Monday, July 30, 2018

La Sportiva Spring 2019 Previews: New Kaptiva and Bushido 2

Article by Sam Winebaum

La Sportiva presented a brand new trail run shoe the Kaptiva, for medium to long distances on varied and technical terrain and an update to their best selling model the Bushido.

Kaptiva
Men's 9.1 oz./260 grams, Women's 7.0 oz./225 g
Midsole Stack: 22mm/16mm, 6mm drop
$139. Available Spring 2019
The Kaptiva is a new light weight trail runner racer with 4-5mm all terrain lugs and a full length EVA rock guard. It is built on a new last.

Saucony Spring 2019 Previews: New Switchback ISO, Kinvara 10, Triumph ISO 5, Guide ISO 2, Peregrine ISO

Article by Sam Winebaum with Shannon Payne

Update full Multi-Tester Triumph ISO 5 review
Saucony emphasized the expansion of ISO Fit to more models including trail with the upcoming Peregrine ISO and a cool new light trail runner the Switchback ISO with BOA closure and full Everun midsole.
Moving towards common, consistent technologies across models such as ISOFit, Saucony also presented Form Fit an integration of sockliner, Everun topsole and more contoured midsole side walls to mesh with the sockliner and top sole.


The new last, first seen in the Ride ISO, will expand to more models including the new Guide ISO 2 and Triumph ISO 5. This new last is wider in the forefoot and grippier in the heel area.


Saucony also shared data with RoadTraiRun indicating that while road running has grown 20% in participation since 2006, trail running has grown 79% with strongest growth among women as is now at approximately 8.1 million participants. 5 million of these trail runners cross over to road running.


Swtichback ISO
9.6 oz/272 g, 8.6 oz/244 g
4mm drop
Available February 2019
This all new, go fast trail runner can be thought of as the trail cousin of the Freedom ISO, sharing a full Everun midsole and 4mm drop. I think Everun may be better suited to trail running shoes than road running shoes when used as a full midsole due to its dense nature.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Nike Trail Running Spring 2019 Previews: Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5 and Air Zoom Wildhorse 5

Article by Sam Winebaum

Nike Trail Running exhibited at Outdoor Retailer for the first time that I can recall. They came complete with their restored 1978 Winnebago and a plywood table to display their two models: Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5 and Air Zoom Wildhorse 5.

2019 Altra Previews and Introductions: Kayenta, Superior 4.0, Timp 1.5, Dyani Slip On, Trail Running Button Up Shirt

Article by Sam Winebaum
Altra Founder Golden Harper met with RoadTrailRun at Outdoor Retailer to present the brand's Spring 2019 introductions. Most notably Altra introduced a new light performance trainer, the Kayenta and a lighter Superior 4.0, both with a new Quantic midsole. Quantic combines in its foam the firmer response of Altra's Max-LT midsole found in the Duo with some of the bounce of the EGO midsole found in the Escalante. Paradigm, and King MT.

Kayenta
Weight: 5.9 oz/ 4.9 oz (without sock liner so about 7 oz with)
Stack Height: 23mm/23mm, Zero Drop
Available Spring 2018
The Kayenta was the road star. At about 7 oz with sock liner, this decently stacked-23mm shoe front and back, light shoe is the new Altra choice for longer races, tempo and triathlon.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Spring 2019 Hoka One One Previews: Mach 2, Cavu 2, Speedgoat 3, Challenger ATR 5, Arahi 3, Gaviota 2, EVO Rehi

Article by Sam Winebaum


Hoka One One continues to expand its offerings, modernize its uppers with engineered mesh and even beyond with Kevlar strand structured MATRYX upper technology. Best of all in 2019 we will see more of what Hoka now calls “rubberized foam” and which previously was known as R-MAT and then R-Bound. Here are some highlights from the Spring 2019 introductions.


Mach 2
Weight: 8 oz/227 g M US9, 6.6 oz/187 g W US 7*
Stack Height: Men’s 24mm/17mm, 5mm drop*
$140. Available February 2019
*all weights and stack heights do not include sock liner.


