Monday, July 26, 2021

Quick Strides 10: CEP Ultralight, 361 Meraki 4, Predict Soc 2, Rincon 3, Terra Kiger 7, Adios 6, Rabbit, Whoop, Stryd, Kayano 28, Trail Racing in Germany

Article by Sam Winebaum, Nils Scharff, Shannon Payne, and Jeremy Marie

This week's Quick Strides includes CEP Ultralight, 361 Meraki 4, Predict Soc 2, Rincon 3, Terra Kiger 7,Adios 6, Rabbit, Whoop, Stryd, Kayano 28 with contributors joining in from the US, Germany, and France.

Sam (New Hampshire) 

CEP Ultralight Compression Calf Sleeves ($40) & Ultralight Short Compression Socks ($22.50)

I always wear calf sleeves for races but very rarely for training. I have always felt the compressive effect was more about reducing shock vibrations than blood circulation for my needs. I often had calf cramps during races before sleeves but literally never since. 

I have read that even moderate compression can be effective in this regard and have gravitated to the light compression and light weight of Compressport sleeves although I have tried many over the years.

In fact my very first compression sleeves were CEP, well over a decade ago. While run oriented, they were clearly medical grade or close in their tight compression, thick, hot, and as a result while effective quite miserable and something I wanted to immediately pull down or off after a race.

When CEP offered their Ultralight series sleeves and socks for test I was intrigued. I saw base stats of: 

  • 20% less volume than CEP 2.0 calf sleeves

  • 20-30 mmHg compression so moderately to quite compressive. I tend to prefer 15-20 mmHg.

  • Guaranteed for 6 months (150-200 washes)

Digging deeper (and all the deep details are here)  I see they have 3 different built in treatments:

So we have Feran ICP for moisture management and movement to evaporate and cool, and Hei Q for cooling triggered by temperature and sweat and finally… carbon infused yarn for strength, elasticity, and as carbon has a very low thermal expansion a cooling effect. And bonus as we know carbon is extremely light its inclusion help makes the sleeves and socks very, very light in weight and very thin compared to “normal” compression sleeves and socks of comparable compression.

So how have they performed? No races yet in either socks or sleeves but I can say that I have run in extremely humid and quite warm conditions and beyond feeling the compression at work I have never felt the usual heat and moisture build up of conventional sleeves that wants me to immediately take them off once done. 

They absorb remarkably little moisture and what little there is has no place to build up and weigh me down due to the much thinner than normal material whic,h while it provides plenty of compression, is also easy to see through.

The socks, unlike other compression socks I have worn, the full length variety and crew such as Pro Compression are both easier to pull on but due to the thinness of the knit and are as soft and comfortable as any regular run sock.  

Bonus, and unlike socks of their grade of compression,  they have soft nicely padded toe and heel areas. For sure they will never slip down! Why compression low socks? I personally find they tend to keep me a touch more aligned, supported and tracking well, both running and on long hikes, and paired with sleeves they make a great option for long sitting travel periods 

CEP Ultralight is available from Running Warehouse HERE

This week I also had fine first runs in two shoes which in this era of supercritical foams, huge stacks, carbon or otherwise plated and might be considered a bit “old school” on the surface and in ride but in fact are carefully modernized takes on the workhorse secure and stable daily trainer. There were the 361 Meraki 4 and the natural, flexible, foot anatomy based lighter trainer the Salomon Predict Soc 2.

The Predict Soc 2 updates the short lived initial Predict Soc and its not so great hold with a more substantial heel collar and soft but present now more extensive plastic cage. A knit upper shoe, the front is soft and stretchy but adequately secure. The hold is a blend of a secure rear and midfoot and a more open toe splaying and upper stretching forefoot. A pleasant fit for most running but fast fast and certainly also a fit for everyday use as well. 

Based on the same platform as the original Predict RA, so with Salomon’s Energy Cell+ EVA, it has a relatively firm ride that comes alive with notably more rebound and engagement of the anatomical decoupling geometry as the pace picks up.

Both the outsole and midsole are designed to mimic and follow the anatomy of the foot in motion during the gait cycle. And I feel it works well, never over directing but also with a notably stable forefoot. At about 8.8 oz / 249g they are decently light. $130. Available September. 

The Meraki 4 is priced the same as the Salomon and is a workhorse daily trainer with an 8mm drop and 31.5mm /23.5mm stack so a relatively (for these days) thin forefoot stack. 

The Meraki modernizes the classic geometry with a small centrally located Quik Spine fiberglass shank (so not a full support broad one a la older ASICS) which I could clearly feel giving me an impulse forward to the flexible toe off at all paces while also gently stabilizing the center of my mid foot.  The midsole is updated with a lighter EVA and with a top layer of energetic Quik Foam which is an EVA rubber blend with a PU coating. 

The Quik Foam (black above behind and ahead of the striated Quik Spine) acts as a core as it is exposed through to the outsole down the center of the shoe.

