I think I need to seek help with my running shoe addiction, plus my wife is getting slightly annoyed at the stock pile of trainers that now dominate the area outside our back door.
But aside from these minor issues, yesterday I took delivery of what I think (and hope) will be the shoe that I’ll wear on the forthcoming Great North Walk 100 miler – the Inov-8 F-lite 195s. Unlike Nike, who don’t seem to listen to our niche little audience, Inov8 it seems have taken heed and produced a shoe that is identical to the Talon 190s, but minus the glugs underfoot.
Don’t get me wrong, the Talon 190s are great shoe, but the reality I think we all know is that anything over 40kms is pretty hard going in them because of the ‘Talons’, which you can really start to feel when you get above this distance. In short, they are a great shoe for the shorter, faster dashes of the likes of Six Foot Track and just about for some 50kms races, but that’s where they stop. Unless of course you know you’re going to be running on a very boggy, mushy course, then I think they can go further, for example The Great Ocean walk 100km is a perfect race for these types of shoes.
Enter however the F-lite 195, same shoe, same minimal feel, same flexibility as the Talons but no glugs. Just a flat undersole with what appears to be some excellent grip. Currently, I’ve only used them for one shopping trip, which as you know is an important test here at Ultra168. I’m off for a cheeky 50km on the GNW tomorrow over what I think will be the best possible test for them, the last section between Mooney Mooney and Patonga. This should give them a proper going over, with some excellent technical trail, along with the flat and hardened plateaus to contend with.
I’m very excited about this shoe. Not only does it look damn sexy, but it looks like it means business. It’s like having a girlfriend who looks like Giselle, but drives a Mazda R8, has two tickets to the rugby World Cup final and who has just volunteered to be your pacer for the last 72kms of GNW, and you just know she’s gonna kick your ass.
Anyway, I’ll let you know how these little bad boys get on tomorrow…