Sunday, March 03, 2024

ASICS Metaspeed Sky Paris Review: 9 Comparisons

Article by Michael Ellenberger

ASICS Metaspeed Sky Paris ($250)

Introduction


With the Paris editions of the Metaspeed Edge and Sky, ASICS brings to the Edge and Sky a new FF Turbo + foam that is 8% lighter, has 8.2% greater energy return and is 6% softer. This new foam is said by ASICS to increase the volume of foam that can return energy by 12% in the Sky and 20% in the Edge with the Edge getting 3mm more forefoot cushion than the earlier plus version. 


The approach of a higher placed (and now wider) carbon plate for “stride” runners in the Sky and a lower more “cadence” or rolling stride for the Edge is unchanged although the Sky gets a wider plate than before.. 

Metaspeed Paris

Top; Edge   Bottom: Sky


Both racers are now 39.5mm heel 34.5 mm forefoot in stack height.  They weigh a much lower approx. 6.5 oz / 185 g US9 for the Edge (-25g) and 6.2 oz / 176g for the Sky, so the Sky comes in below the weight of the Vaporfly 3 and the Edge at its weight, with both having 3mm more front cushion than the Nike. 


Race on? Let’s find out as Michael Ellenberger a 2:21 marathoner puts the Sky Paris to the test also comparing them to the Edge Paris in his video first impressions review HERE


Pros: 

Hyper light: Michael

Bouncy and fun: Michael

Upper is everything it needs to be: Michael

Traction and durability extremely promising: Michael

Basically no drawbacks compared to the competition: Michael


Cons:

Division of shoes between identical looking and nearly the same riding Edge and Sky creates more confusion than benefit: Michael

Tongue weirdness: Michael

I personally would prefer a 8mm drop : Michael


3 Most Comparable Shoes

Michael: 

Nike Vaporfly 3

ASICS Metaspeed Edge Paris

ASICS Adios Pro 3

Friday, March 01, 2024

Ultimate Direction Xodus Vesta and Xodus Hydration Vest Review

Article by Renee Krusemark 

Ultimate Direction Xodus and Xodus Vesta ($180)


Introduction


Renee: The Xodus Vest and Vesta (the female-fit of the Xodus) are two of the newest hydration products from Ultimate Direction. First shown at The Running Event in fall 2023, the Xodus is scheduled for release mid-March 2024. Both versions share the same specs, aside from the Xodus Vesta having a narrower cut in the shoulder straps and back. Let's get into the details and the vest's fit and performance.

Hylo Athletics Impact Review: Running Performance meets Sustainability

Article by Sam Winebaum


Hylo Impact ($165, £150, €170)


Introduction

The Hylo Impact is a road running shoe that focuses on both performance and “as much” sustainable content as possible today, without compromising that performance or adding to weight and cost.  

At $165 with a bio based nitrogen infused EVA midsole, a soft castor bean derived knit upper with the shoe overall by weight 40% bio based content at a very decent weight of 9.65 oz /  273g US(9)  Impact checks a lot of boxes for a road trainer, and even one without the strong focus on bio based materials as we have here. It even includes an NFC chip to help recycle it when needed.  So after initial runs does it perform as well as it specs out? Let’s find out.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

ASICS Metaspeed Sky and Edge Paris Details and Initial Video Review

Video by Michael Ellenberger

ASICS Metaspeed Edge Paris ($250) ASICS Metaspeed Sky Paris ($250)

With the Paris editions of the Metaspeed Edge and Sky, ASICS brings to the Edge and Sky a new FF Turbo + foam that is 8% lighter, has 8.2% greater energy return and is 6% softer. This new foam is said by ASICS to increase the volume of foam that can return energy by 12% in the Sky and 20% in the Edge with the Edge getting 3mm more forefoot cushion than the earlier “+” version. 


The approach of a higher placed (and now wider) carbon plate for “stride” runners in the Sky and a lower more “cadence” or rolling location stride for the Edge is unchanged. 

Left: Sky                                                                  Right: Edge


Both racers are now 39.5mm heel 34.5 mm forefoot in stack height.  They weigh a much lower approx. 6.5 oz / 185 g US9 for the Edge (-25g) and 6.2 oz / 176g for the Sky. The Sky now comes in below the weight of the Vaporfly 3 and the Edge at its weight, with both having 3mm more front cushion than the Nike. 

