Tuesday, August 5, 2008

new balance 908: trail and road tested

the 908s after 107.2 miles on trails and roads

last month i posted on the new balance 908 trail shoes that i purchased for trail ultras, and the then upcoming vermont 100 endurance run, in particular. this pair replaced my prior new balance 907's which had given me excellent mileage - starting with the 2007 vermont 100 and continuing until they retired at the nipmuck trail marathon this past june. the bar had been set pretty high in terms of durability and functionality.

this new pair meet the trail expectations and also surpassed them with double duty at a road ultra the following weekend. i broke them in quickly, in less than 10 days. first with just a few walks around the house, then a handful of 4 and 6 mile runs alternating between pavement and grassy shoulders. when i lined up for vermont, they already felt like old friends. while i had the misfortune to dnf at mile 47.2, the 908s had no problem with the terrain (which included numerous stretches of dirt road intermixed with trails) or weather (rain and somewhat muddy conditions).

they rebounded into service once more the following weekend at the 24 hour around the lake ultra. while this is a road ultra, i ran as much of it as possible on the dirt and grassy shoulders that lined the lake. they had no problem handling the 60 miles i covered in 17.5 hours. over the course of two weekends of ultrarunning, the new balance 908s logged 107.2 miles (47.2 miles in vermont and 60 miles in massachusetts) of combined trails and roads.

addendum: i had taken these with me to the joe kleinerman 12-hour run this weekend, not so much as a back-up pair, but rather to wear home following the race. at one point during the day a severe thunderstorm suspended the race for about 20 minutes. the running shoes i had worn for the race, my new balance 858's, were totally soaked. so, at that point, having reached 50k, i switched over to the nice and dry 908's - which then logged another 20.3 miles.

three consecutive weekend ultras, a total of 127.5 miles, and the 908's hardly show signs of wear! awesome!


Anonymous said...

Good to hear reviews from someone who puts serious milage on his shoes!

Anonymous said...

Thanx for a very descriptive review from a serious runner. I now feel I made a good decision myself.