Most helpful critical review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Shoes Reviews are Subjective
on May 29, 2014
Everyone's foot shape is different. Crazy, I know! This shoe has had so much praise and good feedback I thought I'd give it a go. I've been in search for the 'perfect' trail shoe since New Balance discontinued my beloved MT110 (I'm on my 3rd pair).
I have yet to find a shoe that fit me as well as the 110, it's as if it were made just for my foot. The upper is great, the heel locks in, it never comes untied, the tread grips well and is extremely durable. The ONLY downside to the 110 (and the reason for the search for another shoe) is there just isn't enough underfoot for longer outings and really technical terrain. Anything longer than 1/2 marathon distance on technical trails, especially those with crazy descents, and I was just getting beat up and tired.
I've tried other trail shoes (see other reviews) but everyone kept telling me to give these a go. I've now got about 100 trail miles under foot and a good technical trail 1/2 marathon race, so I think I can offer my insight.
- Outsole is rock solid. These things shine in all conditions and grip! Although the tread isn't aggressive, it works and works very well. I appreciate the solid rubber of the entire shoe as well as the rock plate.
- Midsole. I like the rockered shape (PI calls it their 'dynamic offset') as it helps to propel forward and maintain good running form and a good solid mid foot strike.
- Upper material: good stretchy fabric. I didn't love it at first but after 50 miles or so it began to accommodate my foot shape. I initially had some concern spots but they went away after trial and error. For example, I did a summit to 9,000+/- feet and the descent down destroyed my left big toe. This was entirely my fault as I didn't stop and tighten the laces at the summit for my run down. Didn't have this problem during another long descent on a recent trail race.
- Upper: While it's taken shape, and I do love the mesh fabric, it's still too narrow for my liking, especially in the small toe. I feel like my little toe stretches the fabric and it then 'hangs' over the midsole.
- Heel: I'm torn on this, but my left heel slips and I can't get it to stop no matter what I do. I think I have been hyper sensitive, though, because running with other shoes I notice my left heel slips on virtually all shoes I wear. That just must be my smaller foot. I'm really in-between sizes of 13-14, but there's no 13.5 shoe, so I typically size up to the bigger 14. This almost always causes problems for my left heel and too much room in the toes (as was the case with the Allout Rush). While there's slipping, I still don't have any blistering in the heel.
- Midsole: I do like the rockered midsole but I'm not entirely sold on the 'dynamic offset' by Pearl. When my form goes south I start to notice too much under my heel. I have to concentrate on a midfoot strike. While these are sold as a 4mm offset, it's not the case. Walking in them one can definitely feel the built up heel. Also, these are a pretty firm midsole.
Overall, I don't love these shoes, but I've invested in them, they don't cause major pain or discomfort, so I'll wear them till their done (get my $$ worth).