The Mach 1 (RTR review) was the successor to the Clayton as a light, well cushioned trainer racer. The Mach 2 is built on a completely new last with special focus given to the arch profile, the source of irritation for some in the Clayton and to a lesser extent Mach.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Outdoor Retailer 2018: Skechers Performance introduces the GO Run Razor 3 Hyper with Hyper Burst Midsole Foam

Article by Sam Winebaum

We have been big fans of the rapid progress Skechers Performance has made in the last three or so years.  They have been relentless in delivering ever lighter, livelier shoes topped with modern uppers and all at very reasonable prices. 
In what is now an annual tradition towards significantly lighter and ever more fun to run shoes, Skechers showed us the GO Run Razor 3 Hyper, a 6.4 oz 23mm heel/19mm forefoot (without 3mm flat sock liner), 4mm drop trainer/marathon racer. I will retail, when it comes to market in November during marathon season, at $125. Catch that weight and price?

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

2019 Running Introductions Videos from Outdoor Retailer: Hoka, Saucony, Altra, Brooks, Nike Trail, La Sportiva, Salomon,

by Sam Winebaum

We are attending Outdoor Retailer in Denver, Colorado and in advance of our full previews we asked many of the brands we visited to present and highlight their key 2019 running introductions in short You Tube videos. Apologies for sometimes difficult to hear audto. 

Full written 2019 previews with all the details on these and many other shoes and with many pictures to follow.
Skechers Performance
GO Run Razor 3 Hyper  preview article here


Hoka One One
Read our full Spring 2019 previews article here
Mach 2, Cavu 2, Speedgoat 3, Challenger ATR 5, Arahi 3, Gaviota 2, EVO Rehi

Salomon
Speedcross 5


Sonic RA 2 Series
Salomon 2019 Preview article covering Sonic RA 2 Series, Speedcross 5, Sense Ride 2, and Women't Adv Skin 8 Set vest here

Saucony
Saucony Spring 2019 Previews article here
New Switchback ISO, Kinvara 10, Triumph ISO 5, Guide ISO 2, Peregrine ISO

Kinvara 10 and Switchback ISO Video

Altra Running
Kayenta 5.9 oz performance trainer, Superior 4.0 trail runner
Full Spring 2019 Preview Article here

Kayenta, Superior 4.0, Timp 1.5, Dyani Slip On, Trail Running Button Up, Altra Button Up

Run Form Tips to help protect your knees on the run by Golden Harper, Altra founder

Brooks Running
Transcend 6, Ravenna 10, Adrenaline 19 all featuring Brooks new Guide Rails focused on stabilizing the knee
Full Preview article here including Ravenna 10, Adrenaline 19, Transcend 6. Launch 6, Glycerin 17, and Caldera 3

Nike Trail Running
Zoom Air Terra Kiger 5 with React midsole
Full Preview Article Zoom Air Terra Kiger 5 and Zoom Air Wildhorse 5 here

La Sportiva 
La Sportiva Spring 2019 Preview article here
Bushido 2 and new Kaptiva trail runners

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Garmin inReach Mini Review - Finally!! A Lightweight Two-Way Satellite Communicator For Runners, Travelers Off the Beaten Path and Gram Counters!

Article by Jeff Valliere

Garmin inReach Mini
3.5 oz./100 grams
$350.00 Available now
Introduction:
For years I have considered some sort of satellite emergency tracking device for my adventures in the mountains, especially hearing story after story of somebody being saved because of one, but also more so when I hear of somebody not making it because they did not have one.  On top of that, I have some close friends who have had near death, loss of limb injuries in the backcountry, friends who are more skilled than I.  As careful as I am, I am well aware that even a small mistake when running/hiking/adventuring in the mountains can have dire consequences.  As I also start taking my 7 year old daughters on more mountain adventures outside of cell phone range, the decision to get an emergency tracking device was increasingly weighing on me.

The offerings from Garmin (after they bought out DeLorme, maker of the inReach) were most appealing as they offered the ability for 2 way communication (important to confirm SOS message has been received and to communicate details to rescuers), the freedom of very flexible use plans depending on your specific needs and the option to start/stop and pay by the month if one so chooses.  

But, the normal inReach is a touch on the heavy side (7.5 oz.) and large (more than twice the size of the Mini) and expensive ($399.99 and up), with features that I don't need such as GPS maps and navigation all of which I get from my iPhone and GPS watch.  Other devices like Spot are a reasonable size/weight, but still not super tidy, the plans not very flexible and the SOS communication is one way, meaning in an emergency, you press a button and hope that the message sent and keep your fingers crossed that help will arrive.

