If you checked out my review of the Man Up 10k, you know how a techhead like me can make even a natural activity that man has been doing for thousands of years into a technological exploration. With my second Tough Mudder lurking 7 weeks away, I wanted to uncover the shoe that would push me over the walls, through the electrified wires and under the waters.
After purchasing the Under Armour Pulse II Grit Trail Running Shoes, I think I’ve found my teammates.
In August of 2013, I did my first Tough Mudder. It was the Pittsburgh Tough Mudder, which was located in St. Clairsville, Ohio on an ATV course that was anything and everything other than level. At one point, the course ascended 30 feet with no clear path or means to climb. I was bending saplings over to use as a ladder while slipping and sliding all over the place.
At another point, I had to make my way up a mud-slicked hill. It took me three attempts because after I crossed the half-way mark, I skidded back down to the start. The descents were slow and embarrassing as others stepped past me.
My 2013 Asics were street shoes and not right for the course. I feared my Brooks would lead to the same result this year. I need some traction. I need to once again dominate nature. Never again would I let Mother Earth defeat me. Even if it was momentary.
Of course, there is no better way to dominate nature than to stick tiny spikes into it.
Tiny spikes are just what set the Grit Trail Running Shoes apart from a street running shoe. Dozens of little orange nubs traverse the bottom of the shoe to (theoretically) provide better grip in off-road situations.
After a few short, break-in runs on the local trails and road shoulders, I have only been impressed with the Under Armours.
The ordering process was a little intimating, though. I have never purchased a pair of UA shoes. Heck, I never even tried on a pair. I didn’t know the fit or the feel, but the Grits looked sweet with my favorite colors. Since they were on sale in the outlet, the sizes were limited with the smallest being a 10.5. This is what I wear in Nike’s, but I feared they would be too big.
Big shoes equal more spots for rocks during Tough Mudder. That is a no-no.
After arriving at the door, I anxiously slid in and laced up. They fit well. They were surprisingly light. Although they were spacious in the toe box, they offer a nicely secure feel throughout the rest of the foot. I needed to call the Vet; these puppies are sick.
I would not recommend these for everyday runners. They are not street shoes. They are trail shoes. If you are hopping on the treadmill, skip these. If you are heading to the local field or dirt path consider these bad boys. If you are planning to get your Tough Mudder headband like me in August, these shoes might just be the thing to get you up Everest.