Monday, May 28, 2018

adidas Solar Boost Initial Review: Splashy Tropical Vibe. Lively yet Mellow Ride

Article by Sam Winebaum

adidas Solar Boost
The adidas Solar Boost recently released with a great splash. The look is a wonderful combination of black and white and tropical vibe. The upswept achilles collar adds a visual dash of speed and motion while the 3 Stripes only on lateral side are an interesting and effective contrast.
Looking at the specs I was curious to see if adi had, at long last, released a daily trainer which was not heavy and ponderous as the last Energy Boost was or soft and mushy as the Supernova Glide 9 and Ultra Boost were. adi has great lighter more performance oriented trainers such as the Boston 7 and light stability Tempo 9 but nothing in the class of the Brooks Ghost, Nike Pegasus, or Saucony Ride. Our last great adi trainer were the first couple versions of the Energy Boost, at 9.3 oz a wonderful all around trainer and for us marathoner racer. In later years, many raved about the earlier Glide Boost, until version 9 a completely different heavier softer shoe, although we never ran the earlier Glides.

Out came our digital scale for the weigh in. Surprise!  Our 8.5 weighed under 10 oz at 9.9 oz translating to about 10.2 oz, so right in the weight class of the direct competition.  Specs online had shown it at 10.6 oz or even more so in the weight class of the current Energy Boost or Supernova. Now we were very interested. Read on to see how they performed.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Julbo Aerospeed with Zebra Light Fire Photochromic Lens Sunglass Review - A Grand View and Unbeatable Any Light Versatility

Article by Jeff Valliere with Sam Winebaum

Julbo Aerospeed with Zebra Light Fire Lens

The Julbo Aerospeed is the big brother of the Aerolite, which Sam discusses in this mini review and is a great addition to the Julbo line, adding increased coverage, still at a very light weight (27 grams) and with a giant unobstructed field of vision.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

UltrAspire Momentum Race Vest Review: Maximum Carry in a Minimalist Vest

Article by Sam Winebaum

UltrAspire Momentum Race Vest ($80)
The UltrAspire is a minimalist running race vest that can be a daily companion on any run to carry a few essentials. It can also morph into a bounce free high capacity vest capable of carrying up to 2 liters of water a shell, poles, phone, and some nutrition and other essentials in its nine pockets: 2 front and 2 back bottle pockets, 2 side drop in mesh pockets, 2 top of shoulders pockets for pills and a key, and a middle of shoulder blades zip pocket. At $80 (w/o bottles) it is very fairly priced.
Almost constructed of a decently structured 3D mesh it is highly breathable, secure and comfortable with any load. It is reasonably priced at $80 (see below now on sale). You provide your own bottles, none are included. We tested with UltrAspire's UltraFlask 550 Hybrid semi soft contouring bottle, Salomon Soft Flask Speed 500 and the HydraPak SoftFlask 500 Ml with hand grip. Obvious comparisons emerge to the popular Salomon S/Lab Sense 5 and 8 vests with their soft fabric construction. Read on to see what we thought!

Plantar Fasciitis-How to get a grip on the Runner's Big Pain. Tips and tools for quick and effective relief.

Article by Sam Winebaum

The article outlines how I took action to tame a recent onset of Plantar's Fasciitis. I am not a medical person but believe the tools and suggestions below are effective.

Plantar Fasciitis is a very common running injury characterized by pain in the heel and bottom of the foot. Not just runners those standing, obese, or not doing much exercise can get it too. According to this Wiki between 4-7% of people have heel pain at any given time and 80% of them have Plantar's. Plantar's is "a disorder of the insertion site of the ligament on the bone characterized by micro tears, breakdown of collagen, and scarring."

