After my panic a couple of weeks back, I am thinking that I am actually in pretty good shape at least as it relates to shoes.
My panic was caused when my Vasque VST's started to come apart and my toes were bleeding in my Salomon's so I went out and bought a couple of other pairs from Sierra Trading Post. Another good deal, $90 for two pair. This is my second order with them, both times quick delivery (plus free return if needed). Their selection is limited and changes fairly often so you have to watch or just get lucky or be willing to branch out and try new things (oh make sure you search under "Running" as well as "Trail Running" if you are looking for trail shoes as I have found trail shoes under both categories and that you search for on-line coupons to maximize your savings). What I bought this time were Teva Romero's and Vasque Aether Trail's.
The Romero's seem a bit wider (than my Salomon's and VST's, which is good) and they got me through my long run last weekend so they are a good candidate for STM. They seem reasonably stable (moderate weight ~12 oz/shoe), they did pick up a lot of mud last weekend but they provided decent traction going down hill.
I will be wearing the Aether Trails this weekend. They fit slightly better than my VST's, they seem just a pinch longer and maybe slightly wider, so I think they will be another good option. Vasque's always initially seem stiff but after 50-100 miles they seem to start getting comfortable and then after 200 I really seem to like them. These may have the stiffest upper of any I have tried (for the record they are my fourth pair of Vasques, previous pairs were Velocity, Mercury, Velocity VST) but I do seem to like the fit. They seem to be fairly stable (probably less so than the VST's) and they are lighter (moderate weight ~12 oz/shoe) than of the other Vasque's I have worn. I will see how they work tomorrow when I go for 33 or so miles.
The bummer about the VST's is that they were just hitting their prime (~250 miles) but with the heels blowing out, I don't think they would be a good choice for STM. Besides being concerned about them falling apart they also have an odd sound which would drive me crazy over 50 miles, like a bellows blowing air as the air goes in and out of the bubble. Here are some pictures of them.
Now that I have documented the bubble (ok, attempted to) I have placed screws in them and plan to use them for winter running where I hope to reclaim the lost mileage from them.
Another thing I have figured out is why I never buy the exact same shoe, can you tell which pair of my Salomon XA Comp 3's have almost 250 miles and which pair has 20 miles? The other day when I went to put them on for a run, I couldn't. After looking for a while I finally did, at least I think I have.
So I am set for shoes as Surf the Murph approaches and I think I have a good plan as to how I want to fuel, now I just need to figure out what to wear. Let's hope for 55 and sunny to make that an easy decision.