Thursday, August 31, 2023

Salomon S/Lab Phantasm 2 Review: 7 Comparisons

Article by Sam Winebaum

Salomon S/Lab Phantasm 2 ($275/ €249,95)


The S/Lab Phantasm 2 is Salomon’s first true road racing super shoe. It has a dual density PEBA foam midsole, full length rigid spoon shaped carbon plate and a single layer mono mesh upper. At 7.4 oz / 210g with a 37.5mm heel and 28.5 mm its weight is competitive with others in its class.

It differs considerably from the original S/Lab Phantasm CF (RTR Review) which had 3mm less stack height, a somewhat flexible carbon plate, more conventional Energy Surge foam and an assistive R-Camber geometry. It weighed about 0.7 oz more than the new Phantasm here. Despite not having supercritical foam or super light weight,  it is a shoe that I liked a lot for its easy to find rocker and snappy if firmer than many super shoes.

I was for sure curious to see how the state of the art S/Lab Phantasm 2 compared to its predecessor and of course other super marathon shoes.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

COROS Pace 3 Multi Tester Review: Highly Capable, Long Battery Life, Light on the Wrist and the Wallet!

Article by Sam Winebaum and Michael Ellenberger

Coros Pace 3 ($229)

Video review here

Sam: I first met Coros in 2017 at CES in Las Vegas. New to sports watches they were actually displaying a hands free open ear audio enabled bike helmet with the original Pace off to the side in the booth. 

Confident that their watch would be a winner they gave me a sample. I was skeptical given the low low pricing that it would perform but it did (RTR 2019 Review).

And since Coros has grown to be a leader in GPS sports watches with high quality accurate watches at reasonable prices. So, it was with excitement, that I received their latest Pace 3 for this review. I have only had it for a few days but the picture is already clear .

I will cut to the chase and say the Pace 3 is a fantastic, very light watch with the vast majority of features, including a constantly growing and improving app, most any runner (and other sports fanatic) could ask for. Coros large team of sponsored athletes at the highest levels are testament to performance. The Pace 2 was just fine but the 3 clearly outdoes it as illustrated in the table below… and one could also say it matches or exceeds considerably pricier competition.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Suunto Vertical Titanium Solar Canyon Review

Article by Sam Winebaum

Suunto Vertical Titanium Solar Canyon ($839)

  • Superb GPS accuracy
  • Long battery life in test- 50 plus hours all satellite networks dual frequency Best Mode, 11 days with 105 min GPS activity/day
  • Rugged Titanium and Sapphire build
  • Comfortable and relatively thin and light at 73 grams (silicone strap)
  • Lots of swiping: watch everyday screens could be simplified and reduced in number.
  • Optical HR accuracy requires watch to be very tight on wrist (remains comfortable)

The Suunto Vertical is an all new watch from the storied Finnish brand. Its highlights are a spec 60 hour GPS battery life in Best Mode/Dual Frequency, a high resolution 280 x 280 transflective matrix touch screen, on watch outdoor maps, and a strong sustainability design as 100% of the product's 6.59 kg Co2 carbon footprint is compensated. It is 100% manufactured with renewable energy, in Finland. A true multisport watch, it has a durable titanium bezel, a sapphire crystal and solar charging. At 73g it is reasonably light given its silicone band. 

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Altra Superior 6 Multi Tester Review: 6 Comparisons

Article by Dom Layfield and Mike Postaski

Altra Superior 6 ($130


Dom:  The Superior is the least-cushioned shoe in Altra’s trail line-up, and has seen many iterations over the years.  With version six, the most notable change is that Altra has dropped the removable “StoneGuard” insert that allowed the user to fine-tune the amount of protection provided.  This has long been a signature feature of the Superior, so it is in a way slightly sad to see it go.  However, my personal experience has always been that this feature sounded better in theory than it worked in practice.  Despite the StoneGuard being just a thin sheet of flexible plastic, it still noticeably altered the roominess of the shoe, leaving one with a choice between minimal rock protection and a roomy fit, or more protection and a snugger fitting shoe.  Generally I would leave the StoneGuard inserted, irrespective of the terrain I was running.  My guess is that most runners tended to “fit and forget”, and not make much use of the tunability of the shoe.  So ditching the StoneGuard seems like a sensible move from Altra.

Despite a totally new upper and sole, the character of the shoe remains strikingly similar.  The upper still has a ‘burrito’ type construction, and the shoe still feels soft and flexible.  With a Superior 6 on one foot and version 5 on the other, I could barely tell the difference.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Brooks Ghost Max Video Review: A Higher Floating & More Grounded Ghost!

Video by Sam Winebaum

Brooks Ghost Max ($150) 

Update: Full Multi Tester Review HERE

I review the Ghost Max. Comparisons include Brooks Glycerin, ASICS GEL-Nimbus 25, Nike InfinityRN 4, Puma Magnify Nitro 2 and Saucony Triumph 21.  

Watch the Brooks Ghost Max Video Review (12:44)
The Max is no surprise.. the max cushion flavor of the Ghost with the same DNA Loft v2 foam but with a much higher 39mm heel / 33mm forefoot stack and thus also half the heel to toe drop of the regular Ghost at 6mm. It is moderately inherently stable.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Testbericht: adidas Adizero Boston 12 - Ein moderner Klassiker (German)

Article by Nils Scharff

adidas Adizero Boston 12 (160€)


Vor zwei Jahren hat adidas den Adizero Boston in seiner zehnten Version rundum erneuert. Der beliebte Allrounder wurde zum maximal gedämpften Modell in der Adizero Familie umfunktioniert, zudem verschwand das langjährig genutzte Boost-Material. Ich war anscheinend einer der wenigen, der den neuen Boston mochte. Er war für meinen Geschmack zwar fest, aber gut gedämpft, bot einen stabile Plattform und einen fein abgestimmten Rocker, der vor allem auf schnelleren, langen Einheiten seine Stärken ausspielen konnte. Doch den langjährigen Fans stießen die massiven Änderungen an ihrem Lieblingsschuh auf und selbst den Läufer:innen, die keine Vergangenheit mit dem “alten” Boston hatten, war der neue Boston 10 meist zu fest und steif gedämpft. 

Während dann im letzten Jahr mit dem Boston 11 nur Produktpflege betrieben wurde, stehen dieses Jahr im Boston 12 wieder größere Änderungen an: Der große Aufhänger ist dabei vor allem, dass das neue, leichtere und weichere Lightstrike 2.0 Einzug hält und somit der vermeintlich größte Kritikpunkt adressiert wird. Doch bei genauerem Hinsehen gibt es noch weitere Verändungeren: Die Energyrods wurden der “Brezelform” des Adios 3 angepasst, die Sprengung leicht reduziert und das Obermaterial deutlich leichter und luftiger gestaltet. So steht im Resultat ein um sage und schreibe 40 Gramm leichterer Boston und somit viel Grund zur Hoffnung! Hat der Boston also zurück zu alter Form gefunden?

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Diadora Equipe Sestriere XT Review

Article by Sam Winebaum

Diadora Equipe Sestriere XT ($170)


Diadora of Italy is a brand best known for its tennis, soccer, and auto racing shoes.  That said they are also a very solid if not that well known running brand. In the last year we have tested and very much enjoyed their Equipe Atomo (RTR Review) and V7000 (RTR Review) road running shoes. Both featured Made in Italy construction making them beautifully crafted but pricey. And both featured Diadora’s DD Anima foam which along with the great styling was the star of the shoes.

The Sestriere XT, their first US distributed trail shoe in a while, also features DD Anima and as with road shoes it is the highlight of the Sestiere as this dense light foam is quite firm yet very vibration absorbing and stable with just enough bounce to move things along. 

In the Sestriere it is joined to a stout upper with plenty of overlays for support and durability and a big heel counter. 

It is shod with burly segmented outsole with 5mm lugs in a multi directional pattern that according to Diadora mimics the hoof of the alpine Ibex which, and I have seen them can climb anything and as I found out the Sestriere can too!

I put them to the test on an extremely rugged technical hike in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and for more mellow forest and gravel paths at cruising run paces. Diadora says: they are designed to perform and “provide best protection in 4 different terrain conditions : grass, gravel, mud, wet rocks”. Spoiler alert! Those are areas they shone best in and, what in my experience, is the mix of terrain one often encounters in the Alps. Please read on for all the details.

ZPacks - Vertice Rain and Goose Down Jacket Reviews

Article by Markus Zinkl

ZPacks - Vertice Rain Jacket ($299) and Goose Down Jacket ($375)


Zpacks is one of the OG “cottage” ultralight backpacking companies. The company was started in 2004 by Joe Valesko with only a sewing machine in his apartment. Today, Zpacks is one of the biggest players in the ultralight backpacking world. All  their gear, including  the rain and the down jackets reviewed here, are fully handmade in their own facility in West Melbourne, FL. I tested both jackets on some weekend trips in the alps and on my last thru hike of the Via Alpina in Switzerland for about 30 days on trail in total.

Monday, August 21, 2023

Saucony Triumph RFG Multi Tester Review: High Renewables Content, More Sustainable, No Performance Compromises 7 Comparisons

Article by Sam Winebaum and Sally Reiley

Saucony Triumph RFG ($160)

  • Strong sustainability focus based on use of renewable and more natural materials
  • A fun max cushion trainer with no performance compromises compared to regular Triumph


Sam: The Triumph RFG (Run for Good) is a max cushion 37mm heel / 27mm forefoot road trainer built with a strong emphasis on renewable materials yet one that is nearly identical in all respects, including most specs and pricing, to the regular Triumph. 

It is a new take on sustainability to go with the Saucony's strong emphasis on recycled materials in the uppers, often close to 100% in recent shoes. 

Identical in specs but at slightly higher weight than the regular Triumph 21  its upper is 78% cotton / 22% hot melt yarn with plant based dyes, its midsole 55% corn based PWRRUN Bio + foam (substituting for PWRRUN + TPU based)  with the outsole 80% natural rubber. 

Saucony is clearly trying to reduce reliance on petroleum based materials in shoe construction. 

To date more sustainable run shoe designs made with renewable materials and especially at the midsole level have suffered from high weight, not so great performance, and high pricing. 

Not to worry!  You can feel good with no performance or pricing tax for doing better ! The Triumph RFG is priced exactly the same as the regular Triumph 21 at $160. It has a very similar if a touch mellower ride and a more comfort oriented superb upper. Please read on as Sally and I put them to the test.


Very strong use of sustainable, natural, and renewable materials (upper, midsole, outsole): Sam/Sally

No performance compromises-high percentage of sustainable renewable materials: Sam/Sally

Soft, forgiving, energetic yet easy to roll ride: Sam/Sally

Versatile, highly cushioned daily trainer Sam/Sally

Extremely comfortable and roomy yet sufficiently secure upper: Sam / Sally 

A shoe you don’t want to take off: Sam/Sally

All day wearable, walk, run, work Sam/Sally

No sustainability “tax”, same pricing $160 as regular Triumph 21: Sam/Sally


Approx. 0.6 oz / 17g  higher weight than regular Triumph 21, but is not noticed: Sam

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Recenzja: Puma Magnify Nitro 2 (Polish)

Article by Matt Kolat

Puma Magnify Nitro 2


Witam Państwa w kolejnej polskiej recenzji obuwia na Road Trail Run. To już ponad dwa lata odkąd zacząłem współpracę z Samem i drużyną RTR, ale to Państwu chciałbym szczególnie podziękować za czas spędzony na czytaniu moich wypocin. Dzisiaj przyjrzymy się wspólnie butom Puma Nitro Magnify 2, które już od kilku miesięcy dostępne są na rynku. Magnify 2 to but treningowy, bliski kuzyn buta ForverRun Nitro - który jest bardziej ukierunkowany na stabilizację nadpronatorów. Cala obecna linia Pumy, co ważne to absolutny renesans tej marki, trudno w tej linii znaleźć buty które nie są udane. Puma postanowiła skończyć z użyciem tradycyjnych pianek EVA i ‘przerzucic sie’ zupelnie na pianki Nitro TPEE. W moim odczuciu to bardzo dobra decyzja dlatego, że pianki te gwarantują większą sprężystość butów, bez utraty stabilności - innymi słowy przyjemny bieg. 

Friday, August 18, 2023

Craft Nordlite Speed Multi Tester Review: 6 Comparisons

Article by Derek Li and Renee Krusemark

Craft Nordlite Speed ($220)


Derek: Craft have done quite well in the trail shoe category and although they have produced a number of good road running shoes, I get the feeling that they have struggled to make headway in terms of market share in the road running category. 

Part of it may have been down to misfortune, as their key road running ambassador, Tommy Rivs, got quite ill in 2020 and is still fighting to get back to the shape he was in. Part of it, as I see it is that their road shoe line-up has the conventional line-up as other mainstream running brands do. They have about 4-5 current road models, and all the models seem to have more or less the same midsole shape. There isn’t a very clear differentiation between the models, and you don’t have the clear traditional divisions of racer, daily trainer, premium trainer, support shoe. They all kind of do the same thing to slightly different degrees. So that makes it difficult for the consumer to decide what shoe they need as well. If all the shoes are close enough, people are just going to get one model instead of all four. Worse, if that one model happens to not work out for whatever reason, that consumer is likely to write off the entire line-up since they are all too similar. 

