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On Running Reviews

ON CLOUDSWIFT 2021 REVIEW

THE BUZZ

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.

It features On’s updated CloudTec midsole cushioning technology, which offers a blend of reliable shock absorption, protection, durability and a lively feel.

On Cloudswift Review

WHAT’S NEW

Aside from the slightly reconfigured midsole, other updates to the On Cloudswift include increased rocker geometry, enhanced forefoot cushioning and a re-engineered Speedboard for a more flowy ride and snappier feeling at toe-off.

The innovative CloudTec cushioning system is the key feature of the On Cloudswift. It’s been slightly updated with a bit more Helion foam cushioning that’s been formed into more of a rocker shape. The foam chassis is slightly thicker and cushier in the rear, but it’s snappier and more energetic in the forefoot.

The Cloudswift retains its unique one-piece upper that combines the practicalities of a fully gusseted tongue with an overarching upper with a wrap-like fit. The updated saddle sidewall panels are more supportive and more comfortable as they encase your foot.

It also has a new 100 percent recycled mesh upper with more supportive sidewall panels.

On Cloudswift Review

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The revised On Cloudswift fits true to size, but it has more of a medium- to low-volume interior with just a tiny amount of wiggle room for the toes. It’s not cramped, but it’s not wide, either. When you first step into the shoe and lace it up, it feels comfortable, secure and semi-soft.

The new upper configuration is slightly less pliable than the previous edition. The upper, combined with the new, slightly sturdier sidewall saddle supports makes for a more locked-down fit sensation.

The ride gives off soft, shock-absorbing and supportive vibes with a more distinct rolling sensation than in the past. This is generated by the new, shapelier incarnation of the Helion superfoam and rubber outsole pads. 

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

Runners who appreciate neutral-oriented shoes with a moderate to high cushion-to-weight ratio will love this shoe. It’s light and agile enough to be versatile to handle a variety of workouts. It’s also cushioned enough to be durable and comfortable for long runs.

If you only want one shoe in your quiver, it’s a good one to consider. 

On Cloudswift Review

PROS: ON CLOUDSWIFT

The new engineered mesh material in the upper is made from 100 percent recycled polyester, nylon and TPU materials. The upper is better integrated with the lacing system, creating better foot hold and an improved all-encompassing fit.

The cushioning in the ankle collar liner has been reduced and the heel counter band is slightly less rigid. These features actually make the shoe closure sync up more consistently.

This shoe feels moderately light when you put it on, but feels even lighter when you run in it. It is also, well-balanced with a lively feel in the midsole/outsole undercarriage.

If you previously ran in the On Cloudswift, you’ll find this new version a tiny bit softer and smoother. The new version features small but noticeable bits of improved comfort.

On Cloudswift Review

CONS: ON CLOUDSWIFT

There are no glaring drawbacks to the Cloudswift. It’s probably not the best shoe for running shorter, faster workouts on the track, but it can hold its own on tempo runs, fartlek runs and slow to moderately fast long runs.

ON CLOUDSWIFT TECH SPECS

On Cloudswift Tech Specs

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On Cloudswift Review
MEN’S CLOUDSWIFT
On Cloudswift Review
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Categories
Reviews Saucony

SAUCONY GUIDE 14 REVIEW

THE BUZZ

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.

If you need stability for your stride — even if only in the latter miles of a long run or race — the revamped Saucony Guide 14 is a great one to consider.  

Saucony Guide 14 Review

WHAT’S NEW

A new PWRRUN+ midsole compound and an updated FORMFit upper design give the Guide 14 a soft feel. The Guide 14 has a lighter weight and a more streamlined look and fit. All of these attributes contribute to smoother, springier transitions from heel-strike to toe-off.

The Saucony Guide 14 is durable and secure enough for high-mileage, but also light and agile enough for tempo and longer intervals.

The Guide 14 derives its stability from a tonal medial TPU guidance frame and 3D-engineered fascia in the upper. Both help deliver 360 degrees of stability while disappearing into the design of the shoe for a clean look and seamless ride. 

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The Saucony Guide 14 fits true to size. It has a medium-volume interior with a snug heel and saddle and a slightly wider toe box. (It’s available in two widths for men and women.) The step-in feel is cozy with a noticeably springy vibe the moment you lace them up and start running.

You’ll notice the practical support as you roll from heel to toe. However, there’s no stiff or firm feeling like many stability shoes. Instead, it feels like a neutral shoe even though it is subtly keeping your feet upright and tracking .

