Saturday, March 30, 2024

Gorewear Gore-Tex Concurve Running Jacket Review: PFC Free, High Performance, Light

Article by Renee Krusemark, Dominique and Sam Winebaum

Gorewear Gore-Tex Concurve Jacket ($280)


Sam: The Concurve is a running jacket with legendary Gore-Tex waterproofing, windproofing and breathability that is PFC free (and also has recycled content).In our testing this very light new jacket performed at least as well if not better than traditional ePTFE PFC based Gore-Tex jackets.

The Concurve is one of Gore’s first products with a PFC free waterproof breathable  eTPE membrane.  The Concurve membrane is made of ePE, an expanded polyurethane.  The new materials eliminate the traditional per and poly-fluorinated PFC based membrane and PFC based DWR coatings. The overall construction also reduces production carbon footprint and waste.

Previous Gore-Tex jackets were made with a PFC  based ePTFE membranes. PFC’s are “forever chemicals” which recently have surfaced as having significant health concerns. 

There have been many types of PFC based products, and for many uses, including: non-stick pans, wiring, car finishes, fire fighting foams, and of course clothing membranes and DWR apparel finishes. Link to Gore’s full statement about its goal to become PFC free for the vast majority of its consumer products by 2025.


  • Remarkably breathable for a waterproof windproof shell: Sam/Dominique

  • Very light: Sam/Dominique/Renee

  • Versatile: utility over a wide range of temperatures and conditions:Sam/Dominique

  • Nearly silent, a first for a Gore-Tex shell, helped by the 3D Kinetic Design trim  fit: Sam/Dominique

  • Ingenious rear magnet keeps the hood from flapping when down: Sam/Dominique/Renee

  • The hood works great with a lightweight beanie (wool) underneath and with a gentle tightening (halfway) of the pull/Dominique 

  • Plentiful of black out reflectivity strips: Sam/Dominique/Renee

  • Next-Generation GORE-TEX: PFC free, at long last from Gore, and vital: Sam/Dominique/Renee 

  • “Kinetic Garment Design” delivering an ergonomic fit with a sleek look /Dominique 


  • A slightly fuller fit would extend the range of layers possible, versatility, and value  Sam

  • Even with a stretch insert, the wrist cuffs are snug, can’t be rolled back, and the jacket is hard to rapidly remove over a watch, although watches are easily seen and never covered: Sam

  • Hood could use more rounding and a bill: Sam/Dominique/ Renee
  • Runs warm in bright sun while at the same temperature in damp, overcast or rain/snow, or wind  it regulates temperatures very well: Sam/Dominique
  • Purple color stains easily: Dominique
  • Top end pricing at $280: Sam/Dominique/Renee 

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

On Cloudmonster Hyper Review

Article by Jeremy Marie

On Cloudmonster Hyper (220$, €230, GBP210)


Jeremy: On has been a roll recently, with many very nice releases: The new Cloud Phase tech seen on Cloudeclipse, Cloudsurfer and its trail sibling, showing that they were able to part from their usual construction and offer something new and fresh. And then the Cloudmonster and its 2nd version were well received, the simple and traditional Cloudsurfer 4 which I really enjoyed…and the CloudBoom Echo which reduced the gap to other firms on the Super shoes front…you get the idea. 

Gone are the days of overly firm midsoles and sometimes cumbersome platforms, and this is for the best as far as I am concerned.

Enter the new Cloudmonster Hyper, a “training supershoe” in the vein of what we’re seeing more and more of: packed with supercritical foams, not always plated (no plate or Speedboard here), huge stack heights to ensure a comfortable cushioning for a bunch of your miles, and still packing a lot of energy and dynamism to cover everything from easy to tempo runs.

Inscribed on the insole of the Monster Hyper is “Fresh Legs, Fast Legs”. Let's see if this new shoe in On’s arsenal delivers!

Anta Mach 4 Review: 4 Comparisons

 Article by Derek Li

ANTA MACH 4 (S$159 (~US$118))

ANTA is the world’s largest sports equipment manufacturer by revenue, and is the third largest manufacturer of sporting goods overall, behind Nike and Adidas. I have to admit, before the great Kenenisa Bekele signed with ANTA, I had known of the brand, but it lacked allure. Now it’s got major street credibility. Then in February I was approached by ANTA about reviewing some of their shoes, and I expressed a preference for lower stack options and the MACH 4 is what was recommended.

