Reviewer Bios

Sam Winebaum, Editor and Founder

Sam is a 1:38 half marathoner on a good day and didn't mind at all going into his 60+ age group in 2017. He has been running for 50 years as of 2022 and has a very dated marathon PR of 2:28.  Update: maybe he can still run fast as he clocked at 1:35 in 2017 and in 2018 a 3:40 Boston Marathon qualifier, surprising him.  He runs 30-40 miles per week along the New Hampshire Seacoast and on Park City, UT trails. Always a geek Sam was the Senior Contributing Editor for Wearable Fitness Technology and Music at Competitor Magazine and has also written for Motiv Running and China Fire Bulletin.

Jeff Valliere is a former pro cyclist who now runs and climbs the mountains of Colorado. He has been top 5 Masters, top 25 overall at the Pike's Peak Marathon several times. Jeff loves vertical accumulating more than 500,000 vertical feet per year, has climbed all the 14's and 200 of the 13's and has held FKT on several.  He often runs and climbs at night. Passionate about the sport but also the gear he has reviewed hundreds of shoes for various magazines and sites and participated in product testing for many brands.  Formerly a bike mechanic he has recently worked in Satellite Imagery. He has twin 10 year old daughters who keep him ever busier yet.

Peter Stuart
My running career got off to a slow start…in high school I was told I ran like a race walker and was thus relegated to race walking on the track team. I got back into running about 15 years ago and then into triathlon. Triathlon really rekindled my love for running, so about two years ago I hired a coach and really focused on the half and full marathons.  I broke a bad habit of putting in tons of moderately hard miles (and no or hard ones) and after plateauing at 3:25 (with some disastrous marathons in there), this past year I brought my marathon under 3:00 and my half under 1:25. Along the way I’ve developed a bit of a shoe problem.

Dominick Layfield
Dom lives in Southern California after several years in Park City, UT.  He is an avid trail runner who likes to race.  He holds a PhD in biomedical engineering from MIT, and has worked as a researcher in orthopedic biomechanics. So he knows the difference between a ligament and tendon :-).
In 2016, he raced, among others, the Angeles Crest 100 (2nd place), Scout Mountain 80K (1st place), and Georgia Death Race 68 miler (3rd place).  His 2017 achievement include first place in the dead of winter 2017 108-mile Spine Challenger race in the UK, breaking the course record by an hour, first place in the Quicksilver 100K in California, and 14th at the Western States Endurance Run. 

Derek Li
Derek is a family physician who lives in Singapore. He has been running marathons for the past four years with a 2017 marathon PR of 2:41. He started running for triathlon training in 2003, and now focuses purely on running in a bid to run all the Marathon Majors. In his free time, he likes to review running shoes and related products at his blog Running Commentary.

Sally Reiley is a lifelong runner and mother of five who ran her first marathon at age 54, and has now run the past seven Boston Marathons and one Chicago, with a 2017 Boston PR of 3:29, good for 8th in her age group. Along the way she has raised over $240,000 for Massachusetts Eye and Ear Hospital running with Team Eye and Ear. A relative newbie to road racing, she has achieved All-American status in the 10K (44:04) and 5K. To commemorate her 60th birthday she ran the NYC Marathon in November finishing 2nd in her age group with a PR time of 3:28:39 and repeated on the 2nd step of the podium at NYC in 2021 with an all time PR of 3:26:54 a few weeks after 5th at Boston in 3:32:24.  Sally is a compact (petite) runner at 5’2’’ and 105 pounds.

Jeff Beck

Jeff is the token slow runner of the RTR lineup, and as such his viewpoints on shoe and gear can differ from those who routinely finish marathons in three hours or less. Jeff runs 30 miles per week on roads and trails around Denver, CO (and sometimes on the treadmill when the weather gets too much for a Phoenix native). Jeff only got into running in his 30s, as a result his career PR's are 4:07 for the marathon and 5K at 23:39. Jeff has finished several ultra marathons, from 50K up to 50 miles, and is still debating if he wants to go down that road again.

