It was cold, windy and rainy when I got up Saturday morning, looking for something to do. I could clean. Yeah, right. I could just watch a little TV. Meh.

Alright it’s crappy outside, but I got a shiny brand new pair of trail runners I’ve been dying to check out so I bundled up and headed onto the trail for a run. It’s also gives me a chance to gush about the new Altra Superior 3.5 trail runners. I was turned on to Altras about a year ago or so and they have been my go-to shoes ever since, mostly the Torin model, which is for running roads. This is my first pair for trail running. A quick word of warning. While there is plenty of cushion in these shoes, they are also zero drop, which means the heel-to-toe drop in the shoes in non-existent. For anyone who has read this blog, you know I spend lot of time either running barefoot or in sandals so I’m used to zero drop. It’s something you need to ease into though.

With that out of the way, let’s get to these shoes. First, they are like glue on the trail … I mean like Gorilla Glue. The conditions were sloppy and slick and I was able to bound around the woods and rip the downhills without ever having to worry about my footing. That’s a good feeling. They felt great right away too. I didn’t have any hot spots after doing about 6 miles or so, which is pretty unusual for any new shoe I try. The thing I dig about Altras is the toebox. Not to get all shoe geeky on you but it’s really wide and that let’s your toes splay naturally and that’s the biggest draw for me. I just feel like everything moves more naturally in them. Keep in mind, I’m not terribly brand loyal when it comes to anything. I’ll use something if it works, and I’ll stop using it when it doesn’t work or if someone does it better, but so far Altras have been amazing.

I’m also going to use them for some hikes as well. I have a bunch planned, and I figure these are going to work great. I should note this because people ask me about gear at times and what I wear on my feet. These are essentially just running shoes, designed for more rugged terrain. They are not waterproof and not designed to be. That’s doesn’t bother me. In my experience most waterproof shoes are not really all that waterpoof to begin with and these got drenched and caked with mud. They were dry a couple hours later. They also come with rock plates in the event you are on super rocky trails. I won’t use them, but they are included separately. You just slide them in the shoes under the insole. One other cool feature is they have attachment points if you wear ankle gaiters when running or hiking. It’s a slick, simple system. I can’t say a whole bunch more about them because I don’t use gaiters to keep rocks and crap out of my shoes.

So yeah, I’m into these shoes and will take them out again this morning because nothing motivates you to run like a new pair of wheels.

Also, a huge shoutout to my favorite place on Earth, Scranton Running Co. I picked up these shoes there and everyone there knows me pretty well (big surprise). It never ceases to amaze me, though, how accommodating they are. I go in with a lot of ridiculously specific questions about some weird stuff sometimes (Today is was compression sleeves) and every time I end up hanging out and chatting …  and sometimes even buying shoes. It’s great though. It’s like going to a friend’s house … a friend that’s got a crazy good collection of shoes and energy gels. So go visit Matt Byrne and his gang for anything related to running. They will take great care of you.

I almost forgot. I gotta do a disclaimer here. I paid for these with my own dang money. They were not provided by anyone with the intent that I review their product. In cases where that happens, I will note it.