A little background about how I came about reviewing this shoe. During my preparation for the 2022 Chicago Marathon, I started having a problem with my left hamstring, and it is an issue that I am still in the process of recovering from, some 1.5 years later. As part of the rehabilitation process, I decided I need to run less in high stack carbon-plated shoes for day-to-day training. So I’ve been looking at shoes with a little more traditional forefoot flex, and shoes that are a little lower in stack. This has been confounded by the fact that my current schedule prevents me from running doubles in training and so my single day runs tend to be longer and slower now. As it turns out, even the lower stack shoes are giving a 35mm heel stack these days and it’s hard to find suitable trainers.

As it turns out, a lot of the Chinese brands, many of which are little known outside of China as they don’t sell outside of their domestic market, seem to always have a number of models that are of the lower stack variety. I dug a little more into this and found out that there is a national fitness test that college students must pass in order to graduate, and part of this test is a 50m sprint and a 1000m… well I guess it’s also a sprint to me, but the point is, there is huge demand for lower stack, more aggressive shoes for this purpose.

Per ANTA’s marketing, the MACH 4 is geared toward uptempo running, city running where cornering stability is important, and for road races in the 5-21km range.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Altra Running Mont Blanc Carbon Review 6 Comparisons

Article by Dom Layfield 

Altra Running Mont Blanc Carbon ($260)


I’ve long enjoyed running in Altra shoes.  Whether or not you buy into the notion that zero-drop is somehow innately ‘better’, I’ve never liked high drop shoes, particularly for trail use; and mostly, I enjoy the variety.  Disappointingly, though, it’s been many years since Altra have made a shoe that I’ve considered raceable.  Racking my brain, I think the last Altra I raced was the Lone Peak 3.  I still run frequently in Altras, but only for training.

Accordingly, when Altra announced the original Mont Blanc in spring 2022, I was thrilled: finally this felt like a shoe that was explicitly designed for racing, and specifically for the kind of distance and terrain that I prefer. (For the uninitiated, the shoe was named after the 100-ish mile UTMB race that loops around Mont Blanc in France/Italy/Switzerland.)  

While I’m aware that some runners liked the shoe, I personally found it a major disappointment.  On the positive side, the underfoot feel was a delight.  But the weight of the shoe was unimpressive, and more notably, heel retention was terrible: the back end of the shoe felt like it was falling off my foot.

I was advised that the subsequent BOA variant would fix the heel issue, but my experience was that it was minimal improvement.  I didn’t trust the shoe enough to wear it in a 100-mile race, and when I did finally use it in a 50-miler in December 2022, a large portion of the course was sticky mud which literally pulled the shoes clean off my feet several times.  I never used them in another race.

Fast forward to 2024, and my two biggest questions for the new Mont Blanc Carbon were: (1) have Altra fixed the heel retention?  And (2) is the weight competitive for a race-focused shoe?  I’m glad to report that the answers are ‘yes’ and ‘yes’.  The Mont Blanc Carbon, while not perhaps a standout for heel hold, feels like a normal shoe.  I have narrow heels and didn’t experience any feeling of the shoe falling off.  And the weight is reduced by about 50 g per pair, nearly an ounce per shoe, in my samples (size US M10).  Hoorah!

The new shoe feels fast and light, and fit is much improved.  This feels – finally – like a properly debugged shoe from Altra.  

Monday, March 25, 2024

Testbericht: Camelbak - Apex Pro Laufweste (German)

Artikel von Markus Zinkl

Apex Pro Laufweste (€179.95)


Laufen ist eine der beliebtesten Sportarten weltweit und die richtige Ausrüstung kann einen großen Unterschied machen. Eine der wichtigsten Komponenten der Laufausrüstung gerade beim Trailrunning ist die Laufweste. Sie bietet nicht nur Platz für das Nötigste, sondern kann auch dazu beitragen, die Leistung zu verbessern. In diesem Testbericht nehmen wir die Camelbak Apex Pro Laufweste unter die Lupe. Mit ihrer Vielzahl an Funktionen und ihrem hohen Tragekomfort verspricht sie, ein zuverlässiger Begleiter für Läufer zu sein. Lest weiter, um mehr über meine Erfahrungen mit dieser Weste zu erfahren.

