Sunday, July 23, 2017

Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% Detailed Breakdown and First Run Impressions Review: Sensational, A Game Changer

The Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% ($250) is the non customized version of the shoe worn by Eliud Kipchoge at the recent Breaking 2 attempt where he ran the fastest (unofficial) marathon time of 2:00.25. It was worn by both the men's and women's winners of the 2017 Boston Marathon.

The Vaporfly is the product of extensive bio mechanics and materials research as part of the goal of  Nike's goal of breaking 2 hours in the marathon, the 4% representing what is thought to be the improvement in gear, training, course conditions and nutrition required to break the magic barrier.
Official Nike weight: 6.5 oz/184 g size 10, equivalent to approx. 6.2 oz size 9
My production pair in US size 8.5 weighed 6.56 oz /186 g, so a size 9 would weigh approx. 6.8 oz.
       -approx.1.6 oz/145 g less weight than Zoom Fly)
Stack height: 31mm heel/21 mm forefoot, 10mm drop.
       -2mm less stack heel and forefoot than Zoom Fly)

RoadTrailRun first tried on a single shoe at the Boston Marathon here, tested and reviewed the heavier, "similar" Zoom Fly here and now have had a chance to take a first run in a pair of our own.
Unlike the Zoom Fly ($150), with nearly identical stack heights and midsole geometry the lighter weight (by approx. 1.6 oz), Vaporfly with its soft and bouncy ZoomX Pebax midsole foam and full carbon plate provided me in my first test run a similar but far more cushioned, responsive, shock free and fluid ride than the Zoom Fly.
The Vaporfly 4% is far more forgiving on the legs than the Zoom Fly and for sure the Zoom Streak 6, easier on the legs is part of the Breaking 2 goal of getting runners to the marathon's later stages with something left.
Time will tell as to durability of all these new materials but I would not hesitate to not only race but do all faster workouts in them.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Hoka ONE ONE Spring 2018 Preview-New Fly Line with Mach and Cavu, Update to Challenger ATR 4

Hoka ONE ONE released details on key Spring 2018 models today.
Post will be updated with stats and details  as we receive them.

The Fly line will have 2 models with a third yet to be announced:
Fly models will have a new ProFLY dual density midsole with the softer heel foam for protection and a firmer forefoot foam for response and propulsion, an approach first seen in the Clayton and Tracer.

Mach ($140) 8.2 oz/231 grams (M9), 6.7 oz./190 g (W8) is adapted from the Clayton and we assume replaces it, so is a light, highly cushioned performance trainer racer. It has a 5mm drop and similar stack to Clayton.
It gains 0.3 oz over the Clayton, drops $10 in price, and has a new engineered mesh upper. It has "inherent stability" from Hoka's active foot frame.  While not illustrated below it has a wishbone outsole pattern wth "sipes" or cuts in the forefoot which should improve the flex over the stiff Clayton, a good thing.
We loved the Clayton 2 despite some irritation issues under the arch. The images appear to potentially show a new midsole design somewhat lower in side walls near the front and  the same lively RMAT outsole/midsole at road level

Men's Hoka ONE ONE Mach

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

ON Running Cloudrush Review--Cloudy with a Chance of Run

The ON Running Cloudrush ($130) is a 7.9 oz/224 g uptempo trainer/racer with stack heights of 21mm in the heel and 16mm in the forefoot, 5mm drop. 
It follows the ON formula of terrific looking Swiss design and a unique outsole consisting of 18 hollowed out CloudTec pods that are meant to provide a unique ride. So, how does it do on the roads? Is it a light, fluffy ride on clouds or is stormy weather coming in?

Monday, July 17, 2017

Hoka One One Arahi Review - Pillowy, Soft, Lightweight Stability Trainer

Article by Jeff Valliere

Hoka One One Arahi
29mm heel/24mm forefoot
9.3 oz. /264 g (M9); 7.6 oz. /215 g (W7)
Available in D and 2E width
$130. Available now
I have reviewed a seemingly infinite number of road shoes in the past, but this is my first for RoadTrailRun, as I pretty much live for the trails and prefer to focus on the trail side of things.  Why the change?  I have decided (again, like I do once or twice per year) to not be such an all or nothing, mountain summit or bust trail snob.  Running from the house a few days per week would save me some time in the car, giving me more time for family, other important non running related tasks and maybe, make me a more well rounded runner.  I figured it would be fun to mix it up with my reviews from time to time and review the occasional road shoe.

When choosing a road shoe, past experience tells me that I'll probably not be too satisfied in either a super light race flat, or version 17 of some heavy, overbuilt clomper.  I wanted to get into something that has a good compromise of low weight, lots of cushion and reasonable response.

Hoka jumps out in my mind to the top of the list, but Sam had beat me to my first (Clayton 2 review here), second (Hupana review here) and third (Clifton 4 review here) choices, so figured the Arahi looked like the next most interesting of the newer models.  Despite the Arahi's stability shoe billing, 29mm in the heel and 24mm in the forefoot at 9.3oz. sounded appealing.  I put in my order and secretly hoped I would receive any color other than the black/gold.

