Friday, September 27, 2019

ASICS GLIDERIDE In-Depth Multi Tester Review: Back in the Game!

Article by Sam Winebaum, Jeff Beck, Derek Li and Mac Jeffries

Sam: The Glideride represents a new direction for ASICS, and the future. This stable, maximally cushioned (31mm heel /26mm forefoot), lively neutral trainer features ASICS GuideSole a technology that seeks to minimize lower leg movement  and increase energy efficiency through a combination of a stiff and curved midsole platform with a forward rocker geometry, deep decoupling groove and EVA propulsion plate.
The science behind the overall GuideSole approach:
  • Reduce the energy taken away on heel strikes
  • Improve propulsion by optimizing efficiency (primarily for heel strikers) by keeping the angle of ankle dorsiflexion ( flexing ankle up) and plantar flexion (flexing toes down) constant during the gait cycle with a stiff sole while using the forward rocker to propel toe off. The idea is to reduce energy loss at the ankle joint and shift the body forward. Initial studies show a reduction of ankle joint energy loss of 19% vs. conventional shoes in the category. 
  • Move the center of mass further back than normal so as to reduce the pendulum at the rear leg and thus the effort to swing the rear leg forward to next stride.
It differs from the earlier "concept car" Meta Ride (RTR Review) in being: approximately 0.8 oz/ 23 g lighter coming in at approximately 10.2 oz / 289 g in a US men's size 9, having a 5mm drop instead of the zero drop of the Meta, including an EVA propulsion plate, having a more conventional rubber outsole as well as a less elaborate upper and being $100 less expensive. 
Women's Color
ASCIS calls out targeted competitors such as Hoka Carbon X and Nike Zoom Fly and our testing indicates those are valid comparatives along with several others we have selected for the comparisons section of this  review including the Hoka Clifton 6, New Balance 890v7, and ASICS own GEL-Cumulus 21 a shoe of identical weight but with a more conventional 10mm drop so less forefoot cushion. I have now run over 40 miles at a variety of paces in the Glideride.
The Glideride was launched at a spectacular event and unusual race event The Eternal Run on the Bonneville Salt Flats of Utah I was fortunate to attend earlier this month. 
Watch my video of the Eternal Run


  • Propulsive rocker ride feel without overdoing it, feeling harsh or overly stiff or "flat"
  • Plentiful, slightly bouncy cushion with good overall shoe response
  • Very stable and consistent at all paces, Versatile for all training paces except all out
  • Superb (one of the best of 2019) easy on the foot upper with great front to back hold and all around comfort
  • Sam: Stiffness, thick forefoot cushion and less pronounced rocker impede as dynamic a toe off motion at faster than half marathon paces popping me more vertical than I would like. 

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Skechers Performance GO RUN RIDE 8 HYPER Initial Video Review, Shoe Details, and Comparison to other 2019 Skechers

Article by Sam Winebaum

Skechers GO RUN RIDE 7 HYPER ($115)
Update: Read our full 6 tester review here. Includes 14 comparison shoes!
Weight: Approx. 9.2oz/262g US men's 9, US Women's 7
Stack Height: 27mm forefoot / 33 mm heel, 6 mm offset
Hyper Burst midsole, Goodyear rubber outsole, engineered knit upper
Available 10/24/19. $115

1st Run Impressions & Shoe Details, 
Comparisons to Skechers GO Run Ride 7 Hyper, Go Run 7, and Max Road 4 Hyper. 

Full Multi Tester Review Coming Soon!
Read reviewers' full run bios here
The product reviewed was provided at no cost. The opinions herein are the authors'.
Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

RoadTrailRun receives a commission on purchases at the stores below.
Your purchases help support RoadTrailRun. Thanks!

USA  Men's & Women's HERE
FREE 2 Day Shipping EASY No Sweat Returns

AMAZON Men's & Women's HERE

Please Like and Follow RoadTrailRun
Facebook:  Instagram: @roadtrailrun
Twitter: @RoadTrailRun You Tube: @RoadTrailRun

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Reebok Floatride Run 2.0 Initial Run Review and Shoe Details Video

Article by Sam Winebaum

Reebok Floatride Run 2.0 ($150)

The video covers shoe details and Sam’s first run impressions of the Reebok Floatride Run 2.0 road trainer.  Full multi tester review coming soon! 