The new engineered mesh upper is stretchy, breathable and accommodating, but also provides a little bit of support. This support helps keep the foot aligned as you roll to the toe-off phase of a stride. Featherweight TPU overlays provide additional support over the saddle without adding bulk or inhibiting the natural flex of your feet.

Saucony Guide 14 Review

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

Runners who need a bit of support to offset mild to moderate overpronation but also like shoes with soft cushioning and an energetic vibe will like this shoe a lot.

The Guide 14 can be a workhorse daily trainer for runners who log a lot of slow to medium-paced miles, runners who want more cushioning and support and those who are known to pronate consistently or tend to endure form fatigue in final miles of a long run.

The Guide 14 has a moderate heel-toe offset (8mm), allowing it to have both generous heel cushioning and a more engaging feel for the road at the forefoot. No matter what shoes you’ve run in previously, there should be no issues transitioning into this model.

Saucony Guide 14 Review

PROS: SAUCONY GUIDE 14

The streamlined design not only makes the Guide 14 look smooth, but the reduced bulk and more energetic midsole also contributes to a better fit, agile feel and faster ride. It’s lighter, smoother and more nimble, allowing it to be more versatile as an everyday training shoe.

You can definitely feel the extra support in every stride — especially if you’re a severe overpronator. The shoe provides a smooth transition from the heel to midfoot to forefoot without the clunkiness of some stability shoes.

Our wear-testers love this shoe because it has a good blend of performance, durability and style. This is what makes the Guide 14 such a good value. The durable midsole foam and the two types of outsole rubber will help you get maximum mileage out of it.

Saucony Guide 14 Review

CONS: SAUCONY GUIDE 14

There are no real drawbacks of the Guide 14. There are other lighter stability shoes and some that provide more support, but overall this is a great update. The Saucony Guide 14 is a reliable stability trainer without any glaring flaws

TECH SPECS

Saucony Guide 14 Tech Specs

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Categories
Altra Reviews

ALTRA RIVERA REVIEW

THE BUZZ

The Altra Rivera is an all-new neutral everyday training shoe that’s light, lively, soft, versatile and fun.

It’s built on a responsive, moderately thick midsole and includes a balanced cushioning platform and foot-shaped toe box that Altra engineers into all of its shoes.

We think it’s one of the best new shoes of 2021 and one of the best models Altra has ever produced.

WHAT’S NEW

Everything about the Altra Rivera is new, but most notably is the new design serves up a more streamlined look and feel. It not only looks fast and smooth, but that’s how it feels and runs too.

The combination of the lightweight, one-piece Altra Ego midsole and the stretchy, secure and cleanly designed one-piece engineered upper bring a soft, but energetic ride to all types of training runs.

All Altra shoes are built with a “footshape” toe box that is wider and more spacious than most other shoes, thus allowing a runner’s toes and the transverse arch to splay and flex to allow for more effective muscular output for natural stability and optimal propulsion at the toe-off phase of a stride.

The toe box of the Rivera is spacious like most of Altra’s shoes, but it doesn’t have a bulbous shape or excessive roominess like most of its predecessor’s in the brand’s lineup.

LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD

The reason Altra builds its shoes on a level platform is to allow the heel and forefoot of a runner’s foot to always be an equal distance from the ground. Unlike shoes with elevated heels and sloping profiles, Altra’s shoes create what the brand calls an optimal foot alignment that cultivates natural running form and encourages low-impact footstrikes.

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The Altra Rivera fits true to size with a narrow-medium width in the heel and arch and just a touch more room in the forefoot. (It doesn’t feel nearly as roomy as most Altra shoes.)

The Rivera’s step-in feel is soft, smooth and comfortable, and it oozes a light and agile performance-oriented vibe the moment you start running in it.

The ride is sublime — buttery smooth, springy and effortless. (For Altra fans, it feels like a magical mashup of the Escalante Racer and the Torin 4.5 Plush.) Light, supple and peppy, the Rivera inspires quick-cadence running, good running form and enjoyable experiences.

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

New runners will appreciate the Altra Rivera for its versatility, while experienced runners will like it for its light and fast performance.

With such a luscious combination of juicy cushion, lightweight vibe and upbeat performance, the Rivera can be a versatile, do-everything training shoe. It’s perfect for a long-run specialist as well as a fast-workout specialist.

It’s also a great shoe for tempo runs, progressive long runs, fartlek workouts and longer interval sessions. It’s also light and energetic enough to be a race-day choice for 5K to the half marathon.

PROS: ALTRA RIVERA

The one-piece engineered mesh upper provides a seamless on-foot experience while still holding the foot onto the platform and providing optimal breathability. The moderately reinforced heel counter, padded tongue and cushy heel collar round complement the cozy and secure fit and feel.

