So excited to finally write this review! Ever since I trained for and ran my first marathon in the B2R Road Performance (click for review), I've been waiting for the release of the Trail version! I finally got my hands on a pair in mid March, and immediately put them to work as my primary shoe while training for my first 50K trail ultra in May. Stick around for the review, as I am also stoked to be able to give away two pairs of these great shoes to two winners (open worldwide)!
As you know, I really loved the B2R Road Performance shoe, and in particular the tabi toe style. I love being able to flex my toe, and also I like the extra support on downhills to keep from sliding too forward in the shoe. But, before I get into more performance info, let me give you the specs.
Weight: 8.5 oz or so
Stack Height: 17mm
Tread: Moderately aggressive
So, compared to the B2R Road, these are a little heavier, about 4mm more stack height, and of course a more trail friendly tread. At 17mm, these are certainly thicker than most of the shoes I've reviewed, but I found them to be a great balance of protection and ground feel on the trail, especially for long distances. Also, I loved that they came with extra laces, extra insoles, and two pairs of tabi toe running socks!
As you can see, there was still snow falling when I got these, and they handled the snow quite well. In my first long run (16 mi), I discovered that they were a bit too snug, and I bruised my foot right in the notch created by the tabi style. I realized that having on heavy cold weather socks, combined with the insoles was just too much. I removed the insoles during the run, but I had to lay off the shoes for a week until the tenderness faded. After that lesson was learned, I pretty much ran in these without the insole, and with thinner socks which worked out perfectly.
Overall, I found these to be a really well constructed trail shoe that was comfortable and easy to run in (what else would you expect from Eric Orton?). I have just over 200 miles in these, and I have yet to see any significant wear or tear. The B2R Road version showed signs of wear and stress at about this mileage level, so I was glad to see these were holding up so well.
Just realized that I didn't take any photos of the sole of the shoe, but I do have this imprint! Fairly rugged tread pattern, however these shoes still ran smoothly over the road, and the lugs held up well to the asphalt miles I did put on them.
All that is great and all, but the ULTIMATE test of these shoes was their performance in May during my first 50K Ultra. As you can tell, I was still upright and smiling coming in to the finish. Not that my feet weren't beat up, but I know most of that was just from a conditioning perspective. That run was the longest I've ever ran from a time (and distance ) perspective, with just over 7.5 hours on my feet. These shoes handled the long miles and loose terrain amazingly well.
After cleaning them up, they still looked new :-) Anyway, to summarize, the B2R Trail exceeded my high expectations and played a critical role in helping me become an ultra runner! I look forward to seeing more of what B2R has to offer. If you want to learn more, check out B2R at https://www.born2run.com/
And, even better, take a few minutes to enter below to win a pair of Trail Performance for yourself! B2R was kind enough to provide two (2) pair for me to giveaway to anyone on the planet! I'll run this contest through Thursday, July 24th 2014, 10PM MST, so be sure to enter early and often!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck, and happy trails!