Enter the inReach Mini

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Hoka One One Bondi 6 Review - Subtle Updates to a Tried and True Maximal Road Cruiser

Article by Jeff Valliere

Hoka One One Bondi 6
Stats:
Weight: 10.9 oz/ 310g M9, 8.6 oz/246 g W8 (11 5/8 oz. / 329g US Men's size 10)
Stack Height: 36mm heel/32mm forefoot, 4mm drop
Available in Wide sizes for men and women
$150. Available Now

First Impressions:
As expected, the Bondi is reliably puffy with a huge 36mm midsole that screams maximal cushion and comfort.  The Bondi 6 looks great (in my opinion) in the Caribbean Sea/Storm Blue colorway with yellow accents.  The upper, midsole and outsole have all received subtle upgrades for a slightly more refined look and feel, but putting a Bondi 5 on one foot and a 6 on the other, it is hard to tell them apart.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 120 Mile Road Test Review Update: Light, Comfortable Trainer Built for Breaking 2... or Breaking 4!

Article by Sam Winebaum, Sally Reiley, Michael Ellenberger, Derek Li, and Jeff Beck

Update: Michael Ellenberger (30:21 10K PR. 1:12.12 Half PR) joins the RTR review team and tested my pair of Zoom Pegasus Turbo for an additional 100 miles.


Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo ($180)

Available at select Nike retailers August 2nd including Running Warehouse here
On July 11th Nike released the Zoom Pegasus Turbo, an approximately 8 oz/ 227 g (men's 9), 6.9 oz /196 g (women's 8) run trainer.   Nike's official weight at a size 10 men's is 8.4 oz. The Turbo has a 10mm drop and is based on the popular Pegasus. Running Warehouse has the stack height at 27 mm heel/ 17 mm forefoot, so a 10mm drop here.

The Zoom Pegasus Turbo is the second shoe, after the magic Vapor Fly-the Breaking 2 shoe, (RTR review) with a Zoom X midsole. Zoom X is a PEBA based foam which is incredibly light and has superb energy "return" and cushioning characteristics. The Vapor Fly has flown elites and four hour marathoners to shockingly fast times while keeping the legs fresh through the race and after. I can attest to the friendliness and speed of this incredible shoe.  The Turbo geometry seeks to reproduce the familiar feel of the Pegasus, at race shoe weights, as well as the energetic softer ride of the Vapor Fly with a hint of its propulsive effect but with no carbon plate in the mix.

Sam: The Turbo was developed with feedback from Eliud Kipchoge who got oh so close to the magic two hour marathon barrier last year and who has been the world's most dominant marathoner. Eliud wanted a training shoe with the very light, lively, soft, and friendly feel of his record setting Vapor Fly to hammer out the hundreds of miles of training required. Quite frankly, Nike had few if any training shoes with such a ride feel and light weight in their current line up until the Turbo.


Michael: The Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo is, as you’re no doubt aware by now, Nike’s newest running shoe with its “revolutionary” ZoomX foam (the only precedent coming from the elusive and expensive VaporFly 4%). While it’s a lightweight model (8.4 oz in a size 10), Nike is pitching it as a lightweight daily trainer - their own website describes the trainer bringing "record-breaking speed and responsiveness to your daily training runs.” Now, I don’t start most of my recovery runs looking for record breaking speed, but maybe you do. Regardless, it’s a hotbed of new Nike goodness - technology and simplicity rolled into one.

The Pegasus Turbo is, on paper, my dream trainer. In college, I trained primarily in racing flats, and specifically in the LunaRacer 3 (as long as it was available), back-stocking them to the extent my DIII-runner budget would allow. I’m a lighter runner (125 pounds or so) with a stride that was once described as a “train wreck” by my coach, but has necessarily smoothed itself out over years of high milage training. If you’re going to make your body run two hours per day, I think, it learns how it needs to do so. Not to say there weren’t some roadblocks along the way. Anyway - I love training in racing flats or lighter trainers. One reason for doing so is the low-cost… that’s not really a factor here. Another reason is aesthetics… that’s a big win for the Turbos. But the biggest reason is just necessarily. I have a small frame and a quick stride and I don’t need to carry a 13 oz trainer along for the ride. So I choose not to.

