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TrekSta Evolution II
TrekSta is no stranger to trying something new especially since right out of the gate they decided to re-invent the wheel er…ah…shoe. The first thing you will notice about this shoe is that it looks like a cleverly designed product that is based off of the natural shape of your foot, where the longest part of the shoe is where the big toe is as opposed to the classic just off center point most shoes utilize. There is also a noticeable drop in volume from the tip of the big toe to the tip of the pinky toe, yeah just like your foot.
Now originally I thought this shoe had a great feel and could tackle the variety of terrain we face on any given day in the Rockies, from sandy washes, to decomposing granite to slick rock, scree and slimy roots the grippy rubber on these babies did not disappoint however the softer grippy rubber placed in pockets through out the sole suffered through the rocks and I was able to tear off chunks on the sharp granite while hopping around.
While hiking with a load up to 30lbs I was able to stick landings and my foot felt supported and I noticed no high mile fatigue. Although this shoe always felt a bit heavy underfoot but really shouldn't have since it was just over 14 oz a shoes (Mens 11). I also fought the psycological battle because every time I would look down at my feet I thought I was walking funny due to the shape of the shoe itself.
The idea is that this style of shoe should hold your foot in it's natural position instead of forcing it into an awkward one. The problem that I had is that I have a lower volume foot to begin with and while trail running my foot slapped around a great deal. Yes, I wore the right size shoe and yes it was tightened appropriately. Honestly I would say that this shoe is over designed and that may be it's detracting factor. The concept is sound but when you try and develop an all around shoe that is specially designed for the average foot…the rest of us are found wanting a normal shoe.
Is this a great trail hiker, yes. Is this a great trail runner, nope. Them's the breaks!