Red outsole Sky, Black outsole Edge

We have only had them a few days but Michael has started testing both of them and shares all the details and his first run impressions in the video below. 

Michael's Initial Metaspeed Sky and Edge Review (7:20)



Both release March 4, 2024 at $250. Our full multi tester reviews with comparisons will follow shortly.


Michael is a patent attorney and graduate of Northwestern University Law School. Prior to law school, he competed collegiately at Washington University in St. Louis (10,000m PR of 30:21). Michael’s PRs include a 67:43 half-marathon (Chicago Half-Marathon) and a 2:21:19 marathon PR at the 2023 Grandma’s Marathon. Michael continues to race on the roads, and is chasing a sub-2:20 marathon and potential OTQ in the future.


Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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

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ASICS Metaspeed Edge Paris Review

Article by Ryan Eiler

ASICS Metaspeed Edge Paris ($250)


Introduction

With the Paris editions of the Metaspeed Edge and Sky, ASICS brings to the Edge and Sky a new FF Turbo + PEBA foam that is 8% lighter, has 8.2% greater energy return and is 6% softer. This new foam is said by ASICS to increase the volume of foam that can return energy by 12% in the Sky and 20% in the Edge with the Edge getting 3mm more forefoot cushion than the earlier plus version. 


The approach of a higher placed (and now wider) carbon plate for “stride” runners in the Sky and a lower more “cadence” or rolling location stride for the Edge is unchanged. 

Metaspeed Paris

Top; Edge   Bottom: Sky


Both racers are now 39.5mm heel 34.5 mm forefoot in stack height.  They weigh a much lower approx. 6.5 oz / 185 g US9 for the Edge (-25g) and 6.2 oz / 176g for the Sky, so the Sky comes in below the weight of the Vaporfly 3 and the Edge at its weight, with both having 3mm more front cushion than the Nike. 


Race on? Let’s find out as Ryan Eiler a 2:17 marathoner put the Edge to the test with Michael Ellenberger comparing Edge and Sky in his video first impressions review HERE

Enlightened Equipment Torrid Jacket Review

Article by Markus Zinkl

Enlightened Equipment Torrid Jacket ($200)

Introduction


Enlightened Equipment, founded by Tim Marshall in 2007, has emerged as a prominent player in the ultralight backpacking cottage industry. What began as a solitary pursuit of crafting quilts in a basement has blossomed into a thriving enterprise with over 50 employees operating out of a spacious facility in Winona, Minnesota. With a focus on customization and handcrafted quality, Enlightened Equipment has garnered a reputation for excellence in producing quilts, clothing, accessories, and more. 


Committed to enhancing the outdoor experience, Enlightened Equipment continuously refines its products through a process of tinkering and innovation. From humble beginnings to its current stature, the brand remains dedicated to equipping adventurers with gear that withstands the rigors of exploration while embracing the spirit of the wilderness. In this review, we delve into one of their staple offerings: the Torrid insulation jacket, to explore its performance and functionality.

One Way MTX Carbon Vario Dark Poles Review: Trekking/Running/Nordic Ski/ Snowshoe they shine everywhere!

 Article by Sam Winebaum

One Way MTX Carbon Vario Trekking/Running Poles ($230)

The MTX is a 100% carbon shaft trekking 3 segment foldable pole that is adjustable from 115 to 135 cm.

Pole weight is 226g.

They come from an originally Finnish company with a deep nordic and alpine pole heritage and are now owned by Fischer Sports of nordic and alpine ski fame.

With their first trekking pole line One-Way has a versatile winner in the MTX Carbon Vario Dark. Please read on for all the details of my test.

Monday, February 26, 2024

ON Cloudsurfer Trail Multi Tester Review & Video Review: 7 Comparisons

Article by Jeremy Marie, Dominique Winebaum, Renee Krusemark and Mike Postaksi's Video Review

On Cloudsurfer Trail ($160, €170, GBP 150)

Introduction


Jeremy: This is the third trail shoe from On that I’m reviewing, after the first two iterations of the Cloudultra (RTR Review), which improved a lot to become way more runnable and less firm in its current version. 


