Dynafit is not a brand you unmistakably associate with running. Dynafit’s home-base are the alps. Since the 1950 the Austrian firm devoted all their drive into proper ski equipment. Today they are still going strong with constant development and a quality range of ski touring and mountaineering equipment. In 2012 they also learned that there is a summer season. Their mountain knowledge got bundled into a small but fine trail running range. The highlight of this range is clearly the Feline. I’m not sure if the shoe is named after the 1983 The Stranglers studio album but it certainly has the funk…
Lets get started with the optical appearance. Style is everything they say. I’m not the biggest fan of the look. The Feline glances a bit gawky and not really dynamic. The massive sole and the huge upper make the shoe look weighty and slowish. Maybe I’m too used to “normal” looking models and I need more time with this one but the look definitely calls for underestimation in my eyes.
There are numerous nice features, which makes this shoe distinct and attention-grabbing. Just when you lace her up funky “Pull before flight” backstrap demands a reckless off-piste jog. Seeing the snow leopard at the front is like the figurehead of a combat ship.
Once you pick up the shoe the compact look changes into incredible lightness. The mere of 270 gramm of this piece positively surprised me. Also the very stiff and solid image changed all of a sudden and puts a smile in my face. I get changed and head out for a run. I want to feel the lightness first hand. Or lets say, first feet I guess. Whatsoever.
I love running in new shoes. And I dislike being saddened by one. In this case the Feline made me pretty content. As the rain got lighter I hit the local vineyards in the pursue for a precipitous and slippery uphill section. Running on the road the shoe feels good. Not remarkable but that is clearly not the setting this piece of equipment needs to be run in. For a shoe of this grace the sole technology seems to me pretty extraordinary. A proper cushion, which I usually experienced in way heavier shoes, combined with a pretty stable structure seems to be the real deal here. Clearly the massive Vibram sole is the attention grabber from a visual point of view. Where I lack the understatement from the visual side, I truly enjoy the performance from the running side of things.
As I travel past some drainy and soaky paths I hit the first rocky part of my little test loop. Occasionally when I take a new shoe for a rendezvous I’m anxious what this first part will be like. Especially a light shoe like this could potentially cause some difficulties. Nonetheless I look forward as I’m wondering that now water is entering this shoe. I just underestimated a puddle. My socks are still dry. This upper mesh protection thingy works, happy with that so.
The first gaits on the rocky part are amazing. What can I say? The traction on wet and spikey rocks is insane. Insane in a way that you feel the ground but in a positive way. The traction is there and the feeling for the underground stays real all the time. I jog on and the shoe makes me care less and less about the underground. I have to jump over a tree and head on to a less rocky trail that’s winding beside the small river. The sandy and muddy terrain is like running on the road compared to the rocks I was facing earlier on. The shoe and I get the chill and I’m already looking forward to a leafy downhill I haven’t run for a long time.
The forest footpath continues and the shoe keeps me on track. Sometimes I feel that the sole is a bit too high for me. Clearly this piece is not a minimal runner but the high sole makes me feel to far away from the ground. This should change after running more often.
Just a couple of meters ahead the downhill starts. Recently I tackled it with the mountain bike and I know that this is undoubtedly the most challenging time of the year to go down there. Perfect for a test so. I try to increase the speed and give it everything on the decent. The Feline seems to be pretty happy with what he faces. All sorts of twits and underground he faces during this downhill seem to be a task he can accomplish. The profile combined with the good and solid rubber does have an answer. Boxed ticked.
It starts back drizzling when I leave the forest. The puddles along the road fill up with more water and I try to wash off the dirt from the shoe as I drag him through every pond that’s available. Usually this ends pretty early as the socks get to wet. Today I’m amazed that even the last puddle gets a proper check from the Feline. When I stop in front of the house the shoe is clean. So are my socks. The rest of the equipment isn’t. Great run. Great shoe.
Tune of the day: Misanthrop – Deadlock