Sally: I succumbed to the hype and got a pair of Nike Vapor Fly 4% when they were released in April, just days before the Boston Marathon. I figured that I was up for anything that could help me get through my fifth consecutive Boston with a compromised hamstring, even if the help was all in my head! As it turns out, duck boots or galoshes would have been the ideal footwear for the 2018 Boston Monsoonathon, so the soggy wet VF 4% were not truly tested.

My first run with the Nike Epic React in February had me hooked on Nikes after a long streak of Adidas. I loved everything about the Epic React. I couldn’t resist the Pegasus 35 after all the hype and marketing, so I recently gave them a try. Nice solid shoe. Like other “running shoe geeks,” I understand the love-hate relationship with Nike and their marketing hype and “early release” dates on their member only app! I copped a pair of the Peg Turbo on that early release (congratulations to me), $180 and all. Gulp. Sucker. But news flash: I LOVE THEM! Great every day trainer:  comfortable, light, fast, smooth, energetic… fun to run in! This just might be the shoe I have been waiting for.

The look is fast and sleek. Folks are either going to love or hate the fruit punch/hot pink stripe down the middle. It is definitely growing on me! And they are NOT grey, as described. I would call them “Marblehead Green,” a classic yet so hip nautical color that matches my sailing shorts (named for the color of anti-fouling boat bottom paint, so prevalent in this sailing town, similar to the nantucket red of the Cape and the islands).

Jeff: What else can be said about this shoe? While Nike has been rolling out the hype and marketing machine for all of their big releases lately, this seemed to be bigger than most. Limited pairs were sold as an early pre-sale on their app, the sole had been photoshopped into a rocket ship, and it seemed like virtually everyone in the running community had pre-judged this thing as a total flop and waste of money or the slightly cheaper, but far more available little brother of running's unicorn shoe Vaporfly 4%. I think the truth lies somewhere right between both of them, in that it is a really good shoe that offers quite a bit, but it is very expensive and does have some issues.
Sam: Nike was kind enough to send us a pair for testing. I have run 21 miles in them since receiving them a 5.5 mile moderate tempo run,  4.5 mile slow recovery pace run, a short pre race tune up with a faster mile and a 7.5 mile hilly daily pace run. I handed off my pair to Michael Ellenberger who has put another 100 miles on them and Sally miles in her own pair. Read on, but Nike has a winner here. The Turbo is a training shoe that is a light, comfortable, softer and is smoother and at the same time is not quite as aggressively responsive and firm as the standard Pegasus. Recall Eliud wanted some comfort in his trainer and we should too!

Monday, July 09, 2018

ASICS DynaFlyte 3 and Roadhawk FF 2 Comparative Review: More Room or More Response?

Article by Sam Winebaum
ASICS Dynaflyte 3                    ASICS RoadHawk FF 2
INTRODUCTION
Asics in recent years has struggled somewhat to find its stride in a run shoe market increasingly focused on lighter trainers with more dynamic midsoles and lighter comfort uppers. We reviewed the RoadHawk FF  last year and found it a fast but quite harsh and snug performance shoe. We have never run the DynaFlyte at its origin in version one a trainer with some light stability elements and version two a more neutral trainer.

ASICS introduces two new midsole compounds: FlyteFoam Lyte in the DynaFlyte and Flyte Foam Propel in the RoadHawk FF 2. We first saw Propel as a bouncier, softer layer above Flyte Foam in the Cumulus 20 (RTR review), an excellent highly supportive lighter daily trainer. Here Propel as a full midsole appears firmer than in the Cumulus layer yet is still noticeably bouncy  FlyteFoam Lyte is a lighter version of the fairly dense foam found in recent ASICS trainers and to me it feels more dynamic in the Lyte version. And light indeed as the DynaFlyte comes in at a very svelte 9 oz.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Asics Gecko XT Review - Rock Crawler Extraordinaire

by Jeff Valliere

Asics Gecko XT
10.4oz. US Men's size 9 (11 1/4 oz. / 318 grams US Men's size 10)
24mm heel/18mm forefoot (6mm drop)
$119.95
First Impressions:
I'll admit that the plain black colorway with purple logo initially had me on the defensive.  The materials feel thick and durable, yet perhaps a bit stiff and warm.  The Gecko XT feels a bit on the heavy side and somewhat dense, more so than the advertised 10.4 oz. listed weight would imply.  The outsole looks very interesting, with low profile lugs that look best suited to rocky slabs and has a hint of approach shoe.


ON Running Cloudace Review: Serious Business. Impeccably Designed and Built Swiss Run Machinery!

