Saturday, May 15, 2021

Topo Athletic Fli-Lyte 4 Review

Article by Joost de Raeymaeker 

Topo Athletic Fli-Lyte 4 ($110)


Introduction

Joost: I know of only two brands of running shoes that were named after their founder. One of them was founded after the two brothers Rudolf and Adolf “Adi” Dassler split their original company Gebrüder Dassler, Sportschuhfabrik (Dassler Brothers Sports Shoe Factory) and each went their separate ways. Apparently, their relationship was not the best. One of them founded Adidas and the other Puma. It’s pretty easy to guess which one of the two brothers created Adidas.


Topo is another such company. Tony Post didn’t need a family feud to create Topo Athletic with a very clear vision: make natural running shoes, but with some of the features of mainstream trainers.


Topo running shoes have a very distinct look: a wide toe box that lets your toes splay freely and a foot shaped last. They sometimes remind me a little of some of the Campers models like the Beetle in terms of aesthetics.


The Fli-Lyte sits somewhere in the middle of the three categories Topo uses to classify their shoes: balanced cushioning, neutral support and moderate pliability (flexibility). But what does that actually mean from a brand that’s known for their more natural feeling shoes? Well, balanced cushioning in this case means a 20/23mm forefoot/heel stack, including the ortholite sock liner. There is noticeable arch support, but apart from that, the shoe has no other support elements, and it has a low 3mm drop.


This is the fourth iteration of the Fli-Lyte and changes have been made both to the upper and the midsole and outsole. You can read our review of version 3 here. The Fli-Lyte 4 still has an engineered mesh upper, but the lacing system (our version 3 reviewer’s main gripe) has changed. There seem to be other minor upper changes as well. The midsole is now entirely ZipFoam, instead of just as a core and the outsole rubber location and geometry has also changed slightly. Read on to find out what we thought of the new Fli-Lyte iteration.

Testbericht: Topo Athletic Cyclone: Stylisches Leichtgewicht für den Sommer! (German)

Artikel von Marcel Krebs

Link zum englischsprachigen RTR-Review: HIER

Link zu allen RTR-Testberichten: HIER


Einleitung

Genau wie für meine geschätzten Kollegen Nils und Johannes, war auch für mich der Test des Cyclone meine „Topo-Premiere“. Die Firmengeschichte hinter Topo hat Nils in seinem Testbericht zum Topo Athletic Ultraventure 2 bereits perfekt zusammengefasst (deutscher Testbericht), so dass ich mich diesbezüglich hier kurz halten möchte.

Aufgrund meines breiten Vorfußes sowie meiner Vorliebe für eher festere Mittelsohlen, hatte ich auf jeden Fall schon länger immer mal wieder ein Auge auf die Topo-Modelle geworfen, da mich die Altras mit ihrer Nullsprengung seinerzeit noch abgeschreckt hatten. Jedoch hatten mich die Testberichte sowie ehrlich gesagt auch die Optik der älteren Modelle trotz der vielversprechenden Rahmendaten bislang von einem Kauf absehen lassen, zumal sowohl bei den Straßen- als auch bei den Trailschuhen der Markt im letzten Jahr von einer Vielzahl sehr ansprechender Modelle geradezu überflutet wurde.

Um so mehr war ich erfreut, als ich erfahren habe, dass ich im Frühjahr 2021 den neuen Topo Athletic Cyclone testen durfte. Auch wenn ja allerorten – und auch hier – immer wieder betont wird, dass die Optik beim Laufschuhkauf keine (entscheidende) Rolle spielen solle, so isst bzw. läuft das Auge ja bekannt mit. Und was dies angeht, so ist der Cyclone für Topo ein echter Quantensprung nach vorne! Auch wenn sich über Geschmack ja bekanntlich trefflich streiten lässt, finde ich den Cyclone optisch rundum äußerst gelungen! Insbesondere mit Blick auf den bevorstehenden Sommer macht die Farbwahl direkt Lust, den Schuh anzuziehen und loszulaufen.

Pro:

-   Geräumige Zehenbox

-   Weiches und atmungsaktives Obermaterial ideal für die warme Jahreszeit

-   Für ein Leichtgewicht gute Dämpfung

-   Sehr langlebige Außensohle

-   Feste, aber nicht zu harte Mittelsohle

-   Sehr gelungene Optik

Contra:

-   Fersenkappe bietet nur unzureichenden Halt

-   Außensohle könnte etwas dünner und somit leichter sein

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

adidas Terrex Speed Ultra Multi Tester Review: Some Old, Something New. A Solid and Speedy Combination!

