Runblogger http://runblogger.com Running Shoes, Gear Reviews, and Posts on the Science of the Sport Tue, 02 Sep 2014 15:35:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 5 Observations On Running in Hokas From a More Minimal-Leaning Runner http://runblogger.com/2014/09/5-observations-on-running-in-hokas-from-a-more-minimal-leaning-runner.html http://runblogger.com/2014/09/5-observations-on-running-in-hokas-from-a-more-minimal-leaning-runner.html#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 13:00:55 +0000 http://runblogger.com/?p=5788

You just finished reading 5 Observations On Running in Hokas From a More Minimal-Leaning Runner! Consider leaving a comment!

Save money on running shoes - CLICK HERE to view current coupons and promotions on the Runblogger deal page!

For more great running content, check out the current discussions on the Runblogger Forum.

]]>
Over the past few weeks I’ve put about 30 miles on a pair of Hoka Clifton shoes, making it the first pair of Hokas that I’ve logged more than a single run in. As a more minimal-oriented runner I was quite curious to see how I’d fare in a shoe at the more maximal end of the spectrum (at least in terms of softness if not total stack height). The experience has been an interesting one so far and has given me a lot to think about. I plan to write up a full review of the Cliftons soon, but wanted to share a few thoughts on my general experience of running in them. I’m also curious to see if others coming from a more minimal background have felt similarly about running in soft, cushy shoes like the Clifton. Here goes!

Hoka Clifton

1. They don’t seem to alter my form much. My cadence seems to have stayed right around it’s typical range. If anything, I actually feel like I may be a bit more up on my forefoot when running in the Cliftons, and this is supported by the fact that most of my sole wear so far extends from the midfoot forward. Not sure if this is because of the rockered sole (the sole is slightly curved so that the forefoot and heel angle up a bit from the midfoot – you can see this in the image above), or that the heel feels so soft that my body wants to avoid landing directly on it. The Clifton is a bit lower profile than some of the other Hoka models (stack height is 29mm heel, 23mm forefoot), but I recall feeling similarly about my one run in an old pair of Mafates (a big, cushy Hoka). My money is on the sole rocker being the major factor here. Anyone else feel this way about Hokas with regard to foot strike?

2. I like them better on trails than on roads. This is counterintuitive to me as I would expect a soft shoe to feel better on a harder surface, but I’ve generally enjoyed running on a trail surface in them more than running on asphalt or concrete

3. Stability has been fine except when I step on an edge. Again, the Cliftons don’t have as much sole thickness as some other Hokas, but they don’t feel like an unstable shoe to me. That being said, there have been a few times when I’ve stepped on the edge of a sidewalk and rolled my ankle a bit – the wide sole base and resulting long lever arm relative to the ankle probably plays a role here. On a trail they pretty much seem to conform to irregular ground debris by squishing over whatever I step on. You don’t feel much underfoot due to the soft, deformable sole.

4. The ankle collar feels a bit high. I’ve heard others say this about some Hoka models, and I think what my be happening is as the foot sinks into the soft midsole it causes a sensation of the ankle collar being higher than in other shoes.

5. Here’s my biggest observation – when I run roads in the Cliftons I feel like I’m working a lot harder than I should be at my easy pace. I think this is where the fact that I tend to be adapted to more minimal footwear comes into play, as I felt the same way about running in the Skechers GoRun Ultra (probably the most comparable shoe to the Clifton that I have used for more than a few runs). The Cliftons feel really soft in the midfoot and heel, and this seems to take some of the pop out of my stride. Conversely, on one run when I picked up the pace a bit they felt better, perhaps because I was more up on the front of the shoe. I’m wondering if this would change if I gave them more time, but my body seems to like firmer, more responsive footwear. The question for me is whether that’s because those are the shoes I’m used to, or if there is something inherent to my stride that makes me prefer a lower profile shoe. I’d love to see a study look at oxygen consumption in runners with various footwear backgrounds in their typical shoes versus in a super soft shoe like the Clifton.

How about you? Would love to hear about your experience running in Hokas – leave a comment!

]]>
http://runblogger.com/2014/09/5-observations-on-running-in-hokas-from-a-more-minimal-leaning-runner.html/feed 8
What Moves You?: A Film For Runners by Runners http://runblogger.com/2014/08/what-moves-you-a-film-for-runners-by-runners.html http://runblogger.com/2014/08/what-moves-you-a-film-for-runners-by-runners.html#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 13:00:13 +0000 http://runblogger.com/?p=5557

You just finished reading What Moves You?: A Film For Runners by Runners! Consider leaving a comment!

Save money on running shoes - CLICK HERE to view current coupons and promotions on the Runblogger deal page!

For more great running content, check out the current discussions on the Runblogger Forum.

]]>
What Moves You MovieThe trailer (scroll down) of this Kickstarter film project titled “What Moves You?” looks great – here’s the description of the film:

Told from the point-of-view of runners from all walks of life, the film explores the inspiration and motivation that modern cultures associate with running.

On the surface, the reasons people run seem obvious; health, stress, competition to name a few. But what if there is a deeper, more intrinsic compulsion that connects people who choose to run for enjoyment regardless of genetic, ethnic, socioeconomic, religious or physical differences?

