Friday, January 17, 2020

Brooks Launch 7 Multi Tester Review

Article by Michael Ellenberger, Peter Stuart, and Sam Winebaum

Brooks Running Launch 7 ($100)

Pros:
Michael: Faster; upper is comfortable and well-constructed; durable (especially for its class).
Sam: A durable workhouse now with a superior upper.  A very good value at $100, with no corners cut in a world of ever pricier shoes.
Peter: Upper feels and looks good.

Cons:
Michael: Not particularly exciting, and lacking that “something else”; blister issues on achilles (take your salt, please).
Sam: Workmanlike ride that is increasingly dated in feel. The clearly improved upper appears to add about 0.4 oz to bring the Launch in at 9.8 oz, getting heavy for what it is. Something has to give as the underfoot platform doesn’t change.
Peter: NOT FUN.

Stats
Estimated Weight: men’s US9 9.8 oz / 278 g,   women’s (catalog) 8.1 oz / 230 g
(based on sample men’s US 8.5 at 9.55 oz /271 g) 
Prior version (Launch 6): 9.4 oz / 266 g men's US9
27mm heel 17mm forefoot, 10mm drop
Released Jan. 2020. Available now.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

ASICS EvoRide Multi Tester Review: Rocking a Smooth and Consistent Uptempo Turnover

Article by Jacob Brady, Sally Reiley, Jeff Beck, Michael Ellenberger with Sam Winebaum

ASICS EvoRide ($120)
Introduction
Jacob: The EvoRide is the third shoe in the ASICS Ride series, joining the MetaRide and GlideRide. Like its siblings, the EvoRide uses ASICS GUIDESOLE rocker technology which is intended to propel you forward as well as reduce fatigue and increase efficiency through controlling ankle flexion. The EvoRide is firmer, lighter, lower stack than the popular GlideRide, and with just a single layer of FlyteFoam Propel (+ heel GEL insert) has less midsole complexity as well. The GlideRide shines as daily trainer and long run shoe while the lighter and more responsive EvoRide can work as daily trainer category but is on the uptempo side. 
Michael: The “Ride” family is undoubtedly a new direction for ASICS and man, it’s really good! Though I didn’t test the $250 MetaRide, it was well taken by our Editor-in-Chief Sam, and the GlideRide was a surprising success (and a shoe in which I found new life for as a treadmill trainer). I had high expectations for the EvoRide and, largely, they were met! ASICS is back! Sure, there are quibbles here and there, but it is a strong offering in a competitive category for a reasonable price and is a great start for the brand in 2020.*


*ASICS also showed off a connected (stride-analyzing) version of this shoe at CES. As a tech geek, I’m almost more excited about that - but we didn’t test that version, and don’t have any first-hand knowledge as of now.


Sam: I took one fine, shorter, faster run in the EvoRide before “sharing them on” to Michael who is my size. I concluded that this 3d model in the Ride series was a firmer uptempo more mildly but still distinctly rockered sibling to the softer more maximal GlideRide. It is a strong new option for ASICS fans who enjoyed the RoadHawk FF, DynaFlyte 3, and Cumulus 21 rides but who seek more dynamism in propulsion and a superior more modern upper. Watch my initial impressions video here.
Pros:
Jacob: Top notch ride: smooth, consistent, stable
Michael: Upper is comfortable and refined; sporty looks; sweet-spot of cushion and speed.
Jeff: Midsole super responsive, geometry/design works well at pace, upper breathes well with good foothold.
Sally: Aesthetically pleasing looks; Uber comfortable fit; playful smooth ride that loves to push the pace and cadence
Sam: a wonderfully fitting more performance oriented upper. Stable, smooth and responsive with propulsive rockered pop off the road


Cons:
Jacob: Puffy tongue
Jacob: Top lace pressure/discomfort
Michael: Uncomfortable and overinflated tongue; some outsole concerns
Jeff: Tongue is awkward, shoe wants to go faster than I can for very long
Sally: if the over size tongue is the only con… that says something!
Sam: A bit firm to cross over to daily training for me. Thin narrow laces over puffy tongue may produce some bite if you have a low volume foot and need to lace tightly.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Brooks Transcend 7 Review - a Glycerin for the stability runner (and ONLY the stability runner!)

Article by Jeff Beck and Sam Winebaum

Brooks Transcend 7 ($160)
Introduction
Jeff: The Transcend 7 is the latest stability shoe from Brooks that sneaks its stability in. Unlike so many shoes before it that relied on a medial post ie a more dense material along the inner medial side of the shoe to control the foot, Brooks is all in on their GuideRails system with stabilizing at the top of the midsole instead of underfoot. The result? A very neutral-feeling shoe that doesn’t run blocky, as many traditional stability shoes do. Is that necessarily good? Well, it’s complicated.

