These are shoes that we have tested and decided not to stock at the shop. This doesn’t mean they aren’t good shoes but it probably means they weren’t the best shoes compared to others we chose to stock. That said in some cases it might just be that they really weren’t good shoes!

Arc’teryx Norvan VT – We were pretty excited when we heard arc’teryx was making a trail running shoe. They unfortunately decided to give it a high heel to toe drop of 9mm which immediately put it above of our recommended 8mm max. This would mean it wasn’t going to be in the shop, but we still wanted to give it a run. Not a shoe for our customers. Too much toe spring, too narrow, lacing issues, expensive.

On Running CloudVenture – On makes really nice shoes and we area big fans of the CloudFlow and Cloudsurfer. This CloudVenture is essentially a trail version of the Cloudsurfer. The fit is wonderful but we had our doubts about how it would handle the North Vancouver trails. We were right to be suspicious as the tread compound is not a good match for the roots, rocks and aggressive nature of the shore. The lugs simply tore apart on the first hard run. That said it would be fine on easier trails or just urban exploration. We brought the Waterproof version in for the winter and it was great.

Topo Tribute – This was a great shoe to run in…light, airy and felt pretty quick for a flat shoe. The weakness was the upper fabric, very lightweight and open. The fabric started to fail on the first run and quickly continued. They had planned a new version of it this spring but unfortunately decided to axe it. Great shoe but needed a better upper.

Luna Leadville Pacer – We have sold so many Mono’s that we thought we’d give a thinner more trail focused sandal a test. This Leadville Pacer is just a little thinner than the Mono and it made a big difference to the security of your foot placement. We found it didn’t provide much improvement in traction over the Mono and even though it was only 2mm thinner it made the sandal “floppy” and we had it fold under our toes on several occasions causing cuts and discomfort.

IceBug Zeal RB9X – Really funky shoe with an odd but generally good fit. Very sticky rubber and an incredible hydrophobic upper to keep you dry. This has been a great shoe for orienteering but that is really it. Most people would not be comfortable running the shore in a pair.

Treksta Sync – This brand has an interesting fit profile called The Nest. You can actually see the lumps and bumps where all your toes should be. The fit was OK but the shoe was built like a hiking boot and had way too much structure for a any shoe let alone a trail runner…we passed and gave them back.

Altra Torin 2.5 – Nice improved fit but we still struggle with the more cushion Zero Drop shoes. They just don’t make sense for most runners. They have their place for runners with good form that need to accommodate for fatigue in long races, but for most people they just seem to allow them to get into trouble without realizing it. We prefer to have people that require that much cushion wear a 4-6mm drop shoe.