What is the shoe ideal for?: Trail and Ultrarunning
Shoe Drop/Differential: 3mm
Stack Height: 25mm/22mm
Technical Specs:Vibram outsole, flexible rock plate, drainage holes, ortholite footbed, unique gaiter attachment (best I have used)
Step in fit and feel:Glove like fit for my feet - sizing is true to size
Ideal Terrain Usage: Trails, rocks, wet trails (drains fast and we'll)
Performance:Good ground feel on trails but lugs are not too deep to be annoying on the road. Quick shoe and agile on technical trail. Great all around trail shoe.
Overview: I love this shoe (this is my first pair of Topos), especially the color. Topo doesn't usually have really wild colors for their men's shoes but the yellow Terraventure 2s are bright and flashy. This shoe has many great features and has been my go to trail shoe for the last few months.
Let's start with the good: ortholite footbed (excellent upgrade from previous models), drainage ports (shoes dry before you get to the next stream), it's worth mentioning the color again, the fit for me is perfect (no blisters or hot spots) for races from 50K to 50miles, the flexible rock plate provides enough protection without sacrificing trail feel, and lastly the gaiter anchoring system is AMAZING!!!
Now for the bad: there is really only one thing for me and that is outsole and upper durability. In all fairness I am hard on my shoes and run some pretty gnarly trails (e.g., Massanuttens). After my recent 100 mile attempt I noticed the usually reliable vibram outsole was shredded (see pictures), this was after approximately 300miles of wear and tear on some pretty rocky trails but I expect more from vibram. The upper also does not handle rocks well, however I think this may be do to the breathability of the shoe which in my mind is an even trade off. For the price the shoe is definitely worth a try and I will definitely be getting another pair.
Recommendations:Definitely would recommend and this will be my go to trail shoe for 2019 for races up to 100 miles.
Introducing the Altra Escalante 1.5: weighing in at 6.9 ounces, this $130 shoe is ideal for road runners with a healthy arch. Because the upper is knitted, this shoe isn't recommend for an individual with a collapsing arch or over-pronators.
The Ego technology in the sole provides great feedback and spring that keeps feet feeling fresh over long distances, and an added bonus - the foam continues to provide spring and not lose its integrity. The upper knit also provides added comfort for optimal toe splay. Because the shoe is lightweight and wide, it's an optimal shoe for road racing/ training. Form isn't compromised by your foot having to "fit" the shoe, but rather the shoe caters to the foot.
The rubber outsole is very grippy even in slickest conditions. This shoe was run in rain, snow and sleet on road with no issues. It's an ideal shoe for road running.
The Ego Technology in the sole holds it's shape even after 100s of miles. The rubber seems to wear away before the foam loses it's spring. So even when the shoe has "run it's course" as a running shoe, it's still so comfy and springy. It's so comfortable your feet will welcome the Escalante after being beat up for hours, post-race. :)
This review of the Altra Escalante 1.5 was done by Katie Thompson, a sales associate at Two Rivers Treads. Katie has logged nearly 500 miles on her pair and have used them as her go-to road running shoe.
The details are what set the Cloud X apart. With a dual-density sock liner, seamless shoe tongue, and new-generation inner materials set a new bar for comfort that can't easily be seen - but definitely will be felt. The performance upper of the Cloud-X uses an engineered mesh of the highest quality and material strength. Light and breathable in all the right places, it supports you without suffocating your foot's freedom of movement.
Shoe Drop: 6 mm
Weight: 6.5 oz
Stack Height: 24 mm
Step in fit and feel: When stepping in, the shoes feel soft and plush yet firm and responsive. The sizing runs true to most sizes. These shoes are ideal used on a road or even surface and ideal for runners doing anything from low to high volume training.
These shoes are not ideal for surfaces such as gravel, as the one down side to these shoes are that rocks can get lodged in between the clouds on the sole.
This review of the On Cloud X was done by Lisa Johnston, a sales associate at Two Rivers Treads. Lisa has logged nearly 250 miles on her pair and have used them as her go-to road running shoe.