Diadora Frequenza Multi Tester Review: Light, Exciting, Italian Flair! 5 Comparisons

Article by Renee Krusmark and Jeremy Marie

Diadiora Frequenza ($180)


The Frequenza from Diadora is a light and flexible daily training to uptempo trainer with a supercritical EVA foam midsole. At 8.15 oz  / 231 g (US9) with a reasonable stack height of 30 mm heel / 22 mm forefoot in a time where max cushion is all the rage, it promises fast fun!


Light weight: Renee, Jeremy

Great midsole for both easy and uptempo runs: Renee, Jeremy

Flexible despite the stack height. Jeremy


Price: Renee

Overbuilt heel: Renee

Lace color bleeds, beware your socks: Jeremy

Heel may lack a bit of stability for some due to soft foam: Jeremy

Most comparable shoes

Hylo Impact

Nike Invincible Run 1 and 2 and not 3

New Balance Rebel v4

ASICS Novablast 4

Puma Liberate Nitro

New Balance Fresh Foam X 880 v14 Multi Tester Review: Back in Shape! 7 Comparisons

Article by Sam Winebaum, Alex Tilsley and Zack Dunn

New Balance Fresh Foam X 880 v14 ($140)


Sam: The 880 has always (or at least until versions 12 and 13) been New Balance’s simple and to the point higher drop relatively firm and responsive all around daily trainer.

In versions 12 and 13 New Balance went heavier, wider platform, and with dual foam. First with the very soft 12 then dialing back the softness with firmer rubber (and a firm thin feeling forefoot)  in the 13. Not my favorites these two and I wished for a return to a more classic lighter all around riding trainer. 

The 14 delivers just that as it goes with a single layer Fresh Foam X midsole, tuned down rubber coverage, and a very solid and extremely comfortable and secure upper. 

Moving to an 8mm drop from 10mm it gains 3.5mm of heel cushion and 5.5mm upfront while remaining flexible. Best of all, it loses a massive 1.5 oz / 41g to come in at a very svelte 8.75 oz  / 248g (US9) with  what is a substantial 35.5 mm heel / 27.5 mm forefoot stack height. At $140, it is priced the same as the super popular Rebel v4 so an obvious question to answer here is how do they differ 

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Nathan Sports TrailMix 2.0 12L Hydration Pack Review

 Article by Renee Kursemark

TrailMix 2.0 12L Hydration Pack ($150) 

Renee: Pack all the snacks! The TrailMix 2.0 is 15% lighter than the previous version. With a 12L capacity the pack is meant for maximum all-day adventure storage. While listed as a pack for running or hiking, the TrailMix 2.0 is built for hiking and trekking rather than running. I did run a bit with the pack, but with the massive storage options and one-size-fits-most, it’s better for hiking. Nathan has several other vest/packs that work better for running if that’s your jam. I enjoy the Pinnacle (RTR Review). 

Road Trail Ride: Shimano SH-RX801 Gravel Bike Shoes Review

Article by Jeff Valliere

Shimano SH-RX801 Gravel Bike Shoes ($275)

11.5oz/325 grams (with Shimamo SPD cleat) size 44eu/US 10

Available now including at our partner Backcountry HERE


The SH-RX801 blends the off road versatility of a top end mountain bike shoe with the lightweight, stiffness and rigidity of a high performance road racing shoe.  Aimed at the gravel riding/racing crowd, grand fondo riders, or anyone looking for a shoe that is walkable yet can perform at a very high level on the bike.  

The RX801 is light, stiff and very well built, with enough outsole and traction for easy off the bike walking and mildly technical hike-a-bike.  One of the top features that drew me to this shoe was the BOA Li2 dial that adjusts for easy and quick fit and fine tuning on the fly.

Pros: Light, stiff/efficient power transfer, secure upper with easy adjust Li2 BOA fit system, durable upper, well treaded outsole

Cons: Velcro strap over toe box is essentially useless, a second BOA dial would be preferable, outsole can feel a bit hard for hike a bike in rocky terrain

Friday, March 22, 2024

adidas Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1 Inițial Review: All Superlatives!

Article by Sam Winebaum

adidas Adizero Adios Pro EVO 1 ($500)


What to make of Adios Pro EVO 1 a shoe of many superlatives: world records, the lightest weight ever for a marathon, the most limited in production, and the most expensive run shoe to date. 

At 4.59 oz / 130g in my US8.5 sample it is nearly 1.7 oz / 48g  lighter than its closest competitors the Vaporfly 3 and Metaspeed Sky Paris. And it doesn’t skimp on stack height with a max 39mm heel / 33mm forefoot. It all seems “impossible” but adidas slogan is after all.. “Impossible is Nothing”

I was very lucky to receive a pair from adidas but… as I broke my kneecap and had screws installed in November, gradually resuming real running in the last month,  all I could do was look at them for well over a month. 

