Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Light Weight, Breathable, Waterproof Run Jacket Test and Reviews: Inov-8 AT/C Stormshell and ProTec-Shell, Altra Wastach Jacket, Columbia Caldorado Outdry Extreme Jacket

Article by Sam Winebaum, Jeff Valliere, Larisa Dannis, and Dominique Winebaum

We tested the Columbia Montrail Caldorado Outdry ExtremeInov-8 AT/C Stormshell and ProTec-Shell, Altra Wastach Jacket, and One Gore-Tex Active Run Jacket in a variety of conditions during road runs, trail runs, and hikes in New Hampshire and Colorado. 
Jeff is an accomplished Boulder, CO trail runner, Larisa is the recent winner of the Javelina Jundred. She trains on the road during the week and on the rugged trails of the White Mountains of New Hampshire on weekends. Sam and Dominique runs roads on the windy New Hampshire coast with excursions to the Whites.

All four of us tested the Caldorado and Wasatch. Jeff, Larisa, and Sam tested the Inov-8 Stormshell. Jeff and Sam asp tested the Active Run. Sam tested the Pro-Shell.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro Review

by Jeff Valliere

Suunto has recently released the Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro to the Spartan line up, filling a much needed gap in the Spartan line, providing a watch that has both wrist HR AND Barometer.  Prior to the release of the Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro, Spartan Ultra models were equipped with Baro and select Spartan Sport models were equipped with wrist HR, so combining the two is the next logical step.
Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro in Stealth (Suunto Photo)

The Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro comes in 2 flavors, Stealth (above) and Amber (below), which have slightly different bezels and a slightly different textured silicone wrist band.  Retail price is $549, or $599 if you add the chest HR strap.
Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro in Amber (Suunto Photo)

Sunday, November 19, 2017

T-Pin! Vector: One roller to rule them all?

Article by Peter Stuart and Shannon Payne

We asked Peter Stuart, a masters runner in his late 40's with a recent sub 1:25 half and Shannon Payne, a two time Mt Washington Road Race winner, 3d in 2014 World Mountain Running Championships, and 7 time cross country and track All-American to put the Vector to the test.
T-Pin! is a Wolfeboro, New Hampshire based company started in a garage by Mark DeNitto, a former competitive rower, coach, and teacher. The Vector represents the second generation of T-Pin! product, the first 3987 were fabricated by hand in Mark's basement using over 3,000,000 feet of cordage! The Vector is now made for T-Pin! in far northern New Hampshire at a small specialized molder out of a special plastic which ends up with a firmness between a lacrosse and tennis ball. 
T-Pin is an official supplier to U.S.A. BOBSLED / SKELETON & U.S.A. CANOE / KAYAK.

The T-Pin! Vector ($59.95) is roughly 16” long, weighs 1.5 pounds with 4” polyurethane wheels on each end. There are essentially two angled rollers with a notch in the middle. It’s a unique size and configuration that helps make it a versatile and portable self-massage and trigger-point tool.

The T-Pin Vector claims to be a “swiss army knife” of foam rollers. The idea is that it takes the things that several other rollers, balls and gizmos do pretty well and puts them all in one portable package. So how does it live up to these promises? Read on to find out.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro GPS Watch: YouTube Video Features Walkthrough

Jeff Valliere, RoadTrailRun's lead trail run reviewer, walks through the features of the new
Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro GPS Watch ($549) in this YouTube video (12:36). See our full review here

For Jeff's bio see our Reviewers Bio Page here

The Spartan Baro was provided at no cost.The opinions herein are entirely the author's.

Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
Visit our Index Page here for over 80 in depth 2017 shoe and gear reviews
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Friday, November 17, 2017

A World Record Racer Story: Camille Herron's Journey to the 100 Mile World Record. In depth- the training, science, and drive to the record

Article by Sam Winebaum

Photo Credit: Conor Holt

Camille Herron recently shattered the world 100 mile record by over and hour, running 12:42:39 at the Tunnel Hill 100 (Illinois), winning the race outright by 20 minutes and 10 minutes faster than anyone ever on the course. It was her first hundred mile finish. The Tunnel Hill 100 mile race on a rail trail corresponds to approximately 4 marathons run back to back to back at 7:38 pace. Put another way each of these 3:19 marathons, one after the other, is a Boston Marathon qualifier for her age group, by about 10 minutes each!

Not a week removed from her race, Camille sat down with RoadTrailRun where she graciously, at length and in depth discussed her running career, training and recovery techniques, racing strategy, and of course shoes.

