I had been looking for a solid, 10-11 ounce trail runner all summer for some upcoming 50-100 mile races. While in Boise, at Shu's Idaho Running store, I spied these canary yellow "go-fasters" that looked like they were going to fly off the shelf and run. The 2011 Scott eRide Grip!
|Spankin new hotrods! 2011 eRide.|
Scott- you mean like the ski goggle company? Turns out they are making running shoes and they are based right here in Idaho. Intrigued, I passed on the purchase, opting to go home and do some research. I called the Scott company and had a great conversation with Scott McCoubrey, the head of their running department. He answered all of my tech questions and I hung up ready to buy. I phoned in my order with Shu's right away.
I wore the yellow shoes in my 54 mile win and course record at Wild Idaho in August. However, because of some very fast downhilling, the strong toe guard on the eRides dinged up my toe nails. I called up Scott and told him of my success. He told me they were releasing the new 2012 model which has a softer toe guard. For full disclosure, I must tell you that the 2012 model was given to me by Scott.
|A beauty- the 2012 with "ion-mask". 250 miles and still mint.|
My size 9's weigh 10.75 ounces according to my kitchen scale.
Heel: The shoe looks taller than it really is. That is because the footbed sits lower than the surrounding heel counter and the midsole posts rise up around to cradle the foot slightly. Couple that with a very comfy and form fitting heel and the back end of the shoe is perfect. Not sure what the heel vs toe height (drop) is. I am not concerned about such things.
Midfoot/Instep: Snugs down well and fits like a glove for technical downhilling. Careful not to snug down too much because the tongue is thin. The tongue is cushioned with a unique gel-like padding. When not over-snugged, the tongue is comfortable and absorbs no water.
Forefoot: Wider than any of my other shoes and I like it. Because the heel and midfoot fit so well, the wider toe box is fine for all but the most technical high-speed downhilling. My toes splay perfectly and I have had zero blisters.
The lighter-duty toe guard is more than adequate. Beefy laces. Bombproof sole.
The highly breathable one-ply upper is thin, but is still holding up well. The "ion-mask" is a thin coating added to the shoe to aid in water and dirt repellency. The manufacturer, P2i, says...
"Invisible to wearers, the protective layer of ion-mask™ is over one thousand times thinner than a human hair. The technology is molecularly bonded to the whole surface of the product making it extremely durable without affecting the look or feel of the product. Furthermore, ion-mask™ lasts as long as the material itself and is not compromised by everyday wear.
Treated articles keep wearers comfortable and dry by repelling water from outside and maintaining optimum control of temperature and breathability. By resisting the absorption of water and dirt, ion-mask™ also helps guard against stains, making products look newer for longer." http://www.p2i.com/ion-mask
I haven't noticed a boost in water repellency, as I just jump right in the creeks. However, the fabric does keep fine "moondust" out of my shoes when I venture onto ATV trails. This is good because that stuff will cut your feet up like microscopic razors after several miles.
|LUGS: Sticky on wet rock and clay. Digs deep for loose climbs and descents.|
Ridiculous speed across all mediums. I have run PR's in almost every running type in the last 3 months in these shoes. Track intervals, rocky alpine singletrack, 100 miles (well, almost) in the desert, road running (yuck), whatever...this shoe just rips it up. The key is the way the midsole transitions from a midfoot strike, turning up at the toe giving an agressive toe-off. Scott calls it "Ergologic Ride." I call it fast. The softer toe guard has caused no issues at all even with several miles of break-neck downhilling. Noticably better traction from the cleated, sticky sole definitely helps with speeds as I feel more secure on footing that would have slowed me down in the past.
|Wash, rinse, repeat.|
Not many people are going to ask for a heavier shoe. Light is good, but solid and durable is where it's at for mountain running. Perhaps the midsole could be a tiny bit thinner to save a few grams. Then, apply that weight in the following ways:
1. Tongue. Put a bit more of the squishy gel stuff in there. I like to lace tight up there. Plus, gusset it so it can't move around.
2. Forefoot/upper. Add one more TPU overlay linking the bottom laces to the sole. This would give even more security in the toe box while running technical downhill.
3. Upper/fabric. Make it a two-ply at critical areas. A light mesh over the existing one-ply would ease my mind when running nasty Idaho trails. I bushwhack a lot, so it is just a matter of time until a stick gets jammed into my foot and rips the shoe.
My big test for the eRides was the Slickrock 100 in Moab, Utah on October 8, 2011. The race had a lot of gravelly jeep roads, some slippery clay and maybe 5 miles of slickrock. It was a damp and cool day. The eRides were superb on the rock and slippery bits, as I expected. However, I was shocked at how well the road sections went for me. This beefy trail shoe can really handle the pounding of fast road running. I had no blisters, no plantar facitis, no foot pain at all. This was a serious breakthrough for me. Every other ultra I had done had trashed my feet. After 90 miles of running at the front (I DNF'ed), my feet were perfect.
The eRide has certainly become my go-to shoe. It is perfect for the rugged trails in Idaho and it can cover some roads to get to and from the trailheads with ease. I am definitely building this shoe into all of my 2012 training and racing plans.