I remember when Tracksmith first hit the scene started. You could just tell that they had something special brewing. Their quality gear, mixed with a modern take of an old school vibe, had people clamoring. Their first stuff wasn’t perfect, but you could tell that progress was coming. Fast forward to today, and Tracksmith is truly one of the staples in the running apparel community.
We have now seen the recent launch of the Tracksmith Eliot Runner their first footwear launch, and after logging some miles I get the feeling we may be looking at the same scenario. This is a solid running shoe – a good daily trainer that should provide comfort and style. And with a few more years of progression, Tracksmith may just be the next big thing in the running shoe community as well.
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The Elliot Runner has the same overall design as much of their apparel. It possesses a northeastern vibe and provides that “old school modernization” of providing technical components to a classic look. Honestly, the Eliot Runner looks like it would be a pair of shoes that Pre would tug on to jaunt around Eugene. Simply put, it’s a classic creamy white trainer, with a minimalistic, navy blue sash – reminiscent of their Van Cortland line visual.
The classic looks makes these a true option that can double as casualwear as well. This is why I feel these may rise to the top of my “runcation” shoes – a pair that I take on trips so I don’t have to take up extra room in my carry-on with running shoes. They can easily pair with pretty much any apparel in your closet to simply wear out and about.
Fit & Construction:
It is obvious that these are a very comfortable shoe from the first wear. I did feel that these had a relatively slim profile overall. It’s definitely not uber-narrow, but we feel that those who need wider shoe options may feel a little constricted in these. But for those who don’t, these won’t completely bunch you up.
The engineered mesh upper is easy on the eyes AND on the feet. I had no issues with the breathability and the suede on the collar and near the laces is a fun addition. The sash seems to do a bit more than just look good – also providing a lock in the middle part of the foot as well.
In a current world where Max is the name of the game, the Eliot Runner is a little more streamlined, and “down to earth”. It has a pretty decent ground feel (and way more than what we have been testing recently) which can be nice. I think it can hold up to longer runs, but I think it finds its sweet spot in the low to medium distance range – maybe 3 to 10 miles. This is a daily trainer for sure.
But even with that aforementioned ground feel, don’t expect a punishing ride. A firmer Pebax midsole, coupled with a thicker and softer insole, create a really nice marriage of comfort and contact. I think it is a little by design, but it had me reminiscing to my runs at Bush Park in Salem. This park is a staple for both local high school cross country races and casual runs alike. Though the park isn’t huge, it does possess a nice bark trail around the outside. Running on it allows me to feel the ground beneath my feet, but the manicured bark and dirt give me that little bit of cushion along the way. The feel of the Eliot Runner almost feels like I am running on this terrain.
We don’t say it often in shoes (because its, well, and outsole), but the Eliot Runner outsole looks great. It also holds up well to most terrain – no complaints here.
The Eliot Runner is not the “perfect” running shoe. But honestly, very few are. However, it is a really solid initial venture into the footwear sphere. It has a nice fit, can hold up to most run distances, and easily transitions between a pair for running AND venturing out and about the spring and beyond.
If you pick these up and feel like they may not work for you, do you have a 30 day, or 100 mile, window to return.
Tracksmith Eliot Runner $198
- Weight: 8.4 oz. (women’s size 8), 9.2 oz. (men’s size 9)
- Stack Heights: 33.5mm in the heel, 24.5mm in the forefoot
- Drop: 9mm
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Thank you to Tracksmith for providing us with test items. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.