Runners share an uncommon bond in today’s society, whether it’s through participation in the events or a simple ‘hey’ on an isolated nature trail. We aim to find out what it is.

With breathtaking landscapes, high-profiles races and quirky tribal-like parades as the backdrop, we join hardcore and casual runners alike on their individual journeys to health and wellness, weight loss, triumph, freedom and companionship, with one goal in mind; to find out what moves them.

Back this film on Kickstarter: bit.ly/wmyks

What Moves You? A film for runners by runners from What Moves You? on Vimeo.

]]>
http://runblogger.com/2014/08/what-moves-you-a-film-for-runners-by-runners.html/feed 1
Salomon S-Lab Sense 3 Ultra Trail Shoe Review http://runblogger.com/2014/08/salomon-sense-3-ultra-trail-shoe-review.html http://runblogger.com/2014/08/salomon-sense-3-ultra-trail-shoe-review.html#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 13:00:47 +0000 http://runblogger.com/?p=5570

You just finished reading Salomon S-Lab Sense 3 Ultra Trail Shoe Review! Consider leaving a comment!

Save money on running shoes - CLICK HERE to view current coupons and promotions on the Runblogger deal page!

For more great running content, check out the current discussions on the Runblogger Forum.

]]>
Salomon Sense 3 Ultra lugsEarlier this year I wrote a review of the Salomon Sense Pro trail shoe. In that review I said that the Sense Pro “…feels like a racing flat built for the trails.” While I’d still stand by that description, having now run over 50 miles in the Salomon Sense 3 Ultra I’d say that though the two shoes are similar in many ways, the Ultra has an even more racing flat-like feel. And given my preference for fast-riding flats on the road, it’ll probably come as no surprise that I have loved running in the Sense Ultras on dirt roads and trails.

I spent two weeks in late July/early August coaching at the Craftsbury running camps up in northern Vermont. While there, I did almost all of my non-asphalt running in the Sense 3 Ultra (which was the majority of the miles I ran). Terrain included single-track trails and lots of rocky dirt roads, and even a 5K race that was mostly single-track (brutal but fun!). I was able to put the shoes to the test, and aside from developing a wicked stench they performed marvelously. In fact, I may like them even more than their “Pro” cousin (Disclosure: these shoes were a personal purchase during a shoe-sale induced moment of weakness).

The Sense 3 Ultra is in essence a low-profile trail shoe built for running fast off-road. Per Running Warehouse it weighs in at 7.8oz in men’s size 9, and has a stack height of 19mm heel, 14mm forefoot (heads up – a bunch of Salmon shoes, including the Ultra, are currently on sale through 9/1 at Running Warehouse). In contrast, the Sense Pro is about 1.5oz heavier and adds 3mm of stack to the forefoot and heel. So it’s just a bit more shoe than the Ultra. For another comparison, the stack height of the Saucony A6 road racing flat is 17mm heel, 13mm forefoot, so pretty similar to the Ultra.

Salomon Sense 3 Ultra

Upper Construction

The upper of the Sense 3 Ultra, which again is very similar to that of the Sense Pro, is very nicely constructed and has a feeling of quality about it (which it should for an MSRP of $160). The top of the forefoot and small portions along the midfoot are composed of a tight mesh and there are extensive welded overlays covering much of the upper (including a welded rand along the junction between the upper and sole). Given the amount of upper covered by overlays, this is not a terribly breathable shoe (might explain Endofit Tonguemy stench issues). Unfortunately, though I’ve soaked the shoes running in wet grass and rain, I never fully submerged them so cannot comment on drainage. The toe bumper is flexible yet provides good protection.

The “Endofit” tongue of the Ultra (see image at left) wraps around both sides of the foot and attaches to the footbed at the junction of the upper and sole. Same design as in the Sense Pro (did I mention they were similar shoes?), and it helps to keep debris away from the foot (though grit does tend to collect between the upper and tongue). This Endofit design hugs the foot and contributes to the performance feel of the shoe. As with the Sense Pro, the Ultra has speed laces which work well for me, though they are a bit longer than necessary. There is a pouch at the top of the tongue that can be used to tuck away slack – it’s a bit hard to access after cinching the laces tight but you can get them in there with a bit of fiddling around.

Fit

Salomon Sense Pro vs. UltraI’d describe the fit of the Ultra as racing-flat snug. Perhaps a bit snugger than the fit of the Sense Pro, particularly up front (see comparison photo at left). However, for some reason both shoes seem to work well on my feet and I haven’t had any blistering, abrasion, or excessive toe squeezing. I haven’t run ultra distance in these shoes (my max in them is 10 miles) so that would be a better test of fit with extended wear, but I’ve had no issues with comfort so far.

Sole Construction

The sole of the Sense 3 Ultra is low-profile and firm, which contributes to the fast feel. The outsole is thin with small triangular lugs, so weight of the sole is not excessive (an issue I had with the Merrell AllOut Rush that I reviewed last week). This is not going to be a go-to shoe for running in mud, but traction was adequate for the types of terrain I’ve run on in them (single-track, grassy cross country ski trails, dirt roads).

Salomon Sense 3 Ultra sole

In terms of protection, the Profeel-film rock plate (gray areas seen in the forefoot cutouts in the image above) did a good job handling roots and rocks, never had any issues stepping on hard stuff on the trails.

