Friday, February 03, 2023

Mike Postaski's Wilson Creek Frozen 50K Race Report: Brooks Catamount 2 for the Win! Stryd race data analysis.

Article by Mike Postaski

Wilson Creek Frozen 50K Race Report

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In the article, race report about my 1st place at Wilson Creek Frozen 50K (Melba, ID) - New training (less run miles, more training hours total through other activities), Brooks Catamount 2 for the win!, Next Gen Stryd Pod data analysis.

Saucony Ride 16 Review: Not Messing with a Good Thing!

Article by Sam Winebaum

Saucony Ride 16 ($140)


Introduction


Sam: The Ride is Saucony’s all around daily road trainer. The Ride 15 (RTR Review) saw major changes with a higher stack of softer (than before) PWRRUN foam and a dramatic 1.5oz / 43g drop in weight. It was my daily trainer of the year for its lightweight, responsive ride, copious cushion and secure upper all put together making it an incredibly versatile shoe.  


Ride 16 stays exactly the same in weight, retains the same midsole foam and feel as well as outsole. 


The update is to the upper with a new dual mesh approach of softer pliable mesh upfront and a non stretch grid rear with a new arrangement of the “Gilly” straps which now are thinner and with the rear one reaching to the heel.


So basically the update is minor as far as we can tell so far with our full multi tester review coming soon.


Pros:

Saucony did not mess with the 15’s all around ride and cushion: Sam

Versatile, very light and well cushioned, stable and secure all arounder Sam

Love the responsive firmer, very stable and super well cushioned forefoot Sam

Incredibly secure performance type fit (wide is available): Sam


Cons:

Takes a few miles (<10)  to break in front flex and ride to soften, don’t get discouraged: Sam

Fit in area of straps, medial logo and non stretch rear grid mesh is a bit too snug: Sam

Everything in its time, and Saucony is deliberate and smart, but a slightly liviler, less dense foam would be nice: Sam

Thursday, February 02, 2023

Hilma Running Women's Fit One & Fit Two Multi Tester Review: 8 Comparisons

Article by Renee Krusemark and Kathleen Valadez

Hilma Fit One and Fit Two ($159)



Introduction

Renee: Hilma advertises itself as a “performance running shoe brand” that offers what they refer to as custom fits designed for women runners. Runners need to take a quiz on the brand’s website to find their perfect “fit” or any information about the shoes. The quiz is supposedly a patent-pending prediction system, and customers have to take the quiz and provide an email before gaining access to any content about the shoes. 


The quiz features questions about preferences for weight, speed, comfort, width, etc. The quiz pairs runners with one of three shoes: Fit One, Fit Two, or Fit Three. The cushion and drop are the same (29mm/23mm) on each shoe. The Fit One has a narrow fit and angled toebox. The Fit Two has a wider toebox. Both the Fit One and Fit Two have the same midfoot and heel fit. The Fit Three has a wider midfoot and heel. 


Not willing to give up your email address? I’m sure that aspect is a deterrent for a number of potential buyers/runners (as it should be). Hopefully our review can shed some light on whether a Hilma is the so-called “custom” shoe you should try.



Pros:

All around comfort: Renee/Kathleen

Versatile outsole: Renee/Kathleen

Aesthetics: Kathleen/Renee


Cons:

Weight: Renee/Kathleen

Upper security: Renee

Having to give an email just to read info about the shoe: Renee

Cost/use ratio: Renee

La Sportiva Jackal II and Jackal II BOA Multi Tester Review: 5 Comparisons

Article by Jeff Valliere and John Tribbia

LaSportiva Jackal 11 ($165) & Jackal II BOA ($185)


Introduction

Jeff:  La Sportiva has improved the Jackal by improving the upper (made of eco friendly materials) to be a softer more flexible mesh, is more breathable and a bit wider in the toe box.  The Jackal 2 also has a redesigned heel for a more comfortable, secure and stable fit and is 1oz lighter.  New for 2023, La Sportiva is now offering a BOA option while  both share the same Frixion Red sticky outsole for an excellent balance of durability/grip, as well as the same midsole.  

