Wednesday, December 13, 2017

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8 Review, with Detailed Comparisons to Brooks Levitate and Saucony Triumph ISO 4

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8 ($150)
Stats Weight: Men’s US 9 10.9 oz /309 g  Women’s US 8 9.3 oz
Stack Height: 27mm heel/19 mm forefoot, 8mm drop (Per Running Warehouse as NB doesn't provide full stack heights)
Available now.
INTRODUCTION
Dave: It’s taken me awhile to fully understand where New Balance is going with the Fresh Foam concept. To me, Fresh Foam is extremely stiff, allows minimal flexion at the midsole in their neutral trainers, and almost all models just plain feel, blah. While they definitely hit the nail on the head with the 2018 890v6 (RTR review) and the 1400v5, current favorite racer (RTR review) I was intrigued to try the 1080v8 and see how they define heavy cushioning. The previous version of 1080 (v7) was a brick.

Peter: I haven’t had the same experience with Fresh Foam. The Zante has been a pretty great shoe for me--especially early versions. I’ve found a pretty good balance of flex, cushion and spring. The 1080 is definitely more shoe than I’m used to running in, but I was eager to give it a try--perhaps as a long, easy run shoe.

Sam: The last Fresh Foam based shoe I ran in was the Boracay in 2015 and my experience then matches what Dave describes above. It was fine but did not float my boat as I found it fairly stiff. I felt that the Fresh Foam concept was overly data driven with its tuning of the midsole side wall cushion or support and outsole geometry through differing shape and size hexagons and was less about feel and ride. In particular I didn't care much for the continuous single sheet of outsole rubber without flex grooves. In cold in particular, Fresh Foam shoes seemed to stiffen and firmer up more than I liked, to brick like consistency. Well that was then and this is now so I sort of reluctantly decided to test the 1080v8, New Balance's premium neutral daily trainer. While I am a fan of lighter shoes (9-10 oz or so) for my daily training,  I wanted to closely compare it to others in its class I have run in recently such as the new Brooks Levitate, Saucony Triumph ISO 4, and Asics GEL-Nimbus 19. I was pleasantly surprised!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Saucony Triumph ISO 4 Review with Comparisons to Triumph ISO 3 and Others in its Class

Article by Sam Winebaum,

Saucony Triumph ISO 4
Weight: test sample US9 11.3 oz/ 321 g M9, W8 9.6 oz/272 g
Stack Height: 28mm heel/20 mm forefoot, 8 mm stack
Price: $160. Available now.
Triumph ISO 4
The Triumph ISO 4 is Saucony's heavy duty, neutral daily trainer. While containing significant changes and weighing more it runs similarly to its predecessor the Triumph ISO 3 (review here)

Midsole and Outsole
The big change from its predecessor, the Triumph ISO 3 is that instead of an Everun TPU heel insert embedded in the PWRGRID+ EVA midsole, the ISO 4 has a full Everun TPU midsole. It is nicely energetic, but unlike similar full adidas Boost TPU midsoles without EVA or plastic pieces to stabilize such as the Ultra Boost, it is stable, firmer and well tamed due to the burly outsole. Everun is also somewhat firmer than Boost.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Brooks Running Fall 2018 Previews: New Ricochet & Bedlam, Levitate 2 all with DNA AMP and Fit Knit Uppers, Ghost 11 and Glycerin 16 with DNA Loft, Cascadia 13 and Pure Grit 7

Brooks Running Fall 2018 Introductions
Brooks Running Fall 2018 Introductions
 From Top Clockwise: Levitate 2, Ricochet, Ghost 11, Glycerin 16, Bedlam
Brooks went big at the recent The Running Event with new models, updates and an innovative new approach to measuring runners and rapidly making near custom running shoes.
  • two new models, the performance Ricochet and support Bedlam with the PU DNA AMP midsole material first seen in the Levitate 
  • new FitKnit uppers all three DNA AMP models
  • new technologies in old standards with a new softer DNA Loft foam in the Glycerin 16 and Ghost 11
  • a new modern look across the line, other more traditional colors available
  • most striking of all, Brooks with partners Supefeet and HP, demonstrated live measurement of runners as they would be in stores and then custom building of a Levitate variant on the show floor in a manufacturing cell (see our article covering Fit Station here)

Friday, December 08, 2017

New Balance Running Spring 2018 Preview: Summit Unknown, 1500v4 T2 BOA, Hierro v3, Fresh Foam 1080v8 & Zante v4

Fresh Kicks from NB Running- 2017 The Running Event
New Balance 1500v4 T2

Article by Peter Stuart and Sam Winebaum

We spent some quality time with Colin Ingram. SR Product Manager at New Balance and got our eyes and hands on some of the terrific new shoes coming down the (Mass) pike from them.