Updates to v1 include a now full Floatride Foam (PEBA) midsole, 4 lace eyelets instead of 3 in a now softer TPU cage to hold the foot in the Ulltraknit upper, as well as changes to the heel counter and outsole. At 9.2 oz /262 g it is a light 10mm drop trainerwith the lively Floatride Foam backed by a durable full coverage rubber outsole. Available now. 

Watch our Initial Run Review and Shoe Details Video (7:56)

Full Multi Tester Review Soon!
Read reviewers' full run bios here
The product reviewed was provided at no cost. The opinions herein are the authors'.
Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

RoadTrailRun receives a commission on purchases at the stores below.
Your purchases help support RoadTrailRun. Thanks!

USA  Men's & Women's HERE
FREE 2 Day Shipping EASY No Sweat Returns

Please Like and Follow RoadTrailRun
Facebook:  Instagram: @roadtrailrun
Twitter: @RoadTrailRun You Tube: @RoadTrailRun

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

VJ Sport Shoes MAXx Review - "The Best Grip on The Planet"?

Article by Jeff Valliere and Jacob Brady

VJ Sport Shoes MAXx ($160)

Jeff:  I have never heard of the VJ shoe company and have to admit that because of that, came very close to passing up the opportunity to review, but the claim of superior grip drew me in.  Founded in 1981 in Finland by a shoemaker who was also an orienteering enthusiast, decided to make a shoe that would hold up to the rigors of and give appropriate traction in rough, often wet, off trail terrain. 

Designed and most often used for orienteering, sky running, trail running and obstacle course racing, VJ is the official shoe of Tough Mudder. Offering 3 models, XTRM, MAXx and iRock 3, which have varying levels of lug height, stack height, upper design and weight depending on the activity/preference. A summary of VJ technologies is here.  
I chose the VJ MAXx because it has the highest stack height and more reasonable lugs for the dry trails and off trail running I do here in Colorado. The VJ MAXx is described as “A well cushioned, light-weight trail shoe for the longer distances”, which, when combined with the extra grippy outsole, fits right into my wheelhouse.

Jacob: The MAXx is VJ Sport’s highest cushioned, lowest lugged, and widest of their three shoes, all with the same butyl rubber, what VJ Sport calls the “best grip on the planet.” I was offered to test the MAXx as my typical terrain in New England is often wet, very rooted, and never smooth. Especially when racing, I push trail shoes to the limits of spiky rock/root grip and sharp cornering. Most “general” trail shoes do not have the grip or foothold needed for the twisty and bumpy East Coast US terrain I run, but the VJ MAXx seems promising as it’s the most trail-running specific of their top-class grip shoes, all designed for tough terrain like OCR. 

Our testers set out to find out if VJ in fact had as they hashtag #TheBestGripOnThePlanet.

Jeff:  Precise and performance oriented fit, top notch traction, protection, response, stability, weight.
Incredible grip, the “best grip on the planet” did not disappoint
Great fit, comfortable even when tight enough to rip tight corners on singletrack
Good balance of cushion and ground feel

Jeff:  Tongue is a bit short and thin (requires some work to position and I experience some lace bite if not careful with lacing), stitching (while materials are holding up well overall, I am experiencing stitching issues), price
Rather heavy for the stack
Loud and a bit rough on pavement
Midsole is traditional and a bit dead on smooth/tame sections

Tester Profiles
Jeff  runs mostly on very steep technical terrain above Boulder often challenging well known local FKT's. 
Jacob runs a mix of roads and trails in the Portland, Maine area. He runs every day and averages 50 miles per week. Jacob recently ran a 2:54 marathon and completed his first ultra, a 50km trail race.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Topo Athletic MTN Racer -- The Gals' Review!

