END Footwear Stumptown 12 oz
First off, this is an excellent example of the direction…
Materials: nylon ripstop, synthetic leather, mesh
Use: Trail runs-hardpack dirt, gravel and loose ground & rock
Break-in Period: none
Weight: 12.5 oz claimed, 11 oz tested
Price Paid: $80 USD +S&H
First off, this is an excellent example of the direction new and old shoe manufacturers need to start taking. The "green" way END Footwear is using and developing brings not a new but a positive outlook for sustainability in outdoor wear industries.
The Men's Stumptown 12.5oz from END are wonderful shoes. Right out of the recycled materials content box and wrapping, the shoes feel solid, light, well made and designed. These shoes are true to sized and close examination of stitching and material joins shows sound construction.
I really like the smooth, rubber toe covering rather than textured like other trial shoes I have used. Do other manufactures expect their shoe users to grip with the top of their feet, while collecting mud and grit at the same time?
The rip stop nylon shell of the shoes feels very much like dyneema ripstop used in finer back packs and the zero foam in the side walls and heel give the shoes flexible and form-fitting comfort.
I love the thick, mesh tough and side tongue gussets. These materials are light and effective. Even this laces are light and seem to contain a tightly woven core for durability on the trail. The lacing system is smooth and pulls nicely while at the same time being adjustable and well designed for supporting the synthetic leather bands the cradle the sides of my feet.
Traction on the Stumptown is a nice blend of aggressive, grippy, and low profile. The EVA middle support cradles the heel and braces the arc really well. Some claim the ball of the foot EVA is too squishy but I found it eating up the rocks and bumps I encountered on the trail.
On the trail, the Stumptowns were leaf light and VERY true to size (fit my low arch, wider, 10.5Ds as well as ANY shoe I have worn). They glided of grass, gravel, hard pack, and loose earth. Impact on pavement was minimal and what is to be expected from trail runners.
Running, jog and sprint; the shoes cupped my heel, did not shift and were so light my legs and feet were less fatigued that normal.
Summary: Great shoes for all levels of skill, true to size, excellent construction and use of light materials of superior quality. Awesome price (I'd would have paid $100) and wonderful application of 'green' production and minimalist earth impact practices.
Sorry, 4.5 not 5 because of color choices, but who really cares about color while training?
I cannot wait to try the End 8.5oz Men's for racing!
Pros: Very light, vent well, fast drying, good traction…
Materials: Full synthetic upper - rubber out sole
Use: Day hikes, Backpacking, everyday use.
Break-in Period: 1 day
Price Paid: $84
Pros: Very light, vent well, fast drying, good traction - wet and dry, supportive and comfortable with ample room in the forefoot.
Cons: The foam rubber on the outer sole is soft and will scuff and get "chewed" up in rough terrain.
Other Thoughts: While these shoes are great out of the box if you plan on using them a lot while carrying a pack or in rocky terrain you may want to invest in a pair of insoles for a little more protection and rigidity.