Article by Renee Krusemark and Sam Winebaum 

adidas Terrex Speed Ultra ($160)

    Introduction

    The Terrex Speed Ultra was developed with feedback from Tom Evans who has won the UTMB CCC race, set a record at the Tarawera 102km Ultra Marathon, and finished 3d at the Marathon des Sables all in the first few years of his running career. 


    The Speed Ultra represents something old and something new from Terrex. 

    Tuesday, May 11, 2021

    UA Flow Velociti Wind Multi Tester Review

    Article by Jeff Beck, Michael Ellenberger, Zack Dunn and Sam Winebaum

    UA Flow Velociti Wind ($160)


    Introduction

    Sam: The Flow Velociti Wind represents a completely new run platform for Under Armour. It is the fruit of 3 years of R&D and 11,000 miles of testing by their elites and also by regular runners. Its defining feature is a single piece midsole and midsole as outsole called UA Flow.


    The geometry of the midsole and its contact to the ground was mapped through extensive data analysis of runners’ strike patterns and loading. Note the circular shapes at the metatarsals and the rounded shape of the heel which is somewhat reminiscent of the HOVR Sonic (RTR Review) which was a 2 ounce heavier far firmer shoe with a full outsole. 


     UA told us the geometry is designed to have no lever arms and no sharp angles for a smooth “flow” and as such there is no distinct flex point, This is exactly what I have felt on my first run. After a few hundred yards the first word that came to mind was decently cushioned, quiet, moccasin like but a moc with plenty of softer, cushion, rebound and stability.  

    women's color way PC: Sally Reiley


    The midsole foam is a Dow Olefin based compound with a low compression set and with additives for durability. The Velociti Wind weighs 229g / 8.08 oz in my US9 sample and has a 26/18 stack,  8mm drop.

    Monday, May 10, 2021

    Brooks Aurora BL Review: Brooks At Long Last Goes Wild, and Crazy Light! It Works!

    Article by Sam Winebaum, Jeff Beck, and Cheng Chen

    Brooks Aurora-BL ($200)


    Introduction


    Sam: Releasing June 17, the limited edition Aurora-BL represents a wild and dramatic technological and visual design departure for often stodgy yet always reliable Brooks. An outer space and astronaut inspired motif! It comes from Brooks Blue Line stunk works. It will be a limited edition likely inspiring more mainline products. By making it a limited edition Brooks can get it to market quicker and learn from the response to inform future products.


    The Aurora is a super light for stack, maximally cushioned  (37mm heel / 31 mm forefoot full stack, 26/20 DNA Loft v3 midsole), plateless road trainer with a supercritical processed nitrogen injected foam DNA Loft v3 midsole.  We have seen DNA Loft v1  in the Glycerin and Ghost as a softer flavor of DNA and nitrogen infused DNA Flash foam in the Tempo, Hyperion Elite 2, and trail Catamount and coming soon DNA Loft v2 in the Cascadia 16 (RTR Review soon) but here we are talking about something radically different. 

    Saturday, May 08, 2021

    ASICS GEL-Kayano 28 Video Review

     Article by Sam Winebaum

    ASICS GEL-Kayano 28 ($160)

    In the video we review the ASICS GEL-Kayano 28 on a scenic coastal tour. It is a light stability (yet also adapts well to all runner types) road trainer.  


    For its 28th iteration, it gets lively FlyteFoam Blast as a top layer all the way to the front, reduces the rear plastic, relocates and mellows the Trusttic plate and the ride and has a very comfortable upper as adaptable as the ride to a range of foot types. It loses 0.35 oz /13g.

    WATCH THE GEL-KAYANO 28 VIDEO REVIEW (10:59)


    Full Multi Tester Review soon. Available June 2021.

    Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. No other compensation was received by RTR or the authors for this review beyond potential commissions from the shopping links in the article. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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    Friday, May 07, 2021

    Salomon Sense Pro 10 Set Hydration Vest Review: Best Salomon Vest to Date?