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Hoka One One Clifton 5 Review: A new upper the big update

Article by Dave Ames, Jeff Valliere, and Sam Winebaum

Hoka One One Clifton 5

The Clifton 1 put Hoka on the road running map with a super light (7.9 oz), maximally cushioned, very soft and lively performance trainer, and for many also a longer racer. It proved very popular, if not very stable for heel strikers and had questionable durability. Since version 1 Hoka has stabilized the Clifton with a less aggressive heel bevel, somewhat firmer and more durable foam, and of course upper improvements. Weight had gone up almost two ounces by the Clifton 4 with some runners complaining loudly along the way as the Clifton evolved into a mid weight highly cushioned, softer daily trainer from a very light performance trainer and racer. So how does the Clifton 5 measure up?

Monday, May 21, 2018

Nike Zoom Pegasus 35 Review: Smoother Operator!

Article by Peter Stuart with Sam Winebaum

Nike Zoom Pegasus 35
Peter: The Nike Zoom Pegasus 35 gets a little lower to the ground and loses weight, about 0.6 oz! It’s a 9.4 ounce (men’s size 9) daily trainer with stack height of 28mm in the heel and 18mm in the forefoot. The Zoom Pegasus 35 sees some great changes in the upper, some changes on the outsole and gets a full length air unit. I loved the Pegasus 33 and really liked the 34, but they started to feel a little stiff and blocky for me compared to some of the other great shoes that have come along in the past year or two. There are lots of little changes here that make for a significantly different Pegasus. Different good or different bad?
Sam: Neither the Pegasus 33 or 34 inspired me. I admired their long lasting rubber outsoles and great style but the rides were lumpy, quite firm, uninspiring and quite ponderous compared to many other shoes in its class. I was most interested to run the Peg 35's new full length Zoom Air unit with its placement similar to the Vapor Fly 4%'s carbon plate. Would the lighter weight, Zoom Air unit, and new outsole change the picture for me? Read on to find out.

District Vision Review: Easy on the Eyes, Stylish Technical Running Sunglasses

Article by Sam Winebaum

District Vision 
     Nagata Speed Blade Black Rose Lenses 23 g ($249)
     Yuraki Sport Yellow Lens 24g ($199)
In the sports world, and particularly in run sunglasses, style and technical capabilities often clash. We all know of the aggressive style of many blade type sports shades or the "fashionable" yet optically and functionally challenged high style models.

District Vision is a New York City start-up focused on run sunglasses. The founders, both runners and previously involved in the fashion design industry, believed there was a way to combine classic yet modern style with running focused frame designs, high quality run focused optics along with a variety of lenses for different conditions into a line of run sunglasses.  And they were really tested outside of the concrete canyons of NYC as Ricky Gates wore District Vision on his 3600 mile un-supported Transamericana run last year

District Vision Nagata Speed Blade with Black Rose Lens

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Run and Even Swim Ready Earphones from JBL: The Endurance Line & Reflect Contour 2

Article by Sam Winebaum

JBL has released the Endurance line a collection of run, fitness and even swim ready earphones. Aggressively priced with excellent sound they range from the Endurance Run ($20) a very light and comfortable wired earphone to the IPX7 waterproof Endurance Dive ($90) which not only has up to 8 hours of playback time with a 10 minute quick charge for an hour's play but includes a built in 1GB music player which can hold up to 200 songs. 

The Dive are earphones you can literally swim or paddle board with, no phone necessary!

JBL sent us the Endurance Sprint ($50) IPX 7 waterproof with 8 hours of battery life but with no music player, the Endurance Run, and the Contour Reflect 2 ($90), a sweat proof light over the ear style with a 10 hour battery life.  

Friday, May 18, 2018

The 5 Best Light Performance Trainer & Road Racing Shoes of 2018, So Far!

