We recently had a chat to Mal Law, founder of Wild Things, about his favourite shoe:
I first discovered the Torrent when I arrived in Colorado a couple of years back and discovered I’d left my beloved Mafates' at home. I took a trip to REI who had this new lower-profile HOKA that I’d never heard of, but which looked pretty darned good. I tried a pair on and they fitted like a glove (well, actually like a really comfortable shoe). A couple of short runs later on some fairly hilly, technical trail and I was in love. But still, I was taking a big risk when I committed to wearing these on a 5-day fastpack around the Hardrock 100 course later that same week. But I needn’t have feared, the Torrents remained comfortable throughout and were just brilliant on all the varieties of trail (and scree!) that we encountered. They are now my go-to shoe for all-mountain missions, including the Bob Graham Round in the UK last year (photo taken a couple of days before on our last training run - James Harcombe is also a Torrent fan!) and anything that doesn’t involve long distances on hard-packed trail.
The main things I love about the shoe are:
For me they are the perfect mountain shoe that I wear whenever I know I’m going to be encountering rough terrain or venturing off-trail. I won’t hit the mountain tops wearing anything else (on my feet!) if I can help it.
When I first won Ironman New Zealand in 2001 I finished in a time of 8:24:25hr 19yrs later I finish 6th in 8:14:36 as a 47yr old! At least I'm going faster and faster!
I know I can go so much better after such a limited build up in my running preparation so I'm looking forward to when we can race again, and full of motivation to race to my potential and keep pushing the boundaries as a nearly 48yr old!!
Part of the beauty of trail running is that even when the run doesn’t feel so good, being in nature can have its own positive impact on our sense of wellbeing and inner peace – even with no races on the calendar for the next few months.
Whether you’re an experienced trail runner, or a runner looking for the right shoes to start running trail, we hope this guide helps.