs. I don't know about these for serious off trail work--but I'm game.

About the infamous "foot crinkle" --- not an issue at all for my larger right foot. A little rubbing on the top of the left. I will be taping up on my left for the "break-in" period. All in all-- not bad at all.

I have medium volume feet and find that this shoe is sized pretty much like the Montrails of my experience but with a larger toebox.

They look like a Go-lite/Timberland group effort--love the colors. Innovative choice of materials.

Edited by kdesign on 03/23/2006 20:11:15 MST.

Jay McCombs
(jmccombs) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
pinching on 03/24/2006 08:32:53 MST Print View

wear them with really thin socks, like those sock liners. Once they break in some you can wear a thicker sock if you want.

Craig Shelley
(craig_shelley) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Delerions on 03/25/2006 09:41:59 MST Print View

I bought these shoes last year and reported on them at this site. I have backpacked with them but they've never been real comfortable.

But, since it appears as though Timberland has discontinued the shoe, I'm not sure it matters if there is a review of them forthcoming anymore.

With regard to durability. It didn't take long for the gaitor to start coming apart.


Mark Jones
(hibisk55) - M

Locale: The Back of Beyond
Delerion Alternative on 03/26/2006 06:15:37 MST Print View

I jumped on the Delerion train and my experience is consistent with previous posts. The Zappos price and quick delivery was hard to beat. They smelled so strong that I had to store them in the garage. The jury is still out as to whether these will break in and become a worthy long distance shoe. I am going to put some miles in before reaching a verdict.

One might consider the new Montrail Odessey as a better alternative. It has the foot bed characteristics of the hardrock with an upper similar to the Delerion. If anyone has used this shoe, please share your experience.

Steven Nelson
(slnsf) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Re: Delerion Alternative on 03/26/2006 15:58:43 MST Print View

If anyone needs a size 11, I tried them out on our carpet at home and instantly knew they were the wrong size for me. I'm sending them back to Zappos, where they may show up again imminently...

Craig Shelley
(craig_shelley) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Steve: Delerion Size 11 on 03/26/2006 20:01:12 MST Print View

Hello Steve,

If you haven't sent them back, I would be interested in buying them at the Zappos price.

Craig Shelley
send email to if interested.

Edited by craig_shelley on 03/26/2006 20:02:17 MST.

Andrew Browne
(andrew_browne) - MLife

Locale: Mornington Peninsula AUSTRALIA
Delerious Craig on 03/26/2006 23:14:26 MST Print View

Hey Craig
You just bagged the Delerions...last post 3/25/2006
Why buy another pair??????????????