Time for another (preliminary) shoe review, this time of the Zeal RB9X (“Rubber 9 Extreme”) from Icebug.
The small Swedish brand has been on my radar for a long time; they are pretty much *the* experts when it comes to shoes for running on snow and ice, especially thanks to their different sole designs incorporating carbide spikes (“studs,” as they say, in the OLX and BUGrip technologies, see http://icebug.com/int/grip-tech/grip/ ).
Getting into the snow was not really the intention behind (this version of*) these shoes, even if the GearJunkie tested them on a skiing slope, but they have been handling it quite alright. Feet got wet but not uncomfortably so – and I’ve finally begun running out of the snow, over the rocks and roots and through the mud of spring weather that these shoes were made for.
Rather than spikes, these Zeal “only” use Icebug’s RB9X (rubber 9 extreme) compound which promises very high friction levels and therefore good grip while being as abrasion-resistant as road running shoes.
Furthermore, there is the “Holy Grail Midsole Soft AND Stable – technology” (HGMS²), meant to make these *the* shoes for trail running in tough terrain with high stability and comfort as well as softness and flexibility, well-protected and low to the ground.
So many promises, it made for problems – and then the realization that, oh yes, these shoes are made for running, and that’s just what they’ll do…
*There is also an OLX version of the Zeal with fixed carbide spikes – see http://icebug.com/int/produkter/zeal-olx/
Go and try them out; these are the shoes for racing those trails!
Me, I’ll be out there, too – and then coming back when I can tell you how the Zeal hold up ;)