Today, with some trepidation, I took them out for a first 5K run in Park City on “flatter” roads at over 2000 meters altitude. It was my fastest run since my injury by far, a pedestrian even for me 8:47 per mile pace for 3 miles.  Here is what I discovered with more runs and updates to come.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Diadora Gara Carbon Multi Tester Review: The Italian Sports Car of Marathon Super Shoes! 4 Comparisons

Article by Ben David, Derek Li, Ryan Eiler and Adam Glueck

Diadora Gara Carbon ($300)


Ben: The Gara was my first foray into Diadora shoes and what an introduction it was. The Gara runs as smooth as it looks. It’s just delightful: breathable, fast, streamlined and silky-smooth. If people can get around the price, they’ll find themselves in a carbon-plated racer that is as peppy, propulsive and as wearable as anything on the market. 

Derek: This is the second Diadora shoe I have tested, after the Equipe Atomo in the fall of 2021. Back then, Diadora was still mostly focusing on EVA-based midsoles and the Equipe Atomo had a more traditional underfoot feel and sat squarely in the daily trainer category. Here with the Gara Carbon, Diadora is finally throwing its hat into the carbon-plate shoe game and it is an excellent first execution.

Adam:  This is the first Diadora shoe I’ve tested, but as Ben says, it is a fantastic introduction.  The Gara Carbon features a lot of my favorite ingredients:  an airy Matryx upper, grippy laces, and a thick PEBA foam sandwiching a carbon plate.  These ingredients do not guarantee a good shoe, but Diadora has combined them to create a versatile, efficient, and fast carbon racer that doubles as a versatile uptempo trainer

Koo Alibi Photochromic & Koo Alibi Strade Bianche Cycling Sunglasses Review

By Jeff Valliere and John Tribbia

Koo Alibi Strade Bianche ($210)

Review below after Albi Photochromic 

Koo Alibi Photochromic Sunglasses 

$235 as tested (Dark Matte Blue with Red PhotoChromic Lens)

21 grams. Available now

Introduction:  The Alibi are the latest in the line of high quality, multisport glasses from Italian brand Koo.  All Koo eyewear are designed and crafted in Italy using the highest quality Zeiss lenses for premium optical definition, clarity and protection. While Koo has only been around for 8 years, Zeiss lenses have been around since 1846!  While listed as cycling sunglasses, the Alibi are legitimately great for multisport use, equally appropriate for cycling, running, mountaineering, backcountry/xc skiing, snowshoeing, etc….

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Testbericht: adidas Adizero Takumi Sen 10 - Ist da noch Luft nach oben? (German) 6 Vergleiche

Article by Nils Scharff

adidas Adizero Takumi Sen 10 (200€)


Der Takumi Sen ist seit seiner Generalüberholung vor zwei Jahren einer der ikonischsten Schuhe der Marke mit den drei Streifen. Erst kürzlich hat er - oder eher ein Läufer mit dem Takumi am Fuß - für Aufsehen gesorgt: Der 21 Jährige JapanerHirabayashi Kiyoto ist in seinem Marathondebut eine unglaubliche 2:06:18h in eben jenem Takumi Sen (9) gelaufen. Da sieht man einmal, dass es nicht immer maximale Dämpfung für maximale Leistung sein muss. Denn genau das macht den Takumi aus: Es ist ein unglaublich leichter Schuh, der mit 27/33mm Stapelhöhe etwas niedriger und direkter daherkommt, als die allgegenwärtigen Marathonschuhe. 

Monday, March 18, 2024

adidas Supernova Solution Review: A Modern and Light Approach to Support Road Trainers

Article by Sam Winebaum 

adidas Supernova Solution ($140)

The support focused Solution, and its more neutral and very similar Rise sibling, are all new trainers with state of the art supercritical Dreamstrike+  foam main midsoles, a lower Stability Support Rods layer made of the Lightstrike EVA blend, comfortable uppers and decently light weights. 

The Solution weighs 9.81 oz / 277g in my US8.5 sample so about 10 oz in a US9, very decent for its 35mm heel / 25mm platform and all the extensive rubber underfoot. 

Both new Supernovas and the more uptempo Supernova Stride replace adidas’s heavy, dated, and cumbersome recent Adistar, Ultraboost and various Solar Glide models delivering modern training rides that don’t go all the way to the “elite” focus of the Adizero line.  

