As my training has progressed for the Fall 50 Oct 22nd I have been testing out gear to find the perfect mix for the big day. One of the items that I have been playing around with are shoes. In April of 2016 I began my search for a trail shoe for upcoming summer trail races. I needed a shoe that would be able to take on various terrain and conditions. Long story short I bought the Altra Superiors 2.0 and have religiously worn them for every trail ultra I have run this summer. They are a workhorse shoe and I love them. My body responds very well to the minimalist design and zero drop. Problem being they have a hard sole and do not work for me pavement. I reached out to Zach Bitters, a runner for Altra and the male winner of the 2015 Fall 50 (which was also the 50 Mile Road Championship), to find out what shoe he wore last year. He graciously suggested the Altra One 2.5.
After purchasing the One 2.5 (yes, I bought them…they were not given to me by Altra) I began working on breaking them in and evaluating if they would work for my 50 mile challenge. Right out of the box I was pleased and I had not even put them on my feet. Why you might ask? Well, they were super light. 5.2oz to be exact. They also were extremely flexible. I have found that shoes that allow me to move with little restriction work best for my body and running style. I also loved the wide toe box. My piggies will have plenty of room to spread out and stay loose. In a previous race I wore a narrower shoe and my toes cramped something fierce! Not a sensation I want to experience while tackling 50 miles.
My enjoyment continued when I tried the shoes on. It was like strapping clouds to my feet. The cushioning is evident, but not overbearing. The 5mm contoured outer sole gave me confidence that my foot was supported, but not restricted. Laced up my foot was snug. The lightly padded tongue created a barrier between the laces and kept my foot supported. The heel cuff wrapped around my foot and did not allow for my foot to slip out. The fit was like a glove and very true to size. I ordered my typical running shoe size.
Time to take these babies out for a spin. My first run was a glorious 20 mile run on the rural roads located near my house. In the past the pounding on pavement irritated a previous injury. I highly anticipated that this run would be a challenge, but was surprised that was able to complete all 20 miles pain free. Upon further inspection I also found that I did not encounter any hot spots or blisters. I had very happy feet when I finished. One run however does not sell me on a product. I took them out again for several short runs and was again pleased with their performance.
The 1st race that I wore these for was the Lake Michigan Urban Trail 50k. This was a hybrid race with 90% pavement and 10% trail. The morning of the race I applied a generous layer of Trail Toes Cream, pulled on my Fitsok socks, and laced up my One 2.5 shoes. Nothing out of the ordinary. My race went as planned and shoes were amazing. The injury that has plagued me for weeks did not rear its ugly head and I finished with a time that I was proud of. After running the Lakefront my shoes were quite dirty from the trails, but cleaned up easily with a soapy wet rag. I was impressed with how quickly they dried. Later that week I went for a short run and it rained. My shoes got soaked, but drained quickly. It took less than 24 hours for them to dry completely.
I have found my Fall 50 shoes! I recently purchased an additional pair to switch out at the half way point. I love that there are several colors to choose from.
#BeKind #BeHappy #BeActive
Update 11/5/16 – I survived my 1st 50 mile event!!! Thanks in part to my Altra One 2.5 shoes. I anticipated changing shoes if the weather warranted it (last year it rained). In the end I had 3 pairs of One 2.5 ready to rock for the Fall 50. I ended up wearing the same pair all 50 miles with awesome results. I was comfortable all day, my previous injury did not rear its ugly head, and my feet sustained minimal blistering. To say I was impressed with the Altra shoes is an understatement. I’m hooked. Proof is in the 50 mile pudding!!!