Finding the ultimate trail running shoes was difficult from here in Thailand. First off most of the shoes I find in the stores are cheap China rip-offs. They replace rubber with cheap foam. The stitching is ridiculously sub-par. The price is the same as the authentic trail running shoes.
I found these trail running shoes by Nike called the Nike Free 7.0 v2 in a Big C store in southern Thailand. Of course they ONLY had Thai sizes which stop at a men's 9 (US Men's 9). But, that size nine was almost big enough in the toe box for me. That's just what I was looking for because I have a wide-forefoot and need a big (wide) toe-box.
I took a risk and ordered a size 11 online at Ebay and waited for them to arrive. When then did I tried them on and immediately jumped back onto eBay to buy 2 more pair of the same shoes! They fit perfectly. I didn't know whether they would work well on the trails I had in mind for them, but I didn't care. Finally I actually had shoes that fit.
I wore the first pair - the blue and black you see in the video - over the next 5-6 months. I ran up and down a 6 mile long very technical mountain trail with them as well as running on the flat concrete at the park about the same number of times. Add to that about 20-25 trips up 1,256 steps up another mountain and that was what it took to destroy the outside of the toe-box area. All in all, after paying $120 USD for them, I got around 1 workout per dollar. Not bad at all, and I'm super-satisfied with that. These are no doubt the best trail shoes I could have found for my feet.
If you need a wide toe-box and you run up trails and want something minimalistic, but not ridiculous like Vibram 5-Fingers - get a pair of these Nike Free 7.0 v2's. They are lightweight, strong, flexible, and very stable if you're a forefoot striker. There is absolutely nothing in the heel for stability except the sole - which is flared a bit. I have not twisted my ankles at all in these shoes and that is REALLY saying something because with my New Balance running shoes I wore on the trail prior to this I twisted my ankles regularly.
Nike Free 7.0 v2 Trail Running Shoes Specs:
Sizing - These run true to size. I take between a 10.5 and 11. I bought the 11 men's and it fits perfectly for length.
Toe Box - These run wide. If you need a wider shoe - get this, you will probably be very happy with it.
Stability - Great. The sole flares out at the forefoot and heel to give added stability. It works incredibly well for forefoot strikers on the trail.
Durability - Average to good. I got 100+ workouts - very hard workouts - out of these shoes. I'm very satisfied.
Price: $60-90 on Ebay. Hard to find elsewhere.
Colors: Red/Grey; Blue/Yellow; Blue/Black; White/Orange; Grey/Black; White/Black; and sorry I didn't pay attention to women's colors other than remembering there is a Teal/Blue.
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