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hoka one one Reviews

HOKA ONE ONE CLIFTON 8 REVIEW

THE BUZZ

The HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 8 is a fast, cushy and comfortable maximally cushioned everyday trainer. The Clifton is the shoe that really started the max-cushion shoe revolution a decade ago and now the eighth version raises the bar to new levels.

Our wear-testers believe the HOKA Clifton 8 is the best version of the Clifton yet.

HOKA Clifton 8 Review

WHAT’S NEW

The Clifton 8 continues upon its past success, delivering an even softer, smoother ride than its predecessor.

A new, ultralight midsole foam, an updated engineered mesh upper, a revised outsole and a refined heel pull tab are some of the other highlights of this exceptional update.

The slightly updated engineered mesh upper is even more comfortable and secure than last year’s and equally as breathable. Plus, it provides better hold for a wider range of foot shapes and gait patterns.

The flat-waisted outsole is slightly wider than last year’s version, giving it a touch more inherent stability. There is a new hollowed out heel for a decoupling effect to smooth  the impacts of heel striking and there are new flex grooves that allow easier flexing during the second half of a stride.

Segments of rubber under the forefoot and heel for traction interspersed with exposed foam in between to keep the weight down.

The new midsole material is made from a new EVA foam compound that’s 15 percent lighter than the previous Clifton midsole.

It has a bit more pop than previous version, but it’s not exceptional springy or bouncy.

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The fit of the Clifton 8 is true to size with a medium to slightly narrow interior volume and a new curled design at the heel tab that reduces pressure against the Achilles tendon. (The Clifton is also available in a secondary width for men and women, too.)

The step-in feel is plush and luxurious — a soft sensation feeling and smooth and comfortable wrapping sensation from the upper. That’s similar to the previous two editions of the Clifton, so if you liked those appreciate this edition as well.

What sets this version of the Clifton apart are the ride and the vibe. The softer, lighter midsole foam make this shoe feel faster and more nimble for all types of running.

It feels slightly more energetic than the previous versions of the Clifton, but the ride is all about soft, shock-absorbing comfort. 

HOKA Clifton 8 Review

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

C’mon, who wouldn’t like the Clifton 8? Just as HOKA changed the game with the original Clifton, the eighth edition can be a game-changer for just about any runner.

It’s light and soft enough to run fast and long, but cushy enough to run slower over any distance. New runners, runners who appreciate soft cushioning or light shoes and competitive runners should all like this shoe for the comfort and agility it provides.

It could definitely be a race-day shoe for 10K to the half marathon (and maybe the marathon for runners who are strong and stable), but it really excels as an everyday trainer.

HOKA Clifton 8 Review Pros

PROS: HOKA CLIFTON 8

As with all HOKA shoes, the Clifton 8 features the brand’s early stage Meta-Rocker profile design. That feature produces a rolling sensation in every stride that both reduces the ground force impact and eases the foot’s transition to the toe-off phase.

The Clifton 8 is a vegan-certified shoe, which means it is made from 100 percent vegan materials.  The lightweight combination of softness, liveliness and comfort allow the Clifton to be a stunning everyday trainer.

It feels good running shorter or slower, but it feels exception when you bump up the pace for tempo runs or intervals. And most runners will enjoy this for longer runs between 10 and 20 miles.

HOKA Clifton 8 Review Cons

CONS: HOKA CLIFTON 8

There aren’t many knocks against the Clifton 8, but neutral runners who prefer or need more stability for longer runs might find it slightly less stable than they’d like.

TECH SPECS

HOKA Clifton 8 tech specs

SHOP HOKA CLIFTON 8

Mens HOKA Clifton 8 Review
MEN’S HOKA CLIFTON 8 COMING SOON
Womens HOKA Clifton 8 Review
WOMEN’S HOKA CLIFTON 8 COMING SOON
Categories
New Balance Uncategorized

NEW BALANCE FRESH FOAM MORE V3

New Balance Fresh Foam More v3

THE BUZZ with Nick

A premium maximally cushioned trainer, the neutral-oriented New Balance Fresh Foam More v3 is one of the softest and most comfortable running shoes available this season.

The Fresh Foam midsole serves up a marshmallowly soft, moderately energetic ride that absorbs shock, reduces impact and allows your feet to smoothly roll through the gait cycle from heel-strike to toe-off.

New Balance Fresh Foam More v3

WHAT’S NEW

New Balance retooled this shoe to improve the fit, flexibility, feel and ride. Among the key upgrades are a new soft and supportive engineered mesh upper, a more curvy rocker profile, a firm interior heel counter and a wider overall platform for added stability.

New Balance really improved the fit of this shoe, and it all starts with the smooth, soft and slightly stretchy upper. The molded tongue, padded heel collar, improved heel counter and upgraded lacing eyelets all contribute to an accommodating and secure fit for a wide range of foot shapes and gait patterns.

There’s a unique outsole rubber pattern on the bottom of the shoe, but it’s a huge improvement from the previous edition of the Fresh Foam More. It has firm, stabilizing rubber around the perimeter of the outsole, with slightly more structure on the medial (interior) side to help offset overpronation.

Small segments of strategically placed grippy rubber on the interior provide good traction on wet and dry surfaces, while a large section of exposed foam and lateral and horizonal flex grooves work in concern to smooth out the ride.