Michael Ellenberger

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 2:22:18 marathon from the 2022 Chicago Marathon. Michael continues to race on the roads, and is chasing a sub-2:20 marathon and potential OTQ in the future.

Hope Wilkes

Current Age Group: 30-39

Height: 5'4"

Weight: 135

Weekly mileage: ~50 when peaking for a marathon, otherwise 30-40

Favorite distance: marathon 

Hope is a lifelong resident of Northern Virginia. No stranger to hills and humidity, this mid-packer is most at home on tough courses that might make other runners stay in bed. Hope has dabbled in ultras, including three 50-mile finishes, but has turned her attention to the marathon, working hard to improve upon her 2017 PR of 3:47:40. Already passionate about sneakers when she picked up running in 2008, it was inevitable that she’d become a running shoe geek. Hope is pursuing her MBA at Virginia Tech and works full-time as a program manager. In her free time she geeks out about other things: cooking, reading, weightlifting, Magic: the Gathering, and her tabby cat, Indy.

Canice Harte
Canice lives in Park City, UT and is an outdoor industry executive. He is the former North American head of product and sales for Salomon, NA and was the Vice President of Licensing and Innovation at Nathan Sports. Canice is a founder of Park City Running Company and the Race Director for the Moose on The Loose Kids Trail Running Series as well as the Twisted Fork Ultra. Canice competes regularly in Ultra Marathons and adventure races and leads the Park City Trail Club. He is a 2 x finisher of the Wasatch 100, the Bear 100, Moab 100 and Western States 100 as well as many other Ultras.He regularly competes in Expedition Length Adventure races with his longest race to date 600 miles. Beyond ultras and adventure races, Canice has competed in traditional road races and triathlons.

Mac Jeffries 

Mac is from the Deep South and played small college football, earning All Conference his senior year. At that point, he was a 275 lb Defensive Lineman, but by the time his first child was born 7 years later, he was 275 again and pretty fat. P90X and a lifestyle change in eating habits got him down to the 220s, at which point his pastor challenged him to run a Half Marathon at age 29 - his first ever road race. Running and racing has been a healthy addiction that he has balanced with his wife, two sons, and teaching & coaching career ever since. Now at 6'4" 200lbs, Mac has PRs of 19:19, 1:33:xx, and 3:19:xx, and is engaged in the lifelong pursuit of convincing shoe companies to offer their premium shoes in a size 14.  
To see Mac's grid where he has scored all the shoes he has  tested  CLICK HERE

Jacob Brady
Jacob is a runner and general endurance sports enthusiast. He began running casually in college and after a season of triathlon training transitioned to a distance running focus. He started his run streak (at least two miles every day) in April 2018 and averages around 50 miles per week. Jacob runs a mix of roads and trails; most recently, he qualified for the 2021 Boston Marathon (2:51) and has been getting into the trail running scene. Jacob often places in the top 10 finishers in local races around the Portland, Maine area. In addition to running, he surfs, bikes (both mountain and road), and nordic skis. You can check out Jacob’s recent activities on Strava here.

John Tribbia

John is mountain runner who lives, works, and trains in the Boulder, Colorado Area and has an enthusiastic penchant to ascend mountains as fast as possible. He has won races such as America's Uphill, Imogene Pass Run, and the US Skyrunner Vertical Kilometer Series; he's placed atop the podium at the Red Bull 400 (twice), US Trail Marathon Championships (twice), and the Catalina Island Marathon; and he was the first person to ever ascend Grandeur Peak in Salt Lake City in under 40 minutes. Even though many of his racing accomplishments have been on the off-beaten path, you can also find him running on roads, running in snowshoes, and bike commuting with his son in tow on a cargo e-bike. If you follow him on Strava (, you'll notice he runs before the break of dawn almost everyday. His favorite food is Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches.

