Recently I've tried to go more minimalist in my running…
Use: Trail Running
Break-in Period: 0
Weight: Roughly 280 grams.
Recently I've tried to go more minimalist in my running shoes, but I've found the leap to a really super-flexible shoe like the Innov-8 295 is more than I may ever be ready for on longer technical runs. In looking for something really lightweight, yet a little more substantial, the Tsali fit the bill perfectly. The lower profile, wider toebox, and light weight lets me keep good midfoot form.
At roughly 280 grams, they are actually lighter than the Innov-8's I'd been running in. However they have far better under-foot protection and, being a little stiffer, keep my feet from getting completely worn out on longer rocky trails. I wore them on a roughly 25 mile run this weekend with nearly 3000 ft of climbing and 6-7 stream crossings in the first 13 miles on the way to the top of Mt Pisgah. I can't say they provided "gecko-like" traction, though. My only complaint is the rubber compound is maybe a little hard, and therefore doesn't grip on really wet slick rocks as well as I expected.
One section of the run involved maybe a mile of pavement on the Blue-Ridge Parkway and the road-comfort was good for a trail shoe. The last 10 miles of the run was a steady descent on very rocky, rooty trails with a frightening thundestorm pounding down rain on us for well over an hour. The shoes drained very well, and kept out the worst of the mud and grit. The grip, while not great during the earlier stream crossings, was good enough to keep me vertical and injury-free as we pounded down the slick trails.
The wide toebox was much appreciated , as I remember the loss of a toenail or two on this same run two years ago! The synch-down lacing system was great and kept my relatively low-volume midfoot locked in steady. The shoe is probably not great for REALLY low-volume feet though, as I had them pulled down almost to the point of the eyelets touching.
I look forward to putting more and more miles on these shoes. Although I criticize the traction, this run was a pretty extreme test to say the least. I've a feeling the Tsalis may end up being my favorite all-round long-haul shoe.