The updated rocker profile and added flexibility of the Fresh Foam More v3 have really improved the ride. The midsole/outsole chassis has a pronounced convex shape that creates a rolling sensation that helps guide your feet from touchdown to toe-off.

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The New Balance Fresh Foam More v3 fits true to size with a medium interior and a slightly spacious forefoot. The step-in feeling is luxurious, akin to the comfiest bedroom slippers you’ve ever worn.

Once you lace these shoes up, you’ll feel a nice wrap-like sensation from the much-improved soft, stretchy engineered mesh upper.

Combined with the secure and well-padded heel support, you will feel in control of what will feel like oversized marshmallows strapped to your feet.

There’s very little “feel” for the ground, but that’s not what this shoe is about. This shoe is about maximum cush! The ride feels squishy soft, slightly bouncy, moderately flexible and yet surprisingly stable and consistent. 

New Balance Fresh Foam More v3

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

The Fresh Foam More v3 is for runners who appreciate and enjoy running in soft, well-cushioned shoes that offer some inherent stability. (For runners who like the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 shoes, you’ll find some fit and feel similarities and a lot more cush under your feet.)

It could be an everyday training shoe, but that depends on the runner. It’s great for consistent slow and moderate paces, but it lacks the giddy-up for up-tempo running (not nearly as much as the 1080s) and trying to run faster in it for long distances can feel fatiguing.

It’s not a race-day shoe unless your goal is aimed at finishing and not reaching a performance-oriented training goal.

New Balance Fresh Foam More v3

PROS: NEW BALANCE FRESH FOAM MORE V3

 

 

The key element of this shoe is the Fresh Foam midsole compound. It’s the softest and most compliant foam New Balance has developed, but it also provides enhanced cushioning and a little stability via the large laser-engraved concave shapes and the convex cutaways in the medial and lateral sidewalls of the midsole.

The overall footprint of this shoe is impressively wide — one of the widest available in 2021. That generally creates a feeling of inherent stability for most runners, but it does limit the shoe’s agility a bit.

Overall the Fresh Foam More v3 feels more soft and stable than it does lively and bouncy. In other words, it’s more like a luxury SUV than a rev-ed up sports car. It has loads of plush comfort and a smooth, consistent ride, but lacks agility and energetic pop.

For comparison’s sake, the Fresh Foam More v3 might be what you would get if you mixed the HOKA One One Bondi 7 and the New Balance 1080v11 into cake batter and put it in the oven. The result is a sweet, tasty and soft shoe and the frosting on top is its long-haul comfort.

New Balance Fresh Foam More v3

CONS: NEW BALANCE FRESH FOAM MORE V3

There’s not much to dislike if you like cushy shoes, but there is no way around that the Fresh Foam More v3 is a big, wide shoe with a lot of girth. If you prefer lighter, more agile shoes with more “feel” for the ground, this is not a shoe for you.

TECH SPECS

New Balance More v3 Tech Specs

NEW BALANCE FRESH FOAM MORE V3 COMING SOON

New Balance Fresh Foam More v3
 

 

Categories
Find Your Fit Uncategorized

FIND YOUR FIT: BEST SHOES FOR LONG RUNS

Best Running Shoes for Long Runs

LONG RUNS: WHY THEY ARE IMPORTANT

If you look at most traditional marathon training plans, odds are you will find a scheduled weekly long run in there, usually topping off at about 20 miles at the peak of the training cycle. It’s important for your body to build up its aerobic endurance in order to perform well on race day. Long runs also help teach your body how to be more efficient in its energy usage and oxygen processing. This education of the body through high-mileage workouts is great for every runner, not just folks training for longer races like a marathon.

While there are many benefits to adding a longer workout to your weekly training repertoire, there are a few things you have to watch out for. 

While we focus on building leg strength and aerobic endurance through adding on the miles, we must not forget who is taking the pounding the most with every step: YOUR FEET! 

As you add on the miles, your feet need all the help they can get to help cushion the impact of every stride. Which brings us to your choice in footwear…

FIND YOUR FIT FOR YOUR LONG RUN

Not all shoes are built for the same distance. Some shoes are lighter and made for tempo runs and short distance races. Some shoes have carbon-fiber woven into the midsole for snappy transitions in long-distance racing. And some shoes have an extra amount of cushioning built into the midsole for when you want to crank out a high-mileage workout.

A max-cushion shoe is the perfect choice for anyone looking to run 8+ miles in a single stretch. Here are our top picks for your go-to long run shoe.

BEST RUNNING SHOES FOR LONG RUNS 2021

Check out the list of the Best Running Shoes for long runs in 2021 below!

HOKA BONDI 7

Hoka Bondi 7 - Cushion

HOKA is no stranger to the idea of high-cushion running shoes. But if you really want to go all-out and give your feet the luxury they deserve, then look no further than the Hoka Bondi 7. 

The Bondi 7 is HOKA’s highest-cushion shoe, weighing in at 10.7oz — that means even more material between your foot and the ground. It also comes with a newly updated plush heel collar, made from ultra-soft memory foam. If you are gonna be in those bad boys for 60+ minutes, you might as well be as comfortable as possible right?