Salomon Sense 3 Ultra Top

Conclusion

The Salomon Sense 3 Ultra is a low-profile, lightweight shoe that feels fast on the trails. I’ve enjoyed nearly every mile I’ve run in them, with my only real complaints being that they are a tad snug and they have developed a hard-to-kill stink. If you have wide feet, look elsewhere, but if you like a performance fit for cruising in the woods, these would be a great option.

The Salomon Sense 3 Ultra (and several other Salomon shoes) are currently on sale through 9/1 at Running Warehouse. In the US it is also available at Zappos (currently on sale) and Amazon. Outside the US it can be purchased from Wiggle (currently on sale there a well). Purchases made via these links help to support the production of reviews like this one – thanks!

]]>
http://runblogger.com/2014/08/salomon-sense-3-ultra-trail-shoe-review.html/feed 5
Asics 2015 Shoe Previews: 33-M, 33-FA, 33-DFA, Fujirunnagade, DS Racer 10 http://runblogger.com/2014/08/asics-2015-shoe-previews-33-m-33-fa-33-dfa-fujirunnagade-ds-racer-10.html http://runblogger.com/2014/08/asics-2015-shoe-previews-33-m-33-fa-33-dfa-fujirunnagade-ds-racer-10.html#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 13:00:11 +0000 http://runblogger.com/?p=5522

You just finished reading Asics 2015 Shoe Previews: 33-M, 33-FA, 33-DFA, Fujirunnagade, DS Racer 10! Consider leaving a comment!

Save money on running shoes - CLICK HERE to view current coupons and promotions on the Runblogger deal page!

For more great running content, check out the current discussions on the Runblogger Forum.

]]>
Asics 33-MRunningshoes.com has posted a bunch of video previews of new shoes introduced at the 2014 Outdoor Retailer Show. I’m going to put up a few posts this week featuring shoes that I have not yet covered elsewhere, and first up are some new 2015 releases from Asics.

One of the collections Asics featured is a new line within their “33” series of shoes. These shoes feature a foam called Fluidfoam which Asics is touting as being extremely soft yet resistant to breakdown. Not sure I quite understand the juxtaposition of super-soft cushion with natural running, but that’s a marketing issue I suppose. I tend to like low drop shoes with minimalish, soft soles so a few of these look appealing to me.

Asics 33-M

First up is the Asics 33-M, which is clearly set to compete with the likes of Hoka and Altra in the “maximalist” cushioning category. The 33-M is a 4mm drop shoe (not sure on stack height) with what looks like a nice, wide toebox. Here’s the video preview:

Asics 33-FA

The 33-FA looks to be the middle of the road model in the new line. Not a whole lot of details in the video, but looks like another shoe with a roomy toebox, but not quite as cushioned as the 33-M. I’ve had good experiences with the toeboxes of shoes like the Gel Lyte33 and the Gel Electro33 so hopefully these will compare.

Asics 33-DFA

Of the three Fluidfoam shoes, this one looks most appealing to me since it has a more minimal sole that is made of the same softish foam. Also looks like it’s quite flexible:

Asics Gel Fujirunnagade

The Fujirunnagade is an aggressively lugged trail shoe with a water-resistant bootie construction to keep debris out of the shoe. The first question that comes to my mind when looking at the shoe is what will drainage be like? Looks like it could be a solid winter running shoe.

Asics DS Racer 10

I’ve never run in the DS Racer series, but have been tempted by version 9. Version 10 looks like my kind of shoe!

]]>
http://runblogger.com/2014/08/asics-2015-shoe-previews-33-m-33-fa-33-dfa-fujirunnagade-ds-racer-10.html/feed 14
This Week in Runblogging: August 18 to August 24 2014 http://runblogger.com/2014/08/this-week-in-runblogging-august-18-to-august-24-2014.html http://runblogger.com/2014/08/this-week-in-runblogging-august-18-to-august-24-2014.html#comments Sun, 24 Aug 2014 13:00:21 +0000 http://runblogger.com/?p=5487

You just finished reading This Week in Runblogging: August 18 to August 24 2014! Consider leaving a comment!

Save money on running shoes - CLICK HERE to view current coupons and promotions on the Runblogger deal page!

For more great running content, check out the current discussions on the Runblogger Forum.

]]>
Hoka Clifton GrayLast Thursday I posted a giveaway contest for a pair of Hoka Clifton running shoes – the contest runs through August 29 and the minimal requirement for entry is simply to leave a comment identifying your current favorite running shoe (there are a few additional ways to enter). I’ve put about 13 miles on my pair of Cliftons so far and they are an interesting shoe – super light, roomy, but a little softer than I usually like. Need to get more miles on them before rendering a final verdict.

Runblogger Posts From Last Week

Hoka Clifton Giveaway Contest

August 21, 2014 – Enter to win a pair of Cliftons!

runScribe Launches Wearable Running Biomechanics Data Collection Device on Kickstarter

August 20, 2014 – Very cool little device, more in the recommended posts below.

Merrell AllOut Rush Trail Shoe Review

August 19, 2014 – A bit too much outsole for my taste, but a super comfortable shoe for light hiking.