Ryan Eller
  A hopeless soccer career led Ryan to take up running, and after taking a decade-long break from competing, he is back racking up mileage whenever he can.  He calls the 2018 Boston Marathon the hardest race of his life, where he finished in 2:40, barely remembering his name at the finish line.  More recently he has solo time trialed the 2020 super shoes, often sub 15 minutes for 5K and in 2021 got a new PR’s of 1:09 for the half and at the Maine Marathon in 2022 a marathon PR and new course record of 2:19.

Ryan decided to forego his Wall Street job to be a gear junkie, and is currently the fledgling entrepreneur behind his company, Bridger Helmets.  Most days, you'll find him loping along the Charles River in Boston.  Of all the places he's run, Central Park NYC and the New Hampshire coast top his list.

Adam Glueck is a cross country ski racer from New Hampshire.  

Along with skiing, he’s a big fan of endurance sports in general and does a lot of running.  He’s much faster at skiing, recently participating in the curtailed NCAA’s skiing for Dartmouth College, but can run a 4:43 mile (in trail shoes), 16:59 5k (earlier this week wearing the Sonic 3 Accelerates), and has won a few small trail races you’ve never heard of.  His mileage varies depending on how much snow is on the ground, but he trains about 700 hours a year including 1200 miles of running and 4000 miles of skiing and roller skiing.  You can follow him at his IG: @real_nordic_skier, his blog:, & on Strava

Renee is a former U. S. Marine journalist, which is when her enjoyment of running and writing started. She isn’t that awesome of a runner, but she tries really hard. Most of her weekly 50-60 miles take place on rural country roads in Nebraska, meaning mud, gravel, dirt, hills, and the occasional field. She has PR’s of 1:30:59 for the half marathon and 3:26:45 for the marathon.

Jamie Hershfang 

Jamie is 29 years old and currently running 100+ miles per week. She has run many marathons, with a PR of 2:49 and has recently moved up to the ultra distances. She completed a solo 100k in 7:36:40 and set the Chicago Lakefront Trail FKT. In 2021 she was the fastest US woman on road for 50 miles with a  time of 6:07:11. She is training to qualify to represent team USA at a world championship. Outside of training, she is the store manager at Fleet Feet Lakeview in Chicago.

Bryan Lim lives in Melbourne, Australia. He picked up running in mid-2016 as a stressed-out law school student and ended up running a full marathon as his first event.  
Ever since, he has focussed on becoming a better runner, with PRs of 1:23 in the half-marathon and 38:02 in the 10km. Bryan also enjoys longer distances and trail events, and has run the Oxfam 100km, Surf Coast 100km relay and recently his own driveway ultra (52km over 838 laps). He also enjoys running tourism, completing the Chicago Marathon, Toronto Half and Singapore Half in recent years. Whilst enjoying running, he has taken the community aspect of things with passion. Bryan is an accredited Athletics Australia community coach, was the running coach at adidasRunners Melbourne, runs his own local track club, Glasshouse Run Club and is a pacer at local races.

Nils Scharff

I am 30 years old, located in Heilbronn – Germany and married to my beautiful wife since last year. I’ve done all sorts of sports for all my life, often 5-7 times a week. But my young running career just started 3 years ago with a company run which I joined together with some colleagues in 2017. From there I never let go. I ran roughly 1000km in my first year, doubled and then trippled that number in 2018 and 2019. I've run 4 marathons to date with a PR of 2:54. My other PRs are 17:32 for the 5k, 37:33 for 10k and 1:22 for the half. But besides chasing PRs and dreams on roads and trails, especially getting outside and escaping my desk is what makes my love for running (and other outdoor sports like hiking or climbing).

Joost de Raeymaeker  

Joost is a Belgian in his 50s living in Luanda, Angola, Africa, where he faces the heat, humidity and general chaos to run anything between 60-100 miles per week. He’s on a mission to win in his age group in the 6 Marathon Majors and has completed half of his project, with a 2:26:10 PB in Berlin in 2019 at 51. He ran in primary school, but then thought it would be a lot cooler to be a guitar player in a hard rock band, only picking up running again in 2012, gradually improving his results. His Strava is here:

Johannes Klein

Johannes joined the RTR crew in everyone's favorite year 2020, as a long-time follower turned contributor. 