Anyone who pops by the store every now and then knows I’m a “hit or miss” team member. Either I’m there for a good solid week or so for shift work or not there at all for a two week period. This is because I travel around the great state of West Virginia visiting different communities, individuals, nonprofits, small businesses, local leaders, and families through my other job and service. While I’m on the road, it still resonates with me and the understanding is clear, community matters.
To make this post easy to read, I could make up a list of why but instead, as with the methodology I’m using this year through work projects, I will tell you some snippets of stories:
Just the other week I was able to go read at a few local libraries on behalf of Two Rivers Treads. I’ve done some reading and events in other parts of the state so my hopes were not high for numbers of kids who might show up. Well, we showed up for the first library reading and there were 20 plus people there! Now, with kids they know when you are faking so I had practiced three times for this reading and made up some exercises/movements to go along with the story. These 30 minutes of preparation paid off. The kids loved it! We were reading, moving, and participating fully in a small activity, together.
Two Rivers Treads also has two garden plots at our local community garden (Ranson Old Town Community Gardens) and I walked over there the other day from the store with a friend and her two boys. I’ve run around town with the boys and mom before as a part of Bros and Bras (social-fitness) community group, so they knew me. They weren’t 100% excited like I was about the garden as we were walking but somehow during the process they expanding their interests and we started having a blast! Our hands were dirty and we learned about the process of gardening together. We even had mom pull out her phone for advice from the internet. We learned when to pick the beets and how to cook beet greens (they were pretty good blanched then sautéed with some avocado oil and garlic). It was a nice time learning, picking greens, and laughing at my “baby carrots”...anyone who gardens can imagine what they looked like when I say I didn’t thin the carrots. It was fun!
Our store use to be located in Shepherdstown so we occasionally get back there to participate in festivities. A few months ago, I was lucky to be the team member who spent time at Dog Fest 2018, educating and promoting the store products and mission. We had a raffle for a sweet dog/leash combo product from Ruff Wear and a wonderful older woman won the raffle, she was not present to win though. The next time I saw her was during one of our free events in store where a Dr. Jared Matlick (PIVOT Physical Therapy) visited the store and hosted a movement basics class for senior individuals. We hooked her up with her sweet prize and she was able to learn some important components of movement from our speaker. It was a winning day for her!
All of these are just small ways in which we work to help develop community and build relationships. While we are a small retail store there is so much more that comes into play with Two Rivers Treads, thanks to Dr. Mark’s vision. We encourage our patrons to try and build community around their homes because it is vital for life, it builds relationships, helps saves lives, brings joy, and share love.
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog post and if you are interested in learning more about our store, products, or outreach, feel free to give us a call or shoot us an email!
Two Rivers Treads is proud to present “Miner’s Lady 8 Hour Endurance Race”, gearing up to take place Saturday, July 28. For those of you unfamiliar with endurance events; this particular course consists of a 10K loop meandering through the remote woods of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Participants run the loop as many times as possible in the 8 hour time frame. The brain child of store manager, Sarah Hodder, and Freedom’s Run Race Director, Katie Nolan Thompson; the two paired up to design this challenging event for individuals to test their physical limits, but also have a good time sharing the love of running with fellow ultra runners. The event takes pride in being a low frills, green event. Runners are asked to carpool to keep gas emissions low, reusable cups are being used to cut down on wasted plastic at the aid stations, race packets are digital, the race medals are wooden, and all prizes have been locally sourced. Our logos were even made by two amazing local artists, Alex Stevens and Shane Harris.
(Logo by Shane Harris)
(Logo by Alex Stevens)
You may be curious about the unique name of the race, and it may seem oddly familiar. A lyric from the ever popular, “Country Roads”, the name was inspired by the John Denver Classic due to the coincidental fact that the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah River only intersect in West Virginia for a very short distance – largely the area that the race course covers. Since both Race Directors are women, the name seemed perfect; but don’t worry gentleman, you’re still welcome to run the race. The event is for everyone.
(Photo from a Miner's Lady training run in March!)
