Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Salming Speed 6-If Looks Could Kill

Article by Peter Stuart with Sam Winebaum

The Salming Speed 6 ($130) is an uptempo (duh, check the name) more racer than trainer--coming in at 7.4 oz./210g for a men's size 9, 6.5 oz./ for a women's size 8 according to Running Warehouse. It loses a full ounce in weight from the Speed 5.  
It has a heel height of 23mm and a forefoot of 17mm, 6mm drop. It's a firm shoe underfoot with looks that make me think of Blade Runner or a Japanese street corner. 

There is so much branding on this shoe it's hard to believe. But how do they run? Are they speedy? Read on to find out what we think about the ride and relative ups and downs of the Speed 6. Let me just say, in advance, that I'm glad there were only two SPEED movies, and we could have done without the 2nd. That said, here are the reviews:

First Impressions and Fit
Sam: Wow! Peter is right about the branding. I kind of like the loud look in a combination of bright fading to green yellow and muted swampy green. 
Sam: The build quality and finish from Sweden based Salming is among the best of any shoe company, and it sure shows here. These are beautifully build and finished shoes.
There is plenty of durable rubber, a surprising amount for such a light shoe. 
My pair is a half size up from my normal 8.5 with the fit a bit roomy. I could easily go true to size with thinner socks.  Salming has lost the more substantial overlays of its Exo Skeleton found in prior models and this is a good thing as it makes the fit more consistent from heel to toe. The fit is what I would characterize as higher volume and "tubular" feeling over the foot meaning with no sensation of a change in pressure from the rear to the front, decently roomy at the forefoot and as with prior Salming a bit pointy up very front of the shoe. I did not run in the Speed 5 so can't compare but have run in the Distance D4 and EnRoute.

Sam: The upper is a two layer very fine mesh with extensive overlays. The foot is stabilized by the thin Exo Skeleton overlays, the yellow green lattice and strips in the pictures. I did not find the upper particularly breathable but also certainly not overly warm. Compared to the Distance and En Route the upper is more comfortable overall, less snug than the Distance (RTR review) with its thicker external Exo Skeleton overalays  and easier to dial in than the somewhat sloppy upper of the Enroute (RTR review).
Peter: Sam, I love when you handle all of the technical stuff! I'm a big fan of the upper on the Speed 6. As busy as it looks, it works for me visually. I find the fit to be true to size and it holds my foot well in all the right places. I love the high reflectivity as I've been heading out for pre-dawn runs lately. It's a very deluxe and dialed-in upper.

Speed 6 puts on an incredible show under the lights!

All dark areas of the upper are actually highly reflective as seen when flashed with the camera.
The flash photo also highlights the thin strips securing the mid foot.

Sam: The midsole is made of Salming Recoil foam in 2 grades of firmness with what is called out as a softer Recoil R heel insert embedded in a single density or Recoil. I must say the heel did not feel soft but it sure is decently responsive if quite firm. I think the shoe could benefit from a deeper central cavity just in front of the heel to allow some more deflection of the heel and overall slightly softer foam with more actual "recoil".
Some will appreciate the responsive firm snap of this midsole, and I certainly did at faster tempos less so when run slow but after all this is a Speed shoe by name. It is firmer at the heel than the Enroute which I found to soft there.  Interestingly the EnRoute also has a similar Recoil R heel insert yet I found that shoe's heel to soft at least in contrast to the firmer fore foot. Maybe the Recoil R insert in the Speed is firmer or more likely the overall EnRoute midsole is softer.
Again this is a performance/racing oriented shoe with a midsole feel along the lines of the ASICS Roadhawk FF which is more trainer and  New Balance 1400,  or even Nike Zoom Streak 6 racer, two others I find overly firm for all but shorter racing. ASICS with its firm FlyteFoam seems to get more of a rebound sensation out of its firm foam.
Peter: Man oh man is this a firm feeling foam. Unfortunately I don't get a lot of recoil from the recoil--it just feels firm. Sam, I disagree on the 1400 and the Zoom Streak 6. While they are both on the firm side, the 1400 has some give and the Zoom Streak 6 is so much snappier. 