Shop HOKA Bondi 7

HOKA Mach 4Men's HOKA Mach 4 Shoe Review

While we are on the subject of HOKA, we would be remise if we didnt mention to the new darling style that is quickly becoming everyones favorite: The HOKA Mach 4

This 4th generation model has taken several leaps forward in its design and performance capability. The Mach 4 is designed for logging long miles, BUT has the responsiveness and energy return of a high-quality race shoe. Weighing in at only 6.77oz, this trainer might just be the best speed shoe for long runs we have seen in awhile. 

If you are someone looking to test your speed at longer distances on a weekly basis, the HOKA Mach 4 is your best bet. 

Shop HOKA Mach 4

NEW BALANCE 1080v11New Balance 1080 v11 - women's

Speaking of LUXURY… the ultra-premium NEW BALANCE 1080v11 is NB’s answer to the question of how to best protect your feet from high-mileage activity.

Containing their Fresh Foam material, the impact of each step feels less intense and harsh on the foot. Plus, they have made their knit upper even more breathable and even stretchier than the last version, meaning your foot feels the love all around.

Shop NEW BALANCE 1080V11

ON CLOUDULTRAOn Cloudultra

ON’s solution to protecting your feet on long runs is manifested in their high-mileage trail shoe, the ON Cloudultra

What makes this shoe so unique is the the double the amount of Helion superfoam to help cushion every stride on your ultra-distance runs.

More clouds, more cushioning, more run. 

Shop ON CLOUDULTRA

ASICS GEL-NIMBUS 23

ASICS Nimbus 23

Positioned as their go-to trainer for long-run impact absorption, the ASICS Gel-Nimbus 23 is a perfect choice for logging lots of miles. Only weighing in at 9.2oz, the shoe’s use of the ASICS GEL technology provides the shoe with sufficient shock absorption without the need for extra material. 

The Gel-Nimbus 23 also has gender-specific cushioning pillars, designed to provide optimized cushion placement for every runner.

Shop  ASICS GEL-NIMBUS 23

FOUND YOUR FIT?

Found the one that’s right for you in this list? AWESOME! If not, check out the JackRabbit Fit Finder

Now go forth and crank out all those miles!

 

Categories
Training

WHAT TO EXPECT: EXERCISE POST COVID-19 VACCINE

By now many of you have either received your COVID-19 vaccination or have started to get your appointment(s) planned.

That should bring a huge relief, relative to the coronavirus anxiousness of the past year, but that doesn’t mean you should jump right back into hard workouts right away. 

Daily running, trail running and triathlon training is important to all of us, but it’s important to take a few precautions relative to the timing of your vaccination shots, according to Boulder, Colorado, running coaches David Roche and Megan Roche, M.D. They recommend avoiding hard workouts, long runs and especially difficult training weeks just before and for three or four days after receiving a vaccination. 

Exercise post vaccine

The only real risk of exercising after a COVID-19 vaccine is that some of the side effects may reduce the quality of your workout and make it less enjoyable overall. There is no evidence that exercising right before or right after the vaccine would impact the effectiveness of the vaccine, says Dr. Humberto Choi, M.D., a pulmonologist at Cleveland Clinic who has treated hundreds of COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit. However, exercise could increase the intensity of some of the known side effects. 

While the side effects of the first dose of the Pfizer and Moderna shots have generally been reported as mild, those side effects have been more prevalent after the second dose of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Common side effects, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) include pain, redness, and swelling on the arm where you got the shot as well as tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea.

“We also try to avoid having athletes do very hard workouts or long runs just before receiving the vaccine,” the Roches said in an article in Trail Runner on April 12. “And assuming no severe reactogenicity, we still try to avoid very hard workouts or races in the three full days after the first dose, and four full days after the second dose.”

They’ve also seen some of the athletes they coach return to normal training and express increased fatigue or soreness three to seven days after a vaccine dose. They believe that delayed response could be due to the interaction of the immune response with other life and training stresses and suggest taking more rest as needed.

Exercise post vaccine

Furthermore, the Roches reported they have also seen anecdotes of a minor amount of short-term changes to the menstrual cycle in some athletes, including increased premenstrual symptoms, shorter cycles, heavier cycles or missed cycles, but that could also be a random association. If you have any unusual symptoms, they recommend consulting your doctor. 

Keep in mind, that vaccinations take two or three weeks for full efficacy and you should still practice social distancing and wear a mask to avoid the chance of spreading the disease to others. Whether you feel well enough to run, bike or swim after your COVID-19 vaccine depends on which side effects, if any, you experience. 

As a rule of thumb, Dr. David Wyles, an infectious disease specialist at Denver Health recommends listening to your body. If, post-vaccination, you don’t feel well enough to exercise or just feel a little “blah” and don’t feel like it, take a rest day. Missing a track workout, long run, group run or even an online class might be a disappointment, but it will benefit you in the long run to rest or take it easier for a few days.

Depending on the type and intensity of your side effects, you may consider doing a gentler version of your standard workout. For instance, if your arm is achy but the rest of your body feels fine, you may modify an interval workout on the track to a more moderate fartlek run with fewer bouts of speed. If you have a 12-mile long run planned, consider cutting it in half and making up the mileage later in the month. If you have a strength session or a HIIT workout on your schedule, do a milder version or just put it off for a few days. 

If there is a bright spot to not having many races to run, it’s that it gives us plenty of time to take a break from our training. There will be plenty of time to get back to your hard training and racing.

