A mans right to shoes


It’s just a month away to the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, and I’ve two pairs of shoes that I planned on using that are starting to fall apart, so maybe it’s time for a bit of a rethink. Above are my non so catchily named Salomon XA 3D Pro Ultra’s. They took me last year on the UTMB from Chamonix to Courmayeur, where I changed into a older pair for the second half through to the finish.

My shoes in the photo are displaying the normal Salomon weak points of soles that wear quickly, and the holes that form on the top where the toes flex as the heel rises each step. I’m not whinging about this though, as you can’t take it away from these shoes, that they are damn comfy and have never once given me a blister, even when used straight out of the box.

My contra-minimalist Hoka’s are too deciding to fall apart, with sections of the tread flaking away from the marshmallow sole unit. These shoes run amazingly well, and they feel like you are wearing a pair of slippers. My plan for the UTMB was to leave them in Courmayeur for the half way change if I needed to adapt my footwear during the race.

Anyway, it looks like I’ve got to go back to the drawing board to think about which shoes to take on the UTMB this year. Any advice is welcome, via my blog, email or twitter. Oh the delights of the mans right to shoes!

2 responses to “A mans right to shoes

  1. How many Km’s have your salamons and Hokas done? Last year I bought two new pairs (brooks cascadia) about 6 weeks before UTMB and spent those 6 weeks breaking them in. In the end I didnt change in Courmayeur I kept the same pair on all the way round with with no blisters.

    Not sure about the names this year as I don’t wear them anymore but some of the new Hokas are looking good, slightly less chunky.


    • Hi Jim, both shoes have done many kilometers (c.800+ each?) so no big surprise. Will try the Cascadia’s to see how they feel in terms of fit. I liked the Salomon for fit and finish, but not for durability. The Hoka’s for comfort under foot, but not for height on ankle as it pressured a bit. Thanks for the advice. I’ve got a new pair of Salomons but wanted to see if anyone had any other ideas. Cheers.

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