Three Points of the Compass has worn trail runners for most hikes for the past ten years of so, prior to that boots were worn. A variety of makes of trail shoe have been tried- Inov-8, Brooks, Salomon and Altra. I won’t mention a couple of others that were really quite poor. It seems as though as soon as I found a make and model that suited me well, the following year it was ‘tweaked’ and I didn’t like what resulted.
I have really enjoyed using Altra Lone Peak for the past few years, they have tweaked the design a little but are still suiting me- I have used the 2’s, 2.5, 3, 3.5 and now the 4’s. I actually have a couple of pairs of the 4’s tucked away waiting to be pulled into use when required as my fairly large size is either popular and sells out quickly or is not produced in large numbers. I never seem to be successful in snapping them up in sales and usually pay full price, I also often struggle to buy the more sober colour variants as more garish colour schemes seem to be more popular, though not with me. These are zero drop trail shoes with breathable uppers, decent tread and lovely wide toe boxes. If I have a sole complaint about these is that I often find the laces loosening for some reason. This is a problem I have not had with other shoes, usually I have to double knot or similar but frequently forget or can not be bothered, with the result that hours later I find a loose lace flapping around. On trail the last thing that is wanted is to be frequently adjusting or amending a piece of gear, it interrupts your progress and eventually becomes a BIG thing.
I wear Salomon XA Pro shoes for work but they do not suit me for trail walking, I simply don’t get on with them for that activity finding the toe box and overall shoe too narrow. On a long days hiking my feet frequently swell and the Salomons simply don’t allow them to comfortably expand. However one aspect of these footwear that I do like is the Quicklace system that Salomon use. With a little time on my hands at home in recent days, I thought I would try Lock Laces on my Altras for a change to see if this is a decent solution.
Lock Laces are elasticated laces that once fitted are pulled through a locking eyelet then simply tucked under a turn of the lace. They are a doddle to fit, taking around five minutes.
My current pair of Altras only have a couple of hundred miles left on them which should be enough for me to see if I want to extend this type of lace replacement to the next pair to be worn. I note that you can get replacement Salomon Quicklaces so might try them in the future if the Lock Laces are not durable enough. Lock Laces have a six strand elasticated core while Quicklaces are Kevlar and have a different locking system. There is also a ‘Pro Series’ Lock Lace that are thinner, having only five internal strands and what is touted to be a stronger locking eyelet.
For the gram weenies out there- one old lace weighed 5.6g, one replacement Lock Lace, locking eyelet and cord clip weighs 11g, once trimmed this fell to 9.8g.