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ALTRA KAYENTA REVIEW

 

ALTRA KAYENTA – SHOE REVIEW

by BRIAN METZLER | JANUARY, 2018

2019 welcomes the launch of a fast and lightweight performance road shoe from Altra, the Kayenta.  This new road star is going to be a great addition to your shoe line up for longer races and marathons, tempo runs and triathlons.  

For any Altra brand aficionado, the Kayenta is surely going to be welcomed with opened arms (or would that be feet?!)

Guest JackRabbit reviewer, Brian Metzler reviews the new style and gives us his take on the Kayenta. 

THE BUZZ: Arriving 02.01.19

The Altra Kayenta is a featherweight, low-to-the-ground performance trainer with a unique upper design and responsive feel.  

The Kayenta is made for up-tempo workouts and racing from 5K to the marathon. Like all Altra shoes, the Kayenta has the brand’s signature zero-drop (level) platform and wide, foot-shaped toe box. 

ALTRA KAYENTA: LIGHT, FAST PERFORMANCE

The Kayenta is an entirely new shoe in the Altra line this sleek and slender racer is built with an innovative two-layer upper construction—a soft, foot-wrapping inner bootie and a supportive, engineered mesh outer shell—that accommodates for a wide range of foot shapes and volumes.

It fits into the Altra line between the Vanish-R super-light minimalist racer and the lightweight, highly cushioned performance-oriented Duo.

Altra Kayenta - Ligthly does it

FIT-FEEL-RIDE

We found the fit to be exquisite—snug and locked down but extremely comfortable because of the lightly cushioned inner liner’s glove-like fit.

When you slip it on, it feels as if it’s an extension of your foot, offering intuitive feel-for-the-road proprioception. The ride is semi-firm, smooth and consistent, not quite springy but noticeably responsive with an easy forefoot flex and a very natural heel-to-toe transition.

Overall, it gives off and agile and energetic sensation, both at slower speeds and faster paces.

 

WHO'S IT BEST FOR?

The Altra Kayenta is perfect for a strong, nimble runner who is looking for a go-fast shoe.  Runners with a light foot strike with a mid-foot, forefoot gait style will like it the most.

We loved this shoe for shorter runs, drills and quick-turnover running—tempo runs, fartleks and workouts like 5×1-mile. Wearing it for longer runs—10 to 15 miles or longer—requires efficient form and finely tuned lower leg strength.

PROS AND CONS OF THE ALTRA KAYENTA

Altra Kayenta - Pros

The Kayenta is one of the first shoes to feature Altra’s new Max-LT lightweight performance foam with an energetic, well-cushioned vibe despite the relatively low stack height.

The engineered mesh upper is exceptionally breathable and durable, made from a thin but strong nylon mesh with perforations and vents for optimal comfort and security.

We enjoyed wearing this shoe with or with socks. The inner bootie is comfortable and wicks moisture, while the sofly cushioned sockliner is perforated to enhance breathability.

Altra Kayenta - Cons

The only real detraction to the Kayenta is a heavy heel-striker might not like this shoe very much. The heel of the Kayenta is slightly tapered and doesn’t offer a lot of protection or added design features to encourage roll-through propulsion.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BRIAN METZLER

Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado. 

He's the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine. He's the author of “Running Colorado's Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian's Approach for Every Runner.”

 

 
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THE BEST RUNNING ACCESSORIES AND GADGETS

 

THE BEST RUNNING ACCESSORIES & GADGETS

 

 

MORE THAN JUST SHOES… RUNNING ACCESSORIES

When most people walk into a running store, the first thing that typically catches their eye is the massive wall of shoes. It makes sense, though, because most runners are in need of new shoes a couple of times a year and are interested in having a shoe-fit expert help them find the best new model for their feet.

But running stores are also chock full of amazing accessories that can help improve your running, your recovery and your daily life.
 

Tom Holowka - Manager JackRabit

TOM HOLOWKA RECOMMENDS…

We checked in with Tom Holowka, manager of the JackRabbit store in Ridgewood, N.J., to see what accessories he’d recommend. His suggestions are great for all levels of runners (and they’re also great gift ideas for the runners on your list whatever the time of year.) 
 

Orb Exteme Mini Massage Ball

ORB EXTREME MINI MASSAGE BALL, $14.95

“I really like the Orb Mini Massage Ball because it’s pretty versatile. You can use it on your feet or hard-to-reach areas of your body. It’s firm enough where you into the areas pretty deeply that a typical foam roller cannot.

I sometimes get a knot in my calf or in my hip, and it works really well by getting into those precise areas and massaging it out and making it feel better. It’s compact and easy to pack on the way to a run or on a trip, too.”

CEP Compression Socks for running

CEP—COMPRESSION RUNNING SOCKS 2.0, $60

CEP Compession Running Socks:  “I really notice a difference when I wear compression socks. I wear them occasionally when I run, but I really like to put them on after I run and when I sleep. After I wear them, I always feel refreshed, especially if my calves were sore from a workout.

I do like to wear them on trail runs because I’m always scared of getting tick bites and also because trail runs are typically longer and the compression helps offset the fatigue from the longer duration on my feet.”
 