Sam: The defining feature of Salming shoes is its Natural Running Support System which combines a mid foot Torsion Guide System to stabilize the foot after which, at 62% of the length of the shoe from the heel, there is an anatomically correct flex groove at a 75 degree angle towards the medial side just behind the first orange forefoot outsole band in the photo above. This location is called the ballet line.  As with all Salming there is a distinct sensation of plenty of stability at mid foot followed by a very natural feeling and smooth toe off.
Peter: It's funny, given the ballet line, you'd think this shoe would transition through the gait cycle effortlessly, but that isn't the case for me. I feel like I have to PUSH through each stride. The outsole feels both stiff and firm for me and it's just not a smooth transition. I've hoped that it might break in, but hasn't done so yet

In addition to the 75 degree angle first flex point, three other flex grooves are located further forward in an approach similar to the Enroute. 

Sam: This ain't no mushy ride! The ride is firm and responsive as a fast shoe should be but... I do think the heel is overly firm especially in contrast to the agile smooth running forefoot.  Salming tells us the forefoot midsole is firmer than the heel but I don't feel this.  I think  due to 62/75 design with the perfect flex and the deep flex grooves the contrast between heel and forefoot is a bit more jarring than I would like. A somewhat more relaxed heel ride, followed by the mid foot stabilizing Torsion Guide System, a feature similar to what adidas puts in its softer midsole Boost performance shoes such as the Adios, would really help me dig this shoe as a half racer and faster daily trainer.

Peter: Rarely I have I wanted to like a shoe more (based on looks and what, on paper, is my kind of shoe). Unfortunately it's just not a shoe that works with my body mechanics. The ride is really clunky for me. I feel like I'm fighting with the shoe to get through a run. I'm not expecting a shoe to do the work for me, but every once in a while a shoe just seems to get in the way of running naturally--and this shoe seems to do just that. I've tried a variety of tempos and distances in these and I just can't get a great feeling run in them. 

Peter: The Salming Speed 6 wasn't a great fit for me. The upper is terrific and I like the shoe in theory, but couldn't get a great feeling run in them. They are super firm and pretty stiff. If they work with your biomechanics I think they'd be a great race shoe, they're just not for me. I'd love a substantially more flexible version of this shoe that was a little less firm. 
Sam: I agree with Peter on the upper being terrific. Rarely has a more race oriented upper felt so great without the usual "lock down" mid foot constriction and/or cramped toe box. And the look says fast.   I do like a race weight shoe I can run with some comfort and ease on other days for example the adidas adios Boost 3 or the lighter yet Vaporfly 4%. Here the ride is just a bit to firm overall especially at the heel.

Comparisons to the Speed 6 (7.4 oz)
Salming Distance D4 (7.6 oz.) RTR review
Sam: The 2016 Distance is slightly softer underfoot and for me and is not as responsive. While I raced a half in them they just don't feel as speedy as the Speed 6.  The upper is pointier up front and the denser Exo Skeleton overlays more noticeable. They sit somewhere between firmer trainer and softer racer with less focus than the firm, fast Speed 6. 
adidas adios Boost 3 (RTR review)
Sam:  The class of comfortable racers. Somewhat heavier and with not nearly as refined an upper the adios can still make mid packers or world record holders smile in comfort and at speed at a variety of paces and distances. 
Nike Zoom Streak 6 (6.4 oz) RTR review
Peter: The Streak 6 is similarly firm, but way snappier. It's a race shoe that is just aching to go fast. Works better with the way I run. 
Sam: While the Streak 6 is snappier it has a rough narrow heel landing for me and the snappy part only kicks in at race paces. I reserve mine for 10K or shorter races and never for training. I would not hesitate to take out  Speed 6 for tempo and faster runs. 
New Balance 1400 v5 (7.4 oz) RTR review
Peter: The 1400 V5 is shaping to be one of my 2 or 3 favorites of the year. It's more flexible and softer than the Salming. Good at any tempo and perhaps the most natural feeling runner of the year (The Zoom Elite 9 is the other contender)
Hoka One One Tracer 1 (7.4 oz) RTR review
Sam: Also a firm shoe and identical weight. The Speed 6 to be a more refined overall package and ride, the Tracer being stiffer and more awkward for me although having a slightly softer but lower  heel and about identical forefoot stack.
Skechers GOmeb Razor (7.7 oz) RTR review
Peter: Speed 6 and Razor are pretty similarly stiff, but the Razor has a little more give--feels better at tempo to me. 
On The Cloud (7.4 oz.) RTR review
Sam: While its upper is a bit "casual" fitting with its optional bungie lace for faster running and to snug with real laces,  under foot the Cloud is softer and easier on the legs despite being firm. The Cloud Elements really work in this shoe. My denim and muted green Cloud also goes casual with less of the bright lights of the Speed!
Saucony Kinvara 8 (7.8 oz) RTR review
Peter: If the Kinvara 8 works for you, the Speed 6 might work too. They feel similarly clunky to me. 
Sam: While the Kinvara 8 tend to bottom out at the heel for me, leaving me lingering back there in transition, the Speed 6 heads in the other direction at the heel, firm and without much give wanting me to get off it as quick as possible which the forward part of the shoe 62/75 design facilities. Upfront the Kinvara has a stiffer feeling transition. The Speed 6 upper is superior in fit and comfort.
ASICS Roadhawk FF (8.1 oz) RTR review
Sam: I feel this may be the closest comparison. While the transition of the Roadhawk is not as smooth due to excessive firm outsole rubber upfront making them stiff  its equally firm midsole is more forgiving and dynamic but has a more awkward to forefoot transition. At $30 less the Roadhawk upper while very decent is snugger, rougher feeling and doesn't disappear on the foot as the Speed 6's does
Altra Escalante (7.8 oz,) RTR review
Peter: These two are polar opposites. The Escalante is flexible, soft and barely there. 

