I have gone through several pairs of shoes over the last season without finding any real standout do-everything winners. The most recent are the Feline Superlight and Feline Ghost courtesy of Dynafit. Long a manufacturer of sweet skimo gear, Dynafit recently entered the trail running game and developed the Feline Superlight shoe for the 2012 season. This move seems to makes sense as lots of ski racers are runners and might even need a shoe during a big mission.
The Superlight is a solid comfortable shoe with an aggressive tread on the Vibram sole. The sole seems pretty solid on muddy, wet roots and rocks in Squamish. Other than climbing shoes (with sticky rubber) I have never had a shoe hold this secure on wet granite. It’s still not a climbing shoe but scrambles well. The cushioning takes the edge off sharp rocks. The shoe upper has a standard tongue with an unusual mud flap/semi gator. It is a rubberized piece of fabric sewn over the top of the laces. It closely resembles the rubber cover on the Dy.N.A. Race boot (which keeps snow out – necessary on all tongue less boots) Presumably this is to keep out debris though the tongue is still in place to serve this purpose. Lacing is facilitated by a red fabric tab that is used to tighten the lower laces. I do really like the hole in the top of the tongue to help tighten things up.
The Ghost is a lighter shoe with a slightly more traditional design. The sole is still well lugged for good traction on trails though not quite as aggressive as the Superlight. A little slippery on wet granite slabs but much better than some other options. The upper is much lighter with a very thin material – almost see through – that allows much more breathability. The tongue and laces are a standard design and much thinner than the Superlight. The Ghost is definitely light – I have used it for several interval sessions and am impressed by how it feels on my feet. I am definitely looking forward to using these in the Squamish 50k.
- Ghost = 11 mm drop, 260 gm (8UK)
- Superlight = 12 mm drop, 290 gm
- Medium cushioning
- Good toe protection
- Light weight (Especially the Ghost)
- Comfortable/Blister free (for me)
- Great traction (especially the Superlight)
- Tongue cover on Superlight seems maybe a bit gimmicky except some specific situations