Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Spring 2018 adidas Outdoor Previews: Performance with a Greener Focus- Parley for the Oceans and No-Dye

Article by Sam Winebaum, Editor 

Road Trail Run awarded adidas Terrex/ adidas Outdoor an award at Outdoor Retailer for Innovative Designs with a Focus on Reducing Environmental Impact
Women's Voyager Parley Hoodie ($69)
adidas Terrex is focusing its Spring 2018 on not only product, but a lighter foot print on the Earth.
Last Outdoor Retailer we heard about the adidas partnership with Parley's for the Oceans an organization which recovers ocean plastic pollution. This OR,adidas showed an extensive line of Parley's products: boat and causal shoes with uppers made of recovered plastic as well as soft and beautiful apparel. 
The Terrex CC Voyager Parley ($120) is a combination water and travel all conditions shoe. It has an upper knit in with Parley's recovered plastic pollution. It is knit into its shape with no waste. Speaking to its water side, it is quick drying with a drainage system 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Altra Running Timp Review: Mountain Flippers!

Article by Sam Winebaum, Editor

Altra Running Timp ($130) is a new near maximal cushioned trail runner sitting between the Altra Lone Peak (25mm stack) and Olympus (36mm stack). 
According to Running Warehouse it weighs a hefty 11.4 oz. M9, 9.4 oz./266g W9. My US 8.5 weighs 11.2 oz.
Timp has Ultra's signature Zero Drop platform with with a 29mm heel, 29mm forefoot stack. Of course the toe area is Foot Shaped and is broader and higher volume than its Lone Peak cousin. 
As with all Altra trail shoes it is named after a Utah peak. 
In this case the iconic Timpanogos a magnificent summit with wildflower meadows below its very long cliff band. Aptly named, the Timp is the perfect shoe for the 12 or so mile round trip of mostly smoother single track followed by a steep scramble to the summit. 

First Impressions and Fit
I titled this review "Mountain Flippers". The Timp has a very wide toe box and platform on the trail.  The fit is true to size but narrow feet may swim. The flipper part is more than just a comment on its looks. There is a distinct sensation while climbing in these surprisingly flexible shoes with a wide platform that they act much like swim flippers in water as there is tons of ground contact area to push off with fully deployed toes!

Merrell Agility Peak Flex Review: Serious Mountain Runner with Great Mid Foot to Heel Hold and Stability

Article by Sam Winebaum 

The Merrell Agility Peak Flex ($130) is an all terrain highly supportive trail runner. Coming in according to Running Warehouse at a fairly hefty 11 ox./ 312 g M9, 9.6 oz./272 g W8 it has a 27mm heel, 21mm forefoot stack, 6mm drop. We were surprised and pleased with its fantastic mid foot and heel hold, probably the best of 2017, decent front of the shoe flexibility, and despite the weight decent if a bit ponderous agility. This is a shoe that will get you through hard tough miles of varied terrain in security and comfort.

First Impressions
We were quite frankly skeptical when first offered to test the Agility Peak Flex. Merrell is of course known for hiking boots and for their minimal Trail and Road Glove shoes. We know Joe Gray many time US Mountain Champion and 2016 World Mountain Champion is a Merrell athlete so that was enough for us to give them a try.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Brooks Running Spring 2018 Previews: Transcend 5, Adrenaline GTS 18, Launch 5, Ravenna 9, Caldera 2, Mazama 2

Brooks emphasized extensive deconstruction of 2018 shoe uppers, fewer sewn overlays and more use of 3D Fit Print overlays. Generally underfoot platforms are staying the same and weights dropping slightly. 

The light stability Transcend 5 ($160) features a new engineered mesh upper and an updated Guide Rail support system which is somewhat taller than the Transcend 4. The Transcend 5 will come in at 10.8 oz/306 g (M9), 9.1 oz./258 g (W8.5) so no change in weight or price. Available January 2018.

Brooks Running Transcend 5
The outsole is divided into what Brooks calls IDEAL pressure zones to disperse shock, minimize joint stress, and improve how the foot works during the gait cycle.
Brooks Running Transcend 5
The Adrenaline GTS is Brooks' top selling shoe and is a posted stability shoe. Adrenaline GTS 18 keeps the same last and underfoot feel but completely revamps the upper, completely doing away with conventional overlays by using an engineered heathered mesh and 3D Fit Print resulting in not only a new stylish, modern look but a 1 oz. weight drop. The 12mm drop shoe will come in at a light, for a support shoe, 10 oz./283 g (M9), 8.6 oz./244 g (W8.5).  It will be available November 2017, $120.
Brooks Running Adrenaline GTS 18

Sunday, August 06, 2017

adidas Aero Bounce Review: Bar Bouncers?