Oofos Ooah Sport Slide Sandals

OOFOS—OOAHH SPORT SLIDE SANDALS, $59.95

Oofos – Ooahh Sport Slide Sandals:  “I really like to wear these as my house shoes. I come home and take off my everyday shoes and slide these on. The OOfoam feels so good underneath your feet, and because it has an arch support in there, it revitalizes your feet, especially after a long day.

Or even if you have plantar fasciitis when you wake up in the morning, it’s good to put those on to be able to stand and walk around without having the heel and arch pain on a hardwood floor or hard surface. And if your feet are bothering you after a race, it’s great to slide them on and wear them after you take off your running shoes.”

 

Roll Recovery RS Roller

ROLL RECOVERY – THE R8 ROLLER, $130

Roll Recovery R8 Roller: “This is a unique and very effective recovery tool. Especially after long trail runs or long bike rides, it helps the legs feel refreshed so you can move on with the rest of your day without feeling any lingering fatigue or soreness.

The R8 Roller from Roll Recovery is a completely unique recovery tool because it supplies the tension for you so it’s not as much of a strain to work out your kinks, and with the latest version you can adjust the tension, too.

If you’re a runner and also a busy person, your run is only a small part of your day. For me, after I do my two-hour long run or three-hour bike ride, I have to do a lot of other stuff and I’m still on my feet for a long time so I have to make sure I am recovered.”

Garmin Forrunner 935

GARMIN – FORERUNNER 935, $499

Garmin Forerunner 935: “This has been my go-to GPS watch for the past two years. I train and race triathlons and it has all of the features I need to track all of my workouts.

It integrates with my power meter, tracks all of my heart rate data in my run workouts and my bike workouts, tracks my open-water swimming, and it all auto-uploads to Garmin Connect and Strava.

I have been more into yoga recently, and I have used it to track the calories burned and the time of the session. Essentially the Forerunner 935 has allowed Garmin Connect to become my workout log.”

Other Running Accessories

MORE ESSENTIALS FOR RUNNERS

Need more suggestions?

Nuun Electrolytes ($7 per tube of 10 tablets) are a hydration-enhancing electrolyte formula that can be added to any water bottle or hydration pack; KT Tape ($12.99) is useful for helping align various body parts to reduce the minor irritation or discomfort of overuse injuries. And the Hyperice Hypervolt ($349) is an impressive battery-powered vibrating massage tool that can help workout kinks and muscular soreness.

“Most running stores carry a lot of items that can be useful to just about any runner,” Holowka says. “A lot of times people know kind of what they want or need for a specific purpose but might not know the product name, but often times a customer will come in and not even be aware that those kinds of items exist or are sold in the store.” 

SHOP ACCESSORIES AT JACKRABBIT

 

 
 

 

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RUNNING SHOE FIT GUIDE

RUNNING SHOE FITTING

| by BRIAN METZLER |

IF THE SHOE FITS…

JackRabbit's Running Shoe Fit Guide

Having the right pair of running shoes for your foot geometry, running gait and foot and running type can make or break the training and race day experience.  

JackRabbit guest blogger Brian Metzler interviews David Gettis
– our JackRabbit Store Manager in Hoboken, NJ. to get his insights into the running shoe fitting experience. Read on to learn how the experience at JackRabbit takes running shoe fitting to a whole new level. 

HOW WE FIT A RUNNER IN THE BEST SHOES FOR THEM

There are a lot of good reasons to visit your local running store to find your next pair of shoes. Not only can you get the input from an expert shoe-fitter who is well-versed in the current models and latest trends, but you can also
try on several models to understand the vast difference in how various shoes fit the specific size and shape of your feet.

We checked in with David Gettis, the store manager for JackRabbit’s Hoboken, N.J., store to
understand what an in-store shoe-fitting process is all about and why it is so important.

What can a customer expect from the shoe-fitting process?

It starts with us asking a lot of questions
to find out what that individual’s running history is or if they’re just starting out as a new runner. We want to get an overall feel for what they’ve done in the past and what they’re looking to accomplish moving forward, specifically
what their upcoming goals are in respect to mileage and races.

Each runner has different needs based on their experience, their foot size and shape and how they run. Whether someone is a new runner or an experienced
marathon, we want to make sure we get a runner into the best shoes possible.

Often we’ll perform a gait analysis to see what’s happening with a runner’s foot strike and what the degree of pronation of their foot is
as it rolls through the gait cycle. That’s kind of out the introductory process helps us decide which four shoes on the shoe wall would be best for them to try on. From there, they can run a bit in each of those and compare and
contrast and see what feels best.

Why do you go through an individual shoe-fitting process?

It’s a very individualistic process. Someone might come in and say, “my friend says this shoe is
great” and I’ll say “that shoe might be great for your friend but we have to take a look at you and your feet and how you run.” It’s a very personal thing based on a lot of variables as well as personal taste on how a shoe feels
and how it looks.

And it’s funny how personal tastes work, no matter if it’s shoes or food. Someone might love something, someone else might hate it. That’s why going through the whole fit process can help a lot to
determine what’s going to feel the best and work the best for an individual’s running needs.

