Marcus and Agata recently had time to visit one of the most unassuming yet super high end sporting manufacturers.
I am talking about Raidlight
In particular Raidlight HQ, which is pretty close to Grenoble in the town of Saint Pierre de Chartreuse, France.
In case you are not from this trail running planet: RaidLight specialise in very lightweight yet functional running clothing and apparel. To them, like us every gram counts.
Oh and some other things
- RaidLight manufacture many items in France, some items do come from Asia
- They are classified as high end
- They have shoes, clothes, poles, rucksacks. UK website http://uk.raidlight.com/
- At the HQ there is a free test our products capability, you just need to leave some ID like a Passport or Drivers License for the duration of your test
- At the HQ they have regular product and seconds. The latter is still more expensive that most high end products in the marketplace.
- From the webstore they do ship Internationally
The Trail Ultramax
With the offer of a risk free test we set off for a trail run. There are a number of marked courses around the HQ building but you need the Stations de Trail application to make best use of your chances of not getting lost
Yes these shoes definitely have a lot of bounce. They also look a lot weird so the sooner I get out into the trail away from laughing runners the better.
Although it was a blistering hot day the RaidLight staff forgot to mention that the trail we had selected was literally a mudbath
You know that feeling you get when your whole foot sinks so deep into the mud that as you try to extract it, the shoe almost comes off your foot.
I had been trying to keep these 'free hire shoes' clean, but at this point all hope was totally lost
Later on that morning despite having the app, and a large stick for getting out of muddy situations we got totally lost. And more than twice. This and the mud was making for desperate times.
The shoes were not really helping either. They felt heavy (I now realise they are over 330 grams each) and not suited to muddy conditions. True there was good cushioning, but it did not really make up for the negatives.
After a good washing I was more than happy to return these shoes. I did not feel that the extra cushioning and the minimal drop were in any way advantageous. As noted the shoe is not light for trail and its large size made it slightly ponderous to me. Not clown feet, but on the way towards it.
So what I can recommend is that you do visit RaidLight HQ and try out these or any of their fine products. For me, this fat soled shoe did not work for me.