Finding a Runner’s High in Maine

August 18, 2014 – Sometimes everything just clicks on a run.

Recommended Posts From Around the Web

runScribe1. I posted last week on the Kickstarter campaign for the runScribe device (which looks very cool!), Steve Magness has had the opportunity to play with one for a bit. Check out Steve’s runScribe post to get an idea of what the device can do for workout analysis or comparing biomechanics between footwear.

2. Another thoughtful post by Steve Magness titled “What’s Your Bias?

3. Doug Hay writes a guest post on “How to Become an Ultramarathoner” on StrengthRunning.com.

4. Not a lot of shoe post recs this week, but Running Warehouse covers the New Balance Fresh Foam 980 Trail on their blog.

5. Cool article on the New York Times Well Blog on how dogs fuel for endurance running (skip the Gu!). Unfortunately my canine running partner has been out for most of the summer with a knee injury. He’s doing fine now and wants to run, but the prospect of an expensive knee surgery has me taking a very cautious approach!

6. Gear Junkie posted on Rob Krar’s GPS data from the Leadville 100.  Very interesting insight into the pacing approach of an elite ultramarathoner. Hat tip to Gordon Harvey for the article find.

]]>
http://runblogger.com/2014/08/this-week-in-runblogging-august-18-to-august-24-2014.html/feed 1
Hoka Clifton Giveaway Contest http://runblogger.com/2014/08/hoka-clifton-giveaway-contest.html http://runblogger.com/2014/08/hoka-clifton-giveaway-contest.html#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 12:30:51 +0000 http://runblogger.com/?p=5368

You just finished reading Hoka Clifton Giveaway Contest! Consider leaving a comment!

Save money on running shoes - CLICK HERE to view current coupons and promotions on the Runblogger deal page!

For more great running content, check out the current discussions on the Runblogger Forum.

]]>
Hoka CliftonAbout a month ago I was contacted by Hoka asking if I’d be interested in trying out the new Hoka Clifton and conducting a giveaway for a pair of the shoes here on Runblogger. I’ve been hearing a lot of good things from fellow shoe geeks about the Clifton, and based on specs (around 8oz, 29mm heel, 23mm forefoot stack) it seemed like one of the first Hokas that I might enjoy taking for a spin.

I received the shoes a few weeks ago, and have now managed to get in a few runs in them. I’m far from ready to review them in full, but my early impression is that they fit much better than other Hokas I’ve tried on (roomier up front) and feel crazy light compared to the amount of cushion they pack in. It’s also been surprising that they really don’t seem to interfere with my stride in any noticeable way. I’ve seen the Cliftons described as a cushier Kinvara, though I think the closest comparison among shoes I have run in is the Skechers GoRun Ultra.

I’m still not sure a shoe like the Clifton (or the Skechers Ultra for that matter) is the best match for my stride since the softness sometimes makes me feel like I’m working harder than I should, but that could be because I’m well adapted to much less shoe. As such, I’m going to be spending some additional time in the Cliftons before rendering a final verdict.

Hoka Clifton Side

In the meantime, Hoka generously offered up a pair of Cliftons for me to give away, so if you’re interested in trying a pair you can enter the giveaway via Rafflecopter below. The winner will be given a free-pair promo code for use on the US Hoka website, so unfortunately this contest is only open to US residents. I need to work on some non-US giveaways at some point!

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

]]>
http://runblogger.com/2014/08/hoka-clifton-giveaway-contest.html/feed 183
runScribe Launches Wearable Running Biomechanics Data Collection Device on Kickstarter http://runblogger.com/2014/08/runscribe-launches-wearable-running-biomechanics-data-collection-device-on-kickstarter.html http://runblogger.com/2014/08/runscribe-launches-wearable-running-biomechanics-data-collection-device-on-kickstarter.html#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 20:42:25 +0000 http://runblogger.com/?p=5412

You just finished reading runScribe Launches Wearable Running Biomechanics Data Collection Device on Kickstarter! Consider leaving a comment!

Save money on running shoes - CLICK HERE to view current coupons and promotions on the Runblogger deal page!

For more great running content, check out the current discussions on the Runblogger Forum.

]]>
runScribeI get pitches for Kickstarter campaigns frequently, but rarely do I post about them since it’s hard to assess the potential of a device that I have not had a chance to play with myself. I’m going to make an exception to this general rule here to announce the launch of a Kickstarter campaign for a device called the RunScribe. Why? Because although I haven’t played with the runScribe, I was able to have a long chat with the developers of the device a few months back and they gave me a preview of what the device is capable of. It has the potential to be a very cool little gadget!

Here’s how Scribe Labs describes the runScribe:

“runScribe is a lightweight running wearable that mounts on the back of your shoe and uses a 9-axis sensor to precisely capture the movements of your foot during the gait cycle. The precision measurements, combined with runScribe’s kinematic engine delivers the most advanced set of running metrics available outside of a professional lab environment.

While other running technologies offer limited information – merely tracking steps, distance and speed – runScribe makes thousands of calculations for every stride and reports on 13 detailed kinematic metrics. The scale and detail of data available through runScribe has never been captured in a consumer device, giving athletes, trainers and coaches real-world data to make informed training decisions.”