Article by Dominique Winebaum and Allison Valliere

Topo Athletic MTN Racer ($140)
RoadTrailRun also published an in-depth multi tester review of the Topo Athletic MTN Racer in mid-July, see it at the link: HERE

Dominique: Compared to the reviewers (5 men) who tested the Topo MTN Racer back in July, this is my first pair of Topo trail running shoes as I mostly run roads – also my frame of reference is a bit outdated, i.e. the Altra Lone Peak 3 was my last trail runner. (see below).   
Dominique: I run trails when in Park City, Utah, otherwise I mostly run on the road along the coast of New Hampshire.  
After one run in the Topo Mtn Racer on easy trails at a local park on the single track trails, I decided to wear them hiking since I do more hiking than trail running when in New Hampshire. Trails in the White Mountains of New Hampshire are rough, rocky, rooty, steep, and rather slippery when wet; a challenging environment for the feet and footwear!  
Dominique: In my pursuit of hiking NH 48 4000 footers I have come across many Thru- Hikers on the NH Appalachian Trail (AT) carrying heavy packs and happily cruising along in their Altra Lone Peak (3.5 – 4).  Prior to the Topo Mtn Racer, I would only wear hiking type shoes, such as the Salomon X-Ultra and more recently, the HOKA Sky Toa, when hiking in the White Mountains. This changed as I tested the Topo MTN racer.

Dominique: Designed “ for trail racing and speed hiking,” I find the Topo Mtn Racer to be a great hiking shoe as I tested it in August and September while “peak bagging” in the White Mountains (in addition to some hiking and trail running in Utah). 

Friday, September 20, 2019

inov-8 Terraultra G 260 Review: A Superb Rugged Upper Tops a More Minimal & Agile Ride

Article by Don Reichelt, Dom Layfield, and Sam Winebaum

inov-8 Terraultra G 260 ($150)
Sam: The G260 is a low profile 19 mm total stack, zero drop, hard surface trail runner. It has,a Graphene infused outsole and a TPU EVA blend midsole. The rugged upper features a Kevlar reinforced heel counter with a roomy, high toe box with a ballistic nylon toe bumper. It is notably flexible for a trail shoe and has no rock plate. More flexible and lower stack than many current trail shoes in many ways it harkens back to the late 2000’s era of “natural and minimal” trail runners but with state of the art materials and construction. At the time I ran in many Inov-8 as they were for me the first truly the first purpose built for trail running brand: not a minimal slipper, or a re shod road runner or a slimmed down hiker. 

The video below outlines the features and has on the trail footage during my first test run on smoother single track trails in Park City’s Round Valley.

Don/Sam/Don: Love a zero drop shoe with a wide toe box!
Don/Sam/Dom: Very well built shoe, should be good for a lot of miles
Don, Dom: Excellent grip on rocky, technical terrain
Sam: A great option for practicing agility and speed on the trail
Sam/ Dom: Love the neon look!

Sam/Don: The shoe laces are difficult to tighten and quickly come loose
Don: Aesthetically… maybe the worst looking shoe I’ve run this year. Doesn’t look premium out of the box. 
Don/Dom: Too firm for my enjoyment 
Sam: Overly flexible, low stack and firm and lacking in rock protection for longer runs.
Dom: Lacking in rock protection

Tester Profiles
Don is an accomplished ultra runner whose most recent exploits include a 3d place at the notorious extreme temperatures, big climb 2018 Badwater 135 miler. He more recently finished 4th at the Jemez 50 mile and won the Lean Horse 100. Don trains over 100 miles per week on both road and trail in Colorado.
Dom 47, trains and competes mainly on trails in Southern California running about 3000 miles and 500k ft of vert per year.  In 2017 he was 14th at Western States 100 and in 2018 finished 50th at UTMB and 32nd at the 2018 Los Angeles marathon in a time of 2:46.  
Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 62 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. Sam has been running for over 45 years and has a 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the 1:35-1:41 range and trains 40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah. He is 5'10" tall and weighs about 165 lbs.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Topo Athletic MT-3 Review

Article by Dom Layfield and Jeff Valliere

Topo Athletic MT-3 ($110)
Dom: The MT-3’s predecessor, the MT-2 (RTR review), has long been a favorite shoe of mine, one that I’ve used extensively both in training and for races.  It is built on an “anatomical” last that matches the shape of my foot, has excellent ground feel, and just enough protection for everyday trail running.   To my mind, the biggest problem facing the MT-3 is that there really wasn’t much wrong with the MT-2.
Dom: The MT-3 keeps the same shape and feel as the MT-2.  The upper is slightly more substantial, and the outsole lugs have an additional 2 mm more prominence.   On the foot, the MT-3 and its predecessor feel very similar.

