Thursday, October 26, 2017

Saucony Liberty ISO Review: Bouncy, Soft Fun with a Dash of Welcome Support

Article by Sam Winebaum and Peter Stuart

Saucony Liberty ISO
Weight: 10 oz.275 g M9, 8.7 oz/245 g W8
Our sample M9 weighed 10 oz/283 g
Stack Height: 22mm heel/ 18mm forefoot, 4mm drop
Price: $160. Available in run speciality stores Early November 2017.
The Liberty ISO joins its wild, fun and hard to tame sibling the Freedom ISO as a more stable, and we are finding far more versatile option. It is targeted at runners seeking a low drop, energetic, softer ride across a wide variety of paces. The energetic ride is supposed to come from the use of high energy return TPU based Everun in the midsole (similar to adidas Boost), but a bit firmer.

It is described with support/stability type shoe terms by Saucony: "we added a a touch of medial guidance for just enough stability for those miles you are putting in." The "touch of medial guidance" is comprised of
  • a thin vertical plate on the medial side
  • a denser outsole pattern on the medial side of the same rubber as the rest of the outsole 
  • somewhat denser more supportive mid foot to heel upper
  • more Support Frame external heel support elements at the heel than Freedom as Liberty has no internal heel counter.
Those who usually run in light stability shoes and those who found the Freedom too "free and natural" will find Liberty ISO to be more practical alternative to the Freedom which has a bouncy, soft somewhat unstable Everun midsole and soft Crystal rubber outsole, unstructured construction and very little medial support from heel to toe, so a really lousy goose hard to tame shoe for many.

Sam: Many of us who loved the fun ride of the Freedom found them somewhat unstable at heel, thin and tiring at the forefoot as well as overly snug at the metatarsals as the the miles piled up.  While I found Freedom not really practical as a frequently run trainer, the Liberty is a more supportive and still a fun and energetic trainer with guidance features not that uncommon on many neutral trainers. Not to be fooled though this is still a softer, more unstructured ride than a typical lighter trainer.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

La Sportiva Uragano GTX and Tempesta GTX Review - Quick, Lightweight, Agile All Mountain Shoes For Snowy, Icy, Wet Conditions

by Jeff Valliere with Sam Winebaum

Uragano GTX ($180)12 oz. (346 grams) US men’s size 9 (Unisex)
Tempesta GTX ($165)  – 11.3 oz. (320 grams) US men’s size 9/10.6 oz. (300 grams US Women’s size 8.5)
Both 29mm heel/19mm forefoot including 6mm lugs
Available now.
Left: LaSportiva Uragano GTX Right: La Sportiva Tempesta GTX
The newly released Uragano GTX and Tempesta GTX are very impressive all season additions to the already superb La Sportiva trail running selection.  The previous (and still available) Gore Tex winter stalwarts are the Wildcat GTX and Crossover 2.0 GTX (RTR review), which have been two of my favorites over the years for their great traction, protection, durability and top notch waterproof protection in the sloppiest of conditions.  The Uragano and Tempesta share all of those same properties, but are lighter weight and more nimble/agile.  The Uragano and Tempesta are essentially the same exact shoe, with the only notable difference being the built in 4 way stretch gaiter in the Uragano, adding 26 grams of weight and $15 in cost.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Salomon S/Lab Pop Up Shop and Trail Running Clinic with Max King and Cat Bradley

by Jeff Valliere

Boulder, Co

Coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the brand's founding in a family workshop making ski edges and saw blades in Annecy, France, Salomon launched their first ever S/Lab Pop Up Shop and trail running clinic. The trail running clinic was led by Max King, all around running superstar and Olympic Marathon trials qualifier (though still has some work to do when it comes to burro racing....) and Cat Bradley, a Boulder local who won Western States 100 this year.

Myself and several other journalists/industry insiders were invited to attend the trial run of their trail clinic, before heading over to Boulder Running Company for the evening festivities (food, beer, wine, raffle prizes, gear sale and presentations).

For the clinic, once everyone who was interested was outfitted with a demo pair of Salomon Sense Ride trail shoes (RTR review here), we all assembled at Chautauqua Park in Boulder, resplendent in Fall colors, then went through a round of introductions and headed up the Baseline Trail at a casual pace.

Once in Gregory Canyon, Max and Cat went over trail running techniques, from posture, to foot placement, stride length, uphill, downhill and of course, the most important weapon in the trail running quiver, walking.  From the Mall Walker to the hands on knees power strider, they had it covered.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Racer Stories: Racing Fast While Doing Good. Sally Reiley Runs Her 5th Sub 3:38 Marathon in Chicago, All in Her 6th Decade

Article by Sam Winebaum

We love to tell the stories of exceptional "older" athletes. Earlier this month we featured Joost De Raeymaeker's story (RTR article), 2:29 Berlin Marathon PR at age 49. Here we bring you Sally Reiley's story.