    Article by Jeff Valliere

    Salomon Sense Pro 10 Set Hydration Vest

    Sizes XS - XL 160 grams / 5.6 oz. (without flasks) 

    $180 - Available now including at our retail partners at end of the review


    Salomon running vests have been among my favorites, if not my very favorites for the majority of my runs where I need to carry anything from just my phone and car key, or additional food, water, clothing or just to wear to attach my Kogalla RA lighting system when running at night.  Be it an hour run, or all day outing in the mountains, either the S/Lab Sense Ultra 8 or the Advanced Skin 5 fit the bill perfectly.  The S/Lab Sense Ultra 8 is super light and fits like clothing and the Advanced Skin 5 is still semi clothing like in fit, though hasa bit more structure that more easily carries weight.  So where does the all new Sense Pro 10 Set fit in?


    Sense Pro 10 Set slots right in the middle between the two as far as weight and structure, but is at the top of the heap in regards to all around performance, versatility and functionality.

    While still maintaining the minimal, clothing-like fit/feel of the S/Lab Sense Ultra 8, the Sense Pro 10 Set also dials in the structure/load carry capabilities of the Advanced Skin 5.

    Wednesday, May 05, 2021

    adidas 4DFWD Multi Tester Review: Riding the Matrix!

    Article by Jeff Beck and Sam Winebaum

    adidas 4DFWD ($200/200€)


    Introduction

    adidas has been working away on 3D printed midsoles for several years now. In the 4DFWD the FWD CELL lattice is said to be designed to deliver up to 3 times more forward motion in mechanical lab testing compared to previous generations of the technology.

    Selected from one of five million possible lattice structures and made of 39% bio-based material, the bowtie-shaped FWD CELL according to adidas has been specifically coded to compress forward upon vertical impact to redirect vertical load energy to horizontal energy in the stride while reducing peak breaking force by an average of 15% to deliver running economy comparable to Ultraboost.  Concept car stuff made real.

    To create this midsole, adidas and partner Carbon combine athlete data and Carbon’s Digital Light SynthesisTM technology to produce the precision tuned 3D printed midsoles with the ability to fine tune midsoles to specific patterns of movement.

    The key features called out by adidas are:

    • LATTICE CONSTRUCT: Made of 39% bio-based 3D material, offering 23% more cushioning and generating over three times as much forward motion when compared to previous generations of 4D midsole under vertical loading in mechanical testing conditions

    • MIDSOLE INNOVATION: A unique bowtie-shaped FWD CELL redirects energy from each step's impact to create horizontal forward motion

    • PRIMEKNIT+ UPPER: Using historical mapping data, the PRIMEKNIT+ upper has been tailored to work perfectly in tune with the adidas 4DFWD midsole, supporting the runner every move forward with a sock-like fit, while letting the foot breathe freely

    Jeff and I received samples prior to receiving any of the information above so we were able to test without any of the tech data and marketing and then continued testing after receiving it. 4D now today a new and compelling midsole technology for actual running or are we still at the concept car technology platform demo stage? For sure 2020 and now 2021 have ushered in an era of run shoe midsole innovation with primarily super light energetic foams and here we have a completely different approach. Really run ready and for what and whom?  We tested to find out!

    Monday, May 03, 2021

    Reseña: Under Armour UA Flow Velociti Wind Spanish Review

    Article by Beto Hughes

    Under Armour UA Flow Velociti Wind ($160 US)

    Flow Velociti Wind un gran paso para Under Armour diseño deportivo y con gran estilo para ir a entrenar y después para vestirte casual con un mismo tenis.

    Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico

    31 años, Estatura 176cm, Peso 89kg

    Comencé a correr en 2016 y a entrenar para bajar de peso, solía pesar 135 kg y entre correr y Crossfit comenzó mi amor por la vida saludable y Fitness, y claro por correr, ahora estoy enfocado en pronto calificar para el Boston Marathon.

    Kilometraje por semana: 100 a 125 km en Asfalto.

    Distancia Favorita: Maratón y Medio Maratón. También el Ultra Marathon.

    Maraton PR 3:22, Medio Maraton PR 1:31, 10k PR 41:52 5k PR 20:05

    Me puedes seguir en Instagram @betohughes  https://www.instagram.com/betohughes/


    Pros:

    • Buen Upper Warp Transpirable

    • Gran Agarre del medio pie.

    • Excelente Tracción y Durabilidad de la Suela Flow

    • Podómetro integrado en el tenis y conexión a bluetooth.

    • El Podometro mide Distancia, Cadencia, Sancada, sin GPS.

    Cons:

    • Algo firme para algunos gustos.

