Categories
Puma Reviews

PUMA DEVIATE NITRO REVIEW

Puma Deviate Nitro Review

THE BUZZ

Puma returns with a vengeance in 2021 with a new line of advanced, performance-oriented shoes, starting with the Deviate Nitro.

It’s a lighter-than-average, neutral daily trainer that offers maximal cushioning with a lively and forgiving sensation. This offers a good blend of softness and energetic pop with a smooth ride and a secure fit.

The four styles in the new Puma Nitro collection all offer a different running experience:

  • Puma Deviate Nitro: Max cushioning with improved efficiency for long runs
  • Puma Liberate Nitro: Lightweight for tempo runs and competition
  • Puma Velocity Nitro: Cushioned and responsive for every day running
  • Puma Eternity Nitro: Support and guidance for runners who need stability.

Read on for all you need to know on the key Deviate Nitro.

Puma Deviate Nitro - What's new

WHAT’S NEW

Every aspect of this uniquely constructed shoe is new. The PUMA Deviate Nitro has moderately thick single layer of advanced foam enhanced with a premium footbed plus a rocker geometry.

It’s punctuated by a stabilizing plate embedded in the back half of the midsole plus a carbon-composite propulsion plate in the forefoot.

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The PUMA Deviate Nitro fits true to size with a narrow heel, medium-volume midfoot and slightly wider forefoot. It’s all brought together with a locked-down, wrap-around sensation. This is made possible by the lightweight, flexible upper, fully gusseted tongue, cushy footbed and unique heel-locking system.

There’s only a little room for the toes to wiggle and splay, but enough to make it functionally comfortable. The step-in feel is a combination of comfortable softness and wrap-around security. It gives an immediate sense of firmness in the chassis of the shoe.

The firm feeling stems the stability-enhancing plate in the heel and the forward-momentum plate in the forefoot.

Puma Deviate Nitro - Running

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

The PUMA Deviate Nitro is a lightweight, energetic modern training shoe serving up loads of long-haul comfort and modest capability for up-tempo running.

Runners who appreciate the coziness of maximally cushioned trainers and the energetic pop of their go-fast racing shoes will really appreciate what Puma has created in the Deviate Nitro.

It’s not quite fast enough to bring out your top-end speed, but it’s agile and versatile enough to tackle long runs, recovery runs, tempo runs and other quick-turnover training runs.

Puma Deviate Nitro - Pros

PROS: PUMA Deviate Nitro

What makes the Deviate Nitro special is the unique combination of the midsole foam, dual-plate system and the locked down upper feeling from comprehensive fit system. The nitrogen-infused foam is super soft, slightly bouncy and compliant. The rigid plates give the shoe a semi-firm, structured feel. This contributes to the propulsive feeling that emanates from heel-strike to toe-off. This combines for a comfortable, stable and controlled ride that’s ideal training and slow, moderate and slightly faster paces.

There’s a unique heel-locking system in the rear of the shoe. This is comprised of a small, semi-firm internal heel counter and thick wedge of foam padding on each side of the heel just below the thin, form-fitting collar line. It keeps the foot in place while maintaining a plush feeling around the ankle. This tie nicely into the overall comfort and security of the upper.

The upper fabric provides both firmness to keep the foot in place and stretchiness to allow the foot to move naturally during the gait cycle. There’s a smooth interior mesh layer in the forefoot integrated into the fully gusseted tongue, creating a quasi-bootie system. This keeps the foot from slipping while still allowing maximal breathability.

The outsole has a bit of a split personality with durable rubber at the high-impact areas of the heel, exposed foam under the arch and an expansive section of soft, energetic blown rubber. The sole features 18 low-profile lugs for advanced traction. These are separated by a matrix of flex grooves and small cutaway sections for optimal flexibility.

Our wear-testers give Puma high marks for making its noteworthy comeback with this shoe. It’s a uniquely constructed shoe, but the fit, feel and ride are exceptional. If this is the first of several new shoes from this venerable brand — and, wink, wink!, we know it is — Puma will be worth keeping an eye on in 2021!

Puma Deviate Nitro - Cons

CONS: PUMA Deviate Nitro

Unlike some shoes with carbon-fiber propulsion plates, the Deviate Nitro is perfect for training. It’s not however for all-out racing or speed workouts. It’s probably not going to be a race-day choice if you’re aiming for a PR. However, there is more than plenty to like in this shoe as an everyday trainer on your way to your next race.

TECH SPECS

Puma Deviate Nitro - Tech Specs

SHOP PUMA DEVIATE NITRO

Puma Deviate Nitro Shoe
MEN’S COMING SOON
Puma Deviate Nitro - women's
WOMEN’S COMING SOON
Categories
Find Your Fit

JACKRABBIT: FIND YOUR FIT

HELPING EVERY RUNNER TO ‘FIND THEIR FIT’

Where you ‘fit’ in the world is a question most people ask of themselves at some point in their lives. As runners, we are no different. The levity of spirit when you find your true ‘fit’, your homies, your group, your posse is game-changing. The same goes for that moment you find a running shoe that truly fits you.

At JackRabbit we are what our tagline says –  ‘Where FIT Happens’. These three simple words can mean myriad things. 