Below is a summary of the metrics that runScribe is capable of measuring:

runScribe Kinematic Variables

And here is a video preview about runScribe:

My take on the runScribe is that if it can provide accurate data, it could be a very handy tool for use in the clinic, and for comparisons of running in different shoes (I could have a lot of fun with this!). I also like that the developers are looking to crowdsource data from runners using the device to create a large database of metrics from the community at large. This could be really useful for seeing how a given individual falls on the spectrum of variation observed among those using the device, and even more helpful if individual metrics can somehow be related to risk for specific injuries (this would be a big challenge).

I’m hoping to have a demo unit in the near future to play with, and it looks like they are aiming for shippable units to be available by late November. In the meantime, if you want more information head on over to the runScribe page on Kickstarter. You can also check out the runScribe website, of follow runScribe on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date on development and release timelines.

]]>
http://runblogger.com/2014/08/runscribe-launches-wearable-running-biomechanics-data-collection-device-on-kickstarter.html/feed 7
Merrell AllOut Rush Trail Shoe Review http://runblogger.com/2014/08/merrell-allout-rush-trail-shoe-review.html http://runblogger.com/2014/08/merrell-allout-rush-trail-shoe-review.html#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 12:30:06 +0000 http://runblogger.com/?p=5361

You just finished reading Merrell AllOut Rush Trail Shoe Review! Consider leaving a comment!

Save money on running shoes - CLICK HERE to view current coupons and promotions on the Runblogger deal page!

For more great running content, check out the current discussions on the Runblogger Forum.

]]>
Merrell AllOut RushI first saw the Merrell AllOut Rush at a meeting with the brand in Spring 2013. They were introducing the new AllOut line, and the emphasis was on added cushion while retaining some of the features that people like about the Merrell Barefoot/M-Connect collections. I was intrigued by the shoes since I’ve always felt that shoes like the Merrell Bare Access we just a bit too firm for my road running taste – add a bit of softer cushion and they’d be a great match for me.

I received the AllOut Rush last winter (Disclosure: these were media samples provided free of charge by Merrell), and it’s taken me a long time to get to this review. The main reason is because my experience with the shoes has been rather mixed. However, I believe in writing honest reviews, so I’m going to lay out my feelings on them here. I’d also be curious to hear about your experience with the Rush if you’ve tried them.

Merrell AllOut Rush side

Most of my initial runs in the AllOut Rush were during last winter, and so were on a mix of packed snow, ice, and intermittent bare asphalt. Though traction was good, the shoes just did not feel right on my feet. My expectation was a cushier ride given the added sole stack relative to other Merrell models I have run in, but the shoes felt surprisingly firm under all conditions, and particularly harsh on the stretches of road that I had to cover (and in fairness tom Merrell, this is not intended as a road shoe). I stopped running in them for a long time as a result. Last month I spent two weeks in northern Vermont and decided to take the shoes with me for a second chance – my feelings remained pretty similar, too firm a running shoe for my taste even on dirt roads and trails. It’s worth noting that Thomas Neuberger over at Believe in the Run had similar feelings about the ride of this shoe. (However, as I’ll get to below, I have found them to be great casual and light hiking shoes.)

While on the subject of cushion, there is some discrepancy between what Merrell reports for stack height (24.5mm heel, 18.5mm forefoot) vs. what Running Warehouse reports (28mm heel, 17mm forefoot). I just measured my pair and got 23mm heel, 16mm forefoot, but they have been broken in so my numbers are likely closer to Merrell’s numbers if it were a fresh shoe.

Merrell AllOut Rush sole

One thing to note about the stack height numbers in this shoe, and I think this influences the ride considerably, is that 8.5mm of the stack height is attributable to the luggy, rubber outsole. Simply stated, there is a lot of rubber on the bottom of this shoe. Much of the outsole is also continuous Merrell AllOut sole inserts– there are no breaks for flex grooves, so it makes it hard to compress the midsole in any given spot. I’m wondering if this helps to contribute to the firm-feeling ride. Merrell did also include firmer midsole plates under the heel and forefoot (see photo at right) and this might further add to the firm feel.

One of the issues that arises with the extensive outsole on this shoe is that it affects the way the shoe is balanced from a weight standpoint. Running Warehouse reports a weight of 9.1oz in men’s size 9 for the Rush, so it’s not a terribly heavy shoe. However, much of this weight is localized in the outsole, so it feels heavy under the foot. If I had to recommend a change for future iterations of the Rush it would be to maybe add some flex grooves to the outsole, or at least break it up in some way to reduce weight and improve the ability to compress the midsole cushion. I’m curious to try the Merrell AllOut Flash since it seems to incorporate many of these wishes (though it is a more road-oriented shoe).

Merrell AllOut Rush PuckeringOne final, minor complaint about the Rush before we get to the good stuff. When my buddy Nate got these shoes he notice that the forefoot upper tends to pucker when you cinch down the laces at the bottom of the lace row. He has narrower feet than me so the puckering was quite apparent. I have noticed this as well but on a much smaller scale and it has not interfered with comfort in my case (you can see the puckering in the photo to the left).