Mike Wardian, an ultrarunner and marathoner from Arlington, Va., says he had a bit of nausea and fatigue after getting his second Moderna shot in early April, but that didn’t stop him from running a 17-mile run the same day. Still, most elite athletes have reported taking it easy to not risk any lingering fatigue.

Simon Grannetia, an elite-level distance runner training in Colorado for the 2021 Olympics, received the Pfizer vaccination shots in April and decided back off his training a bit and wait a week before his next hard workout on the track. He said he didn’t feel a thing after his first injection, but he had a sore arm at the point of the injection and a bit of fatigue after his second.

“I just ran easy and got more rest after my second shot,” Grannetia says. “I didn’t want to risk any disruption of my training so I figured a few extra days of moderate running and getting more rest and sleep would be good for me anyway and benefit me down the road.”  

Categories
Nike Reviews

NIKE AIR ZOOM PEGASUS 38 REVIEW

THE BUZZ

The best-selling running shoe model of all-time, the Air Zoom Pegasus has evolved considerably since initial launch in 1983. The updated Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 retains the familiar vibe of being a versatile, workhorse with a good balance of cushioning and performance for a wide range of runners. 

Nike Pegasus 38 Review

WHAT’S NEW

While most Nike running shoes have a snug fit from heel to toe, the Pegasus 38 has been built on a new last and offers slightly more room in the toe box than last year’s Pegasus 37 and similar to the fit and feel of the Pegasus 36. The tongue is extra cushy but is not gusseted, while a new midfoot webbing system allows runners to lace up to a personalized fit.

The tuned, dual-function midsole carries over from the Air Zoom Pegasus 37 with a full-length layer of springy and durable Nike React foam that delivers cushioned responsiveness and smooth transition and a forefoot Zoom Air unit that provides a pop of responsive energy return. It’s soft but not squishy soft, allowing it to give a good amount of rebound “pop” as you head to the toe-off phase of a stride.

A wider forefoot means more space for your toes, while the shoe’s fit maintains the comfortable feel you expect from the Pegasus. The new engineered mesh upper feels breathable and plush while stretching with your foot for a comfortable shape and fit. If you thought the Pegasus 37 was too snug in the forefoot and slipped a little bit in the heel, you’ll appreciate the revised shape and fit of the Pegasus 38.

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The fit of the Pegasus 38 has been considerably upgraded from the previous edition. In place of the gusseted tongue of Pegasus 37, a new midfoot webbing that connects the laces to a fit band that helps provide a snug, accommodating feel when you tighten the laces. 

The Pegasus 38 fits true to size with a low- to medium-volume interior that provides a snug fit in the heel and midfoot but a slightly more relaxed feeling in the forefoot.

The step-in feel is comfortable but not excessively plush, offering a nice balance between soft cushioning and a good feel for the road.

There’s a cushy, shock-absorbing feeling in the heel and an energetic sensation in the forefoot, a combination that is key to the shoe’s versatility and the true vibe of the Pegasus 38.

The bottom line is that it fits a lot of foot shapes, provides a very fluid ride and serves up dependable and consistent performance.

Nike Pegasus 38 Review

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

Versatility has always been one of the best aspects of the Pegasus, both in terms of its range of performance and the range of runners who will enjoy it.

New runners will likely love it for the comfort, fit and ability to handle any kind of workout, while more experienced runner will appreciate its energetic performance ideal for tempo runs and progression runs.

It can be the only training shoe in your quiver or one you rely on for up-tempo running once a week. While it’s not as fast as other modern race shoes, our wear-testers think it could suffice for 5K to half marathon distances.

Nike Pegasus 38 Review

PROS: NIKE PEGASUS 38

Nike calls the Pegasus “your workhorse with wings,” and that’s a pretty good description for a shoe that is hard-working and robust but also moderately light and energetic. It’s a moderately priced shoe that offers considerable value with its versatility and durability.

The Pegasus 38 can be whatever you need it to be, depending on what your training schedule says. Although it’s not as soft as your favorite long run shoes or as energetic as your race-day shoes, it is soft and lively enough for 10- to 20-mile efforts. It can also handle fartlek runs, tempo runs and longer interval sessions like 800m or mile repeats.

The outsole has a similar dual-density rubber configuration with an array of small rubber knobs that provide traction and softness as needed. The outsole is both durable and flexible and doesn’t feel like it limits the otherwise smooth flex of the shoe.

Nike Pegasus 38 Review

CONS: NIKE PEGASUS 38

There’s really no negative aspects to the Pegasus 38, except perhaps that it’s firmly in the middle of everything. There are other shoes that are softer, cushier and more energetic. The Pegasus has all of those things, but not at a premium level.

TECH SPECS

Nike Pegasus 38 Tech Specs

SHOP NIKE PEGASUS 38

Mens Nike Pegasus 38
MEN’S NIKE PEGASUS 38 COMING SOON
Womens Nike Pegasus 38
WOMEN’S NIKE PEGASUS 38 COMING SOON

Categories
Reebok

REEBOK’S SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

When it comes to sustainability in the running industry, Reebok is leading the way. Reebok’s goal is to create innovative solutions that will help build a fitter planet without impacting performance. This is achieved by sourcing their product materials from nature or from processed plastic waste.