Firstly, on a fundamental level at JackRabbit, we fit you in running shoes. We take our time in our stores with each customer. We analyze gait on a treadmill, get insight into running goals and training mileage and experience before we make a shoe recommendation.

On a larger level ‘Where FIT Happens’ speaks to our role in the running community. We bring together runners from all backgrounds into group runs and support running initiatives in our communities and nationwide. Our JackRabbit stores donate shoes to help others and we strive every day to make a difference in running communities around us.  

We work in inner cities and the suburb and we aim to help any runner find their fit in the community, just as much as we help fit their running shoes. 

JackRabbit Running Group
Photo taken pre-pandemic

JACKRABBIT & RUNNING COMMUNITIES

Running brings people together. The simple act of running with a group gives way to so many benefits beyond the fitness and endurance gained. We experience a bigger social connection when we run with others. This connection only increases when we work towards a common goal, a race or a cause. Running can break down barriers, mend fences and inspire global initiatives. It also has the special ability to make us feel that we’re ‘home’. 

Running with a chosen group or friends can motivate us more, add a little extra pep to our steps or shave a few seconds off a run pace.

Running brings people from different vocations, income brackets, backgrounds or cultures together, merely through the simple joy of putting one step in front of another.

A running community can be as simple as your closest friends, or a local running team, or a cultural, gender-specific or lifestyle group. It can be off road, on road or on track. Now, it can even be virtual or an online group with runners you’ve never met in person, but with whom you find solidarity.

New Balance Running Shoes

FIT YOUR FIT AT JACKRABBIT

The next few weeks at JackRabbit we’ll be bringing you a range of stories of the ways people ‘fit’ in running. From the most basic to the more impactful.

We will start at the most basic and fundamental level of how you fit into your running shoes; running after all, starts with a pair of shoes no matter who you are.

We’ll show you how to consider what shoes are right for you as well as the different types of shoes for varying running types: 5k runners, marathon runners, trail runners, triathletes. And let’s not forget the champions who stand on their feet all day and need ‘runners’ to support them through the long days. 

We’ll also share stories of how runners have found their ‘fit’ in the running community. We’ll meet online groups from trail or marathon to those that help with mental health, support race discrimination and gender specific communities. Let’s give a shout out to Another Mother Runner for example.

Finally, we’ll talk about the larger impact of running; how it’s helped through a global pandemic and grown a new generation of runners. We – as runners – can do a lot to make sure these new runners are made to feel welcome and included.

JackRabbit Gait Analysis

FUNDAMENTALS: HOW WE FIT YOUR SHOES

At JackRabbit, we are in the business of matchmaking and problem solving for your feet. Whether you’ve got high arches, flat feet, bunions, knee pain, shin splints, or anything in between, we’ve got the expertise, knowledge and tools to find the right footwear for you. We’ll find you a pair of running shoes that suits your unique foot shape best and keeps you running and walking injury free.

How do we do this? Via a gait analysis and questions about your running goals and habits. This gait analysis is a free tool we use at JackRabbit to quickly and accurately determine which type and category of footwear will work best for you. It involves one of our in-store gurus recording your lower legs and feet while you run or walk on a treadmill at a comfortable pace for 30 seconds to one minute.

Check out how we do a full gait analysis at our JackRabbit partner stores.

LEARN ABOUT GAIT ANALYSIS AT JACKRABBIT
JackRabbit Fit Finder

FUNDAMENTALS: HOW WE CAN FIT YOU ONLINE

We know there are times when shopping online is the way to go and the speed you need. We’ve worked with our shoe and running tech gurus to create the online JackRabbit Fit Finder. This is your go-to essential resource for discerning the best choice of running shoes for your type.

This new Fit Finder tool algorithmically takes into account anything from race distance, to weekly mileage, to terrain, to cushioning needed. After answering a few select questions, the robotic JackRabbit genius (as we like to think it is) will select a range of shoes most suited for your needs. 

Check it out for yourself to see which running shoes could be with you on your next adventures.

TAKE THE FIT FINDER TEST
Running Shoes - New Balance

KEEP FINDING YOUR FIT

We’ll keep sharing our resources and news to help you ‘find your fit’ here. Follow JackRabbit on social media where we’ll share all our Find Your Fit resources over the coming weeks. 

Run on! 

The Crew At JackRabbit

Categories
Puma

PUMA: BUILT ON SPEED

PUMA: Built for Speed

PUMA’S LONG HISTORY OF INNOVATION, SPEED AND SUCCESS

In the beginning.

It’s hard to believe that two of the world’s major running shoe brands could evolve from the same family. Or that a dispute among brothers could cause a rift that would shake up and invigorate the athletic shoe industry.

Believe it or not, Puma got its start when a falling-out came between German brothers Rudolf and Adi Dassler. This resulted in Rudolf (or “Rudi”) leaving their family’s successful athletic shoe business (the Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory, aka “adidas”) to start his own brand in Herzogenaurach, Germany in 1952.

A LEGACY OF SOCCER SUCCESS

Although Rudi had to start from scratch, it didn’t take long for Puma make its mark. They launched new soccer shoes that were smartly functional, innovative and fashion forward. Known as the Atom, that first Puma shoe was proudly worn by many of West Germany’s players in the country’s first post-World War II match against Switzerland. When they won 1-0, the new brand began to soar.

