The greatest thing about running is that it builds relationships: relationships with shoes. In this column, Scottish members tell us about their favourite and least favourite experiences with the things we put on our feet. Valentino kicks things off by telling us about the Adidas Kanadia.

Unless you were born in the upper sierras of Chihuahua and migrated to Wellywood to join Scottish, you run in shoes, and buy shoes every now and then. I am opening the tap for this segment (pun) of On the Run called “Me and my shoes” the plan is to talk about running shoes. Review them, caution others about crap shoes, see who has the more, the oldest or the prettiest. 

In this first take, I am writing about my favourite shoes of the current fleet. They are the cheap and cheerful Adidas Kanadia ($68 on one of those Rebel Sport sales). You don’t usually associate Adidas with trail running. But I like to challenge my beliefs when it comes to saving moolah, so I bought them to take me through training for the Tarawera Ultra 2016. 

What I like

Having run over 750km on them, I am happy that I got the value out of my investment. They are easy to clean, they don’t stink when I put them in the hot water cylinder cabinet, and they have survived a month out in the deck when we left for a holiday. But what I like the more is running around Makara MTB Park on them. They have good toe protection, a breathable mesh upper, EVA midsole, and a tough as nails outsole with well-spaced lugs. I tend to strike with my heel, and I love that little bit of cushion that the Kanadias bring. The hard compound of the outsole is pretty unforgiving on the landing; the flip side is that it leaves little room for your feet (and ankles, and knees) to go anywhere other than where you want them to. 

Switchbacks are a beauty when I am running in my Kanadias. They stop when they have to and I’ve never felt like running off camber even when I was. Usually, your shoes will determine how much you want to risk bombing down a track. The Kanadias have been one of the best I tried (just below a fresh pair of Salomons). 

Finally, they come in Yellow, and we all know yellow goes faster. 

A completely unrelated side story

As it got closer to Tarawera I panic-bought a pair of New Balance Leadville and Hokas and ran in them. In hindsight, I should have gone for the trusty ole Kanadias. Lesson learned?