Article by Sam Winebaum

On Running Cloudace ($200)

Introduction
The mighty Cloudace is marketed as a significant evolution for ON Running on multiple levels (including a $200 price point) while at the same time the brand does not abandon their distinctive CloudTec channeled cushioning elements and superb upper construction.

ON says about the Cloudace:
"The objective was clear: deliver the ultimate cushioning sensation without slowing you down. The sole of the Cloudace is the result. Our most advanced application of CloudTec® delivers the smoothest ride you've ever felt. Experience extreme heel comfort and protection thanks to rear Zero-Gravity Clouds and still get an agile push-off thanks to the rubber landing zone in the forefoot."

The statement above, if proven true, even without the hyperbolic words of "ultimate" and "extreme", addresses what I have found in my previous testing of the original CloudSurfer and CloudFlyer to be major handicaps for me in truly enjoying running ON shoes. These handicaps were: a firm high heel and a stiff awkward transition from the Speedboard plastic plates embedded in the midsole. I did enjoy the Cloud and Cloud X, stripped down, flexible and firm ON shoes designed for faster shorter runs. So please read on to find out what I found, but I'll give you a hint. Mission accomplished in terms of an agile push off but I think still some work to do with the heel landing on those "Zero Gravity Clouds".

Monday, July 02, 2018

Brooks Levitate 2 Review: Smooth, Weighty and Substantial Road Cruiser

Article by Jeff Beck, Dave Ames, and Sam Winebaum

Brooks Running Levitate 2 ($150)


Introduction
Dave:  Brooks has been a company completely off my radar for a number of years.  Poor biomechanical performance, general mass production of “chunky” trainers and a ton of weight and stiffness just let the brand fade further and further away from my foot.  However, in 2018 the brand really took a step in the right direction coming with a stronger aesthetic look, re-tweaked fun DNA Loft midsole materials in the Ghost 11 and Glycerin 16 and just plain more enjoyable shoes to run in.  The Ravenna 9 (see RTR review) was outstanding earlier this year and I pounded over 500 quality miles in it. I had heard decent things about the Levitate 1 (did not run in it other than try it on) so I was intrigued to see what all the hype was about in the 2.


Jeff: Unlike Dave, Brooks has been the backbone of my running shoe assortment for a while. Between giving the Glycerin a shot every year, and dabbling with the Ghost, I am solidly a Brooks fan. That said, I was intrigued with the Levitate last year, but the shape of the toe box made it a non-starter for me. When I saw pictures and read early reviews that the Levitate 2 changed all that, it quickly became my most anticipated shoe of the year.

Sam: Don't let the considerable 11.7 oz weight scare you off! By far the heaviest roads shoe I have run in for years, and gaining a bit over Levitate 1, the Brooks Levitate 2 with its innovative DNA AMP PU midsole skinned with a supportive sliver TPU skin is all smooth and supportive. I ran the Levitate 1 and was surprised by its smooth almost pneumatic cushion and measured yet noticeable "energy return". Amply cushioned, well shod with a full smoothly and quietly transitioning durable outsole it is a shoe I reach for when I want to really save the legs and still move along at a moderately decent pace. If you were a Leviate 1 fan not to worry the ride is the same. The changes here are to the upper.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Suunto 9 Baro Initial Impressions Review - FusedTrack, Extended Intelligent Long Life Battery Settings and Improved Wrist HR

Article by Jeff Valliere

Suunto 9  Baro ($599)
Available now
Update: See our full in depth review of the Suunto 9 Baro here
We recently received the new Suunto 9 which was released on June 26th for review and after initial testing, wanted to give some first impressions before our upcoming, full in depth review.

Introduction:  The Suunto 9 is the next generation of GPS watches from Suunto with the look, menus and operation are very reminiscent of the Spartan series watches (see our review of the Spartan Sport Wrist Heart Rate Baro here) , but with some interesting new additions.

Whats new:
  • FusedTrack, which fuses data from the barometric altimeter and movement sensors between GPS pings to improve accuracy and help conserve battery for very long events.
  • New HR sensor
  • Compatibility with Suunto's multiple mobile app. platforms
  • Easily swap-able bands
  • 24/7 continuous HR tracking
  • pre and in workout Intelligent battery tracking with a higher level of adjustability of features to most efficiently optimize battery life based on length of planned activity or as battery gets low.