For Peter and Sam's run bios visit our reviewers' page here

The Speed 6 was provided at no cost. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.
Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
Visit our Index Page here for over 60 of in depth 2017 shoe and gear reviews
Visit our 2018 Previews Page here for 2018 run shoe, apparel, and gear previews 

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Friday, August 25, 2017

Saucony Triumph ISO 4 First Run Impressions: Smooth All Over

Article by Sam Winebaum, Editor

Just got in my 1st run in the Saucony Triumph ISO 4, actually wearing the ISO 4 on one foot and the ISO 3 on the other to closely compare.
Triumph ISO 4
Now with a full Everun TPU midsole, it is nicely energetic but unlike full Boost TPU midsoles without EVA or plastic pieces to stabilize such as the Ultra Boost, here it is stable and tamed due to the burly outsole or maybe the different makeup of Everun which seems slightly firmer than Boost. 

The downside of the full Everun midsole in ...weight. My size 9 pre production sample weighs over 11 oz. Final production weight should come in at 10.6-10.8 oz so very close to the weight of the ISO 3 of 10.5 oz They do run way lighter than their weight due to their smooth transition and rebound and also for that matter lighter than the 10.7 oz Triumph ISO 3 on my other foot. We will be confirming final production weights as early samples can vary.

The redesigned decoupled (see longitudinal grooves up front) outsole makes them transition more smoothly than ISO 3 but overall with a touch less of a firmer pop off the heel despite the fuller rubber coverage there as the midsole is softer but also transmits far less shock. 
LEFT: Triumph ISO 4 RIGHT Triumph ISO 3
The upper is very plush, decently supportive but light on the foot overall with less overlay material in the ISOFit bands than ISO 3. No pressure points anywhere. As a result, the half size up sample size 9 is a touch to big for me whereas at half up the ISO 3 is just right.  I would go true to size with a next pair.
LEFT: Triumph ISO 4 RIGHT Triumph ISO 3
More miles to run for sure but Triumph ISO 4, despite what appears despite a class leading weight, to likely to become a new favorite in the premium, plush daily trainer category for his just right cushioning softness, comfortable upper, and smooth transitions.  
When compared to the ISO 3, my early impressions is that overall it is a slightly softer shoe, one that transitions more smoothly, but while bouncier from the Everun with a touch slower response. The upper is clearly superior in comfort and hold and more accommodating  
It is smoother running at slower paces than the heel heavy TPU based Energy Boost 4 (RTR review), has a more refined less constrictive upper than the Gel-Nimbus 19 (RTR review) its closest comparison in terms of ride, a firmer more stable heel than the Brooks Glycerin 15 (RTR review), and a softer ride and easier toe off than the Nike Vomero 18 (RTR review). Fans

Available November. $160. 
Full review soon. 
See our review of the Triumph ISO 3 here
See our Saucony Spring 2018 preview article here