Puma would dominate the soccer world in the 1950s and the brand’s popularity eventually exploded outside of Europe. When Brazil beat Sweden to win the 1958 World Cup, the entire time was shod in Puma soccer cleats — including a young budding superstar named Pelé. Brazil would repeat the World feat in Puma shoes in 1962 and win it again in 1970.

With Rudi at the helm, Puma would continue to be an international leader in soccer footwear. It would also go on to develop innovative shoes for basketball, tennis, golf, auto racing and sailing. But it’s true calling was always in fast, efficient running shoes.

Bikila PUMA shoe

OLYMPIC SPEEDSTERS IN PUMA SHOES

All along, Puma had been developing new track and field spikes that had always been close to Rudi’s heart. When West German sprinter Armin Hary set a new world record of 10.25 seconds in the 100-meter dash in the spring of 1960, he was wearing a pair of Puma’s innovative leather spikes that had sections of vulcanized rubber for support. The world’s fastest man lived up to his billing at the 1960 Olympics in Rome. He took home the gold medal in the 100-meter dash and anchoring West Germany’s victorious 4×100-meter relay.

At the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, three athletes wearing Puma shoes took home gold medals — Belgium’s Gaston Roelants (3,000-meter steeplechase), Great Britain’s Mary Rand (long jump) and Ethiopia’s Abebe Bikila (marathon). Bikila, of course, became famous for winning the marathon at the 1960 Olympics while running barefoot. Four years later, he repeated his title, lowering his own world record to 2:12:11. He was wearing a pair of featherweight and flexible Puma Osaka running shoes.

Tommie Smith - PUMA shoe

TRACK INNOVATION AND DOMINANCE

Puma athletes turned the track and field world upside down wearing innovative Sacramento “brush” spikes in 1968. The pioneering brush soles had 68 tiny plastic bristles under the forefoot and they were fast! Just a few weeks prior to the Olympics, numerous American runners set world records wearing the shoes.

Although those shoes were eventually banned from competition by the IAAF, American superstars Tommie Smith, Lee Evans, Willie Davenport and Bob Seagren cleaned up at the Mexico City Olympics that fall wearing other fast, next-generation Puma models.

In the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Mary Peters, Great Britain (pentathlon), John Akii-Bua, Uganda (400m hurdles), Randy Williams of the U.S. (long jump) and Klaus Wolfermann of West-Germany (javelin) all won gold medals to help solidify Puma’s position as one of the most dominant brands in track and field.

1970S: PLAYING A BIG PART OF THE FIRST RUNNING BOOM

Puma’s Easy Rider training shoes provided cushioning through the brand’s innovative knobby outsole and soft EVA midsole cushioning. The sole worked well as a shock absorber and was often used for cross country and marathon running.

Another shoe, the SAAS1, earned international patents for its unusual double-cone studs arranged in V-formations. As the foot hit the ground, the studs splayed out displacing energy and reducing the shock which your body would normally have received during foot-strike. Then as the foot lifted back off, the studs sprang back to their original shape returning stored energy and giving the runner’s foot as extra burst of forward momentum.

1986: UNVEILING THE WORLD’S FIRST DIGITAL SHOE

The engineers at Puma were so ahead of the game in 1986, they developed the world’s first digitally interactive running shoe decades before smartphones and digital training apps.

Based on the RS100, Puma unveiled the high-tech shoe with a built-in circuit board, microprocessors and an inertia switch that was triggered by the impact of a runner’s feet hitting the ground.

The $200 shoe could be hooked up to a Commodore 64 or an Apple II using a 16-pin cord to upload speed, distance and calorie burn data.

PUMA - Colin Jackson Disc Shoes

1991: REVOLUTIONARY DISC TECHNOLOGY

In 1991, Puma launched the game-changing PUMA Disc technology on a running shoe, the first lace-less sports shoe with a system of internal wires that tighten the upper for a perfect fit.

The technology proved successful as Heike Drechsler (long jump), Dieter Baumann (5.000m) and Linford Christie (100-meter dash) all won gold medals wearing Puma Disc spikes at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Following them was Colin Jackson who won the 110-meter high hurdles at the IAAF World Championships the following year in Disc spikes.

Usain Bolt - Fastest Man on Earth

2000s: USAIN BOLT, THE FASTEST MAN IN HISTORY

At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt wore Puma Complete Theseus spikes to win gold medals and set new world records in the 100-meter (9.69) and 200-meter events (19.30) while also helping Jamaica’s 4×100-meter relay to a record-setting victory.

That began Bolt’s amazing nine-year run as the world’s most dominant track athlete, a span in which he won nine Olympic gold medals, lowered the world records to 9.58 and 19.19 and won 11 sprint and relay titles at the IAAF World Championships.

Along the way, he helped Puma recreate the Faas line of shoes. These were developed around a three-part system that allowed for a more natural running rhythm while improving strength and flexibility in the lower legs. With Bolt as the brand’s front man, Puma also relaunched the Disc system in 2016 with the Ignite Disc running shoe and EvoSpeed Disc racing spikes.

PUMA Modern Headquarters - Germany

2021: WHAT’S NEXT?

Coming soon Puma has some exciting new tech to share with the running world with JackRabbit as their lead partner in the US.