He's a 28-year-old recreational runner living near Karlsruhe, Germany, where he fittingly ran his first 14K 'race' as part of a marathon relay team. Realizing that trying to run a certain pace was quite fun, he became hooked and the rest, as they say, is history. 

Currently, he is trying to get his legs back on track (or rather on the road) to tackle a sub-40-minute 10K.

In general, Johannes can be found outside most of the time, doing the occasional hike, strolling along the river or playing some streetball. His favorite inside activities are blogging, cooking and comparing running shoes online, which, to be honest, he's kind of addicted to, since working in a running store triggered his shoe obsession.

You can find Johannes on Instagram (@running_joe92) and Strava


Shannon Payne

Shannon is a Colorado native currently residing in Northern California. NorCal is nice, but Colorado has her heart. Having run competitively for around 20 years, she was a 7x All American at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, was a 2x member of the U.S. Mountain Running Team, 2x winner of the Mt. Washington Road Race, and was 3rd at the 2014 World Mountain Running Long Distance Championship. Her favorite shoes currently include the Hoka Torrent, Saucony Kinvara, and Brooks Launch, and her favorite runs include anything that goes uphill.  

Jana Herzog took up running in 2016, after her back injury. Prior to that she was a speed skater, but due to back pain and doctor's recommendation, she transitioned into running. Since then, she started with shorter ultra distance races, and quickly evolved into an avid long distance and unsupported mountain runner. She also loves to take on challenges/races in arctic and subarctic climate, mainly in unsupported and semi-self supported style. She runs about 100 miles per week: 40 miles on road and 60 miles trail mostly at high elevations. She currently lives in Utah/Wyoming.

Humberto Hughes (Beto Hughes)

Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico

31 yrs old, Height: 5’10,, Weight: 195lbs

I started Running in 2016 and training to lose weight I used to weight 295 lbs and Between Running and Crossfit began my love for the fitness life and for Running. And now aiming to be a Boston Qualifier.

Weekly mileage: 60 - 75 miles on Road

Favorite distance: Marathon and Half Marathon also UltraMarathon too.

Marathon PR 3:22, Half Marathon PR 1:31 10k PR 41:52 5k PR 20:05

You can follow me on Instagram @betohughes

Marcel Krebs

Marcel, almost 40 years old, works as a Legal Technology Consultant and is an avid Obstacle Course Racer (OCR). In addition to his fascination with shoe releases for road and trail, Marcel is also passionate about technical innovations and gadgets. 

After years of too much work and too much fast food, Marcel started to work off his excess pounds in 2014 by doing short runs at the Alster lake in Hamburg, Germany before he discovered the world of obstacle course racing. Initially just for fun in competitions like Tough Mudder and Xletix, his ambition was quickly awakened and Marcel increasingly focused on challenging race series like Spartan Races all over Europe. In addition, Marcel has successfully finished the "toughest obstacle course in Europe" five times in a row with Getting Tough The Race. 

As an additional challenge he was always accompanied by - unintentionally of course - his vulnerability to injuries in the area of the tendons and calves. The combination of a time-consuming office job in combination with a certain susceptibility to injury also gives Marcel a special perspective on the tested models in his shoe reviews. Namely less that of the competitive athlete, but much more the view of an ambitious recreational runner with a love for obstacle races. If you also have a comparatively wide forefoot, you should take a closer look at Marcel's impressions of the tested models.

Cheng Chen

Cheng is a CrossFitter turned runner. He lifts and base builds in the winter while racing in the summer with personal bests of 5:29 (Mile), 1:28 (Half), and 19:33 (5K). In Michigan, Cheng leads a local racing team and is also an ambassador for Gazelle Sports and the Detroit Free Press Marathon - use code CHENGROCKS for a discounted entry. Follow him on Instagram (@MrChengChen) for more. 

