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Running Shoe Review: TrekSta Sync

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You may have had this experience: You test drive a new car and are not greatly impressed with it. But then subsequently you find yourself thinking about it, and a day or so later you’re back at the dealership asking a salesman if you can drive it off the lot. In some respects this parallels my experience with the TrekSta Sync, a mountain trail running shoe.

The Sync is a great-looking shoe, especially in the lime and black color scheme on the model provided to me by TrekSta. It’s a mid-weight shoe (10.9 ounces in the men’s version, 9.5 ounces in the women’s version) with a medium fit. While it looks somewhat like a Skora running shoe, there’s an odd angle in the forefoot that reduces the space available for one’s smaller toes. I had to trim my nails short to provide enough space for my toes to fit in the Sync, a half-size up from my walking shoe size.

Standing in the Sync, the low profile shoe – with a 4mm heel-to-toe drop – feels quite flat. Walking in it is not very comfortable and jogging on crushed gravel provides a rough ride for sore feet. Had I been blindfolded in the first few miles, I would have guessed that this shoe was from Saucony – a brand that I’ve not had much luck with. Their running shoes tend to feel not quite soft enough or firm enough to provide a satisfying ride.

The arch feels a bit high in the Sync, and the shoe has a distinct sock liner (which arrives with indentations in the insole, as if one had already worn the shoe). At first I didn’t like it. The curved ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) insole proves to be one of the durable components in the TrekSta NestFIT system that make the shoe what it is.

The forefoot of the Sync looks like it was modeled after a big cat’s paws, but I never felt the spring or cushioning supposedly provided by the individual forefoot pods – which I thought of as “paw pads.” The HyperGrip sole is said to provide superior traction, but I didn’t notice that.

The Sync is labeled as a stability trail running shoe, so there’s a minor second-density medial post that sits underneath the front part of the heel. It’s a small stabilizing device and I never felt its impact while running. The good news began when I realized that my feet were landing perfectly straight with each set of strides. To use another automobile analogy, it’s like driving a car on the freeway and determining that it will drive straight even when you take your hands off the wheel. My confidence in the Sync was now enhanced.

Jogging on concrete and asphalt in the Sync was a more pleasant experience than I’d had on a crushed gravel trail. But the best was yet to come. Running on a hard dirt-packed trail allowed me to find the best qualities of the Sync. It’s a virtually unbeatable type of shoe on this surface (and presumably on a high mountain trail). The aforementioned once-troubling insole keeps the feet securely cradled in place as your ankles twist and turn like crazy on the trail bends. The TrekSta NestFIT system meets it goal of providing nearly unrivaled support.

The laces on the Sync remain tied and the shoe seems to increase in comfort the more it is worn. Soft foam fabric padding surrounds the ankles, which makes one think of a deluxe racing flat.

Since the feet are riding on top of two layers of EVA, in the midsole and insole, this is a protective runner for road races and street training. I’d feel quite comfortable about using it in a 5K, 10K or half-marathon.

If you’re a runner who runs on city and suburban streets but would like a shoe that provides an attractive, unique and minimalistic appearance, the TrekSta Sync should work for you. If you’re lucky enough to run on mountain trails or lowland dirt trails, this Town and Country shoe may be the next best thing to coming home from auto shopping with a new VW GTI.

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About Joseph Arellano

Joseph Arellano wrote music reviews in college for the campus newspaper and FM radio station. In recent years he has written book reviews for several publications including San Francisco Book Review, Sacramento Book Review, Portland Book Review and the Tulsa Book Review. He also maintains the Joseph's Reviews blog. For Blogcritics, Joseph writes articles about music, books, TV programs, running and walking shoes, and athletic gear. He believes that most problems can be solved through the purchase of a new pair of running shoes.
  • http://www.aboutendurancerunning.com Charlie

    Thanks for the review. The Sync certainly looks like it will be a popular trail shoe! Strange that it feels so uncomfortable on other surfaces though! How does it rate next to other trail shoes, say for example the Brooks Pure Grit 2 that I have been looking at?

  • Joseph Arellano

    Charlie: One reviewer (you might find it via Google) said that the Brooks Pure Grit 2 is the best trail running shoe he’s ever used. I’ve not had a chance to try it, but the weight of the shoe – 8.2 ounces – makes it sound intriguing. That’s not as light as most minimalist shoes, yet not as heavy as mid-weight running/trail running shoes.