Review of GoLite Dart Lite Trail Shoes
One of the sponsors of the Kingston reTREAT (the running retreat that I attended in early August) was GoLite Footwear. They gave each of us a pair of their Dart Lite trail shoes, just for attending! I came home with so much cool, free swag that my suitcase nearly burst its zipper.
As I note below, the shoes come with these unique insoles that offer more or less forefoot padding depending on whether you have a narrow, medium or wide foot. It’s a cool idea, and I chose the narrow option. However, in my experience with my narrow feet, it’s not the forefoot where I have the problem. Instead, what I need is a modifiable heel cup to hold my narrow heel as securely as possible. Hopefully that’s something that they will consider for future iterations.
We went out for a trail run while in Kingston, but I have a policy of not testing out any new shoe on a run of greater than three miles. There’s just too much blister risk. Instead, I took them on their maiden voyage in the Las Trampas Regional Wilderness after I got home. We did hill repeats on gravel, packed dirt and mixed trails, and while I loved the way that the sole gripped the ground, I was less thrilled with the rigidity of the sole. Granted, I run in pretty minimalist shoes, but I felt like there was no flexibility in the GoLite sole; my stride sounded like my feet were slapping on the ground.
GoLite reports that the shoes weigh 8.5 ounces, which is pretty lightweight for a trail shoe. As a point of reference, my Asics Gel-Kahana trail shoes clock in at 11 ounces, and my go-to everyday Skechers GOrun running shoes are an extremely light 4.9 ounces.
The shoes run true to size, and have a unique, replaceable insole that can adjust the amount of padding in the forefoot depending on whether your foot is narrow, medium or wide.
It’s a great looking shoe. It’s lightweight and fairly minimalist, so it doesn’t look like a big, clunky man’s shoe, even in my size. I love the lime green. There should be more manufacturers who branch out beyond the basic pink/purple/blue in women’s footwear.
The Dart Lite has a great tread that’s less like a big ol’ truck tire and more like individual pebbly nubs. You can see it more clearly in this photo of the men’s version from Zappos.com.
The Dart Lite is a good shoe with excellent tread and an interesting multi-width fit. However, because I’m used to more flexibility in my running shoes, I still prefer my bulkier Asics for longer trail runs. These could be an excellent option for someone accustomed to running in a more structured shoe, but are looking for something lightweight.
What do you wear for trail running?
* Disclaimer: I received the shoes for free as part of the Kingston reTREAT in Kingston, WA. I was not asked to review the shoes, and received no compensation for doing so.