As part of our sponsored package to take part in the Viking Heroes Family Challenge in St. Wendel this year, we each received a pair of Viking Apex trail running shoes.
The first thing I noticed about the shoes was the button which you twisted to „tie“ the shoes. After reading the label I saw that this was the „Boa® System“ which Viking have put onto the shoes so that they can be adjusted individually for the best fit whilst not putting any extra pressure on your foot while you run. The laces are made of tough wire with a plastic coating. If, like me, you are clever enough to cut into the wire whilst removing the tags (embarrassed cough) then you will be happy to know that Viking can repair this and replace even the button for free. I got mine repaired at the Viking Challenge.
Once you read about the technology in the shoes, you are even more impressed that they only weigh about 125g each. Each shoe has Gore-Tex® technology in it which lets the heat out but does not let water in, so they are waterproof. The sole is also made to have great grip with the Viking Ultimate Grip Concept but again has a membrane to allow the feet to „breathe“. Ok, it is all well and good reading this but I needed to test them out.
We mostly run in the woods by our house and so that is where we tested them for the week before the race. The trail through the woods is pretty good but gets muddy at times like now from lots of rain. It also has a moderate amount of debris and is demanding on our running shoes. The first time I ran with the shoes I was happy at how light they were and how easy to put on. I was also glad to realize that I will not have to stop to re-tie my laces! (One less excuse to stop…) I could feel my feet getting warm, it was a new sensation and I wondered if the technology was maybe not working. When I got home I realized that although my feet were warm, they had not sweated and my socks were dry. I’m hoping that this also means that the shoes will not start to smell at some point!
The race was the ultimate test for the shoes. It included running, climbing, running up a muddy hill, navigating bales of heigh, abseiling, wading through a muddy river and more. Lilly had done the puddle test to see if the shoes were waterproof and they passed. Of course wading through a river will not stop the water coming in from the top of the shoes, but because they are partly made with mesh, the shoes did not absorb the water much and were dry pretty quickly. Of course they stank by the end as part of the track was through muddy manure, but they were washed at home at 30 degrees and were like new again. More about the race here.
The cost of the shoes is of course a big factor. Mine retail at €179 which is a steep price for me to pay. If you run in the gym or only do indoor sports, these are not the shoes for you BUT if you run outdoors and enjoy really getting stuck into an off-road track then I can fully justify making the investment.