The Gear Junkie: Ultra-Running Record Shoes |

The Gear Junkie: Ultra-Running Record Shoes

Last summer, ultra-athlete Scott Jurek set a record on the Appalachian Trail, running and fast-hiking the 2,189-mile trail in 46 days.

To commemorate the feat, Brooks Running pulverized some soles from shoes Jurek wore on the trail and added the recycled rubber to the tread on a special-edition line.

From Georgia to Maine, the multi-week feat required 50-mile day stacked upon 50-mile day. Jurek went through a few pairs of shoes along the way, and Brooks collected the worn-out soles for something it dubs a “run-incarnation” project.

It’s a bit of a stunt for sure, but I’m on board. The company’s stalwart Cascadia trail-running shoe serves as the base for the special Jurek shoe.

Each set is hand-numbered, and the company made only 2,189 pairs — one for each mile Jurek ran — to be given away and sold starting later this month.

In addition to the recycled rubber, the shoes have Scott Jurek and Appalachian Trail details throughout. On the side of the shoe, for example, a profile line represents the north-south route of the trail.

They will be available at the end of this month, though Brooks has a teaser online now at

I got an early look at the shoe this week, running a few miles for a test. In addition to channeling some Scott Jurek out there, the Cascadia shoes gave a good ride on rough terrain.

These are not ultralight shoes — my size 12.5s weigh about 14 ounces per foot. But Brooks sells the Cascadia as “SUVs for your feet.” They are supportive trail shoes with lots of cushion, a rock plate and a stick-to-anything outsole.

Don’t sprint with the Cascadias on your feet. Jurek would frown anyway. These are distance kicks capable for long miles, rugged terrain, mud, rocks and anything else you’ll find out there.

Stephen Regenold writes about outdoors gear at

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