Should a runner be brand loyal or brand agnostic while searching for new shoes?

We try to keep
it model-specific instead of making any overall statements about brands. There are a lot of great models out there from a lot of great brands. There are models within each brand’s line that don’t work well for certain people, but
that’s not a reason to write off the brand. It’s really more model-dependent than it is about a blanket statement about a brand.

Some people might come in with a brand loyalty, but we also have customers who are adverse
to a specific brand for some reason. We try to have them suspend those notions as they go through the three or four models we present for the try-on process and then let them decide.

THE TECH ASPECTS OF A RUNNING SHOE FITTING

Do you talk about the technical features of a shoe during the shoe-fitting process?

I like to always be discussing aspects of a shoe as I am untying it, taking the stuffing out and handing it to the customer. I
will try to explain how that specific shoe will differ from a lot of shoes on the wall.

For example, for a Saucony Triumph with an Everun midsole, I’ll explain
that the midsole is made from 85 percent TPU and not foam and explain how the ride will feel more bouncy than soft. Sometimes I won’t get too technical, though and just instead tell them that the Adidas Solar Boost was built on a slightly wider last and that it should better accommodate that person’s foot.

I always try to keep some technical aspects in play, but I don’t want to overwhelm someone with too many technical statements or verbiage.
In the end, layman’s terms will often resonate easier with people as they focus on the fit and what each shoe feels like.

How should the size and shape of a runner’s foot be considered when starting the shoe-fitting process?

Everyone’s feet are different, even if they wear the same shoes size. So it’s a matter of trying on several pairs of shoes to get the right fit. You could have a case in which someone has a very wide foot and if they tried the
wide version of an ASICS shoe would still be too narrow, whereas an Altra Torin might fit a lot better based
on the shape.

When it comes to finding the correct size for a runner, believe it or not, a lot of people don’t know their real foot size when they come into the store. When you put their feet on the Brannock foot-measuring
device, it might suggest something totally different than what they’ve said, and maybe because they wear that size for their everyday shoes or the shoes they wear to work.

For running shoes, it’s important to have a snug fit
in the heel and the midfoot and a little more room in the forefoot. Based on all of that, I will often size-up a half size or a full size larger when bringing out try-on shoes to make sure they have room for their toes to splay in the
forefoot of the shoe.

For example, if someone measures a 10 on the Brannock, I’m going to be pulling a 10.5 or 11 for many shoes that run small or are narrower in the forefoot. That has to do with knowing which the shape of
shoes and which ones contour in a little bit sooner than others in the big toe area. But it still comes down to trying on three or four pairs because the size and shape of every different model can vary a little or a lot.

How is the fitting process different for women?

One consistent issue with women trying on shoes is heel slippage, a feeling that the shoe is too loose in the heel. So a lot of times it’s about trying to find a shoe that has a firm, locked-in heel counter that’s going to counteract
that. Or it might be simply having them use the last eyelet on the lacing system or doing a looped tie to further secure the foot down.

THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS

What should a runner know about stability shoes?

While there are some great stability shoes on our shoe wall, I tend to try to get people in neutral shoes as often as possible. If a runner’s gait is showing some
pretty egregious overpronation, then a stability shoe might make sense.

Otherwise, I would prefer most runners to be in an inherently stable neutral shoe so the foot is controlling how their body moves and not the shoe. If
a runner needs a little support, we can add an after-market foot bed—like a Curex insole—instead of putting them into a stability
shoe that might be too controlling.

How much should the weight of a shoe matter?

I don’t like to talk about actual weights too much, even if I know that the Nike Pegasus is an ounce lighter than the Brooks Ghost. There is a lot of gray area when it comes to weight and much more than a number of ounces on paper. The specific weight doesn’t
always translate to how it feels on someone’s foot. It also depends on the heel-toe offset of the shoe and how heavy the heel is with respect to the forefoot.

For example, a lower offset shoe that’s a little bit heavier could
still feel lighter to someone than another shoe with a higher heel-toe offset that is lighter overall but comparably might feel heavier in the heel. It also depends on the weight of the upper too because you could have a shoe with a heavier
upper that doesn’t feel as heavy underfoot. Or you could have a shoe with a lighter upper but a heavier midsole.

Those are examples of why the weight of a shoe is not as simple as knowing that one particular shoe is 9.5 oz.
and another is 10.5 oz. So during the shoe-fitting process, I talk about weight generally but not specifically.

How much should price be an issue during the try-on and fitting process?

We usually
never bring price up unless someone mentioned a specific budget they want to stay within. If they do, then I will inquire what that is and try to cater to it. If a customer is adamant about not spending more than $110, then we’ll pull
out the New Balance Zante or Brooks Launch.

But price aside, we’re going to pull out
what we think will work best so we can get that runner in the best possible shoe and go from there. Usually people will want to get the shoe that feels the best on their feet.

Sometimes price does become a factor after the
fact when it wasn’t discussed up front, and that’s OK, because they’ve at least gone through the shoe-fitting process and can make a more informed decision based on all of the variables and not just the price.

FIT AND LONGEVITY OF A RUNNING SHOE

How should “a good fit” feel like to a runner?