Sally Reiley is a remarkable athlete who races fast while doing good, lots of good. Late to the marathon, and even to competitive running, she started racing in 2014 at age 54!  Her goal was to run the 2014 Boston Marathon to raise money for the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Hospital in Boston, an institution she and her family have long been involved in, and to show that in the year after the bombings we were all Boston Strong.

She trained smart and well and ran out of the rear of the pack in the charity division at the 2014 Boston Marathon clocking a 3:34 in her very first marathon, ever.
Since then she has run three more Bostons, all sub 3:40, all faster than 3:38, with a PR of 3:29 at the very warm 2017 Boston Marathon.

Sally has raised a stunning $132,000 for eye research along the way. She decided to race the Chicago Marathon in 2017, this time to raise funds for the ALS Society.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Torin 3.0 Review: New More Comfortable Upper, Firmer Ride

Article by Sam Winebaum with Dominique Winebaum

Altra Torin 3.0 ($125)
Weight: 8.7 oz./247 g men's 9, 7.5 oz.213 g women's 8  per Running Warehouse 
Average of my size 8.5 sample weighs 8.6 oz./244 g (one shoe 8.5 oz./ 240 g, the other 8.8 oz./ 249 g)
Stack Height: 24mm heel/24 mm forefoot, Zero Drop
Altra Running Torin 3.0
The Torin is Altra Running's core neutral road trainer. It features Altra's signatures: the Foot Shape toe box and Zero Drop or midsole height difference from heel to toe, most modern shoes have heels 4-10 mm higher than forefoot. It has a supportive comfortable upper, and very decent flexibility for its 24mm forefoot cushion stack, this from Inner Flex,"tennis strings" like grid molded into the midsole. 
The Torin 2.5 (RTR review) was one of my favorite shoes of 2016 for its balanced construction and decently firm midsole which had me not noticing it had no drop from heel to toe , trail worthy upper, and responsive yet cushioned ride. So, how does the 3.0 measure up? 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Bose SoundSport Free In Ear Headphones Review: Wire Free, Superb, Rich, Immersive Sound. Like Bose Speakers!

Article by Sam Winebaum, Editor

Bose SoundSport Free
$250. Available now, see end of article
App: Android and iOS

RoadTrailRun will soon have a round up of all the new  2018 run ready headphones.  We could not wait to review what we think is the best sounding earphones of 2018, the Bose SoundSport Free.

The Bose SoundSport Free is a sweat and rain resistant, completely wire free in ear headphone. They have a 5 hour battery life with 10 hours more from the case with its convenient LED meter on the outside. Press the lightly latch on the sturdy, handsome case and up to 5 lights show your battery level.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

2018 Hoka One One Cavu and Mach Details and Initial Reviews: Hoka Re Discovers Its Mojo? Comparisons to Clayton its Predecessor.

Article by Sam Winebaum, Editor

Hoka One One will launch two new light performance trainers in 2018: Cavu and Mach.
Both are in Hoka's new Fly performance line. Hoka has had some great shoes the last few years but often they had compromises built in that left the final result less than ideal. Based on our initial testing these new models have no such compromises. Update: See our full reviews of the Hoka Mach here and Hoka Cavu here.  Both will be available in January 2018 launching at RoadRunner Sports.

The brand new Cavu and Mach ( a direct successor to Clayton in what should be considered a larger "update"... and name change),  have sub 8 oz weights, plenty of cushion, response, and comfort for such light weights. By the numbers they are very, very similar but actually are quite different on the run.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Polar OH1 Optical Heart Rate Sensor Review: a comfortable, accurate, and much-welcome alternative to the standard chest strap

Editor's Note: We are thrilled to have Larisa Dannis test and review the Polar OH1 optical heart rate sensor for her first article as a contributing writer at RoadTrailRun.  Larisa is a huge proponent of heart rate based pacing over all kinds of road and trail terrain. Reliable sensing is key for her.  She tested the OH1 while preparing for the Javelina 100 later this month on the trails of New Hampshire's rugged White Mountains, at the Vermont 50, and on the roads.  
The results of her heart rate based training and racing approach shows as among many great results she was 2nd at the Western States 100 in 2014, was US 50 Mile Road Champion (5:59:11), ran 2:44.14 at the 2014 Boston Marathon, and qualified for the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials. Her personal web site is here.

Article by Larisa Elaine Dannis

Polar OH1 Optical Heart Rate Sensor
$79.95. Available now.

Up until this opportunity to test an optical heart rate sensor, I’ll admit I was doubtful of the technology. Early reviews – especially those covering wrist-based devices – spoke of questionable accuracy, data transmission issues, and a need to cinch the sensors down uncomfortably tightly.