By 2030, Reebok plans to have 100% of their products be sustainable. Reebok measures sustainability by the following product categories: 

  • [REE]GROW – made with at least 50% plant-based materials
  • [REE]CYCLED – minimum of 30% of the upper is recycled materials.
  • Vegan
  • Better cotton
  • Organic cotton
  • Color with care

Let’s take a deeper look at Reebok’s current sustainable product offering with the Reebok Forever Floatride Grow, Reebok Floatride Energy Grow and Reebok Nano X1 Vegan.

Rebook Forever Floatride Grow

REEBOK FOREVER FLOATRIDE GROW

PERFORMANCE RUNNING SHOES MADE WITH AT LEAST 50% PLANT-BASED MATERIALS

Sustainable doesn’t mean sacrificing quality and performance. Reebok Forever Floatride Grow is a neutral running shoe made with at least 50% plant-based materials to reduce petroleum-based plastics, one step at a time. The midsole is comprised of castor beans which provides a high-performance, lightweight and responsive cushioning.

A BLOOM algae EVA socklier in the the Forever Floatride Grow adds comfortable cushion underfoot for a soft ride.

The Forever Floatride Grow upper is made of flexible eucalyptus tree textile which is very breatheable. The outsole is comprised of natural rubber which creates a flexible and durable running shoe.

Read more on Reebok Forever Floatride Grow

SHOP FOREVER FLOATRIDE GROW

Reebok Floatride Energy Grow

REEBOK FLOATRIDE ENERGY GROW

REEBOK’S NEWEST ITERATION IN SUSTAINABLE PERFORMANCE FOOTWEAR

Floatride Energy GROW combines the award-winning Floatride Energy 3.0 with the commitment and responsibility to protect the environment and strive to create a fitter planet. 

Floatride Energy GROW is an industry-leading shoe within Reebok’s [REE]GROW category, which guarantees the product is made of at least 50% plant-based materials in an effort to reduce petroleum-based plastics, one step at a time.

Castor beans, eucalyptus, bloom algae, and natural rubber have been researched and tested to deliver on performance without compromise. 

Key features include:

  • Castor bean midsole, reformulated to improve durability and deliver responsive, lightweight cushioning mile after mile.
  • Durable, breathable eucalyptus upper, re-engineered for more structure and support to provide a better performance fit.
  • Natural rubber, providing a flexible outsole for traction and durability.
  • Bloom algae sockliner for added underfoot comfort.
  • Refined midsole geometry to provide more underfoot cushioning for a more supportive feel, combined with a beveled heel and increased toe-spring for a seamless heel-to-toe transition and a smooth underfoot ride.
  • Flared collar for comfort mile after mile.

SHOP REEBOK FLOATRIDE ENERGY GROW

Reebok Nano X1 Vegan

REEBOK NANO X1 VEGAN

Reebok’s gave their ultimate training shoe, the Nano X1, a sustainable makeover for Earth Month with the launch of the Nano X1 Vegan.

The Nano X1 Vegan is just as versatile and comfortable as you’d expect and it is an animal-free, USDA Certified Biobased Product featuring a minimum of 40% bio-based materials

The Nano X1 Vegan is made up of 100% animal-free materials and products. It features a castor bean oil and EVA foam midsole, cotton and wood spun yarn upper, and natural rubber outsole.

Top features of the Nano X1 Vegan include:

Comfort: fusing Reebok’s Floatride Energy cushioning of a running shoe while maintaining the performance and stability of a training shoe 

Speed: the sleek shape and design allow for maximum speed and runnability 

Control: providing designed stability to support varied workouts

REEBOK NANO X1 VEGAN COMING SOON

Categories
Reviews Saucony

SAUCONY FREEDOM 4 REVIEW

THE BUZZ

The Saucony Freedom 4 is a premium-level, neutral-oriented performance training shoe that inspires fast running, especially for short to medium-length runs. It’s light, cushy and energetic and comfortable with a flexible, low-to-the-ground feeling and a slipper-like feel.

Saucony Freedom 4 Review

WHAT’S NEW

The biggest improvement to the Freedom 4 is the replacement of the PWRRUN+ foam with the lighter, ever-so-slightly thicker and notably more energetic PWRRUN PB midsole.

There’s also a new engineered mesh upper and outsole, but it’s the lively foam that really upgrades the performance and experience of this shoe.

There are no stability mechanism built into the midsole of this shoe, but the nature of the PWRRUN PB foam is that it’s quite stable. So if you very mildly pronate, you’ll probably be fine wearing this shoe for everything except longer runs. But that stable sensation also makes this shoe a great shoe for the gym.

Another seemingly small but impactful change to the Freedom 4 is the overhaul of the outsole. Gone is the tacky, flexible crystal rubber and in its place is a firmer rubber in a new pattern that offers durability and traction but less softness.

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The Saucony Freedom 4 fits true to size, and similar to other Saucony models with a mildly cushioned medium to narrow interior volume.

The step-in feel has been enhanced by the new upper, which, along with a gusseted, slightly padded tongue, feels snug and comfortable as it cinches your foot down to the midsole.

Although it’s not a minimalist shoe, the Freedom 4 gives off a decidedly low-to-the-ground sensation. This allows you to engage the ground as you touch down, roll through the gait cycle and toe-off again.

You can feel the ground, but the midsole foam sufficiently absorbs shock and cushions each stride without bottoming out. As you roll through the midstance phase, you get a boost of forward propulsion. This is created from the energy stored in the compressed midsole foam.

It’s a distinct ride that feels very smooth, slightly firm and extremely energetic.