We’ll be sharing more news soon. Be sure to follow JackRabbit on social media to be the first to know.

PUMA Deviate Nitro - Women's
Categories
Altra Reviews

ALTRA LONE PEAK ALL WTHR

Altra Lone Peak All Wthr Review

Make room for more trail miles in 2021 because Altra just launched all-weather editions of their impressive new Lone Peak lineup. The all-weather editions include more styles catered to hikers and trail runners in low and mid ankle heights.

Pro Triathlete Nick Chase took the Lone Peak All Wthr edition to the high country in Utah to put it through its paces.

Men's Altra Lone Peak ALL WTHR LOW

ALTRA LONE PEAK ALL WTHR – LOW

RUNNER: Andrew
CONDITIONS: Slush in New York City

As a runner living in New York City, I’ve had to tread through some pretty serious snow this winter. It takes a lot to force myself out the door when I look out my apartment and see 4-6 inches of dirty sidewalk slush.

The Altra ALL-WTHR Lone Peak was a game-changer to stay dry and comfortable while running in east coast snowstorms. The extra grip on the sole prevented me from slipping on urban NYC ice. The wide toe box meant that I could wear my thick winter socks without my foot feeling cramped.

However, the best feature was the water-resistant upper, which saved me from feeling drenched by the slush on the ground. I’m still astounded I can go on an 8 mile run in the city slush and my socks remain dry the whole time.

ALTRA LONE PEAK ALL WTHR LOW
Women's Altra Lone Peak ALL WTHR MID

ALTRA LONE PEAK ALL WTHR – MID

RUNNER: Emily
CONDITIONS: Snow in Colorado

Hikers who like the traditional Lone Peak are going to love the ankle support and weatherproof perks with the ALL WTHR MID.

This shoe has the highest level of ankle support within Altra’s new Lone Peak family.

Mid is great for hiking, while Low is better for running as it allows more ankle movement. The Zero Drop takes some getting used to especially on the uphill climbs. However, it ultimately makes my feet hurt WAY less after many snowy, slippery (but beautiful!) miles.

Pair the ALL WTHR MID with higher ankle socks like Smartwool Outdoor or Hiking crew socks. And, get after serious winter adventures even harder with Kahtoola microspikes for added traction on ice and snow. 

COMING SOON
Categories
Reviews

HOTTEST RUNNING SHOES OF 2021…SO FAR

The temperatures across the country may be cold, but the latest running shoe launches of 2021 have been hot!

With 2020 in the rearview mirror, 2021 has provided us with a stunning collection of running shoes from top brands such as HOKA, New Balance, Brooks, Saucony and On!

Hottest Running Shoes of 2021

Check out the JackRabbit list below of the hottest running shoes of 2021…so far!


NEW BALANCE 1080V11

New Balance 1080 v11 - men's

“The New Balance 1080 v11 is a thickly cushioned, neutral trainer. It’s one of the marquee shoes in the New Balance line and one of the best-selling models in recent years.”

Read the full New Balance 1080v11 Review

SHOP NEW BALANCE 1080V11

SAUCONY KINVARA 12

womens saucony kinvara 12 review

“The Saucony Kinvara 12 has been overhauled in look and feel, but it retains the lightweight, low-to-the-ground design while morphing into more of a reliable, lightweight, high-mileage workhorse than its old persona as a go-fast trainer.”

Read the full Saucony Kinvara 12 Review

SHOP SAUCONY KINVARA 12

ON CLOUDSWIFT 2021

On Cloudswift Review

“The second edition of the On Cloudswift has gone through some significant changes, but it remains a lightweight, low-profile neutral trainer with a cushy, energetic vibe.”

Read the full On Cloudswift Review

SHOP ON CLOUDSWIFT

BROOKS GLYCERIN 19

Brooks Glycerin 19 - Men's

“The Brooks Glycerin 19 is a neutral-oriented everyday trainer that provides soft, pillowy cushioning in every stride. With a buttery soft ride and an exquisitely plush interior, the Glycerin has always been a top-of-the-line workhorse model. It exudes softness and responsiveness in every stride.”

Read the full Brooks Glycerin 19 Review

SHOP BROOKS GLYCERIN 19

BROOKS GLYCERIN GTS 19

Brooks Glycerin 19 GTS - women's

“The Brooks Glycerin GTS 19 is the Brooks Transcend reinvented. An update to the shoe formerly known as the Transcend 7, the Brooks Glycerin GTS 19 is a stability-enhancing everyday trainer. It provides provides soft, pillowy cushioning and adaptive support in every stride.”

Read the full Brooks Glycerin GTS 19 Review

SHOP BROOKS GLYCERIN GTS 19

SAUCONY GUIDE 14

Saucony Guide 14 Review

“The Saucony Guide 14 is a modern mid-weight stability trainer for runners who need a touch of medial-side support to help offset mild to moderate over-pronation. It serves up a soft and resilient ride with the athletic vibe of a neutral shoe, but disguised in that smooth, flowy sensation is plenty of subtle support.”

Read the full Saucony Guide 14 Review

SHOP SAUCONY GUIDE 14

HOKA CARBON X 2

Hoka Carbon X 2 - Women's

“The Carbon X returns after the successful first edition won races and set records. It proved itself among the best of the initial crop of long-distance racing shoes built with carbon-fiber plates embedded in thick, cushy midsoles.”