As a gal who’s relied heavily on heart rate data in training and when racing (something I talk about in detail here), I went into this testing period thinking nothing could replace my ever-reliable heart rate chest sensor.

37 hours and 220.6 miles later, the Polar OH1 has thoroughly changed my mind. In fact, at this stage I can’t imagine going back to using a chest strap again.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Racer Stories: Just Shy of 50, Joost De Raeymaeker Runs a PR 2:29:03 Marathon in Berlin. He tells us how he did it. And yes the Nike Zoom Vapor Fly 4% was in the Mix

Article by Joost De Raeymaeker

Editor's Note: We are thrilled to bring you Joost's race report. Currently hailing from Angola, he got serious about his running only in the last five years and has progressed dramatically to a 2:29 PB at Berlin just recently, at age 49. Nursing an injury he decided to run Berlin in the Nike Zoom Vapor Fly 4% after also evaluating the Nike Zoom Streak 6 and Speed Rival 6.


I ran as a child, until the end of 6th grade. Then I took up music more seriously and basically didn’t run again until I was in my 30s. It was more or less an on and off thing, but good intentions were never far away, so after a couple of years of trying, but failing monumentally at rebuilding some sort of running habit, mostly because of too much traveling as a photojournalist, it was in 2012, at the age of 44 that I finally got around to it. Writing an alternative Portuguese language travel guide to Angola, where I now live required me to stay at home for most of the year, at the kitchen table, tapping away on my laptop.

So why not run a half marathon, I thought, and started training. I was too late to sign up for one of the Lisbon (where I was living at the time) half marathons, but managed to get into a beautiful 20k along the coastline. Afterwards, I felt like that wasn’t that big of an effort, so I signed up for the Lisbon marathon in December and started training. It was the last one before it became a Rock and Roll marathon, and I finished it in 2:54. Still feeling a little underwhelmed, I took on a 100k in April, finished it, and got myself injured.

Since then, I’ve run a number of ultras and some shorter races as well, but unfortunately, there aren’t many opportunities to race in Angola. My marathon times kept getting better as well. I guess there’s something to be said for the benefits of training in tropical heat and humidity.

My marathons before Berlin 2017:
Lisbon marathon 2012: 2:54
Lisbon marathon 2013: 2:52
Hageland marathon (mostly off road) 2013: 2:50
Berlin Marathon 2015: 2:43
Amsterdam marathon 2016: 2:35:36 (2nd in 45-50 age group)
Hageland marathon 2016 (off road, 2 weeks after the Amsterdam one): 2:47, a course record

When I started out, I ran in anything I could afford, but when I started training for my first marathon, a friend suggested getting a pair of Pegasus. For the race itself, I bought a pair of Zoom Elite 5, a shoe I still find absolutely fabulous (I still have them, with more than 1100 miles on them). I have run in Adidas Boost, Saucony Ride and a couple of other brands, but mostly stick to Nike. The simple reason is that where I live, it’s impossible to try out and buy most running shoes at a local store. Having them delivered here is a pain, so I rely on friends bringing them over when they go to Europe, or I have them delivered there as well before I travel there. I know what to expect and with the help of a few sites and facebook groups, I waste as little time aspossible sending stuff back because it’s not to my liking.

Berlin 2017
This year’s edition of the Berlin Marathon was meant to be a test for me, to see if I was ready to take on the 6 Majors for top 3 spots over a 3 year period after turning 50 in February 2018. From checking the results of the 6 Majors, I calculated that I had to be able to better my 2016 PB of 2:35:36 a little to be absolutely sure to get at least 3d place.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Racer Stories: Travelers Beer New England Half Marathon. Nike Zoom VaporFly 4% Takes Me To A 9 year Personal Best !

Article by Sam Winebaum

Sunday October 1st I ran the Traveler's Beer Half Marathon, a point to point course from the New Hampshire International Speedway to the New Hampshire State House in Concord. I ran 1:35.24 my fastest half within a few seconds in the last 10 years. I won the 60 and over age group after dueling the eventual second place finisher for 4 miles.
The course has a net 230 foot drop with 436 feet of climbing on the way down. It included about 9.5 miles or so of beautiful country roads including a couple of miles of dirt, well shaded from the bright sun on a perfect weather day for running with about 40 Fahrenheit (5 C) at the start and mid 50's (12 C) at the finish.
We were bused out in the fog from in front of the gold domed granite NH Statehouse, watched over statutes of the famous NH statesman and orator Daniel Webster and the NH's only president Franklin Pierce, a not quite as memorable character as Daniel Webster..

We started at the Speedway but unlike Nike Breaking 2 we did not lap the oval. The one mile oval would have gotten boring pretty quick. The track seats 110,000 and the week before hosted a NASCAR race. 
 The weekend before there were up to 110,000 Nascar fans were in the stands behind me. Sunday, one solitary race car practicing and not a soul beyond a few runners checking out the infield.

The Race