Columbia Men & Women’s Ravenous Stability Trail Running Shoe

They Say – ‘…we’ve created an ultra-secure shoe that delivers cutting-edge design, fantastic fit and unparalleled performance for those who need increased stability in the lateral crash zone.’

We Say – ‘Yes this all this sounds great and it is, but this shoe doesn’t look very technical when you first see it. However, a few wears and it soon becomes clear that looks can be, and are in this case, deceptive. First impressions are that they felt incredibly light (an amazing 9.48oz), much lighter than anything designed for the trail I had worn before. Look’s-wise, I think it’s fair to say that, 3 months on and their appearance has definitely grown on me and now I like them. It didn’t take me 3 months to come to this conclusion, it just wasn’t love at first sight, that’s all. I now have two pairs (you girls out there will relate to this) and they are both gorgeous colours. One is a pretty cornflower blue and the other a really unusual coral red colour (these are my favourite I think).

As I mentioned above I have been wearing these shoes (one pair at a time of course) on all my trail runs for the past 3 months or so and they have maintained their stability and appearance despite encountering difficult terrain, mud, water and whatever else has been thrown at them.

They also Say - ‘Designed to neutralize pronation issues to keep feet safe and comfortable, this shoe is also lightweight and nimble. Our revolutionary new heel capture system puts softer 3D molded Techlite material directly against the heel and moves the stabilizing heel counter to the outside. Designed for performance from the ground up, the Ravenous features a multi-directional lugged outsole with Omni-Grip rubber for superb traction on wet, muddy or rough terrain. A Techlite molded midsole provides super-lightweight cushioning and support for a light, flexible and comfortable shoe that delivers big-time trail performance in a sleek, low-profile package.’

We also Say - ‘I wore these Ravenous Stability shoes for the first trail race that I have ever done, the Runners World Bedgbury Forest 10K. The course in question was what you would expect from a trail run: potholes, tree roots, stones and a variety of other obstacles. Through all of this these shoes held up really well. I kept upright and stable and felt really supported throughout the race.

Their ‘breathable mesh body construction’ seemed to do it’s job too for my next competitive event in June, which was the West Wickham Hellrider. We entered a team of 3 into this grueling 8 hour off-road cycle/running relay race. We each had to run, well wade actually, through waist-high water as part of our 5km circuits, several times over the course of the day and as you can imagine, all of our kit got a good soaking. The shoes however, with their Omni-tech (waterproof/breathable) and Omni-shield (Water-repelling) features drained the water away and they virtually dried out completely in-between laps of running and cycling.

In addition they performed equally well for me on the bike laps, gripping the pedals but not sticking and their lightness was again a real advantage.’

In Summary - ‘I think they’ll grow on you visually as you begin to use them and find that they really can do everything they say. The sizing is a little different to other brands so you need to try a couple of pairs either side of your normal size to get it right. A small point, for an otherwise excellent shoe.’

Columbia Men’s Ravenous Stabililty Trail Running Shoe

They Say - ‘Because we know you’re hungry for winter trail running, we’ve created an ultra-secure shoe that delivers cutting-edge design, fantastic fit and unparalleled performance for those who need increased stability in the lateral crash zone. Designed to neutralize pronation issues to keep feet safe and comfortable, this shoe is also lightweight and nimble. Our revolutionary new heel capture system puts softer 3D molded Techlite material directly against the heel and moves the stabilizing heel counter to the outside. This provides a comfortable, conforming fit where trail runners told us they need it most. Designed for performance from the ground up, the Ravenous features a multi-directional lugged outsole with Omni-Grip rubber for superb traction on wet, muddy or rough terrain. A Techlite molded midsole provides super-lightweight cushioning and support for a light, flexible and comfortable shoe that delivers big-time trail performance in a sleek, low-profile package.’

We Say - ‘I liked the look of these first of all, and the feel. They felt good (if a little heavier than my previous pair of Trail shoe) and fitted excellently from the first run onwards. That first run was my usual running circuit, which is 5km on road and 3km off, and even though they’re off-road shoes, they providing good cushioning for the tarmac kms. And I really enjoyed wearing them on my first pure forest run, a 6 km circuit on rough paths. They offered excellent toe protection and support. The protection really became apparent later in the run when I was fatigued and passing from dark forest to bright clearing, and it was taking my eyes a while to adjust, during which time there seemed to be loads of tree root trying to trip me up. Sure, I hit them, but the protection made sure I more or less just bounced off, rather than wincing, breaking my stride and possibly falling.

The next time I wore them was for a 10km Runners World Trailblazer 10km event. I was filming so I did the circuit twice plus a bit of back and forth, so covered about 23km in all, and didn’t suffer any foot problems/blisters, so, I guess this means they wear themselves in very quickly.

One bad point is they let in a fair bit of dust, my socks are filthy at the end of each trail run, and also the tongue isn’t as tall/extensive as it could be, so stones and grit do get in occasionally.

The laces are grippy sorts, although they came undone when just tied single, so I doubled them and they were fine.

The soles offer excellent support, but with trail ground being so uneven I wonder if it wouldn’t be better to suffer having a little bit more weight on the shoe and extending the upper so it provides ankle support, as whilst wearing them and other trail shoes I often twist a foot in a divet or tree root and feel it above the shoeline. I know there are already trail running boots, but a hybrid of these shoes would be perfect.

I like the fact that with the Ravenous I can run easily on the road to the forest, and then run in the forest as well with the same shoes. They really are as multi purpose as shoes get. I don’t really like having to drive to the forest, it’s only 3 kms away but it’s much better not to use the car if I can help it, and its good to get an all round running workout.

At the Columbia Hellrider event these shoes were really useful when it came to riding a bike; their soles have good grip and never once did my feet slip off the pedals. They also dry very quickly; after each river crossing, during which they got totally sodden, I had about 2 hours before my next run, and they dried out by the time that came around.

They keep out the rain well too. I’ll continue to wear these shoes as long as they hold out, which I think by the looks and feel of them will be quite some time. I like them a lot. But more than that, I trust them.’

In Summary - ”The Ravenous give me good support and great confidence. When running out of the darkness of a tree canopy into bright sun and I’m temporarily blinded by the change in lighting I can keep up my pace, confident that they’ll handle whatever comes. Ok, I’ve fallen over a few times through kicking a rock or clod, but falling in the forest doesn’t hurt too much as long as you take a forward roll into the nearest leaves, and the shoes protect my toes from the initial impact just fine. They’re not the lightest trail shoe around, but they’re robust and stable, the toe protection is excellent and I recommend them. Like with the Women’s shoes though, check your sizing, as Columbia products always seem to come up a little small.’

To find out more about Columbia and to see their full range of clothing please check their website out

http://www.columbia.com/

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