Given what I’ve written so far it might sound like the AllOut Rush was a total disaster for me. For running, yes, I’d say it has not been a good match. However, I have used the Rush extensively as a casual shoe and for light hiking, and for both purposes it has been excellent (and it’s also a great looking shoe from a design standpoint). My sense is really that the Rush should have been marketed more as a light hiker than as a trail running shoe because it excels in this area. I’ve done multiple short hikes in them, and the firmness ceases to be an issue. Furthermore, the extensive outsole becomes a plus for protection and grip on the trail. The weight balance also feels more boot-like than running-shoe like and so the Rush feels more at home in the hiking environment.

Another thing I really like about the Rush is the fit. The shoe fits like a typical Merrell Barefoot shoe (e.g., like the Bare Access or Trail Glove) so it has a nice, snug fit in the heel through forefoot and a great, roomy toebox. I particularly love that the Merrell toebox is accommodating near the big toe – you can see in the photo below how the forefoot does not curve inward abruptly in this area as it does in many other shoes. This allows for solid toe splay, and makes the shoes very comfortable for all-day wear.

Merrell AllOut Rush top

The upper of the Rush is minimally structured but is made of a relatively thick material. It does a good job of keeping the foot warm, and makes this a great all-around casual cool-weather shoe. And in winter the lugs make it great for walks in the snow and over crusty ice.

Conclusions

The Merrell AllOut Rush did not work out well for me as a running shoe – it felt too firm underfoot and I felt like the weight-balance was more boot-like than running shoe-like. However, due to its comfortable fit and performance as a light hiker and winter casual shoe, the Rush will likely remain on my shoe rack for the foreseeable future. If you like a firm feeling, luggy trail shoe with a fair amount of stack height, then the Merrell AllOut Rush might be worth a shot (we all have different preference!).

Purchasing Options

The Merrell AllOut Rush is available for purchase in the US from Running Warehouse, in multiple colorways at Zappos, and at Amazon.com. Outside of the US it can be purchased at Amazon UK or one of the many Merrell country-specific websites (e.g. Merrell UK here, Merrell Canada here). Purchases from these retailers provide a small commission to this site and help me to keep pumping out reviews like this one – your support is much appreciated!

]]>
http://runblogger.com/2014/08/merrell-allout-rush-trail-shoe-review.html/feed 10
Finding a Runner’s High in Maine http://runblogger.com/2014/08/finding-a-runners-high-in-maine.html http://runblogger.com/2014/08/finding-a-runners-high-in-maine.html#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 14:24:29 +0000 http://runblogger.com/?p=5347

You just finished reading Finding a Runner’s High in Maine! Consider leaving a comment!

Save money on running shoes - CLICK HERE to view current coupons and promotions on the Runblogger deal page!

For more great running content, check out the current discussions on the Runblogger Forum.

]]>
Ben JumpingThe “Runner’s High” is an elusive thing. I sometimes think that non-runners believe that we all go out there in search of the high on every run. That running is some kind of addiction. Maybe it is, but I can honestly say that in the seven years that I’ve been running with purpose I’ve felt what I might describe as a runner’s high on only a few occasions. I can probably count them on one hand.

For me, a runner’s high is not so much a state of euphoria as it is a sense of strength and invincibility. You feel like you can tackle any obstacle placed in front of you. Big hill? No problem, just power up it. Steep downhill – let’s fly (kind of like my son in the photo at the top of this post)! Your legs have an energy that they don’t usually possess – hills that might reduce you to a slog one day feel like nothing when you are on a high, and you can run a minute or two per mile faster than your usual training pace and it feels like nothing.

Last Wednesday I experienced my first runner’s high in what feels like years. I was up in Maine for a final family fling before school starts back up (and my schedule normalizes again, something I need badly!). The day was pretty much a wash-out. I think it rained as much that day in some parts of the state as it had the rest of the summer combined. But I’m in the final stages of training for the VT 50K and I needed to get in some miles.

I headed out with a plan to run 5 miles – up to the top of a ridge and back down. I told my wife that if she heard thunder she should come pick me up (thankfully it held off). The first mile was a 9:00 slog, wasn’t feeling great and I wasn’t optimistic about the run ahead. But things started to click in mile two as I loosened up and the rain started to fall a little harder. I headed up a 250 foot climb to the ridge top where I was going to turn around, and I was feeling so good I decided to add a loop along the ridge to add some distance. That’s when it hit, I suddenly began to feel a strength in my legs that has been missing for most of the summer.

I clicked off mille three in 7:35, then mile four in 7:00 and I kept feeling stronger. The rain had soaked my shirt and I was starting to feel a bit of nipple chafe so I took it off (going shirtless a rarity for me, but I’ve dropped a bit over 10 pounds this year so I wasn’t too self-conscious!). There’s something about running with nothing more than a pair of shorts and shoes on that is freeing, and doing it in the rain feels even better. Mile five went by in 6:57, mile six in 6:52.

During mile seven I headed back down the ridge and clipped off a 6:35. And for the final 0.6 I headed back up a hill toward home at 6:44 pace. I don’t think I’ve strung together 3 consecutive sub 7:00 miles since my last 5K in May, and it felt great to do so on a training run. I was elated!

