We have arrived in Tyndrum (as has the rain) in time for a training camp for the upcoming race. However, Max has tendinitis and we are both pretty much in no state to run 33 miles back the way we just spent the last two days walking. So instead we are having a rest day, which includes yoga for runners, a massage and copious amount of fish and chips from the Good Food Cafe. I am also getting to trial a pair of Injinji trail Mid-weight mini crew socks and a small fit Ultimate Direction Ultra vest when I go out for a run later.
My current running socks are Hilly Twin Skins and I really like the two layers to stop blisters (see my previous post ‘Boundary Run’ to see why socks are important). My first impression of the Injinji socks are of the material, compression and comfort. Comfort wise they are awesome. My toes are literally free. The problem with compression is that your toes are also compressed, so it’s nice not to feel cramped as I do in the Hillys. However, I do really like my arches and ankles compressed for the support. Apparently there are a compression version, but I didn’t get to try them. The material is super soft, my socks normally wear away first at the big toe, but because of the design there is no tension on my toes so I doubt this will happen. I loved running in these socks as found I can spread my toes on landing and get a bit more stability and feel. They do make your foot wider in the shoe, but my Brooks are quite wide. The socks cost between £9 – £15, comparable with other running socks. I love the Injinji socks so much I am sad this pair are wet from running in the rain, so I am going to buy a pair to wear right now. Max also loves these socks and is stocking up!
My first impression of the UD vest is how well the length fits my back. I have really struggled with vests and bags due to my height (just shy of 5ft 1inch). There are straps to adjust the fit for the leaner runner and plenty of storage (7 litres). I love all the bungee straps for holding down waterproofs or spare tops. I currently run in a 4litre Nathan vest which for me is just on the long side on my back and it swings a bit. But I really like the water resistant iPhone sized pocket on the chest of the Nathan bag (so I can get to google maps quick when lost) which the UD vest doesn’t have. I cannot fault the bag and can recommend the size small for short people. The bag stayed still, was super comfy and I barely noticed it despite carrying around a litre of water. The kit in the main pocket also stayed dry in the rain. The only reason I am not buying this bag is because I have a bag already that works for the races I am running (either races on a loop or has drop bag points) and I cannot justify spending more on a bag (£135, or £100 if entered in the Fling) than on my shoes. If I need a bigger bag I will get this one.
Thanks so much to Injinji and Ultimate Direction for the free socks and letting me take a vest out for a run and answering all my questions.