Cobra Trail Shoe, Sheila’s on the left, Mine on the right.The first time i saw these CÀRN trail shoes was when i was reading a post about them on Lightweight outdoors blog here.
I kept them in mind and when the opportunity came to have a look at them first hand i thought they were impressive.
CÀRN are a relatively new company (2009). But have been designing shoes for other manufacturers prior to going it alone.
Some of their footwear has been influenced by Ben Fogle, but not these as far as i am aware.
Straight out of the box they feel sturdy and relatively lightweight.
My size UK8 weigh 397gr. and Sheila’s size UK5.5 weigh 350gr.
The first thing you notice about them is that they have no tongue. I liked that idea.
The large toe bumper was also something i was looking for as my current Inov-8 toe guard was quite small.
There is a huge comfort difference to my Inov-8’s. The cobra’s felt like slippers in comparison. There is more padding on them. I wondered if this would result in them holding water and taking longer to dry, this will have to be tested out.
Having worn them for a week i can say that my first impressions are very good. They are especially good on rough stoney ground, the foot bed urethane cushioning is excellent and very noticeable. It was a pity i hadn’t bought them prior to my recent Moffat to Peebles walk which included much gravel walking.
I was equally impressed with the grip of the sole. They stick well on rock unlike my Inov-8’s.
I was not impressed with the Inov-8’s sole originally but as the sole wore down the grip improved. They became more slick.
The shoes are not lined with a waterproof membrane which suited me as i wear a Gore-Tex sock when it’s wet.
The upper fabric material is Trek-Dry, a Bamboo derived fibre. It’s said to have superior moisture management allowing body heat to be quickly wicked away whilst allowing cool air through.
The Insoles are shock absorbing and Anti-bacterial and are Poliyou® made by Kun Huang.
I was also impressed with the shop i bought mine from which was Footsteps Direct in Kendal. They were very helpful. This was my first visit to this shop but it won’t be my last.
Unfortunately they hadn’t got any 1/2 sizes in stock and so we ordered Sheila’s from Fitness footwear.
What was surprising was the price difference. I paid £55 in store for mine and Sheila paid £75 on the internet for her’s. So the internet is not always cheaper.
The other thing is, there are not too many outlets that stock them so you may have to travel to handle a pair.