Monday, May 10, 2021

Brooks Aurora BL Review: Brooks At Long Last Goes Wild, and Crazy Light! It Works!

Article by Sam Winebaum, Jeff Beck, and Cheng Chen

Brooks Aurora-BL ($200)


Introduction


Sam: Releasing June 17, the limited edition Aurora-BL represents a wild and dramatic technological and visual design departure for often stodgy yet always reliable Brooks


A product of the brand’s Blue Line skunk works the Aurora is a super light for stack,  maximally cushioned  (approximate 42mm heel / 36 mm forefoot full stack), plateless road trainer with a supercritical processed nitrogen injected foam DNA Loft v3 midsole.  We have seen DNA Loft v1  in the Glycerin and Ghost as a softer flavor of DNA and nitrogen infused DNA Flash foam in the Tempo, Hyperion Elite 2, and trail Catamount and coming soon DNA Loft v2 in the Cascadia 16 (RTR Review soon) but here we are talking about something radically different. 

Brooks “amplified” the foaming process using the supercritical nitrogen to create yet larger cells within the foam, and larger than in DNA Loft v1 and v2. As the v numbers progress drawings from Brooks indicate more dispersed, more regular in shape and larger bubbles within the foam structures. They say the v3’s  process amplifies the cushioning properties, reduces weight, and increases energy return while also not sacrificing durability. While we have no advance information, we can imagine that this new DNA Loft v3 foam may make its way into next versions of Brooks’ Hyperion Elite and Tempo shoes along with elements of the upper materials and design. 

The stack height is gigantic here. My approximate measurements show about 5mm more full stack at the heel than the Nike Invincible Run, a 10mm drop shoe. It is also about 5mm more at the heel than the New Balance More v3, a 4mm drop shoe. This is a gigantic stack height in a shoe weighing close to 1.5 oz less than either at 8.54 oz /242g in my US9.  Eye opening to say the least!

And that is not all. The Aurora gets a deep decoupling at the midfoot to allow the heel and forefoot to move independently of each other for what Brooks calls a “smooth natural ride”.  Several years ago Brooks did something similar in the road Neuro and trail Mazama, far lower stack height shoes with comparatively primitive heavier foams. We also have seen a similar deep groove, with similar intentions, in the recent Inov-8 Trailfly Ultra G300. 

Finally the Aurora gets a very thin and breathable mono mesh upper with an internal mid foot bootie tongue along with a very unique single piece molded and padded heel counter unit extending underfoot to midfoot where it also seems to provide support and stability above the decoupling. 


Wild looks conveying the shoe’s mission of cloud-like maximal light cushion and light weight and  packed with innovative new technologies Brooks pulled out all the stops here to join the modern super foam run game. Let’s see how they run!


Cheng: It’s an orange! It’s a flying saucer! It’s Brook’s latest do it all sneaker-trainer!


This hyperbolic introduction is not too far off from not my first impressions - these are truly different from anything Brooks. To that extent, I received these tester units about a week ago and did not have the chance to put on the typical 30+ miles for shoe reviews. I did, however, put enough miles in for some decent thoughts, including impressions from Brooks Hanson’s elite runners!


Jeff: This has to be the most outlandish looking shoe I’ve ever run in. It immediately reminded me of a number of the various Reebok “running” shoes they offer that are purely for casual wear - except this bad boy is made to be run in. But all of that is just aesthetics and design unique to this shoe, for me the biggest “wow” element of this shoe is the midsole material. Brooks had offered a handful of interesting midsole foams like DNA Flash and DNA Loft, but this is truly impressive. Timing is funny too, I received a pair of DNA Loft v2 equipped Cascadia 16s about 48 hours before the DNA Loft v3 equipped Auroras showed up - so the DNA Loft v2 era was incredibly short in the Beck household.

Saturday, May 08, 2021

ASICS GEL-Kayano 28 Video Review

 Article by Sam Winebaum

ASICS GEL-Kayano 28 ($160)

In the video we review the ASICS GEL-Kayano 28 on a scenic coastal tour. It is a light stability (yet also adapts well to all runner types) road trainer.  


