tracksmith eliot shoe
NewsSite Feature

Tracksmith Unveils The Eliot Runner and It’s Clean as Hell

What You Need To Know

  • Weighs 9.4 oz. (266 g) for a US M9/ 8 oz. (227 g) for a US W7
  • First footwear release from New England-based Tracksmith
  • Classically simple design blended with modern components (including Pebax midsole)
  • Presale open now for $198 (ships in mid-December)

They say you can’t wear white after Labor Day, but we all know “they” are liars. Because if anyone knows the rules of prep and circumstance it’s Tracksmith, and their first foray into footwear with the hash-white Eliot Runner will have a lot of people copping croquet colorways well into the fall.

We’ve known this shoe was coming for some time, but surprisingly, had yet to see any leaked images of it, nor did we hear any real information about it. We still won’t get these New England slippers on our feet until next month, but we will see them in person when we host our shakeout run in London at the Tracksmith Brand House this weekend (RSVP here if you haven’t yet).

Enough of that though, let’s get into what this shoe is all about, and whether or not the construction and quality will match the clean-cut aesthetic that is undeniably Tracksmith.

Photo courtesy of Tracksmith

What’s New

Everything is new with this one since the Eliot Runner is the first running shoe from Tracksmith, a move that we found to be pretty surprising. After all, it takes a lot to make a good running shoe. Time, expertise, and most importantly– monetary risk. As with any endeavor that combines those three elements, there’s a high potential for failure.

Nevertheless, Tracksmith does have a rock-solid history of providing quality goods (after all, five years later we’re still wearing our favorite Van Cortlandt shorts and singlet and they’re as good as ever). So they went for it, and here we are.

First off, let’s talk about the design. The look of the Eliot is about as close to replicating the Tracksmith DNA as one can get. A cream-colored engineered mesh upper struck through with the iconic Tracksmith hash in navy blue does just enough to make this shoe stand out and blend in. The toe box overlay gives off strong Adidas Samba vibes while the overall palette-cleansing design harkens to classically simplistic icons like the Nike Killshot– and we’re 100% okay with that.

Other signature details include a suede collar, rear racing stripe, and woven label on the tongue. Despite the classic look of the shoe, the design is not an ’80s throwback to E.T.’s human companion. Rather, it’s a nod to the Eliot Lounge in Boston, a legendary runner’s bar. Additionally, the Eliot Bridge loop is a staff-favorite running route from the Tracksmith flagship store.

tracksmith eliot runner
Photo courtesy of Tracksmith

Let’s get into the nuts and bolts of this shoe– it sure as hell looks like it will work as a lifestyle shoe, but does it have the ingredients to perform? On paper, it sure looks like it.

We already touched on the engineered mesh upper, so let’s move to the insole, which is apparently three times thicker than traditional insoles and uses Pebax for exceptional plush comfort. Any good runner who’s done their homework knows that Pebax is the same polymer foam used in the midsoles of top-tier racing shoes like the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly and Alphafly, as well the Saucony Endorphin Pro 3.

But the Pebax doesn’t end there. To the midsole we go, which utilizes more supercritical Pebax for a slightly firmer and more responsive layer. This tandem duo of insole and midsole is designed to unite both comfort and performance. The shoe is finished off with a rubber outsole.

As far as stack height, the heel measures 34.5 mm while the forefoot comes in at 24.5 for a 10 mm drop. Given weight on the Tracksmith tech sheet is 9.4 oz. (266 g) for a US M9 and 8 oz. (227 g) for a US W7. We should also note that the size range is all-gender and comes in M7-12, 13, and W5.5-11 (not sure how that size range works for all-gender since a women’s 11 is a men’s 9.5… shouldn’t the women’s sizing go to 13.5?).

The price? As you would maybe expect, it’s a bit higher than traditional running shoes: $198.

Shop the Eliot Runner
tracksmith eliot runner shoe
Photo courtesy of Tracksmith

Our Thoughts

Based on looks alone, we’re pretty excited about the Eliot Runner. I mean, it’s kind of what we expected it to look like, maybe even a bit simpler. It’s always nice when you know a running shoe looks great with casual clothes because even if the shoe sucks to run in, all is not lost.

Of course, the most intriguing part about the shoe is the Pebax insole and midsole. Pebax in its prime form is mostly utilized in race day shoes, though it has appeared in various forms in more traditional running shoes. Typically, those models are “Pebax-based” (Reebok) or use a Pebax polymer plate in the construction of the shoe (e.g. Mizuno and On).

All that to say, the term “Pebax” can take on a variety of definitions and the durometer can fluctuate wildly between different models. The fact that Tracksmith notes the midsole acts as a firmer counter-balance to the squishy insole pretty much throws out any notion that the Eliot will fall into the realm of shoes like the incredibly-bouncy-but-incredibly-unstable Nike Invincible. Which is okay, by the way. That shoe works for certain runners, but didn’t for us. In fact, we’re very keen to try the Eliot if it harnesses that Pebax energy return in a more stable package.

Now, the only thing that gives us slight pause is the use of the “triple-the-average-height” insole. Too often in the past, we’ve seen brands use super squishy insoles to mask a too-firm ride underneath (we’re looking at you On Cloudswift). Feels great in the store when trying it on, but twenty miles in things get harder than a noir detective plot.

However, for now we’ll give Tracksmith the benefit of the doubt. After all, you get one chance to shoot your shot, so we have no doubt they dotted all their i’s on this one, or at least the lone one in their name.

As far as the price– I can’t believe I’m saying this about a $200 daily trainer– but it’s pretty fair. It’s a Pebax-powered trainer from a boutique brand that is a truly unique piece of footwear in the running world. If Satisfy x Norda can charge $300+ for a trail shoe, and if most standard running shoes are landing in that $150 range, then $200 is about right for this limited-edition shoe.

True Tracksmith stans will shell it out, and that’s all that really matters.

As for the release date, a limited run of the shoe will be available in November. You can reserve your pair today at the link below. It will also be available to preview in person exclusively at the brand’s London and Chicago Marathon Pop-Ups and their store in Boston.

Pre-sale is available now, with shipping in mid-December.

Shop the Eliot Runner
tracksmith eliot runner shoe
Photo courtesy of Tracksmith

3 Comments

  1. Appearance-wise, it reminds me of a thickly-padded Nike Peg Turbo 2. And that’s a good thing IMHO.
    I’m a bit of a TS fanboi. Sue me, I love their apparel. I’m probably NOT gonna shell out $200 on the first run of these, because I’m super-picky about fit and since I live on the West Coast, I won’t be able to run over to the Back Bay and try them on. But, oh, I WANT to.

  2. Hmm , It’s always a leap for an apparel brand to think they can make footwear, especially performance footwear. As a note about aesthetics, boring bland has not been trend for sometime.
    Adding a Pebax midsole is not the end all to completing a quality running shoe. If you look at the whole package of the shoe you have explained in the article, it appears pretty average and overpriced.

  3. Will BITR have a chance to review this before the 10/24 order date? I handled the shoe a bit in Chicago last weekend, and it looks/feels amazing, but I would love to hear from someone who has run in it before pulling the trigger.

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