The Rivera features a lightweight, one-piece Altra EGO midsole that offers loads of shock-absorbing protection as well as considerable energy-returning responsiveness. It’s Altra’s premium cushioning foam and it serves up smooth heel-toe transitions as it works with the natural movements of a runner’s foot.

The combination of the Innerflex grid-like grooves in the midsole and the minimal rubber across the outsole allow a runner’s foot to flex naturally while allowing the shoe to be lighter and more agile.

CONS: ALTRA RIVERA

There really isn’t much downside to Rivera. It’s not ideal for a runner who needs anti-pronation support and it might take a bit of time to adjust to a zero-drop or level platform if you’re used to running in shoes with a 4mm or 8mm offset.

Aside from these minor points, it’s a great shoe.

TECH SPECS

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Categories
Brooks Reviews

BROOKS GLYCERIN GTS 19 REVIEW

The Brooks Glycerin GTS 19 is the Brooks Transcend reinvented. Brian Metzler puts the new reiteration through its paces.

THE BUZZ

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.

The Brooks Glycerin GTS 19 is essentially a near-exact duplicate of the Glycerin 19. The difference is that it also has the GuideRails stability mechanism to keep the foot from rolling inward or outward.

With the buttery soft ride feels like a neutral shoe with an exquisitely plush interior. The Glycerin GTS serves up softness, stability and a bit of liveliness in every stride.

Brooks Glycerin 19 GTS - What's New

WHAT’S NEW

The key this shoe is the updated GuideRails holistic support system. These helps keep the foot moving forward without a firm medial-side post.

It also includes more of Brooks’ soft and responsive top-tier DNA Loft midsole compound. This results in a cozier and more responsive feeling in every stride.

The new engineered mesh upper is soft and stretchy. This allows it to accommodate a wide range of foot shapes with a 3D-printed overlay design for structure.

The new double-jacquard mesh upper offers exceptional breathability that helps keep the feet cool, dry and comfortable in warm conditions. It’s slightly stretchy and more accommodating — but also slightly more secure — than the upper on the Glycerin 18.

The outsole provides reliable traction and connectivity with the ground as it has in previous editions of the Glycerin. The array of flex grooves has been updated to provide better midsole flexibility without compromising the sensation of the cushioning and ride.

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The Glycerin GTS 19 fits true to size with a medium-width interior volume and a snug, locked-down feeling from heel to toe. There’s a tiny bit of wiggle room in the forefoot, but the engineered mesh upper also accommodates a range of foot shapes within the same size.

The step-in feeling is soft and comforting with a wrap-like sensation. This is thanks to the seamless interior, fully gusseted tongue and extra cushioning in the heel collar and footbed.

The smooth, secure and resilient ride is highlighted by the inherent lateral stability provided by the GuideRails system. It’s not very fast or agile by design, but you can push it to moderately fast paces for specific workouts or progression runs if necessary.

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

Runners who appreciate the feeling of plush, soft cushioning in every stride but also need significant support to offset over-pronation or supination, will love the Glycerin GTS 19.

It’s ideal for long runs, recovery runs and mid-length tempo runs.

The Glycerin GTS 19 is not especially adept at high-cadence running. However, if you’re a runner who is looking for a shoe with a smooth, clean ride and the reliable stability to offset over-pronation or supination in your stride, you’ll like this shoe a lot.

Brooks Glycerin 19 GTS - Pros

PROS: BROOKS GLCYERIN 19 GTS

The magic of the Glycerin GTS comes from the blend of the full-length DNA Loft midsole and the GuideRails stability system. It’s the softest midsole foam in the Brooks toolbox, one that produces a forgiving and resilient sensation in every step and isn’t negatively impact by the GuideRails system that channels the motion of the feet forward.

Whether your gait pattern needs a little support or a lot, the Glycerin GTS midsole chassis will provide it.

A stretchy internal bootie and cushy ankle collar provide a seamless, sock-like fit. This allows the Glycerin GTS to adapt to a wide variety of foot sizes, shapes and volumes with a locked-down fit.

If you’re a runner who needs added support, the Glycerin GTS will bring endless miles of soft, consistent cushioning. It offers adaptive stability to your individual stride details when and where you need it.

Additional inherent stability comes from the structure of the midsole foam and the wider overall footprint. This is enhanced by the slightly flared design of the midsole/outsole chassis.

The biggest updates to the Glycerin GTS 19 (from the Transcend 7) were minor. This GTS is marginally lighter, slightly more flexible, noticeably more comfortable and generally a better shoe for a wider range of runners.