Read the full HOKA Carbon X 2 review

 

 

SHOP HOKA CARBON X 2

 


COMING SOON IN 2021

These shoes haven’t hit the shelves yet in 2021, but we’re excited about the changes and upgrades these shoes have made!

ADIDAS ULTRABOOST 21

Adidas Ultraboost 21 Review

“From its inception in 2015, the Adidas Ultraboost has been a maximally cushioned training shoe built on a thick, lively platform of extremely resilient Boost midsole cushioning. The Adidas Ultraboost 21 is the cushiest and most responsive version yet, serving up a springy ride that returns considerable energy in every stride.”

Read the full Adidas Ultraboost 21 Review

NEW BALANCE 880v11

Men's New Balance 880v11 Review

“With a vibe that’s equal parts cushioning and performance, the neutral-inclined New Balance Fresh Foam 880v11 is a versatile training shoe proficient at running any pace and any distance.”

Read the New Balance 880v11 Review

HOKA MACH 4

Women's HOKA Mach 4 Shoe Review

“The HOKA Mach 4 is lightweight, smooth-riding, neutral-oriented everyday training shoe that gives off a soft, lively vibe. It has enough comfort, versatility and giddy-up to handle the rigors of all types of workouts. Based on the improvements, overall design and our wear-testing experiences, we believe this will to be one of the best models of early 2021.”

Read the full HOKA Mach 4 Review

ALTRA LONE PEAK 5

Altra Lone Peak 5

“If you only want one trail running shoe in your quiver of running shoes, the Altra Lone Peak 5 is an ideal do-it-all candidate. It’s a comfortably appointed and very reliable jack-of-all-trails without any major shortfalls.”

Read the full Altra Lone Peak 5 Review

ALTRA RIVERA

“The Altra Rivera is an all-new neutral everyday training shoe that’s light, lively, soft, versatile and fun. We think it’s one of the best new shoes of 2021 and one of the best models Altra has ever produced.”

Read the full Altra Rivera review


Check back weekly for the latest 2021 shoe reviews and to see when shoes have arrived at our stores and JackRabbit.com. You can find all the 2021 footwear arrivals here.

Do you have a favorite shoe so far in 2021? Let us know by tagging us on social via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter

Categories
hoka one one Reviews

HOKA MACH 4 REVIEW

THE BUZZ

The HOKA Mach 4 is lightweight, smooth-riding, neutral-oriented everyday training shoe that gives off a soft, lively vibe. It has enough comfort, versatility and giddy-up to handle the rigors of all types of workouts.

Based on the improvements, overall design and our wear-testing experiences, we believe this will to be one of the best models of early 2021.

HOKA Mach 4 Review

WHAT’S NEW

There’s a new engineered mesh upper on this shoe, an updated midsole foam formulation (a new swallowtail design at the back) and a smoother, softer and more energetic ride. The updates have taken this shoe in a much better direction than the firmer and clunkier previous edition. The HOKA Mach 4 is now a stellar shoe in every regard.

Combined with the rocker geometry and the swallowtail design at the back of the heel, the Mach 4 provides easy landings and smooth transitions into an energetic boost at the toe-off point of a stride.

The midsole/outsole structure of the Mach 4 has flared design that results in a slightly wider footprint. It adds a touch of inherent stability — though not enough for overpronating runners. The swallowtail cut in the rear of the heel creates a decoupling effect to provide semi-custom foot strike force attenuation.

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The Mach 4 fits true to size with medium-width interior in the heel and saddle but a tiny bit more room in the forefoot. The step-in feeling is soft and secure with a very noticeable lightweight sensation the moment you start running in them. 

You can feel the cushioning, but there’s a hint of proprioceptive feel for the ground in the forefoot. The relatively thin, gusseted tongue contributes to the snug, glove-like fit. The padding in the collar and a flared heel tab are creature comforts typically found in more expensive shoes. 

The Mach 4 features a Meta-Rocker design geometry and a slightly beveled, swallowtail heel that create a rolling effect as the foot transitions from touch-down to toe-off. 

The ride is incredibly smooth from heel to toe, but the step-in softness gives way to a slightly firmer sensation and a noticeable pop of energy in the forefoot.

HOKA Mach 4 Review

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

Runners who enjoy light, soft and lively shoes will really enjoy running in the Mach 4. It’s not quite a maximally cushioned shoe, but it’s not quite a lightweight performance-oriented trainer, either. 

It’s versatile enough to run long, run fast, run slow and just about everything in between. It could also be a good choice for racing from 5K to the half marathon. For runners who like Hoka’s Clifton shoes, there’s a good chance you’ll like this model even more because it’s lighter and livelier.

HOKA Mach 4 Review

PROS: HOKA MACH 4

The juice of this shoe is in the dual-density midsole. The top layer utilizes Hoka’s ProFly technology, which is softer in the rear and firmer in the forefoot. The bottom layer is Hoka’s rubberized EVA foam that’s provides a little bit of stability and a little bit of bounce. 

The new upper does an amazing job of providing a glove-like, contoured fit for just about any foot shape. It’s a tad bit thicker than some upper materials so the breathability isn’t as optimal as some other models, but it won’t be an issue unless you’re running in very hot conditions.

The outsole is devoid any rubber at all and instead is comprised entirely of exposed midsole foam. That means it’s a lot lighter and more agile, but it also means the durability and traction isn’t on par with shoes with rubber outsole treads. It’s a trade-off you have to consider, but as a light, performance-oriented shoe we think it’s an ideal makeup.

HOKA Mach 4 Review

CONS: HOKA MACH 4

There are no noticeable negative marks for this shoe. If we’re being picky, we’d suggest that the biggest detractor is that the shoelaces are excessively long. 

TECH SPECS

HOKA Mach 4 Tech Specs

SHOP HOKA MACH 4

Men's HOKA Mach 4 Shoe Review
MEN’S HOKA MACH 4 COMING SOON
Women's HOKA Mach 4 Shoe Review
Women’s
WOMEN’S HOKA MACH 4 COMING SOON
Categories
Brands New Balance Reviews

NEW BALANCE 880V11 REVIEW

THE BUZZ

With a vibe that’s equal parts cushioning and performance, the neutral-inclined New Balance Fresh Foam 880v11 is a versatile training shoe proficient at running any pace and any distance.

It’s a relatively light, multipurpose daily trainer that deserves high marks for a reliable fit, premium Fresh Foam X midsole cushioning and a lively demeanor. 

New Balance 880 v11 Review

WHAT’S NEW

There have been a few minor tweaks to the 880v11 since last year that help boost its overall vibe. The biggest updates are a new, double jacquard engineered mesh upper, a moderately softer heel counter and a slightly softer and bouncier sensation from the updated midsole.

The new upper that helps lock down the foot to the chassis while maintaining pliability to accommodate a wide variety of foot shapes. The overlays are thinner and more subtle, but the breathability is decidedly better. When you lace it up, you sense its athletic vibe. The secure connection to the midsole/outsole chassis and the mildly soft, seamless interior.

The segmented outsole is unchanged from the previous edition of the 880. It has three sections of durable carbon rubber for durability. The 880v11 has high-impact areas and two pieces of blown rubber for enhanced traction and energy return. It doesn’t have a rocker geometry like some modern trainers. Instead has plenty of flex from a series of multidirectional grooves in the forefoot.

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The Fresh Foam 880v11 fits true to size with a medium-volume, seamless interior and a secure, locked-down feeling. It has a modestly soft interior, but it’s not overly cushy or plush.

You can sense the traditional heel-toe offset (10mm) the moment you step into the shoe, with the soft cushy heel and a lower, more proprioceptive vibes in the forefoot.

Those sensations come to life on the run with protection and softness on heel-striking impacts, a smooth transition and springy and lively toe-offs. It’s produces a consistent, energetic ride and the faster you run, the less you notice the higher heel-toe offset. 

New Balance 880 v11 Review

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

Runners who appreciate the versatility of a shoe that can handle long runs and also tackle speedier workouts will love the 880v11.

Newer runners will appreciate its comfort and fit, while more experienced runners will love that it does everything very well. It could be a race-day shoe for 5K to half marathon distances.

New Balance 880 v11 Review

PROS: NEW BALANCE 880v11

This is the second edition of the 880v11 with a Fresh Foam midsole and our wear-testers greater appreciated it. The top-tier Fresh Foam X midsole compound provides amazing shock absorption in the heel and a noticeable pop of energy in the forefoot.

It’s not a performance trainer or a super cushy cruiser, but it’s somewhere in between. It has thick, shock-absorbing cushioning in the heel with a responsive, low-to-the-ground feel in the forefoot. That allows it to be a great shoe for long runs, but it’s also capable of running short and fast repeats on the track or longer, fartlek-style intervals. 

The 880v11 is a no-frills trainer like its predecessors. It’s not overly comfy inside, not exceptionally fast and probably not even the shoe you’ll call your absolute favorite. But it’s the best version of this shoe that’s ever been produced, and it’s infinitely versatile and reliable — especially if you prefer only one shoe in your quiver.

New Balance 880 v11 Review

CONS: NEW BALANCE 880v11

The only reason not to like the 880v11 is because it doesn’t shine brighter in one particular area. It could have a more plush, comfortable interior and it could have more energetic bounce in every stride.

TECH SPECS

New Balance 880 v11 Tech Specs

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Men's New Balance 880 v11 Review
MEN’S 880V11 COMING SOON
Women's New Balance 880 v11 Review
Women’s
WOMEN’S 880V11 COMING SOON
Categories
Adidas Reviews

ADIDAS ULTRABOOST 21 REVIEW

THE BUZZ

From its inception in 2015, the Adidas Ultraboost has been a maximally cushioned training shoe built on a thick, lively platform of extremely resilient Boost midsole cushioning. The Adidas Ultraboost 21 is the cushiest and most responsive version yet, serving up a springy ride that returns considerable energy in every stride.

Adidas Ultraboost 21 Review

WHAT’S NEW

The Ultraboost 21 has 6 percent more Boost foam in the midsole. It features an updated torsion system and rocker geometry that enhances forefoot stiffness by 15% for an even more responsive run.

In addition, the upper has been enhanced with a tighter and stiffer knit pattern to improve its fit and feel. The new, slightly wider overall footprint improves its stability and balance.