Saucony Freedom 4 Review

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

The Saucony Freedom 4 can serve a wide range of runners from beginners to lifelong runners, but it’s best for those who are condition to run in shoes with low heel-toe offsets.

What is heel-toe offset? That’s the difference in height off the ground where the heel sits inside the shoe and the height off the ground of where the toes sit inside the shoe.

The 4mm offset of the Freedom won’t feel dramatically different than a 6mm offset. However, it will feel a lot different than a shoe with a 10mm-13mm offset. If 4mm works for you, you’ll probably love this energetic shoe for faster workouts and tempo runs.

It can suffice for long runs for some runners and recovery runs for most, but the nature of the foam is such that it inspires faster, quick-cadence running. 

Saucony Freedom 4 Pros

PROS: SAUCONY FREEDOM 4

PWRRUN PB is a high-performance PEBA-based foam that debuted in Saucony’s stunning Endorphin Pro and Endorphin Speed shoes. Those racer/trainer shoes have a much firmer demeanor because they’re built with rigid plates.

There isn’t a plate in the Freedom 4, so the foam offers a more pliable but almost equally energetic feel and moderately bouncy ride. If you have run in Endorphin shoes, you’ll sense some similarities but also enjoy the more traditional flex pattern in the forefoot.

The meshy upper is silky soft as it wraps the specific shape of your feet without any binding. There’s little structure to it, except some suede overlays in the rear and forefoot and a TPU Saucony logo. It seems to help lock down the foot as it works in conjunction with the firm interior heel counter. 

Believe it or not, the upgrades to this shoe have actually given a runner’s feet less freedom. That’s not a bad thing at all, but it has a firmer feel than the all-way pliability of the Freedom 3.

Saucony Freedom 4 Cons

CONS: SAUCONY FREEDOM 4

Overall, this is a really good shoe, but the stretchy, semi-round tube laces are a slight detractor. They can be a bit cumbersome and more constrictive than traditional flat laces.

It’s an easy fix, though, because you can just replace them with any other pair of laces.

TECH SPECS

Saucony Freedom 4 Tech Specs

SHOP SAUCONY FREEDOM 4

Mens Saucony Freedom 4
MEN’S SAUCONY FREEDOM 4 COMING SOON
Women's Saucony Freedom 4
WOMEN’S SAUCONY FREEDOM 4 COMING SOON

Categories
Reviews Saucony

SAUCONY RIDE 14 REVIEW

THE BUZZ

The Saucony Ride 14 is a versatile and reliable neutral-oriented everyday training shoe with a soft, flexible demeanor and a do-everything mentality.

It’s a comfortable, smooth-riding workhorse with an accommodating fit and capable of high-mileage weekly volume and running at a variety of paces. 

Saucony Ride 14 Review

WHAT’S NEW

The significant changes include a new upper that’s more breathable and slightly more pliable, a cleaner look and a slightly updated shape.

But don’t take the lack of major updates as a sign that the Ride 14 is somehow a lackluster shoe. Much the opposite, the Ride 13 was so great that Saucony opted not to mess up a good thing.

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The Saucony Ride 14 fits true to size with a comfortably snug but not restrictive interior feel. Once you lace it up, it feels supple, cushy and flexible. The gusseted tongue and the new engineered mesh upper help cinch up your foot in the medium-volume interior.

The ride is smooth, flowy and semi-soft, but not bouncy. The eye stays holding the laces are far more pliable in this edition and now the suede-like overlays on the upper are separated, contributing to the softer flex in the front end of the shoe.

In general, it fits, feels and rides very similarly to the previous edition of the shoe. It’s not too flashy compared to some other models, but it is very comfortable, reliable and consistent.

The new shape and upper, combined with the dynamic midsole properties, give this edition of the Ride a slightly more nimble and athletic sensation out on the run. Each of those elements contributes to the fit and security. This allows you to pick up the pace for high-cadence running and turn corners with more agility.

The outsole of the Ride 14 has segments of both firmer and softer rubber for traction and durability. We appreciated the grip running along wet roads and sidewalks and through lingering spring snowmelt. We believe it will be a long-wearing shoe that should hold its form for several months (or upwards of 400 miles of running) before showing signs of wear.

Saucony Ride 14 Review

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

The Saucony Ride 14 has always been a great shoe for a wide range of runners. Beginners will love it for its comfort and fit, while more advanced runners will appreciate it for its versatility. It’s not overly cushy, but it’s not low-to-the-ground minimalist either.

If you want a jack/jill-of-all-trades for all of your weekly workout needs, the Ride 14 is a good choice. It’s a great long-run shoe, quick enough for tempo runs and could be a race-day shoe for a 5K to a half marathon.

It’s not an all-out speedster, so it won’t be as ideal for track workouts but it can get the job done in a pinch if called upon.

Saucony Ride 14 Review

PROS: SAUCONY RIDE 14

The best aspect of the Ride 14 is the moderately thick PWRRUN foam midsole layer. The EVA/TPU blend gives it an energetic vibe. This allows it to offer just the right amount of softness and just the right amount of responsiveness. Soft but not marshmallowy, resilient but not bouncy.

The upper features Saucony’s FormFit closure design that includes a thin, lightweight internal construction under the sturdier outer layer of the upper for a comfortable, near-custom, sock-like fit. It’s one of those shoes that feels like it becomes an extension of your foot. There’s no sloppy wiggle room once it’s laced up.