Jeremy MARIE French, 40y/o. Running since 2013 and quickly transitioned to trails, focused on ultras since 2015 : TDS, Maxi-Race, “100 miles du Sud”, 90kms du Mt Blanc, GRP 120kms, Some shorter mellow races (Saintelyon 45kms, Ecotrail Paris 45kms…) with always a good part of road and flat running, but not many road races. Recovery/easy runs ~4’45/km - 4’30/km 

PB (...not too fond of races, just love running and training :) ): 

10kms (2015): 36’25, 

5kms (unofficial, during training session 2020): 17’45

TDS 2015: 21h, 

100 Miles du Sud (2016): 21st, 31hours

Ecotrail Paris 2018, 45kms: 5th, 3h23min

Run around 50-120kms/week adding lots of cycling (total around 15-20h weekly….)

Stephanie Beck

Steph is contributor Jeff Beck's better half, and is a former Fit For Mom/Run Club instructor. She splits her 20-30 weekly miles between the road and treadmill, and occasionally gets off road onto the trails around Denver. While Steph mostly runs for fun, she has run a handful of 5K, 10K, and half marathons, and her PRs are 23:03 5K, 49:28 10K, and 1:48:30 HM. She's run one Ragnar relay event, and swears it'll never happen again because of how much more she enjoys sleep than running at 3 a.m.

Alex Tilsley

Alex is a displaced trail runner, currently living in DC and finding dirt wherever she can. Alex discovered running in college and was a happy 3-miles-a-day hobby jogger until her mom tricked her into running a 10k and it was all downhill from there. She has since run several marathons (PR 3:38) and dabbled in triathlons, but her true love is the trails, whether running, mountain biking, orienteering, or long-distance backpacking. When she’s not running or riding, Alex works full-time in education policy and part-time putting on trail races with EX2 Adventures

Matt Crehan

Matt is the owner of Made to Run an independent running store based between Manchester and Liverpool in the UK, which he runs alongside his mother Susan who competed in the 1987 Rome World Championships 10,000m and 1988 Seoul Olympic Marathon for Great Britain. So with running in the family, Matt has high goals of replicating what his mother did and having raced at the national level over in the UK for the last 15 years, Matt made a further step towards his goal on his 30th birthday when he won the 2021 Manchester Marathon in 2:18.23, followed two weeks later by winning the Liverpool Rock N Roll Marathon. Matt also has PR's for the 5km -14:18, 10km  - 30:11 and HM - 65:28. Matt's next goal will be to try and run the 2022 Commonwealth Games Qualifying standard in the marathon over at the Seville Marathon in February. Matt is also the author of The Art of Running, a graphic novel about legendary runner Steve Prefonatine. Instagram - GoCre91

Markus Zinkl is 32 years old, located in a small village in Bavaria, Germany. He started running only to support his main sport, football (Soccer for our American readers :-)). Since stopping playing football about 4 years ago, running became as his main sport to stay fit. 
He's now runs 5-6 times per week for about 40-50 miles. Besides a local relay race, he races rarely. Markus runs on both trail and the roads and is an absolute gear geek. Besides running, he spends most of his free time hiking, especially in the mountains, where his interest in gear also comes into play. Currently, he started training for his first ultra distance, a local 64k. 

Through my running buddy Johannes I became aware of RTR and have been accepted as a tester in the RTR troop. Running was practically laid in my cradle by my dad. As a marathon runner for many years, he passed on his enthusiasm for running to me and after some initial skepticism, I have since developed my own - as we call it - running frenzy. I live in Weinheim and like to explore running routes in the Odenwald or around Heidelberg. I took my first running steps in Heidelberg: first as a participant in the Bambini- and Altstadt-Lauf and most recently twice in the half marathon. 

In general, I like to be in nature and spend almost every free minute outside, whether hiking, biking or running around with my nieces and nephews. If the weather is bad, I like to cook, plan my next running route or research what new running shoe trends are on the market. Once I've found something suitable, it's time to get out and try the new running shoes.


Unknown said...

Jeff, I know you have been running in the Salomon Sense Ultra Pro. Salomon just launched it. Do you think it has more underfoot cushion than the Sense Ride?


Unknown said...

Are you going to review the On running Cloudace?