Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Looking for an Awesome Deal on a Pair of Sportiva Wildcats?

I started this blog primarily as a means of keeping track of my training and racing activities. I decided to put it in the public domain to add an extra element of peer accountability to my running. I've since found that writing full race reports and weekly training summaries has helped me tremendously in reflecting on what I am and am not doing right or wrong in racing and training. Whether or not people read what I write has largely been a secondary concern.

As it happens, however, a few trail-running souls (and supportive family members) have taken to reading my posts from time to time, and I'd like to repay your time with what I think is an unbeatable offer, in the form of an opportunity to pick up a pair of LaSportiva Wildcats cheaper than you'll find anywhere else ... online, in person, or otherwise (if you can actually find a pair at your local running store/outdoor retailer. I couldn't).

Look great, ride even better

I'd been eying these shoes long before I was fortunate enough to develop a relationship with the fine folks at Wilderness Running Company (WRC), who asked me to review a pair. The reason I never bit the bullet and bought the Wildcats was because I draw the line on shoe purchases at the three figure mark - no matter how sexy they might look - and these things retail at $100 across the board, with little to no exceptions.

From casual observation at recent trail running events, I can tell you that these shoes are already proving massively popular in their first year of availability. And for good reason. The shoe is remarkably comfortable and agile, while also managing to offer great cushioning and stability, all in a package that weighs in at a light (for trail runners) 12oz. And did I mention that they're an awfully good looking pair of shoes? I know, completely irrelevant to performance, but like good food, visual presentation is half the battle in getting a product sold (or eaten).

I wore these bad boys at the Leadville Marathon the other weekend (a tougher testing ground would be hard to find) and they performed to the max, with just a minor amount of slippage in the heel on really loose and steep descents (pretty much my only beef, and one that is easily remedied with an extra pair of socks or a tighter lace-up on the top two eyelets).

Minor slippage in the heel

Other than that, the shoes barely felt like they were there. They were surprisingly cushy, and the bite on the soles was highly aggressive. Given the rockiness of the course at Leadville, I was concerned that the all-mesh upper would take a beating and rip as other mesh shoes of mine have in the past. However, they came through 100% unscathed, despite numerous high-speed (all things being relative) jagged-edged rakes from the rock-strewn jeep tracks around Leadville. So, yes, I'm digging these shoes. Still not enough mileage on them to warrant a full-on review and and a confident thumbs up, but I'm getting close.

The 'paws' grip hard

Minimalist, but tough, bumper saved my toes a couple of times

So what's the deal and where can you find them? The location is Wilderness Running and their price until the end of the month is just $90. You may be able to find one or two other retailers that have begun discounting the shoe, but the $90 price tag is just the beginning. Use coupon code Nick10 at checkout and take an additional 10% off, while also enjoying free shipping and the joy of giving nothing to the government. That's right folks, $81 (out the door) gets you into a pair of these awesome Wildcats. AND THAT'S NOT ALL. Buy in July and you get a pair of the much-touted Drymax running socks thrown in for free ($12 value). AND THAT'S STILL NOT ALL. There's a ton of other stuff at WRC on sale through the end of the month, and the coupon code mentioned above is good on all of it, today, tomorrow and for the foreseeable future.

AND THERE'S STILL MORE. The people at WRC are trail runners like you and me; they have a profound love for the sport, intimate knowledge of their product and a keen desire to please and see others enjoying the great outdoors at a speed faster than a hike. These guys carry nothing ... nothing ... but trail running gear. Check 'em out, they're working hard for your attention in these tough economic times.

1 comment:

  1. Been meaning to do a write up of these. Bought a pair at the local Colorado Running Company ($80 with your Pikes Peak Road Runners membership, FYI) and really, really tried to tear 'em up over the first month. Zapata Lake, Sand Dunes, Blanca Peak, Mt Massive, Barr Trail, and 40 miles at Hardrock. The piece of rubber with the Sportiva logo on the sole came unglued during HR (an easy fix), but that's the only problem I've had with the shoes so far. I'm a big Sportiva fan and I'm not ready to replace my usual Imogene sneaks with these, but over time I can see that happening.