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Lightest Trail Runners with Large Toebox?
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Christopher Kayler
(ChrisKayler) - F

Locale: Outside
Lightest Trail Runners with Large Toebox? on 08/30/2010 17:37:28 MDT Print View

Hi all,

What have been some of the lightest trail runners you guys have experienced that have a really large toebox? As some background info, lately I've been getting a blister along the ridge of my "ring toe" from my toes being squeezed together too much in Brooks Cascadia 5's.

As an aside, I just tried some Brooks Green Silence road racing flats tonight to use in my winter footwear system, and they were AMAZING. They were so minimal in their upper that they felt like slippers, while still providing some cushion below. I realize trail runners need a bit more durability in the upper, but I'm definitely willing to try something more minimal than the cascadias, as they would dry quicker and I think just conform to my feet better.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Lightest Trail Runners with Large Toebox? on 08/30/2010 18:34:49 MDT Print View

I wore some Brooks trail runners in a 4E width that worked pretty well. They were no more light than ordinary running shoes, however. I don't remember what the model was, possibly the Addiction.

I wore them at the tail end of the PCT. I had been using Brooks Cascadia II before that but my feet had widened out. When I switched to the 4E width, I went through a period of a few days where I swear my feet felt like a Chinese woman whose footbindings had been removed. It hurt! Once I got over it, I felt really good with such wide shoes.

The nice things about these shoes, was that the Brooks seemed to be wide only in the toe area, not all over like other shoes that come in wide widths that I've tried.

Don't bother with the New Balance MT100s. They are really super light, but they are not wide in the toebox at all. I got really bad blisters from them.

Lately I just hike in sandals. Plenty of room in the toebox there! But heavy.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Lightest Trail Runners with Large Toebox? on 08/30/2010 18:55:42 MDT Print View

I'm currently using Mizuno Wave Ascend 4s. I bought a 10 which is ok until after 8 or so miles so I plan on ordering a 10.5. For reference my foot is more like a 9.5 2E to 4E.

The Montrail Sabino Trail is also supposed to have a wider toe box.

Edited by simplespirit on 08/30/2010 19:13:59 MDT.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Lightest Trail Runners with Large Toebox? on 08/30/2010 19:52:22 MDT Print View

What weight do you call light weight ?
I strongly recommend Injini Toe Socks for toe blisters.

these have pretty big toe boxes and are light.
however, they have a much different feel than your Brooks Cascadia.

Vasque Transistors ... 622g (for a pair)(size 8)

North Face Voza ... 640g (for a pair)(size 9)

if money is no object then I recommend :
Salomon XT Wings S Lab 3 ($160)
these are the racing version of Salomon Wings.
628g (for size 9.5)
These fit like a glove and are very soft and flexible.
Your toes fill feel snug and loose at the same time.
No blisters.

Edited by asandh on 08/30/2010 19:58:28 MDT.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Re: Lightest Trail Runners with Large Toebox? on 08/30/2010 19:53:43 MDT Print View

I tried the Vasque Transistor in a wide model and found the toebox small. Especially for a supposedly wide shoe.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Re: Re: Lightest Trail Runners with Large Toebox? on 08/30/2010 20:01:13 MDT Print View

Chris did you take them out on the trail?
They somehow feel wider once you run in them a few miles.
I have a really wide foot and they fit me.

but I've moved on to amother shoe for other reasons.

Christopher Kayler
(ChrisKayler) - F

Locale: Outside
Re: Re: Lightest Trail Runners with Large Toebox? on 08/30/2010 20:10:45 MDT Print View

Thanks for the heads up on the MT100 ... an appealing (by the numbers) shoe to me.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Lightest Trail Runners with Large Toebox?" on 08/30/2010 20:10:56 MDT Print View

MT100's seem fairly wide to me, lots of room for the toes to spread out for natural movement.

Christopher Kayler
(ChrisKayler) - F

Locale: Outside
Re: Re: Lightest Trail Runners with Large Toebox? on 08/30/2010 20:13:14 MDT Print View

Hi Chris,

Thanks for that advice. I actually use and love a pair of Mizunos for regular road running, so may have to look into it.

I only see D widths for the current Mizuno Wave Ascend 5, however.

Christopher Kayler
(ChrisKayler) - F

Locale: Outside
Re: Re: Lightest Trail Runners with Large Toebox? on 08/30/2010 20:18:56 MDT Print View

Hi Art,

Thanks for stopping by.

I use Injinjis. It has still happened even with the Injinjis, however the worst was when I wasn't wearing them a few time.

Checked out your recommendations.

I'm leaning towards getting a larger pair of Cascadia 5's and trying them again. I absolutely love the feel of pretty much any Brooks I try on, and the Cascadias were no different in the beginning. I'm not sure if they were washed, or dried weird in the sun after a stream crossing, or perhaps my feet have widened more due to my retail job, but my current pair just doesn't feel as good anymore. Much more stiff. I was hoping for some recommendations of good shoes to check out, and have definitely received them. Now if only some stores in this area carried trail running shoes!!