The heel-toe offset is a moderate at 8mm. No matter if you’ve run in shoes with a higher offset (12mm or so) or lower slope offset (4mm) you won’t have any trouble adjusting to this shoe.

Saucony Ride 14 Review

CONS: SAUCONY RIDE 14

The Ride is a great shoe, but it doesn’t have the technological bells and whistles of some other trainers — advanced foam or a nylon propulsion plate — so it might seem a little less inspiring during faster-paced running. But it gives good bang for the buck at $130.

TECH SPECS

Saucony Ride 14 Tech Specs

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Mens Saucony Ride 14
MEN’S SAUCONY RIDE 14 COMING SOON
Womens Saucony Ride 14
WOMMEN’S SAUCONY RIDE 14 COMING SOON
Categories
Races

BRAZOS BEND 50 MILER RACE RECAP

JackRabbit Marketing Guru, Laura Cortez took on the Brazos Bend 50 Miler this past weekend in Houston, TX. Check out her full race recap below.

50 miles by foot takes a long time. Doing it for your first time is also equally one of the longest and fastest experiences you’ll ever have. It’s kind of like those things where you’re so in-the-moment and rolling with punches because you don’t think it’s ever going to end, but then you blink and suddenly it’s all over and all that prep work you did to lead up to this moment has ended. This is how my first 50-mile race went, for the most part. 

On April 3 I participated in the Brazos Bend 50 down in Houston, TX to race the 50-miler. Due to COVID, instead of it being at a state park, the race took place at a horse ranch and consisted of 3 loops: Red (4.8mi)x2, Orange (7.3mi)x3 and Yellow (6.1mi)x3 – all filled with more sand than you’d hope. 

We started with the 100K racers at a dark 6 am start line. It was great, to one – be on a starting line again, and two – for us all to have done so much work to be ready and then to immediately head off in the wrong direction. It was clear that a lot of us we’re either not physically or mentally present during the pre-race brief literally 15-minutes prior to the start.

The race then continued just as anyone would have thought it to – in the dark, unable to really see the markings and just a group of 95 people with headlamps occasionally yelling “found it!” or “wrong way!” until the first loop was completed about an hour later. 

Community was formed from the start with how laughably poor we had paid any mind to directions. I found myself for the first few laps with the lead pack consisting of A.J., Josh and Garrett. We thankfully had plenty of time for introductions after realizing the sand would keep all of us from having any record-shattering performances. Even more – we all got along very well and were content with just figuring out the loops together for at least the first set.

With the first 18ish miles done, we were on our way to the second red loop. “Our” meaning mine and Josh’s, who I ended up running the rest of the race with. He stopped to grab some extra nutrition and I kept jogging, soon to find out in the wrong direction – again. Back on course, we decided it was time to be a bit more smart with everything. Walk when the sand is too deep and wastes energy, find the best sides to run on now so later it’s not even a decision, pay attention to what’s at the aid station tables. I felt really lucky to have had Josh with me – given that not only was he great at conversation, but he also had experience running 50 milers already.

After the last red lap at mile 22ish, we started on another Orange, which we had agreed was the best lap with the ‘least’ amount of sand. After starting with a vest, I had switched to a handheld while my pacer Julian – who couldn’t start until about halfway – refilled my soft flasks. Josh and I continued to flow easily through the miles just chatting about everything under the sun. It wasn’t until we were coming into the second Yellow lap and we had reached the halfway point and I started to question everything.

At roughly 50K, Julian was able to come in to pace, pass off my vest in exchange for the handheld and just be a refreshed and lively body to help Josh and I get out of the slump we were in. Simultaneously, this is where I also started to fall apart. After a hard fall at mile 32 and suddenly thankful for the bounty of sand to fall into, my hamstrings and IT bands started to suggest we stop. Everything was tight, my knee felt like it needed to pop and a full stride extension felt like it would rip my hamstrings apart. I wanted to cry but could only heave and then realized, oh wow my body is too tired to cry. That was a first. 

I was giving it my absolute all to stay with Josh but Julian was able to tell that wasn’t going to be smart and subtly helped me let Josh go. At the next aid station I decided it was time to eat everything. Half a PB&J, bag of potato chips, cups of blue gatorade, ginger ale and flat coke – it was the most euphoric moment I had ever experienced and suddenly I was whole. 

By mile 40, the gang was back together as in, we caught back up with Josh – which is a generous statement since it was more us yo-yoing back and forth with him. The jokes had largely stopped and the only thing we knew was we were almost done but still weren’t totally convinced. We were sitting in 3rd and 4th up until this point and we had fully mastered the fast shuffle. I continued to stop at every aid station to grab a PB&J and a flat coke, while Josh would let me know he was going to continue ‘meandering’ ahead but would wait for me to catch up.

It wasn’t until we finished the last Orange loop and were on the final Yellow that Josh more or less started racing me. Julian did his best to keep me going and for the first time in a couple hours, we went more than 2 miles without walking. My hamstrings felt like they were going to snap if I even tried to lengthen my stride by a centimeter, my right knee had lost most range of motion, my lower back was just continuing to spazz. I had never been in a position where the mindset was just to finish and to block out everything else around me and follow Julian’s steps. 