The Triumph was provided at no cost. The opinions herein are entirely the author's.
Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
Visit our Index Page here for over 60 of in depth 2017 shoe and gear reviews
Visit our 2018 Previews Page here for 2018 run shoe, apparel, and gear previews 

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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Hoka Speed Instinct 2 Review: Race Ready Crowd Pleaser

Article by Dominick Layfield

Hoka One One Speed Instinct 2
Hoka's stated weight: 9.5 oz/269 g M9,  8.1 oz./230 g M8
Measured weight of US M10: 10.3 oz/293 g per shoe
Stack Height: 25mm heel/ 22 mm forefoot, 3mm drop
$130. Available now.
Historically, I've not felt much love for Hoka One One shoes.

They arrived at a time when the running community was enjoying a dalliance with minimal shoes, and when I first saw them, Hokas looked like clown shoes.  I dismissed them as a fad that would quickly be forgotten.

I was forced to take them seriously when they were publicly espoused by ultra-running royalty like Karl Meltzer and Dave Mackey.  However, when I tried them on, the foot shape just felt wrong.

The first Hokas that I actually liked were the (long-discontinued) Huaka.  I was given a old demo pair by the local Hoka rep, and while I still felt that the foot shape was not quite right for my feet, I really enjoyed the shoe and wore them until they had no tread left at all.

Fast forward a few years, and despite the fact that Hokas were becoming more and more dominant in the trail and ultra-running world, I continued to resist: every pair I tried on (e.g. Challenger ATR) felt shaped for someone else's foot.

However, when researching shoes to wear for Western States, I couldn't help but notice the really impressive cushion-to-weight ratio of the Clayton 2.  Although a road shoe, the outsole looked like it might have enough tread for trail use.  When I saw a Facebook photo of the great David Roche wearing Claytons at the finish line of a trail race, that clinched it.  I ordered a pair, and was pleasantly surprised.  They felt very much like the Huakas, and nothing else that I'd found came anywhere close to the weight. (~470 g/pair  8.3 oz/shoe for US M10)

Although I had a disappointing day at Western States [Editor's Note: coming back from an injury Dom finished 14th], the Clayton 2's performed well.  And the only minor issues I encountered were the lack of any toe protection (which I discovered when I kicked a root in the dark), and a few times getting jabbed by a sharp rock through the outsole cutout.  If I had to run the race again tomorrow, I'd pick the same shoe.

However, for a longer, more rugged race, like the upcoming UTMB, I want a little more protection.  So when I was offered the chance to review a pair of the Speed Instinct 2, I jumped at the chance.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

2017 Aspen Backcountry Marathon/Half Marathon Race Report

by Jeff Valliere

Aspen Backcountry Marathon/Half Marathon
August 12th, 2017

Once again I was fortunate enough to race the Aspen Backcountry Marathon/Half Marathon sponsored by adidas Outdoor.  I participated in the half marathon last year, which was one of the best race experiences that I have had, not only because of the amazing course, excellent race organization and the fact that it is held in Aspen, but I was able to bring the family along.  I could potentially do that for any event, but in Aspen, there are so many nearby activities and attractions to keep them occupied while I race, I do not feel guilty about being away running for several hours, as they are likely having a better time than I am (I am having fun, but in a painful sort of way).

Photo credit: Trey Kinkead
When invited back for 2017, I jumped at the chance.  My wife, daughters and I were very excited to return to Aspen and relive the good times from last year.  Additionally, this was the last weekend of summer vacation and there was no better way to top off a great summer of outdoor adventures.

The Aspen Backcountry Marathon continues to steadily improve each year and I noticed a marked improvement over 2016.  The courses for both the marathon and the half marathon have continued to be tweaked and improved over the years and this year was no exception.  Both races (the half and the full) now feature even more singletrack than before, greatly reducing the already minimal stretch of paved bike path required getting to/from the main trails.  The direction of the course also alternates each year, so it was great going in the opposite direction, as it seemed like a different race.

Another improvement is that the prize purse has been increased, paying generous cash prizes for the top marathon finishers and adidas Outdoor has also generously increased the amount of gift cards they give out for the top race finishers, King of the Mountain winners and all the way down through age groups.