For its 28th iteration, it gets lively FlyteFoam Blast as a top layer all the way to the front, reduces the rear plastic, relocates and mellows the Trusttic plate and the ride and has a very comfortable upper as adaptable as the ride to a range of foot types. It loses 0.35 oz /13g.

WATCH THE GEL-KAYANO 28 VIDEO REVIEW (10:59)


Full Multi Tester Review soon. Available June 2021.

Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. No other compensation was received by RTR or the authors for this review beyond potential commissions from the shopping links in the article. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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Friday, May 07, 2021

Salomon Sense Pro 10 Set Hydration Vest Review: Best Salomon Vest to Date?

Article by Jeff Valliere

Salomon Sense Pro 10 Set Hydration Vest

Sizes XS - XL 160 grams / 5.6 oz. (without flasks) 

$180 - Available now including at our retail partners at end of the review


Salomon running vests have been among my favorites, if not my very favorites for the majority of my runs where I need to carry anything from just my phone and car key, or additional food, water, clothing or just to wear to attach my Kogalla RA lighting system when running at night.  Be it an hour run, or all day outing in the mountains, either the S/Lab Sense Ultra 8 or the Advanced Skin 5 fit the bill perfectly.  The S/Lab Sense Ultra 8 is super light and fits like clothing and the Advanced Skin 5 is still semi clothing like in fit, though hasa bit more structure that more easily carries weight.  So where does the all new Sense Pro 10 Set fit in?


Sense Pro 10 Set slots right in the middle between the two as far as weight and structure, but is at the top of the heap in regards to all around performance, versatility and functionality.

While still maintaining the minimal, clothing-like fit/feel of the S/Lab Sense Ultra 8, the Sense Pro 10 Set also dials in the structure/load carry capabilities of the Advanced Skin 5.

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

adidas 4DFWD Multi Tester Review: Riding the Matrix!

Article by Jeff Beck and Sam Winebaum

adidas 4DFWD ($200/200€)


Introduction

adidas has been working away on 3D printed midsoles for several years now. In the 4DFWD the FWD CELL lattice is said to be designed to deliver up to 3 times more forward motion in mechanical lab testing compared to previous generations of the technology.

Selected from one of five million possible lattice structures and made of 39% bio-based material, the bowtie-shaped FWD CELL according to adidas has been specifically coded to compress forward upon vertical impact to redirect vertical load energy to horizontal energy in the stride while reducing peak breaking force by an average of 15% to deliver running economy comparable to Ultraboost.  Concept car stuff made real.

To create this midsole, adidas and partner Carbon combine athlete data and Carbon’s Digital Light SynthesisTM technology to produce the precision tuned 3D printed midsoles with the ability to fine tune midsoles to specific patterns of movement.

The key features called out by adidas are:

  • LATTICE CONSTRUCT: Made of 39% bio-based 3D material, offering 23% more cushioning and generating over three times as much forward motion when compared to previous generations of 4D midsole under vertical loading in mechanical testing conditions

  • MIDSOLE INNOVATION: A unique bowtie-shaped FWD CELL redirects energy from each step's impact to create horizontal forward motion

  • PRIMEKNIT+ UPPER: Using historical mapping data, the PRIMEKNIT+ upper has been tailored to work perfectly in tune with the adidas 4DFWD midsole, supporting the runner every move forward with a sock-like fit, while letting the foot breathe freely

Jeff and I received samples prior to receiving any of the information above so we were able to test without any of the tech data and marketing and then continued testing after receiving it. 4D now today a new and compelling midsole technology for actual running or are we still at the concept car technology platform demo stage? For sure 2020 and now 2021 have ushered in an era of run shoe midsole innovation with primarily super light energetic foams and here we have a completely different approach. Really run ready and for what and whom?  We tested to find out!

Monday, May 03, 2021

Reseña: Under Armour UA Flow Velociti Wind Spanish Review

Article by Beto Hughes

Under Armour UA Flow Velociti Wind ($160 US)

Flow Velociti Wind un gran paso para Under Armour diseño deportivo y con gran estilo para ir a entrenar y después para vestirte casual con un mismo tenis.

Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico

31 años, Estatura 176cm, Peso 89kg

Comencé a correr en 2016 y a entrenar para bajar de peso, solía pesar 135 kg y entre correr y Crossfit comenzó mi amor por la vida saludable y Fitness, y claro por correr, ahora estoy enfocado en pronto calificar para el Boston Marathon.

Kilometraje por semana: 100 a 125 km en Asfalto.

Distancia Favorita: Maratón y Medio Maratón. También el Ultra Marathon.

Maraton PR 3:22, Medio Maraton PR 1:31, 10k PR 41:52 5k PR 20:05

Me puedes seguir en Instagram @betohughes  https://www.instagram.com/betohughes/


Pros:

  • Buen Upper Warp Transpirable

  • Gran Agarre del medio pie.

  • Excelente Tracción y Durabilidad de la Suela Flow

  • Podómetro integrado en el tenis y conexión a bluetooth.

  • El Podometro mide Distancia, Cadencia, Sancada, sin GPS.

Cons:

  • Algo firme para algunos gustos.

  • No tiene caucho, aun asi tiene buen agarre en suelo mojado.

  • Checar irregularidades en la media suela por si tiene algún defecto. Ya que mi modelo los tenia en ambos tenis.

Saturday, May 01, 2021

adidas FWD-01 Sport In-Ear Wireless Bluetooth Headphones Review: Fit for Great Sound & Fast Long Runs!

 Article by Jeff Valliere

adidas FWD-01 Sport In-Ear Wireless Bluetooth Headphones ($150)


16 hours battery life

23 grams spec. (26 grams on my scale)

$150. Available now



Introduction, Design and Specs:


These headphones came as a bit of a surprise to me.  First, I was unaware that adidas was even selling headphones, manufactured by Zound industries in Stockholm, Sweden and marketed under the adidas brand name,. The  FWD-01 is a top quality wireless bluetooth headset.  While not truly wireless, the FWD-01 uses a soft and pliable cord (much like a nice woven shoe lace) that connects the two earbuds.  I actually prefer this to true wireless, as there is less likelihood of me losing them on the trail or in a pocket.  The ear buds are slightly large, but not overly so, are not heavy and do not get in the way.  The FWD-01 provides 16 hours of battery life, are extremely comfortable, are easy to dial in the fit, have fantastic, customizable sound with the controls easy to use out of the box and customizable if you prefer.

ASICS Novablast 2 Multi Tester Review

Article by Peter Stuart, Jacob Brady, Renee Krusemark and Sam Winebaum

ASICS Novablast ($130)

Introduction

Sam: The first edition of the Novablast was a somewhat unexpected 2020 favorite. It took ASICS into new territory with a high stack, bouncy, fun shoe sharing little of the brand’s usual serious feeling (dense and on the firm side) and seriously stable rides no matter the shoe. 


With a narrow on the ground geometry and big stack the Novablast 1 introduced FlyteFoam Blast, an energetic, bouncy, softer foam. The Novablast 1 had some flaws for some. It was not particularly stable, requiring good well aligned form and focus, and its plasticky upper was tricky for some to lockdown and especially so given its big stack height.


Novablast 2 seeks to address those issues with a number of updates:

  • 2mm more forefoot foam for more cushion and stability

  • Redesigned rear midsole sidewalls for a more gradual compression and more stability

  • An extended TPU rear heel overlay, again for more rear stability on the narrow base platform

  • More segmentation of the outsole for a smoother flow

  • A  soft Jacquard mesh upper with a gusset tongue


Coming in at about 9.85 oz / 280g in a US 9 it does gain about 0.5 oz / 14g. At first glance, given the changes that seems OK and worth it, at least for me. But what will my fellow testers think?


The Novablast now appears more stable, more cushioned, and better secured up top thus opening it up as an option for more runners than v1 as an all around daily trainer while retaining its exciting ride. So what did the team find out when we took it to the roads?