I first met Camille online at the Running Shoe Geeks on Facebook several years ago where she was, and still is, is an active participant, asking technical shoe questions and always also freely answering any and all questions. These days Camille is sponsored by Nike and raced the VaporFly 4% at Tunnel Hill. She runs Terra Kigers on the trails. Of course we discussed her shoe selection for Tunnel Hill, the Nike Vapor Fly 4%, and how they performed. We learned she ran almost all her prep miles in a pair, 450 miles in a month or so, then tuned up a fresh pair with a few runs running the new pair at Tunnel Hill.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Hoka One One Mach Review: Much More Than a Clayton Name Change

Article by Dominick Layfield and Sam Winebaum

  Sam: 7.9 oz/224 sample size US M9
  Dom: 8.2 oz/ 244g US M10
Stack Height: 24mm heel/ 19mm forefoot stack, 5mm drop
$130. Available February 2018
Sam: The Mach is the direct successor to the Clayton and shares many similarities with it. It is part of Hoka new Fly performance line which includes a similar weight and stack performance trainer the Cavu (RTR review) and a renamed and re thought Vanquish now called the Evelon. All feature Hoka’s ProFly dual density midsole (softer in the heel and firmer in the forefoot)  and engineered mesh uppers. At first I was skeptical that this "renaming" of the Clayton was just that, but there are enough changes to make Mach an almost "new" shoe, worthy of consideration for those who had issues with the Clayton's upper and especially where it met sockliner and midsole with its tendency to cause arch blisters as well as those who felt Clayton transitioned a bit stiffly as I did.

Dom: Hoka could have gone either way calling this the Clayton 3 or using a new name.  Ultimately I think this is the right call: personally, I always got confused between similar-sounding Clayton and Clifton names.  Additionally, I think they wanted to distance themselves from the legacy of instep blisters from two iterations of the Clayton.  

First Impressions Sizing

Sam: The many thin overlays and bright colors of the Clayton 2 were a bit over the top. The modern sleek look here is classy and best of all the engineered knit upper is highly functional in how it distributes support without any overlays and is for me a big improvement over the Clayton’s plasticky and somewhat stiff upper.

My sample size 9 was half size up from my true to size and I could have easily stayed at true to size, especially with thinner socks. I find the Mach slightly pointier than the Clayton, worn side by side, but in no way was this an issue for me, or likely for most as the Mach upper is a softer if dense mesh but more open and foot shapes friendly than Clayton with no overlays and with very decent overall foot hold.

Dom: I really like the look of the Mach.  In my opinion many Hoka shoes have looked unduly busy, with many different color fades, overlays, conspicuous logos etc.  

Friday, November 10, 2017

Under Armour UA Charged Bandit 3 Review: Handles Biz!

Article by Peter Stuart

The Under Armour Charged Bandit 3 weighs in at 8.4 oz/238 g for a men's size 9, 7.6 oz/215 g for a women's size 8. 
They have an 8mm offset according to Under Armour. Running Warehouse measures the shoe at 29mm heel and a 19mm forefoot for a 10 mm offset while Runner's World puts it at 10mm with a heel stack height of about 32mm and forefoot of 22mm. Regardless of which measurement is correct, likely differing in how each treats the sock liner in the measuring mix, for sure we have a lot of cushion stack for the light weight.

First Impressions and Fit
I haven't had great experiences with Under Armour shoes before, so my expectations here weren't high. The Gemini was meh and I found the Velociti pretty much unrunnable. Imagine my surprise when the Bandit 3 sneaked to the front of the line in my running shoe rotation. My first run in them was, surprisingly, one of the more fun runs I've had this year.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Mizuno Wave Rider 21 Review: Strongly Divided Opinions

Article by Dave Ames with Peter Stuart

Mizuno Wave Rider 21
Stack Height 30mm heel / 18mm forefoot, 12mm heel-toe offset
Men’s Size 9 (9.6 oz/272 g) - - Women’s Size 8 (8.3 oz/235 g) (Running Warehouse)


Dave: In addition to several smaller updates, the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 received a new wave plate and a U4icX foam heel wedge that give the shoe a softer landing and added responsiveness. Building off of those updates, the Mizuno Wave Rider 21 retains the midsole and outsole design of the Wave Rider 20 while incorporating a reformatted upper and a new, premium sockliner that should improve the fit and comfort.

Because of the new design, the men’s Wave Rider 21 weighs 0.8 ounces less than the previous version while the women’s weighs 0.3 ounces less.

My all time favorite Mizuno Rider was the 13, a bunch of years back.  (Editor Note: It was our Wave Rider 20 reviewer Coby's as well see his RTR review). This is a shoe I continuously used (14,15,16,17, etc) as my go to trainer, back when I was younger, fitter and trained a hell of a lot harder!  Over the years, the Wave Rider series began to get stiffer and stiffer in the wave plate and I steered away from the brand as I began to be intrigued and “brain washed” by the lower drop movement that began to take the run specialty biz by storm.  Note:  It’s been a bunch of years since I have run in a Mizuno, so I was happy to take the lead via Sam on this one and give the all new 21 a try!

Peter: Dave, I too loved the Wave Rider 13. That was a terrific shoe--it’s been a while but if memory serves it was a great mix of cushion and snap. I have occasionally tried on a Wave Rider since, and may have bought one--but I’m sure I returned it. I was excited to try a new Wave Rider and hoping for a good utility shoe.

