Q: Can the reaction on Track Shoes be used even if there are no enemies present? A: There does not have to be an enemy at the location you just moved to in order to use the on Track Shoes; the ability is simply referencing the timing point at which it triggers. - FAQ, v.1.5, April 2019
Q: If I Activate Mists of R'lyeh and succeed, I'll move during ST.7 of the Mists skill test. When I arrive in the new location, the Track Shoes will trigger its before enemies engage me, and attempt to start a test in ST.7 (which presumably gets pushed until after Mists ST.8 as "A skill test cannot initiate during another skill test."). At this point I have two possibilities: The enemies engage me, since Track Shoes hasn't been allowed to test yet; or Track Shoes says that it happens before enemy engagement and thus pushes enemy engagement to after Track Shoes skill check following the Mists skill check. This gets more complex with any test that grants more than one move, since it's harder to reasonably tease out a delayed enemy engagement. Can you help us please? A: We talked about this one a lot, and ultimately decided that if you move with Mists of R’lyeh (a result of the skill test), and then exhaust Track Shoes to initiate a skill test, enemies will not engage you until after you complete the skill test on Track Shoes. (Rules Question Form, June, 2023)
Item. Clothing. Footwear.
Limit 1 Footwear per investigator.
You get +1 .
After you move, but before enemies at your new location engage you, exhaust Track Shoes: Test (3). If you succeed, move to a connecting location.
Why are there no foot slots? Don't give me that "adding slots requires rules updates" because we added Tarot slots. I was hoping we wouldn't have any examples of incredibly awkward formatting like this, but here we are.
As for this card it's 3 resources for a permanent stat boost, which is fine. What's good about the reaction is that it doesn't care how many enemies are at your destination, or how hard they would be to evade legitimately, you are probably testing +2 to leave them behind.
It's always nice to have stat boosts that aren't in the already hotly contested ally slot.
Track Shoes is an amazing card.
3 resources for an unconditional stat boost is already very good. Combine it with Peter Sylvestre for a +2 to Agility, and Trench Coat for +3 Agility on Evasion attempts. Investigators who are built for evasion will obviously enjoy the passive boost the most: Finn Edwards gets a free evade action to take advantage of it, and Rita Young is good at turning evasion into damage or even extra movement. That's reason 1 to run Track Shoes.
Notice that the reaction ability on Track Shoes doesn't care if there are enemies at the location you move into. It simply initiates the test before any enemy engages with you. Now, if that test succeeds, you move to any location connected to it. Notice also that all reaction abilities without the "Forced" keyword are inherently optional- you may choose to trigger the test. It is possible that you might not want to, for example you may want to move normally first, then move again into a room with lots of enemies, THEN trigger the shoes to move a third time in two actions skipping that room full of enemies you want nothing to do with. That kind of versatility is important, and definitely makes an evasive investigator just that much better at dealing with a clogged board of enemies late in the scenario (happens often in solo for low combat investigators like Wendy Adams). Combine this versatility of movement, this ability to be anywhere you need to be at anytime, with cards like Gravedigger's Shovel and "Look what I found!" to clear clues at the exact location you need to. Combine with Resourceful on a subsequent Track Shoes agility check to successfully recur the aforementioned clue getting cards. The combo potential here is brilliant. That's reason 2 to run Track Shoes.
The icing on this rubber and steel cake is it's a free skill check almost every turn. Drawing Thin, Rabbit's Foot, and Take Heart all love Track Shoes. Pump the difficulty to 5 with the first, have the second in play, and play the third during the check. 4 cards and 2 resources OR 3 cards and 4 resources gained from a test that you probably don't mind failing anyway. Worth noting of course is that you could accidentally succeed, so this strategy is probably more advisable for Calvin Wright (with low stats) and Silas Marsh (with his ability to at least conserve Take Heart if it does succeed) than it is for Rita or Finn, but both Calvin and Silas can have enough evade to eventually make use of the shoes' movement ability if they want to. That's reason 3 to run Track Shoes.
So what have we learned? Track Shoes is great for evasive investigators to evade things better. It's great for solo investigators trying to run away from everything instead of fighting. It's great for positioning the dedicated evader or clue-getter of the group. It can turn one move a turn into a double move if you need it, but if you don't, it turns into card and resource generation almost every turn with the right infrastructure backing it. The only big issue with Track Shoes is that you NEED to move every turn to get any real advantage from its skill test, whether for movement or for economy. And yeah, it's a bit expensive, and yes you can only have one in play. But still, for me this has become an almost auto-include in most Survivor decks, and definitely an auto-include for Finn even without the economy support. Probably the only Survivor who doesn't run this card is William Yorick who would rather fight anyway and needs to succeed at skill checks to take advantage of his ability- he doesn't necessarily throw in the economy cards necessary to make failures into goodies. He also doesn't care much for evasion.