The Glycerin GTS 19 is probably too sturdy for neutral runners or runners who mildly over-pronate. Or those who don’t really need excessive support. Several other Brooks stability shoes utilize the GuideRails system with slightly less structure, including the Launch GTS 8, Bedlam 3 and Adrenaline GTS 20.

Otherwise, the Glycerin 19 is a partner neutral shoe to the GTS version that has a very similar fit, feel and ride, but without the stability-enhancing GuideRails.

Brooks Glycerin 19 GTS - Cons

CONS: BROOKS GLYCERIN GTS 19

The only drawback to the Glycerin GTS 19 is that it can feel a bit overbearing. This is given it’s not as light or energetic or fast as some of its contemporaries. 

TECH SPECS

Brooks Glycerin 19 GTS - Tech Specs

SHOP BROOKS GLYCERIN GTS 19

Brooks Glycerin 19 GTS - Men;s
Men’s Glycerin GTS 19
Brooks Glycerin 19 GTS - women's
Women’s Glycerin GTS 19
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Brooks Reviews

BROOKS GLYCERIN 19 REVIEW

THE BUZZ

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.

If you’re looking for a premium fit, feel and ride, this is the shoe for you. Run a few steps in the Brooks Glycerin, it’s like you’re dancing on clouds. Run 15 miles in them and it’s the same sensation.

Brooks Glycerin 19 - What's New

WHAT’S NEW

The Brooks Glycerin 19 has been updated with more of Brooks’ soft and responsive top-tier DNA Loft midsole compound. This results in a cozier and more responsive feeling in every stride.

The new engineered mesh upper is soft and stretchy, allowing it to accommodate a wide range of foot shapes with a 3D-printed overlay design for structure.

The updates to the Glycerin 19 are significant, but it hasn’t changed the familiar feeling and smooth ride of this shoe. It’s a tad lighter, more flexible, more cushioned and generally a better shoe for a wider range of runners.

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The Glycerin fits true to size with a medium-width interior volume with a snug, locked-down feeling from heel to toe. There’s a tiny bit of wiggle room offered in the forefoot. The engineered mesh upper also accommodates a range of foot shapes within the same size.

The step-in feeling is soft and comforting with a wrap-like sensation. This is thanks to the extra cushioning in the heel collar, foot bed, seamless interior and fully gusseted tongue.

All of those aspects contribute to a particularly smooth and consistent ride, a rolling, slightly bouncy and very forgiving sensation for short distances or long runs.

The Glycerin is not exceptionally agile or fast by nature, but it can be pushed to moderately fast paces for specific workouts or progression runs.

Brooks Glycerin 19 - Review

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

Runners who appreciate the feeling of plush, soft cushioning in every stride will appreciate the Brooks Glycerin 19.

It’s ideal for long runs, recovery runs and mid-length tempo runs, the Glycerin is a mid-weight shoe that provides subtle stability and industry-leading cushion and comfort.

Although it’s not especially adept at high-cadence running, it has enough cushiness in the midsole for consistent moderately fast running. With this in mind, some runners might even consider it for a half marathon or marathon.

If you’re a runner with a neutral gait pattern, the Glycerin will bring endless miles of soft, consistent cushioning that’s not mushy and also not too bouncy like some other neutral shoes.

Although it’s not a stability shoe, there is a bit of inherent stability. This derives from the structure of the midsole foam and the wider overall footprint. It’s enhanced by the slightly flared design of the midsole/outsole chassis.

Brooks Glycerin 19 - Pros

PROS: Brooks Glycerin 19

The magic of the Glycerin comes from the full-length DNA Loft midsole. It’s the softest midsole foam in the Brooks toolbox, one that produces a forgiving and resilient sensation in every step.

A stretchy internal bootie and cushy ankle collar provide a seamless, sock-like fit that allows the Glycerin to adapt to a wide variety of foot sizes, shapes and volumes.

The new double-jacquard mesh upper offers exceptional breathability that helps keep the feet cool, dry and comfortable in warm conditions. It’s slightly stretchy and more accommodating — but also slightly more secure — than the upper on the Glycerin 18.

The outsole provides reliable traction and connectivity with the ground as it has in previous editions of the Glycerin. What has changed is the array of flex grooves. They have updates to provide better midsole flexibility without compromising the sensation of the cushioning and ride.

If you like the feeling of the soft, smooth ride of the neutral-oriented Brooks Ghost 13 ($130), you’ll find the Glycerin 19 to be a notch up when it comes to softness, smoothness and plushness. The Glycerin 19 is a premium everyday trainer that compares well to other top-tier trainers from other brands in the same price range.

