Vasque Blur comes through at Primal Quest

Written by Aaron Rinn
Created Date: Friday, 22 August 2008 00:00
Last Updated: Thursday, 02 October 2008 21:17

Primal Quest is a long and tough race, so I experienced a significant amount of trepidation leading up to PQ Montana. One of my main concerns was how my feet would hold up. Particularly, since the foot sections were rumored to be over 200 miles. By the end of PQ Utah, my feet were a sore and blistered, and I came shuffling into the finish line with a gimpy gait. This time around I was determined that my feet would last the whole race.

I had been using Vasque trail running shoes for only about 10 weeks prior to the race. I took a pair of Blurs out of the box, threw in a pair of Sole Custom Footbeds, put them on, and ran the capitol peak 50k. I was extremely pleased with the Blurs that day, but I was uncertain how they would hold up off trail. The next test I put them through was the Kayak Lake Mead 26 hour race. Except for a few kayaking and swimming segments, the entire race was on foot and off trail. The Blurs treated my feet well in the dry dessert terrain surrounding lake mead, so I decided to use them for Primal Quest.

PQ proved to be long and tough. Record late snowfall meant great glisading, full rivers and, of course, lots of time spent trekking in the snow. The race put us through three mountain ranges: the Spanish Peaks, the Bridgers, and the Crazy Mountains. There was beautiful apline terrain, but every spectacular trek seemed to finish with a long trail or road section. The prerace briefing listed the mileage on foot at 330 km. Through all this, my feet suprised me. I was able to wear the same shoe for the entire race without my feet swelling up or getting blistered. My feet finally started to hurt from the week of pounding six and a half days into the race. Fortunately, we only had a few hours of trekking left at this point.

Overall my feet held up wonderfully and allowed me to see a tiny sliver of the great state of Montana. In addition to finding a pair of rugged lightweight shoes that fit my feet, here is a list of things that contributed to my feet doing suprisingly well:

  • Clipping my nails carefully prior to the race.
  • Drying my feet out during sleeps.
  • Applying Sportslick lube between my toes at TAs.
  • Staying hydrated with nuun.
  • Using Sole footbeds in both my running and biking shoes--for additional cushion and support.
  • Using Outdoor Research Flex-Tex gaiters to keep rocks and debris from getting into my shoes--get the S/M size for trail running shoes.
  • Bringing and using Leki Carbonlite trekking poles on each leg--amazingly light and tough. 

Vasque Blurs: $85.
Sportslick Pocket Slick: $4.
nuun: $6.
Sole Custom Footbeds: $45.
Outdoor Research Flex-Tex gaiters: $30.
Leki Carbonlite trekking poles: $200.