50k Training,  Products,  Trail Running,  Ultra Training

Trail Shoes That Don’t Break The Bank

I wanted to put up a quick review of the trail shoes I’ve been doing my 50k training in—the Adidas Vigor 2.

I am constantly weighing the pros and cons of wearing cheaper running shoes that can withstand my mileage versus giving in and buying regularly-priced shoes on a less frequent basis. Everyone says that running is the cheapest sport, but it still gets crazy expensive! Needing two different types of shoes for road and trail adds up, and that doesn’t even include the different types of road shoes you should run in. After hitting the trails in my beloved Brooks Ghosts one too many times, I started my search for a cheap trail shoe that had a rockplate or hard sole, drained well, and didn’t make my feet want to fall off.

Adidas Vigor 2, trail shoes, trail running, ultra running, 50k
Took them for a ride in the snow

The Adidas Vigor 2 caught my eye because of their price point and because once upon a time I had a pair of Adidas trail shoes that I loved to use for any outdoor activity. I had low expectations—Adidas is a word rarely uttered in the running community. I must say though, after putting about 100 miles on them, I am pleasantly surprised.

Adidas Vigor 2, trail shoes, trail running, ultra running, 50k
Loving the hot pink and black

The shoes have an extremely narrow fit, so I had to go up a full shoe size. At first I was worried that they’d be too snug, but they seem to have stretched out nicely, and the extra room in the toe box comes in handy when I am running downhill or inevitably jam my foot against a rock or a root. I haven’t gotten any blisters yet either, even after multiple creek crossings with soaking wet feet. The trails I run are fairly technical with lots of jagged rocks, and my soles are able to withstand the beating without any bruises.

Adidas Vigor 2, trail shoes, trail running, ultra running, 50k
Pretty good traction on the wet rocks

The biggest test came last weekend with my 21 miler, running on some serious sloping singletrack (how’s that for an alliteration?) and through creeks. The shoes drained very well after being completely submerged many times—after about half a mile my feet didn’t even feel wet.

My only complaint thus far is that my arches tend to ache when I first start running, but I wonder if that is a result of the shoe not being a good fit or just not being warmed up enough.

Adidas Vigor 2, trail shoes, trail running, ultra running, 50k
Nice, deep lugs

The moral of this story is that you can run in cheaper shoes, as long as they fit well. Feeling good in the store and surviving the wear and tear of ultra running are two totally different beasts, so you do need to take them for a test drive for a run or two. But you do that with any shoe. Do you sacrifice quality and comfort? Probably. Would I wear them for a 50 miler? No. But my Adidas have been good to me so far, and they will hopefully carry me across the finish line next weekend happy and healthy.

What trail shoes do you run in? Have you ever tried cheaper shoes? What did you think?

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  • James Mink

    I have the same pair of shoes(just not in pink). I did the first of my 50 training in them, I already had about 100 miles on them at that point and like you said, my arches started hurting, but it was in the middle of my run not the start, and I have extremely flat feet. I was lucky enough to find some Montrail Mountain Masochist for a really good price, and I have not looked back since. Love the Montrails.

    • tlsylvan

      I have heard good things about Montrails too, thanks James! I’m impressed that your Adidas were able to withstand a 50, that makes me think that mine have more life in them than I originally thought. Do they work well for you during creek crossings?

  • James Mink

    I have those exact same shoes, not pink though. I did the the first of my 50k training in them, and a few 10k trail runs too. I like them fine, but on my longer trail runs, my arches would start to ache about mid way through my run. I found a pair of Montrail Mountain Masochist for a killer price and fell in love with them the first mile of a 15 mile training run. I will keep my Adidas for shorter trail runs but I will always have a pair of Montrails somewhere in the stable. If you are ever looking for a good deal on running shoes go to sierratradingpost.com, they have some real good prices..

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