My runs this weekend made it fairly clear that while the Vomeros I’m using are great on the treadmill and for shorter runs, I am not going to be able to do the Sprucewoods trail 50k run in them, and marathons would might be touch and go as well. They have good padding but I just can’t seem to get speed out of them for long, I’m not sure why that is but when I switch to my old Hoka Cliftons I end up getting an extra mph of speed out of nowhere.
The problem is my Hoka Cliftons are done and I get ankle pain if I run too far in them, so I need to replace them. But with what? Hoka has made some changes for the 2nd version of the Cliftons that many don’t like. I had tried on a pair before and they seemed extra tight in the toe box for my size – and they don’t seem to sell a half size up from my size so I would have to go up a full size to get something that might fit. But I needed to find something.
With that in mind my wife and I hit up City Park Runners here in Winnipeg to see what they might have. (very knowledgeable and the staff member who helped us was set to do the Sprucewoods 50k as well) and I tried on a set of Clifton 2s in the size of my old pair and surprisingly they seemed to fit properly – maybe my feet were a bit swollen when I tried them on before? They had a treadmill I could do a test run on and the Clifton 2s felt pretty good – one of the tongues rubbed a bit when walking (one of the changes for the shoes was a thicker tongue) but I didn’t notice while running.
Next I tried on another set of Hokas – this time Challenger ATR 2s – a very similar shoe to the Cliftons with a slightly more aggressive / knobby sole for light trail work that would still work on pavement. I gave these a shot on the treadmill as well and they were very good as well.
I looked at some others but gravitated back to these 2 shoes. I had trouble deciding but in the end I went with the Challenger ATR 2s. I figured the extra grip could be useful on the Spucewood 50k run plus the change in the tongue on the Clifton 2s worried me. I wasn’t feeling the tongue bug me on a real short run but would it cause more issues on a longer run? Tough call.
So the mile tonight was in the new Challenger ATR 2s to give another test and it went fairly well – I look forward to giving them a good go this weekend.