LOOKING FOR MORE STABILITY?

The Glycerin is probably too soft for runners who need some degree of support to accommodate an over-pronating gait pattern.

It’s worth noting that Brooks has changed the name of its Transcend stability shoe to the Glycerin 19 GTS. This launches in March 2021 ($150) with a similarly plush ride to the original Glycerin. The stability-enhancing ride of the Guiderails system that was in the Transcend is also built into the Brooks Adrenaline GTS and Launch GTS.

Brooks Glycerin 19 - Cons

CONS: Brooks Glycerin 19

There aren’t really any negatives to the Glycerin 19, but there are some minor limitations. While it’s as soft and smooth and comfortable as any neutral shoe on the market, it’s not as light or energetic of fast as some of its contemporaries

TECH SPECS

Brooks Glycerin 19 - Tech Specs

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Categories
New Balance Reviews

NEW BALANCE 1080 V11 REVIEW

THE BUZZ

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.

The 1080 is an everyday workhorse that can handle most paces and distances well. It has premium midsole cushioning, a premium engineered knit upper and it serves up a soft, smooth, stable ride. 

New Balance 1080 v11 - JackRabbit

WHAT’S NEW

The latest edition of the Fresh Foam 1080 has been given minor updates that improve the fit and make it one of the top-tier high-mileage trainers available for spring 2021.

The stretchy material of the upper has been loosened a bit to provide more comfortable and dynamic movement of the forefoot. All the while, the rear heel tab is more distinctly flared to reduce tension off the Achilles tendon.

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The 1080v11 fits true to size with a medium volume interior from heel to toe. (Our review is based on a medium-width sample, but the men’s and women’s models are available in four different widths.)

The step-in feel is soft, cozy and plush. The shoe has a locked-down feel, thanks to the gusseted tongue and snug forefoot mesh. The ride is soft and sublime and a little bit resilient at slower speeds, but increasingly bouncy the faster you run.

The wide overall footprint of the 1080 v11 contributes an unexpected feeling of stability. This does limit the shoe’s agility if you try to run faster than tempo pace.

New Balance 1080 v11 - 2021

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

Runners who appreciate thickly cushioned neutral shoes for high-mileage training will embrace the Fresh Foam 1080v11.

New runners will love it for its secure fit and comfortable ride. Advanced runners will appreciate the 1080 v11 for its mildly energetic cushioning, plush step-in feel and hint of stability.

If you’re looking for a reliable, well-cushioned everyday trainer, the 1080 v11 is a good shoe to consider.

New Balance 1080 v11 - Pros

PROS: New Balance 1080 v11

Last year’s Fresh Foam 1080v10 was an amazing shoe. Fortunately, New Balance didn’t drastically change it too much with the minor updates to the 1080v11.

In fact, the well-liked midsole and outsole of the v11 have returned unchanged from the previous edition.

The resilient Fresh Foam X midsole foam that debuted in the previous edition of this shoe serves up a consistently soft, moderately bouncy and reliably stable foot strikes and toe-offs.

It seems to be slightly more responsive at faster speeds, but never excessively bouncy.

With a lightweight feeling and modestly energetic demeanor, the Fresh Foam 1080v11 is ideal for long weekend runs. It doesn’t give off the sensation of being race-day fast, but it’s proficient for consistent running slow to moderately quick paces.

The Hypoknit engineered mesh upper accommodates a wide range of foot shapes. It’s slightly more relaxed and less stringent than the upper of the 1080v10. (The laces also seem a little bit less stretchy than the laces on last year’s model.)

This Hypoknit gives a good amount of locked-down hold. It also gives the sensation of having more wiggle room in the forefoot. This allows your toes to flex and splay just before the toe-off phase.

A series of seven blown rubber outsole lug segments contribute to the premium ride sensation. This provides ample traction and allowing for compliant flexibility. This also helps keep the overall weight as low as possible.

If you liked the Fresh Foam 1080v10, you’re probably going to like the 1080v11. The minor updates have improved the fit but haven’t negatively impacted the ride.

The forefoot and heel will feel slightly different, but neither is something to get hung up about. This feeling tends to disappear as soon as you start running in it.

New Balance 1080 v11 - Cons

CONS: New Balance 1080 v11

The Fresh Foam 1080 has never been a speed burner and the v11 is no different.

It’s capable of faster long runs and tempo runs, but it’s not really built for the fast turnover you’ll want for long intervals, track workouts or short-distance racing.

