Saturday, 8 February 2014

Northern Soles

Walsh PB vs Inov8 Mudclaw 300

 Walsh or Inov8? The old master or the Pretender to the throne.

After PB vs Billy B and Mudclaw vs muddy paw , it's time for the big one.

First up in the blue corner; Walsh PB Trainers.
Invented in the early 13th centuary. It seems like Bolton's finest have been legging it up and down the uplands of the UK forever and with good reason.....  They work. 

 For years I had discounted them, due to their old fashioned looks. Surely shoes that look like that must be uncomfortable....  Wrong. The simple uppers are slipper-like. Yes, at first they feel a little close fitting but then mould to your feet, as soon as you start running. I find the heal fit baggy but have had no problems with them coming off, no matter how boggy the conditions. The soles just grip. The price for this is the studs wear down fast.
 The mid-sole is Firm, springy and low to the ground. The goldilocks of mid-soles for me.

styling         retro
Made in       UK
Weight         268g
RRP              £70
Marketing    Werthers Original

Over in the Yellow corner; Inov8 Mudclaw 300
Inov8 have just celebrated their 10th year of shoemaking and this is the latest incarnation of their highly sucessful, Mudclaw.
My first fell shoes were a pair of Mudclaw 270s. A great shoe l  would still be using 270s but Inov8 messed about with them.
Back to the 300s. Again a soft upper and a grippy sole. The fit is wider at the toe box and narrower at the heal.
The mid-sole is more cushioned than the Walshes and less springy. They also feel higher up.
Mudclaw studs are bigger than the Walshes, Pyramid grip, taking longer to wear down but surprisingly I can not feel any extra grip, except in the very deepest and steepest of mud.

styling       Cool kicks
Made in     China
Weight       300g
RRP            £90
Marketing  Smashing out ossumness

The verdict: Shoe choice is so subjective, all I can do is give my opinion, so here goes.
I am more than happy to run and race in either of these shoes. However the winners for me are............ The Walshes. They beat the Inov8s by being cheaper, made in the UK and their firmer, springier midsoles, help my shonky big toes.

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