Well.... even though we've had some snow lately, its starting to feel a bit "Springy".... which made me realize I still had Part 2 of my Winter Warriors review to complete! So, for those of you still battling winter running (or planning ahead for next winter!), this post is for you! And if you like what you see... stick around to the end of the review for you chance to win!
So.. check out the first VFF's designed for cold weather and snow running... the VFF Lontra! When I first heard these were coming out, I could not wait to give them a try! I do a lot of snow running here in Colorado, and these just looked like they had the potential to be really great. And I am so excited to be able to give away a pair to one lucky winner!
|VFF Lontra, paired with Injinji 2.0 Trail socks|
When looking at the sole, you'll notice that the pattern and composition is very similar to the Speed XC that I reviewed here. However, after running in the Lontra's and comparing them side by side to the Speed XC's, the Lontra sole is a bit more flexible, and I noticed a little better ground feel in them. According to Vibram, the outsole is 3.5mm with a 2.5mm midsole. This is compared to the total stack height of 8mm on the Speed XC's which would explain the better flex and ground feel.
|Love seeing the sunrise start to hit Pikes Peak..|
Here are a few shots of where I've run in them :
|Given a choice, why would I be anywhere else??|
|Top of the Incline|
From a performance perspective, I really like the ground feel, even though this is a bit more of a shoe than most VFF's. Traction was quite good, with the only difficulties being on compact ice, but for those conditions you need additional traction no matter what. Warmth was never an issue... it just means you won't be running in these in warmer weather! But, as it gets warmer here, I'll be switching back to my other favorite VFF, the Spyridon for sure.
Speaking of traction, for the ice shown above, I paired the Lontra's with a pair of YakTrax Pro's, and they worked out quite well... speaking of YakTrax, keep reading on for a review of the YakTrax Run below... AND then be sure you enter to win a pair of the VFF Lontra's for spring snow running, or maybe for next season if you are well into Spring :-)
My final product review for Winter Warriors is the YakTrax Run which just came out last Fall. I normally run in the YakTrax Pro's which I really like... for me they have performed well in snow and on ice. The Pro's have the standard cable/coil set up, as compared to the new Run's, which offer a hybrid of the coil/cable and 6 carbon steel spikes located on the forefoot.
What I like about the Run's is the better fit over your shoe, and the ease of putting them on. There is also some reflective features added and what appears to be a heavier duty rubber versus the Pro's. The biggest difference of course is the incorporation of the carbide steel spikes for traction.
I have taken these out for a run in a variety of conditions, including a few times up the Incline and down Barr Trail as well. When running on compacted snow or fresh snow, I am finding that I prefer the full coil/cable design of the Pro's, over the carbide spikes used on the Run's. I just felt like I lost some stability on the forefoot.
|Scary ice on Barr Trail|
So, the bottom line is, the YakTrax Run's have some great qualities, in particular for icy conditions. Most of my running is done on compacted snow, new snow, and some icy patches like the above. From that point, I would prefer the YakTrax Pro's over the Run's. What would be ideal (I hope YakTrax designers are reading!) would be to incorporate the new rubber strapping, performance strap, anatomical fit, and reflective materials into the coil/cable configuration of the Pro. Maybe next season there will be a Pro 2?
|One more Incline shot :-)|
Phew... thanks for hanging in there. My Winter Warrior review series is complete.... so bring on the warm Spring weather!!!
NOW... if you would like a pair of the VFF Lontra's for your own winter battles, enter below via Rafflecopter. Contest runs until 10PM MST, Monday April 8th, and is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only. Good luck!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway