Monday, July 31, 2023

Salomon S/Lab Pulsar 3 Running Vest - a new benchmark for shorter races

Article by Marcel Krebs 

Salomon S/Lab Pulsar 3 Running Vest (available in Europe for 160€)


Recently it has become a little quieter around the S/Lab product line from Salomon. From the S/Lab, Salomon creates high-performance solutions that are developed in close cooperation with Salomon athletes and especially in the shoe area, where models are even specially manufactured for individual athletes and their foot shape, such as the Salomon S/Lab Ultra for François D'Haene.

S/Lab running vests had even disappeared completely from Salomon's online store for a few months. So I was all the more pleased when the first athletes showed up at the Golden Trail Series races in spring wearing a new S/Lab running vest, which on closer inspection turned out to be the brand new Salomon S/Lab Pulsar 3 running vest.


  • Excellent fit

  • Improved softer materials especially around the neck area are extremely comfy

  • No bounce

  • Very light & breathable 
  • Fits almost like a singlet leaving large parts of the back exposed for motion and ventilation
  • Looks sharp and “race ready”


  • Zip pocket moved to the right side which makes it harder accessible for most of us

  • Lower back pocket would be more versatile with zippers at the openings

Back Length: 38 cm
Dimensions: 25 x 38 x 1 L x W x D in cm
Volume: 3 liters
Weight: 90 g
Weight including accessories (2 x 250ml flasks): 140 grams

Friday, July 28, 2023

Brooks Hyperion to Brooks Launch 10 Comparison Review: 6 Comparisons

Article by Michael Ellenberger and Renee Krusemark

Brooks Hyperion ($140) & Brooks Launch 10 ($110)


Michael: This review has taken me a while to get to - okay, primarily because work and life have been hectic (soon, I will need to find a new brick background to take my shoe photos!), but also because… the Brooks Hyperion is sort of boring. Now, don’t close this tab right away (herein lies the problem with putting the takeaway straight at the top!), I didn’t say they were bad - it’s just that, given the lore of the “Brooks Hyperion ___” branding, I perhaps expected more. There’s plenty of good (even very good), and some not-so-good, but there really isn’t anything “special.” I’ll explain.

So, as I started writing two separate reviews (one for the Hyperion, one for the new Launch 10), I thought - why don’t I just combine these? These shoes are more similar than different and (ostensibly) competitors, with the Launch at $110 and the Hyperion just up the range at $140…. Let’s see which shoe most runners should choose!

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Inov-8 RocLite Pro G 400 GTX v2 Trekking/ Hiking Boot Review

Article by Sam Winebaum

Inov-8 RocLite Pro G 400 GTX v2 ($245)


The RocLite Pro G 400 GTX v2 is a highly cushioned light hiking boot with Inov-8’s graphene infused outsole and a stout ripstop nylon mesh upper with internal Gore-Tex XCR bootie. The Pro is designed for trekking and hiking long distances on all kinds of terrain.  As part of my testing, I took it for 3 days in warm weather on mostly pavement and gravel roads in Tuscany and for hikes in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where the terrain is very rocky, wet and steep. 


  • Most deeply and forgivingly cushioned and protective of boots tested in 2022-2023, especially at the forefoot
  • Very stable underfoot platform 
  • Meta-Plate Pro rock plate is effective for front protection and stability and goes unnoticed otherwise, not always the case with its competitors  
  • Very solid, any terrain traction that does not get in the way on the smooth, even with 6mm lugs
  • Expected great durability top to bottom


  • Upper favors high volume feet over lower volume
  • Thick dense and protective upper does not wrap the foot as well as it could and with GTX is notably warm (good in winter, not so good in summer)
  • Top hook system and lacing tends to loosen more frequently than ideal on rough terrain
  • Weight is on the upper end of the spectrum of light boots we have tested at 14.2 oz /402g
  • Lug depth could be reduced to drop weight as 6mm is a lot and 4mm would be plenty given the solid Graphene G-Grip rubber.
  • Pricing at $245 is way up there for boots in its class with competitors sub $200


Sample Weight: men's 14.2 oz  / 402g (US9) 

Stack Height: men’s 33mm heel / 25 mm forefoot 

6mm lugs 

$245 Available now.

Testbericht: Saucony Triumph 21 - Komfort und Lauffreude für (fast) alle Gelegenheiten (German)

Artikel von Marcel Krebs

Saucony Triumph 21 (190€)


Nachdem ich zum Jahreswechsel bereits den sehr gelungenen Saucony Triumph 20 Runshield testen durfte (den entsprechenden Testbericht findet ihr hier), war ich sehr erfreut als ich kurz vor meinem Sommerurlaub ganz unverhofft den neuen Saucony Triumph 21 in Empfang nehmen durfte. Dies gilt umso mehr, da ich mir den Triumph 20 (ohne Runshield-Obermaterial für die wärmere Jahreszeit) zwischenzeitlich sogar nachgekauft hatte, weil der Triumph inzwischen einen festen Platz als “Kilometerfresser” in meiner Schuhrotation innehalt. Ein größeres Kompliment kann man als Schuhtester einem Modell kaum machen. Entsprechend hoch waren auch meine Erwartungen an die nunmehr einundzwangzigste Neuauflage dieses Klassikers aus dem Hause Saucony. Wie sich der T21 im Praxistest geschlagen hat und ob er in meiner Schuhrotation verbleiben wird, erfahrt ihr in den nächsten Abschnitten.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Salomon DRX Bliss Review: Light Max Stability 5 Comparisons

Article by Sam Winebaum

Salomon DRX Bliss ($170)


The DRX Bliss is an all new stability focused road trainer from Salomon that is surprisingly light at 9.42 oz  / 267g (US9) for its 34mm heel / 26mm forefoot ( 8mm drop). It boldly proclaims its stability focus with large orange TPU foam reinforcements that in an unusual twist for such shoes also plunge forward all the way to the front of the shoe.  

The single density midsole is Salomon’s Energy Foam an EVA / Olefin copolymer block blend now found in almost all Salomon running shoes, road and trail. It is resilient and quite responsive in feel, no softy stuff here but is very vibration and shock absorbing with always a sharp quick kick back. 

The heel platform is not exceptionally broad but is very symmetrical with no crash pad for lateral heel landings. The outsole rings the entire platform and is deep in Contagrip rubber. 

The upper is a a densely woven but quite thin and see through engineered mesh with an extensive array of mid foot SensiFit underlays as well as a trail shoe like external rand overlay front to back where upper meets midsole.

All put together the DRX Bliss makes no bones that it is a stability support focused shoe. It joins 3 other all new more neutral Salomon trainers:  the Aero Glide max cushion, Aero Blaze daily trainer, and the Aero Volt uptempo warm weather shoe. And there is more to come for road from Salomon that is for sure..


Very light for stack height, upper support, stability features and copious outsole

Superb fitting and supportive upper that doesn’t suffocate in either hold or temperature

Dense very protective yet friendly and responsive cushioning

Active Chassis support system is notably linear in feel and doesn’t over press the arches as it is lower than most “rails”. 

Very well and densely cushioned forefoot that is not overly stiff and rigid in feel yet is very stable (as is the rest of the shoe) with a nice roll to toe off from the mostly rigid rocker profile here

Potential solid option for those with foot/ toe issues due to stability of forefoot and for those with plantar where solid mid to rear foot support is key to relief.


Great for big pronators but for me has an overly stabilized blocky heel geometry with no asymmetrical crash pad or full enough decoupling groove

Midfoot outsole and platform is stiff and flat feeling, if quite easy to toe off

Steep $170 pricing for relatively simple if high quality construction.


Weight: men's 9.42 oz  / 267g (US9 Sample)  

Stack Height: men’s 34mm heel / 26mm forefoot ( 8mm drop spec) 

$170. Available August 2023

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Puma Voyage Nitro 3 Initial Review

Article by Sam Winebaum

Puma Voyage Nitro 3 ($140 )


The Voyage 3 Nitro is all supercritical Nitro foam midsole trail runner with a 35 mm heel / 27mm forefoot stack height, 4mm lug PumaGrip ATR outsole and a debris resistant upper. It has no rock plate. 

We love Nitro foam at RTR having enjoyed it in a variety of road shoes. Puma is going all in with Nitro eliminating EVA from most midsoles as they do here in the Voyage 3. 

I tested (RTR Review) the original Voyage in Gore Tex and it was quite heavy (11.75 oz) and had a central core of Nitro with an outer EVA carrier with a pleasant if a bit ponderous ride and thick fit.

Well the Voyage 3 is, based on my initial test run, a completely different cat with no only more stack, no EVA, a solid lightweight and secure upper, a more skeletal and flexible outsole and asignificantly lighter very competitive weight at 9.45 oz / 268g in my US 8.5 sample that is over 2 oz / 56g lighter than the original in GTX. 

I took them for a first run on one of my usual test loops which includes gravel roads, smooth forest paths, a brief rocky rooty more technical section and some pavement and share initial impressions here.

VJ Shoes SpeedHiker Review: Serious Looks and Rough Terrain Performance

Article by Sam Winebaum

VJ SpeedHiker ($170)


The SpeedHiker is a light hiking boot built on the chassis of the excellent VJ Ultra 2 trail runner (RTR Review) one of our team’s 2023 favorites for faster moving on technical terrain and especially on terrain where flawless traction is essential. In addition to the same midsole platform and full length rock plate, it features VJ’s  100% Butyl Rubber outsole in an aggressive 4mm lug pattern. VJ from Finland knows traction. 