I’m not sure what precipitated my runner’s high on that day. Maybe it was the cool, wet weather that felt so different from many of the hot slogs I’ve dealt with over the past few months. It allowed me to realize that my training has been paying off even if it hasn’t felt like it for much of the summer. Maybe it was simply running in a different place than I’m used to. Maybe it’s just a flukey thing that happens from time to time and it’s not possible to predict when. Maybe it was the confluence of all of these things. Whatever it was, I wish I could bottle that feeling and uncork it on the day of the VT 50K – I’m going to need all the help I can get!

How about you – have you ever experienced a runner’s high? Any thoughts on what triggers one for you?

]]>
http://runblogger.com/2014/08/finding-a-runners-high-in-maine.html/feed 9
This Week in Runblogging: August 11 to August 17 2014 http://runblogger.com/2014/08/this-week-in-runblogging-august-11-to-august-17-2014.html http://runblogger.com/2014/08/this-week-in-runblogging-august-11-to-august-17-2014.html#comments Sun, 17 Aug 2014 15:13:56 +0000 http://runblogger.com/?p=5324

You just finished reading This Week in Runblogging: August 11 to August 17 2014! Consider leaving a comment!

Save money on running shoes - CLICK HERE to view current coupons and promotions on the Runblogger deal page!

For more great running content, check out the current discussions on the Runblogger Forum.

]]>
Saucony ZealotYesterday I ran 17.25 miles, my longest run in over a year and it went quite well! I’m in the final stretch of training for the Vermont 50K in late September, and my goal is to get at least one 20 miler in before the race (maybe two if I can bear it, still don’t like running those long runs alone on the roads…). I really have no idea what the race will hold for me, and no real goal in terms of time. I’m feeling strong, but I’ve only run one 50K before and not sure how I’ll handle the distance or elevation change. Only one way to find out I guess!

After VT my only real goal for the Fall is to shoot for a 5K PR, hopefully in October or November. Last week I felt like my training over the past 4-5 months really started to pay off, so I’m hoping this will result in some strong performances in the coming months!

Shoes I Ran in Last Week

adidas Adios Boost 2 (17.5 miles), Newton Fate (17.25 miles), Newton Kismet (7.5 miles)

Runblogger Posts from Last Week

New Shoe Previews: New Balance Zante and Boracay, Altra Superior 2.0, Instinct 3.0, and Salomon Sense X-Series
August 12, 2014 – Previews of new shoes from the 2014 Summer OR Show

New Shoe Previews: Brooks Launch 2, Saucony Zealot, Skechers GoMeb Speed 3
August 11, 2014 – Previews of new shoes from the 2014 Summer OR Show

Recommended Running Posts From Around the Web

1. Thomas Neuberger has been posting daily updates of his experience running the 2014 Transrockies Run. Looks like a blast of an event! Start from the beginning here.

2. Can pickle juice really cure muscle cramps? Find out here in a post by John Davis on Level Renner.

Skora Fit3. Three shoe reviews: Steve Speirs on the Hoka Clifton, Derek Oxley on the Hoka Huaka, and Gordon Harvey takes on the Skora Fit (pictured at left).

4. Steve Magness takes a look at the psychological effects of exercise deprivation. He discusses a study in which researchers made runners and triathletes take two weeks off and found that “Following the layoff, the athletes saw significant increases in feelings of tension, depression, anger, confusion and total mood disturbance. Additionally, there was a decrease in vigor. These changes in mood aren’t terribly surprising, but it’s pretty profound when you think about it. Just by taking someone outside of their norm of aerobic exercise for 2 short weeks, people’s mood states were significantly impacted.”

5. Joe Uhan on iRunFar discusses the “best running exercise that no one is doing.”

6. DC Rainmaker goes behind the scenes at Wahoo Fitness.

7. Mark Matthews discusses the 12 real causes of his running injuries.

8. Craig Payne of Run Research Junkie takes a balanced look at whether orthoses are effective at treating Achilles tendinopathy. I particularly like and agree with his emphasis that we need more studies that link biomechanical research with actual clinical outcomes – we need more and better clinical trials that assess effectiveness of interventions on specific running injuries. In the shoe world for example, do minimal shoes or those with max cushion actually benefit those with knee injuries? Biomechanical data and anecdotal accounts suggest the possibility, but a clinical trial would be very beneficial. Same goes for a lot of running form interventions.

9. Austin Bonds of Running Write discusses cushioning preferences in running shoes.

]]>
http://runblogger.com/2014/08/this-week-in-runblogging-august-11-to-august-17-2014.html/feed 2
Running Warehouse Sales: Additional 25% Off Clearance Apparel and Hoka Markdowns http://runblogger.com/2014/08/running-warehouse-sales-additional-25-off-clearance-apparel-and-hoka-markdowns.html http://runblogger.com/2014/08/running-warehouse-sales-additional-25-off-clearance-apparel-and-hoka-markdowns.html#respond Wed, 13 Aug 2014 13:42:49 +0000 http://runblogger.com/?p=5259

You just finished reading Running Warehouse Sales: Additional 25% Off Clearance Apparel and Hoka Markdowns! Consider leaving a comment!

Save money on running shoes - CLICK HERE to view current coupons and promotions on the Runblogger deal page!

For more great running content, check out the current discussions on the Runblogger Forum.

]]>
RunningWarehouseAdQuick post and heads up – my advertising partner Running Warehouse is having a summer sale on clearance running apparel. This includes shirts, singlets, shorts, jackets, and pants/tights.