I for one did like the last Craft shoe I tested. It was the Race Rebel (RTR Review) in a very nice all black colorway. I used it for many miles of daily training and the odd workout, and after the outsole started to fail, I used it as my main shoe to wear to work for quite a few months. 

As fate would have it, the very next Craft shoe i would get to test would be the polar opposite (in color anyway) of the Race Rebel. Enter the Nordlite Speed, an all white road focused shoe. How would it stack up against the current crop of super shoes? Please read on to find out. 

Dandee Packs - The Standard Pack Review

Article by Markus Zinkl

The Standard Pack (starting at $200.00)


Based near Boston, MA, Dandee Packs might be considered small-scale, but its impact in the realm of outdoor gear is certainly noteworthy. As a solo venture, Dandee Packs prides itself on the intricate art of handcrafting each and every backpack that leaves its modest workshop.

Embodying the spirit of a cottage company, Dandee Packs exemplifies dedication and personal investment. The upcoming review examines the attributes, design elements, and practicality of Dandee Packs' ultralight backpacks..

I used the pack for a couple of weekend trips and for my 13 day thru hike of the Via Alpina in Switzerland. where I used it to carry 4 days of food as well as tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, etc. 

In this evaluation, I delve into the realm of Dandee Packs' ultralight backpacks, appreciating the fusion of skill and commitment that yields gear with both functional finesse and minimalist charm. Whether you're a seasoned backpacking and fastpacking enthusiast or a newcomer seeking reliable equipment, this review shall offer impartial insights into the realm of ultralight fastpacking, as illuminated by Dandee Packs' distinct offerings.

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Hoka Cielo Road Multi Tester Review: 8 Comparisons

Article by Zack Dunn, Ryan Eiler, and Sam Winebaum

Hoka Cielo Road ($160)


Sam: The Cielo Road joins a new generation of plateless light racing/training shoes that take advantage of light weight and energy return supercritical foams without front or full plates. They deliver more deeply cushioned and friendly rides than the often punishing “race flats” of old. Shoes in its class include the Nike Zoom Streakfly, Saucony Sinister, and Topo Cyclone 2.

With a 30mm forefoot/ 33mm heel full stack height so a 3mm drop, the Cielo Road prioritizes forefoot cushion and stability over heel to toe drop. In Hoka’s line, it is nearly identical to the carbon plated Rocket X with 3 mm less heel and 1 mm less forefoot stack height, a slightly different midsole side wall geometry and a different upper.

Its close to full coverage outsole, especially at the front, provides structure and stability to the soft foam as well as a rocker profile with a moderate almost plate like spring and response off the road as it makes the shoe almost rigid.  

The upper is a single layer mesh with an extensive inner array of suede like underlays as well as some midfoot overlays. .

Zack: In this age of running shoes, one big development the past few years has been that of highly efficient marathon racing shoes, also known as super shoes. 

As most runners, I am a big fan and love most of these racing shoes, but as a short distance racer, I was definitely yearning for the “super shoe” makeover in shorter distance racers. Last year, Nike released the Streakfly, with Adidas giving a big makeover to their popular Takumi Sen line, which I see as the first mainstream 5k-10k “super shoe”. And since that time, we have seen other brands produce their own modern 5k-10k racers. 

With the release of the CIelo Road, Hoka has joined the fun and I am here along with Ryan and Sam to discover how it measured up to shoes in its class and where it fits in a race and training shoe world increasingly dominated by both plated shoes and supercritical foams. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Brooks Launch 10 Review

Article by Zack Dunn

Brooks Launch 10 ($110)


Zack: Within the Brooks running shoe lineup, there are many different shoes to consider. There are Ghost, Glycerin, Hyperion, and so on, yet one of more long standing shoe models is the Launch. 

The Launch has always been a more “affordable” lightweight trainer, and this new iteration is no different. The last time I ran the Launch was the 6 when I was a high school runner, and the shoe was very much “okay” and I can say that this iteration is no different. 