It’s really about feeling a nice dialed-in fit without any areas that are uncomfortable, too loose or too restrictive at any part of the shoe—the midfoot, heel or toe
box. But that’s why the customer needs to be able to run in the shoes during the try-on process and not just lace them up and stand in each one. Of the three or four shoes you’re trying on, it comes down to which one feels the smoothest
to you when you’re running, landing on the ground and going through the heel-to-toe transition. 

Really, aside from feeling the nice cushioning that all shoes have, it’s about which shoe feels like it’s disappearing on your
foot more and feels the most natural to you. If it’s kind of a toss-up between two models, then obviously aesthetics come into play. But first and foremost, it should be about the fit. 

How much do you encourage runners to have a secondary shoe in their rotation?

It’s important to have multiple shoes for different kinds of running, but it also depends on what kind of runner they are and what kind of running they need. First and foremost, we try to make sure the customer gets the best possible
shoe for the majority if their everyday running needs—recovery runs, slower runs, long runs. 

When we’re sizing people into shoes, we might discuss a secondary specialty shoe for someone to wear for tempo runs or interval workouts.
Or it could be a secondary shoe for trail running

How long should a runner expect a pair of running shoes to last?

That depends on
a lot of things, including a runner’s biomechanics, the specific shoe and how they’re running in it. We typically tell people 300-400 miles is a safe span of mileage, assuming that the shoe is not also being used to walk 5 miles a day
in the city, mowing the lawn on weekends or something other than running. 

In reality, it could be more, and it could be less. A shoe with softer foam like the Saucony Kinvara might
be done in 300 miles, whereas a Saucony Triumph or Saucony Freedom with an Everun TPU-based midsole
could go 500 or more. So 300 to 400 miles is a general guideline, but it really depends on the specifics as the shoe is worn for many weeks. 

How do you tell customers to take care of their shoes?

Your
running shoes are bound to get a little dirty. Some people seem to get worried about that, but I would never recommend anyone putting their shoes in a washing machine or a dryer. That’s going to change the shape of a shoe and how the shoe
fits and lead to it breaking down sooner than it should. 

If you are worried about the shoe getting dirty, I recommend using baby wipes or a wet towel to freshen up a shoe and clean it up a little bit.

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Comment below how many
pairs of running shoes you have in your collection?  There is no shaming here at JackRabbit!  

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ASICS GT 2000 7 REVIEW

 

ASICS GT 2000 – SHOE REVIEW

by BRIAN METZLER | NOV 1, 2018

A perennial bestseller, the Asics GT 2000 7 has a solid runner fan base for those needing some mild stability to their running shoes.  Asics has proven with the GT 2000 that a stability shoe can have the same soft ride as many neutral shoes.

The brand new version of the GT 2000 7 is all about breathability and fit. Read on to learn what JackRabbit guest reviewer Brian Metzler and his running pals have to say about the new edition of the Asics GT 2000 7.

THE BUZZ

The GT 2000 is popular model in the ASICS line, the seventh edition is a trustworthy and durable moderate stability shoe that offers a great blend of resilient cushioning and smartly engineered support.

Our wear-testers appreciated the fit, functionality and no-frills aspects of this shoe.

WHAT'S NEW: ASICS GT 2000 7

The most significant change to this edition of the Asics GT 2000 7 is the new seamless jacquard mesh upper with minimalistic overlays for added support.

The engineered, two-layer multi-directional stretch mesh plays a big role the shoe’s improved fit by adding comfort and security over the top of the foot.  The changes to the upper have resulted in this shoe being a tad lighter than last year’s edition. It feels like one of the lighter moderate stability trainers on the market.  

The Asics GT 2000 7 has a premium Ortholite sockliner that adds to the overall cushioning of the shoe while also providing a moisture-wicking platform to keep feet cool, dry and healthy.  

In addition to the GEL cushioning, there are two types of lightweight foam in the midsole of the Asics GT 2000 7 that provide impact-absorbing cushioning and energy return.

FIT-FEEL-RIDE

A wide padded tongue, firm heel counter, seamless interior and new upper have improved the fit of this shoe. It’s reliably secure in the heel and midfoot but the forefoot and stretchy upper offer a little bit of extra room for the toes to wiggle and splay.

The interior of the Asics GT 2000 7 isn’t overly plush like some premium cushioned shoes, but it has enough padding to make it a very comfortable everyday trainer. The ride is consistent, smooth and energetic, starting with a mildly soft sensation at foot strike before giving way to a semi-firm feeling as the foot rolls through the gait cycle to a bit of a snappy, energetic feeling at the toe-off phase.

WHO'S IT BEST FOR?

The Asics GT 2000 7 is an ideal everyday trainer for a runner who needs or wants a stable, mildly controlling shoe. While many models have changed drastically in recent years, the GT 2000 7 has maintained the classic ASICS fit, feel and ride runners have known it to have for years.

Our wear-testers reported it feeling comfortable and effective in the first mile or a recovery run as it does in the 20th mile of a long run.