VJ started in orienteering and before the Ultra are known for aggressively lugged short distance trail and mountain racing and OCR type shoes with always super secure lockdown uppers. 

The upper heritage continues in boot form here with a mid height profile with lower rear,  VJ’s trademark FitLock medial strap, durable ripstop nylon mesh, a stout toe bumper and miracle of miracles a full lacing to the top.  In tough conditions I find the usual boot hook systems almost never as secure as I would like with constant tightening adjustments to get a good wrap that stays put. Not so here!

I tested the SpeedHiker in the White Mountains of New Hampshire on 2 hikes to Mount Osceola and Mount Liberty, both 4000 footers steep and rocky every inch of the way! Here is what I discovered.

Testbericht: Saucony Xodus Ultra 2 - Vielseitiger geht kaum! (German)

Article by Nils Scharff

Saucony  Xodus Ultra 2 (165€)


Letztes Jahr hat Saucony den Xodus Ultra eingeführt und ist damit dem Trend nach immer stärker gedämpften Laufschuhen auch im Trailsegment gefolgt. Um ehrlich zu sein, ist es schon der zweite Versuch der Schuhschmiede aus Boston. Der erste Aufschlag in Form des Endorphin Trail, ist augenscheinlich einem sehr ähnlichen Rezept gefolgt: Maximale Dämpfung und eine Mittelsohle aus PWRRUN PB - einem Dämpfungsmaterial, das man sonst nur aus Sauconys  schnellen Wettkampfschuhen kennt.

Doch während der Endorphin Trail leider seine Ecken und Kanten hatte, ist es Saucony gelungen, mit dem Xodus Ultra ein deutlich besser abgeschmecktes Erfolgsrezept zu kreieren. So wurde der Xodus Ultra einer der besten Ultrarunning Schuhe des letzten Jahres, der es ausnahmslos allen RTR-Testern angetan hatte. Da ich den letztjährigen Xodus nicht gelaufen bin, war ich deshalb gespannt wie ein Flitzebogen auf den Xodus Ultra 2. Gab es denn überhaupt noch etwas besser zu machen? Lasst es uns gemeinsam herausfinden!

ASICS GEL Kayano 30 Review

Article by Bryan Lim and Daniel da Silva

ASICS GEL-Kayano 30 ($160 USD, $280 AUD)


Bryan: I would love to reuse our RTR review title of the Kayano 29 because it appears that the Kayano 30 is yet again stability redefined! 

The Kayano 29 did away with the Duomax sidewalls and the Trusstic plastic stability-promoting elements integrated into the midsole found in the Kayano 28 and predecessors by utilizing a dual density medley of foams with FFBlast+ in the forefoot and the upper portion of the mid to rearfoot, with the firmer LiteTruss foam in the lower portion of the mid to rearfoot sidewalls. 

The Kayano 30 has been redesigned to truly promote stability through geometry and sculpting. It now only utilizes a single foam, FFBlast+ Eco which is 24% bio based with a single small insert of gray soft foam medially.  

It sits on a 5mm wider platform base and has raised side walls and has 4mm more stack height than the K29. The design is known as the 4D Guidance System which is said to provide support to runners by adapting to pronation changes over the course of a run caused by fatigue. Also gone is the external Gel unit, which is replaced by an internal PureGel insert directly beneath the center of the heel that delivers the same cushioning properties but is 65% softer than the previous GEL.

I think the redesign is a long time coming. The Kayano 30 feels fresh and modern, and I am glad that Asics chose to do it to celebrate the model's 30th anniversary - and of the second longest running shoe model after the Pegasus, pun intended.

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Brooks Cascadia 17 Multi Tester Review: Adapts to Terrain! 10 Comparisons

Article by Dominique Winebaum, Renee Krusemark, Jeff and Allison Valliere and Sam Winebaum

Cascadia 17 ($140, $170 GTX Invisible Fit)

  • Versatile trail runner/hiker: any surface from roughest trails to even some road

  • Highly effective and adaptive integration of midsole, protection/propulsion plate, and outsole


Sam: When a shoe gets up into the high teens in version number you know it's been around and likely for good reasons. The Cascadia is such a shoe and has been the heavy duty trail runner to light hiker in the Brooks line up. With the Cascadia 16 (RTR Review) we lost 0.75 oz weight over the 15 and got 2mm more stack height of a new lighter softer DNA Loft v2 midsole foam and a new outsole design.

The Cascadia 17 sees another significant update with 2-3mm more stack height by our measurement of the same DNA Loft v2 foam as the 16. It has completely redesigned midsole outsole system featuring the Trail Adapt combination of plate and midsole outsole integration first seen in Catamount 2 (RTR Review). Trail Adapt was a  big and positive update to Brooks' lighter more agile trail runner, greatly improving propulsion and protection. Trail Adapt in the Cascadia delivers the same albeit in a higher stack, higher weight more cruiser of a shoe. 

