I’ve been ‘low-key obsessed’ with trail running for the longest time and have made it my mission to hit the mountains every weekend this winter. So, when we were asked if anyone on the Women’s Health team would be interested in testing out a pair of Hi-Tec V Lite Ox Trail Racer shoes, I was like: “Oh, pick me, pick me, pick me!!” 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼
I was planning to do a little recovery run around the lower paths on Lion’s Head and it would be the perfect opportunity to test out new gear for a story.
When the trail shoes landed on my desk I was very excited (I tried them on immediately, obviously).
My first impressions:
- LOVE the colourway
- Soft mesh lining (Yay. Feet can breathe)
- Elastic lace system looks easy to use
- Umm, they weigh nothing???
- Would totally wear these off-trail too
After heading up, down and around the mountain (and to a braai) this past weekend, here are my official thoughts on the trail shoe:
1/ They’re light… but tough
After all the rain we’ve had recently, the paths on Lion’s Head are pretty darn wet, muddy and slippery. Trust me when I say that slipping on wet rocks IS NOT a fun time. I know exactly how ‘slick’ the rocks can get because I fell (hard) on this same path about 10 days ago. For my recovery run in the Hi-Tec V Lite Ox Trail Racer shoes, I decided to hike the climbs and run the flats on my route. I really felt like I could run with ease in these shoes and didn’t feel sharp rocks under my feet at all. They also had awesome grip! The traction on the outsole and deep, wide lug pattern kept my foot stable while I was climbing up over rocks and running on wet dirt paths.
Don’t let the lightweight design of this shoe fool you — they can definitely absorb impact!
2/ They don’t rub your foot the wrong way
Another thing I really loved about these shoes was that they didn’t rub my foot at all. I find that the tongue or upper on a lot of my shoes tend to cause quite a bit of friction against my ankles and it can be very uncomfortable… especially on a long run or hike. The no-sew upper on these shoes, however, is really soft but snug (it’s made from high-performance nylon).
Blisters are a deal-breaker for me and I’m happy to say that I didn’t get any in these shoes (even after wearing them for an entire weekend).
3/ You can hike around town, too
Yup, I didn’t just stick to the trails — I took these shoes to a braai, for a walk on the Promenade and even wore them to do my weekly grocery shop. They look great with jeans or leggings #JustSaying. The breathable mesh lining on the inside of the shoes is super comfortable and didn’t leave my feet feeling sweaty at all.
Bonus: I never had to worry about my laces coming untied — the special elastic lace and toggle made this shoe a breeze to ‘lace-up’.
Final thoughts: I’d say that these shoes are perfect if you’re just getting into trail running, love a weekend hike adventure or enjoy a relaxed walk along the paths on Table Mountain. Lastly, they’re super affordable at just R999 — you can buy them via www.hi-tec.co.za and www.sportsmanswarehouse.co.za.