PROS AND CONS OF THE ASICS GT 2000 7

Asics GT 2000 7 - Pros

PROS: ASICS GT 2000 7
It's mostly hidden in the midsole, but this shoe has both rearfoot and forefoot GEL cushioning inserts to absorb shock and help a runner’s foot to make minor adjustments during the gait cycle. Nicely done!

Plus, the underfoot chassis is built with tooling to subtly and specifically guide a runner’s feet efficiently and effectively through the gait cycle from foot strike to toe off.

Asics GT 2000 7 - Cons

CONS: ASICS GT 2000 7
Although the GT 2000 7 is a shoe that could be worn for races from 10K to the marathon, it’s not a shoe that will inspire your top-end speed.

Our wear-testers found it to be right at home doing tempo runs, but not a shoe for shorter intervals like 6×800 or miles repeats or 5K racing.

SHOP THE ASICS GT 2000 7

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BRIAN METZLER

Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado. 

He's the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine. He's the author of “Running Colorado's Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian's Approach for Every Runner.”

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MIZUNO WAVE RIDER 22 REVIEW

 

MIZUNO WAVE RIDER 22 – SHOE REVIEW

by BRIAN METZLER | SEPTEMBER, 2018

Come on down and discover what's new with the Mizuno Wave Rider 22. Want a clue? It's changed a lot since its early versions. 

Guest JackRabbit reviewer, Brian Metzler takes the new Wave Rider out for some test runs and gives us his two cents on this strong legacy running shoe.

THE BUZZ

One of the all-time best-selling running shoes, the Mizuno Wave Rider 22 is a neutral-oriented legacy shoe has been a favorite among runners for years, and it should continue to be with the release of the 22nd edition—even though it has changed a bit from what it used to be.

Although once a firmer shoe with a responsive ride, the Wave Rider has morphed over the past few editions to become a more comfortable cushioned cruiser with a soft, forgiving ride.

WHAT'S NEW WITH THE MIZUNO WAVE RIDER 22

Two significant changes to the midsole chassis have created a much softer ride than previous editions of this shoe.

First, this shoe has a much more noticeably decoupled heel crash pad, and, secondly, the midsole foam in the heel has been perforated above the redesigned plastic Wave plate, both of which allow for greater rearfoot compression upon impact with the ground and also reduce the rigid feeling of the previous versions.

The upper of the Mizuno Wave Rider 22 has also been retooled with a stretchy two-layer engineered mesh over the entire shoe that contributes to the its increased the comfort and breathability.

Mizuno Wave Rider 22 - Step it up!

FIT-FEEL-RIDE

When it comes to creature comforts, the Mizuno Wave Rider 22 ranks up there with the softest and comfiest shoes on the market. Runners with medium to wide feet or high-volume feet will love this shoe because of the more generous fit offered in its recent editions, especially this one. Although its cushy, interior padding allows it to conform well to moderately narrow feet (although not quite as well in the heel), it really accommodates medium to wide feet with aplomb.

The ride is unapologetically soft but also consistently smooth at most speeds. It doesn’t necessarily have the energetic “pop” of some of its contemporaries with next-gen foam packages, but the modifications to the Wave Rider system built into the midsole help to subtly and effortlessly channel energy from heel to midfoot to forefoot.

There’s no denying the Wave Rider 22 exudes a soft sensation upon landing, but it has enough stabilizing midfoot structure to keep its composure and plenty of forefoot flexibility to serve up a mildly energetic vibe at the toe-off of a stride.

WHO'S IT BEST FOR?

The Mizuno Wave Rider 22 is for any runner who appreciates a bouncy softness in every stride. It is sublimely soft with only marginal lateral support, so we’d recommend it for someone who can truly handle a neutral ride. It’s a comfortable shoe that thrives at slow to moderate paces and distances, but it can also be a do-everything, everyday trainer for beginner to intermediate runners.

PROS AND CONS OF THE MIZUNO WAVE RIDER 22

Mizuno Wave Rider 22 - Pros

While this isn’t the lightest shoe in the neutral cushioned trainer category, this edition of the Wave Rider is about a ½ ounce lighter than the last several versions and feels light and airy right out of the box.  Also, the outsole rubber has a little bit more striated definition to it, which has improved the traction on wet and slippery surfaces.

The lacing system and extra wide and luxuriously plush tongue helps create a reliably snug and comfortable fit for a variety of foot shapes and widths.

Mizuno Wave Rider 22 - Cons

It’s not necessarily a shoe our wear-testers thought was built for top-end speed for 5K racing or speed work or long-distance efforts from 20 miles to the marathon.

However, it could be the ideal tool of choice for 10Ks, half marathons or longer tempo runs.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BRIAN METZLER

Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado. 

He's the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine. He's the author of “Running Colorado's Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian's Approach for Every Runner.”

 

 
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SAUCONY TRIUMPH ISO 5 REVIEW

 

SAUCONY TRIUMPH ISO 5 – SHOE REVIEW

by BRIAN METZLER | OCTOBER 4, 2018

The Saucony Triumph ISO 5 has seem some major updates this season. There's a 'grippier' heel, some extra millimeters of cushioning and a updated upper.  

Read on to learn what JackRabbit guest reviewer Brian Metzler and his running pals have to say about the #5 in the Triumph collection from Saucony.

