Thursday, July 10, 2008

Merrell Overdrive Trail Shoe - Is it tough enough?

Merrell Overdrive

As you know, for the past several weeks I have been running in Merrell Overdrives when training on trails. My initial impression of the shoe was very favorable. The Merrells are light for a trail shoe but still offer good protection from sharp rocks and gnarly roots. The shoes have very good cushioning and can be worn on small stretches of pavement without any problems. The uppers are made with a large mesh that makes the shoe feel light and nimble. This also allows the shoes to drain quickly when running in wet conditions or through brooks and streams. The Vibram® Ultra-Traction sole provides excellent traction in mud and over loose rocks but is only adequate on slick, wet rocks. The sole appears to be very durable, or so I thought. Unfortunately, after only 160 miles, the outer-sole separated from the mid-sole. I’m not sure why the glue failed to hold the sole in place. It has been very wet this past spring and the shoes were often wet for hours at a time. Then again, these are trail shoes and should be expected to tolerate wet conditions. There is no way to know if this is an isolated incident or an indication of poor design, manufacturing or quality control. I like this shoe for many reasons but mainly because my plantar fasciitis has been improving since wearing the Overdrives. I’m not ready to give up on the shoe just yet. The only way I can make a final decision is to test one more pair. My second pair arrived via UPS today and I will be testing them over the next few months. I will keep you updated on my findings, but for now it’s Trail Demons 1, Merrell Overdrives 0.

Keep on truckin’…….

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