* All weights are for a US 9.5 sample size.

NB Fresh Foam 1080v8 ($150)
Peter: The 1080, which is already on the market, is a solid daily trainer from New Balance. 1080 weighs 11.1 oz/317 g in a US 9.5 catalog weight, although Sam's sample 8.5 weights 10.5 oz so we expect the men's 9 weight to come in at about 10.7 oz. It has a 27mm heel/19mm stack, 8mm drop. 1080 features a bootie construction mesh upper with a very soft engineered mesh toe box and a blown rubber outsole forward of the heel wear area.

Peter: Full review coming soon, but so far I'm pretty impressed with how they run. They're a much zestier shoe than the weight would suggest, at least partly because of the fresh foam and the two horizontal flex grooves under the ball of the foot. I've had a couple of terrific runs in them so far.

Sam: I agree with Peter. I have run several times in them and they have been for me the liveliest and most responsive of the current "premium" trainers I have run including the Saucony Triumph ISO 4, Brooks Levitate, Asics Gel-Nimbus 19, and Energy Boost 4.  Fresh Foam is really coming of age as NB has adjusted the midsole geometry and put flex grooves in the 1080. The upper fit is outstanding in its comfort and hold. My only knock to date is that they are a bit broad and flat feeling on the ground under mid foot and related could use a slightly longer flex to improve transitions.

Available now, including from Running Warehouse here

NB Fresh Foam Hierro v3 ($130)
Available January 2018
New Balance Hierro v3
A complete update here of this heavy duty NB trail shoe. They weigh in at 11.5 oz/329 g, but feel lighter.  They have a 28mm heel, 20 mm forefoot, 8mm drop. The big stories are a Vibram Megagrip outsole which feels plenty sticky and the new Hyposkin upper.
New Balance Hierro v3
Unseen the outsole lugs interlock with the midsole .

The shoe burritos the foot to help keep out muck and looks like it will drain pretty well. There's an ankle collar meant to keep debris from getting in and the upper is made out of a laser perforated Hyposkin--meant to be breathable, durable and not absorb moisture. The Hyposkin upper has some stretch.
New Balance Hierro v3
NB Fresh Foam Zante v4 ($100)
Available January 2018

Relatively minor updates to the Zante here. The offset is 6mm, the weight is about 8.5 oz/224 g and word is that the cushioning is ever so slightly softer. The upper features jacquard mesh patterning for breathability and no sew construction. Hyposkin is in the mix, as in the Hierro, but here just for the mid wrap.
NB Fresh Foam Zante v
There are some tweaks to the outsole geometry and NB has played around with some more convex patterning to help soften the ride a bit. Tweaks to the outsole are meant to increase traction, flex and durability.

NB 890 V6
8.9 oz/255 g
Weight M9 8.9 oz/251 g W8 7.8 oz/221 g 
Stack Height: 25mm heel/ 19 mm forefoot, 6mm drop
$119.95. Available 3/1/18
The 890v6 is a stable firm performance trainer racer which shines at speed. It has a very fine fitting engineered mesh upper and RevLite midsole.

See our full review of the 890v6 here

Summit Unknown
Available second quarter 2018
Price and Stack Height to be updated when available


Is this the 1400 for trails? Just about, as both have 10mm drop, Revlite midsoles and a similar skeleton mesh upper  but the Unknown also shares underfoot RevLite midsole DNA and trail purpose with the Vazee Summit Trail v2 (RTR review). It's a light at 8.6 oz/244 g, sleek and rockin' little trail shoe. 
New Balance presents the Summit Unknown and Hierro v3 at The Running Event

The outsole has directional 4 mm lugs and a flexible rock plate similar to Summit Trail's upfront.
It shares upper DNA with the 1400v6 by using a mesh skeleton upper and similar fit.
Top: New Balance Summit Unknown  Bottom: New Balance 1400v6
NB 1400v6
Peter: This looks to be largely a refresh of the upper. The 7.4 oz, 10mm drop1400 V5 is one of my top shoes of this past year, and it looks like they've left well enough alone while adding a slightly more breathable upper. 