Jacob: The Novablast is ASICS’s modern, high cushion trainer with a soft, bouncy, and fun FlyteFoam Blast midsole. Released in 2020, the Novablast was ASICS first shoe to use FlyteFoam Blast and was at the front of ASICS recent progression in innovation and modern designs. The Novablast was a personal favorite of mine and I recommended it as a general purpose trainer to five other runner friends (for two of them single shoe quiver) and they all had great experiences with it. It is a fun shoe capable of recovery runs as well as cruising at a faster pace. For me as well as other reviewers, the fit and upper was the definite weak point of the Novablast 1. The other possible negative, though it wasn’t an issue for me, was the Novablast 1 didn’t have high stability, combined with the loose upper it was a bit unwieldy. The Novablast 2 seeks to resolve these two criticized points of the first version with a totally new upper and widened platform with higher midsole sidewalls.

Friday, April 30, 2021

Changeover of RoadTrailRun News Feed to follow.it

 Article by Sam Winebaum, Editor
With Feedburner going to maintenance mode in July at Google, RoadTrailRun has decided to move its news feed to follow.it.

If you are not yet a subscriber to our feed you can subscribe here: RoadTrailRun News Feed

If you are already a subscriber via Feedburner (and thank you for subscribing to RTR) you should not need to do anything as will be canceling our feed to Feedburner shortly and you will start to see your feeds as before but now via follow.it

follow.it offers a number of filters and output channels as shown below. To customize them head over to folllow.it here


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Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Nike Zoom Pegasus 38 Multi Tester Review

Article by Jeff Beck, Adam Glueck, and Sam Winebaum


Nike Zoom Pegasus 38 ($120)



Introduction

Jeff: In a year where we’ve seen a number of manufacturers make very slight changes from last year’s shoe, Nike has a history of doing that with the Pegasus. After last year’s overhaul, this year’s upper refinement follows their established patterns. I’m not being hyperbolic either, the Pegasus 38 is truly an upper refinement, and that’s it. The midsole and outsole seem to be virtually identical to last year, so runners familiar with the 37 already have a good idea of what the 38 will be.


The Pegasus 37 was a polarizing shoe. Some liked its bigger 20 PSI Zoom Air in the forefoot, some didn’t. 


Sam: I tested both the men’s and women’s Pegasus 37 in equivalent sizes last year (RTR Review) and much preferred the lighter by 0.35 ounces/ 8g less lighter, softer (React foam and lower PSI Zoom Air) women’s with its less dense upper and smoother run flow. I was interested to see how the 39 evolved. 


I immediately noticed my women 38 (left above) weighed exactly the same as my men’s gaining 0.8 oz /  23g over the Peg 37 women’s. Both 38 have the same soft, thicker, air mesh upper unlike with the 37 where the women's upper was considerably thinner and more pliable. According to Nike both 38 are built on a new last with more width and toe box height, so more similar to the 36 than 37.  While Nike says nothing changed underfoot, I was curious to see if in fact anything did.

Monday, April 26, 2021

New Balance Fuel Cell MD-X Track Spike Review: Carbon Plated, Super Foam, Titanium Pins Super Spike!

Article by Zack Dunn


Editor’s Note: We welcome Zack Dunn to the RTR Test Team. Zack is a high school middle distance runner from Indiana.


New Balance Fuel Cell MD-X ($180)


Pros:

Soft and responsive FuelCell midsole foam

Snappy, powerful carbon fiber plate with plenty of traction

Nice, comfortable sock-like upper 

Lightweight and fast


Cons:

Non-removable/replaceable spikes could be a turn off for some buyers

After every race the tongue had slid down almost to the bottom of the laces.

One of the most expensive track spikes on the market at $180. 

 


Tester Profile


I am a junior in high school. I’ve been running for 7 years, and focused solely on running after giving up on years of baseball and wrestling. I race distances between 800 meters and 10K  whether it be on the track, the roads, or on cross country courses. I do most of my training on the roads, some training on the track, and occasionally run trails logging anywhere from 40-60 miles a week. My typical training consists of easy days, long days, workouts (fartleks, tempos, interval training, etc.). My typical training paces range from 7’30 a mile on easy days to sub-5 minutes a mile on fast interval days, and with many paces in between. My personal bests are 2:02 for 800m, 4:30 for 1600m, 9:50 for 3200m, 15:57 for 5K, and 34:10 for 10K. 


Stats

Sample Weight: men’s 136g / 4.84 oz (US 10.5)

Available May 1st 2021. $180