THE BUZZ

The Saucony Triumph ISO 5 is a top-of-the-line luxury cruiser, Saucony’s most cushioned neutral cushioned training shoe.

It’s been completely reworked since last year’s edition—which was a great shoe—but the big and small changes to this year’s model have given it a better look, fit, feel and ride.

WHAT'S NEW: SAUCONY TRIUMPH ISO 5

The biggest change to this edition of the Saucony Triumph ISO 5 is slightly thicker full-length Everun midsole and a slightly thinner rubber outsole. The foam package (which includes a 3mm Everun topsole directly under a premium footbed) adds more softness, energy return and guidance to the shoe, while a wider forefoot and narrower heel enhances the fit from previous editions of the Triumph.

The new Crystal Rubber outsole is not only thinner, inherently tackier and more durable, but it also offers has additional texture for better grip on wet surfaces.

Finally, a full-length double-layer jacquard engineered knit mesh offers great mechanical stretch, flexibility and breathability, but not hotspots typically caused from overlays.  
 

FIT-FEEL-RIDE

Sliding your foot inside the Saucony Triumph ISO 5 is like slipping into the bucket seat of a sports car.

It’s offers a comfortably snug, performance-oriented fit with just a smidge of extra room in the forefoot to allow toes to wiggle and splay. The interior bootie construction and ISOFit dynamic saddle system adapt to a wide range of foot shapes and volumes, allowing the foot to flex with the shoe and very fluidly and securely rebound into the next stride. For such a thickly cushioned and mildly supportive shoe, the Triumph ISO 5 offers a very lively, energetic ride. 

The heel has been updated with a soft, plush lining to add comfort and grab around. 

The 3mm topsole layer of innovative Everun foam sandwiched between the footbed and the full-length PWRFoam midsole serves up a springy underfoot sensation, creating a ride with a dreamy mix of shock absorption, resiliency and subtle guidance from heel-strike to toe-off.

WHO'S IT BEST FOR?

The Saucony Triumph ISO 5 is a perfect shoe for runners who have a neutral or supinating gait and want a premium, thickly cushioned high-mileage trainer that offers a dynamic ride and versatile performance.

PROS AND CONS OF THE SAUCONY TRIUMPH ISO 5

Saucony Triumph ISO - Pros

Versatility is this shoe’s middle name. Our wear-testers found it ideal for a wide variety of workouts, from long runs to fartleks to recovery runs to tempos. It’s also energetic enough to wear on race day for 10Ks to marathons.

The premium FORMFIT contoured footbed cradles and wraps the foot, providing a near-custom fit that adds to the cushy, comfortable ride.

Saucony Triumph ISO 5 - Cons

The Triumph ISO 5 is about a half ounce heavier than the previous version, but that didn’t seem to be an issue with most of our wear-testers.

Although not quite as light or nimble as some of the new modern lightweight trainers, it’s a very durable high-mileage shoe with as much or more “pop” than any other shoe in its class.

SHOP THE SAUCONY TRIUMPH ISO 5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BRIAN METZLER

Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado. 

He's the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine. He's the author of “Running Colorado's Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian's Approach for Every Runner.”

 

 
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ASICS GEL KAYANO 25 REVIEW

 

 

ASICS GEL KAYANO 25 – SHOE REVIEW

byBRIAN METZLER| May 18th, 2018

Twenty five years of the Asics Gel Kayano is testament to the solid place in running history for this solid training shoe from one of the leaders in running.  Our guest reviewer Brian Metzler, takes a run in the latest release and shares his thoughts on the Asics Gel Kayano 25.

THE BUZZ

The Gel-Kayano is one of running’s all-time shoes, the go-to everyday training shoe of a generation of runners.

The celebratory silver-anniversary edition retains the smooth-riding, max stability demeanor and plush interior feel of previous models, but it also gets some welcomed, next-level enhancements.

WHAT'S NEW WITH ASICS GEL KAYANO 25

The most obvious new feature of the 25th edition of the Kayano is the vastly updated engineered upper that offers a fast and clean appearance while functionally enhancing the fit and ride of the shoe.

The all-way stretch Jacquard mesh is very breathable and adapts to a foot’s specific shape and movements while also adding to the shoe’s lateral and medial support. The most dominant new update to the shoe is the firm external heel counter that wraps the rear of the foot for a locked-down snugness that anchors the foot to the shoe throughout the gait cycle.

Nike Pegasus 35 - We Fly!

FIT-FEEL-RIDE

The new heel-clutching system, improved upper and slightly wider toe box allow this version of the Kayano to fit a wider range of foot shapes than previous editions. The padded heel collar, soft, thick tongue, seamless interior and extra-cushy sock liner make this one of the comfiest pair of long-distance kicks you’ll ever find. In short, the Kayano rides like a luxury SUV, not a sports car—but that’s a very good thing.

What the Kayano lacks in agility, it more than makes up for in reliable stability. Thanks to the reinforced undercarriage and heel, the ride is unflinchingly stable but the three-layer midsole make it consistently smooth, too. Although it feels almost underwhelming at first, once you settle into a groove of a long run you’ll feel the subtle softness and long-wearing comfort mile after mile.