In addition to the existing markdown, you can take an additional 25% off using code AUG25D. Sale ends on August 17, 2014.

THE APPAREL SALE HAS ENDED AS OF AUGUST 17

Additionally, Running Warehouse has marked down some models of Hoka One One shoes for liquidation (20-40% off). Given that MSRP on new Hokas is pretty steep, this might be a good entry point if you have been curious to try a pair.

View men’s liquidation Hoka shoes (scroll to bottom of page after clicking over).

View women’s liquidation Hoka shoes (scroll to bottom of page after clicking over).

As always, thank you for your support!

]]>
http://runblogger.com/2014/08/running-warehouse-sales-additional-25-off-clearance-apparel-and-hoka-markdowns.html/feed 0
New Shoe Previews: New Balance Zante and Boracay, Altra Superior 2.0, Instinct 3.0, and Salomon Sense X-Series http://runblogger.com/2014/08/new-shoe-previews-new-balance-zante-and-boracay-altra-superior-2-0-instinct-3-0-and-salomon-sense-x-series.html http://runblogger.com/2014/08/new-shoe-previews-new-balance-zante-and-boracay-altra-superior-2-0-instinct-3-0-and-salomon-sense-x-series.html#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 12:30:42 +0000 http://runblogger.com/?p=5210

You just finished reading New Shoe Previews: New Balance Zante and Boracay, Altra Superior 2.0, Instinct 3.0, and Salomon Sense X-Series! Consider leaving a comment!

Save money on running shoes - CLICK HERE to view current coupons and promotions on the Runblogger deal page!

For more great running content, check out the current discussions on the Runblogger Forum.

]]>
Yesterday I provided previews of upcoming shoes from Brooks, Saucony and Skechers, and today we’ll take a look at new offerings from New Balance, Altra, and Salomon. As with yesterday’s post, photos and most of the info were provided by Sam Winebaum. Sam attends the Summer Outdoor Retailer Show each year and graciously offered to let me share what he found here.


New Balance Fresh Foam Boracay and Zante

New Balance is apparently ditching their numbering scheme for naming shoe models (hooray!!!), and the Fresh Foam 980 Road will be updated in the form of the New Balance Fresh Foam Boracay. Sam reports that the Boracay will weigh in at just under 10oz, and will retain it’s 4mm drop platform. I enjoyed running in the Fresh Foam 980 Road except for the fact that it had a pointy toebox – Sam indicates that the midsole is a wider platform in the Boracay so hopefully this will improve fit.

New Balance Fresh Foam Boracay

New Balance Fresh Foam Boracay – photo via Sam Winebaum

One of the new shoes I’m most excited about is the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante. My understanding is that the Zante is kind of a racier, lower profile Fresh Foam shoe. Sam reports that the Zante will weigh in under 8oz, have a 6mm heel-forefoot drop, and will retail for $100. Looks like my kind of shoe!

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante – photo via Sam Winebaum


Altra Superior 2.0 and Instinct 3.0

Altra introduced several new updates at OR. Sam provides details on all of them, and here I’ll feature the Superior 2.0 and Instinct 3.0.

I loved the original Altra Superior – is was roomy, low profile, and flexible. However, durability was a bit of an issue (for example, the sole on my pair is separating from the upper) and traction was not great. The Superior 1.5 was an upper update, but with version 2.0 the shoe gets a complete overhaul. Sam reports that the 2.0 adds a more aggressive outsole with 2mm more cushion yet drops 2.5 oz from v1.5.

Altra Superior 2.0 SoleAltra Superior 2.0

Altra Superior 2.0 – photos via Sam Winebaum

I had lunch with Altra co-founder Golden Harper a few weeks ago and got a sneak peak at the Instinct 3.0. Rather than their typical practice of doing an upper update to the 2.0 and releasing a 2.5, Altra decided to put the shoe through a complete overhaul and jump right to version 3.0. This may be due in part to frequent reports that the 2.0 is too soft compared to previous versions. Sam reports that version 3.0 will have a slightly thinner, firmer midsole compared to v2.

Altra Instinct 3.0

Altra Instinct 3.0 – photo via Sam Winebaum

In addition to the Superior and Instinct, Altra is also updating the Provision and Olympus. For more details on those head over to Sam’s Altra preview post.


Salomon Sense X-Series

Two of my favorite shoes so far this year have been the Salomon Sense Pro and Salomon Sense 3 Ultra. I ran over 50 miles on dirt roads and trails in the Ultras the when I was up in Vermont for the second half of July and loved them – should have a review up soon. I was excited to see Sam post about a new Salomon shoe called the S-Lab X-Series. Looks like this is kind of a road-trail version of the Sense with a bit softer heel cushion and a more road-worthy outsole.

Salomon Sense X-Series

Salomon S-Lab X-Series – photo via Sam Winebaum

Sam also provides some photos of the Sense 4 Ultra and Sense 4 Soft-Ground.

That’s it for now, if I find any more info on new shoes introduced at OR I’ll be sure to share!

]]>
http://runblogger.com/2014/08/new-shoe-previews-new-balance-zante-and-boracay-altra-superior-2-0-instinct-3-0-and-salomon-sense-x-series.html/feed 6