  • Soft, flexible, neutral shoe.
  • Shaped like a real foot.
  • Excellent ground feel.
  • Enough protection for daily running for most runners on most trails.
  • Low platform and firm sole stack provides great stability.
  • Versatile.
  • Weight has increased by 10%, making this more a training shoe than race shoe.
  • Not as breathable as MT-2
  • Toebox slightly more restrictive than MT-2

Tester Profiles
Dom 47, trains and competes mainly on trails in Southern California running about 3000 miles and 500k ft of vert per year.  In 2017 he was 14th at Western States 100 and in 2018 finished 50th at UTMB and 32nd at the 2018 Los Angeles marathon in a time of 2:46.  
Jeff  runs mostly on very steep technical terrain above Boulder often challenging well known local FKT's. 

Official Weight: men's 9.9 oz / 281 g (US9)  / women's 8 oz / 227g (US8)
  Samples:  US M10 10.1 oz (287 g)
Stack Height:   25 / 22 mm (3mm drop)
Available now including Running Warehouse here

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Topo Athletic Magnifly 3 Review

Article by Hope Wilkes and Michael Ellenberger

Topo Magnifly 3 ($120)
Hope: I tend to think of Topo as the maker of zero drop shoes for “the rest of us.” Their current line features classy, sporty good looks -- a far cry from some more hardcore “we don’t care how they look, so long as they’re zero drop and high-performing” models. You could dash to the grocery store in a pair of Topos and nobody would bat an eye.

My initial experience with the brand came in the OG Magnifly. Impossibly light and decently forgiving for a no-ramp shoe, I raced to a fast (for me) half marathon coming off of an injury. A lot has changed since then, with Topo beefing up the M3’s upper and midsole while softening the somewhat aggressive toe cap from the OG.

I won’t be coy: this is going to be a just-short-of-glowing review. With about 100 miles on the M3, I’ve happily made myself in expert in what makes this shoe a winner.

Michael: I’ve run in a number of enjoyable from zero-drop purveyor Topo Athletic in the past year - the sporty Fli-Lyte 3, and the “cruiser” Phantom among them. In general, I’ve been happy with how they perform - especially coming from someone who does not gravitate to low-drop trainers (and in fact, has been impressed by some high-drop options, like the Nike Zoom Fly). 

The Magnify 3 slots somewhere between the Fli-Lyte 3 and Phantom in platform and profile; it’s a little sportier than the Phantom, to be sure, but not quite as aggressive in feel as the Fli-Lyte 3. Unfortunately, the “medium” profile of the Magnify is also its downfall - while it’s a perfectly acceptable trainer, and presented no issues in my 50 miles covered, I found it relatively unexciting to run in, and an inferior option to its fellow Topos.

Hope: fast for this weight, resilient midsole foam, fit, comfort
Michael: Comfortable upper on a durable outsole; better lockdown than my previous Topos

Hope: could be lighter, runs a bit short (this is a known issue: Topo went me a US M8.5 which fits like a US M8, my preferred size)
Michael: A decent shoe with two better options from Topo; heavier and clunkier than the Fli-Lyte but not as mileage-friendly as the Phantom; awkward sizing (mine, too, was short)

Tester Profiles
Michael is his 20’s and is a 1:07 half marathoner. He runs 50-60 miles per week, generally in lightweight trainers or racing flats at around 6:00-6:30 minutes/mile.
Hope is in her 20’s and after several ultras is now more on the road. She has a marathon PR of 3:47. She trains about 50 miles per week with many of her runs in the (broad) 8:00-10:00/mile range. She is happy to hit 7:30 miles on tempo days.