Sam: The Transcend sits as the softly cushioned option in the Brooks support category all shoes including the lighter Ravenna and somewhat firmer Adrenaline now having Guide Rails, or raised medial and lateral side elements. The GuideRails concept is to not "outsmart" the foot at the arch and underfoot but to guide motion at the calcaneal bone using Guide Rails on both sides at the rear and mid foot wrapping from near the top of the midsole under foot then up the side of the upper.  

The metaphor used by Brooks is that Guide Rails are the bumpers in a bowling alley and the foot is the ball. According to Brooks, Guide Rails will come into play, as needed, for both support oriented and neutral runners (as their stride falls out of place). As knees are seen as key, the idea is to limit excess heel and shin rotation to keep your natural knee motion within a safe range thus hopefully allowing less pain and discomfort while also better aligning the gait in a forward path. 

The Transcend 7 is the first GuideRails model i have tested with what I will call the second generation GuideRails. I tested the Ravenna 10 (RTR Review) and a bit the Adrenaline GTS 19. I found the GuideRail on the medial side in particular stiff and impeding transitions in both. Brooks seems to agree as all GuideRails going forward Transcend 7, Adrenaline GTS 20, and upcoming Ravenna 11 are reworked. The medial GuideRail is now co molded BioMoGO DNA instead of being glued in (glue layer contributing to the stiffness felt) with the lateral GuideRail a raised side wall of the same DNA Loft as the rest of the midsole.


Pros
Jeff: Upper breathes well and is comfortable without being overly bulky, midsole and outsole work together to create a smooth ride.
Sam: A wonderfully comfortable and supportive upper, GuideRails now less in the way for this typically neutral shoe runner

Cons
Jeff: Stability when not needed can cause issues, if it was more obvious subtle issues would be avoided, laces are overly soft.
Sam: While improved, the GuideRails still are overly present for me and overly supportive and directing,

Stats
  Official:    10.7 oz/ 303g men, 9.5 oz /269g  women
  Samples:     M8.5: 298 g / 10.51 oz
M10.5: 336 g / 11.88 oz
Stack Height: 27mm heel :17mm forefoot, 10mm drop
Release date: 2/1/2020  Price: $160

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Outside Article: New study on running injuries. More likely caused by overdoing it than your run style or bio mechanics

Article by Sam Winebaum


It is likely is not your form or biomechanics but what you do or over do that causes injuries. I have horrendous form but thankfully have had very few injuries in over 45 years of running and every time from a rapid change in terrain, intensity, and or volume.

Alex Hutchinson in an article in Outside here and titled: " What Artificial Intelligence Says About Running Form" discusses a recent study by the University of Jyväskylä in Finland and the University of Calgary in Canada.

They crunched massive amounts of 3d biometrics data in an artificial intelligence system which used "unsupervised machine learning". The system came with 62 variables grouping the 290 runners into 5 groups of stride and strike type. No solid conclusions were reached as to what in the runners' bio mechanics and running styles may have caused the injuries of various types in the over 266 runners in the study who had reported injuries of various sorts.

Other researchers seeing this study said the following: "On Twitter, Rod Whiteley, a prominent physiotherapist at the Aspetar Sports Medicine Hospital, floated the suggestion that each of us adapts to the idiosyncrasies of our own running style. Injury risk, in this view, comes from changes in your training load, rather than, say, the angle of your knee. That echoes retired University of Calgary biomechanist Benno Nigg’s take: 80 percent of running injuries, he used to say, result from training errors like increasing your mileage too quickly or not taking enough recovery."

So to stay away from injuries I say listen to your body if something is lurking leaving the 
"Training Plan" aside for a few, gradually increase volume and intensity, and even if in fabulous shape watch out when you suddenly change terrain type. Every injury I have had in 45 plus years of running was from a rapid change in terrain, most usually the change from running on softer snow to more pavement in spring


Sam Winebaum is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 62 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. Sam has been running for over 45 years and has a 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range training 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah.

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Sunday, January 12, 2020

Brooks Running Caldera 4 Multi Tester Review: More Turns out Better, Sacrificing Nothing!

