I love shoes. “Shoes” was actually the first word that ever escaped my lungs. Not mom. Not dad. Not supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. It was shoes. OMG SHOES.
Why shoes? I think it’s because I came to the quick realization that if my parents were putting shoes on my feet, it meant we were going on an adventure. I mean that adventure could be the grocery store or the playground… it didn’t really matter, it meant we were off to see great places! Hmmm… maybe that’s why my favorite book is “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”
Like most mountain ultra runners, I’ve gone through my fair share of shoes… putting thousands upon thousands of miles on little pieces of rubber over the past decade. Despite how many shoes I go through… every time I get a new pair of shoes, I’ll still dive my nose into the foot hole and take a big satisfying inhale of that intoxicating new shoe smell.
I’m sure there’s others out there like me, the ones that kinda get super sad and nostalgic when a shoe life comes to its end. Personally, I’ve always had trouble letting go of shoes because they hold such wonderful memories. Shoes are there for the greatest of times and the worst of times. They’re there when you accomplish goals and when you come up short. They’re like shadows.
Each time the life of a shoe ends, it pains me to know that they must leave my life. I used keep all of them, but that’s just unnecessary clutter, impractical and it got down right disturbing…
Me and Kati were having coffee the other day, scoping out the new Wild Cross shoes that Salomon sent over to test out, when I brought up the need to cull my shoes and reorder some new rides for the summer. Most of the shoes in the current rotation have over 500 miles on them and are starting to wear down. Typically I can get 600-800 miles from a pair before starting to feel those tiny minor aches in the ole joints indicating the need for some fresh kicks. By the second cup of coffee I started talking about how hard it was to let go of some of those shoes and she offered up the suggestion, “maybe you could do a sort of obituary for each shoe? OMG! A SHOEBITUARY!”
So instead of holding onto the shoes I love so dearly, I can do a short obituary detailing the shoes and some of the adventures they took me on! Sadly I won’t be able to recount the last 10yrs of wonderful shoe experiences, but going forward… I’ll be writing a shoebituary for all the shoes I retire or lay to rest.
In Loving Memory of:
“Rouge Ryders” – Salomon Sense Ride 3
Rough Ryders (Salomon Sense Ride 3 – Black), age 492 miles, passed away on Wednesday, June 8, 2020 at Falling Rock. It was sweltering summer day in Alabama with temperatures in the 90s with the humidity at 97%.
Rough Ryders was born early Spring 2020 and is the 3rd and newest generation of the Sense Ride shoe. RR enjoyed long, technical mountain outings and the highlight of her life came on May 16, 2020 when she covered a self-supported 44 mile loop in the Great Smoky Mountains called Gatlindome.
RR spent most of her days roaming the hills of Oak Mountain State Park and aided in leading hikes for the Make a Wish Trailblaze Challenge. Another life event for RR was the 4-day Smoky Mountain adventure binge called Smokefest.
Cause of death: broken lace holder
Pros: Super cushioned! Enjoyed the added padding for longer outings. The upper was very breathable and I found that the shoe drained very well. At first glance, I thought the shoe would be a bit heavy but found that it wasn’t noticeable in the long run. The Sense Ride 3 fit true to size (I wear a size 9 in practically all Salomon) and felt it had plenty of toe room. The shoe gripped wonderfully on technical terrain, but found the cushioning made running fire roads / asphalt surprisingly comfortable!
Cons: Honestly, it’s really hard to find anything wrong with this shoe! The toe cap of the shoe started to come undone at approximately 150 miles. It didn’t really affect the performance of the shoe, but was annoyed it started coming undone so soon. The upper is extremely breathable which led to multiple small tears in the upper. Again, didn’t really affect performance, but did allow small debris to enter the shoe.
Overall: I was surprised at how much I loved this shoe! I actually just placed an order another pair! I got right at 500 miles out of the shoe but feel if the lace holder didn’t shred, I could’ve probably got 200 or more miles on them. The cushion was a MAJOR plus and would highly recommend the shoe to any type of trail runner. This shoe gets a 9/10 for me!
Technical Data: Salomon Sense Ride 3