Nathan Switchblade 24oz. Hydration Belt Review

Article by Dominique Winebaum

Nathan Switchblade 24oz. Hydration Belt ($50)
I tested the Switchblade 24oz Hydration Belt by Nathan on trail runs in Park City, UT, on hot summer days, when hydration needs are high even on fairly short runs (5-6 miles).
Here is a hydration belt designed with “race-ready features” such as moveable holsters that allow for alternative positioning of the two flasks: either in the back or in the front, and four gel loops on the outside of the roomy zip pocket.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

ASICS Roadhawk FF Review: Very close to great but a bit of a stiff

ASICS Roadhawk FF
8.1 oz/230 g (M9), 7.3 oz /207 g(W8)
Stack: 25mm heel, 17mm forefoot, 8mm drop
Category: Light performance trainer
$100. Available now.

I have tested dozens of different run shoes in 2017. The Roadhawk FF checks all the boxes for me
  • light weight at 8.1 oz with a firm, responsive and importantly with shock and vibration attenuation from its excellent FlyteFoam midsole.
  • an uncomplicated snugger upper with an engineered mesh front, a supportive all of a piece saddle and decently cushioned well held heel collar
  • a beautiful simple design and in my pair a vibrant color scheme of blue and orange
  • a very fair price of $100 for a modern shoe with a great midsole and  plenty of outsole rubber
Yet, I think ASICS made a few questionable choices which keeps it from being a a true ten and one the best shoe in its category for 2017 . It is not always that I can pinpoint fairly exactly how a shoe would clearly be improved for me but here I believe I can.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Men's and Women's Rabbit Apparel Review: Run Rabbit Run!

Article by Peter Stuart and Dominique Winebaum

Men's Rabbit

Rabbit is a Santa Barbara based run apparel company. They make their clothing in Los Angeles (where I happen to live) and are now available at Running Warehouse (who were kind enough to get this gear to me to review). The gear has nice, simple design and fun names for the gear. The important thing, of course, is how does it perform? I received 3 pieces of their gear to try out, but the website has lots of cool looking stuff on it-- Rabbit folks if you're reading this I'd sure love a hat and a "born to run free shirt"!!!

Men's Daisy Dukes Short ($45) 
The Daisy Dukes are short! I like a shorter short, especially in the summer when shorts get drenched. The DD's are a terrific combination of lightweight material, just enough length, side split and a bit of storage.

Monday, July 10, 2017

ASICS Gel Nimbus 19 Review: Plush Cruiser Kicks it in Lighter than its Weight!

ASICS Gel Nimbus 19
Weight: 11 oz./312 g (M9)
Stack: 31mm heel/21mm forefoot
MSRP: $160
Category: Premium cushioned daily trainer
The venerable Gel-Nimbus arrives at 19. My last was the 9 if memory serves. When ASICS and Running Warehouse offered Road Trail Run a selection of the latest including the new Roadhawk FF, Noosa FF, and DS Trainer (reviews soon).  I figured I should compare the Nimbus to other "premium" trainers Road Trail Run has reviewed and compared in recent months. These have included the Glycerin 15, Energy Boost, Vomero 15 and Triumph ISO 3. I was not optimistic as the Nimbus was the heaviest of the bunch and ASICS, other than their fine Japan edition performance trainers and racers, has quite frankly been lagging of late.

I am quite frankly very pleasantly surprised by the Nimbus 19. So pleased that for me it is the best of the premium bunch despite its "class leading" weight.

If you are looking for a very cushioned softer trainer which runs smoothly, quite lively and with great balance between heel and forefoot and at any pace consider the Nimbus. Read on to find out why.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Saucony Zealot ISO 3 Review: Between Kinvara and Freedom Lies Bliss! 10 Comparisons.

Article by Peter Stuart and Sam Winebaum

Saucony Zealot ISO 3  
Official Weight:  8.5 oz/241g M97.3 oz/ 207 g W8 *
Stack: 26mm heel/ 22 mm forefoot, 4 mm drop
($130, available now) 
Lateral Side
*Sam's sample size 8.5 had average weight of 8.7 oz/245g (one weighing 241 g, the other 249 g where spec is 241 g). His sample size 9 weighed 8.5 oz 242 g. Note that discrepancies in weight can occur in manufacturing but these difference are more than we usually see. 

Sam: Zealot ISO 3 is softer underfoot, more consistent in cushioning feel and more flexible than Zealot ISO 2 (review here).  It officially drops almost an ounce in weight which is fantastic, although we did see discrepancies between the weight of our 2 samples. It has a completely new soft engineered mesh upper with an internal implementation of Saucony's ISO Fit straps with the upper resulting with a  relatively secure yet accommodating fit for a variety of foot types. The new Power Foam midsole is lively yet well cushioned. 
At 8.5 oz or so it has alot of forgiving cushion for such a light weight but does lose a bit of the firm pop off the road of its predecessors. If you like an unstructured more natural ride and a lower drop ride at 4mm but you also want a bit more cushion and comfort then the Zealot is worth a close look. It is for sure one of the finest updates of the year, and a fairly radical one, and is one of the best balances of comfort, cushion, energy and light weight of any shoe I have tested this year.