Saturday, January 29, 2011

Shoe Failure at Cedar Ridge

For the second Saturday in a row, I headed to Cedar Ridge Preserve for a morning run.  This time, I got there before all the hikers and walkers, so for the first hour or so, I had the whole place to myself (except for--what was that figure I saw?--maybe a raccoon).  Greeting the new day on the trails, quiet and alone, I ran and enjoyed the great weather and fantastic trails.
Sunrise over Cattail Pond
I can't say enough about this place.  Maybe because I've gotten so bored with running on the streets in my neighborhood, or maybe because I have been able to run so little the last few weeks, but I have really enjoyed these last 2 runs.  Winding, hilly single track, with a good sprinkling of rocks and roots, make this a great place to run.

This morning I planned to run 18-20 miles.  After 7 or so, I started feeling like I was getting a hot spot, which surprised me, because I very rarely get blisters while wearing my VFFs.  I stopped at the picnic tables and looked at my foot.  My shoe's seam was splitting along the big toe!  That's so very frustrating.  That lets trail grit get in the toes, creating abrasion in all the wrong places.
Then I looked at my other foot, and saw this lovely sight.  Dirt had gotten in there and rubbed me raw (That's blood between my toes).  Ouch.  I'm not saying trail running should be pain free, and dirt in the shoes is certainly part of trail running, but I would like to avoid this kind of unnecessary pain when possible, especially due to a simple shoe failure.
For a little background, I bought my first pair of VFF Trek Sports last fall.  I wore them on a short training trail run (5-6 miles), then at Palo Duro Canyon.  After about 17 miles at PD, that same seam split, letting in dirt, dust, and pebbles with every step.  That's not the whole reason I DNFed that day, but it was a contributing factor.  Vibram has a 90-day warranty on their shoes, and Luke's Locker was generous in taking them back and giving me store credit for them.

After a few weeks of calling all the Luke's locations, waiting for them to get a pair in my size, I finally got a new pair, identical to the first.  I wore them last week at Cedar Ridge for the first time.  And today the seam went out.  In both cases, in less than 30 miles, the seam went out.  I will not buy VFF Trek Sports again!  The problem is, I LOVE running in them!  I don't know that I'd want to run in anything else!  I've ordered some VFF Treks, which have the same sole, but have a leather upper, rather than the fabric of the Trek Sport.  I'm sure hoping they will perform better.  Oh, and by the way, I wore a pair of VFF Sprints, decidedly not made for trail running, at the Rocky Raccoon 50 miler last year, and had no problems at all.

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