The upper is super secure with great heel hold, impeccable midfoot hold from underlays, and if not wide, a very secure toe box with surprisingly good comfort given all the hold.  

The result is a very decently lively ride with a noted easy transition off the heel, impulse from the small plate, and flexible toe off with plenty of firmer and responsive if forgiving cushion (I can sense the Quick Foam in the mix), lots and lots of durable rubber and that secure upper. 

The downside of all its substance is the weight at about 10.6 oz / 300g  in a US9. Yet, I was surprised that during my super humid and warm first run I would have thought it weighed considerably less.  

Clearly, so far, Meraki 4 appears to be a workhorse daily trainer able to handle any run that should prove durable. All of that to be further determined as we test for our upcoming multi tester review. Awaiting release date info.

Nils (Germany)

Running wise a lot is going on for me at the moment as my Berlin Marathon training is ramping up. Additionally I ran a local trail race yesterday without any taper. It was supposed to replace my long run this week. Having fun and enjoying the first in person race since ages should have been the main goal. But the nerves got to me. I went out with the top dogs for the first few kilometres, overcooked, blew up my quads and paid horribly from there on. But I made it all the way through and see it as a pretty good mental training in retrospect. Anyways - racing against actual people on an actual course was so much fun! I missed it! Many, many thanks to the team from “Heuchelbergtrail” for making this happen - you guys rock (look them up and race with me next year if you are from Germany)!

Talking gear: After trying different shoes the day before the race (always a good idea!) I decided to go with my beloved EVO Speedgoats (RTR Review). Sure, it was probably an overkill on this more moderate course, but unless you have something much lighter in your quiver (e.g. S/Lab Pulsar RTR Review) you just can’t go wrong with them. 

Other than that I want to praise the runinrabbit FKT shorts. They are  just so light, comfy and has all the pockets that you need for a race (without vest etc.). I just figured out that runinrabbit ships directly into the EU and pulled the trigger on my second FKT shorts and some more stuff. Everything I own from them is damn comfy!

Besides my race I did the most training miles this week in the ASICS GEL-Kayano 28. My German review (RTR English Review)  is coming up soon and I enjoy them pretty much so far. The combination of a soft, bouncy and flexible forefoot together with a bombproof heel is pretty unique and exactly what I need for my tired legs.

I also enjoyed my review miles in Nike’s Terra Kiger 7 (RTR Review). The character of the shoe changed tremendously from 6 to 7. With more stack and the Zoom pocket switched to the forefoot it's now a any surface any distance shoe (Kudos to Sandy and Sage) that runs on roads as well as on the most trails. It’s a really fun ride! Just don’t take them out for the most technical stuff or when there’s a chance you run on wet surfaces. Nike still doesn't have its act together in terms of outsole rubber.

Oh and my German review of the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23 (English Review)  is up on RTR since today (Sunday). It’s a solid update to a solid daily trainer. Especially if you just want to have just one shoe in your quiver it’s definitely worth a look. Especially the sensation of the 3D-Laser-Cutouts in the midsole is very unique and fascinating.

Shop for Rabbit apparel at Running Warehouse
US Men's and Women's HERE
Europe Men's and Women's HERE
Australia Men's and Women's HERE

Shannon (Northern California):

Quality time in the Hoka Zinals on some Norcal Trails. 

(Photo by NorCal Hoka Field Marketing Representative Jocelyn Watson)

It’s been a Hoka-palooza around here lately. I’ve been having some terrific trail runs in the new Hoka Zinal and just over a week ago, I received a pair of 361 Meraki 4. And  just a couple of days later, I got my much-anticipated Hoka Rincon 3

I say much-anticipated because I LOVE the Rincon. I’ve actually been running in a pair of the first iteration since 2019. Yeah yeah..I know the rules: 300-500 miles per pair of shoes. Probably more like 300 given it’s a lighter weight shoe. I’ve likely exceeded that long ago on that particular pair, so it was high time to retire them. Would the 3’s be as good as the OG (I unintentionally skipped version 2) ? I was about to find out.

Now, I’m not one to care a whole lot about the color or aesthetics of a shoe--they all wind up dirt-colored in the end after all--but my initial thoughts after unboxing the new Rincon was that Hoka is crushing it with the color-ways, this shoe just looks so excited and so ready to run... this shoe just looks so darn happy. Just look at them:

In any case, I should’ve gotten a photo of them all crisp and fresh right out of the box. But I was in a hurry to get them out for a run, and they did not disappoint! 

More to come on this shoe in my upcoming review (current Multi Tester Review), but any fears that Rincon-lovers may have about the updated model being not as great as the predecessor, lay those fears to rest. I can assure you that the Rincon 3 is as awesome as ever. 