There was also more great gear given out this year included in the entry fee.  At packet pickup, each racer was given a very nice adidas Ultimate Tee, then a choice of adidas running hat or visor, as well as an adidas gear bag/backpack.  Packet pickup was also very easy, quick and efficient.  Course maps were provided and the then the race meeting was informative with a description of the course, race rules, leave no trace ethics (cupless course) and everything else that needed to be covered about the race and the course.

Race tee, pack (they were out of blue/gray by the time I arrived), hat, cup and great handmade trophies.

Post race, each racer is given a nice stainless steel drinking cup with vouchers for food and drinks afterward, that can be cashed in at one of several vendors who have set up shop in Rio Grande Park in conjunction with the annual ducky derby.  I was also given a wet/iced towel (a small, but welcome comfort) after the race for cleaning off, received a complimentary massage from Aspen School of Massage Therapy, gorged on watermelon and a variety of other fruit and snacks (before cashing in my lunch coupons).

I somehow managed to pull off a second consecutive win here, accompanied on the podium by Women's Half Marathon champ, Penelope Freedman who was 3rd overall.

Race entry fees are also quite reasonable, a steal actually when you compare to other races around Colorado and the Mountain West.  Then factor in the great schwag, prizes, chip timing, great organization/support, amazing course and setting, this race is really tough to beat.

2017 Pricing:

Full Marathon

  • Dec 1 – Jan 31: $70
  • Feb 1 – Apr 30: $80
  • May 1 – Jul 31: $90
  • Aug 1 – 7: $100

1/2 Marathon (21K)

  • Dec 1 – Jan 31: $70
  • Feb 1 – Apr 30: $75
  • May 1 – Jul 31: $85
  • Aug 1 – 7: $90
As great as all of that sounds, what I really appreciated most as a father of 6 year old twins, was how much there was to do in and around Aspen as a family.  We enjoyed fine dining, went on hikes, rode the gondola, went to the farmers market, perused gem and fossil shops, rock climbed, swam, attended a jazz concert at the top of Aspen Mountain and enjoyed the Duck Derby Festival, complete with bouncy houses and kids activities that share Rio Grande Park with the race.

Easy above treeline hiking on Independence Pass

 Views from the Aspen gondola, from here you can see much of the course

Wildflowers galore at the top of Aspen Mountain

We happened upon a jazz concert while hiking above the Aspen gondola

But, Aspen is expensive you say?  Yes, of course Aspen is pricey, but there are alternatives for the budget conscious.  There are less expensive rooms if you plan ahead.  We stayed at the St. Moritz Lodge just a few blocks from town, where they have some pretty reasonably priced bunk rooms (as well as standard rooms and rooms with a kitchenette), a nice shared kitchen, continental breakfast, happy hour wine and a heated 92 degree pool (where my kids spent a total of 10 hours over the 3 days we were there).  There is also plenty of camping in the area, Difficult Campground, Weller Campground, Silver Queen, Maroon Creek, Castle Creek and Pine Creek to name a few.  Another great option is Snowmass Village, where rooms are more reasonable and a free shuttle provides access to Aspen (don't miss the Snomastodon museum).

The St. Moritz Lodge, great pool and accommodations

One other observation we made was how nice and accomodating we found everyone to be, from the friends we made associated with the race, to people we met around town (locals and visitors).  It was quite refreshing to be around so many positive and friendly people.

Everyone I talked to after the race had nothing but great things to say about the course, the town, the organization, the prizes, food, support and freebies.  Many people that I spoke with are well into making this race into an annual tradition.

Since racing in Aspen in 2016, I have been promoting the Aspen Backcountry Marathon/Half to friends, strangers and far and wide on the internet.  After 2017, I am even more impressed and will increasingly heap praise and recommend this to anyone I know who likes to run and is looking for a well run, affordable race in a beautiful setting with lots of great perks.

A huge thanks to adidas Outdoor, Pete Shuster, Loren Gwartney Morshead, Melissa Wisenbaker, Maureen Poschman, Toni Case and the Aspen Chamber of Commerce, City of Aspen and Parks and Rec..

