April is a great time to get out the running shoes (and possibly shorts depending on the weather of course). And that is exactly what we decided to do last Saturday with our friends The North Face Canada. As you have probably seen here on Altitude-blog.com, The North Face kindly gave us their time (merci Jennifer & Emilie) and their shoes so everyone could throw on a pair and try out what The North Face running line has to offer. You will be surprised.
I decided that a trip down from Mont-Tremblant was in order to test these babies out. Even for an experienced retail assistant, buying a pair of running shoes is never easy as you most assuredly have to buy them based on a few strides in the shop, so I thought I would take full advantage. My gang were up early and after a great mustachioed coffee and half a chocolate croissant we were at the Altitude-Sports.com St-Denis store.
A tidal wave of North Face shoes greeted us. The focus was really set on three models: The Single-Track II, the Single-Track Hayasa, and the Double-Track. Both men’s and women’s were available to everyone. For some strange reason everyone from our group decided to try the Hayasa. It is an ultra-light running shoe with maximum underfoot feel.
With our featherweight shoes strapped on we galloped off to Mount-Royal which is just up the street from our shop. A nice incline warms us up the legs as the spring sun warms the rest. The Hayasa feels nice on the pavement. A neutral runner, it does not compensate for pronation (the foot falling inward), its minimalism is definitely appreciated as everyone comments on their weight, or in this case lack thereof.
We arrive at the base of the beautiful park and start our slow ascension up the gravel path to the summit. The shoe loses no grip as we hit the loose rock, in fact it seems to feel more at home. We even start to get cocky and cut trhough more heavily wooded sections of the park and the shoes perform very well in the rocky, root-infested terrain. The North Face put their Snake Plate in the Hayasa thus reducing the inadvertent pain of striking sharp objects underfoot- well-appreciated on our run.
That’s about it folks. We had a blast trying our running shoes at St-Denis and I recommend it to anyone in the neighborhood next time. We had good friends, nice weather and a pleasant bit of exercise- what more could you want? Well, maybe a Belgian waffle test afterwards? I can always dream.