Trail Runners Make-Over
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Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Trail Runners Make Over - Phase 1 on 07/29/2006 19:28:21 MDT Print View

Trail Runners Make-Over - 29 July 2006
I am starting with a pair of The North Face Ultra 102's. I am doing this to my old pair of TNF Ultra 102's first and then I will modify my new pair. I have been wearing this model shoe for a couple of years. My foot likes this shoe so that is good enough for me.

Phase 1.
Shoe Drying Test: 22 July 2006

This past Saturday (22 July 2006) I did a "Drying Test" on an my old pair of The North Face Ultra 102's - Trail Runners. This is a retired pair of "The North Face Ultra 102's" size 11, socks size are "L". I will repeat this test on my current two pair of "The North Face Trail Runners" as time permits. The socks used for my test were two pair of WrightSock - Running - Double Layer. I changed into a dry pair between each timed test. The socks I took off were dried in the sun between each test. Outside temperatures (see Note 1).

I wear my retired trail runners to walk around my home each day, cut grass, shop etc. My current (for hiking) trail runners are a new pair of TNF Ultra 102's and TNF Ultra 103 XCR's.

I started by weighing the retired pair of 102's dry.

Then I washed them in a normal wash cycle and weighed them again. I weighed them with and without the insoles. I also weighed the socks I was going to wear - dry.

I put the wet stuff on for a walk around outside for 5 minutes.

I took everything off and weighted it all again.

I then put on a dry pair of socks and took a 35 minute walk outside on the black top streets around where I live. When I returned I weighed everything again.

I then put on another dry pair of socks and took a 15 minute walk outside on the black top streets. When I returned I weighed everything again.

The results were interesting.

The Drying Test lasted a total of 60 minutes. (all weights are for one item and the test shoes have very worn soles - you might say they look like racing slicks.

1 - Dry Weight:
The North Face Ultra 102's: 375 grams
The North Face Ultra 102's Insoles: 24.5 grams
My WrightSock - Running - Double Layer socks: 34.5 grams

2 - Wet Weight out of a normal cycle from my washing machine:
The North Face Ultra 102's: 446.5 grams
The North Face Ultra 102's Insoles: 27.8 grams

3 - Weight after walking outside for 5 minutes:
The North Face Ultra 102's: 428 grams
The North Face Ultra 102's Insoles: 28.3 grams
My WrightSock - Running - Double Layer socks: 48.8 grams (see Note 2).

4 - Weight after walking outside for 35 minutes:
The North Face Ultra 102's: 405.7 grams
The North Face Ultra 102's Insoles: 27.6 grams
My WrightSock - Running - Double Layer socks: 45.3 grams

5 - Weight after second walk outside for 15 more minutes:
The North Face Ultra 102's: 383.1 grams
The North Face Ultra 102's Insoles: 27.6 grams
My WrightSock - Running - Double Layer socks: 43.2 grams (see Note 2).

Note 1: Weather: The test was conducted between 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm, the sky was sunny and clear. The outside temperature was 99 degrees "F". The blacktop temperature was 147 degrees "F". Yes it gets hot here and I am sure that was a factor in the time it took to dry out the shoes. As a side note the street surface heat also may have slowed down the drying time some as it may have made my feet sweat some.

Note 2: My socks gained weight as they soaked up some of the moisture out of the shoes. The insoles also gained weight.

Conclusion: If I did the math correct it would seem that with a total wet weigh gain of 71.5 grams the shoes dried out 25% in 5 minutes. After 40 minutes the shoes dried out a total of 57%. After 60 minutes the shoes had dried out 89%.

During my next test I will wear a vapor barrier sock in one shoe and see if that changes things any. My socks were absorbing moisture from the wet trail runners and I might wear the same pair of socks for one complete test and see if that makes a differences.

Something I discovered a few years ago that helps my TNF shoes wick moisture and heat better and should also help them dry faster is to remove a large Logo that is sewn on the top of the shoe tongue and also remove the size label on the back of the shoe tongue. You can see in the picture that the logo is large and this is like opening a window once it is removed. I am also thinking of removing the lace strip sewn up the center of the tongue. The way I lace my shoes I don't use that strip and I think it would increase the wicking ability even more if it was gone.

The North Face 103 XCR is pictured.


Edited by bfornshell on 07/29/2006 19:33:55 MDT.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Trail Runners Make Over - Phase 2. on 07/29/2006 19:38:34 MDT Print View

Trail Runners Make Over - Phase 2.

Improve Breathability and Drying Time - 29 July 2006

The "OutLast" used in TNF 102 and 103's is very breathable, however in making the shoe a lot of the "OutLast" is covered. In Phase 2. I have removed the tongue and some of the leather along the middle side of the shoe. Removing the tongue was like opening a big window and on my first walk I could tell the modified shoe was much cooler than the one not modified.

Weight Saved:
Stock Tongue: 14.4 grams
Leather material removed from middle area along the side of the shoe: 5.5 grams
Logo and size tag: 2 grams

This gave me a modest weigh savings of 0.77oz and a new total weight for one shoe of 13.08oz.



Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Trail Runners Make Over - Phase 3. on 07/29/2006 19:39:51 MDT Print View

Phase 3.
Replace a lot of the "OutLast" with eVent and change tongue location.

Paper Mock-up on real shoe:




Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
Interesting note on 'uncovering' the outlast on 07/31/2006 10:48:23 MDT Print View

Bill,

How is 'comfort' on the shoes with the tongue removed? I would think that would make the laces cut into the tops of my feet... of course cushy socks could help that...

I'm a big fan of TNF shoes... like them a lot and they fit my feet... is there a reason you're not using... er, nevermind, I just checked TNF's site and they don't make then anymore... Dang! I like those so much more than my Ultra 102 XCRs...

Anyhow, is there a reason you're using M Ultra 103 XCR instead of M Ultra 103 (forgive me if I read something wrong). It seems to me that starting with a gore-tex (XCR) model is starting with 3 oz/pair more than you need to...

Edited by jdmitch on 07/31/2006 10:49:51 MDT.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Trail Runners Make Over on 07/31/2006 11:45:43 MDT Print View

Joshua,

The comfort of the shoe with the tongue removed didn't change except it is a lot cooler. The OutLast on the edge of the shoe is higher than my foot so I don't feel the laces. You can see this in these pictures.




The "OutLast" pads that area very well. The "OutLast" stuff really works great. I am saving the tongues from my old TNF shoes and will try that stuff for the padding on a set of pack straps. My main socks are the DoubleLayer - WrightSocks. I would say that these socks are on the "cushy" side.

As for your question about "why" the Gore-Tex vs Non Gore-Tex. I want to use the Gore-Tex for snow and cold weather hiking and thought the Gore-Tex would keep my feet warmer. I also could not pass up the Black color that is only on the Gore-Tex version. I had a new pair of 102"s that I found on a great sale as a close out for that model and bought them for warmer weather.

Edited by bfornshell on 07/31/2006 11:54:07 MDT.