Article by Sam Winebaum

2018 Racers and Light Performance Trainers are not left out of the general running shoe trends towards more comfortable yet secure uppers and lighter, more dynamic and cushioned midsole materials. Increasingly rare, and not included in this article, are classic “racing flats”, close cousins of track spikes, those often very firm, highly responsive shoes with tight even painful uppers. Races and speed work are never easy but at least your feet and even your legs can be less the worse for wear than in these fast choices, weighing no more than many of those flats. In fact, for many, these foot and leg friendly high-performance shoes can be used for races and your faster training, not what could always be said about those classics.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Bolle Reviews: 6th Sense Sunglasses with Modulator Brown Emerald Lens & Trackdown MTB Helmet

Article by Jeff Valliere

Bolle 6th Sense with Modulator Brown Emerald OLEO AF lens
27 grams
$189 with Modulator lens, $179 with non Modulator lens.

The 6th Sense is marketed toward cyclists, but I found that they are an excellent choice for running/trail running, or just about any other outdoor activity, and of course cycling.

The 6th Sense is very light at 27 grams with a frameless design for unobstructed, wide field of vision and come in a variety of colors and lens options including the Modulator lenses below, as well as fixed gradient lenses.

The Modulator Brown Emerald lenses in the 6th Sense I tested are anti fog and have a light transmittance range of 27%-9% which I found to work very well while trail running with the lens transitioning quickly, but imperceptibly, in changing light conditions.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Altra Running Escalante 1.5 Review: A Refined Upper. Same Dynamic Zero Drop Ride

Article by Derek Li, Dave Ames and David Henry

Official Weight: 7.9 oz. / 224g; 6.5 oz. /184g
Stack Height: 24mm heel / 24mm forefoot, Zero Drop (including sock liner)
$130.  Available July 2018
Altra says: updated knit upper and mid foot strap, sleeker heel cup, increased breathability.

First Impressions

Derek: This is my first time trying the Escalante, and I was really looking forward to it after all the raves reviews I read of version 1. I did briefly have a feel of the new Escalante Racer at the London Marathon expo a few weeks back, but it felt a little too low in the stack department for me. With the Escalante 1.5, I can see that there is definitely more foam underfoot, which seems to make all the difference to the feel. The color I received was a sort of dark grey, which works fine for me. Maybe a little on the vanilla side, but I know the Escalante colors tend to be more muted anyway. Initial step-in feel was good. The fit is true to size, and overall shoe volume works out very well for me. I was able to get a secure lock down in the heel without having to put much tension into the lacing. Just walking and jogging around in the shoe, the bouncy feel of the EGO foam is immediately noticeable without any bottoming out. We are off to a good start! My shoes came in at 8.4oz a piece for a US9.5, including EVA sockliner.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

ON Running Women Apparel Review: A Cut Above!

Article by Dominique Winebaum and Sally Reiley

Editor's Note: Dominique and Sally run year round outdoors in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Colorado and Utah and are never found on treadmills, no matter the weather. Sally is a 5 time Boston finisher (3:29 PR 2017) re qualifying in each race, all in the last 6 years. Dominique is a lifelong runner with a 3:16 PR who runs 4 days a week.

Dominique: Shorts season is upon us here in New England so we were particularly excited to test the ON Running Shorts, Performance-T, and Weather Jacket part of ON's Essentials collection. This is the perfect running outfit for beach weather – it gets hot and humid in the summer in New England! Before the heat hits we also got a chance to also test the Shorts and T in Canyonlands National Park and the jacket on cooler misty days on the North Shore of Massachusetts.  I was born in Switzerland and started my running career there so ON as a Swiss based company sure brings back memories. I know Swiss quality design when I see and wear it!
ON Running Shorts ($80)

Sally: As ON states, these running shorts are reduced to the max. They are incredibly light and feel like you are wearing nothing (didn’t North Face have a line of performance clothing entitled “Better Than Naked?” - well, ON achieves that in these pieces!). There is total freedom of movement, and a wide comfortable waist band complete with drawstring for custom fit and a moisture-sealed zip pocket at the back.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Saucony Ride ISO Review: The ride improves yet again! The upper challenges.

