Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Captain Bluetooth's Week in Running: First Impressions Reviews-Salomon S-Lab Wings,Altra Impulse, Ultraspire Lumen 600 "lighted" waist belt, Pearl Izumi

Well the Captain had a fine week in running helped along by spectacular early fall New England weather. As Mrs. Bluetooth and I are preparing for the Mount Desert Half Marathon in October we went for a 10 mile run Saturday along the coast.  With my newly received UltraSpire Velocity pack and Lumen 600 light belt along with Salomon S-Lab Wings trail shoe I was clearly over equipped and strangely shod for road work but got to test!

Salomon S-Lab Wings
S-Lab Wings
At 9.8oz with a 28mm heel, 19mm toe stack with an incredibly supportive upper and a stable firmer platform I am particularly liking the S-Lab Wings trail performance, where it belongs! A lot of shoe for the relatively low weight, finally from Salomon. I have run fairly technical trails in the S-Lab Wings on my usual test route and they have outperformed all the other shoes I have run there this year in terms of overall stability while remaining decently agile and well if firmly cushioned. The S-Lab uppers with their stretch mid foot Endo-Fit inner support sleeve and snug race fit inspire confidence on the trail.  This said those with wide feet may find it Wings a bit too snug, but not me as the intended purpose is fast running over technical terrain.
S-Lab Wings

Designed for the roughest trails and technical terrain I am finding that the Wings will accomplish this mission  Well cushioned they are somewhat firm and blocky feeling in the heel yet still run very well on the road as I found out on our ten miler, none of that heavy duty trail shoe stiffness and harshness. The 9 mm heel toe drop is noticeable due to a combination of the firmness and extra foam on the medial side for a touch of pronation support. A touch softer midsole might improve this fine shoe. Beautifully crafted, light, versatile, and I expect very durable, the S-Lab Wings comes at a steep price of $180.  Likely you really get what you pay for. A finalist for my Trail Shoe of the Year.

Altra Impulse
Altra Impulse

Altra Impulse

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Capt. Bluetooth's Week in Running- First Impressions Review Suunto Ambit3 Run GPS Watch, Pelican 2780 Headlamp,and a Race

With my new gig writing a tech wearables column for Competitor, my first was last month for the Garmin Vivoactive and this month I wrote about the adidas miCoach Smart Run, The Captain is  festooned at all times with stuff to try. I sure didn't need that headlamp on a bright sunny day!
This week I focused my testing on the Suunto Ambit3 Run and the Pelican 2780 dual lamp headlight.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Which Running Shoes Did Western States 100 Participants Rock?

Every year the epic Western States 100 race surveys participants.  The full survey is here. Altra Running sent along a link to the survey, as well they should, as while in 2014 they barely registered, this year they were the 3d most popular brand (16.5%) for all finishers and 2nd most popular brand (16.7%) for those finishing under 24 hours. Super cushioned Hoka One One was most popular in both categories with 34.5% and 34.7% of participants.