Originally, this was to be a blog about my preparations to enter the TGO Challenge in 2012. For a variety of reasons that didn't happen, so this has now become the repository for my outdoor musings.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Inov8 Terroc 330 stitching

Nearly a year ago I bought some Inov8 Terroc 330s. This was going to be quite a departure for me, as I'd always used boots for hill and mountain walking. Browsing blogs and reading tales of lightweight derring-do seemed to indicate that this was the way forward. My only previous experience of "hiking" trainers was with a pair of TNF Hedgehogs which destroyed my feet on a charity walk back in '09 (Linky) So it was a bit of a leap of faith.

I loved them! A three day backpack in the Cairngorms, walks in the Brecons, on the Cotswold Way, occasionally on the bike; they were great. Cool and light obviously, but with the extra benefit of connection to the ground. Very often I find myself stumbling when wearing boots as my feet are "stiff" and heavy. With trail shoes this was no longer a problem. Foot placement seemed much more precise, and I didn't miss the ankle support, or weight, of my Scarpa ZG10s (good boots, and lightish for what they are, but still twice the weight of the Terrocs).

Sadly the "Curse of Inov8 Stitching" struck. Despite what I would consider to be fairly light use, the stitching on the outside edge of the shoe ripped. Casting about online it appears that this is not uncommon on Inov8 footwear. What to do, what to do? Well, I'm not flush enough to write these off and drop another £90+ on a different brand, and to be honest, I would expect a premium product, designed for offroad use, to last better. I mean, I had a cheap pair of Nike trainers that I used for work everyday for a year nearly, to the point where I had worn the soles through, and the uppers were still together!

So I emailed inov8, who said my first port of call should be the retailer. So I popped in to Up and Running in Cheltenham, who said they would see what they could do. A week later I got a call saying inov8 would replace the shoes, and four days after that they were in the store.

Following the advice of Colin Ibbotson (@tramplite on twitter) I seam-sealed them immediately when I got home, hoping that this might protect the stitching, and prolong the life of the shoe. Watch this space!

So, many thanks to Up and Running, and to Inov8 for good customer service. I would be interested to hear about the success or otherwise of seam sealing shoes. Please leave a comment.