Are these the new ‘trail’ shoes?

There’s been a lot of talk in ultra circles recently about getting ‘chicked’ – it’s regularity and the use of the term. Basically, getting ‘chicked’ is when a women beasts a bloke (or blokes) in an ultra race – usually on a trail run. The word is thought to have first been coined in North America a couple of years ago but is now widely used.

Forget chicking though….I reckon it’s got more to do with footwear!

The science behind ‘chicking’ means that it’s perfectly possible for gals to beat guys in an ultra run. Up to 26.2 miles men have the advantage when it comes to speed and power, hence why guy’s times are usually much quicker than women’s. Go past the magical marathon distance and the fairer sex is more than equal to the task. It would appear our lower muscle mass is actually an advantage at the ultra distance since big muscles are heavier and drain more energy so it’s tiring for guys just to have to cart them about.

Whether chicking happens or not, I don’t really care.

In our Spanish-trail-training-territory there’s this real steep, slippery, path. I’m fine trundling up, but coming the other way and I’m virtually on my butt shuffling down.

It was late summer and the trail was dry and dusty on our last visit. It was also the village fiesta – a time when up to 20,000 folks descend on the narrow streets in a pilgrimage of faith. The place is packed with religious fervour, followed by party spirit and mass consumption of sausage and sherry.

Imagine my upset then on my tip-toeing my way down the path, to be slip-streamed and finally overtaken by a group of older ladies, chattering and laughing as they marched back down the mountain without a care of slip-sliding at all.

Are these the best trail shoes? They would certainly seem to have an advantage.

Are these the best trail shoes? They would certainly seem to have an advantage.

It would seem that in order to get 20,000 people into to the village, many park and hike, abandoning the car at the bottom of the mountain, coming up the trail before descending the same way back into the valley once the party, religious or otherwise, is over.

So there’s me struggling to get a good grip in my fancy all terrain, trail shoes, stabbing my poles wildly at the baked surface, as five Spanish ladies, dressed in their Sunday best, come striding down the hill in standard sensible flat brogues. I guess Andalucian women are made of stouter stuff than me. They certainly seem to have natural balance and vigour – and maybe the best footwear?

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