Sunday, November 14, 2010

Running in Mukluks, first run Review

Here it is, the first running review of my Hunter mukluks. I can’t wait forever for the snow to run, so I figured cold weather would be good enough. So I finally headed out to the Ranchehouse Ravine for a good running loop. Relatively cool, somewhere around the 0 mark, and easy, rolling terrain of various surfaces (dirt, pine needles, rocks, roots, gravel).

Run data can be found here.

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Not exactly what I would call appropriate dress attire for running (cargo pants aren’t good enough), but a wool top and toque will suffice for now.

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The mukluks fit nicely under the cargo pants. I tied up the calf drawstring and actually broke one. I have to remember that they are made of leather, not shoelace. My main concern was the the boots would “flop” as I ran, and sure enough they did. I have to find a way to hold the boot on the calf so that doesn’t happen.

First run in the new mukluks. Not much but a blur. I must be a super fast runner.

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The Ranchehouse Ravine has such a great variety of trails, from single track through the grass to pine needle and rock. The thing I really noticed was that I could still feel the ground through mukluks as I did in my 5’s. A definite plus for anyone used to barefoot / minimalist footwear.

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Roots and rock. The flat soles of the mukluks didnt’ disappoint with over-cushioning and such. I like feeling the ground, and these mukluks still allowed me to do that all the while keeping my feet insulated from the cold.

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One thing I did notice in the mukluks was that walking up a very steep incline, my feet would slide back in the boot. This is largely due to the soft sheepskin lining, which I am sure will become a little more coarse as I wear the mukluks. It’s not too big of a deal, and I’m thinking of ways to keep my foot secured in the mukluk without compromising the feeling.

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More variety of trails. So nice out, it felt great to run again.

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No leaves, but what do you expect for November? I’m still waiting for snow. Forecast looks good. It was bit chilly, but the mukluks proved themselves VERY warm and soft. Nice.

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Me running. I was able to keep the stride identical as if I were wearing my 5’s. The weight of the mukluk was not noticeable until they started bunching up around my ankles. Again, something I am trying to remedy.

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My beloved mountains, always beckoning me to visit them. Soon enough. I have some trails that I want to try running in winter. Anyone care to join?

I would like to add that descending the grassy hills was a breeze. The Vibram sole in the mukluk provided TONS of grip, especially on the path covered in grass. No slippage or anything, and as I expected, my foot stayed planted in the mukluk. Points for that.

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The Horseman, ever so faithfully watching over the town. Nice photo op too.

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Looking up at Mr. Horseman of Cochrane.

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All in all, an excellent run. You can see how the mukluks bunched up around my ankle. Not too big of a problem and it’s something that I am trying to solve. I am going to look for cinch straps to put in place of the leather lace. Ideally, if the boot came up to just below my knee, keeping the mukluks in place wouldn’t be a problem. But I am testing these out for this purpose exactly.

Total distance and time of my run was 4.5km and about 27 minutes.

Manitobah Mukluks Hunters: Flat and Cool

Pros: Super comfortable, stylish (always a bonus), warm, soft, as close to barefooting as possible in sub-zero temps, superior grip

Cons: Boot bunches around the ankle, leather lace more of a decoration than practical, sheepskin lining causes foot slide in boot on steep inclines

Overall: For an off the shelf mukluk that wasn’t made for running at all, these boots held up great. With a few tweaks and mods, as well as some snowfall and suede protector, these could be the start of something fantastic for those who wish to continue minimalist running in sub zero temps. For the conditions listed (dry, cool, relatively flat), I give these mukluks a 7/10.

I’m not done reviewing. I still have to see how these hold up on true trails (mountains), in snow, and in –10, –20, –30, –40 and perhaps –50 degree weather (that’s Celcius, my friends). I am also going to try them with snowshoes, on ice, and for sprint and interval trials and also with stationary workouts. So stay tuned and I will keep the reviews a comin’.

I would also like to add to the variety of locations that pushups can be done. Enjoy!!

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Pushup #12 – Outside on a wooden deck.

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Pushup #13 – On a fence. Challenges balance in many ways.

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Pushup #14 – In the leaves. Man these leaves smell good.

That’s all from me. Coming up are more mukluk reviews and Parliamentary Pushups, French Pushups, perhaps pushups IN a plane and terminal pushups. Still open to suggestions,



  1. That fence pushup looked a little dangerous! ;)

    You seriously plan to run when it gets to -50?!

    I am a total fairweather runner - I'm already thinking it's time to stop for the winter ;)

  2. Hockey tape Lorne... Cheap, disposable and it will work. A few wraps all the way up the boot and you are in business.

  3. As soon as it gets freezing cold Lorne wants to be out. When it's -50 he goes for walks. I stay at home watching movies :P

    Good idea about the hockey tape!