Running in Nasty Weather – the right shoes

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This is a review for the Saucony Progrid Razor Trail Running Shoes.  I purchased these shoes at an end of season sale from Tryathletics, a locally owned athletic store here in Columbia for around $60 (they retailed for $135), and now I wish I had purchased two pair at that price. Especially after finding out they have been discontinued despite positive reviews all over the web. Latter I will tell you why I decided to go ahead and do this review despite the fact that this particular model has gone the way of all flesh.

The first day I saw these shoes I decided to pass them up.  The next day the weather had turned cold and wet for the first time this winter, and  I decided to go back and see if they still had a pair left.  Thankfully they did. These shoes may not be for everyday, nor all conditions, but for the right day and the right conditions they have no equal.  Since then I have put about forty miles on them, in wet winter weather.  They are not the kind of shoes you are going to want to race in, they are pretty heavy, but they are the kind  of shoes you want when the weather gets nasty outside and you would still like to train. I  have put over 40 miles on my pair so far, including one five mile run, without discomfort or blisters. My feet remained warm and dry despite the cold and wet conditions.

DSC_0011In this next picture you can see the outside waterproof gaiter folded down to reveal what looks like a pretty conventional running shoe nestled inside. In all the photographs you can see the thick Vibram sole which provides good cushioning.  The only real complaint I have about the shoes has to do with those soles, and it will probably not be an issue for most people.  The trail I run on has old railroad bridges   withDSC_0009 wood flooring.  The soles of these shoes were unbelievably slipper on that surface. I do not know about snow yet.

After the first snow I want to come back and do an update on how these shoes handled under those conditions, and if I had to add screw lugs to the soles to keep from slipping and sliding.   I plan on doing an article later on running on ice and snow, if the conditions are not too dangerous, and how you can increase traction in that kind of weather by adding screw lugs to the soles of your shoes.

As I mentioned earlier, these shoes are discontinued.  I was also unable to find any indication that Saucony plans on releasing an updated model, so why bother doing a review? Because the concept is sound.  I think there is a place for this type of shoe for serious runners or walkers. Other makers have not abandoned the concept.  New Balance has a similar shoe with the Trail 110, and Saloman makes a more radical model called the Snowcross, but I have not had the pleasure of trying them.  If anybody has any experience with either of those shoes, or something similar, I would like to hear from them.

Coming up next week is a review of Olympian Jeff Galloway‘s famous, or infamous (?), book 5K/10/K Running.

By the way, I know the snow is a bit cheesy, but I like it.  It is an option hid deep within the bowels of WordPress controls (which I am still using), and I couldn’t resist.   Especially since most of my articles for the next several months will deal with running and exercising in winter weather.

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