Montrail FluidFlex ST here
adidas Adizero XT Boost here
adidas Raven Boost here
La Sportiva Mutant here
Yesterday, I ran 16 miles on smoother trails at Antelope Island, UT in the Montrail FluidFlex ST, 9.2 oz/266 grams, a good value at $95 including from Running Warehouse here . Really enjoyed the stable ride due to the Fluid Foam which mixes different densities of the same material into a single midsole layer the Fluid Frame, the firm but decent cushioning, and a very supportive upper with decent toe room. A shoe with mild pronation support,and I usually cannot stand support or stability shoes, I did not notice the firmer mid sole mid foot and welcomed a bit of extra support there on the trail. Very flexible at one deep groove towards the mid foot. Front of that, towards the toes, less flexible, stiffer due to firmer EVA in the mold serving as a rock plate, a bit awkward feeling on moderate climbs but felt great on steeper climbs, downhills, and flats.
Update: full review of the Montrail FluidFlex ST here
Pardon my trail dust!
|Montrail FluidFlex ST|
|Montrail Fluid Flex ST|
Did some shoe testing/comparing this morning on the indoor track. 40 easy minutes, 20 in the adidas adizero XT Boost, coming 8/1 and then 20 minutes in the LaSportiva Mutant. I like to get a feel for shoes on a consistent surface before taking them out on the roads and trails. Update: since I have raced in the adizero XT Boost and done 2 trail runs in the Mutant.
|LaSportiva Mutant (yellow left) adidas XT Boost (right)|
The adidas Adizero XT Boost is a 9.2 oz, 260 gram $140 (on sale 8/1), 10.5 mm drop trail racer with a lugged Continental outsole and some Boost in the forefoot. It has a stretch mesh debris sleeve. Felt very snappy with a distinct soft Boost rebound in the forefoot and not as firm in the heel as I expected. Not sure I would race them on very rocky technical trails but smoother trails should be a blast. XT seems a lot like the Adios Boost road shoe, for trail, or more likely, given midsole materials and geometry, the adidas Takumi-Sen Boost road racer. I am leaning towards running the XT at the Buffalo Run 25K on Antelope Island next week. My other choice the Fluid Flex ST which served me well yesterday on the Island.
Update: I did end up running the Buffalo Run in the Adizero XT Boost and they were spectacular. Great climbers, plenty of downhill stability, Boost welcome under the forefoot, good grip on the sandy trails. The upper is quite minimal for a trail shoe but when combined with the solid platform underfoot a good balance for smoother trails. The mesh "sleeve" worked well to keep dust out of the shoes. I actually had less sore quads in the XT after running the identical route, far faster than I did in Fluid Flex ST which maybe are a bit too firm for my style and stiffer flexing up near the toes. Review soon.
Update: full review of the adidas Adizero XT Boost here
There will also be a Primeknit version, the adizero XT Prime Boost at bit lighter at 8.8 oz 250 grams and... $200.
|adidas Adizero XT Boost|
|adidas Adizero XT Boost|
It has big lugs (6mm) and a very supportive, substantial yet not tight wrap around mid foot upper similar to a ski boot bootie, SpyralTongue. Complex lacing system (even includes instructions for using the optional lace garage, see picture below) that seems to serve the purpose of lots of mid foot support without an overly snug actual upper feel. Might be a good choice for those with bad ankles. Very dense mesh and high heel collar which may bother some. It is smoothly flexible up front and nicely cushioned, not overly firm. They actually felt fine during my 20 minute indoor track run.
Update: they felt great on 2 trail runs one single track the other a mix of dirt roads and pavement,
Very stable mid foot and heel upper and overall underfoot platformwith surprisingly flexible forefoot.
I would size up a half size if your feet are wide as the toe length, due to substantial toe bumper and dense non stretch mesh, is a bit short at true to size especially if your runs are long. Not a brick by any means on the run, surprisingly agile for a shoe targeted at situations where substantial upper support and big lugs are called for. Would be a shoe I would run in NH or on very rough technical trails. On sale now at Running Warehouse at this link.
Also coming soon r the adidas Adistar Raven Boost, on sale 8/1 $140. Raven Boost is a heavy duty, and heavyish 11.5 oz, 326 grams, trail shoe that is also very fine on the road. My road miles to date in them have been most comfortable and smooth without being mushy.
|adidas Raven Boost|
Raven Boost has a very comfortable and soft upper, more toe room than usual for adidas and a nicely stabilized forefoot - by EVA around the outside of the front of shoe surrounding the Boost, unlike Ultra Boost which is all Boost upfront. While called Adistar which usually means some stability support features for pronation I detect and see none, can't run support shoes. Likely for many, a better and more versatile ultra shoe than the Ultra Boost, reviewed here. Far more comfortable upper than the fairly narrow Terrex Boost reviewed here with its stiff and substantial overlays in the front of the shoe near the laces. Raven Boost also has lower profile lugs making it more road suitable than the Terrex as does the lack of the stabilizing heel TPU layer of the Terrex around the heel.
Update: see our Raven Boost review here
Last but not least the Hoka One One Challenger ATR should be on everyone's list.
|Hoka One One Challenger ATR|
All shoes in this post, except the Challenger ATR which was a personal purchase at retail, were provided at no charge for review purposes. Opinions herein entirely my own,