Left: Summit Unknown Outsole Right: NB 1400 v6 outsole 
NB 1500v4
Available January 2016
This update to the 'mild stability' racer 1500 comes in two versions--a 8.5 oz/24g standard laced version and a 8.8 oz/250 g BOA closure version, the 1500v4 T2m ($129). The 1500 is a firm, fast race day shoe with just a touch of stability to aid in with that late race foot and form fatigue. The upper is engineered mesh and no-sew. It has a 6mm offset. Both are available January 2018. Pricing to be updated when received.

The really exciting news is the Tri focused 1500v4 T2,
New Balance 1500v4 T2
They've worked with BOA to re-design the upper from the ground up so the BOA closure works as an integrated part of the shoe.  The side BOA cords are very soft, thin and durable. The three straps the cords are connected to remind us of a bike shoe closure but without the velcro and stiffness.
The design went through many iterations with Tri elites. It looks like it will hold the foot a bit better than the BOA on the Fuel Core Sonic (RTR review). It's a nice system to have on a race shoe eliminating last minute futzing with laces and allowing easy on the go adjustments if need be.
New Balance 1500v4 T2 Outsole
We were very surprised by the aggressive outsole especially in the forefoot.  It  makes us think that when the flexibility of on the go adjustment from the BOA System, firm and stable RevLite midsole as in the Unknown, and the grip from the outsole are combined, that the 1500 T2 maybe also make a great faster shorter trail race choice.

View our YouTube Channel for 2018 Run Previews and Wearable Tech/GPS Reviews here
Visit our Index Page here for over 80 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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Thursday, December 07, 2017

ON Running Cloud X Review: Stylish Swiss Speedster

Article by Dave Ames and Sam Winebaum

ON Running Cloud X

STATS
Weight: Men’s US size 9: 8 oz / 227 g, Women’s US size 8: 7 oz / 198 g
Sam: My 8.5 sample weighs 7.8 oz/222 g. My original Cloud 8.5 weighs 7.5 oz /213 g
Stack Height: 28mm heel/22 mm forefoot, 6mm stack
$140. Available now,

INTRODUCTION

The On Running Cloud X is the second version of the Cloud. The original, which continues as an option, was a fast firm racer/trainer hiding in stylish lifestyle looks. It was called out in ON’s marketing as versatile from run, to gym, to “apres”. This year ON tunes the formula with a stronger lean towards performance running. Cloud X is a firm, fast paced tempo and race shoe, no question, other marketing angles aside.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Reebok Floatride-A Brand with a Storied Run Heritage Remerges at The Running Event. 3 oz/99 g Fast Pro! First Run Impressions Floatride Run

Article by Peter Stuart with Sam Winebaum

Reebok had some of the most exciting shoes at The Running Event in Austin, TX this past week. They kept it focused, simple and clean.  Reebok, now part of adidas, has more recently been known for a fitness and CrossFit focus but the brand has a storied and long heritage in running in the UK going back over 100 years. In 1984 Royal Air Force mechanic Steve Jones wore Reebok to his 2:08:04 world record at Chicago, in his first completed marathon. Steve was at the Running Event where we chatted with him next to his world record shoes
Reebok showed us three models--all part of the Reebok Floatride Series:
Floatride Run ULTK,  Floatride Run Fast and the The Floatride Run Fast Pro
Top: Floatride Run ULTK,  Left: Floatride Run Fast, Right: The Floatride Run Fast Pro

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Holiday Running Savings! Frequently Updated!

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See our 2017 Holiday Gift Guide for GPS Watches, Music, and Run Sensors 
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RUNNING WAREHOUSE, GARMIN, REI, BACKCOUNTRY, AMAZON AND MORE

2018 Naked Run Vest and Naked Run Bra Preview, 2017-2018 Naked Running Band Review

by Jeff Valliere with Sam Winebaum

Naked Running really surprised at The Running Event with among the most innovative, if not the most innovative, run accessory we saw, a pair of gender specific minimal carry systems, the Naked Running Vest and the Naked Running Bra.

All of us at RoadTrailRun are huge fans of their Naked Running Band, the latest version is reviewed below.  

Hoka One One Fall 2018 Previews: Bondi 6, Clifton 5,Torrent, and Spectacular Mafate EVO

Hoka One One continues to grow and evolve not only of course in improving the performance and function of its line but in style and color.

Bondi 6
Weight: 10.9 oz/ 310g M9, 8.6 oz/246 g W8
Stack Height: 33mm heel/29mm forefoot, 4mm drop
Available in Wide sizes for men and women
$150 Available August 2018

The super cushioned Bondi gets a refined, and it looks like more pronounced, Meta Rocker for easier, smoother transitions.
The upper is now an open engineered mesh.