Saturday, November 6, 2010
Met up with Homie at 9am/Chautauqua for a run up the front side of Green. I was anxious to catch up with him, enjoy the record or near record warmth for the date and also try out a pair of Hoka Mafate shoes that I am borrowing for a few days. At first the shoes feel (look) a bit silly, as they are so big and boaty. Though they are reasonably light considering their bulk, the rocker action of the outsole took a bit of getting used to and they do not feel like a fast shoe, at least not to me (but that might be more a result of being up half the night tending to newborn twin daughters). The cushion on them is incredible and I immidiately started to seek out every obstacle I could find to put them to the test, big sharp rocks, small sharp rocks, roots, pointy stumps etc.... and I could not feel a thing. I became more and more impressed with the cushioning and was really looking forward to seeing how stable they are on the technical downhill and how they would eat up the impact.
Though initially tentative, I slowly cranked up the speed coming down the upper section of Greenman and was very impressed at how stable they are despite the added ~2" to my height. These shoes are like a plush, full suspension mountain bike on the downhill, smoothing out the ride and making the trip more comfortable. They don't quite have the stability of a really low slung shoe, but are as good or better than all of the middle of the road trail shoes I have used over the years. The tread pattern and rubber composition is awesome and really hook up well on various steep surfaces.
I'm not sure I would run in this shoe daily, but it would be ideally suited to somebody recovering from/nursing or trying to prevent a nagging foot injury and would probably be awesome for a 100 mile race. I am guessing that ones feet would feel quite fresh wearing such shoes over long distances over rugged/rocky terrain. I will be disappointed to have to turn them in, as it would make an excellent addition to my quiver of trail shoes.
After months of mocking these shoes, I have to eat my words. Just another example of "don't knock it till you try it".
Up Amphi/Saddle/Greenman (from Gregory): 45 going a relaxed conversational pace
Down Greenman/NE/1st-2nd Flatiron route back to Chautauqua: 28