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What ultralight trail runners do you guys use?
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Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - F

Locale: norcal
What ultralight trail runners do you guys use? on 08/22/2012 22:51:46 MDT Print View

I'm stumped on what ultralight trail runners to use...

I used to like my Solomon XA 3D Ultra 2 (as an aside. What a horrible name!) but the weight published was misleading (thanks REI) and Solomon's website is crap and I can't figure out how to compare their shoes feature by feature to figure out which ones I like.

I REALLY like their lacing system though.

I DO need a pair of shoes with either a 3/4 or full plate in the bottom. Otherwise my feet get REALLY sore.

Also... the insoles in these disintegrated after fording two rivers. Granted these are trail runners not backpacking shoes so I think it's fair if they didn't design them for river crossings.


michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Mids woulds be nice on 08/23/2012 01:24:02 MDT Print View

I am looking for some ankle support, but more of a lightweight trail runner/ hybrid. I found the "Merrell Mix Master Mid Waterproof Trail Running Shoe" but its expensive $150...

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: What ultralight trail runners do you guys use? on 08/23/2012 10:59:27 MDT Print View


Not UL by some standards, but I use Salomon XR Crossmax's. 11oz per shoe and has a nice sole with a good bit of cushion. I have stuck with Salomon's because they fit my foot well and very rarely cause blisters on my feet. The lacing system is very convenient too.


Edited by ViolentGreen on 08/23/2012 11:00:19 MDT.

Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - F

Locale: norcal
Re: Re: What ultralight trail runners do you guys use? on 08/23/2012 11:01:26 MDT Print View

that's 622 grams for the pair and mine are 922 grams. I need SOLID soles so the rocks don't tear into my feet. This is the problem I had last time.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: Re: What ultralight trail runners do you guys use? on 08/23/2012 11:13:11 MDT Print View

The difference in weight doesn't necessarily mean the soles are the difference. Either way, finding UL trail runners that weigh over a pound each may be a challenge. Hopefully someone will chime in for you.


Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: What ultralight trail runners do you guys use? on 08/23/2012 11:36:39 MDT Print View

I have become a huge fan of Inov8 shoes, my favorites being the F-Lite 195. But since you require a rock plate you should check out the new Trailroc models just released.

I switched to Inov8 after primarily using NB 101's which were great shoes. Maybe check out the 110's as they are the updated model - I just can't speak from experience

Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - F

Locale: norcal
Re: Re: What ultralight trail runners do you guys use? on 08/23/2012 11:58:02 MDT Print View

This is my plan. I was looking at random gear lists and the Inov8 shoes are being used often.

The problem with the Solomon's And the Inov8 shoes is that I can't tell ANYTHING from their websites about the products.

Does it have a rock plate? Why should I pick X over Y.

At LEAST with the Inov8 their naming conventions make sense. Solomon has STUPID naming convention.

WTF is with naming a shoe 3D ? What makes it 3D? What makes it Ultra?


Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Re: Re: What ultralight trail runners do you guys use? on 08/23/2012 12:00:23 MDT Print View

What New Balance's have a rocker plate? I can't seem to be able to figure that out from their website. I am also looking to try out some trail runners but I definitely want a rocker plate. I've got a wide foot with a large foot volume, which I am thinking means I should stay away from NB's with a PL-1 last. Also looking at the Salomeo XA 3d pro. Not sure if Salomon's will fit my foot, but REI has them in wide size (online only :(). It is a nice looking shoe, but not sure I am willing to plunk down the $130. I've had good luck with NB's in the past (only recently discovered the different lasts) and they are mostly cheaper, just wondering if they have the rocker plate.

Dena Kelley

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
Have you tried inserts? on 08/23/2012 12:31:52 MDT Print View

I find a good set of Superfeet inserts can take a set of trail runners that feel too thin in the sole and make them comfortable for me. If you like everything else about the shoe, you might look at the available inserts out there.

Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - F

Locale: norcal
Re: Have you tried inserts? on 08/23/2012 12:45:24 MDT Print View

I was thinking about this too. Since I basically can't find a pair of shoes that TELL ME they have a rock plate, I can just find the LIGHTEST shoes that work for me, then install a pair of inserts that have a plate.

This is so silly. Why can't vendors post tech specs for their products.

Sean Rhoades

Locale: WV
light boots on 08/23/2012 13:24:27 MDT Print View

Have you considered the Salomon Wings Sky boots? I know you're looking more for trail runners, but these boots are listed as being 18oz(I think that's per boot). I personally don't have any experience with these as I use either a trail runner(Brooks Cascadia 6) or Salomon Comet boots(roughly 21oz per boot), depending on the terrain expected.

Just a thought, good luck in your search!

Stephen P
(spavlock) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Re: Re: Have you tried inserts? on 08/23/2012 13:27:09 MDT Print View

Thermoplastic urethane inserts and nylon plates are both forms of support in several different brands of trail runners. These would protect your feet from rocky surfaces. If the shoe has support, it is listed under that category on the REI website. Just click several models to compare side by side. Manufactures have fancy and technical names for the shoe supports..."rock plate" sounds too boring :)

Stephen P
(spavlock) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Re: Re: Have you tried inserts? on 08/23/2012 13:33:51 MDT Print View

Just did some more browsing and found some more types of support (rock plates):

EVA shank, EVA insert, Injected EVA, thermoplastic urethane shank, hard EVA plate, etc.