Article by Jeff Beck, John Tribbia, Jeff and Allison Valliere

Brooks Caldera 4  ($140)

Introduction:
John: I have never worn previous versions of the Caldera, but I have enjoyed early models of the Brooks Cascadia and Adrenaline. Obviously, this shoe comes with more stack height and is touted to be Brooks’ new ultra marathon shoe. I am really excited to try it out, because of my past positive experiences with other Brooks models. Out of the box and walking around, the shoe is very comfortable and has an impressive “compact” feeling despite it being a bigger cushioned shoe with 3mm more cushion stack than its predecessor. The stack height is anomalously high for Brooks, yet they didn’t lose sight of stability by adding the cushion. My early impressions are that it works really well: the center of gravity is still low and I don’t feel prone to ankle rolls and I feel connected to the ground. The engineered mesh upper is comfortable to bare skin and seems durable. The outsole is Brooks’ sticky TrailTack rubber and is just enough that would allow for road and off-road terrain. 


Jeff B: I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum, I ran in the Caldera 2 and reviewed the 3 - however, I had the same immediate enthusiasm for the shoe that John did. I raved about the 3 last year, and the 4 changed virtually every aspect of the shoe. Normally that’s cause for concern - did Brooks ruin a good thing? Unbelievably, no, but it has really shifted what the Caldera is.

Pros:
John: well cushioned, stable and smooth ride, comfortable and sturdy/durable upper, secure fit, versatility from road to trail
Jeff B: The extra midsole gives added protection, toe box width grew, entire platform is a little wider, upper breathes well but also has good foothold.
Jeff V:  Cushion, comfort, style, relaxed fit for all day comfort, wide platform, protection, reasonably light for so much shoe.
Allison:  Comfort, fit, cushion style, light, response


Cons:
John: Traction and toe protection
Jeff B: Toe bumper on medial side is a little obtrusive
Jeff V:  Relaxed fit resulting in lack of security in technical terrain, particularly at higher speeds.  Thin laces, traction limitations
Allison:  Traction

Stats
Official Weight:: men's 10 oz / 283 g (US9) :: women's 8.9 oz / 252g  (US8)
Sample Weights:
10.9oz / 309g US men’s 10.5D, 10.5 oz./298g US men’s 10, 9.25 oz./263g US women’s 9
4mm offset
Available Feb 1. 2020. $140

Friday, January 10, 2020

Atreyu Running: A 5.57 oz / 158 g Marvel of Simplicity and Performance. Initial Run Impressions Review, Shoe Details and Comparisons

Article by Sam Winebaum

Atreyu Running 



Stats
Sample Weight: 5.57 oz / 158 g men's US9
Stack Height: 25mm heel / 19 mm forefoot, 6mm drop
Pre- Sales start Feb 21. Available July 2020. 
Direct to athlete business model. Approx. $95 one time purchase, less under a subscription plan

The Atreyu is remarkably light for the amount of lively cushion provided. The midsole/outsole is a single slab of "outsole grade" EVA. The upper is a simple nylon/poly mesh with a secure and comfortable performance type fit. 

Comparative Shoes
New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon 2:  7.5 oz, 26/20 stack, 6mm drop
Skechers Performance Razor 3 Hyper:  6.4 oz, 23mm heel / 19 mm forefoot, 4mm drop
Reebok Floatride Fast: 6.6 oz,  25mm heel /17 mm forefoot, 8mm drop


WATCH MY INITIAL RUN IMPRESSIONS, SHOE DETAILS AND COMPARISONS VIDEO (9:29)



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Read reviewers' full run bios here
The product reviewed was provided at no cost. The opinions herein are the authors'.
Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

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Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Saucony Xodus 10: Any Trail, Any Surface, Any Road. Supreme Versatility, Maximal Performance, and Fun

Article by Jeff Valliere and Sam Winebaum


Xodus 10 ($150)


Introduction
The formerly near hiker Xodus sees the most significant changes making it a great new option for a super cushioned, more maximal trail cruiser and as we found out much more.. It drops a massive 2.3 oz / 65 g as the midsole changes from Everun to the plush new PWRUN+  expanded bead TPU foam which is said by Saucony to be 3x more durable and 3x less temperature sensitive than EVA, 2x as flexible, and 25% lighter and absorbing 5% more impact than Everun. It weighs 11.7 oz / 332 g men's, 10.5 oz / 298g women's with a 31.5mm heel 27.5mm stack, 4mm drop. Releases 2/1/20. 


Pros
Jeff/Sam:  Unrivaled versatility, as the Xodus 10 transitions seamlessly from technical mountain terrain, to easily doubling as a road running shoe.  
Traction.  Cushioning.  Protection. Comfort.  Secure Upper. Smooth Transition.  Response.
Sam:  a superbly smooth and quite energetic ride on all surfaces from technical trail to road from a very well matched midsole bounce and outsole firmness and the woven rock plate's protection and light propulsion.  
           
Cons
Jeff/Sam:  Still a bit on the heavy side, but a vast improvement over previous iterations and they run lighter than measured weight.