In fact, a very talented athlete will be joining the TRT team for the event – John Kelly. John Kelly, has sprung into the Ultra Running community as he debuted as the 15th finisher/ winner of the grueling, Barkley Marathons, in 2017.The Barkley Marathons were made even more popular thanks to a Netflix Documentary, so even non-runners can understand the painful journey John has gone through to complete such a race. In fact, there were no finishers in 2018! John has also gone on to complete the first ever sub 24 hour run at The Wild Oak Trail 100 and finished as the 26th amateur (after coming out of the water as the 820th) at the Kona Ironman World, all while completing his PhD!
He continues to inspire through his motivational lessons of persevering even through what seems like impossible scenarios. But don’t take our word for it, why not hear from him yourself. John will be speaking at the Trails in Motion Film Festival held at the newly renovated Charles Washington Hall, in Charles Town, WV on July 27.
The Trails In Motion Film Festival is an annual international film tour for the community, by the community, bringing a collection of the finest trail and ultra running films to passionate audiences around the world. Join like-minded trail runners and adventure sports enthusiasts at engaging film festival-styled events as they come together to celebrate the diverse culture of the sport. Tickets are on sale now at Eventbrite.com.
Although, Miner’s Lady is filled, you can try your luck at joining the waitlist, or come out and volunteer. Make a weekend of it and stay for the film festival as well!
Most of us have been taught our whole lives that we have a shoe size. But did you ever consider instead that you have a foot size? Most people have gone their whole lives wearing the wrong sized shoes. A proper fitting shoe will give you enough width for expansion of your foot when it comes into contact with the ground without squeezing or pinching any aspect of the foot. To learn all about the proper way to fit your feet for shoes, check out Dr. Mark's blog on the Natural Running Center.
Brand and Model: VivoBarefoot RA II Vivobarefoots are foot shaped shoes designed to allow your feet to move as nature intended.They have no heel elevation or support. Their patented ultra-thin protective sole gives you maximum sensory feedback. Here we have the Ra II. It’s a barefoot Oxford lace-up shoe made from quality Wild Hide leather, built for work and play. The Ra II is lightweight, flexible, breathable and goes with a pair of trousers or jeans. These shoes are great for everyone. They can pass for semi-professional and are comfortable. There is plenty of room in the toe box which takes some time to get used to but feels amazing on my feet.
Shoe Drop/Differential: 0 mm
Stack Height: 6 mm
Technical Specs: PRO5/TPU COMPOUND sole Special Features: PITTARDS WILD HIDE upper, leather foot bed, and cork insole Recommendations: The Ra II doesn’t have a triangular shaped toe box, an exaggerated heel, or a drop. I love the Ra for its comfort (with or without socks), style, and ability to be worn anywhere. Vivobarefoot makes quality shoes for my ultra-minimal lifestyle. #buytheshoes #lessismore
This shoe review was done by Dion Navarro-Guitz, assistant manager at Two Rivers Treads.
Brand and Model:Shamma Sandals Warrior- UltraGrip Shammas are sandals so minimal that you don't worry about what you're wearing anymore. Great for everyday wear with no knots or ties in the lace, so the toe strap is pure comfort. They are built for performance. Walk, hike, or just relax – Shamma Sandals are comfy as well as durable, and you'll find yourself wearing them everywhere! Here we have the Warriors- UltraGrip. The Warriors' aggressive tread is well suited for trails and any person looking for Ultra-minimal barefoot like feel. These are a zero drop sandal with 6 mm of stack. They have a little more bounce and a longer break in period than other sandals. They have unlimited flexibility, more range of movement in the foot, and better ground-feel. With the addition of the power straps, the sandals stick well to the foot in water. I love these sandals!
Technical Specs: 5mm Vibram Newflex as the base soling material
Weight: 4 oz (size 10.5) Step-in Fit and Feel: Barefoot like. Special Features: UltraGrip all-weather footbed made from a specially designed Toughtek material. Shammas' Ultra Lacing System for a comfortable and secure experience. Recommendations: I found Shammas Sandals a few years ago and fell in love with them. This is now my go-to shoe for every situation from spring to winter.
This review of the Shamma Warriors: Ultra Grip was done by Dion Navarro-Guitz, assistant manager at Two Rivers Treads.