With about a mile to go, Josh had fully dropped me on a hill. I had never been more fine with being dropped in my life. The final stretch to the finish was about 200-meters long and lined with people sitting under their canopies or in their chairs clapping and cheering endlessly as all of the runners came through – no one really knowing who was in what race, but still very intimately part of every runner’s experience. 

I crossed the finish line in 7 hours, 36 minutes and 2 seconds, able to feel every millisecond of time we were out there. Shortly after I came through, our good pal Garrett made his way to the finishline too. We cheered for him and he cheered for us and A.J. who dropped us early on and never looked back, came over too to say hi and to digest what we all just went through. 

I don’t think I can stress enough the unique experience it was to not only share so much time – but also to have banded together at the start and to all have individually and silently decided that yes, these are the people I will rely on. That seems like a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence that also happened at the perfect time.

Categories
Adidas Icebreaker On Running Reebok Sustainability

FIND YOUR FIT: SAVING THE PLANET

SUSTAINABILITY IN THE RUNNING INDUSTRY

Sustainability in the Running Industry

RUNNING SUSTAINABLY

Protect Our Winters, Runners for Public Lands, Native Womens Wilderness are just a few organizations promoting outdoor activity while simultaneously promoting sustainably-minded practices.

It’s no secret that climate change is happening – and as runners, we tend to notice changes within our environments rather quickly. Whether it be more air pollution (hello, Denver!), decrease in annual snowfall or even dangerous increases in precipitation and rain. 

However, running sustainably means more than just wearing plastic-free and recycled gear. Sustainability starts at the beginning of the production process, ensuring workers have fair wages, human rights, benefits and more. Below are some of our brand partners that are focused on both sustainable products and human rights.

SUSTAINABLY SOURCED:  Our definition: Materials that have little to no impact on the environment, including production process and post-consumption.

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POWERED BY PLANTS WITH REEBOK

Reebok has sustainability locked-in when it comes to sustainability practices by releasing their [REE]GROW and [REE]CYCLED lines of footwear and apparel. Employing eucalyptus bark, castor bean oil, bloom algae, natural rubber and recycled polyester into their manufacturing has allowed Reebok to stay ‘ahead of the thread’. 

Sustainable products available: Reebok Floatride Energy 3.0, Reebok Forever Floatride Grow

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Icebreaker - Sustainability

ICEBREAKER MERINO SECRETS

For over 25 years, Icebreaker has led the way in outdoor sustainability apparel. Their secret? Dedication to sustainable methods…and their fan-favorite Merino wool. What is Merino?

 “Merino is super lightweight, soft, non-itchy, non-clammy, warm in the cold and cool in the heat. Plus, it has a miraculous ability to resist odor. Because it was made in the mountains rather than in a petrochemical laboratory. Merino wool fiber is naturally renewable, recyclable and biodegradable*.”

They have lofty goals of using only 100% natural fibers (goodbye, plastic!) by 2023. Beyond their materials, they look at the intersectionality of their workers + what sustainability means. We’re happy to have partners like them who exceed industry averages in labor practices, hours, wages, benefits and more. Learn more about their dedication to human rights here.

We’re happy to be able to sell a variety of icebreaker Merino apparel.

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QUICK SUSTAINABILITY TIP

Have shoes you no longer wear? Visit your local running store and ask if they have a donation bin for used shoes.

ABOUT THE LOOP

What is the loop? The loop is in reference to the lifecycle of a product. Instead of it going from production to business to consumer to waste, in a loop system the product is able to stay out of the landfill and looped back into recycling or other uses.

Adidas Sustainability

ADIDAS THREE LOOP STRATEGY

“Through sport, we have the power to change lives”

The team at adidas has a strong understanding of what it means to play for the environment. The were the first in the industry to bring eco-innovations to the mass market. They are founding members of Better Cotton, Leather Working Group and the Fair Labor Association. Their commitment has allowed adidas to pave a clear path for others to follow. Working toward a circular model (where products can be recycled, returned or remade once the user no longer needs it) has brought them to their Three Loop Strategy – Made with recycled materials, Made to be remade, Made to regenerate.

We’re proud to carry part of the adidas Parley collection. These adidas styles take plastic from the ocean and turns it into best-selling footwear.

Adidas sustainability: adidas TERREX Parley Agravic apparel

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On RunningSustainability

ON CIRCULAR PRODUCT

The founders of On have always talked about growing up in the Swiss mountains. As such, they’ve always had an extreme appreciation for the natural world around them.

Enter the On sustainability model.

Firstly, taking into account materials – their studies showed that materials used in their industry is responsible for up to 80% of their footprint, meaning these would be top of mind.

Secondly, it’s known that the apparel and footwear industries, that On is also part of, make up roughly 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Thirdly, they believe the future of product is a circular economy and that they have the power to make it so.

On admits they have a long road ahead of them. With that, they have joined CEO4Climate, an initiative for Swiss businesses that are pushing the Swiss government to adopt a progressive climate policy. 

On Sustainability: Trail Tights, Running Shorts, Active Shorts, Tights Long, Insulator Jacket

LEARN MORE ABOUT ON RUNNING

RUNNING: SUSTAINABILITY CHOICES

When it comes to finding our movement through sustainable choices, running footwear and apparel are an easy first step to take. With all of the options available today, the team at JackRabbit is excited to carry top sustainable footwear and apparel brands, making them readily accessible for our customers.

It’s time to commit; time to shop sustainably.

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