TECH SPECS

New Balance 1080 v11 - Tech Specs

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Altra Interviews

RYAN MONTGOMERY: TAKE UP YOUR SPACE

Take Up Your Space by Laura Cortez

We sat down with Altra Ultra-Runner Ryan Montgomery, who holds many titles. We talked all things running, finding who you are and how to balance everyday life while still making time for yourself.

WHO IS RYAN MONTGOMERY

A 26-year-old full-time worker at Accenture, a 100-mile winner, 200-miler 2nd place finisher, Badwater 135 finisher, Wonderland Trail Fastest Known Time record holder. These accolades are just some of the things that fill up Ryan’s running extensive running resume. More than a decorated runner, Ryan is also taking up his space as one of the few openly gay athletes in the trail running world with a goal in 2021 being to continue creating more visibility and space for other LGTBQIA+ athletes to feel comfortable and ultimately, themselves.

YOUR SPACE

“I want to create space and a feeling of belonging for other gay athletes in the community. I’ve gotten messages before from other gay runners who thought they were the only one, or where I’m one of the only other gay runners they know of.”

Reiterating his identity in not just the running world, but life as a whole as an openly gay man is a critical step toward continued diversification of the sport. Ryan knows this. One thing in particular he talked about is to take up your space and not to be afraid to do so. 

After growing up in a more conservative environment and culture, being 26 today, Ryan said, “it’s still uncomfortable sometimes to say I’m a gay person in public, it should be a normal thing. A lot of these feelings still exist with me today.”

“Take up your space you know, emotionally, physically, know your value.”

It can be scary, the concept of taking up space. Holding an identity that has historically not been truly accepted is exhausting. This is one of the many reasons Ryan wants to be upfront and visible through his continued action in sport and those he works with to support him. By creating space and room for a conversation to be had, he hopes to give others the support they need to feel comfortable being who they are. He’s been vocal, for example, to brands who he represents about who he is, the value he brings and even the value he wants to bring. 

“We do these sports because we want community we want ti find people who are like ourselves. So that’s why I think it’s important for me to continue to be visible, to be an advocate for other people like myself.”

It’s important to sit with yourself every once in a while and think about your value outside of a job or running environment. Jotting down on paper your values, the things you value about yourself the most and the things you stand for can actually be a very empowering exercise to find yourself.

RUNNING SPACE

From his first 100-mile race at the Wasatch 100 in Kaysville, Utah in 2017, learning how to navigate the emotional highs and lows ultrarunning brings you, to more confidently running 100 miles through the Alaskan wilderness in the middle of winter in 2018 to setting FKTs on some of the hardest routes, Ryan has certainly learned one thing “my body is so much more capable than I think it is,” he said. “All my experiences have allowed me to epxplore that state of being and to develop the confidence to compete.”

“You really need to have a lot of experiences, diverse experiences in various settings to really understand your body and your mind to see how deep you can go.”

So this brings us back to the “more miles means better performance” argument. When Ryan talks about ‘diverse experience,’ he means it. Living in the mountains of California at 7,000ft with the nearest trail being a half-mile from his door and plenty of snow in the winter, he is able to take advantage of the elements with skiing and snowshoeing. Embracing new elements is one of the many things that helps to contribute to athletic diversity. “Through a lot of diverse experience, you can really learn how to adjust the body and mindset to see how deep you can go.”

Though, knowing that not everyone has the ideal lifestyle to go ski for lunch every day, he still recommends that others find more ways to be active instead of just running. “The more you diversify your athleticism, the more you can push your limits.”

Much like life, trail running takes a lot of time and experience to learn how to do things better, rather than chasing perfection. You take learnings from training runs, racing, the way training load makes you feel and how it changes as you get older. Understanding that no day, no race, no week will be the same, but knowing how you can adjust to your ever-changing self.

RYAN MONTGOMERY’S SPACE

“I’ve learned that communication is key, both with yourself and others. Knowing when to pull back training and work.”

We went on to talk about his balance between holding down a full-time job and a being professional athlete and all the moving parts those things encompass.

However, this all circled back to the concept of unapologetically taking up your space – not just when you need it, but all the time. Knowing your value and worth can help you stay on track to being your most authentic self. 

RAPID FIRE – I say, you say

  • Shoe – Altra
  • Nutrition – Pizza
  • Book – Humans
  • Season – Spring
  • Show – Schitt’s Creek
  • Dessert – Dark Chocolate

WHAT’S RYAN RUNNING IN?

“I love the Torin Plush for the road, the Lone Peak for all-terrain running and the Olympus for trail…I actually wore the OG Olympus way back when I started competing!”

