Winter Trail Run with Merrell Embark Glove

Weather has been odd here in Kentucky. Probably has been odd all over for that matter. One week it will be 70 F and the next will be 20 F and snow. I managed to squeeze in a nice 5 mile trail run at Raven Run during the transition from the last shift from hot to cold. It had just rained the day before, so the trails were slick, muddy, with a fair amount of water. In other words, I had a blast. I think other had the same idea. The trails were pretty busy with hikers. I may have been the only runner. Temp was probably 40-50 F partly cloudy.

shoes_iaec1277826I decided to wear a pair of Merrell Embark Gloves that I picked up over the summer. These are the ones with the Gore-tex liner. I got the best deal ever on these shoes. They retail for $170; however, JH (local shop) had them for $50 in my size. I have been wearing them off and on all fall. I really like the fit and craftsmanship. The soles are probably thicker than most bare footers would like and the upper is stiff. They are a bit warm for summer running; but, I think the muddy, slick, and nasty Kentucky winter trails are where they shine. The traction was good for the most part. When the trail cants, and is full of slick mud, I did slide around a bit. Slick rocks required a little extra care too. I think if the sole was less substantial the rocks may not have been so bad. As for the mud, well I guess crampons would have been better but then who wants to carry five extra pounds of mud on your feet for five miles. My feet were warm and mostly just damp from sweat. I did avoid puddles that may have let water come in over the top of the shoe. Mud was about 2-3 inches deep in spots. The shoes worked great. The major drawback of this shoe is the retail price. Actually, I feel the retail price of most of the barefoot type shoes are out of line. I only buy them when they are closeout or a deep sale. Choices are limited then, but, if you run trails, I think most shoes kinda turn brown anyway.

One cool thing on this run. I nearly ran into a giant white tail deer. Well, I got within 20 feet or so before he noticed. Then, he promptly flashed his antlers, then his tail as he sprung away. Love it!


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