As we gain in stack height to about 36 mm at the heel we do also gain about 1 oz in weight over the 16 to about 11.45 oz / 324g in a US men's 9. So where will the Cascadia 17 land? Ultra worthy shoe for heavy duty terrain and/or slower paces?  all around trail and even door to trail runner in the max cushion class?  Back to being more of a “light hiker"?  Or all of the above? Please read on to find out what we discovered. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Dynafit Ultra 100 Multi Tester Review: 9 Comparisons

Article by Jeff Valliere and Mike Postaski

Dynafit Ultra 100 ($170)


Jeff V:  The Ultra 100 is Dynafit’s ultra distance shoe, featuring a great blend of long distance cushioning, comfort and protection, but unlike many ultra focused shoes, the Ultra 100 is more adept at handling technical mountain terrain with authority, as the Ultra 100 has a firm midsole (though not an abusively so one), a streamlined build, very secure fit and amazing traction.

Pros: Cushion, protection, comfort, agility, traction, secure fit Jeff V

Pleasantly cushioned, compared to Ultra 50 Mike P

Very protective, via high stack/cushion Mike P

Relatively agile for such a high stack Mike P

Cons:  Fit not ideal for long distances Jeff V

Takes the cake for most pointy toebox Mike P

Lacing setup, laces seem a bit “light” Mike P

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Brooks Hyperion GTS Review: 10 Comparisons

Article by Sam Winebaum

Brooks Hyperion GTS ($140)


The Hyperion GTS is a traditional lower stack geometry light trainer with a DNA Flash nitrogen infused supercritical foam midsole and a warp knit upper.  My test pair weighs 7.84 oz / 222g (US8.5) with a measured heel of 28mm and spec drop of 8mm. 

It includes Brooks Go-To-Support (GTS) Guide Rails with the same foam as the midsole on the lateral side and a somewhat firmer medial glued in piece as shown below. 

Designed for guidance in the line of travel as opposed to underfoot blocking or control of pronation, as a neutral shoe runner I have never much cared for GTS or other similar top of midsole rails plastic or firm foam plastic pieces on the medial side as they stiffen transitions off the heel. Here at long last they succeed for me with GTS a plus in a shoe with a quite unstructured and roomy upper. RoadTrailRun will also soon have a review of the non GTS Hyperion.


Traditional lower stack trainer with modern supercritical foam and substantial outsole

While not deep, the cushioning is vibration absorbing, resilient, and with the outsole in the mix very responsive and quick off the ground.

A rarity: a light trainer with some support features.

Go-To-Support GuideRails are unobtrusive and effective even for this neutral shoe runner and are at long last worth having on board

Comfortable roomy and secure upper with a wider unstructured toe box than old school light trainers

Brooks lightest trainer

No skimping on the outsole coverage while the shoe also remains flexible. 


Runners with a narrow forefoot and with speed work their  focus for the shoe may wish for a bit more front lock down.


Estimated Weight: men's 8.05 oz  / 228g (US9)  

  Sample: men’s 7.84 oz / 222g (US8.5)

Measured Stack Height: men’s 28 mm heel / 22 mm forefoot ( 8mm drop spec) 

$150  Available now.

Monday, July 17, 2023

Saucony Triumph 21 Multi Tester Review: 5 Comparisons

Article by Steve Gedwill and Jeff Beck

Saucony Triumph 21 ($160)


Steve: The Saucony Triumph 21 is set to build upon the overhaul of the Triumph 20. 

The Triumph 21 features the PWRRUN + TPU foam found on the previous version, with the drop height also remaining the same at 10mm. The midsole seems to be unchanged (which is a good thing) we are just seeing some nice improvements to the upper here. The Triumph 21 also features some recycled materials , which is always a plus!

The Triumph has always been the go to plush neutral trainer in Saucony’s line up. I was excited to get my hands on the newest version, since the Triumph 20 was so well received. The question is, does this new upper improve the shoe?

Friday, July 14, 2023

Hoka Ora 3 Recovery Slide Review

Article by Jeff Valliere

 Hoka Ora 3 Recovery Slide ($60)

The Hoka Ora 3 is perhaps the ultimate in recovery slides, with superior cushioning and support, offering unrivaled comfort for wearing post run, post race or just as a day to day house slipper.  I have reviewed several other slides, but the Ora 3 is in my opinion the best yet!


7.8 oz./221g US Men’s 9 (8.1 oz/231g US Men’s 10 Sample)

Stack Height: 40mm heel / 34mm toe (6mm drop)

$60 - Available now including at our partners below

Pros: Unrivaled comfort, deep but supportive cushioning, vented upper, projected durability

Cons: Fit - they run a whole size large