Lastly, not shoe-related but running related, I recently started training with the Whoop Strap 2.0. Popular amongst cyclists for monitoring and maximizing recovery and beginning to gain traction with the running crowd, the Whoop Strap is a wrist-band no more imposing than your average watch, that monitors heart rate and overall stress and fatigue to the body 24/7, giving the wearer better insight into when to push hard, and when to back off, and what other factors in life might be contributing to overall stress--physical or otherwise. It knows when you fall asleep, how much time you spend in different sleep cycles, how much sleep you need each night based on your body’s stress level (it tells you when to go to bed, like a little nanny), how hard activities really are on you despite your perception of them, heck, it even knows when you’ve had a beer, alcohol is apparently stressful to the body. 

Anyway, having been spectacularly plagued by injuries on and off since about 2013, I thought that possibly it might be a valuable tool to better understanding some of the potential culprits, and I figured I didn’t have anything to lose by getting a six month subscription that costs far less per month than what I spend on trips to the PT (they offer different subscription durations, 6 months is about $30/month). 

While I just got it a day and a half ago and it needs four days initially to start to really “get to know you” a little bit, I’ve already gleaned a few interesting tidbits from it, like for instance I thought I was sleeping significantly more than I apparently do, and I thought I used substantially fewer calories than it indicates, and I’ve chalked up many activities to being less strenuous than they apparently are. It’s kind of neat, plus I’m a nerd for interesting metrics like what this provides and am excited to see what I can possibly learn from it.

Jeremy (France)

Running-tech wise, I’ve finally pulled the trigger on a Stryd sensor. I still have to run more with it in order to get some meaningful insights, and see how stable and consistent the values are, but so far I find this interesting. Maybe the fact that I use a power meter for my bike training has set my mind to use power...I’ll see. I’ll try to compare values with different shoes on a loop to see if something interesting emerges.

First impressions are really good: nice hardware, very easy pairing with the Suunto S9 and the Stryd App, I still have to face an issue so far. I even did my morning run with the Stryd app on my Apple Watch and it becomes more than a substitute to the S9 for this kind of run. The web platform is really nice, easy to use and gives a lot of information without being overwhelming.

Those runs with the Stryd were all performed using the new Adios 6 (RTR Review) that I’ve received the same day.

Forget everything you know about the classic Adios line, this one's a totally different beast. A tamed one compared to its older siblings.

Just a quick one for you to ponder: the front stack of the A6 (24mm) is higher than the A5 heel stack (23mm). Yup. Not your father’s Adios. Not even your last year’s Adios.

And so far, things look very nice. I’ve only done easy runs (which tends to be around 280W and 4’30/km apparently) and one “soft tempo” run as part of a brick (bike+run) workout, at 4’/km and 315W...And the Adios were pleasant on all those runs. Looking forward to putting more miles in them at different paces, as they already prove to be more versatile than the former Adios.

And last but not least, they also can double up as “almost nice” casual sneakers in their black colorway: 

Like go for a morning run at work and you forgot your shoes for the day :)

Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes others. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by Following RoadTrailRun News Feed

Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and currently preferred shoes

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

USA  Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
FREE 2 Day Shipping EASY No Sweat Returns
EUROPE Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
Join VIP Family, Get Free Shipping and 15% in VIP Benefits on every order, Details here

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
FREE Shipping on orders over 99, 30 days return policy, no questions asked.

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
FREE Shipping on most orders over $40

Men's & Women's  SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE


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


Mikael Koskinen said...

About ordering from Rabbit into EU. I think you still need pay customs, VAT etc. in addition to the products + about 30€ for shipping? It makes a pair of shorts quite expensive :)

Jeremy said...

Mikael, thanks for reading RTR :)
You can order Rabbit apparel from Runningwarehouse EU. I guess you won't have access to the whole line, but VAT, customs...Etc is already handled:

Jeremy said...

And if ordering direct from Rabbit EU, you won't have to pay customs and taxes, they're already in the price.
It leaves the shipping costs to swallow :)

Mikael Koskinen said...

Thank you Jeremy for the reply! Runningwarehouse EU is a good tip, thanks! I didn't know that they have Rabbit in their selection. Unfortunately the FKT's seem to be out of stock for now, so I need to remember to check that on a later date.

Regarding Rabbit EU, I haven't actually been able to locate that. I've only found the and even though the prices are shown correctly in euros, the checkout page there states that "International Shipping (customer is responsible for custom and duty fees)".

Nils said...

Hey Mikael!

I just ordered some stuff directly from rabbit last weekend. I'm going to report back as soon as I get my delivery!

Nils said...

Hey Mikael!

Sorry for the delayed response - I just remembered this thread. It took my runinrabbit order 6 days from ordering until the delivery here in Germany (including a weekend). The package came all the way over from the US but no additional taxes had to be payed. Hope that helps!

Oh and the stuff that I got is amazing!

All the best!

Mikael Koskinen said...

Hey Nils,

Thank you for getting back. Sounds really good, I think I'll give it a go :)

Have a nice weekend!