SHOP TORIN PLUSH
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Altra Training

RUNNING MEDITATIONS

We’re bringing together the narrative of running and wellness this month. Meet Kriste Peoples, a runner, meditation guide and Altra Elite Trail Running Ambassador.

Kriste narrates two five-minute running mediations to put you in the mindset for the run ahead and day behind.

RUN WARMUP MEDITATION

Take a few minutes before your run to get into the mindset of what is to come.

Runners are not immune to the stresses of life and these five minutes from Kriste will help clear the mind so you can step into your run with a clearer vision.

Kriste starts you with deep breathing, filling the lungs and getting them ready and ending with the mindset for a strong run ahead.

RUN WARMUP MEDITATION

5 MINUTE GUIDED MEDITATION

This is a guided mediation for rest to be done seated or lying down in a comfortable, quiet place.

These quiet minutes allow you to identify any areas of stress and slowly unwind at the end of day, or to start the morning with a clear head. Say goodbye to discomfort with deep breathing and intention.

5 MINUTE GUIDED MEDITATION
Kriste Peoples

ABOUT THE GUIDE

Kriste Peoples is a Denver-based writer, producer, speaker, and Altra Elite trail running ambassador.

She writes Running Starts, a bi-weekly beginner-friendly column for Trail Runner Magazine, and is a women’s trail running coach with Lifes2ShortFitness.

Categories
Nike Reviews

NIKE REACT INFINITY RUN FLYKNIT 2 REVIEW

THE BUZZ

The Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 is a durable, well-cushioned everyday trainer. It provides stability for neutral and over-pronating runners alike.

The React Infinity 2 is built on a full-length React foam midsole platform and serves up loads of comfort, softness and resiliency. At the same time it also provides a wide, sturdy platform for a variety of gait types.

Nike React Infinity Flyknit 2 - What's new

WHAT’S NEW

Runners can find the biggest updates to the second edition of this shoe in the knit upper. The lacing system is now secured with Nike’s Flywire system for a locked-down feel.

More padding in the heel collar provides a more comfortable and secure fit. And generally, the upper — which features a mix of both coarse, durable knit pattern and a lighter, more open pattern — offers more support and breathability than the previous edition. It is also a teeny bit heavier than the original version.

There is more blown rubber on the outsole in this model, which helps it deliver better traction and durability. Narrow outsole groves give it a performance-oriented flex and increase traction in all types of weather conditions.

Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 - flex

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 fits true-to-size with a comfortable interior and a medium width in the toe box. (It doesn’t fit quite as snug/narrow as most Nike running shoes, but it does have a high arch.)

The step-in feel is opulently plush, making it one of the best and coziest and most comfortable shoes on the market.

The ride is generally soft and very secure, but it seems ever-so-slightly firmer than the previous version. Although, this is without veering too far to the right of the comfort vs. performance scale.

Combined with the rocker geometry of the midsole profile, it results in a less bouncy ride than the first version. Instead, it produces more of a stable, responsive rolling sensation that tends to return more energy in every stride. It’s almost a boost of assistance in every stride.

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

Runners who appreciate cushioning and need stability in their everyday training shoes will love this shoe.

The Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 can handle long runs, recovery runs and moderately paced tempo runs with aplomb. It provides a stable, consistent ride no matter what type of stride pattern or gait idiosyncrasies a runners might have.

Nike React Infinity Flyknit 2 - Pros

PROS

Nike specifically designed this shoe as a modern stability shoe to reduce the injury rate among runners who have significantly pronating gait patterns.

A study with North Star Sports Medicine Research in British Columbia revealed 52 percent less disruption in training due to pain or discomfort compared to the Nike Air Zoom Structure 22 stability shoe.

Unlike traditional stability shoes that rely on a firm wedge of foam under the medial side of the midsole, the React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 provides stability in a variety of ways. This is possible due to:

  • The wider footprint for more ground contact,
  • Reinforced guiderails around the base of the heel
  • The semi-firm and absorbent React foam.

The entire system of features is designed to help over-pronators maintain a neutral foot orientation while not encumbering neutral runners.

The addition of the Flyknit closure technology really improves the fit of this shoe. This allows for a more adaptable and secure fit across the middle of the foot and through the heel.

Combined with the padded, stretchy gusseted tongue and high arch, the upper really provides an all-encompassing wrap-like fit. (Runners with flatter feet might find the arch to be a bit too stout.)

The updated version of the React Infinity has less material between the insole and midsole, which means you’re closer to the foam. This helps create a more intuitive and responsive experience. The foam itself has a higher height, providing a plush feel. However, you can also feel the ground better for a more proprioceptive experience.