We love the many new Adizero racers and trainers from the incredibly light world record setting EVO 1, the Adios Pro 3, the uptempo trainer Boston 12 and the max max cushion Prime X Strung. All are light, radical in design, and effective.  

This said, it was clearly time for adidas to deliver modern, more mainstream and practical trainers for the everyday runner, and even those elites for their “easier” basic mileage days. 

As a more neutral shoe runner, I often struggle with support shoes finding the medial support overdone. Here the support is really all concentrated closer to the road well below all the energetic soft Dreamstrike foam so I was intrigued. Do they deliver? Let’s find out as I review the Solution and compare it to the Rise.

Testbericht: Hylo Athletics Impact Nachhaltig ohne Kompromisse? (German)

Artikel von Markus Zinkl

Hylo Impact (170 €)


Diesmal schauen wir uns den brandneuen Impact von Hylo an, der trotz eines nachhaltigen Ansatzes nicht an Leistung einbüßen soll. Der Hersteller hat eine Reihe von Eigenschaften und Technologien für diesen Schuh angekündigt, die eine interessante Kombination aus maximaler Reaktionsfähigkeit und hoher Dämpfung versprechen. Die "Superkritische Sohle" des Impact soll durch die Injektion von Stickstoff eine verringerte Dichte, erhöhte Dämpfung und verbesserte Reaktionsfähigkeit bieten. Durch den Zusatz von Bio-EVA, wird bereits der Fokus auf Nachhaltigkeit sichtbar. Darüber hinaus wird die selbst entwickelte Geometrie des Schuhs als Mittel zur Erleichterung des Übergangs und zur Aufrechterhaltung der Stabilität im Mittelfußbereich beschrieben.

Neben diesen technischen Merkmalen betont der Hersteller Hylo auch sein Engagement für Nachhaltigkeit durch die Verwendung von erneuerbaren und biobasierten Materialien wie Rizinusbohnen.

In diesem Testbericht werden wir diese Merkmale eingehend untersuchen, um herauszufinden, ob der Impact tatsächlich die versprochene Leistung und Komfort bietet. 

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Brooks Catamount Agil Multi Tester Review Named Just Right! 6 Comparisons

Article by Renee Krusemark, Jeff Valliere, and John Tribbia

Brooks Catamount Agil ($180)


The Catamount Agil is an all new trail runner from Brooks. It features the same  new DNA Flash v2 nitrogen infused supercritical foam as their top road racer the Hyperion Elite on a relatively low  27mm heel / 21mm full stack height. Above the 5mm lug Trail Tack outsole we have a PEBAX Speed Vault Trail plate. Clearly a speed trail shoe for technical terrain and weighing a mere 7.7 oz  / 218 g ( men’sUS9) let’s see how it performed.


Lightweight and agile: Renee/Jeff V/John

Upper secure/ankle flex: Renee/Jeff V

Light, responsive and nimble:  Jeff V

Well executed ankle “gaiter”: Jeff V/John

Great cushion for a minimal shoe: Jeff V

Good traction for its class:  Jeff V/John

Secure lacing:  Jeff V


Overlay placement across toe box: Renee

Terrain specific shoe: Renee/John

adidas TERREX Soulstride Ultra Review

Article by Sam Winebaum

adidas Terrex Soulstride Ultra ($180)


The Soulstride Ultra is a max cushion trail running and hiking shoe with a dual foam midsole (Light Boost and Lightstrike), a Continental rubber outsole and a dense and highly supportive engineered mesh upper. At 11.3 oz / 320g it is not exactly “light” but when one considers its big 38 mm heel and 32 mm forefoot stack height, extensive rubber and stout upper its modern midsole foams clearly keep the weight reasonable.

I tested them both walking/hiking and running on snow and pavement in Park City as I am coming back from a broken knee cap in November. The geometry of an almost rigid and very effective rocker which follows a noticeable bouncy and dynamic heel landing in deep Light Boost had them as the fastest hiking/ walking shoe during my rehab but not nearly as effective a trail run shoe because of their rigid profile, and this, despite their Ultra naming.  That is.. unless your ultra efforts are at slow paces as quite frankly most are. 

They are top contenders for a multi day trek in the Alps coming this summer (with day packs) and I wish I had worn them for our Tuscany trek on mostly roads and gravel with packs.  Please read on for all the details.