Wednesday, November 27, 2019

La Sportiva Blizzard GTX Multi Tester Review: Winter Warrior!

Article by Allison and Jeff Valliere, and Canice Harte

La Sportiva Blizzard GTX ($199)

Jeff: A new entry from La Sportiva, the Blizzard features a Gore-Tex upper, built in gaiter and most notably, an aggressive outsole with 7 mm lugs topped off with 9 carbide studs to add traction on icy surfaces.  All of the other lugs are designed to accommodate La Sportiva hobnails (sold separately) to improve traction. I have very much enjoyed La Sportiva’s previous winter shoes, particularly the ones with a built in gaiter, such as the similar looking Uragano and Crossover GTX 2 (discontinued).  The Blizzard is designed to provide grip and protection on cold, wet, snowy, icy winter runs.

Jeff:  Traction, Security, Stability, Quick and Agile, Waterproof
Allison:  Traction, Waterproof, Warm, Stable
Canice: Traction, traction, traction.. and waterproof

Jeff:  Needs more studs, heel blistering during initial break in
Allison:  Could use more spikes
Canice: Stiff toe box, until broken in. No insulation

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Hoka ONE ONE Mach 3 Multi Tester Review: Sleek and Versatile with a Consistent, Firmer yet still Friendly Ride

Article by Jacob Brady, Hope Wilkes, Peter Stuart, and Jeff Valliere

Hoka One One Mach 3 ($140)

Jacob: The Mach 3 is the third iteration of the Mach, Hoka’s lightweight and responsive, but still “maximum cushion,” uptempo trainer/racer. The Mach series is less squishy and lower stack than a “classic” Hoka shoe, but still well-cushioned. This model features a totally revamped, streamlined upper along with the same midsole/outsole as the previous generation. 

Hope: I missed out on the Mach 2, but quite enjoyed the OG version: tall stack height, relatively low weight, and cushioning that was both forgiving and responsive. This update is vastly slimmed down. Not quite as slim as the Tracer of a few years ago, but a far cry from the Bondi or the Clifton.

Jacob/Hope: Very lightweight; minimal upper
Jacob/Hope: Great balance of ground-feel/stiffness and cushion/comfort
Jacob: Unique midsole feel; fun to run
Jeff:  Lightweight, responsive, secure but minimal upper, well cushioned
Peter: Light upper, good looking shoe. Firmer than your average Hoka

Jacob: Slightly narrow in the forefoot
Jeff:  Laces, outsole traction, durability concerns
Hope: Cushioning bottomed out for me once I hit double digit mileage during a run
Peter: Stiff. A little punishing.

Weight: men's 8.6 oz / 245g (US9) 7.1 oz /  204g women's / (US8)
  Samples: 9.9oz / 281g (US M12), 9 oz/255g (US M10)
Stack Height: men’s 24mm heel, 19mm forefoot :: women’s 22mm heel, 17mm forefoot
Available Feb. 2020. $140

Monday, November 25, 2019

Saucony Kinvara 11 Multi Tester Review

Article by Hope Wilkes, Sally Reiley, Peter Stuart, and Sam Winebaum

Saucony Kinvara 11 $110
Peter: Kinvara, Kinvara, Kinvara. The Kinvara, in many ways, started it all in terms of lightweight, highly cushioned trainers. It has gone from the originator to one of many. For a while it felt like the Kinvara lost its way and by last year’s Kinvara 10 it felt like it found its way back to its roots as a fun, light daily trainer. So how does the 11 compare? Well, let’s see how everybody here feels. For me, it’s a meh. 
Hope: The Kinvara keeps changing slightly. If you’re a fan of innovation for innovation’s sake, that’s a good thing. If you fell in love with any one Kinvara, it means you can’t rely on the newest model living up to your expectations. The Kinvara 11 is edging ever closer into full-on trainer from the trainer-racer space where it’s been top of the heap for years.

Sally: I really enjoyed the Kinvara 10 and have kept it in my rotation. The K11 has many similarities, but notable differences: it is still a great one shoe quiver kind of shoe, good for easy training miles or faster tempo workouts, but is now softer, bouncier, and more cushioned. I might consider wearing the K10 as a low-key race shoe, but the K11 is definitely more of a reliable trainer. Thumbs up in my book!

Sam: I was most interested to see what the new PWRUN EVA/TPU midsole felt like. The Guide 13, a light stability shoe also sports this new midsole foam and felt great as it was  bouncier than EVA, and more stable than say Boost. I was eager to see how it performed in a lighter more neutral shoe. I liked the K10 and agree with Sally it is more a race shoe feel on the firm side and responsive. Would the K11 move towards one shoe in the quiver for both training and racing status for me?

