Well, a couple of months ago, my Rucky Chuckys really bit the dust. The soles were in okay shape, but the uppers were a mess. The sides on both shoes, right where the foot flexes, were blown out. Can't say I'm too impressed with The North Face's material quality selection. Nonetheless, the shoes served their purpose and had great toe box room.
On my quest to replace them, I was looking for something more minimal and basic. I've been eyeing the La Sportiva Crosslites for quite some time. In fact, I had intended on buying them when I bought the Rucky Chuckys, but couldn't find them. Well, when I ventured to my local REI in July, I spotted them and had to give them a try. Man, they were pure heaven! It almost felt like I didn't have any shoes on at all. They are extremely light, weighing only 12.35 oz. for an average size pair. The Crosslites are also super flexible, allowing your feet to really do their job in climbing, descending, and navigating tricky single track trails. They fit like a glove, without being constricting at all. It's a fit that words truly fail to accurately describe. They certainly do not fit like shoes, but perhaps like slippers. You'll have to try them to understand what I'm talking about.
Anyway, I absolutely love these shoes and they've made a huge difference in my trail running experience. I now have a more "intimate" feel for the trail, my climbing and descending has dramatically improved, and the soreness I used to get in my feet from long runs has disappeared (probably because I'm not fighting the typical "rigid" soles one finds on most running shoes). I wore them during the 29 mile run with Zach, Carl and Matt at Afton and had no issues with them whatsoever. I'll be sporting these bad boys at the Superior Sawtooth 100 in a week and can't wait to see how well they perform on a technical and hilly, dare I say mountainous course like the SHT! They sell for $90 a pair and come in European half sizes, so you're guaranteed to have a perfect fit. Even guys like me with big feet(size 12) can get them in half sizes past 12! How cool is that?