I started using Merrell Trail Gloves in the spring. Started with walking every where in them before moving up to do 1 mile runs on a treadmill. Moved outside and gradually upped to 4 mile runs by August. That's when it all went a bit wrong. I have a old lower back problem that now and then manifests if I'm standing in a bad posture for too long. It flared up when I was hunched over for a couple of hours building a BBQ. It causes me sciatic irritation down my right side. So that put me out of action for a week or so. I did my first run after this with a couple of fast guys and got pulled along a little too hard plus there were still issues with my sciatic nerve that meant I ran putting too much pressure on the outside edge of my right foot. Had some pain so waited a week before running again in "traditional" running shoes, again this was probably too soon. It's taken up until a week or so ago for the pain in my foot to go (it was bad in the morning and evening)
I've been wearing trainers with extra padding around the affected area over this period which seems to have helped over come the soft tissue damage and I'm back to running in "normal" shoes again but only 2 or 3 miles. I will move back to minimalist shoes but I think I may invest in some Nike Frees to go with the Merrells for longer runs.
I was a big heel striker before which I put down to the fact that my glutes were weak due to working in an office all my life. I've worked them by doing deep, arse to ground squats and also worked hard on hamstrings. The Merrells certainly changed my running style for the better I think in that I don't heel strike as much but you need to be carefull. Just one small mistake and I was out for practically 3 months.
well put it this way I had a pair of Nike Triax, did my marathon training in them of about 500 miles, ran a marathon and the uppers are in a better state then the first pair of PT1000's I had which reached about 520 miles before becoming totally unwearable. I still have the Nikes and they are intact, no splits or tears. So the mileage is similar, I did do 2 weeks of trekking in the foothills of the Pyrenees (maybe 40 miles) in the PT1000s but they were subjected to only half marathon training. My Nikes did all my LSR's of my marathon training. To me that seems like similar usage.
As to why it didn't happen to one pair...luck of the draw? In my experience 1 pair performed ok but still only managed 50% of the expected performance. The 3 pairs I have had since then have been for want of a better word rubbish. This must surely be due to manufacuring issues. Perhaps look for a new factory in China, eh
looking at Flighty Zeus's post above the toe box seems to be the design fault. Tread on all shoes I had hardly wore at all, this is where the shoe is good. However all my problems have been either with the stitching around those red flashes or the mesh material in that area.
I also had a set of laces just that split down the middle. Good concept that's unfortunately not backed up by reality in my experience