2021, was a year that you wouldn’t want to walk, let alone run, in many people’s shoes. But for me “the year that shall be forgotten” still featured some epic runs and adventures so I thought it would be great to run down my two favourite kicks from a year on road and trail as it is the main question I get asked when it comes to kit.
Trail Shoe: inov-8 Trailfly Ultra G 300 Max
This choice will come as little to surprise to anyone who has followed my adventures this year. The Trailfly (to call it by its full name would take all of 2022!) was my go-to trail shoe throughout the entire of 2021. They have seen me through a huge 50K PB at Hurtwood 50, kept me going through my first ever 100K and accompanied me on my first race back in the mountains for two years at UTMB. I have done a full review of these absolute mile munchers on my blog which would can read here: Inov-8 Trailfly Ultra – 150 Miles Later They have now done well over 500 miles and show no sign of giving up. They will continue to be my go to shoes heading into my trail races for 2022.
Road Shoe: Mizuno Wave Rebellion
These shoes were a massive, massive surprise. I have been lucky enough to work with Mizuno in 2021 and while I have loved their Wave Rider and Wave Rider Neo they sent me during the year but the Rebellion blows them both out of the water and marks a new exciting chapter for Mizuno.
The Rebellion is a fast, incredibly lightweight and snappy shoe that still offers bags of cushioning. It has done this by stripping back plushness where it is not needed, like in the tongue, and instead focusses on the key areas you really need it. I know looks are subjective but honestly they are the best looking shoe I have slipped on in years too with that incredible street art type logo they’ve used to really drive home that this shoe is unlike anything they’ve made before. It is their first shoe using their new foam; Enerzy Lite and the Rebellion genuinely feels like a rebel in their line up right now because of it and I cannot wait to see what they bring out next using this foam.
They feel like direct competitors to the Brooks Hyperion Tempo, which were my favourite shoe of 2020 but the addition of their glass fiber midsole plate gives you that extra snap in each step. The glass fibre plate is head and shoulders above the other plates I’ve tested not only because is it more environmentally friendly than the carbon plates that litter shoes at the moment but it actually works. Their plate is bio-based made from castor beans and nylon and reinforced with glass fiber so not only does it tick the boxes in terms of running but also your new years resolution to be kinder to the planet.
Mizuno were the founding fathers of using plates in shoes, introducing them all the way back in 1997, long before Nike made it cool. You get to feel their understanding of plates in each propelled step as the Rebellion gives you that energy conversion of those elite race shoes many you have brought and thrown away because they aren’t much use for every day runner.
I used them in my Oxford Half PB (blog coming soon on that) and while I was warned they might not be right for me for the marathon by the guys at Mizuno I still rolled the dice with them at Newport Marathon. I was cruising along and well on my way to a PB but my body fell apart so I perhaps would agree on them not being for marathon but any distance shorter then prepare to go fast!
I’m excited to see what shoes will be accompanying me in the miles to come this year and if there are any you want to see me review on here drop me a message!
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