The compressive knit upper is made from a mesh material called PrimeKnit+, which contains 75 percent Primeblue yarns. It’s essentially a stretchy, full-bootie construction bolstered by a soft plastic exoskeleton cage. The cage wraps the saddle and an elf-like flare off the back of the heel to ease tension on the Achilles tendon.

Adidas has shown a huge commitment to sustainability with its marquee shoes. About 50 percent of the materials in the Ultraboost 21 are made from Primeblue yarn. This is a high-performance recycled material made from Parley Ocean Plastic recovered from the sea. Just as important, no virgin polyester was used in this shoe.

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The Ultraboost 21 fits true to size with a medium-volume interior. It has a slightly more spacious heel and forefoot. This creates a locked-down feeling through the midfoot thanks to a soft plastic exoskeleton cage. This cage engages the Adidas “three stripes” logo and the lacing system. The step-in feeling is luxurious, both from the plus interior padding, the premium footbed and the soft maximally cushioned midsole that feels like a bed of bouncy rubber marshmallows. 

That sensation is accentuated when you’re running. The thick cushioning in the heel reduces ground impact shock and starts the process of rolling the foot forward. Once the new torsion system under the arch is engaged, it creates a gentle but distinct rolling sensation of being propelled forward toward toe-off. Ultimately, the Ultraboost 21 is a slightly heavier, well-cushioned trainer with a comfortable upper, responsive midsole and vivacious ride.

Adidas Ultraboost 21 Review

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

The Ultraboost 21 is a soft, lively everyday trainer that provides long-haul comfort and consistent flow in every mile. It doesn’t have the pep for faster workouts or races, but it’s ideal choice for long runs, recovery runs and moderately fast tempo runs.

Runners who appreciate maximally cushioned neutral shoes with enormous energy return will really love the Ultraboost 21. Taller and bigger runners will appreciate the proficient shock-absorption in every stride. Smaller runners or runners who like to “feel” the ground might find the midsole to be excessively thick.

Adidas Ultraboost 21 Review

PROS: ADIDAS ULTRABOOST 21

Our wear-testing runs determined that the Ultraboost 21 seems to help improve the recovery process after a long run. Normally it takes several days to recover from a two-hour training run. However, our wear-testers reported having fresh legs just a day or two after logging a moderately paced 15-miler.

There is a new Linear Energy Push torsion system embedded in the bottom of the midsole. This is essentially a curvy hard plastic plate with a two-pronged design that stretches from the midfoot to the forefoot. This system adds notable stiffness that works in conjunction with the shoe’s rocker geometry and Boost foam to promote forward prolusion.

The outsole feature three types of rubber with soft, medium and hard densities that combine to provide optimal traction, durability and flex.

Interestingly, Ultraboost shoes have always had amazing street cred. This is thanks to celebs like Kanye West, Carrie Underwood, Kylie Jenner, Jessica Alba, Meghan Markle and Sarah Michelle Gellar wearing these kicks casually or with athleisure apparel. And let’s face it, there’s no other running shoes that look good with a pair of jeans and a T-shirt.

Adidas Ultraboost 21 Review

CONS: ADIDAS ULTRABOOST 21

The biggest drawback of the Ultraboost 21 from a running point of view is the weight. No matter how you slice it, 11.9 ounces (for a men’s size 9.0), is a pretty heavy load to carry through every stride, even with the amazing energy return.

For slower to medium-paced runs, it serves up a flowy ride but it’s a challenge to run faster speeds for very long.

TECH SPECS

Adidas Ultraboost 21 Tech Specs

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Men's Adidas Ultraboost 21
MEN’S ULTRABOOST 21 COMING SOON
Women's Adidas Ultraboost 21 Review
WOMEN’S ULTRABOOST 21 COMING SOON

Categories
Brands Mizuno Reviews Uncategorized

MIZUNO WAVE INSPIRE 17 REVIEW

THE BUZZ

The Mizuno Wave Inspire has always been a durable, stability-enhancing shoe built with a good blend of comfort, shock absorption and support. The Mizuno Wave Inspire 17 is a mid-weight everyday trainer with remarkable cushioning, a plush step-in feel, semi-firm support and exceptional breathability.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 17 Reivew

WHAT’S NEW

The Wave Inspire 17 has been overhauled since last year. The changes are all good, starting with the addition of the new ENERZY foam wedge under the heel. ENERZY is a durable midsole compound that delivers excellent softness and rebound.

The ENERZY midsole foam below the Wave plate is 17 percent softer and returns 15 percent more energy than previous midsole compounds. This gives the shoe a smoother transition after the heel impacts the ground. A slab of lightweight, resilient U4ic foam remains on top of the Wave plate and the combination of all of it.This results in optimal shock reduction, long-lasting durability and a smoother ride.

Other updates include a semi-malleable TPU fan-shaped Wave plate in the midsole for softer stability. Also, it features a new lightweight engineered mesh upper for a cleaner look, better fit and enhanced breathability.

Another small but significant update is the addition of more ground contact in the outsole. There’s full ground contract from heel to toe under the medial side of the shoe. A slightly wider footprint, vertical decoupling in the middle of the heel and three small flex grooves under the forefoot all play key roles in the balance and stability of this shoe.