Article by Sam Winebaum and Dave Ames

Saucony Ride ISO

Sam:  The Ride ISO is designed to provide a lively, cushioned training ride and underfoot durability for day in day out training at moderate to faster paces. 
The Ride is Saucony’s entry into the daily trainer sweepstakes competing with shoes such as the Brooks Ghost, Asics Cumulus 20, Skechers Ride 7 Salomon Sonic RA, and New Balance 880.

With the ISO version, essentially Ride 11, the big news is a new ISO Fit upper, small changes to midsole geometry and bigger changes to the outsole coverage and geometry. Do these changes help the Ride retain our Ride 10 review title “What a Daily Trainer Should Be”. Read on to find out.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Under Armour UA Scrambler Hybrid Jacket and UA Atlas Gore Active Jacket Review

Article by Jeff Valliere with Sam Winebaum

We have been impressed with Under Armour's new run and mountain focused apparel. We recently tested the ColdGear Reactor Exert (RTR review) which has proved to be one of the most versatile, broad temperature range, light insulation options we have ever worn. We were eager to see what UA had come up with in outerwear.

Under Armour UA Scrambler Hybrid Jacket
6.06 oz. / 172 g Men's Medium
Jeff: This hybrid jacket comprises of two different materials, strategically arranged and constructed to achieve a balance between waterproofing key areas, while maintaining breathability.  The hood, shoulders and upper sleeves are made of Pertex Shield+ 2.5 layer laminated waterproof breathable fabric that effectively deflects falling rain and snow, while the remainder of the jacket is made of a more breathable single weave fabric that deflects moisture and wind effectively, but is not as impermeable is the Pertex Shield 2.5.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Altra Running Torin 3.5 Review: One Shoe, Two Fine New Upper Flavors

 Article by Sam Winebaum

Altra Running Torin 3.5 Mesh and 3.5 Knit
The Torin now comes in two flavors with Altra calling out the Knit for "Comfort" and the Mesh for "Speed". The Torin is a well cushioned, 28 mm heel/ 28 mm forefoot Zero Drop daily trainer. The overall specs don't change from the 3.0 although we note some subtle and welcome changes in ride in both and in cushion in the Mesh.

What is new are very comfortable new uppers with an engineered mesh upper in the Mesh and an engineered knit upper in the Knit. The Knit weighs approximately 0.4 oz more than the Mesh with the Mesh 0.6 oz more than the Torin 3.0 but both still come in below 10 oz. so a lot of shoe for the weight. To hold the foot on these pliable uppers with no overlays with minimal heel counters, higher ankle collars along with two new internal A straps are incorporated at mid foot on both sides. Please read on for the details and for how they run.
LEFT Altra Running Torin 3.5 Knit                        RIGHT Altra Torin 3.5 Mesh

Sunday, May 06, 2018

ON Running Men's Apparel Review: Top Notch, Swiss Engineered Run Threads!

Article by Jeff Valliere and Sam Winebaum

ON Running Apparel
ON is well known for its Swiss Engineered running shoes. Of particular note are the shoes always spectacular uppers. So it is no surprise that ON has incredible run clothing. ON Running Pants (RTR review) have been a winter goto for the last two years for their light weight, wind resistance, and wide conditions and temperature range. On Running apparel is of the highest quality and comfort, is beautifully designed with excellent materials and features specific to running.  We think is worth its premium pricing.  We take a look at their 2018 men's apparel line with a review of the women's offerings also coming soon to RoadTrailRun.

ON Men's Performance T ($80)
Available at Running Warehouse here
PC: ON Running Performance T
Jeff: The ON Performance T is super light and very well ventilated.  Initially I was a bit surprised by the very unique feel, impossibly thin and making me wonder if it were made with recycled plastic.
Everything about this shirt is minimal, with a nearly non existent collar, arm hems and hemline, welded seams for comfort and a mesh back panel and laser perforations for ventilation. Comfort is as good or better than any shirt I have ever worn, venting in unrivaled, it is fast drying (almost instant) and to top it all off, the ON Performance T, in my opinion, is about the most stylish shirt in my overflowing drawer. Weight is nearly nothing and when running, it never crosses my mind that I am even wearing a shirt.

