I have been hiking in the snow since I was 5 years old, which then grew into XC skiing. As far as I can remember, I was skiing at least once on the weekends (winter season) or a lot more until I hit my teenage years. At about this point in my life I started to go downhill, and the flat stuff just did not appeal to me as much. Although my father tried to get me to compete in XC and even bought me racing skis, it just wasn't my time. The college years lead me to the Adirondacks, NY and spent my winter weekends backpacking. There was something awesome about being on the trails in the winter, the crisp air, absence of bugs, the crunching under your feet, no people, and the beautiful snow.
Last year I did a few 10 -12 mile runs in the snow, but generally I stayed on the roads & bike paths. I've never minded the cold air, just cold rain; I hate the cold rain. Knowing that Leadville is coming up, I need to run no matter what and in in all weather conditions. I decided to buy a well reviewed pair of Gortex trail shoes with built in Gortex gaiters, the Saucony ProGrid Razor 2, so I had no excuses. I bought them from REI on clearance, $89.93 originally: $135.00. *I also had a gift card.
The other day, I give them a ride and here is what I think. The shoes felt good, the traction wasn't the greatest, but what can I expect I was running over 12 miles up & down a snow covered hill with a total of 3,100' gain. It was steep and I should have been wearing spikes. With that said, I only slipped once . . . on some black ice in the parking lot on the way to the car; my legs were also tired from the run.
The top velcro strap bothered me at first, but then I realized I did not have to wear it that tight and loosened it. After that I forgot they were on. I guess it bothered me a bit more because I was wearing a shorter sock, who buys crew length running socks? Since then I bought a pair. In terms of socks, I thought my feet were going to be cold, so I wore a pair of my hiking socks. They were Smartwool technical socks mid weight??? My feet were hot. I know Gortex is breathable but not that breathable. There is no way around my feet sweating in the wintertime, I mean I could wear a regular pair of shoes, but either way my feet will be moist or wet. So assuming my feet will be a little moist, I decided to buy a pair of Injinji Tetratsok Crew (length) Toesocks to decrease the rub between my toes. I can deal with the other blisters, but I hate the ones between my toes. I have tried toes socks with the Razor's yet, but I will this week.
In terms of fit, they were comfortable. I generally wear a 8.5 and ended up buying a 9. *I have never bought a size 9 running shoe. They are a bit narrow, so that half size really made a difference in fit.
Over all, I was pleased with the Saucony ProGrid Razor 2, they gave me a sense of confidence on the snowy trails and aside from the mild sweating, my feet stayed dry even through the slush. I bought them specifically for running in snow on trails and aside from my trails shoes, I have nothing to compare them to. I am keeping them. I will keep you up to date as I run through the winter season.