I had been waiting for these shoes for months since first hearing about them on iRunFar.com. The expected release date came and went and I still couldn’t find them anywhere. FINALLY, they showed up on a few internet retailers almost exactly the same time as my birthday so I asked for a pair and got them. Their price on Zappos is $109.99. Pretty decent/standard for trail runners. I have about 15 miles on them now and here are my initial thoughts:
The Vasque Mindbenders (review) have been my go-to shoe for the past couple of years. I absolutely love them. Their only real shortcoming is weight–they’re pretty damn heavy (but they do offer tank-like protection).
The first thing I did was put both shoes on the scale. My size 11.5 weighed in at 14.30 ounces for the (well-used) Mindbender and 12.15 for the new Pendulum. A difference of 2.15 ounces. That’s pretty significant especially when you’re talking about a 50K or 100 mile race.
Next I hit the trails and, much to my delight, the Pendulums felt almost exactly like the Mindbenders except lighter. That’s what I was hoping for. The most noticeable change is in the upper. The more minimal upper feels more free and I noticed that it feels less restrictive around the ankle (pic). It maintains the super wide toe box that I LOVE. In fact, it feel slightly wider than the Mindbender if that’s even possible. The tongue is extremely thin and short. I’m not totally sold on the tongue yet; there was one time when I needed to pull on the tongue as it had started slipping toward my toes and I couldn’t grab it because it was so short. But, that was one time and that issue will probably disappear once I get them broken in.
Those are my initial thoughts. I’ll post updates as I get some more mileage on them.
The hot shoe that seems to be competing with the Pendulum is the New Balance MT1210 (Leadville). They weigh almost exactly the same. I’d love to get my hands on a pair of them to compare side-by-side. We’ll see.