Peter: surprisingly good grip for as little rubber on the outsole, good fit.
Hope: Less rubber, softer underfoot feel, even more pliable upper
Sally: well-cushioned with an easy comfortable fit; soft, bouncy, flexible, smooth, classic look
Great looking and fitting upper with an easy lace up  ,that big not overly soft tongue is a great platform to snug with no bite
Bouncier more forgiving and fun all around (train and race) ride than K10
4mm drop? Really? No bottoming out on heel strike makes it an honest 4mm and feels higher

Peter: Thickest tongue ever. Ride feels a little harsh (especially compared to some other foams).
Hope: Maybe not the thickest tongue ever (Kinvara 5 probably has it beat), but thicker than necessary
Sally: Missing the quick push forward that I was hoping for, despite the flexibility and foam
Sam: PWRUN foam is a big improvement but not a zingy, springy super foam

Skechers Performance GOMeb Speed 6 Hyper Race Report Review- Lincolnwood Turkey Trot 10K

By Michael Ellenberger

After some sizing confusion and a dearth of racing (first time since February!) I was finally able to test out the new Skechers Performance GoMeb Speed 6 Hyper (SPGMS6H… eesh!) at the 2019 Lincolnwood Turkey Trot in titular Lincolnwood, IL. 

My training had been consistently inconsistent, between beginning a new job and some early winter weather, but I had at least managed to put in a solid couple weeks leading up, averaging only about 35 miles per week across 6 runs. Hardly stellar numbers, but I had tried to do at least a tempo or interval workout each week, and take my recovery days easy (something I’ve always struggled with). 

Fortunately, I was able to pull out the 10K win in 32:45 (stopped my watch a few seconds too late) and managed some substantial negative splits, despite some hurdles (described below).

All In to Marathon Majors Age Group Gold!

Article by Joost De Raeymaeker

Editor’s Note: We are thrilled to bring you Joost’s recounting of his fall marathon campaign, the preparation in Angola and his races which led him to two Major Marathon victories in his M50 age group at Berlin and New York along with a new all time PR of 2:26:10.

My Fall Campaign

Convinced by a running friend I was good enough, I set out to run the six marathon majors, two every year, for a podium finish in the 50-54 age group. I would do one of them as a “warm up” before hitting 50. The project was good enough on paper to convince a small Angolan bank, Banco Valor, to sponsor me for the expenses. 

Sunday, November 24, 2019

2019 Runners' Apparel Gift Guide: Icebreaker, Gore, Salomon, Buff, Title Nine, Runderwear, Mammut, UA, Outdoor Research, Brooks, OROS, La Sportiva, Rockay

Article by Sam Winebaum, Dominique Winebaum & Jeff Valliere

After much exploring and testing, we bring you a wide array of innovative and practical running apparel gift ideas focused on the winter months. 

Also please read Part 1 of our Gift Guide covering Electronics, Hydration, Recovery, Sunglasses and Packs HERE

See our Holidays Savings Guide HERE

Stay Warm, Dry, and Safe

Men’s Icebreaker Merino Tech Trainer Hybrid Pants ($180)  
Hard to Photograph, Classy. All Black, High Performance Merino Powered Run Outfit
The look goes from the roads and trails to just about anywhere, anything without missing a beat of shouting. Truly luxurious in feel, this outfit blends superb performance with subtle classy styling.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

2919 Gift Guide for Runners: Electronics, Lighting, Hydration, Sunglasses, Packs, and Recovery

Article by Sam & Dominique Winebaum and Jeff Valliere
The RoadTrailRun team bring you a carefully selected and tested collection of running and beyond holiday gift ideas.  

See our Holidays Savings Guide HERE

We found so much great stuff that we split the guide into two parts! Part II covering apparel from IceBreaker, Gore, Salomon, Buff, Title Nine, Mammut, UA, Outdoor Research, Brooks, OROS, La Sportiva, and Rockay is HERE

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Salomon Sense Ride 3 Video Review with Comparisons to Sense Ride 2

Article by Sam Winebaum

Salomon Sense Ride 3 ($130)

Estimated Weight: 10.6 oz /300 g men's US9
Sample Weight: 10.33 oz / 293 g men's US8.5
Stack Height: 27mm heel / 19 mm forefoot, 8mm drop
Spring 2020. $130

The Sense Ride gets a new OptiVibe midsole made up of a highly shock and vibration absorbing heel insert embedded within an Olefin Dow Infuse main midsole. The ProFeel flexible rock protection is segmented and increased at the very front of the toe box. Rear raised midsole sidewalls and a more supportive upper deliver a more protective, cushioned and supportive all around trail runner than its predecessor which for me was an outstanding trail road hybrid. The changes come at a weight cost with the Sense Ride 3 now 1.2 oz / 36 g heavier than the Sense Ride 2.  