Friday, May 04, 2018

My Competitor Running Article "5 Trail Running Shoes You Need in Your Closet"

Article by Sam Winebaum

I just wrote an article for Competitor testing and then selecting five top trail runners for 2018. They all are great shoes for different purposes and terrains.

The Competitor article is here.

The RoadTrailRun reviews for the five shoes, some with my participation, others where I tested the shoes but did not participate in the reviews, are below:

Salomon XA Elevate (RTR review)
Saucony Peregrine 8 (RTR review)

Hoka One One Torrent (RTR review)

Altra Running King MT 1.5 (RTR review)

Brooks Running Caldera 2 (RTR review)

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

My Competitor Running NordicTrack X22i Incline Trainer Article: Should You Use This Treadmill as a Training Tool? Run the World, In Your Basement!

A first look in my article for Competitor Running, with an in depth review to come at RoadTrailRun, of the amazing NordicTrack X22i Incline Trainer.  
NordicTrack X22i Incline Trainer
You can literally run the world with Google Street View images, anywhere they have been captured or do video based GlobeTrek workouts on all seven continents. It all unfolds on the giant 22" screen as you run the routes, and you can plot a route and follow it anywhere Google has mapped (the entire world!). 

The treadmill deck automatically and smoothly adjusts to the actual terrain profile you are following with inclines up to 40 degrees and even declines to 6 degrees.

In my first tests I ran a portion of the Bright Angel Trail from Phantom Ranch towards the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, something I had not done live in almost 40 years. And I also ran the first two miles of the Mount Washington Auto Road race course, just as miserable virtually as for real through the wall of trees. Then I joined an iFit Coach for a rigorous GlobeTrek power walk up to a hut in Austria.
NordicTrak: iFitCoach Workout in Austria
Hundreds of video based GlobeTrek iFit Coach runs, walks, yoga, strength, HIIT, etc... workouts are also included, set in spectacular places on all 7 continents. They to follow terrain on the run. I prefer the great outdoors but when the snow is flying or it is baking out my cool dark basement is quite the place to explore the world from. Angor Wat was pretty cool and someday with lots of time on my hands I will climb all 11,000 feet of the Mont Blanc, France..while in New Hampshire.

The boredom of milling is gone forever!

My Competitor Running article is here
The X22i was provided at no charge for testing. The opinions herein are entirely the author's.
Comments Questions Welcome Below!

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Topo Athletic Runventure 2 Review: Adaptable, Nimble, Lightweight, Zero-Drop Trail Shoe

Article by Dominick Layfield

Official weight: 9.2 oz / 261 g (US Men's size 9); 7.4 oz / 210 g (US Women's 7)
As tested: 10.0 oz, 568 g pair (US M10)
Stack height:  19 mm heel/19 mm forefoot (zero drop)
$110. Available now.

568 g per pair size US M10, or 10.0 oz per shoe.
What makes a “good” running shoe depends on myriad factors: the shape of your foot, your gait, the terrain you like to run on, the conditions, the distance you plan to go, etc.  It is also very much a matter of personal taste.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Hoka One One Torrent - A Breakthrough, Versatile, Light, Great Fitting Trail Race and Training Shoe

by Jeff Valliere, Dominick Layfield, Dave Ames, and Shannon Payne

Editor's Note: Our testers ran the Torrent on a wide variety of trails and surfaces in Upstate New York, Colorado, and California.

Hoka One One Torrent
Estimated Weight: 9.2 oz/261g US M9, 8 oz./227g US W8
  Sample Weights:
  9.74 oz/276 g US M10 (Jeff)
  9.84 oz/279 gUS M10 (Dom)
  8.9 oz/252 g US M8.5
Stack Height: 24mm heel/19mm forefoot. 5mm drop
$120 Available June 2018