The Jackal II is wider in fit than the BOA version with the BOA version having a more refined race fit and higher collar for technical terrain, although the BOA version is nearly an ounce heavier.  

While similar in overall appearance, the Jackal 2 has proven in our testing to be a big improvement over the previous version.


Pros:

Traction, protection, stability, improved midsole cushion lighter weight upper, 1.1 oz /31g lighter shoe : John/Jeff


Cons:

Narrow fitting through the midfoot (non BOA): John

Sizing runs short: John and Jeff


Stats

Official weights: 

Jackal 2 Men's 9.7oz  / g (US9)  /  Women's 8.6oz / g (US8)

Jackal 2 BOA 10.5oz / g (US9) / Women’s 9.5oz / g (US8)


Sample weights: 

Jackal 2 men’s- 9.9oz  / 282 g US10

Jackal 1: 11 oz / 312g US10

Jackal 2 BOA men’s- 11 oz / 311 g US10

Stack Height: men’s mm heel 29 / 22 mm forefoot ( 7mm drop) 

Available February 2023. 

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Altra Running Rivera 3 Review

Article by Sam Winebaum

Altra Rivera 3 ($140)

Introduction

The Rivera 3 is a daily road trainer with a 29mm heel / 29mm forefoot stack height so 3mm more cushion stack than the Rivera 2 (RTR Review). The midsole foam remains Altra’s EGO which is slightly softer to pressing, interesting. Also called out is what Altra calls “Balanced Cushioning” which is marketing speak for what has become an increasingly effective balancing of the weight and geometry which has led many recent Altra to feel less low and back weighted given they all have the same forefoot and heel differential of zero. Last underfoot we have “Inner Flex” which is a series of grooves cut into the top of the midsole to allow the shoe to flex while remaining stable.


At just under 9 oz / 255g in a US men’s 9  it is decently light. It gets a new less structured and less reinforced at the rear upper of a mesh very similar to the Rivera 2. The fit is Altra’s FootShape in “Slim Fit '' so not as broad as other Altra road trainers such as the Torin or Paradigm. 

There are modifications to the outsole and underfoot geometry with now a more continuous rubber piece at the lateral heel landing and more decoupling, a good sign for the potential of less bottoming out and a low feeling heel given the zero drop. 


Pros:

Excellent riding, light middle range trainer introduction to Altra and zero drop

3mm additional slightly softer cushion takes the edge off the Rivera 2’s ride

Additional cushion and outsole design help 

Cons:

New upper needs more midfoot to rear hold for faster paces, some slipping forward at faster paces hitting the front of the shoe.

May run ¼ size small 


Stats

Estimated Weight: men's 8.9 oz  / 252g (US9) 

 Sample: men’s  8.72 oz  /  247g  US8.5

Rivera 2: 8.2 oz / 232g US8.5

Stack Height: men’s 29 mm heel / 29mm forefoot ( drop spec)

Available now. $140

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Flash Multi Tester Review: 7 Comparisons

Article by Zack Dunn, Renee Krusemark, Derek Li, Sally Reiley, Jana Herzogova, Shannon Payne, and Adam Glueck

Mizuno Wave Rebellion Flash ($160)


Introduction

The Wave Rebellion Flash is an uptempo trainer/racer featuring a dual density midsole with underfoot Mizuno Enerzy Lite, the same super foam found in the wild Wave Rebellion Pro racer (RTR Review).  Below Enerzt Lite we have a firmer white Mizuno Enerzy foam heel wedge. 


Embedded in between the two midsole foam layers is a rear to midfoot glass fiber reinforced Wave plate said by Mizuno to be highly rigid and 1141% snappier than pebax plates. 


The outsole is an unusual PU resin that is softer than the firm PU outsole of the predecessor Wave Rebellion. On the surface a really good thing as the Wave Rebellion’s was clearly firm plastic and noisy.

The upper is a soft breathable air mesh of a single density with a few rear overlays, a toe bumper stiffener and a semi rigid heel counter with just a rear stiffener.


