I'd like to show off my newest gear, Zoot Ultra Race 2.0. I've had them for a few weeks and did several track sessions and tempo runs in them. The longest I've done in them is 9 miles but I plan on wearing them for Austin.
They only weigh about 7 ounces. They're triathlon running shoes, so they have a sock liner and are meant to be worn sockless. They have a quick-lace system and drain holes in the soles. The also have a hole in the tongue and heel so you can pull them on easily. In the sole, there is an arch-shaped carbon fiber piece. (I'm not quite sure of the benefit other than it forces you onto the front of your foot.)
These are a minimalist shoe, like all my other running shoes right now. They're even lighter and lower profile than the Kinvaras, which is saying a lot. I love the sockliner and have had no issues with blisters or hot spots.
It seems like the soles are a little more durable than the Kinvaras as well. I feel like I chew through my Kinvaras quickly since the lightweight sole can't handle a lot of miles. The Zoots so far still look brand-new.
I was pretty surprised with the lace-lock system. I've had bad luck with lace-locks either coming loose during a run or being too tight right across my ankle in order to keep the shoe tight enough the rest of my foot doesn't slide around. The lace-locks stay in place and when tightened, there isn't a tight spot at the top. They also have fairly small ends so they don't flop around when I run. I put lace-locks on my Kinvaras and I hate how much the plastic piece on the end flops around and hit my foot with each step.
So what's the downside you ask? Well, price for one. I found these online for half price. Full price they're $140, which is more than I'm willing to pay for a pair of shoes that will last less than a year. The other downside is availability. There's no local stores that I know of that carry Zoot shoes, so I ordered mine online and hoped they fit. Luckily, they fit my foot perfectly. But to be honest, I love these shoes so much, I might switch to these for my regular running shoes, not just speed work.
The biggest advantage might not even be a real one. They are so freaking light, and I didn't start using them until I was well into my training, so all my runs have been great. The mental effect of me putting these shoes on is a lot like Dorothy putting on the Ruby Slippers. Except when I put my shoes on, "home" is 7:50 min/mi tempo pace or 6:20 min/mi interval pace. There is no place like home.
23 hours ago