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Friday, April 29, 2011

TNF Sentinel Trail Shoe

As  part of the support given to the Run Leaders for the TNF Trail Run Series, Run Leaders were each given a pair of TNF shoes. I was given the TNF Sentinel. For the technical aspect and specification of this shoe, read here.

I took it out for the maiden run on 23 April 2011 during the TNF Trail Run #3. In a way, this run was very suitable for field testing this shoe as the route comprises of 30% road, 10% grass and balance soil and dirt. Part of the route was also wet and muddy. There were also many areas where there were roots, rocks, logs, wooden planks, broken asphalts etc. How did this pair of shoes fared in all these conditions?

The pair that I have comes in grey and blue. Certainly not my color of choice. Overall, design is a bit drab unlike the recent wave of trendy colorful shoes put up by the other shoe companies. But then TNF's products has never really been known for its look but for its durability and functionality. And in this area, the Sentinel did not disappoint. At about 650gm, it was light much lighter than my Adidas Exerta. And the lightness certainly helped during the run as despite the many slopes, I did not feel the weight of the shoes at all.

The Sentinel has a Boa version but this pair did not come with it and my shoe laces came undone twice. Guess I have to switch to some sort of lacing system soon.

The upper body was a sort of what the website called multi-weave mesh for breathability. And indeed despite the heat and the thick socks that I was wearing, I did not feel the foot heating up. The width was just right with sufficient room for the toes to wriggle but without excessive movement.

On the road, the shoe held well and was responsive. The cushion was good in the mid and fore foot area. Despite the addition of the Thrust Chassis and the stiff TPU midfoot support welding, I did not find myself being forced to heel strike. The thicker sole as expected did not allow me to feel the ground as much as I like but on the trail, I was thankful that the UltrATAC rubber sole gave me the necessary protection from the harsh terrains and provide firm grip over both wet and dry ground. So much so that I was confident to take leaps over some of the puddles when I could normally try to walk through them.

The Sentinel comes with a dual-density ortholite northortic insole which provides additional cushioning and is suppose to wick away moisture and has anti-bacteria properties. As a result, I did not feel my arch aching like in the previous few runs.

One interesting feature of the Sentinel is that it comes with several "air holes" in front and around the heel supposedly to drain away water. But these holes also allow the water to get in and at the end of the run, while my feet were dry, the socks were visibly dirty at the spots where the holes were.

Overall, I like this shoes for its light weight, stability and grip on trails. Heel to toe could have been a bit thinner but this is not a minimalist shoes so I guess I can leave with that. I would certainly use it for runs where I have to run part road and part trails as in the last year TNF challenge where a portion of the run was on Rifle Range Road.

Date of Purchase: 16 April 2011

Cost: $196.00

Purchased from: TNF Ion

Worn in races: 

2 February 2013 TNF 100 Thailand

Retired:  10 September 2013

Total Mileage: 462km

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