  • Not the lightest shoe, but still lightweight at 8.3 oz. - Zack

  • Durability: after 60 miles wear and tear whatsoever. - Zack

  • Upper is comfortable with a fairly good lockdown.- Zack

  • Midsole is not anything to go crazy about but performs fine. - Zack

  • Good value for a durable basic trainer


  • The midsole foam is somewhat generic, and feels firm underfoot. - Zack


Weight: men's 8.3 oz  / g  women's 7.4 oz / g 

Stack Height: 34mm heel / 24mm forefoot (10mm drop spec) 

$110  Available now.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Hoka Stinson 7 Review : 5 Comparisons

Article by Jeff Beck and Jeff Valliere

Hoka Stinson 7 ($170)


Jeff B: The Hoka Stinson has been one of the biggest and burliest trail shoes since its inception. It gets bigger, the rest of the running industry catches up, it gets bigger again, 5mm taller and wider than the ATR 6. The 7th time around doesn’t break the cycle, and if anything, it seems like Hoka is getting better at making shoes a little bit wider for those of us who fit a Brannock device just a bit over a D width. And even though it’s still plenty soft with lots of squish, there’s a new midsole design to keep everything a little more stable. But is too much of a good thing still too much?

Monday, August 14, 2023

Nike InfinityRN 4 Multi Tester Review: 8 Comparisons

Article by Dominique Winebaum, Jeff Beck and Sam Winebaum

Nike InfinityRN 4 ($160)


Sam: With the InfinityRN 4 Nike focuses on comfort top to bottom with a big 39mm heel 30mm forefoot stack of a new soft and bouncy React X foam and a Stretch Flyknit upper. Weight increases 18g over the prior Infinity to 11.16 oz / 316g in US9. 

The Infinity gets a new React X foam midsole and unlike the prior React in the Infinity, and in other Nike with Reactfaom  it is considerably softer on the run than any Nike I can recall (except maybe the more energetic Zoom X powered Invincible 1 and 2)  and has 13% more “energy return” according to Nike. Processed using direct injection instead of the previous compression molding, the midsole's carbon footprint is reduced 43%. 

Its milder (than prior Infinity) support is all inherent to the geometry without the long double sided plastic clip of prior versions.

Just trying them on it was clear the RN 4 represents a new direction for Nike towards softer riding and friendlier fitting shoes that attempt to bridge running and more mellow lifestyle and everyday wear uses. Let’s see what we found running them but upfront we can say comfort is king here!

Friday, August 11, 2023

🇧🇷 🇵🇹 Review do ASICS Gel-Kayano 30: atualização gigante para o gigante Kayano que completa 30 anos! (Portuguese)

Artigo de Daniel da Silva

ASICS GEL-Kayano 30 (R$ 1,299.99 / $160 USD)


O Kayano foi um dos meus primeiros tênis de corrida em 2009, então testar o Kayano 30 foi especial para mim. Para celebrar seu 30º aniversário, a ASICS mudou completamente os elementos de design deste tênis de estabilidade muito confiável: uma base de plataforma mais larga, 4mm a mais de altura em relação à versão anterior, uma nova espuma de entressola FFBlast+ Eco e uma abordagem completamente nova para estabilidade, o “4D Guidance System”.

O Kayano 30 é um tênis premium de treino diário e de estabilidade da ASICS. Ele oferece amortecimento máximo e conforto ao mesmo tempo em que fornece suporte máximo. Ele tem sido confiado por corredores com pronação excessiva nos últimos 30 anos.

Testbericht: HOKA Mach X - Stabiler Temposchuh mit Wettkampf-Ambitionen (German)

Artikel von Marcel Krebs 

HOKA Mach X (180€)


Wenn ein neuer HOKA Schuh die Bezeichnung “Mach” im Namen trägt, ist mein Interesse sofort geweckt. Insbesondere das aktuelle Modell,der HOKA Mach 5 (meinen entsprechenden RTR Testbericht findest Du hier), ist besonders gelungen und befindet sich bis heute in meiner Schuhrotation. Ein größeres Kompliment kann man als Tester einem Modell kaum machen. 

Umso gespannter war ich, als ich den neuen HOKA Mach X zum Testen erhielt. Das “X” im Namen steht bei HOKA übrigens für die Modelle mit einer Carbon- bzw. wie in diesem Fall einer PEBAX-Platte. Wie sich der Mach X im Vergleich zum Mach 5 läuft, ob der Gedanke, dass es sich um die Superschuh-Variante des Mach 5 handelt, gerechtfertigt ist und vieles mehr erfahrt ihr in den nachfolgenden Abschnitten.