The Cloudsurfer Trail stands at the other end of the trail running shoe spectrum, aiming more at being a door-to-trail, mellow trails shoes for both newcomers and seasoned runners looking for a do-it-all shoe…Riders have gravel bikes, runners have..this kind of shoe.

It benefits from On recent evolution midsole technology evolution, departing from the combination of firm shoe plus Speedboard, and using here the new CloudTec Phase tech first seen on the road counterpart Cloudsurfer (RTR Review) which saw great success. Does this technology  translate as well to a trail shoe ? Let’s find out.

Testbericht: On -Cloudsurfer Trail (German)

Artikel von Markus Zinkl und Maren Müller

Cloudsurfer Trail (€169.95)


Einleitung


Markus:Der On Cloudsurfer Trail, die abenteuerlustige Trailversion des beliebten Cloudsurfer-Laufschuhs, tritt in die Fußstapfen seines erfolgreichen Vorgängers auf der Straße. Während ich persönlich die Straßenversion nicht getestet habe, waren meine Testkollegen von der Leistung und dem Komfort begeistert. Mit der Einführung des Cloudsurfer Trails setzt On seine neue Schuhgeneration fort, die das traditionelle Speedboard zugunsten eines geschmeidigeren Laufgefühls entfernt. Diese Veränderung verspricht ein Ende des oft als harsch empfundenen Laufgefühls, das mit dem Speedboard einherging. Angesichts dieser vielversprechenden Neuerungen war ich besonders gespannt darauf, wie sich der Cloudsurfer Trail in der “Door to Trail” Kategorie schlägt.

Maren: Die Cloudsurfer Trail sind Trailrunning-Schuhe von ON, die stabiler sind als die Straßenversion und entwickelt wurden, um den unterschiedlichen Untergründen eines Trailschuhs Stand zu halten. Der Schuh richtet sich laut Hersteller an Läufer*innen, die mittelschwere Trails laufen und eignet sich gut für den Übergang zwischen Asphalt und unbefestigtem Terrain. Ich bin gespannt, den Schuh und die versprochene Vielseitigkeit zu testen. In diesem Sinne: Let’s go for a run!

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Camelbak Rim Runner X22 Hiking Hydration Pack Review

Article by Jeff Valliere

Camelbak Rim Runner X22 ($100)


Introduction/Specs/Features


The Rim Runner X22 is a lightweight, streamlined, yet durable pack designed for long day trips on the trails, featuring a supportive breathable Air Support Back Panel, internal hydration reservoir sleeve (with 1.5L Crux Reservoir included), stretch overflow pocket, cargo compression system, removable stability belt, zippered organization pockets and side bottle/stash pockets.


Weight: 1lb 8oz. / 690 grams

Volume: 20.5L

Dimensions: 21.65 x 11.42 x 8.27 / 55 x 29 x 21

One Size (belt fit range 26" - 46", torso fit range 17" - 21")

$100. Available Now including at our partner Backcountry HERE

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Gorewear Winter 2024 Round Up Reviews: Endure GORE-TEX Jacket, R-5 GORE-TEX Infinium Insulated Jacket, Distance Winter Bib Tights+, Windstopper Thermo Gloves

Article by Renee Krusemark

Endure GORE-TEX Jacket ($280), R-5 GORE-TEX Infinium Insulated Jacket ($280),  Distance Winter Bib Tights+ ($200), Windstopper Thermo Gloves  ($90) 


In the article, I review products from Gorewear’s winter cycle and run collection. Testing occurred in Nebraska with temperatures ranging down to -20F (-29C)  and often with strong winds in the mix. Many of the items in the article are on sale at the time of this writing.

Friday, February 23, 2024

VJ Shoes MAXx2 Multi Tester Review: Pure Fun. Versatile. Very Light 10 Comparisons

Article by Mike Postaski, Sam Winebaum, John Tribbia, Renee Krusemark and Jeff Valliere

VJ Shoes MAXx2 ($180)


Introduction


Sam: Known for shoes at the extreme end of trail, orienteering and OCR, VJ from Finland launches the MAXx2 a supercritical foam (EVA/TPU) mid stack height (31mm heel / 25 forefoot) trail runner with their trademark super grippy butyl rubber outsole and medial FitLock strap. Super light at 8.47 oz  / 240g (US9),  it for sure appears to add up to a top notch thoroughly modern contender.


