Stopped by to chat with my NH neighbors at GoLite Footwear who are increasing their offering of zero drop trail runners, boots, and sandals. I had previously tested and wrote about the GoLite Flash Lites. I found them to be a bit firm on the road and trail but a very strong road to trail shoe and the first true zero drop running shoe.
Doug Clark, Go-Lite Footwear founder, told me my observations had been borne out by further testing and that future models will increase the overall height of cushioning. The Flash Lite has a 10 mm midsole height. The new Tara Lite has a 20 mm height, with 14 mm of midsole foam which should provide enough foam deflection to soften the road ride and make the shoe Soft(er) Against the Ground. I also think the additional height will make them somewhat more stable on trails. It is still zero drop from heel to toe. Weight in size 9 is 10.5 oz.
I think this will be a very good road to trail shoe. Doug said orders for the Tara were very strong. In addition to its gecko sole of small rubber nubs which should make them very sticky on most surfaces, the Tara has a far more minimal upper than the Flash Lites. No laces, just velcro straps. Inside the forefoot is a sandal type thong which helps stabilize the foot. A split toe sock is supplied with the shoe. Tara Lite is coming this spring.
Doug was kind enough to give me a pair of the GoLite Floodlight Trail Sandals. Also zero drop. They were very comfortable for the rest of my day at the show. Positioned as a recovery and water shoe for some they may serves more purposes. I wonder how they would run. I will give them a try and report back. Minimal, zero drop, not quite a Vibram Five Finger but close....and with adequate midsole and toe protection and total breathability.