Many shoe technologies released in the past decade have been more about show than performance at the end of the day.
Shoe companies have good intentions and do their research on improving the runner’s experience, but when it comes right down to it, many runners are reluctant to buy into unfounded technology. However, the ZigWild 3 Trail Runner may be the exception.
It’s built on the ZigTech principle and is beefed up in the outsole with carbon rubber and small rubber lugs for better traction along the trails.
I took them for a test run to the neighborhood peak, Mt. Sanitas, a formidable climb of 1,200’ in elevation gain in just 1.2 miles, which is why its a local favorite.
After putting them on, I immediately noticed how well my foot fit into the footbed with a fair amount of support in the arch.
The shoe had good traction while climbing medium to steep terrain, a mix of loose dirt, gravel, rock and wood steps.
Trail shoes can tend to be a bit stiff to provide extra support and traction, but with the pattern of the outsole the shoe flexed nicely with my foot as I pushed uphill.
STABILITY & CUSHIONING:
Equally as impressive was its stability and cushioning as I descended down the technical rocky trail then eventually on to a more open trail where I could pick up my speed. The extra rubber under my foot from the zig pattern made the ride all that more comfortable, and I was really able to enjoy a plush ride down. With the large gaps between the zigs, I was expecting to catch more than a few rocks, but was pleasantly surprised to find none after the run.
The mesh upper is overlaid with a synthetic pattern not only serves for styling, but it kept my foot in place while negotiating tricky terrain and added a bit more protection for times when I caught a rock on the side.
The ZigTech outsole provided plenty of cushion while being flexible enough to negotiate technical terrain. Plus the mesh upper provided a great feel of support while descending.
They were a bit heavier and bulkier than I prefer.
Overall, I was impressed with how well this particular shoe technology translated to the trail. The outsole not only grabbed the terrain, but will also grab attention when wearing around town.
Todd Straka is a regular contributor to BoulderRunning.com and the Examiner, is a competitive Master’s Runner, and loves running from the mile to the marathon with the Runners Roost team. Give Todd a follow on Twitter @BoulderRunner.