Mike P: Let’s get this out of the way - this IS the most consequential trail shoe released by VJ to date. What I mean by that - VJ models I’ve run in so far have been good, but there’s always been “something” missing or lacking that prevented them from feeling like a “true” trail shoe. The VJ brand has a background in OCR/Adventure racing, and it just felt like some of their shoes were skewed too much in that direction.


Enter the VJ MAXx2 as well as the concurrently releasing VJ Lightspeed… We’ll get to the Lightspeed in a separate review, but the MAXx2 feels and runs like a legitimate trail shoe. Not an OCR-inspired, cross-over, rugged mountain-designed, just-short-of-runnable kind of shoe.. Not only is it legitimate, but it is a real threat to be a top pick in the market. It’s that good of a shoe. I have not seen our other testers’ reviews yet, but based on our initial back-and-forth “chatter”, I expect this review to be nothing short of “glowing”. I urge you - read on!

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Testbericht: ASICS Gel-Nimbus 26 – Kleine Änderungen, große Wirkung? 8 Vergleiche

Artikel von Marcel Krebs und Nils Scharff

ASICS Gel-Nimbus 26 (200 €)



Einleitung

Nils: Der Nimbus ist ein Klassiker im ASICS Produktportfolio und steht seit jeher für hohe Dämpfung und maximalen Komfort. Im letzten Jahr ist ASICS ein hohes Risiko eingegangen und hat den Publikumsliebling pünktlich zu seinem 25. Jubiläum rundum erneuert. Die Stapelhöhe ist beträchtlich gewachsen, sodass der Nimbus seither in der allgegenwärtigen “Super-Max-Cushion” Kategorie mitmischt. Ebenso hat sich die Silhouette des Schuhs drastisch verändert. Insgesamt war es aus meiner Tester-Sicht ein ebenso gewagtes, wie gelungenes Update.


Deshalb ist es nur verständlich, dass die Änderungen im diesjährigen Nimbus 26 überschaubar ausfallen. Namentlich hat lediglich das Obermaterial ein leichtes Update bekommen und die Außensohle soll dank ASICS HYBRIDGRIP Technologie für mehr Traktion sorgen. Was diese Änderungen im Detail bedeuten, was uns neben den Marketing-Ankündigungen ggfs. noch aufgefallen ist und wie sich all das auf das Laufgefühl des aktuellen Nimbus auswirkt, werden Marcel und ich im Folgenden erörtern.


Marcel: Gefühlt haben Nils und ich gerade erst den Nimbus 25 unter die Lupe genommen (unseren Testbericht findet ihr hier). Der N25 war zweifelsohne äußerst komfortabel. Mir persönlich fehlte jedoch der gewisse Pepp der Mittelsohle und die damit verbundene Lauffreude, so dass er für mich vor allem ein Recovery-Schuh war. Nils hingegen war vom N25 fast schon begeistert und konnte ihn vielfältig einsetzen und war auch vom Laufgefühl ganz angetan. 


Entsprechend unterschiedlich waren daher vermutlich auch unsere Erwartungshaltungen, als wir vom neuen Nimbus 26 hörten und erfuhren,dass wir diesen alsbald würden testen dürfen. Da die Änderungen vor allen die Außensohle (verbesserter Grip) als auch das Obermaterial (verbesserter Mittelfußhalt) betreffen, ging ich ohne die ganz großen Erwartungen in die Testphase. Dies lag vor allem daran, dass die Mittelsohle unverändert geblieben ist und der  Mittelfußhalt für mich bereits beim Vorgängermodell exzellent war. 


Positiv stimmte mich hingegen die angekündigte Optimierung  des Außensohlengrips, welchen ich im regnerischen Hamburg öfter testen konnte, als mir lieb war. Wie sich der Nimbus 26 im Praxistest geschlagen hat und ob sich mein Blick auf die Modellreihe geändert hat, erfahrt ihr in den nachstehenden Abschnitten.