See you there in 2018!
Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
Visit our Index Page here for over 60 of in depth 2017 shoe and gear reviews
Visit our 2018 Previews Page here for 2018 run shoe, apparel, and gear previews 

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Spring 2018 adidas Outdoor Previews: Performance with a Greener Focus- Parley for the Oceans and No-Dye

Article by Sam Winebaum, Editor 

Road Trail Run awarded adidas Terrex/ adidas Outdoor an award at Outdoor Retailer for Innovative Designs with a Focus on Reducing Environmental Impact
Women's Voyager Parley Hoodie ($69)
adidas Terrex is focusing its Spring 2018 on not only product, but a lighter foot print on the Earth.
Last Outdoor Retailer we heard about the adidas partnership with Parley's for the Oceans an organization which recovers ocean plastic pollution. This OR,adidas showed an extensive line of Parley's products: boat and causal shoes with uppers made of recovered plastic as well as soft and beautiful apparel. 
The Terrex CC Voyager Parley ($120) is a combination water and travel all conditions shoe. It has an upper knit in with Parley's recovered plastic pollution. It is knit into its shape with no waste. Speaking to its water side, it is quick drying with a drainage system 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Altra Running Timp Review: Mountain Flippers!

Article by Sam Winebaum, Editor

Altra Running Timp ($130) is a new near maximal cushioned trail runner sitting between the Altra Lone Peak (25mm stack) and Olympus (36mm stack). 
According to Running Warehouse it weighs a hefty 11.4 oz. M9, 9.4 oz./266g W9. My US 8.5 weighs 11.2 oz.
Timp has Ultra's signature Zero Drop platform with with a 29mm heel, 29mm forefoot stack. Of course the toe area is Foot Shaped and is broader and higher volume than its Lone Peak cousin. 
As with all Altra trail shoes it is named after a Utah peak. 
In this case the iconic Timpanogos a magnificent summit with wildflower meadows below its very long cliff band. Aptly named, the Timp is the perfect shoe for the 12 or so mile round trip of mostly smoother single track followed by a steep scramble to the summit. 

First Impressions and Fit
I titled this review "Mountain Flippers". The Timp has a very wide toe box and platform on the trail.  The fit is true to size but narrow feet may swim. The flipper part is more than just a comment on its looks. There is a distinct sensation while climbing in these surprisingly flexible shoes with a wide platform that they act much like swim flippers in water as there is tons of ground contact area to push off with fully deployed toes!

Merrell Agility Peak Flex Review: Serious Mountain Runner with Great Mid Foot to Heel Hold and Stability

Article by Sam Winebaum 

The Merrell Agility Peak Flex ($130) is an all terrain highly supportive trail runner. Coming in according to Running Warehouse at a fairly hefty 11 ox./ 312 g M9, 9.6 oz./272 g W8 it has a 27mm heel, 21mm forefoot stack, 6mm drop. We were surprised and pleased with its fantastic mid foot and heel hold, probably the best of 2017, decent front of the shoe flexibility, and despite the weight decent if a bit ponderous agility. This is a shoe that will get you through hard tough miles of varied terrain in security and comfort.

First Impressions
We were quite frankly skeptical when first offered to test the Agility Peak Flex. Merrell is of course known for hiking boots and for their minimal Trail and Road Glove shoes. We know Joe Gray many time US Mountain Champion and 2016 World Mountain Champion is a Merrell athlete so that was enough for us to give them a try.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Brooks Running Spring 2018 Previews: Transcend 5, Adrenaline GTS 18, Launch 5, Ravenna 9, Caldera 2, Mazama 2

Brooks emphasized extensive deconstruction of 2018 shoe uppers, fewer sewn overlays and more use of 3D Fit Print overlays. Generally underfoot platforms are staying the same and weights dropping slightly. 

The light stability Transcend 5 ($160) features a new engineered mesh upper and an updated Guide Rail support system which is somewhat taller than the Transcend 4. The Transcend 5 will come in at 10.8 oz/306 g (M9), 9.1 oz./258 g (W8.5) so no change in weight or price. Available January 2018.

Brooks Running Transcend 5
The outsole is divided into what Brooks calls IDEAL pressure zones to disperse shock, minimize joint stress, and improve how the foot works during the gait cycle.
Brooks Running Transcend 5
The Adrenaline GTS is Brooks' top selling shoe and is a posted stability shoe. Adrenaline GTS 18 keeps the same last and underfoot feel but completely revamps the upper, completely doing away with conventional overlays by using an engineered heathered mesh and 3D Fit Print resulting in not only a new stylish, modern look but a 1 oz. weight drop. The 12mm drop shoe will come in at a light, for a support shoe, 10 oz./283 g (M9), 8.6 oz./244 g (W8.5).  It will be available November 2017, $120.
Brooks Running Adrenaline GTS 18

Sunday, August 06, 2017

adidas Aero Bounce Review: Bar Bouncers?