Pros:

Effective easy to find front propulsion with a snappy toe off Sam/Zack/Renee/Sally/Jana/Adam

Upper had a good lockdown at both the collars and midfoot: Zack/Derek/Sally/Shannon/Jana

Roomy buttery soft single layer mesh upper: : Sam/Zack/Sally/Shannon/Jana

Upper is durable and lightweight: Zack/Derek/Sally/Shannon/Jana

Versatile: tempo runs to shorter races: Sam/Zack/Derek/Sally/Jana

Stable well cushioned heel: Sam /Zack/Jana

New softer PU resin outsole delivers a dramatic improvement in ride feel over prior much firmer and noisier Wave Rebellion outsole: Sam/Zack/Renee

Non harsh/overly rigid in feel Wave plate geometry back to front: Sam/Zack

Roomier overall fit and feel when compared to other Mizuno models past: Shannon


Cons:

While 8mm drop is appreciated, and at 35mm the heel has plenty of cushion, the 27mm forefoot may get tiring at races over 10-15K for many: Sam/Zack/Derek/Renee/Sally/Adam

Upper may not be secure enough at midfoot for low volume feet at true to size, could use more medial underlays and maybe a gusset tongue: Sam/Renee

Forefoot too flexible for speed work: Derek

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Brooks Revel 6 Review: A Lightweight, Totally Fine $100 Everyday Trainer

Article by Michael Ellenberger

Brooks Revel 6


Introduction


Michael: I’ve worn and reviewed the Brooks Revel 3 and Revel 5 for RoadTrailRun. To see the Revel 6 maintain its $100 price point (“in this economy?”) genuinely made me happy, and considering the fun that the Revel 5 brought, I jumped at the chance to test the Revel 6. 


But let’s back up quickly - Brooks Revel? Huh? It’s true that this shoe is often overlooked in Brooks’s lineup; it’s a neutral shoe, and with its DNA foam midsole, functionally a stripped-down Levitate (DNA AMP). There’s some Ghost DNA (as in, lineage - not the cushioning), to be sure, but basically this is a lightweight, no-frills, everyday mileage trainer. And it’s been a good one in the past, so let’s see how version 6 runs, shall we?


Pros:

Long live the $100 daily trainer (aka the price!) (Michael)

Upper (Michael)

2mm more cushioning at the heel- now a 10mm drop shoe)(Michael)

Outsole, especially in winter! (Michael)

Recycled midsole material (Michael)


Cons:

Mildly dull ride, especially for easy running (Michael)


Stats

Official Weight: men's 8.8 oz  / 249g  /  women's 8.1 oz / 230g 

Sample: men’s: 8.65 oz  / 245 g (US8.5)

Drop: 10mm 

Available now $100

Monday, January 30, 2023

Saucony Peregrine 13 and Peregrine 13 GTX Multi Tester Review: 11 Comparisons

Article by Mike Postaski & Renee Krusemark

Saucony Peregrine 13 ($140 ) Peregrine 13 GTX ($160)


Pros:

+1.5mm stack increase & softer lighter PWRRUN, a big difference in cushion Mike P/Renee

More of a do-it-all trail shoe than V12 Mike P/Renee

Same great upper fit and security Mike P/Renee

More stack, less weight Mike P/Renee

Runs much smoother on roads, hard surfaces Mike P/Renee


Cons:

Maybe a minor stability & agility loss from V12? Mike P/Renee

More exposed outsole as compared to v12: Renee


Stats

Weight:

  Peregrine 13 Samples: men’s  9.62 oz  /  271g US9, 9.6 oz / 272g US 9.5

                                       women’s 8.30 oz / 235g US8

  Peregrine 13 GTX Samples: men’s 10.12 oz / 289g US9, 10.6 / 300g US 9.5

                                                women’s 9.05 oz / 257g US8

Stack Height: men’s 28mm heel / 24 mm forefoot 4 mm drop

Available February:  $140 Peregrine 13, $160 Peregrine 13 GTX

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Saucony Ultra Ridge GTX Multi Tester Review: Hiking Boot? High Performance Trail Runner? Easily Both and More!

Article by Jeff Beck and Sam Winebaum

Saucony Ultra Ridge GTX ($190)

Introduction

Sam: The name.. Ultra Ridge GTX is a bit confusing but it actually spells out exactly what this new entry from Saucony is capable of. The “Ridge GTX” is clearly,  based on appearances, a sleek modern hiking boot. The stats hint at the “Ultra” part and we’ll get to that here. 