EVA and TPU in different forms seem to be popular types of support.

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - F

Locale: Colorado
Trailrocs on 08/23/2012 13:35:49 MDT Print View

My understanding is the Trailroc 245s (3mm drop) and 255s (6mm drop) have a rockplate under the forefoot, whereas the 235s (0mm drop) have nothing. Inov-8 models are designed for maximum flexibility, so putting in a 3/4 or full length rockplate would go against their norms. However, many Inov-8 models include fascia bands under the midfoot to help provide some extra protection there.

When I first bought my Roclite 295s for hiking, I put Superfeet insoles in them. Great for support, but the shoes didn't feel quite right. I've since removed them and am strengthening my feet so my arches don't get so tired. I picked up a pair of Trailroc 245s last week for trail running, and I'm slowly working them into my rotation.

Mitch Chesney
(MChesney) - F
Montrail Mountain Masochists on 08/23/2012 13:44:19 MDT Print View

After careful research I found the Montrail Mountain Masochists. Started with the GTX version (Gore-Tex) since I was moving from nubuck leather boots and was afraid of moisture. Was worried about underfoot bruising as I had made a hike in tennis shoes before in Michigan and was in pain on the walk back (across rough gravel) so a shank was crucial. Wanted lightweight too so I settled on a plastic, full heel shank with skeletal forefoot shank. Very comfortable shoes but I found the Gore-Tex didn't function as designed. Moved to the normal version (lighter, airy with mesh), still very happy. Added a Superfeet Green insole to compliment the skeleton shank already in the Masochists... no underfoot bruising even on southern California's rocky trails. Feet run a bit wide so the little toe's metatarsal knuckle sort of sticks out of the mesh. Something I need to watch

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Runners on 08/23/2012 13:59:21 MDT Print View

Inov8 Roclite 285's for me.

david delabaere

Locale: Northern VA
superfeet insert on 08/23/2012 14:33:06 MDT Print View

Would the superfeet inserts work if I use them to add some cushioning to my shoes ? Thats all I really need - that and better grip on slick rocks and less heel drop which I hope to get by trying the inov8 f195, a vivobarefoot shoe or if I have to the saucony outlaw.

I use the brooks puregrit because it is more comfortable when doing lots of mileage, however it lacks grip when wet and doesn't dry as fast (the upper is thicker than my other options and heavier).

I like the new balance mt101 with its rock plate, quick drying and lightness, but also lacks grip and the lugs do wear out fairly quickly. I also have a better feel for the ground despite the rock plate.

VFF treksport, which I like for day hikes but not for backpacking.

Dena Kelley

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
re What ultralight trail runners do you guys use? on 08/23/2012 15:22:13 MDT Print View


Well, as they say YMMV but for me the Superfeet inserts do add cushioning and just overall comfort to any shoe I wear. I love them, and the first thing I do on any pair of shoes is pull the stock inserts out and use my Superfeet inserts.


Bruce LaBelle
(blabelle) - F - MLife

Locale: Davis, CA or on an adventure
Ultralight Trail Runners on 08/23/2012 22:15:21 MDT Print View

After two years using Innov-8 212 for all my trail running and ultras, this year I switched to the La Sportiva Vertical K. They have a much larger toe box, have a climbing rubber sole like the 212, and have much more cushioning. They don't have a rock plate, but have a midsole that is designed to "mush" over any sharp rocks. I found this to be quite effective. This spring I used them to run up some Eastern Sierra passes and peaks (Paiute, Kearsarge, White Mountain, etc.), and raced a 50 in dry conditions and a 100 in the rain. No stone bruises; no blisters. I prefer the 212 better for snow, but otherwise like the Vertical K. It's toe box is wide, so it would not be for someone who likes a snug fit. This also means the upper laces need to be laced snugly to prevent the foot from sliding forward on downhills if running with poor form (landing in front of center of gravity) I use gaiters with them for dusty/rocky trails, but the lacing system is covered by elastic material which makes it a little difficult to use a gaiter that hooks onto the laces.

Pete Staehling
(staehpj1) - F
Trail Runners on 08/24/2012 05:42:14 MDT Print View

I like to trail run in Brooks Cascadias, but at 1 lb 8.4 oz they are fairly light, but definitely not ultralight. They have real good rock protection IMO.

I bought some cheap New Balance MB310BRs at about a pound for the pair. I have been hiking in these lately. I think these are a mass market version of one of their other shoes and are intended to be sold in big box stores. I managed to find them at DSW and used a $10 off coupon to get them for just under $30. I liked them well enough to buy another pair when I had another coupon. The rock protection on these is less, but enough for me (YMMV).

Edited by staehpj1 on 08/24/2012 05:46:22 MDT.