There’s a more much distinct rocker profile in this edition, helping smooth the transition from heel strike to toe-off. It starts with a flared heel for mitigating downward impact force, then it’s slightly concave under the middle of the foot and finishes with a rounded toe spring off the front.

Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit Cons

CONS

The only drawback of the React Infinity 2 is that it’s a bit heavier than many everyday trainers. However, it is still well-balanced from heel to toe.

It can be a workhorse for most of your running needs, but it’s a bit too hefty for shorter, faster workouts and up-tempo long runs. This is true especially compared to the well-cushioned, featherweight super shoes that many runners have in their quivers.

TECH SPECS

Nike React Infinity Flyknit 2 - Tech Specs

SHOP NIKE REACT INFINITY RUN FLYKNIT 2

Nike React Infinity Flyknit 2 - Men's
MEN’S REACT 2
Nike React Infinity Flyknit 2 - women's
WOMEN’S REACT 2
Categories
hoka one one Reviews

HOKA CARBON X 2 REVIEW

After it’s debut, the smartly updated HOKA Carbon X 2 is ready for the running season ahead.

THE BUZZ

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.

The Carbon X 2 is a maximally cushioned neutral-oriented speed shoe. It has a staunchly rocker profile and an energetic vibe that promotes fast-cadence running.

Hoka Carbon X 2 - What's New

WHAT’S NEW

The smart updates HOKA Carbon X 2 to make this edition slightly lighter and cushier. It is more consistent and efficient and, ultimately, even faster than the original.

Specifically, the shape and positioning of the carbon-fiber plate have been updated slightly for smoother, more efficient transitions. The midsole is slightly thicker and slightly softer for a more plush ride. Add to that the new, extended Achilles-friendly heel tab improves comfort and fit.

A stretchy Lycra bootie finishes off the Carbon X 2. This feature creates a gusseted tongue for a locked-down feeling at the mid-foot. It’s topped off with an engineered mesh upper that delivers breathable comfort.

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The Carbon X 2 has a true-to-size fit with a medium width from heel to toe. It also brings in a little bit more room in the toe box. Compared to other carbon-fiber racing shoes, it’s a bit more roomy, especially in the toe box.

It’s a unique shoe that feels soft at step-in, but it tends to feel a bit firmer the faster you run in it. That’s a good combination that allows it to be comfortable, responsive, propulsive and fast. The most unique feature about this shoe is the rolling sensation of the ride.

Unlike some other super shoes with carbon-fiber plates that are bouncy, the Carbon X serves up a smooth, rhythmic, rolling ride. This stems from the distinct rocker geometry and catapulting sensation of the carbon-fiber plate embedded in the foam midsole.

There’s not much flex in this shoe, but it’s supposed to be firm and snappy. It’s takes a short amount of time to get used to it, but once you find that rhythm you’ll feel the energetic boost in every stride. It will feel almost effortless.

Hoka Carbon X 2 Review 2021

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

If you’re interested chasing a new personal best in the half marathon or marathon or want a proficient performance trainer for long runs and tempo runs, this is a definitely one every runner should consider.

While it’s a ideal choice for front of the pack runners, it’s an especially good shoe for committed age-group runners and middle-of-the-pack runners. This is because it accommodates a wide range of stride styles and encourages quicker and more efficient turnover for moderate paces too.

Hoka Carbon X 2 - Pros

For the encore edition, HOKA made some adjustments to the placement of the carbon-fiber plate. Embedded in the midsole, this allows the rolling vibe and energetic toe-off to be more accessible to every type of running gait. The plate is split under the flared midsole forefoot platform, allowing for optimal resupination to set up the toe-off phase of the stride.

The midsole of the Carbon X 2 is 2mm thicker and slightly softer than the original. This creates a more plush feeling from touch-down to toe-off. That includes slight changes to the cushy foam above the carbon-fiber plate and the durable and responsive injected-molded, rubberized EVA foam below the plate.

The outsole is made from a durable, injected-molded rubberized EVA. This provides a secure grip on wet and dry surfaces while also contributing to the propulsive ride.

Hoka Carbon X 2 - Cons

If you prefer or typically run in shoes with soft, compressible midsoles, the ride of the Carbon X might seem too rigid and rolling for you.

The Carbon X 2 much softer and more accessible than the first version. But it still a different ride than most carbon-fiber racing shoes that feature a soft, bouncy ride.

TECH SPECS

Hoka Carbon X 2 - Tech Specs

SHOP HOKA CARBON X 2

Hoka Carbon X 2 - Men's
MEN’S CARBON X 2
Hoka Carbon X 2 - Women's
WOMEN’S CARBON X 2