WHO'S IT BEST FOR

Stability-seeking runners looking for a durable everyday training shoe will love this shoe. It’s one of the most stable high-mileage shoes available, but it also rides quite well and is chock full of creature comforts.

PROS AND CONS OF THE ASICS GEL KAYANO

Nike Pegasus 35 Pros

The combination of an absorbent, high-impact foam and a lightweight, super-responsive foam sandwiched around packets of GEL in the lateral heel and midfoot give the Asics Kayano 25 the ultimate balance between comfortable cushioning and energetic responsiveness as it rolls through each stride.

Nike Pegasus 35 Cons

The Kayano 25 is about a half-ounce heavier than the Kayano 24 and a tad hefty compared to other everyday stability trainers on the market. It isn’t adept at running short, fast races or up-tempo workouts, but that’s perfectly OK given its long-haul comfort and smooth-riding consistency.

SHOP THE ASICS GEL KAYANO 25

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BRIAN METZLER

Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado.

He's the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine. He's the author of “Running Colorado's Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian's Approach for Every Runner.”

 

 
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NIKE PEGASUS 35 REVIEW

NIKE PEGASIS – SHOE REVIEW

byBRIAN METZLER| May 18th, 2018

The Nike Pegasus is one of the iconic running shoes of all time.  Thirty five years and counting. The release of the 'Peg 35' is here and guest blogger Brian Metzler shares the scoop.

THE BUZZ

Nike continues to show its commitment to the Pegasus, the shoe with the longest lineage in the history of running shoes and the best-selling shoe model of all-time.

While significant refinements improved the last three editions,
the Pegasus 35 was entirely overhauled to become lighter, faster, snappier and more comfortable than ever before.

WHAT'S NEW WITH NIKE PEGASUS

Almost everything is new on this model, including the redesigned midsole with a full-length Zoom Air sandwiched in the middle, a thinner, more flexible rubber outsole, a updated engineered mesh upper and a uniquely beveled heel (one
of several design cues taken from the Zoom VaporFly 4% elite marathon shoe).

Although this edition of the Pegasus has an entirely new build-up, it retains the everyday reliability and long-haul interior comfort that
have been the hallmark of Pegasus models from the start.

Nike Pegasus 35 - We Fly!

FIT-FEEL-RIDE

The Nike Pegasus 35 has a sock-like snugness to it, thanks to a partial internal bootie construction, fully gusseted tongue and a stretchy engineered mesh upper reinforced by Flywire Cables. That creates a performance-oriented fit
really enhances the foot-to-ground feeling and adds to the shoe’s agility. At any pace, produces a decidedly soft and very springy sensation in every stride. The energetic vibe comes from the two-part Cushlon foam and Zoom Air
unit midsole construction.

Previous versions had independent Zoom Air units only in the heel and forefoot, creating a bit of a dead spot in the middle of the shoe. That’s not the case with the 35, which serves up an
impeccably smooth ride from foot strike to toe-off.

WHO'S IT BEST FOR

This version of the Pegasus is the complete package, a real do-everything shoe. With the versatility it serves up, it’s hard to think of runners who wouldn’t enjoy or appreciate running in this shoe.

Several Nike elites
consider it their go-to trainer of choice, but we also know it’s a great shoe for new runners, occasional fitness runners and committed half-marathoners, too. It can handle the entire range of running with aplomb: long, short,
fast, slow and everything in between. However, it’s lacks inherent stability so it’s only recommended for runners with definitively neutral gait.

PROS AND CONS OF THE NIKE PEGASUS

Nike Pegasus 35 Pros

This men’s and women’s versions of this year’s Pegasus are more than a half an ounce lighter than last year’s models. That’s a huge difference, and it allows the Pegasus 35 to compare favorably with just about any neutral-oriented
everyday training shoe.

Nike Pegasus 35 Cons

Like many Nike shoes, this shoe has a narrow profile and fits very snug, especially through the forefoot. That might be a challenge for runners with wider feet.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BRIAN METZLER

Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado.

He's the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine. He's the author of “Running Colorado's Front Range” and the
co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian's Approach for Every Runner.”

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Saucony Ride ISO Review

SAUCONY RIDE ISO – SHOE REVIEW

by BRIAN METZLER | May 10th, 2018

The Saucony Ride ISO 10 has arrived and offers a selection of new features and some big upgrades in 2018.  Read on to learn what our pro-gear tester and guest writer Brian Metzler has to say.

THE BUZZ

Running in the new Ride ISO is inspiring! This iconic neutral shoe has received some significant upgrades and our wear-testers love the outcome. Like its recent predecessor, the Ride 10, the newest version of the Ride is a well-cushioned
shoe with a buttery smooth ride that feels as comfortable late in a long run as it does when you first try it on. What makes the new version special is that it serves up a much better fit, a connective feel, and a more energetic
ride. Lace ‘em up, head out the door and you’ll feel like there’s a spring in your step. 