Edited by ChrisKayler on 08/30/2010 20:21:58 MDT.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
Golite brand shoes on 08/31/2010 05:40:13 MDT Print View

All Golite brand shoes (or at least "all" to my knowledge") have wide toe boxes --- you can just look at the shoe and see that it's shaped more like an actual foot than many/most shoes are. I have a foot condition that pretty much demands a wide toe box (bunionettes, i.e., little-toe side bunions) and Golites allow me to do the miles without needing surgery.

As far as weight goes --- from the few models I've tried my sense is that the weight of their shoes has gone UP some since they first introduced them, but OTOH they've also solved the biggest durability problems they used to have too. On the PCT I was wearing wearing holes in the uppers after the first 200 - 300 miles of use, whereas this year when I replaced my "Force" and "Versa Force" models after around 500 or so miles each pair the uppers looked almost like new. I did lose the occasional tread "lug", however.

I wish there was an easy and cheap way to try out wide toe box shoes from other manufacturers, as I too would like something a *little* lighter if it "worked" in the toe box and was sufficiently durable. Oh, and didn't bring any yet new problems into the mix ... !

For reference, in size 11.5, the "Force" model weighs 40.1 oz for the pair (I don't recall if that's with the factory inserts or my orthodics, sorry, but probably the former).
The "Versa Force" model weighs 32.0 oz in the same size. But looking earlier this month I already can't find more of those to buy --- dang, I hate how fast manufacturers change out their models. The older Sun Dragon II's weighed 28.5 oz per pair.

Edited by brianle on 08/31/2010 05:43:39 MDT.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Lightest Trail Runners with Large Toebox? on 08/31/2010 06:14:34 MDT Print View

Yep, the Wave Ascend only comes in a D. Despite that, they work fine for my 2E+ foot.

Brooks have a narrow fit, including the toebox. You could try going up another 1/2 size if they're not uncomfortable when you put them on initially. After a day of decent miles your foot will swell which causes the shoe to feel tighter. Leaving more room for growth at the front may solve that for you.

Part of what I like about the Wave Ascend is they don't have stiff protection in the toe but instead use a more flexible series of overlays. I can wear Nike Frees for road runs for this exact reason. A very flexible upper allows the toe box to stretch with your foot.

Edited by simplespirit on 08/31/2010 06:17:45 MDT.

James Lantz
(jameslantz) - F

Locale: North Georgia
Fan of GoLite & Keen shoes on 08/31/2010 19:26:12 MDT Print View

I fully agree with Brian's post on the merits of GoLite shoes concerning toe box volume. I love my GoLite Comps because they let your toes roam free & keep your heels locked in tight. Keen Shellrocks have plenty of toe room but are also wide at the heel. As a family, all GoLites & Keens have wide toe boxes.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Fan of GoLite & Keen shoes on 08/31/2010 19:32:17 MDT Print View

I've had a pair of GoLite shoes in the past as well and found them to have a great toebox. Unfortunately, they had wear issues and I even managed to break the outsole of one in half while backpacking in the Whites of New Hampshire.

I plan to try out some of their new minimalist designs to see if they kept the wide toe and fixed the durability problems.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Lightest Trail Runners with Large Toebox? on 08/31/2010 22:17:40 MDT Print View

I have been super happy with inov-8 flyroc 310 which has one of the larger toe boxes from inov-8 (the 295 and 330 are also pretty good). The flyroc's toe box is quite large compared to the rest of this relatively narrow shoe. Some other shoes with decent size toe boxes include Keen and the Solomon CompX line. These don't fit me as well as Inov-8... but I know a number of people who really like them.


Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
sabino trail on 09/07/2010 19:24:09 MDT Print View

the sabino trails definitely have a large toe box- I normally want ee or eee and their "regular" 9 fit me perfectly- a normal (or low) volume foot I think would have trouble w/ the fit

this is my first Montrail shoe, but reading other reviews it sounds like a lot of folks who used the Hardrock Wide feel the Sabino is cut the same

(puddlemonster) - F

Locale: SF Bay - East Bay
Deleted by me on 01/07/2011 17:42:45 MST Print View


Edited by puddlemonster on 02/09/2012 22:00:23 MST.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

MT100 on 01/07/2011 18:30:03 MST Print View

I agree with Eugene that the MT101 / MT101's are quite wide. I have quite wide feet and I find the MT101's to be more spacious in this area that any of my other shoes.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
large toebox on 01/07/2011 18:47:57 MST Print View

these guys carry a very wide selection (including most mentioned in this thread)

when you select a shoe it will describe heel fit, midfoot, forefoot, toe box and arch structure, while it's not a substitute for trying something out, pretty convenient way to compare shoe models

the aforementioned Sabino Trail it describes the forefoot as medium to wide, the MT101 as medium and the 295 as medium as well- we all know though, w/ shoes especially, ymmv :)

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
Re: Lightest Trail Runners with Large Toebox? on 01/07/2011 19:31:20 MST Print View

what you describe sounds like the shoe ive been eyeballing. i havent squeezed the trigger on these yet, but im "looking"