It is very, very light at a mere 12.72 oz in US9 for a 32.5 mm heel / 26.5 mm stack height hike collar boot and is on the higher end of what a trail running shoe, with a low or mid height top would weigh. 

How is that possible? Well, Saucony uses a core of its supercritical high rebounding  PWRRUN Pb PEBA foam (same as in is Endorphin Pro and Speed road shoes) surrounded by a frame of firmer PWRRUN EVA/TPU foam (as found in the Peregrine 13-14). 

The undercarriage construction and 4mm lug outsole with woven rock protection for sure looks.. Ultra run worthy and is identical to the Xodus Ultra trail runner but with a ridge running hiking upper! 

Genius yet again from Saucony as we have here what potentially is both a no compromises all seasons hiking boot that is super light and a trail runner, winter run offering that while heavier than many has the ride of a fast trail runner. Let’s see how they performed in our early testing.

 

Pros:

Boot? Trail Runner? Both! and with few compromises beyond maybe weight as a trail running shoe:  Sam/Jeff

-Runs as well as hikes! Smooth flowing 8mm drop, supercritical foam core, very stable, lightly propulsive rock plate: Sam/Jeff

-Incredibly light for a supportive full pledged boot Sam/Jeff

-Incredible foot/ankle support - Jeff/Sam

-Light in weight considering everything it brings - Jeff/Sam

-Great option for the ultrarunner with “bad ankles” or very rough terrain racing: Sam/Jeff

--Flexible lacing: tight down low, looser up top for forward run flex with side support or full on boot snug to the top: Sam

-State of the art trail runner underfoot platform with plenty of run flexiblity (same as Xodus Ultra) in a boot, what a great and fast idea: Sam/Jeff

-Solid underfoot protection - Jeff

-Torsionally rigid with high collar makes it stable for carrying decent size loads: Sam

-Excellent grip on hard packed snow: Sam

-Waterproof gusset goes up high enough - Jeff

-Front/rear pull tab helps ingress/egress - Jeff


Cons:

-Waterproof Gore-Tex upper but outsole struggles in mud - Jeff

- I wonder if such a high cuff is really needed, may add to weight: Sam

-Weird blue sample color way neither run shoe or boot: Sam


Stats

Official Weight: men's 12.6 oz  / 357g (US9)  /  women's 11 oz / 312g (US8)

  Samples: men’s  12.72 oz  /  361g US9, 13.44 oz / 381g US10.5

Stack Height: men’s 32.5 mm heel / 26.5mm forefoot

$190  Available March 28, 2023

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Daehlie 2023 Winter Run Apparel Round Up Review: Compete Long Sleeve, Vest Run, Winter Wool 2.0 Tight, Intensity Jacket

Article by Sam Winebaum


Compete Long Sleeve ($60),  Vest Run ($120), Winter Wool 2.0 Tights ($140), Intensity Jacket ($90)

I have been a huge fan of Dahelie not only the brand but its namesake founder Bjorn Dahelie, winner of a staggering 29 medals in the Olympics and World Championships in nordic skiing. Needless to say the brand has focused on winter equipping many national teams including of course his own home country of Norway.

Nordic skiers also train many many hours in summer: running, cycling, hiking, and roller skiing. And of course Norwegian runners have excelled in track and field using the same training principles as the nordic skiers. In the past  I have tested items from their winter and summer run collections. All have been exceptional in their functionality and clean modern design.


After excellent experiences in their Elite Singlet and Short and Intensity Jacket this past summer RTR Review, Daehlie sent me winter gear for testing here in Park City. 

I have now had multiple runs (and some Nordic skiing of course) in the Compete Long Sleeve, Vest Run, and Winter Wool 2.0 Tights in temperatures ranging from below 20 F (-6C)  to about 25 F (-4C) often with and a breeze and they have performed superbly. On the colder windier days I have paired the three with the Daehlie Intensity Jacket. I purchased a nifty Daehlie nordic hat  the at the local nordic ski shop and it has never been off my head the last few weeks on the move. Here is what I found.