WHAT’S NEW IN THE RIDE ISO

The biggest change from the Ride 10 is the addition of Saucony’s IsoFit upper system—a series of individual “fingers” that wrap around the top of a foot and allow the lacing system to create a near-custom fit. Another big enhancement
is the contoured shape of the dual-foam midsole chassis that cradles the foot deeper into the shoe and provides a stable, articulated fit.

Our wear-testers report that offers up locked-down security in the heel (thanks to a moderately firm heel counter), a snug fit in the midfoot/arch area and a slightly roomier toe box than previous editions of the Ride that allows toes
to wiggle and splay. A two-layer midsole consisting of a thin slice of lively Everun foam on top of a robust layer of shock-absorbing PWRFOAM provide an optimal balance of energy return and cushioning. It feels consistently soft
on impact with the ground, but not at all mushy. 

As the foot transition through the gait cycle, there is a semi-firm feeling that offers both a bit of stability and responsiveness that seem to propel the foot through
the toe-off phase of each stride. The Ride ISO is not as light as some other models in the neutral-cushioning category, but it doesn’t feel heavy or bulky, either. The individualized fit of the upper and the articulated fit under
foot really enhance the ride and provide an exceptional proprioceptive connection between the foot, the shoe and the ground.

WHO’S IT BEST FOR

The biggest change from the Ride 10 is the addition of Saucony’s IsoFit upper system—a series of individual “fingers” that wrap around the top of a foot and allow the lacing system to create a near-custom fit. Another big enhancement
is the contoured shape of the dual-foam midsole chassis that cradles the foot deeper into the shoe and provides a stable, articulated fit.

PROS AND CONS OF THE SAUCONY RIDE ISO

The fit enhancements, the dynamic dual-purpose midsole and the comfortable interior make this a consummate everyday running shoe for both new runners and experienced runners.

While this shoe could be a good choice for a half-marathon or a marathon, it’s not quite light enough, peppy enough or low enough to the ground to make it the ideal tool for fast workouts or fast running in 5K/10K races.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BRIAN METZLER

Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the
quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado. 

He’s
the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine. He’s the author of “Running Colorado’s Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The
Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian’s Approach for Every Runner.”

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Altra Escalante: Men’s Review!

TAKING THE ALTRA ESCALANTE OUT FOR A SPIN




I had never worn a pair of Altra running shoes before, so although I was excited to try something new, I also had a few reservations about running in a shoe that was so different to what I was used to, like the zero-drop aspect of the shoe and the wider toe box.

Enter the Altra Escalante!

 

QUESTIONS I HAD BEFORE RUNNING IN THE ALTRA ESCALANTE




Since I was giving the Altra Escalante’s a test run for the JackRabbit crew, I wanted to consider all the aspects of the shoe that were going to be different from my usual choice and for both my running style and comfort zone.

  • Altra shoes are known for their wider toe box: Would this wider toe box cause an uncomfortable fit and not hold my foot in place properly?
  • Zero-drop shoes: Would the zero-drop dimensions of the running shoe put too much strain on my Achilles and cause any soft tissue strains or issues?
  • Cushioning: While the Altras are not classified as a minimalist running shoe, nevertheless there is less cushioning than what I am used to running in. Would there be enough cushioning in the Altra Escalantes to help keep my “old” knees from acting up?

 

READY TO HIT THE ROAD IN THE ALTA ESCALANTE




From the first time I laced up the Escalantes, I knew that fit wouldn’t be an issue at all. Score #1! While there is more space in the toe box, the rest of the shoe really locked down my foot and kept it from sliding around inside the shoe. Kudos to the shoe architects at Altra for getting this fit right.

One thing that really stuck out to me immediately, was how well the heel counter of the Escalante locked down my Achilles and kept my foot from sliding up and down. This is a game-changer for athletes looking for a roomier fit in the toe.

My second concern was with the zero drop aspect of the shoe and how my Achilles reacts to the change in geometry under foot. I generally train in shoes with a drop of 4-8 millimeters, and have been ok with those, but the zero-drop just seemed like it might be a bit too extreme for me.

As recommended by the shoe experts at Altra themselves, I took my first few runs slow and was careful to focus on keeping my lower legs well stretched before and after. By my 4th run I was back to my normal pace and mileage and never once experienced more than mild tightness in my Achilles during the buildup.

My third concern was cushioning. I generally don’t like an overly cushioned shoe, but I was worried that this would not have quite enough to protect my worn out knees. However, because this shoe promotes me to run so much more efficiently, I felt like there was a lot less pressure put on my knees and hips than when I run in a more traditional running shoe.

 

POST-RUN THOUGHTS ON A NEW SHOE EXPERIENCE WITH THE ALTRA ESCALANTE




Overall the Altra Escalante provided a smooth ride while giving me the feel that I could run fast in the shoe if I really wanted to. The fit was one of the better I’ve felt in a running shoe in a long time, and I was pleasantly surprised with the feel underneath my foot. I will definitely be putting the Escalante in my rotation of running shoes, and I am looking forward to logging a lot more miles in the shoe.

Bravo Altra, the Escalante is an excellent shoe for those looking for more room in the toes without compromising on fit in the heel, and runners wanting to experience a more efficient running gait that the Altra shoe promotes.

 

Shop Men's Altra Escalante
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