I'd been waiting for the July release of Skechers GoBionic Trail as part of my quest to find a zero drop shoe that doesn't admit sand and grit through the uppers. Most minimalist footwear has a mesh upper for breathability, which is good, but this is a problem when running sandy trails if the mesh is too permeable. While I love Merrell's Trail Glove and Ascend Gloves, they do let sand and grit through even with gaiters and in the San Gabriel trails where I run this is a problem. (This is in my Leona Divide race report where I ran 50 miles in the Trail gloves...and had to clean my feet three times, it was quite uncomfortable). The GoBionic Trail doesn't have this problem: While fine dirt got through, no sand or grit did. But at the same time, the upper is quite breathable. It was 89F today with a humidity of 37% and my clothes were sodden, however my feet were pretty dry. See the photo below taken after the run and note the salt rime on my pants. In addition, the sole is a bit thicker/more heavily armored than the Merrell Ascend Gloves and much more armored than the Trail Glove; its a beefy shoe but its also feather light due to the materials used. The sole material seem to me to a be a generation beyond what other shoes companies are using. Traction was great, lugs are big and they grip. The GoBionic Trail is a winner in my book. The only thing I don't like is that the toe box is a bit TOO big (I think its too tall, the width is fine) and I had to lace the shoes a bit tighter than I am used to in order to keep my toes from hitting the front of the shoe during the steep descents today. I don't have this problem at all in the Merrell Ascend Glove, by way of contrast.
|Skecher GoBionic Trail after 31 miles and 14,200 ft of climb and descent in the San Gabriels|
As for the run today: I awoke early and met some pals at Chantry Flats this morning for a little social running. My friends planned a loop up the Wintercreek trail to the Wilson Toll Road, then on to the Wilson summit (and the all important water spigot), returning to Chantry via the rim trail to Newcomb's Saddle and on in via the AC100 course, total 16.5 miles. I planned to do this loop and then add a second loop to get the mileage up over 30. I decided to mix it up a bit and ran the second loop starting up the Wintercreek trail and heading up over Mt Zion to take the Sturdevant trail up the east side of Wilson, then back via the Toll Road and upper Wintercreek Trail, total 15 miles.
The run today was a bit slow; I was about 10 minutes off my target pace of 5mph after the first loop. The second loop was really slooow. The total run time (omitting mixing drinks etc) was 6:42 for 31 miles, about a half hour off pace. The climb up the east side of Wilson in particular was really tough...2500 feet of climb in 3 miles, about 15% grade, in mostly direct sun. I lost a lot of time there. Check out the elevation and pace profile of the double loop: The total elevation climb and descent today was 14,200 ft.
It was a pretty run: Below are views of one of the Wilson observatories from the rim trail (as I recall); and the view down at Chantry from the trail descending from Newcombs. The air quality was not great today and my lungs were a bit sore from smog exposure after the run.