    • No tiene caucho, aun asi tiene buen agarre en suelo mojado.

    • Checar irregularidades en la media suela por si tiene algún defecto. Ya que mi modelo los tenia en ambos tenis.

    Saturday, May 01, 2021

    adidas FWD-01 Sport In-Ear Wireless Bluetooth Headphones Review: Fit for Great Sound & Fast Long Runs!

     Article by Jeff Valliere

    adidas FWD-01 Sport In-Ear Wireless Bluetooth Headphones ($150)


    16 hours battery life

    23 grams spec. (26 grams on my scale)

    $150. Available now



    Introduction, Design and Specs:


    These headphones came as a bit of a surprise to me.  First, I was unaware that adidas was even selling headphones, manufactured by Zound industries in Stockholm, Sweden and marketed under the adidas brand name,. The  FWD-01 is a top quality wireless bluetooth headset.  While not truly wireless, the FWD-01 uses a soft and pliable cord (much like a nice woven shoe lace) that connects the two earbuds.  I actually prefer this to true wireless, as there is less likelihood of me losing them on the trail or in a pocket.  The ear buds are slightly large, but not overly so, are not heavy and do not get in the way.  The FWD-01 provides 16 hours of battery life, are extremely comfortable, are easy to dial in the fit, have fantastic, customizable sound with the controls easy to use out of the box and customizable if you prefer.

    ASICS Novablast 2 Multi Tester Review

    Article by Peter Stuart, Jacob Brady, Renee Krusemark and Sam Winebaum

    ASICS Novablast ($130)

    Introduction

    Sam: The first edition of the Novablast was a somewhat unexpected 2020 favorite. It took ASICS into new territory with a high stack, bouncy, fun shoe sharing little of the brand’s usual serious feeling (dense and on the firm side) and seriously stable rides no matter the shoe. 


    With a narrow on the ground geometry and big stack the Novablast 1 introduced FlyteFoam Blast, an energetic, bouncy, softer foam. The Novablast 1 had some flaws for some. It was not particularly stable, requiring good well aligned form and focus, and its plasticky upper was tricky for some to lockdown and especially so given its big stack height.


    Novablast 2 seeks to address those issues with a number of updates:

    • 2mm more forefoot foam for more cushion and stability

    • Redesigned rear midsole sidewalls for a more gradual compression and more stability

    • An extended TPU rear heel overlay, again for more rear stability on the narrow base platform

    • More segmentation of the outsole for a smoother flow

    • A  soft Jacquard mesh upper with a gusset tongue


    Coming in at about 9.85 oz / 280g in a US 9 it does gain about 0.5 oz / 14g. At first glance, given the changes that seems OK and worth it, at least for me. But what will my fellow testers think?


    The Novablast now appears more stable, more cushioned, and better secured up top thus opening it up as an option for more runners than v1 as an all around daily trainer while retaining its exciting ride. So what did the team find out when we took it to the roads?

    Jacob: The Novablast is ASICS’s modern, high cushion trainer with a soft, bouncy, and fun FlyteFoam Blast midsole. Released in 2020, the Novablast was ASICS first shoe to use FlyteFoam Blast and was at the front of ASICS recent progression in innovation and modern designs. The Novablast was a personal favorite of mine and I recommended it as a general purpose trainer to five other runner friends (for two of them single shoe quiver) and they all had great experiences with it. It is a fun shoe capable of recovery runs as well as cruising at a faster pace. For me as well as other reviewers, the fit and upper was the definite weak point of the Novablast 1. The other possible negative, though it wasn’t an issue for me, was the Novablast 1 didn’t have high stability, combined with the loose upper it was a bit unwieldy. The Novablast 2 seeks to resolve these two criticized points of the first version with a totally new upper and widened platform with higher midsole sidewalls.

    Friday, April 30, 2021

    Changeover of RoadTrailRun News Feed to follow.it

     Article by Sam Winebaum, Editor
    With Feedburner going to maintenance mode in July at Google, RoadTrailRun has decided to move its news feed to follow.it.

    If you are not yet a subscriber to our feed you can subscribe here: RoadTrailRun News Feed

    If you are already a subscriber via Feedburner (and thank you for subscribing to RTR) you should not need to do anything as will be canceling our feed to Feedburner shortly and you will start to see your feeds as before but now via follow.it

    follow.it offers a number of filters and output channels as shown below. To customize them head over to folllow.it here


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