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Reader Reviews

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Golite Trail Fly and Tail Spike

in Footwear - Boots, Shoes, Gaiters

Average Rating
2.29 / 5 (7 reviews)

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Vick Hines
( vickrhines )

Central Texas
Golite Trail Fly and Tail Spike on 05/08/2007 20:16:14 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 1 / 5

Two pairs of Golite shoes self-destructed within 70 miles on the AT.

The first pair (Trail Fly) failed after 66 miles. The fake ripstop fabric over the toe section cracked with repeated flexing (and what does a shoe do, anyway?) and the forward lacing points tore out.

Golite replaced that pair with the "Trail Spike" model after considerable argument. ("These shoes are not for backpacking," said the customer service representative.) The Trail Spikes failed after 70 miles in the same way as the first pair had failed -- the fabric could not handle flexing.

Golite has a serious problem of materials, design, construction, or some combination of the above. No shoe should fail within 70 miles. Golite's contention that these are not backpacking shoes is open to criticism on several counts, but the most telling one for me is that I have used several makes and models of lightweight trail runners on such challenging trails as the AT and have NEVER, EVER experienced catastrophic failure of a shoe. Slow deterioration, sure, but not catastrophic failure.

Edited by vickrhines on 05/12/2007 18:36:14 MDT.

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James Pethigal
( deathandgravity )
Self-destructed is an understatement. on 11/14/2007 09:33:18 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 1 / 5

Used these shoes here in the Pac NW for about a month on non-technical trails & held up fairly well. Loved the large toe box, fit & ride of these shoes. Decided to use them in an Adventure Race in Chile due to the great fit, fast venting of water & large toe box. Big, big mistake – shoes absolutely dissolved after about 50 miles of hard terrain of streams, mountains, sand, salt flats and dirt roads. Spent the last 100 miles gluing, taping, rigging & sewing on these shoes to try to hold them together. Ended up finishing in my CROCS!

Golite needs to serious address the quality of these shoes!
(note – took my review down… I wonder why?)

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Jon Rhoderick
( hotrhoddudeguy - M )

New England
Here comes another one on 01/24/2008 15:05:08 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 1 / 5

I've heard they fixed some problems but the pair I had didn't last more than 1 day hike along with about 3 months as using them as my go to shoes. I got them in September and come December I needed a new pair of shoes for Xmas, I think I'll end up with some indestructible approach shoes that are a little bit more what I need rather than the Spike Tails. But I will be missing that trail cushioning....

Andrew Skurka
( askurka )
Great performance, terrible durability on 01/30/2008 09:42:02 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

I used these shoes exclusively during my Great Western Loop hike. I would agree -- and, in fact, the GoLite Footwear people would agree -- that the durability was way less than ideal during first production run. The traced it to their factory coating the entire toepiece in the adhesive that was used to attach the fabric with the foam, instead of just the points that were going to come in contact with each other. As a result, the fabric became very brittle and tore early. GoLite Footwear will replace your shoes if you're not happy -- call them.

The good news is that this problem has been fixed and future models do not have this issue. I've been running in a Spring 08 model, the Versa Force, and it appears to be fine.

In order to increase the longevity of the '07 models I coated the toebox in SeamGrip and this would give me 400-500 miles out of them. Sometimes I'd have to occasionally repair them towads the latter end of their life with some additional SeamGrip and/or SuperGlu.

As far as performance, these shoes are really great, truly revolutionary. For a backpacker, it means less pointy stuff to give you foot bruises, better traction on snow, and better traction on dirt and rocks (because equal distribution of pressure underfoot leads to less slippage or rolling trail debris). Wonderfully sized toebox.

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James Pethigal
( deathandgravity )
That’s great to hear! on 02/21/2008 19:10:16 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I’m looking forward to giving them another try. Thanks for the update. (I just used the Storm Dragon for Susitna 100 with no problems. Worked great in 4F temp & knee deep snow)

Edited by deathandgravity on 02/25/2008 08:59:20 MST.

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a a
( stewby15 )
Tail Spike on 02/23/2008 20:36:51 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5


Edited by stewby15 on 03/09/2014 16:27:50 MDT.

William H Standley
( ktnbs )

SE Alaska
The good, the bad and the ugly on 03/15/2008 19:36:15 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

The good - Most comfortable 'trail running' shoe I have worn. (I have/had montrails, inov8, vasque, newbalance) Performed very well on flat to moderately steep maintained trails and tracks. And of course, walking around towns, urban trails.

The bad - When the track got steep, rocky and tree rooty they slipped more often than I cared for. They were also 'tippy' on talus and rubble and I had more ankle twist close calls than I care for.

The ugly - I got these midwinter and wore them exclusively on an indoor track. Took them with me on recent New Zealand trip for trail trekking and approach shoe use. The third day of use on the track doing day hikes with no pack, the fabric split on one shoe halfway up to Liverpool Bivy and by the end of the week the uppers were very worn and basically coming apart. The soles held up well.

On a more rugged approach to a peak with 30 pound pack on....trail and off-track rubble travel prior to hitting the snow and ice....I wished I had brought my ...well anything else besides these! I wore my mountaineering shoes for the trek out and found the Trail Fly's best use was to hold my coffee press in the pack. I am sending them back. These were no doubt the early model that had a bad resin mix for the uppers.

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