9.3 oz./264 g (M9)
28/18mm. 10mm drop
$100. Available now.
The adidas Aero Bounce is a light trainer which departs from adidas recent use of Boost TPU midsoles in its performance running shoes by using a new EVA midsole material called Bounce. 
Bounce is described by adidas as  "soft at step and gives a bouncy elastic experience when running." The Bounce midsole is paired to a single density soft blown rubber outsole and not the customary firmer Continental rubber or thinner Stretch Web.  Also departing from recent higher priced trends this modern, light shoe is priced at a reasonable $100 setting it up to compete with shoes such as the ASICS Roadhawk FF, Hoka Hupana, and Skechers GOrun Ride 6. 
It is clear from my runs in this shoe that adidas wanted to produce a similar experience to their premium Ultra Boost at a lower weight,  far lower price point and with modern style. The spare black, white and gray is very classy looking with its fades at mid foot. While the heel is decently responsive and with some pop the forefoot is soft, flexible and only slightly more agile and responsive than the Ultra Boost, a shoe whose forefoot I found to be overly soft.  The Bounce foam is outstanding with great cushion and that bouncy and especially a sense of that "elastic" experience adidas calls out. 

But... from a performance running shoe standpoint the soft blown rubber outsole tends to sap the energy out of the shoe, particularly up front.

adidas PureBoost DPR Review...These Boost are made for Walking...

Article by Peter Stuart 
adidas PureBoost DPR
The Adidas PureBoost DPR (Deconstructed Pure Racer) is a lighter, leaner (by 1.2 oz)  alternative to the UltraBoost for those seeking an all Boost midsole, thus the Pure in the name. DPR is available now, $150. It weighs in at 9.2 oz./261 g (M9) with  a heel stack height of 25mm with the forefoot at 17mm for an 8mm drop. They're in the 'responsive performance trainer' category. So, how do they do? Well...

Friday, August 04, 2017

Salomon S/Lab Sense 6 and Sense 6 SG Review: True Mountain Racers!

Editor's Note: We are thrilled to bring you this review of S/Lab Sense 6 and Sense 6 SG by RoadTrailRun contributor and rising ultra and mountain talent Patrick Caron. He was invited to , and attended Salomon's, 2017 Young Gun Running Academy in Austria for promising mountain/trail runners 20 years old and under, the only North American selected. In addition to many ultra victories in New England including a sub 15 hour 100 mile race and two 50 mile victories at the Pineland Farms Maine Trail Challenge, Patrick ran 2:40:45 at the 2017 Boston Marathon, and was 16th and 17th overall, first 20 year old and under ,at the 2017 Mount Washington Road Race and USTAF Mountain Running Championships respectively. Patrick works at Marathon Sports in the Boston area so he is a run shoe expert!
Article by Patrick Caron
Salomon has been a dominant force in the trail running industry for quite some time. Next time you’re at a trail or mountain race, look down - it’s highly likely that you will see the majority of top runners wearing Salomons as their shoe of choice. Within the brand’s vast lineup of shoes exists the Salomon S-Lab Series, which is designed with performance and speed in mind, utilizing the knowledge and input of Salomon’s top engineers, athletes, and designers. Generally speaking, the technology Salomon develops for the S-Lab Series trickles down to other mid-tier shoes within their lines. Two of the highly popular shoes within the Salomon S-Lab Series are the Sense 6 and the Sense 6 SG. Read on for more on both of these models!
Top: S/Lab Sense 6 Bottom: S/Lab Sense 6 SG

Thursday, August 03, 2017

New Balance FuelCore Sonic Review: Boa, was it you I was looking for?

Article by Peter Stuart
The New Balance FuelCore Sonic is an uptempo daily trainer/racer with the soul of the original Vazee Pace and a new twist (pun intended, sadly) on closure systems. It weighs in at about 8.4 ounces/238 grams for a Men's 9, 7.2 oz./204 for a Women's 8 and the stack heights are 24mm in the heel and 18 in the forefoot, 6mm drop.  There are definitely similarities to the Vazee Pace, but some notable differences too. 
$110. Available now.

Outdoor Retailer Salomon Running 2018 Introductions: XA Elevate, S/Lab Sense Ultra 2, S/Lab Speed 2

XA Elevate 
Stack Height: 25mm/17mm (8mm drop)
Weight: 10.4 oz/295g (US 9M) 9 oz./255g (US 7W)
MSRP: $130
Available 12/1/17 at REI, general distribution 3/1/18

The Elevate anchors Salomon's best selling XA line. Picking up upper cues from the RA line the Elevate can be thought of as a touch lower stack but more aggressively lugged version of the great Sense Ride (RTR review) coming in at 0.5 oz heavier, with a somewhat more aggressive Premium Wet Traction Contragrip outsole. It is designed for technical terrain while the Sense Ride may lean slightly more towards all terrain versatility. It has a responsive dual density EVA and Energy Cell+ outsole but leaves out the vibration reduction Vibe insert of the Sense Ride.
Salomon XA Elevate