9.3 oz./264 g (M9)
28/18mm. 10mm drop
$100. Available now.
The adidas Aero Bounce is a light trainer which departs from adidas recent use of Boost TPU midsoles in its performance running shoes by using a new EVA midsole material called Bounce. 
Bounce is described by adidas as  "soft at step and gives a bouncy elastic experience when running." The Bounce midsole is paired to a single density soft blown rubber outsole and not the customary firmer Continental rubber or thinner Stretch Web.  Also departing from recent higher priced trends this modern, light shoe is priced at a reasonable $100 setting it up to compete with shoes such as the ASICS Roadhawk FF, Hoka Hupana, and Skechers GOrun Ride 6. 
It is clear from my runs in this shoe that adidas wanted to produce a similar experience to their premium Ultra Boost at a lower weight,  far lower price point and with modern style. The spare black, white and gray is very classy looking with its fades at mid foot. While the heel is decently responsive and with some pop the forefoot is soft, flexible and only slightly more agile and responsive than the Ultra Boost, a shoe whose forefoot I found to be overly soft.  The Bounce foam is outstanding with great cushion and that bouncy and especially a sense of that "elastic" experience adidas calls out. 

But... from a performance running shoe standpoint the soft blown rubber outsole tends to sap the energy out of the shoe, particularly up front.

adidas PureBoost DPR Review...These Boost are made for Walking...

Article by Peter Stuart 
adidas PureBoost DPR
The Adidas PureBoost DPR (Deconstructed Pure Racer) is a lighter, leaner (by 1.2 oz)  alternative to the UltraBoost for those seeking an all Boost midsole, thus the Pure in the name. DPR is available now, $150. It weighs in at 9.2 oz./261 g (M9) with  a heel stack height of 25mm with the forefoot at 17mm for an 8mm drop. They're in the 'responsive performance trainer' category. So, how do they do? Well...

Friday, August 04, 2017

Salomon S/Lab Sense 6 and Sense 6 SG Review: True Mountain Racers!

Editor's Note: We are thrilled to bring you this review of S/Lab Sense 6 and Sense 6 SG by RoadTrailRun contributor and rising ultra and mountain talent Patrick Caron. He was invited to , and attended Salomon's, 2017 Young Gun Running Academy in Austria for promising mountain/trail runners 20 years old and under, the only North American selected. In addition to many ultra victories in New England including a sub 15 hour 100 mile race and two 50 mile victories at the Pineland Farms Maine Trail Challenge, Patrick ran 2:40:45 at the 2017 Boston Marathon, and was 16th and 17th overall, first 20 year old and under ,at the 2017 Mount Washington Road Race and USTAF Mountain Running Championships respectively. Patrick works at Marathon Sports in the Boston area so he is a run shoe expert!
Article by Patrick Caron
Salomon has been a dominant force in the trail running industry for quite some time. Next time you’re at a trail or mountain race, look down - it’s highly likely that you will see the majority of top runners wearing Salomons as their shoe of choice. Within the brand’s vast lineup of shoes exists the Salomon S-Lab Series, which is designed with performance and speed in mind, utilizing the knowledge and input of Salomon’s top engineers, athletes, and designers. Generally speaking, the technology Salomon develops for the S-Lab Series trickles down to other mid-tier shoes within their lines. Two of the highly popular shoes within the Salomon S-Lab Series are the Sense 6 and the Sense 6 SG. Read on for more on both of these models!
Top: S/Lab Sense 6 Bottom: S/Lab Sense 6 SG

Thursday, August 03, 2017

New Balance FuelCore Sonic Review: Boa, was it you I was looking for?

Article by Peter Stuart
The New Balance FuelCore Sonic is an uptempo daily trainer/racer with the soul of the original Vazee Pace and a new twist (pun intended, sadly) on closure systems. It weighs in at about 8.4 ounces/238 grams for a Men's 9, 7.2 oz./204 for a Women's 8 and the stack heights are 24mm in the heel and 18 in the forefoot, 6mm drop.  There are definitely similarities to the Vazee Pace, but some notable differences too. 
$110. Available now.