Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Product Review: Treksta Evolution Trail Shoe


I am always looking to try new products, especially trail running gear. While perusing Trail Runner magazine several months ago, I came across an ad for an unusual looking trail shoe, made by Treksta USA. Being shameless, I wrote and asked for a pair to test and review on the blog and just like that, they were on their way! Treksta, based in Moscow, Idaho, is a company born out of the frustration of having to buy a different shoe for each season. They logged countless hours hiking and running in various terrains containing hard pack, roots, loose dirt, mud, ice and snow to develop our all season, all terrain shoes. They scanned thousands of feet and created a last that… believe this… actually mimics the human foot.

First Impressions

I wrote that they are unusual looking, because they are. The whole shoe seems to curve inward and the front boasts a bumper that mimics the appearance of toes. The lacing is offset, further reinforcing the curved effect. They are thick and tough-looking and appear that one could run over anything and everything! Did I mention these are pretty tough-looking?

I was kind of surprised, though, to see that Treksta had sent me a pair in size 12.5 and hurriedly shot off an email, certain they had sent the wrong size. You know the feeling you get when you open a birthday present and it is just so not you? That's how I felt about the wrong-sized shoes. Almost immediately (and it also states this on a website, doh!), they let me know that they had discovered that that most people fit best in a half size smaller than what they typically wear. I slipped them on and what do you know, they were right, the shoes fit! The website has 2 color options for this shoe - I received the "mushroom" colored pair (actually gray/olive), rather than the sexier reddish-orange. Both are nice options.


Materials

IceLock/HyperGrip sole provides traction in any condition. Lightweight, variable density Zero Gravity™ EVA midsole. Variable density EVA insole supports the arch, cushions key strike zones, and strengthens your stride. TPU heel counter protects against shock and provides torsional support for your ankles.
Highly breathable synthetic upper keeps your feet cool and dries quickly.

Technology
  • IceLock is a patent pending technology that dramatically increases traction on ice. Micro-glass filaments are electrostatically aligned in the rubber compound creating slip-stopping surface tension.
  • HyperGrips innovative patented technology also gives their soles outstanding properties for tension, tear, elasticity and strength; plus almost no breaming (a phenomenon where rubber turns white). If you desire both stability and durability, HyperGrip is your clear choice.
  • 3D NestFIT:
    •  The upper is built around a last designed by measuring the curves and contours of 20,000 different feet. The last mirrors the contact points of the leading portion of the big toe, the curve along the other four toes and the indentation of the arch and instep.
    • The NestFIT last is designed to account for every contour of the human foot, eliminating unnecessary gaps and pressure points.
    • The insole matches the curves and contours of the bottom of the foot, eliminating gaps for unmatched comfort. Three different densities of EVA polymer give the correct amount of support to each area of the foot.
    • The variable density midsole compliments the insole to give you that “walking on a cloud” feeling.
    • The top of the outsole matches the midsole rubber profile for a seamless supportive whole. The slight heel and forefoot “rocker” eases the impact of the initial foot “strike: and suppers the natural progression of the step.

Nest-Fit exploded view

Testing Conditions

These shoes were worn in varying weather conditions on cement, asphalt, dirt, gravel, grass and singletrack. I also wore them during the Red Bull Trail Daze race.

Overall Impressions

The Treksta Evolutions are not your ordinary shoe, either in fit or construction. While initially unusual to look at, they definitely grow on you, especially when combined with their performance.

Fit

As mentioned, Treksta shoes run a half size smaller than normally worn. When slipping the shoes on, the foot gets a feeling of being both coddled and supported, as well as protected. It is almost like a cocoon for the foot, if the cocoon was made out of tank-grade material that would crush everything in its path.


Hypergrip sole

Performance

The Evolutions are a shoe that came out of the box quite stiff. However, the stiffness was markedly and noticeably abated after the first run, though the initial stiffness returned for all subsequent runs. These shoes appear to mold themselves to the foot very quickly, giving almost a custom feel to them, remarkable for a pair of shoes one can buy off the shelf. As mentioned, the shoes were put through their paces over a variety of surfaces and performed admirably on all of them, though, as is appropriate for a trail shoe, were happiest on the singletrack.

Final Thoughts

These shoes will definitely remain in my rotation, as they give a wonderful sense of competence and protection while running. They were so comfortable and supportive, that I suggested them to Jill from Run With Jill, who has been struggling with a heel issue. She got a pair and I'm crossing my fingers that they will help alleviate her discomfort.

I wish these shoes were lighter. It isn't so pronounced that it's a problem and I suppose it's a trade off for the protection both underfoot and around the sides of the shoe. However, if you are looking for a minimalist shoe, this is not it. They do make a model called the Sidewinder, which is described as nimble and lightweight.

What I covet: the Kisatchie Multisport (maybe I can get a pair to review in the spring?):

If you need support, comfort, and protection, go and buy a pair of Trekstas!

(Disclaimer: I was sent this product for free to review on my blog - courtesy of Treksta USA. I did not pay for the item, receive payment for this review, or agree to give a positive review. Aside from information gleaned from the company website, the opinions are my own.)

Have a product you'd like reviewed? Contact me at lakotega@yahoo.com.

12 comments:

  1. That is actually an attractive shoe! (Although your word "sexy" was a bit of a stretch)

    And I am very jealous that you are getting free shoes! :)

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  2. Hmm my foot is still giving me issues, I may have to check these out!

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  3. I can't believe you didn't go for the sexy red!! Isn't that what running is all about? And it's runwitjill. :)

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  4. Awesome, thorough review! I am looking into getting some trail running shoes for this spring (it's really hard to trail run during the winter here), and will have to check this company out. I prefer a more minimalist shoe, so I'll have to check out their other shoes!

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  5. those red and black ones are bitchen ! Yah that's right I used the word 'BITCHEN" you gotta problem with my dialect ? You are a good source for trail testing. If they need a west coast opinion I'm a 9 1/2 D normal.

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  6. Hi my name is Kovas and I've been shameless all my life. I have to go against the grain and say that I don't like the way they look but if they work that's all that matters.

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  7. I think you should have to test them with horses for me to trust them.
    thank you.

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  8. now i'm thinking about changing things up and running trails. :) great. one more thing for me to be obsessive over. ;-)

    i'll report back.

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  9. Interesting, I wonder how they perforn=m on pavement.

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  10. Hi! I am a new follower and found your blog through many that I follow! Love the shoes review!!

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  11. Now that is one thorough product review. It's like you are a pro. I'm not a tail running type of guy. If I did, I'd buy the new Newton trail runners. Yes, I'm a lemming.

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  12. Great review! I've never seen those in SA unfortunately.

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