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Screw this!


Saucony have taken a bold step and released trail shoes which openly invite the user to customise them…

By drilling holes in them, or screwing screws into the underside.

And before you dismiss the idea, think about the possibilities.

We all appreciate a good trail shoe.  Comfort over an outright fell shoe, but more responsive and protective than the softer road alternatives.  The studs you find on most trail shoes offer traction and if made of the correct rubber, a lot of grip as well.  But only to a point.  No one shoe will work on all surfaces.  In fact, most appear to be aimed at a very specific terrain, from wet grass and mud to hard packed dirt or rock.

So what about a shoe designed for year round use, on all kinds of surfaces, with potential to adapt to seasonal requirements….?

The Mad River trail shoe from Saucony is just that.  A fully customisable shoe which will tolerate the use of additional metal studs – screwed into its outsole.

I mean, it’s a fair shoe to begin with.

4mm off-set from heel to toe.

Reasonable depth of cushion, but nothing too excessive while headed for softer ground anyway.

Roomy toe box, secure midfoot, rather like the Peregrine.

Then there’s the clever way in which the Mad River allows for the runner to adapt the lacing to suit their foot.  the fit can be tailored via two rows of lace holes, some of them loops, some of them eyelets.


photo – courtesy of Gear Junkie

Wide feet, high arches, tendonitis, spurs, plantar fasciitis, whatever the issue, there’s likely a lacing configuration to make life easier and the Mad River accommodates this very well.

The interior of the shoe is constructed as a one piece sock, with integrated tongue to prevent debris from entering.  They’re also gaiter compatible, with a loop at the forefoot and midfoot ‘gaiter track’ to allow the stirrup to sit flat to your foot and avoid being stepped on/broken.

The outsole has plenty of counter-directional aggressive sticky rubber lugs to begin with, but  here’s the weird and wonderful part:

The same ‘mapped’ outsole (marked up with what to use and where), will also serve as a super fast-draining wet weather shoe for those running through puddles, or as we suspect, obstacle courses with frequent waist deep troughs of dirty water to contend with.

photo – courtesy of Gear Junkie

Simply drill (yes drill) the underside where it suggests and create your own drainage.

Running on ice?  Mad River excels.  Running on wet weather trails?  Mad River excels.  Obstacle course racing?  Mad River excels.

The only thing I’d be worried about is chancing wet limestone….

The jury’s out on the wet limestone….  I mean if banana skins and eels had babies….

Purchase Mad River here.



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Special Guests who love to run and have something to say. Running, kit and gear, racing and adventures... anything goes, thank goodness!

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