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March 23, 2010

Name That Shoe!

On account of some mid-week craziness around R&R headquarters, you’ll excuse the brevity and/or borderline incoherence of the next few posts; life as a trail runner and blogger has taken a noticeable turn for the busier lately. Details to follow – but for now, here’s a hint of where things are headed.

It took several weeks of fits and starts, but my training mileage is finally becoming respectable again. As soon as my waistline follows suit, I’ll be feeling a lot better about things. In the meantime, I’ve got some pretty cool adventures planned (including one taking place on Thursday, possibly as you’re reading this), and I’m finally starting the mental framework of building a race schedule for the year. As of now, the only thing I’m officially entered in is the 5K I’m running with my daughter. That doesn’t really count as a race … but it counts for something. Probably something better, honestly.

Meanwhile, I’m testing products like crazy. I hinted at such during my Carmel River Run report – and since I don’t have time to go into specifics just yet, here’s a photo preview of some of the gear I’ll be talking about in the weeks to come:

The vest above is Mountain Hardware’s Geist: incredibly light, amazingly warm.

On my wrist is the Suunto X10, which I was slow to embrace, but I’m gradually warming up to. It might help to have a math or engineering degree to understand everything this device does. Unfortunately, I have neither.

On my back is CamelBak’s Octane XCT. I’m playing the hydration pack review game again this spring, although not (as of yet) as extensively as last year. This one is a nice improvement over the previous model; I hope to have a full review next week.

The fourth product pictured is the one that I’m far and away the most excited about: it’s the things I’m wearing on my feet. They’re not officially on the market yet, but they represent my first small foray into the consultation and product development side of the outdoor business. I’ve been working with the company for a couple of months, abusing the heck out of whatever they send me, at which point they make a few tweaks here and there before sending me another pair for me to start abusing all over again. I like to think it’s a job for which I’m ideally suited.

They’re hard to see in the picture above, so here’s a better image to look at:

And since I’m not ready to tell the whole story just yet, let’s turn this into a guessing game: what do you think is on my feet? Aside from the black Drymax socks, that is. Do they look familiar? Like something I’ve talked about before? Or something completely new? Feel free to take a stab at it in the comments below.

In case you’re stumped, here’s a zoomed-in shot from the previous photo that might help:

That’s all the intel I'm giving away for now – but stay tuned for the rest of the story soon.


bfsb 3/25/10, 4:19 AM  

That looks like the front of a Vivo Barefoot shoe! I sincerely hope so!

Jeff 3/25/10, 5:15 AM  

I have no idea - but if you're running those kind of trails in them, I am intrigued.

RD Jim 3/25/10, 6:13 AM  

tera plana claudius?

Sonja 3/25/10, 6:32 AM  

Looks to me like a Soft Star Moc to me.

Justin,  3/25/10, 6:36 AM  

Looks like the softstar new running moc. The one they might title as the Run-A-Moc or Phidippides.

Michael Shane Helton 3/25/10, 8:33 AM  

Obviously a minimalist running shoe. I would guess it is from one of the minimalist companies you have reviewed and who does not have a running shoe out right now.

So, I will say a prototype running shoe from Sanuk (the smiley face logo people). If I am right you will have to name it the "Notleh". ;-)

shel 3/25/10, 12:18 PM  

i agree... could be softstar. also, could be feelmax

jhamani i 3/26/10, 1:39 PM  

After viewing the Soft Star prototype on their blog, I would be inclined to agree with Justin in it being the upcoming Run-A-Moc.

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