An update to the 20, the new 21 uses a new Dual Zone Mesh in the forefoot to improve breathability and flexibility.  

The heel collar has also been softened for increased comfort.  A new anatomical sockliner was added as well for better underfoot and feel.   
Dave:  Upon initial step in the Rider 21, feels quite nice.  The upper worked extremely well in molding my foot and noticed no immediate issues where hot spots could occur.  I am a size 9 in trainers and I did notice that it was a tad small on me (felt better as I ran) - - but I may suggest going up a half size in this shoe.  The shoe laces were a bit long.
Peter: Step-in to the 21 was nice. The shoe feels cushioned, the upper holds the foot well and my hopes were high. True to size for me.


The midsole in the 21, shadows what worked well in the 20, just simply adding a better upper around the foot.  To maintain the lightweight and responsive ride of its predecessor, the Wave Rider 21 includes U4ic midsole foam with a U4icX heel wedge to offer responsive cushioning and a soft landing under the heel. It also incorporates an identical Cloudwave plate for additional underfoot spring.

Dave:  I was pleasantly surprised by how powerful the Rider 21 was after a few runs.  The Cloudwave plate in the forefoot allowed for a significant amount of pop, and gave quick heel to toe transition on both easy mileage days and a tempo day for me.   

Peter: There’s SO. MUCH. MIDSOLE on this shoe. There’s the plate, the foam, the wedge. Oy Vey. The drop is epic at 12 mm and the heel feels really built up and plastic-like. There might be some decent foam in there, but I couldn’t even feel it as the whole midsole feels so stiff to me that I can’t get a decent stride.

Dave:  Here’s where we run into a problem.  The shoe is extremely loud!  Like “slappy” loud...even walking around in it.  The beefed up outsole, combined with the stiff wave plate make this thing hear you the runner coming for miles.  Not sure I could get used to that all the time while running.  Note: I just paid attention to nature and my mind drifted away from the musical symphony on my foot.  Durability wise, I can see that this shoe will be built for the long haul, compared to previous Rider models.  It is a high mileage trainer for sure.  

Peter: Yup, they’re loud and, for me, feel incredibly graceless. Every step I’ve taken in these shoes has been a fight not to turn home to get different shoes on. Again, there’s so much going on that I can’t even feel the road--but I can sure hear it.

Dave:  Other than the shoe being loud upon footstrike, I am quite pleased with the overall ride of the Wave Rider 21!  It brings back many memories of way early models, which I absolutely loved.  Mizuno struggled for a few years with the Rider, but in my opinion it’s back and feels great.  I had some great runs in it (easy miles, tempo) and plan on using it throughout its entire life cycle in prep for LA Marathon 2018.  It’s extremely smooth and boasts a solid heel to toe transition.  My gait has some pop to it, which I love coming from a trainer.

Peter: As you may have figured out by now, I do not like the ride of the Wave Rider. The ride of these is stiff, clunky and unforgiving for me. I’m glad to see that Dave likes them--and it’s nice to remember how subjective running shoe reviews can be. For me this shoe is a non-starter. I fear having to run in them again.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Dave:  My only issues with the shoe in terms of fixes would be how can we make this thing not be so “slappy?”  The shoe laces were a tad long for me and the colorway was a bit, blah.  But in terms of sales, greys and blacks are safe and I know this baby is selling.  At the $120 price point this is a solid daily trainer for anyone looking for a solid smooth shoe.  It’s perfect for easy recovery days and your long runs, but also felt decent (I was skeptical) when kicking it uptempo.  I’ll pull it again for another threshold day for sure.

Peter: As I mentioned in the ride section above these are not the shoe for me. I couldn’t get any rhythm or joy running in them. There’s too much shoe for me and they feel like they work against my stride. It’s a bummer.


Mizuno Wave Rider 21 vs. Skechers Performance Go Run Ride 6:  
Dave:  Though on completely different platforms, I found these 2 shoes to be quite similar.  Very stiff with a ton of snap.  I’d say the upper advantage goes to Skechers Performance on this one, but it’s very close.  You'll pull a tad more room in the toe box in the Ride 6.  Mizuno durability wins out.
Mizuno Wave Rider 21 vs. New Balance Vazee Pace
Dave:  If we’re talking firm here, these two will go head to head.  While Vazee Pace has been on the shelves for a bit, I almost get the same feel from both of these shoes.  Both providing a nice forefoot snap, which I absolutely love in the trainer.  Both lock you in well in the heel and have a solid midfoot fit.  Durability goes to the Rider 21.

For Dave and Peter's bios see our Reviewers Bio Page here
For Dave's Ame For It Run Coaching service, personalized and one on one, click here

The Wave Rider was provided at no cost.The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
Visit our Index Page here for over 70 in depth 2017 shoe and gear reviews
Visit our 2018 Previews Page here for 2018 run shoe, apparel, and gear previews 

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