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The Wave Inspire has always had a soft, comfortable and secure fit. That remains for the 17th edition, only slightly better this time around.

It fits true to size and secure with a medium width and interior volume throughout, only with a slightly more snug feeling in the toe box than some similar shoes. (It’s available in two widths for men and women.)

The step-in feel is comfortable and plush, with notable cushiness along the footbed, under the tongue and around the heel collar.

The ride has been dramatically improved in this version of the Wave Inspire. The shoe has designed to be softer and smoother without losing its penchant for performance. 

Mizuno Wave Inspire 17 Reivew

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

The Wave Inspire 17 is designed to be a workhorse trainer for overpronating runners who need a bit of support. It’s a great shoe for long runs, recovery runs and moderately fast tempo runs.

New runners will love the uplifting stability in every stride. Experienced runners will appreciate that support in the final miles of a long run. It might not be the best choice for a half marathon or marathon. However, it’s certainly a great training tool that can help get you to race day.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 17 Reivew

PROS: MIZUNO WAVE INSPIRE 17

The chassis gets its stable feeling from a softer fan-shaped Wave plate embedded in the medial side of the midsole, a secure heel counter and supportive overlays on each side of the upper.

For many years, the Inspire was a performance-oriented everyday trainer with a distinctly firm feeling under foot. Even though it always had a soft, plush interior, the Wave Inspire was on the stiffer end of the spectrum and, as a result, heel-toe transitions felt quite rigid. But this year’s version has a softer, more flexible and more energetic demeanor.

The exquisite, double-layered engineered mesh upper incorporates Waveknit technology with an embossed Mizuno logo. This mesh contributes to the fit, hold and lateral support of the shoe. The relatively low-volume fit in the forefoot gives the shoe an important-oriented feel. 

The bottom line? Mizuno has made this shoe more accessible to more runners, more comfortable and more fun to wear out on a run. And if that’s not a good reason to check it out, what else do you need?

Mizuno Wave Inspire 17 Reivew

CONS: MIZUNO WAVE INSPIRE 17

The Inspire 17 is slightly heavier and not quite as cushy compared to some of its contemporaries among everyday stability trainers.

TECH SPECS

Wave Inspire 17 Tech Specs

SHOP MIZUNO WAVE INSPIRE 17

Men's Mizuno Wave Inspire 17
SHOP MEN’S WAVE INSPIRE 17
Women's Mizuno Wave Inspire 17
Women’s
SHOP WOMEN’S WAVE INSPIRE 17
Categories
Brooks Mental health

THE RUNFULNESS PROJECT

CHANGE CAN START WITH YOUR FEET

The power of repetitive movement to calm and inspire the mind has been well documented. As runners, we know the tap, tap, tap of a foot fall on the road or the trail is like a metronome allowing our inner dialog to speak louder or quieten down.

Brooks Running calls this concept ‘Runfulness’, the perfect term to pay honor to the power of running to shape our mental as well as physical well-being.

Read on to learn more.

Running mindful - Brooks Glcyerin

FORGET YOUR FEET, FREE YOUR MIND

Runfulness is mindfulness unlocked by the power of running. It’s the effect of a run that is so good, so freeing, it allows you to forget your feet altogether – taking your mind to places your feet can’t go.

It’s in this state where you find the power to change a day, a life, the world.

What Runfulness means for each of us is different.

Running is processing time. It’s a time when I have no digital interruptions. It allows my mind to not only work through the day as the miles tick by, but also to switch to the ‘dreaming hour’ where I plan and contemplate what’s to come. Being present in the moment allows us the space to dream up the future.” – MELANIE MITCHELL

For me, running is a time of reflection and planning. I’m an active advocate for accessibility to and representation in sport, so the time running allows for unobstructed thoughts and space to dream up big goals and initiatives. Having running be that outlet is empowering and a privilege, and it’s exciting to figure out how to share that with others. “- LAURA CORTEZ

RUNFULNESS IN ACTION

As you lace up your shoes this week, think about adding a little Runfulness as well. There is nothing like a bit of accountability to keep you committed to a week of Runfulness. After all, Rome was not built in a day and you can’t put mental well-being on speed dial. It takes consistency to effect meaningful change.

With this in mind, we’re stepping in as your accountability partner with our downloadable Runfulness Tracker. Download by clicking below, note down your run days and how you will add a little Runfulness to your day alongside your run.

This could be:

  • Adding an extra few minutes to cool down physically and mentally before tackling the rest of the day.
  • Rewarding yourself for reaching a running or life micro-goal
  • Setting aside time for a virtual or distanced coffee/beer/beverage with a friend or loved one.
  • Committing to reducing your inbox for the mental relief (oh, how sweet that is).
  • Writing down what you have achieved in the last month and what you want to achieve this coming month.
  • Use your Runfulness imagination and fill in the gaps.
Runfulness Tracker Download
DOWNLOAD TRACKER

SHOP BROOKS GLCYERIN 19

To celebrate the month of Runfulness and to help you to get into a more Runfulness state of mind, we invite you to also slip into one of the softest shoes from Brooks Running, the Glcyerin 19.

Built specifically with comfort in mind, experience it for yourself by lacing up, heading out and freeing your soul (or would that be sole?!)

Brooks Glycerin 19 GTS - Men;s
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