The video below details the shoe, compares to the Sense Ride 2 and upcoming Sonic 3 Balance and takes the shoe on the trails in Park City, UT.

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

REI Men's & Women's HERE

AMAZON Men's & Women's HERE

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Monday, November 18, 2019

2019 Garmin Forerunner 45, 245M, 945 and Fenix 6S Pro Comparative Buyers Guide and Reviews

Article by Sam Winebaum

Garmin Forerunner 45, Forerunner 245 Music, Forerunner 945, Fenix 6s Pro

Garmin's 2019  Forerunner series  and Fenix 6 series watches  have much in common.
  • In my extensive testing on road and trail, one on each wrist (well only two at a time as I only have two wrists!) I found the critical basics of GPS distance, pace, and wrist heart rate accuracy to be for all intents and purposes extremely close to identical for all the watches here. In fact Garmin, tells us they share the same sensors with the only differences being the GPS antenna configurations
  • While the 45 has a lower resolution screen than the others, all the screens were highly legible in bright light conditions and are the most legible of any of the many recent watches (Suunto, Polar, and COROS) I have tested.
  • All feature 5 button operation with the layout functioning in the same way on all watches.
  • All are extremely light and easy on my small wrist ranging in weight from 36g to 58 g and are  close enough in physical dimensions to be at time difficult to tell apart off the wrist.
  • All have music control to your phone and Garmin's new Incident Detection and other safety features such as Live Track,
  • All make identical use for all features they share in the Garmin Connect app.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit Initial Run Impressions Video Review and Shoe Details

Article by Sam Winebaum

Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit ($160)

Nike joins the non posted support game with the React Infinity. 

I  Watch my initial impressions video of this amply cushioned daily miles trainer with a touch of support, a broad front and rear on the ground base, a great rocker midsole, and the most comfortable decently roomy Flyknit upper to date for me. Weight:9.7 oz /275 g men's size 9.  Launches Jan 3, 2020 for Nike Members. General release Jan 13. 

Approx. Weight: men's 9.7 oz / 275g (US9), women's 8 oz / 230 g (US8) 
Stack Heights: 
Men's 33mm heel / 24mm forefoot, 9mm drop
Women's 30.9 mm heel / 22.5 mm forefoot, 8.4mm drop

The Epic React has a stack height of 28mm heel / 18 mm forefoot for men's so the Infinity is a considerably more cushioned shoe and sure feels it on the run. The Infinity's extra cushion and broader on the ground platform comes at a cost it weighs 1.7 oz / 48 g more than Epic React.

Watch my First Run Impressions & Shoe Details Video (6:12)

Updated Video Review after several more runs (3:52)
Full 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
EU Men's & Women's HERE

Men's & Women's HERE
Join VIP Family, Get Free Shipping and 15% in VIP Benefits on every order, Details here

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New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v10 Multi Tester Review

Article by Jeff Beck, Peter Stuart, and Sam Winebaum

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v10 ($150)

Sam:  The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 in its 10th edition gets an engineered knit upper with trace fiber stitching at mid foot for support and a swept back rear collar for a secure pressure-free rear fit. Underfoot, the Fresh Foam is now called Fresh Foam X with more aggressive sculpting of the lateral side walls for a touch more softness, a more pronounced rocker and a modified outsole which makes the shoe more flexible and easier to transition. 

Peter: Smooth, comfortable.
Jeff/Sam: Improved ride, upper, and flexibility from predecessor, bonus no more heel slip. 
Sam: Slightly softer with easier and smoother transitions due to rthe ocker and outsole design, great looks.

Peter: flared heel might scare some traditionalists away (due to looks).
Jeff: Black colorway is boring (literally the best I can come up with) 
Sam: Fresh Foam is a bit dated in ride, on the firm more responsive side with relatively low (for these days) energy return.

Weight:: 9.5 oz / 269g (US men’s 9
  Samples: 9.25 oz / 262g  (US 8.5), 10.2 oz / 289g US 10.5D
1080v9 approx. 10 oz
Stack Height: 30mm heel / 22mm forefoot, 8 mm drop
Available $150